Since the donor bike came with a pair of fairly new looking Works Performance shocks that would be a huge upgrade over the old SW's, I'm determined to have these on the bike for Chehalis. On Monday morning I called Works Performance to order rear shock springs and as always, when working with phone reps it is the luck of the draw. The guy I got did not want to hear what I needed, instead launched into a long speech about everything they did and how he was going to help me. When he finally took a breath, I quickly interjected that yes, this winter when I'm done riding the bike you can rebuild everything, but for now I just need some softer springs for an upcoming race. He finally began to listen and asked a few questions and began to take down my measurements. I gave him everything I had; spring lengths, diameters, wire size, everything. He then asked if I had the swing arm and shock mount lengths so he could check geometry. I said no, but would get them and call him back the next morning. He also told me to get a dgital caliper so I could give him a more exact wire diameter on the coils. No problemo.
The next morning called the same rep back and began relaying the final bits of information. Much to my surprise, he then said "we don't have any springs in the length or size you need, we can't help you". I am sitting there on the phone a little puzzled, but forge on, explaining that they were indeed Works Performance shocks, clearly had the WP label and were just a pretty standard spring set up, and what do you mean you can't help me? He stuck to his guns, saying they could not help me, so I realized that I needed to hang up before I lost my temper.
I then called OC and asked who did he use, as I remembered in his Baja blog he talked about a suspension guru that had been a great help. He said I needed to call Alex at Konflict Motorsports as he had been a great help to Paul in setting up the front and rear suspension on his SL350. I called Alex and what a difference! Super helpful, knowledgeable and ready to get to work! Just what I was hoping for. He took all of my measurements and said he would have springs custom wound to fit both the bike and rider weight as well as the bikes geometry. He said it takes about a week to have them wound, powder coated and shipped.
In fairness to Works Performance I have had other riders tell me they received great service and had I started over with a different rep might have had a much better experience.
The plan now is that at whatever point we are done riding vintage for the season, Alex will take my forks and shocks and give them a complete rebuild including dyno testing. He said that the forks will require custom emulators to prevent cavitation and he had some ideas he wants to try on them. I'm looking forward to seeing and feeling the progress and am already excited to tear the bike down this winter and go completely though it.
Post Script; just talked to OC on the phone and told him I was going to work on making the bike as light as possible for next season, he said it was like taking Ugly Betty and trying to turn her into a super model! Well that is just the kind of encouragement I need, Ugly Betty indeed!