Best rear shock for enduro

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3/4/2019 11:15 PM

Just after some opinions on a quality rear shock.
Currently running an Ohlins flow on a pds ktm 300.
I only ride enduro, dont race but looking to start.
I was looking at getting dlc and kashima done on the shock. Just wondering if i was better off finding a used a-kit shock like a trax or kyb instead of putting money into the ohlins.
Have heard mixed reports on the trax being used in enduro.
Cheers.

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3/5/2019 2:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/5/2019 2:05 PM

kyb not have pds , only fox have dlc
Last ohlins flow works perfect
Your model ?

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3/6/2019 1:18 AM

Trax require a lot of maintenance, expect to have it apart every 40hrs at most to replace the little springs.

Having had a trax before I didn't feel the performance justified the expense. For my next bike I chose to mod the stock shock. DLC, Kashima, Bladder, low friction piston band, SKF seal head, ohlins oil, xtrig, dyno tuned and it worked way better than the trax every did, any about 2k cheaper. The trax works ok stock (make sure you get the enduro valved one not the mx valved one) but they aren't magic carpet. People get all funny and think they work sooo much better purely because they cost sooo much more. Sadly it doesn't work like that.

Kyb isn't anything special in stock form, come with a bladder but other than that basically same as your stock WP shock. Factory KYB offers nothing more than kashima, DLC, 3 comp adjuster and xtrig over the basic kyb shock. From memory the stock kyb has 16mm shaft and factory has 18mm shaft, can't quite remember.

No experience on a ohlins flow, from a comparison I don't see much to offer over the stock WP shock besides different valving (soft) and different adjuster.

If it was me I would sell the ohlins and mod your stock shock. Yes you lose money when you sell the bike or do what I done and buy a second std shock to put not he bike when i sell it and sell the shock separately.

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3/6/2019 7:13 AM

bowser wrote:

Trax require a lot of maintenance, expect to have it apart every 40hrs at most to replace the little springs.

Having had a trax before I didn't feel the performance justified the expense. For my next bike I chose to mod the stock shock. DLC, Kashima, Bladder, low friction piston band, SKF seal head, ohlins oil, xtrig, dyno tuned and it worked way better than the trax every did, any about 2k cheaper. The trax works ok stock (make sure you get the enduro valved one not the mx valved one) but they aren't magic carpet. People get all funny and think they work sooo much better purely because they cost sooo much more. Sadly it doesn't work like that.

Kyb isn't anything special in stock form, come with a bladder but other than that basically same as your stock WP shock. Factory KYB offers nothing more than kashima, DLC, 3 comp adjuster and xtrig over the basic kyb shock. From memory the stock kyb has 16mm shaft and factory has 18mm shaft, can't quite remember.

No experience on a ohlins flow, from a comparison I don't see much to offer over the stock WP shock besides different valving (soft) and different adjuster.

If it was me I would sell the ohlins and mod your stock shock. Yes you lose money when you sell the bike or do what I done and buy a second std shock to put not he bike when i sell it and sell the shock separately.

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I respectfully disagree.
Trax will work awesome in enduro, because of the dropout feature, and that is especially noticeable on 2 stroke bike like the OP's.
TRAX shock does require you to service it more often than std shock, agreed here.
Getting a stock shock done like yours (kashima, dlc, valve work, xtrig,"bling") will probably send OP way over the price of a decent shape, used "A-Kit" level parts.
Additionally, like you mentioned, it is money that he loses as soon as he sells that bike (with this shock on, as he won't have a spare one).
Not the case with aftermarket suspension, he could either sell it separately or put it on a different bike.

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3/6/2019 10:34 AM

Im on a 2017 ktm 300.
I haven't heard a bad thing about the flow and i am happy with it. I just haven't ridden much to compare it to.
My dad is on a fox rc3 which is a great shock. DLC shaft, bottom out control. But they do not fit on the 17.
It might work with an x bushing as i think they are different lengths. Not sure about clearance though.

So it sounds like exotic coatings are the deal breaker more or less.
It seems like the trax is the only one with a major mechanical advantage with the trax system.

What service cost difference is there between a stock shock and the trax?
All shocks should be serviced around 40 hours correct?

I guess id like to know does the flow in stock form give more potential than the rest?
Tighter tolerances etc.
It does only have 1 rebound and 1 comp adjuster.

Bowser, do you replace the springs regardless or just if needed?

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3/6/2019 12:11 PM

Andy, at 40hrs there will be broken springs. When the springs break you lose all rebound damping. MX use will see that 40hrs drop to 15-20hrs. Springs are only around $5 each so extra $25 on top of service which i'm not sure if shops charge more for trax as there is more work stripping them down.

The drop out function and performance benefit isn't as pronounced as you would think. Yes you can feel it but it's not earth shattering with regards to performance. There isn't a patent on the function so if it was that good other manufacturers would have jumped on board. Something to think about.

Something else that hasn't been mentioned about the trax is that it uses a PDS (thin) piston rather than the thick piston commonly found in all non PDS shocks (regardless of brand). throw a low friction band on this and enjoy the ultra low stiction without the expense of coatings. This may be a cheap upgrade to your Ohlins? I think this is part of the reason the trax doesn't have DLC/Kashima as it gets the job done cheaper albeit probably not quiet as good.

Another option is the Mxtech factory shock Jer offers, they have the best of best bits and to me would be a real contender if I was outlaying decent money on a REPLACEMENT shock.

I haven't rode a FLOW shock but the Ohlins I did ride was valved way too soft out of the box for my liking, if I was an old man the soft cushy ride might appeal more to my tastes. Don't be fooled thinking if you buy a trax/ohlins it won't benefit fro a revalve because the out of the box settings are still just mass production settings.

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3/6/2019 10:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/7/2019 3:43 AM

What deficiencies do you find with the Flow?

I doubt that , if you have ridden with it, and not liked some aspects of it, that you couldn't have it set up to suit you / your riding. Far cheaper than buying yet more shocks, that, if you are picky, you'll probably have to have revalved.

As for DLC (the shaft) and Kashima coating : keep in mind the piston runs in the inner of the Twin Tubes (but they are already coated, with what I think is a very high quality anodizing) , so Kashima coating anymore than that tube, would just be going for an external 'bling' factor.

But, it's your money - go for whatever you feel the need to spend it on.

Before I converted my 500's rear end to a PDS set up, I researched the various length and travel PDS shocks - but I'm buggered if I can find my listing, to put up here. So, this may not be quite correct, but, I found that over the years, the shocks went up in length / travel, with variations on the leverage ratios. And, generally, the eye to eye increase, was matched by the shaft travel increase. Very, very close compressed length, through the years.

Ohlins may still have lengths and travels of shocks listed - I can't find any Dirt Bike Fox listings anywhere on their site - but I tend to be pretty useless on the 'puter.

The TTX shock I got, had a shaft spacer in it that I could remove to bring it up to the length and travel of the up to ' 15 / 16 (?) PDS set up. Something like 417mm TLG, with 117.5mm travel - those numbers may be a bit off. The 17s and on, went back to a shorter length (-2.5mm) / travel (-4mm), from that .

The PDS shocks largely, had very similar compressed lengths, so the shorter length and travel Fox RC3 would probably fit a later model bike, just lower the rear end and shorten the travel. You, of course would need to check for clearance under full compression, AND, very carefully check that the shock clevis cleared the swingarm shock mount, through its arc. Some have found they like slightly shorter shocks with the PDS'd bikes. As I now almost do 100% single track and (very slight) extreme riding, I'm thinking about refitting the travel spacer to the TTX shock I use, to make things just a bit lower.

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3/7/2019 10:03 AM

All great info.
That mxtech shock looks like the business. Alot of cash to outlay though.
I am picky. I have spent some money on the font and want to get the rear as good as i can.
My dads fox, to me, seemed like it rode better.
I was just after some advice from people in the know.
I'm no suspension expert so any advice it well received.
I'll keep playing with the flow and get the most it before i do anything else.

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