X-Trig Triple Clamps
Review and Photos by Michael Lindsay
Tested on: 2013 KX450F and 2013 KX250F
Don’t you hate it when you buy the latest and greatest bike and struggle with the handling? Even after setting up the suspension, you may still find yourself wanting to change its characteristics. Now, whether you’re looking for more bite, gaining a little stability, or trying to eliminate the front end tucking, a good route to go is to try some different offset triple clamps. Finding the right offset can be a challenge, as you may not like the change in all situations (based on speed, track material, roughness, etc.). This can also bring the difficulty of finding a set that fits your needs, and has a bar position or height that is to your liking. Well, this is where the X-Trig triple clamps come into play, which are arguably the most adjustable triple clamps on the market. Between the highly adjustable bar positions and clamp offsets, I was curious to see if they would help me find the “perfect” setup I’ve been looking for.
- Bars can be mounted in six different positions.
- X-Clamp designs allows for two different clamp offsets.
- Handlebars can be mounted on solid Fix-System bar mounts or PHDS (Progressive Handlebar Dampening System) bar mounts, both sets include riser blocks for taller applications.
- Stiffness of the steering stem is tuned to the needs of each model.
- Precise clamping with special bolts for a lower torque spec.
- MSRP ($799.99 with PHDS bar mounts), ($779.99 with Solid bar mounts).
The X-Trig clamps are a sight to see, with excellent attention to detail. When you unbox them you’ll find a lower clamp with a DLC-coated steering stem, a lower bearing already pressed on (also includes a bearing race), top clamps, quick-adjust nut, and pinch bolts. X-Trig has a unique system that they call the “X-Clamp”, which gives you the ability to change the offset of the clamps. The steering stem is actually offset at it’s base, so if spun around it changes the offset of the clamps by 2mm. The stem is held in by two bolts, which you can loosen, and then spin the stem 180 degrees, and tighten it back down, thus changing the clamp offset. On the Kawasaki KXF models it changes from the stock 23mm offset to 21mm. You have a choice of two different bar mounts to purchase; solid mounts or the PHDS mounts. I chose to go with the PHDS mounts for the extra comfort. They are mounted solidly to the upper clamp, but have rubber cushions on each end of the bar mount (between the top and bottom of the bar clamping area). This allows the bars to more or less “float” vertically and horizontally to reduce feedback to your hands and arms. There are also three different durometers of the rubber cushions; the standard that the system comes with, and both a harder and softer compound. This allows you to further adjust the level of flex and feedback you’re receiving. With this system you get the comfort of a rubber-mounted bar, but the strength and lack of twisting from a solid mount. The mounts are also offset allowing for different bar positions, this combined with the top clamp’s three mounting holes, it allows for a total of six bar positions.
Pictured right: Three different mounting holes on the top triple clamp for the bar mounts.">
On the Track:
Even thought the clamps have a large number of bar positions, I quickly found what I wanted, torqued down the clamps, and was ready to set off. I started off on the standard offset so I could get a feel for the PHDS bar mounts. The medium (yellow) compound felt similar to a standard rubber mounted bar mount, the stiffer (red) compound is more rigid as you would expect, but still have more comfort than a solid mount. Finally, the soft (green) compound allows for quite a bit of movement, which was welcome on choppy hardpack, but for larger jumps it flexed a bit too much for my preference, so I ended back at the standard mediums. With that in order, I turned my attention to the offsets. The standard offset is 23mm (which is the same as stock) and the option is 21mm. For some, the KX450F could use some help in the turning department, and on tighter tracks I agree with this. Instead of having to completely switch to a new set of clamps, I put the X-Trig’s ”X-Clamp” to work, and swapped the offset in a few minutes. The 21mm offset aids by bringing the front-end closer to the frame and adding weight to the front end. This brought improved traction up front but can give up some stability on faster/rougher tracks, but with a simple switch I was back to where I started. It was interesting being able to switch back and forth so quickly. It allowed me to find allot of differences on how the bike handled on the same track, same day, same conditions, when normally I wouldn’t spend the time completely switching clamps.
Long Term Durability:
One thing that always worries me with anodized aftermarket clamps is how long the color will resist fading. I’ve experience this with many clamps over the years and certain colors fade quicker than others. This wasn’t the case with the X-Trigs, which has held its color even after days of sitting out in the sun at the track. To protect my investment I ran a Cycra stadium plate to protect the front of the clamps, so there was a lack of roost chips that also kept the clamps looking fresh. With the bar-mounts being solid with a large base they have resisted any kind of bending or twisting, even after a few larger spills.
The Last Word:
Upfront these clamps look like a bit of an investment, with a higher price tag than the majority of clamps on the market. If you’re just out for a set of clamps to brighten up the bike, then these are probably not up your alley. If you’re looking for the adjustability that normally only factory riders have access to, then these clamps are a perfect fit. For the price, it’s practically two high-quality clamps with a load of adjustments to customize them to the fit you’re looking for. Some riders may not switch the offset as much as I do or just stick with one once they learn the differences. Either way, the simplicity of the change, adjustability, and high quality bar mounts makes these a winner in my book.
If your interested in X-trig's clamps or other products then check out TechnicalTouchUSA.com
Vital MX rating: 4 stars
About the Test Rider:
Michael Lindsay is a born-and-raised moto freak and gearhead from the heart of motocross in Southern California. First swinging a leg over a bike at the age of five, he immediately caught the racing bug, spending nearly every weekend behind a gate…and a lot of time on the couch while injured. While swinging back and forth between moto and the off-road scene, giving him a wide range of experience on the bike. Of course, all of this led to one thing: Lindsay loves working on his bikes almost as much as he loves talking about them. When he’s not in the Vital MX forum or writing his latest product review, you can find him out at the track taking dirt naps, tearing down bikes, working on heavy equipment or maybe even over at Enzo Racing building suspension. With an outspoken personality, gearhead background, and as Vital MX’s guru for product, Michael is here to share his unbiased opinion.