Advice Needed: AER48 Cartridge Conundrum

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4/26/2020 9:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/26/2020 3:26 PM

I need some help deciding on what to do here. I had my suspension revalved by Factory Connection a couple years ago on my FX450, and I think they did a great job. It is heads and tails above what it was stock, especially the Air Fork. After a couple years of riding the bike, I still don’t like the vague feel of the air fork, how it handles braking bumps/rocks, and slap down landings. Bottom line: I am over the air cartridge.

I am planning on doing one of the following:

- Option 1: Sending the forks back to FC for their spring conversion. I need my suspension serviced anyways, so including the cost of rebuilding my shock and the spring conversion for the fork, it’s around $1400.

- Option 2: Order a set of Ohlins carts, install them myself, and send the shock off for service. My only concern here is I don’t know if the valving will work out of the box for me. I had FC valve my stuff previously for A class desert/WORCS. This option will cost me $1350, including the spring and fluids for the cartridge kit. Add probably another $250-$350 for shock service.

- Option 3: Send suspension to FC for KYB conversion and shock service. This is obviously the ideal option as they will revalve the carts for me, and it’s going to work. The problem here is it’ll be around $2600 for the conversion, revalve, and shock service. Additional cost includes sleeping on the couch for a few nights. I like Factory Connection, and have used them for almost all my suspension work in the past, but I'm unsure why their cost for the KYB conversion is around $400 more than going through Enzo or some other companies.

Cone Valves unfortunately are out of the question and I’m not really comfortable buying hammered, used CVs off vital.

What would you do? If I can get the feel I want with the spring conversion, I’m good with that. If I’m not going to feel all that much difference between a good revalve and spring conversion over a cartridge kit, then the cost isn’t worth it to me. Also, is it a valid concern to have a shock that is revalved by one company, and having the fork done by someone else (see option 2)? Thanks for the help and sorry for the long post.

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4/26/2020 10:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/26/2020 10:33 AM

https://technicaltouchusa.com/race-parts/wp-to-kyb-conversion.html

1750 dollars straight from Technical Touch. Send them an email and ask them what they would charge for setting it up for you. I might remember wrong but i think the setup is included with their KYB conversion, but don't quote me on that.

The only thing i would steer away from is a single side spring kit like WPs own or the K-tech spring kit. Now that i googled how FCs spring kit looks like it seems like that too is a single sided spring cartridge. I would not go that route, go with a proper cartridge kit for both fork legs.

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4/26/2020 10:52 AM

Dalsaggio makes nice cartridges too. They may be worth a look.

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Livin' the dream, two wheels at a time!

4/26/2020 10:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/26/2020 11:06 AM

Motofinne wrote:

https://technicaltouchusa.com/race-parts/wp-to-kyb-conversion.html

1750 dollars straight from Technical Touch. Send them an email and ask them what they would charge for setting it up for you. I might remember wrong but i think the setup is included with their KYB conversion, but don't quote me on that.

The only thing i would steer away from is a single side spring kit like WPs own or the K-tech spring kit. Now that i googled how FCs spring kit looks like it seems like that too is a single sided spring cartridge. I would not go that route, go with a proper cartridge kit for both fork legs.

Thank you, I'll give Technical Touch USA a call tomorrow. Their Belgium website indicates they come sprung and valved to each individual rider, but I guess the question is if TT USA just orders them from Europe with generic valving and ships them to you that way or not.

What is the big complaint about single sided spring cartridges, besides the weight difference between the two forks? The AER48 is the only single function fork I have ever ridden, so I don't know what an SFF spring fork would feel like. I am familiar with KYB SSS and Showa twin chamber forks, so that is all I have to compare the AER 48 to. I have never ridden any kit suspension, unfortunately.

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4/26/2020 11:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/26/2020 11:37 AM

Motofinne wrote:

https://technicaltouchusa.com/race-parts/wp-to-kyb-conversion.html

1750 dollars straight from Technical Touch. Send them an email and ask them what they would charge for setting it up for you. I might remember wrong but i think the setup is included with their KYB conversion, but don't quote me on that.

The only thing i would steer away from is a single side spring kit like WPs own or the K-tech spring kit. Now that i googled how FCs spring kit looks like it seems like that too is a single sided spring cartridge. I would not go that route, go with a proper cartridge kit for both fork legs.

CSAR FE wrote:

Thank you, I'll give Technical Touch USA a call tomorrow. Their Belgium website indicates they come sprung and valved to each individual rider, but I guess the question is if TT USA just orders them from Europe with generic valving and ships them to you that way or not.

What is the big complaint about single sided spring cartridges, besides the weight difference between the two forks? The AER48 is the only single function fork I have ever ridden, so I don't know what an SFF spring fork would feel like. I am familiar with KYB SSS and Showa twin chamber forks, so that is all I have to compare the AER 48 to. I have never ridden any kit suspension, unfortunately.

This is just my experience and others might not agree with me, but like you already mention the weight issue is pretty big. Every time i have tried a bike with the single side spring fork it has been horrible and the weight difference has been clearly noticeable. The bike behaves differently when you turn right and when you turn left.

The single sided cartridge seems to work better when it's a light air cartridge, but not when it has a massive spring in it.

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4/26/2020 1:30 PM

I’m also curious to know if the TT kit requires any machining, or if it’s pretty much a lug swap and reassembly.

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4/26/2020 3:04 PM

The TT kit is a lug swap & cartridges drop in. Easy install actually.

I had the TT kit & ended up revalving it twice to get it right .

If I was to do it again I would have ENZO build me the TT kit. same kit. just with ENZO set up. FWIW.

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4/26/2020 3:12 PM

mxracer515 wrote:

The TT kit is a lug swap & cartridges drop in. Easy install actually.

I had the TT kit & ended up revalving it twice to get it right .

If I was to do it again I would have ENZO build me the TT kit. same kit. just with ENZO set up. FWIW.

That's actually a really good idea.

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4/27/2020 6:38 PM

Before you go TT or Ohlins read up on MX Tech Lucky. Call them.

https://mx-tech.com/shop/fork-parts/mxt-lucky-carbon/

You can thank me later.

Hammer

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4/27/2020 7:53 PM

I have been looking into the Race Tech conversion, it is a single sided set up. Never thought about weight bias.

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4/27/2020 8:04 PM

The other option is Kreft. They keep the air spring, but you end up with a fork that is simply hard to believe it's as good as it is.

For reference, i have an fc350 with stock AER forks (frankly horrible in certain conditions), so have a very good frame of reference. I have ridden many KYB twin chamber set-ups, stock and revalved. Revalved KYB's were up until now the best i have ridden. Have an 17 crf450r with the latest showa twin chamber spring design.

The Kreft modified AER fork blows them all away. Square edge hard pack chop (which the stock AER totally sucks in, very harsh) simply disappears with the Kreft AER fork. I thought the trade off would have to be a wallowy feel, but you do not get that at all. There seems to be no trade offs to me, just a super plush and responsive fork.

The catch is cost, its not cheap (but neither are the options you list above). I got lucky and bought a used bike with it already installed, so got it for free, ha.

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4/27/2020 8:37 PM

Thanks wr74. I have a 20 250 xcf and I agree 100% about the forks in chop. I will look into the Kreft system.

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4/27/2020 9:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/27/2020 9:04 PM

I don’t want anything to do with the air cartridge anymore. While I’m sure it’s much better than stock, Kreft is out of the question.

I read up on MXTech’s system too. I’m not interested in those either.

I am ordering complete Ohlins RFX48S forks this week. My buddy is a dealer and can get them to me for $2800. Seems like a better idea since I can take them with me if I get another Austrian bike in the future, or sell them and use the money for a revalve if I end up back on a jap bike.

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4/27/2020 10:27 PM

CSAR FE, that should be a pretty sweet set up. Would like to hear how they work once you get them and ride on them.
Stay safe everyone.

Old Spode

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4/28/2020 6:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/28/2020 6:40 AM

Another option and one that has me curious is the hybrid Ohlins fork that Coppersmith in Ohio does. It replaces the right side damping with an Ohlins insert and .45 or .47 spring. It retains the left air side, but runs much lower pressure. It is supposed to be the best of both worlds with a spring feel going into corners, but with the option to adjust spring rate with air. $895

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Take it to the limit, one more time!

4/28/2020 7:07 AM

mx317 wrote:

Another option and one that has me curious is the hybrid Ohlins fork that Coppersmith in Ohio does. It replaces the right side damping with an Ohlins insert and .45 or .47 spring. It retains the left air side, but runs much lower pressure. It is supposed to be the best of both worlds with a spring feel going into corners, but with the option to adjust spring rate with air. $895

MXA published an article reviewing that setup recently. They had good things to say. It’s an interesting configuration.

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5/3/2020 5:14 PM

Game Changer Photo

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5/3/2020 8:08 PM

mxryan25 wrote:

Game Changer Photo

Very nice. I’m hoping to have mine in hand by Friday.

Did you have them revalved? What do you think about them?

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5/3/2020 8:48 PM

CSAR FE wrote:

Very nice. I’m hoping to have mine in hand by Friday.

Did you have them revalved? What do you think about them?

The tech from the dealer explained to me that ohlins forks don’t normally get ‘revalved’, ohlins sets them up to suit with spring rate / oil level. Ohlins set them up for my weight/bike/speed and shipped them to the dealer locally ready to rip. I also had a used set of ohlins forks last year for a few months that were great but have been riding the aer revalved with the FE clamps for the last few months until this weekend. There is no comparison, these forks are better in every which way. Small chop, large bumps, slap down landings, traction is all improved it’s night and day. You won’t be disappointed!

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5/3/2020 9:18 PM

mxryan25 wrote:

Game Changer Photo

CSAR FE wrote:

Very nice. I’m hoping to have mine in hand by Friday.

Did you have them revalved? What do you think about them?

mxryan25 wrote:

The tech from the dealer explained to me that ohlins forks don’t normally get ‘revalved’, ohlins sets them up to suit with spring rate / oil level. Ohlins set them up for my weight/bike/speed and shipped them to the dealer locally ready to rip. I also had a used set of ohlins forks last year for a few months that were great but have been riding the aer revalved with the FE clamps for the last few months until this weekend. There is no comparison, these forks are better in every which way. Small chop, large bumps, slap down landings, traction is all improved it’s night and day. You won’t be disappointed!

That’s good to hear.

Did you notice any difference with the FE clamps?

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5/4/2020 9:26 AM

CSAR FE wrote:

That’s good to hear.

Did you notice any difference with the FE clamps?

Tough to say for sure, haven’t necessarily tested them back to back. They seemed to take some sting out of the air fork, and provide more of a stable feel charging into corners. I Would like to swap them out a day at the track but that’s a lot of work haha. They are a nice piece but definitely doesn’t transform the bike like the forks will

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5/4/2020 9:31 AM

mxryan25 wrote:

The tech from the dealer explained to me that ohlins forks don’t normally get ‘revalved’, ohlins sets them up to suit with spring rate / oil level. Ohlins set them up for my weight/bike/speed and shipped them to the dealer locally ready to rip. I also had a used set of ohlins forks last year for a few months that were great but have been riding the aer revalved with the FE clamps for the last few months until this weekend. There is no comparison, these forks are better in every which way. Small chop, large bumps, slap down landings, traction is all improved it’s night and day. You won’t be disappointed!

CSAR FE wrote:

That’s good to hear.

Did you notice any difference with the FE clamps?

mxryan25 wrote:

Tough to say for sure, haven’t necessarily tested them back to back. They seemed to take some sting out of the air fork, and provide more of a stable feel charging into corners. I Would like to swap them out a day at the track but that’s a lot of work haha. They are a nice piece but definitely doesn’t transform the bike like the forks will

I had wanted to get a set to see if they helped with the harshness of the air fork in certain situations, but I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be anything more than bling with the Ohlins forks.

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5/4/2020 9:54 AM

CSAR FE wrote:

I had wanted to get a set to see if they helped with the harshness of the air fork in certain situations, but I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be anything more than bling with the Ohlins forks.

Yeah that’s basically why I got them for the air fork, but that is a lost cause. I ran the old set of Ö forks on stock clamps and couldnt complain one bit it was great. Aer revalved with clamps wasnt even close. I had to go back or go blucru pinch

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5/14/2020 11:22 PM

Problem solved. Hopefully I can get out of work with enough time to go for a rip tomorrow and get them dialed in. Photo

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5/14/2020 11:57 PM

Congratulations!

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5/17/2020 12:03 PM

mxryan25 wrote:

Tough to say for sure, haven’t necessarily tested them back to back. They seemed to take some sting out of the air fork, and provide more of a stable feel charging into corners. I Would like to swap them out a day at the track but that’s a lot of work haha. They are a nice piece but definitely doesn’t transform the bike like the forks will

CSAR FE wrote:

I had wanted to get a set to see if they helped with the harshness of the air fork in certain situations, but I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be anything more than bling with the Ohlins forks.

mxryan25 wrote:

Yeah that’s basically why I got them for the air fork, but that is a lost cause. I ran the old set of Ö forks on stock clamps and couldnt complain one bit it was great. Aer revalved with clamps wasnt even close. I had to go back or go blucru pinch

What settings did you end up with?

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5/17/2020 1:34 PM

CSAR FE wrote:

What settings did you end up with?

I had them setup for 185 A rider 5.0 nm spring rate and I think the 350 calls for 360 370 oil level, I think I’ve turned the rebound in a click or 2 and back of the compression a few clicks. Have you got to try yours yet ?!

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5/17/2020 3:14 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/17/2020 3:16 PM

Yeah, I’ve went on two rides so far. The test loop I’ve been using is hacked up really bad and tons of braking bump. Rutted, with a couple flat sweeping turns here and there. Track isn’t open yet.

Currently at 18 out on comp, rebound at 15. Super plush and soaks up all the stuff that make the front end feel like I had 2x4’s for forks before. I’ll likely end up going in on compression for the track a couple clicks. Running a 4.9 spring rate. Not sure what the oil level is set at. I believe 380cc. A class desert.

The front end feel is SO much better, and the front sticks like glue now.

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