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Discussion Starter #1
I installed a traction Dynamics AK-20 kit in my 2018 XT. Very interesting. Even though it is very well tuned — spring rate, low speed compression — the Vee 2 for is technically a, as we say in my native tongue, a morceau de merge. For instance, there is really no piston/shim stack for compression, just a single washer with holes in it at the bottom of the fork. For all intents and purposes, it's not substantially more sophisticated than a damper rod arrangement.

But at least it's adjustable you say. Uhh, not really. Even though there is a compression damper on the bottom of each leg, they are almost completely ineffective. Indeed, my suspension guy — John Sharrard of Accelerated technologies — estimates that ten click of the Suzuki compression damper adjustment is equivalent to one klick of a premium system. I solved the situation by replacing them — the whole unit — with a Flow Control Valve from K-Tech meant for early R1s and R6s as well as Triumph Daytona 675s.

I'll be writing this all up in more detail for Cycle Canada magazine and will post the pdf here after it;s published
 

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I'm interested to read your report. I agree that the newer V Strom 1000's front suspension is not as good as what I expected and hoped for. If not too expensive, I would certainly be interested in an upgrade for dampening and rebound control. I watched the Race Tech Gold Valve installation video, and I see that the 1000's fork has some odd looking components which are clearly not modern pistons + shim stacks.

The big question I have, is whether the Traxxion kit is worth the extra money compared to the Race Tech parts. $1095 vs $540 for Race Tech (RT price includes valves & springs).

Thanks in advance for your report.
 

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That's the best thing going my man, I am so wanting to do the same for my 650....let us know how you like it.
 

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I'm interested to read your report. I agree that the newer V Strom 1000's front suspension is not as good as what I expected and hoped for. If not too expensive, I would certainly be interested in an upgrade for dampening and rebound control. I watched the Race Tech Gold Valve installation video, and I see that the 1000's fork has some odd looking components which are clearly not modern pistons + shim stacks.

The big question I have, is whether the Traxxion kit is worth the extra money compared to the Race Tech parts. $1095 vs $540 for Race Tech (RT price includes valves & springs).

Thanks in advance for your report.
Pretty sure this "kit" is literally the entire assembly.....literally drop in and go if it's the set up I am thinking?
 

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DL650 requires the Gold Valve Emulators from Race Tech and they do, almost, drop in. Drilling of the damper rods is also required. The Race Tech Emulator kit is $180, springs $130. Cogent sells their DDC kit for $300 and includes springs, DDCs, and 5w fork oil. No drilling of parts required for Cogent.
 
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Here is the link to the instructions from Race Tech. It's not a video, but rather picture by picture. This is for the 2014+ 1000.

IP FMGV S252502C V-Strom 2015


Race Tech parts are replacements for the compression and rebound pistons. The Traxxion is a complete cartridge assembly. I'm interested to see how it all works. The Traxxion has its own compression clicker (just one side) so I would assume the stock compression clicker would then be non-functional.

And one thing to note- I recall a few years ago and maybe Traxxion does it every year, that Traxxion had either a Black Friday or end of year discount on their cartridge assembly.
 
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Here is the link to the instructions from Race Tech. It's not a video, but rather picture by picture. This is for the 2014+ 1000.

IP FMGV S252502C V-Strom 2015


Race Tech parts are replacements for the compression and rebound pistons. The Traxxion is a complete cartridge assembly. I'm interested to see how it all works. The Traxxion has its own compression clicker (just one side) so I would assume the stock compression clicker would then be non-functional.

And one thing to note- I recall a few years ago and maybe Traxxion does it every year, that Traxxion had either a Black Friday or end of year discount on their cartridge assembly.



Buddy of mine has installed a few of these kits in Yamaha FZ9's, he says the difference is mind boggling.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You can't add as far as I can see, a race tech food valve to the existing cartridge. Do they say you can? Cause my tech and I could;t figure out how you could and he;s considered one of the two best in Canada
 

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Discussion Starter #12
pretty much though it;s not quite as easy as changing spark plugs and there is some set up required


but yes the idea is that it is set up for the bike both mechanically and tuning wise
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I satin corrected. There appears to be a valving kit available for the 2nd gen though it's not clear to me whether the valve comes complete with the odd button type ending that the stock "washer" is attached to or if you have to instal it somehow. I'd want to know that before continuing.

Also, note that Racetach says the springs are 0.71 kg/mm. We measured them at .75 kg/mm for the initial travel then transitioning to 0.95 kg/mm for the final. We ended up using 0.90 fro Traxxion.

I have RaceTrech stuff in my 02 DL1000. Was never satisfied. That;s why I went full cartridge.
 

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I thought the Race Tech instructions looked pretty straightforward, and IMO, the installation shouldn't be any problem for someone who's familiar with suspension work. Maybe you & your suspension buddy were not reading the instructions correctly, or maybe the pictures on the web page explain the procedure just a little better?

What I see on the pictures, is that the RT kit replaces the OEM rebound and compression pistons with RT pistons + modern shim stacks. If calibrated correctly, I have no doubt that the RT system would be fantastic compared to the OEM stuff.

The big key with the RT parts, is whether the RT supplied calibrations are right for you. A couple of dirtbike buddies have installed RT parts in their dirtbikes and the results were quite good for their bikes.
 

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Buddy of mine has installed a few of these kits in Yamaha FZ9's, he says the difference is mind boggling.
Do you mean the Traxxion kits or Race Tech?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bazooka

I am not sure if you've taken one of these apart, but the piece that they attach the lower compression valvve to is unique. RT would either have ti make it themselves (and that is the question I was asking, do they supply that part complete) or provide instructions on how to make one. I don't see any way to just bolt a gold valve onto the stock suzuki plug that makes up the bottom of the cartridge.

Those are the facts as I know them. As for the opinion side of things, I have had poor experience with RT stuff compared with other suspension types. If I was going for a valve replacement, much more apt to go to K-tech but they don't make anything specifically for the new DL1000

Thanks
 

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MotoCanada,

I have not disassembled one of these forks yet. Plenty of Showa & KYB dirt forks & shocks over the past 20 yrs, but no KTM stuff.

I see what you're describing. It appears RT supplies a replacement for that pressed-on round captivating aluminum retainer. RT shows to tap the new compression base stack on to the end of the inner fork tube. It's about 1/2 to 2/3 way down the instruction web page.
 

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I saw that and while it would be good to assume they supply the whole thing (and I will look into it before I write my article), my experience with them suggests not take to take it as a given before proceeding.

Yes this particular fork is unique and not especially sophisticated. as I said in the first post. good tuning of a poor design.

Thanks for the feedback and that instruction sheet
 

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I just finished installing the Gold Valve Kit with compression and rebound in my 2014 DL1000 forks yesterday. Let me know if I can help answer any questions.

Yes they do provide you with a replacement valve body for both the compression and rebound. Some of their applications are only the compression with the rebound being optional (or not available); however, the prescribed kit for the 2014+ V-Strom 1000 includes BOTH the compression and rebound valve bodies.

The kit comes very well packaged and includes all the parts necessary to build your custom tuned valve stacks. Also included are access codes to get your customized valve stack info from their database. These codes only work once. There is a note included that you can call their technical service department if your stack doesn't feel quite the way you like it. I imagine that they will help you to switch things around for a softer or stiffer feel...

By removing both the Suzuki valve bodies and replacing them with the gold valves, you are making your own "drop in" cartridge. The additional work to swap out the valve bodies isn't that much above what is required to remove and replace the cartridge. You will also need to assemble the valve bodies yourself. I did that part of the job during the previous days on the kitchen table so that when I got into the forks, it would be just a swap and reassemble job.

That aluminum spacer on the bottom of the stock Suzuki compression valve body is not needed for the RaceTech gold valves, since their compression valve has that aluminum spacer integrated into their part. Instruction # CD5 says to remove it, but that is not really needed. You just tap out the entire valve body and you don't reuse either the stock valve body or that spacer. In the photo for Compression Valving (immediately following CD5) you see that the aluminum base piece of the compression gold valve integrates the required thickness to account for that stock spacer.

I found that the instructions they offer on-line (go to the product search page and plug in your make/model/year to be sure that you are looking at the most relevant set of instructions) were pretty good. Be very particular and pay attention to everything as some of the info is subtle yet critical. For example, for the Vee2 kit there are two different diameter check valve discs (rebound valves vs compression valves). The instructions don't make a point of this, but do say "Make sure the shims that go next to the Gold Valve completely cover the ports on both sides of the piston!". The instructions don't identify which diameter check valve goes where, but if you look closely as directed you will see how it must go.

Also, instructions CA3 and CA4 gave me pause and I started to wonder if I had missed something, but determined through other instructions and pictures that CA3 and CA4 are actually out of order and are not even necessary for cartridge assembly because those pieces are already part of the assembled rebound rod (as depicted in VR2 and CA5). According to the VR2 picture (and my forks as found) the white spacer goes on first, then the spring, then the rebound valve body is screwed on the end to trap them on the rod. When it comes to assembling the cartridge, you simply tap in the compression valve body to one end of the cartridge tube, and tap the rebound rod / valve assembly into the other end.

I only have about 50 testing miles (single rider, no luggage) on the gold valves, and so far they are a vast improvement. I made a point of running over the worst, most annoying sections of road involved in my daily commute to see if they were better or not. The one patch (freeway on ramp) that previously would have my handlebars jouncing like a pogo stick and really bugged the crap out of me, were completely unnoticed with the gold valves. I had to go through there a couple of times because it was so much better that I forgot to pay attention and didn't notice anything the first time. Transitioning in and out of driveways and going over uneven man-hole covers was also greatly improved. In fact that same freeway entrance has about a 2+ inch high bump where the asphalt transitions to cement. The forks take it minimally noticeable now until the shock thumps over it. I then moved to a mile stretch (each way) of very poorly constructed asphalt surface street (Lightning McQueen's first attempt at road repair was better - Can the city get their money back? Or at least force them to fix it? I sure hope they have black-listed that contractor). While the gold valves provided a vast improvement here as well, there was still a hint of that oscillation so I ran that section over and over while increasing and decreasing the fork rebound clickers and even tried some different shock settings. The best setting that minimized the post bump jiggling was with the fork rebound screwed all the way in. Might be worth tightening up the rebound stacks at some point, but even my cars don't like that section of road. I'll probably leave that until next summer so I can get a feel for the effect of warmer temperatures on the fork oil's viscosity.

Worst part about all this is that I'll probably have to pony-up the cash for their GS3 shock as well. If the fork gold valves made it that much better, imagine what the shock will add to the system. I would like to get the forks dialed in and then see if they can manipulate the inputs to their database to generate the exact fork stacks I end up with... then replicate those inputs for the shock setup. That should lead to the best match front to rear for the setup that works best for me.
 

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Do you mean the Traxxion kits or Race Tech?
Traxxion....full drop in and go cartridge kit. He said it can be transferred to any bike why has the same size forks "depending on kit".
 
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