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GaryC1 GaryC1
7/7/2017 9:04 AM

I was wondering what people's opinions are on spring forks vs air forks. I see a lot of people complaining about the functionality of the spring forks but have never actually asked what it is in particular that people don't like.

I have had an '08 RMZ250, '13 CRF250, 13 KXF250 and a '17 CRF250 and whilst I do notice different handling characteristics between all the bikes I couldn't say I could narrow a big chunk of that difference down to the change of forks. As far as I am aware the forks between the 2 Hondas and the Kawi are all vastly different but so far I have to say I am really liking the '17 air forks.

So what is it that people don't seem to get along with and also are there any good tuning tips for the Showa air forks that will make them feel even better for me? I am a C grade rider so I don't know if I'm simply not good/aware enough to feel that they're a bad fork but just wanted to know if there is any easy tunability that can be performed to make them even better.


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WTaylor7 WTaylor7
7/7/2017 10:44 PM

I hate my air forks and love my springs because they stay the same and my airs have never been right since they lost air and we put the same amount back in

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tempura tempura
7/8/2017 2:20 AM

The biggest problem I have with my CRF air forks is they have a vague/numb feeling with very little feedback.
This feeling is especially apparent on corners, where I can't feel out how much I can push/be aggressive.
It's a confusing situation really, as the CRF can corner well, but the numbness of the forks leads me more to the side of caution.
From what I understand, this is the nature of the air folk and therefore I'd rather the bike came with Showa Spring forks.

"Nothing happens until something moves"

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theycallmeebryan theycallmeebryan
7/8/2017 9:52 AM

The Skf glide kit made a huge difference for the plushness of my 15' kx450's air forks. In stock form, there was a noticeable amount of stiction in the first inch or so of travel, and that's where your front end traction is. I , too, felt that the forks gave a vague feeling in the front end. After I switched to SKF seals, racetech gold valve and valving, and racetech fluids, the front end felt so much better. The first 1-2 inches of travel now feels buttery smooth like a spring fork, and throughout the rest of the stroke feels amazing. I instantly regained traction in the front end. The KYB sff TAC forks should come stock with the SKF glide kit.

You don't really need to do the whole SKF glide kit, but I sprung for it. The part with the most friction is the piston seals.

Also, don't forget that you have compression and rebound clickers! So many people get too caught up in the air pressure settings and don't even touch the clickers.

My fork pressure (im 185lb naked):
185psi inner
12psi outer
195psi balance

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7/8/2017 1:25 PM

Tuning question: I have a14 yz250f and have no issues with bigger jumps or woops. I do struggle with fast sections with small braking bumps. It seems like the bars want to rip out of my hands and the rear not getting traction. What ideas do people have to help? I run 108 mm sag and I am getting full travel with slight tire marks on rear fender. The forks are up in clamps maybe 10mm. I also run a devol lowering link in the rear.

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RickA RickA
7/9/2017 5:31 AM
WTaylor7 wrote:

I hate my air forks and ...more

Both Air and Spring forks build air pressure. KYB did a test and found that a spring fork actually changes more.
You know, I don't understand why people don't like Air forks.. I love them. They are highly tunable, and you don't need to buy fork springs for your weight. I love my AER, but That's just my opinion.

I can only assume people don't get the Air setup correctly. Looking around on this website you can find great info.

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tempura tempura
7/9/2017 8:03 AM
RickA wrote:

Both Air and Spring forks ...more

Have you used Honda's Showa air folk?
It needs a little more than "correct air set up"

"Nothing happens until something moves"

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Jbulz Jbulz
7/9/2017 10:28 AM

I hated my SFF TAC forks on my 16 KX450F until I had Factory Connection revalve them. I also put the SKF Glide Kit in at the same time.

Overall I'm really happy with how they perform now and don't notice a difference between spring and air forks.

The air pressure that FC recommended seemed much lower than I was used to, but works fine. Before that I was running Team Green recommended pressures on stock valving and hating every minute of riding the bike.

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