Showa SFF Air TAC forks ('16 KX450F)

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10/29/2018 5:50 AM

My buddies Kawi only made it 3 or 4 laps around the track this weekend before he started to realize the forks wouldn't rebound properly. The initial part of the stroke seemed fine but with larger compressions the forks would stick, or bind. Made a clunk sound when rebounding. We thought maybe the front wheel/axle was binding so we removed and replaced it. No change. Checked the air pressure and though it was a little off, it wasn't drastically incorrect. Topped off the inner, outer and balance chambers using the phone app suggested settings. Still no change.

No leaking oil from dust seals.

Any insight?

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10/29/2018 6:00 AM

I know with air forks the seal for the air sortof sticks against the inner wall and causes that issue. Im not sure if its quite that severe, but maybe try changing the oil? I could see old and dirty oil causing issues. Or worn bushings. Just a guess, im not a suspension guru.

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10/29/2018 8:39 AM

I battled with the forks on my 15' KX450F for a long time. I had Paul Bruno at RG3 in NJ work on them, and chatted with him a bit on these forks. One thing he did and worked great for me was take the outter chamber out of play and release its air pressure. The inner chamber and balance chamber are them set to the same pressure (in my case 190psi each). I am also no suspension guru, but i can vouche that setting up your forks like this was the closest i got to having them feel like a traditional spring fork.

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I don't crash, I just run out of talent

10/29/2018 10:33 AM

SKF Glide kit made a huge difference in the stiction on the TAC forks on my '15 KX 450F. Highly recommend you spend the money and get the kit installed if you end up tearing into the forks.

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10/29/2018 10:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/29/2018 12:15 PM

NJKawi913 wrote:

I battled with the forks on my 15' KX450F for a long time. I had Paul Bruno at RG3 in NJ work on them, and chatted with him a ...more

X2!!


After trying everything with these damn forks (including skf Glide Kit), still felt like riding a damn chopper. I threw it on the stand in garage, set the inner at 181 psi, outer at 1 psi (for a little bottoming control) and balance 195 psi. Took a before and after measurement from floor to grip, and gained 1.5 inches (explains the stink bug feeling I was getting). Took it for a spin in field by house, and not a spring fork by any means, but almost night and day difference. I also added another 5ml for a little bottoming control just to be safe.

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10/29/2018 1:53 PM

NJKawi913 wrote:

I battled with the forks on my 15' KX450F for a long time. I had Paul Bruno at RG3 in NJ work on them, and chatted with him a ...more

Wade221 wrote:

X2!!


After trying everything with these damn forks (including skf Glide Kit), still felt like riding a damn chopper. I threw ...more

WP Cone Valve AER also runs best with 15psi more in the balance chamber then in the main chamber. Can run with same pressure but will ride high.

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10/30/2018 3:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/30/2018 3:58 AM

If you haven’t already, put the bike on a stand, release the air in all three chambers, and start over by filling inner, then outer, then balance. I was pulling my hair out as tuning was making it progressively worse no matter what I did. What I remembered was that the pressures can play off each other if all you do is add a little here or subtract a little there. Zero it out every time.
It was night and day different on mine.

Oh, and if you let the air out so you can open the left leg to add oil, don’t forget to open the bleed screw on the left leg once you inflate the right. Don’t ask...

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10/30/2018 5:36 AM

I battled with the forks and never got happy. I have the solution to your buddies problem in the bazar, set of 49mm spring forks and clamps, removed from my 16 kx i'm now selling.

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11/2/2018 10:49 AM

theycallmeebryan wrote:

SKF Glide kit made a huge difference in the stiction on the TAC forks on my '15 KX 450F. Highly recommend you spend the money ...more

Without doing something major I can attest on my 17 that it made a huge diff.

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11/2/2018 11:43 AM

I would recommend any spring conversion, I am running the Pro Circuit and it is night and day different... completely different motorcycle.

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Don’t piss off the old people - the older they get the less “life in prison” is a deterrent for them!

2020.5 KTM 450 SXF FE
2006 KX250

11/7/2018 10:21 PM

NJKawi913 wrote:

I battled with the forks on my 15' KX450F for a long time. I had Paul Bruno at RG3 in NJ work on them, and chatted with him a ...more

Hey man what part of Jersey are you from? I'm from nj to and I'm looking for some people to ride with if you'd be interested. Where do you usually ride?

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