October 10, 2006
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WHAT IS IT? A creative suspension setup for no-link suspension systems (read KTM).

WHAT’S IT COST? $2,639.99(877) 850-5114ÿ

WHAT’S IT DO? Since the moment KTM introduced its no-link suspension system, the MXA wrecking crew has been pointing out its flaws. The forks are harsh, and the rear shock blows through its stroke on G-outs. With each passing year KTM has improved their Dutch-built suspension, making the problems less grievous, but not eliminating them. It is easy to blame the lack of linkage for KTM’s shock problems, but that is shortsighted (and technically wrong). Poor shock placement, bad valving and a reliance on shock technology over proper rising rate geometry have been the weak links. The fork’s woes are much simpler to diagnose. KTM’s WP forks are old school when compared to Kayaba and Showa cartridge forks.
Fortunately, there are solutions for harried KTM owners. One of the best sources is MX-Tech.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with MX-Tech’s KTM fork and shock mods.
(1) Fork. KTM has a cartridge forkit just doesn’t come on the 2006 and earlier KTMs. The Showa-clone WP 48mm SXS cartridge fork is offered as an accessory. MX-Tech not only believes in the cartridge-based SXS fork, but they designed their own own piston and solid clamp midvalve design to complement it.
(2) Shock. MX-Tech basically starts from scratch with the stock WP shock. Using an engineering approach, MX-Tech came up with their own piston, shock shaft and metering needle. As with all shock internals, there are a lot of hydrodynamics involved, but what mattered most to the MXA test riders was how MX-Tech’s creative solutions worked.
(3) Performance. MXA spent a couple of days with theÿ MX-Tech suspension guys. We even took them to a race at Glen Helen. We made a lot of adjustments and had three different test riders race the bike. How was it? In a nutshell, it was the best KTM suspension we have ever tried. We softened up their base setting to get a more fluid flow, fiddled with race sag, and enjoyed the ride. In places where the stock WP stuff is either too harsh over little bumps or too soft over big jumps, the MX-Tech setup bridged the gaps. Finally, we didn’t have to choose a compromise setting that would only work well at one end of the bell-shaped curve. The low-speed/high-load G-out dilemma was greatly reduced.
(4) Place of Manufacture. The WP SXS fork is manufactured in Holland, while all of MX-Tech’s parts are made in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? This is not a cheap suspension mod. It requires $1999.99 SXS forks (plus valving) and a total shock rebuild. The whole thing will set you back $2,639.99.

For more MXA Product Tests go to Top Ten Stories


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