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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, I am trying to improve the fork performance on the rough/gravel/forest roads. It is 650K7. Last year I enlarged damper rod compression holes up to 9 mm in diameter, cut off 2.5 coils from the straight rate part of springs, put in new spacers accordingly, and went for 7.5 wt oil. The job done made big difference. But I need an improvement. Now, riding over a big obstacle, more than 10 cm in height, like a speed bump, generates front jump to the height of that obstacle. The good fork would absorb the obstacle for its effective compression travel, then the motorcycle would raise, if the obstacle is higher. Mine obviously does not. It is either the spring rate is too high, or, despite enlarged compression holes and thinner oil, it hydraulically locks. I tend to believe it is the hydraulics, hence I am after the new valves.
I understand how do RT Golds work. And I am not afraid of taking the fork apart once again to drill some more holes required. What holds me off is the owner’s opinion. I heard from guys who do know what they talkking about that despite different valve springs, preload, and various oil viscosity tried the improvement they achieved was still moderate. The same story is true in regards of intiminators. But here I have something else, I do not understand how do they work, what physics/hydraulics involved? Does anybody know? Does some explanation/schematics published? What would you prefer, RTG or intiminator? I read their comparison, but it was based on one guy experience, one guy does not make statistics.
 

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I can tell you how the Intiminators work in stock forks. Their 5wt. oil greatly reduces the stock compression and rebound damping.

Compression damping has two circuits. The main circuit for the fluid is to flex the stack of circular shims and flow past them--the low velocity compression damping. This can be a quite high damping rate as determined by the thickness of the shims and the number of shims. This low velocity damping reduces the brake dive and controls the bigger movements of the front end. The bypass circuit for the fluid is activated for high velocity compression. The brass spool valve is lightly spring loaded. When the front wheel rapidly rises the brass spool valve (the inertia valve) is left behind...doesn't rise as fast...and it opens additional ports for fluid flow. This really smooths out the smaller bumps and isn't adjustable.


Rebound damping with the Intiminators has the fluid flowing through a lightly sprung check valve.

Telephone the guys at Ricor. Tell them about your riding conditions. They can recommend the setting for you. They'll probably tell you to return to a stock spring (should be some available from those who've changed to a straight rate spring like a Sonic). The Intiminator 30 day return policy means that you're only out the shipping cost, fork oil cost, and the time to fiddle with them if they don't do what you need.

I haven't tried the RT emulators. I like my Intiminators a lot after I got the shims calibrated for my riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, PTRider. But it has not settled inside of my head yet. That is what I mean. In not modified damper rods the compression damping is mainly defined by the diameter of compression orifices and oil viscosity. There are some more to factor in but the influence can be ignored. So, adding a second compression valve in addition to the existing one will raise the compression rate. Hence RT golds require addition holes in the damper roads to eliminate the influence of the stock compression, making only the RT effectively working ones.
The intiminators only go for slightly thinner oil, what is the stock one?, which lowers the compression rate a bit, but does not eliminate it, therefore all features of the stock rod will remain. If a fork is hydraulically locked because “too much oil tries to get through too small holes” it won’t matter what you add on top of the existing small holes, the situation only will get worse.
Tell to me where I use faulty logic.
 

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I don't understand the way you're using "hydraulically locked." I've worked with hydraulic equipment for many years. Locked is locked. Fork dampers with compression holes can't lock. They might not have the damping rate you like, or something else might be going on.

Most people think the stock damping is too little...the infamous brake dive is an example. The way you drilled out the compression damping port and used less viscous oil will reduce the damping more--making it easier for the forks to compress fully. At that point you're working against the air cushion on top of the oil.
 

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Thank you, PTRider. But it has not settled inside of my head yet. That is what I mean. In not modified damper rods the compression damping is mainly defined by the diameter of compression orifices and oil viscosity. There are some more to factor in but the influence can be ignored. So, adding a second compression valve in addition to the existing one will raise the compression rate. Hence RT golds require addition holes in the damper roads to eliminate the influence of the stock compression, making only the RT effectively working ones.
The intiminators only go for slightly thinner oil, what is the stock one?, which lowers the compression rate a bit, but does not eliminate it, therefore all features of the stock rod will remain. If a fork is hydraulically locked because “too much oil tries to get through too small holes” it won’t matter what you add on top of the existing small holes, the situation only will get worse.
Tell to me where I use faulty logic.
change the fork oil to 5wt. see if this change gives you the desirable high speed compliance regardless of the problems it may create.
if yes then a set of intiminators is in order. if no I don't know what's next.

10cm of obstacle is a significant one, if square edge, at least for our bikes suspension travel.

find out the rate of your springs now that you had modified it as well.
 

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amk,
I have to wonder if you're expecting KTM performance from a DL650 fork? Ain't gonn'a happen. And, have you been going the wrong way with your mods? Maybe making it more compliant has caused it to bottom out which you're thinking is lack of compliance??? Just guessing.

Anyway, here is a comparison between a Wee with professionally tuned RT emulators and another Wee with Intiminators that have been worked over by a very competent home tuner.
http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,10393.msg125145.html#msg125145. Don't expect similar results from either out-of-the-box.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you guys, but let me to rephrase my original questions. I do understand how do RT work, if somebody does not, here is an article which explains how. http://www.sportrider.com/tech/146_9502_tech/index.html

But I do not understand how intiminators work. I have a hypothesis, but I need more or less solid theory, put out in the similar way, with a sort of schemes explaining what exactly do they do to mend damper rods shortcomings. Anybody?
 

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Hi Everyone, at the end of the day it seems pretty clear that either end choice, Race Tech or intiminators require tuning to perform at their optimum ,

At least with Race Tech you know up front that you need to tune them and Race Tech gets you pointed in the right direction, without pretending that all you need to do is drop in the valve and it will work for everyone.

Now that we know that the blue spring is more compliant with what we need for a great ride in the DL650 Front End, all the Gold Valve Emulators that I am send out for the DL650 are going with them.

It is easy to attach a link to a thread that touts a "well known local tuner" as a comparable when what we probably just want to say is "Hey, I tried a product and I liked it for me".

What I am 100% convinced of is that either one is better than choosing neither,

Race Tech coined a phrase sometime ago, "The best you know is the best you have ridden", and for lots of us either one of the valve products would be good enough to match our skills level.

For the others with the ability to know the difference and the ability to communicate the short falls of their front end as changes are made, tune the one you love.

Now, do I think that the intiminator is worth $300 and a bargain at $150? No, I think it is worth the $150 or so that they are putting them out at on every forum that has a market for valve emulators,

Likewise, I have been offering and shipping the Race Tech Gold Valve Emulators to Stromtrooper members shipped at $145 all in for the same reason. That is value, and it is a patented product that you can adjust and tune to distinctly improve the front end performance of our DL650 Bikes,

My advice to everyone is to go with the Gold Valve Emulator that you are willing to work with, and be prepared to tune your front end, because you will need to work with and adjust it.

That is the only way that the front end feel you end up with is the one you are looking for,

Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
Blair
 
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