MXA PRODUCT TEST: OHLINS TTX44 SHOCK
WHAT IS IT? The Ohlins TTX44 shock is the most ingenious and creative shock ever offered to the average Joe. It is built from the highest quality material with the latest in technology.
WHAT’S IT COST? $1042.00 to $1232.00 (depending on model)--(330) 724-2900 or www.ohlinsmx.com.
WHAT’S IT DO? Back in the ’70s every motocross racer budgeted to buy new shock absorbers for his trusty but rusty scoot. Ohlins, Marzocchi, Hiiesalu, Works Performance, Corte Cossa, S&W, Arnaco, Curnutt, White Power, Girling, Boge Mulholland, Fox, Bilstein and Koni were just a few of the companies that sold aftermarket suspension. It may be hard to imagine today, but 20 years ago no self-respecting racer would use stock Kayaba or Showa components.
Suddenly, the Japanese OEM producers upped their game and aftermarket shocks began to fade away from motocross; the companies that remained in business switched their focus to automobile racing, offroad trucks, road racing and vintage motocross bikes. Specialized suspension components didn’t disappear from motocross, but they became both expensive and the exclusive territory of factory riders.
Even former aftermarket and OEM supplier Ohlins produced special works shocks for factory riders. The TTX44 shock absorber was just such an item. But Ohlins, with the help of Thom Smith of Coppersmith Suspension, is making an effort to convince American motocrossers that they don’t have to be a factory rider (or have $6000 in their pockets) to get works-like
To give it the toughest possible test, the MXA wrecking crew asked Coppersmith to supply us with a TTX44 for our 2009 KTM 450SXF—-a bike with a troubled rear suspension history.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here's a list of things that stand out with the Ohlins TTX44 shock absorber.
(1) Nomenclature. The TTX44 name is shorthand for the Ohlins shock’s features. TT stands for Twin Tube, the X means that the shock has both high- and low-speed compression adjusters and the 44 refers to the piston diameter. Perhaps the shock would be more accurately named the TTX44-CSC, because this shock also features Ohlins’ unique Chassis Stability Control (CSC).
(2) CSC. The CSC valve controls the bleed flow over the main piston in both compression and rebound strokes. MXA test riders used the CSC adjuster to dampen out low-speed chassis movements. The CSC valve is capable of working separately from the compression and rebound adjusters, which means a rider has an additional tool to help with chassis stability. We used it the most.
(3) Twin Tube Design. The twin tube shock body allows the gas pressure to support the low-pressure side of the piston at all times. The twin tube design allows the compression and rebound adjusters to work separately without any crossover effect.
(4) Adjustment. We loved this shock, but it took us a while to get over “adjuster trauma.” The Ohlins has a lot of adjusters (high-speed compression, low-speed compression, rebound and Chassis Stability Control) with a lot of clicks. The MXA test crew spent considerable track time learning where each clicker came into play.
(5) Performance. On our KTM 450SXF the stock shock does an adequate job of absorbing the rough edges of a track, but the Ohlins took ground control to another level. Little bumps that wouldn’t register on the KTM’s movement needle were soaked up by the super sensitive TTX44. We had never felt our stock KTM move in certain types of terrain, but test riders could feel the Ohlins shock’s constant motion leveling out the ride. In our opinion, the Ohlins shock is 30 percent better than the WP shock.
WHAT'S THE SQUAWK? The price. For that kind of money you could revalve your stock shock five times (and maybe get it right).
If this were the 1970s, racers would be breaking the door down to put this shock on their bikes. It is a works shock with a works temperament. If you have the money and the willingness to work with it, you will be rewarded.