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Old 04-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #751
Konflict Motorsports
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Hey everyone,
I wanted to shed some light on the subject as I have been lurking here for a bit and seen your comments. I honestly understand where you are all coming from, heck I was once there myself. Until I attended numerous seminars, and started testing (1000 upon 1000 of hours) of coming up with a setting, going out and testing coming back and doing that a couple hundred times I finally was able to get a real understanding of what works, and what doesn't.
With suspension everything breaks down in a mathematical equation, what looks good on a dampening cart might look great, could get you thinking you have the perfect settings but until you test and find out exactly what it performs like you will never know.
I have tested with suspension dyno's (over $8,000 purchase price), had top pro's in my area and worldwide testing my services. It's a lot of work that is personal to each tuner, as we all have our trademark signature modification that we do.
To top this off, this is how we make our living. I wouldn't think you would walk into a auto mechanics shop, or a dental office and ask for free advice then go on and copy their work expecting the same results, it's the same situation with suspension.
I have shared stacks to give customer's some light on the situation, but these are very basic and specific for the suspension the bike was designed to be on, when you get in the ballpark of swapping suspension onto bikes it wasn't designed for you get into a different world that takes a lot of time, and thinking to come up with a precise setup.
I would be more than happy to share some tips with everyone, just ask...
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:15 AM   #752
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Hi Alex, thanks a lot for weighing in.

What is frustrating is that at this end of this long thread and group process we've had a few people around the world get 'work' done on these forks for this specific application but as yet, and in the interests of comparison and validation and group benefit, we have no actual real details about what has been done. The suspension tuners in these cases have either not told what has been done, been vague and illusive about it, and/or explicitly asked that any specific details not be shared.
As you seem to allude to on your own website (through some of the things that make you stand out from your competition), there are suspension tuners out there who, lets say, may have practices that do not necessarily produce the best results and do the greatest service to their clients... we are all trying avoid that sort of outcome.

We are an odd bunch of people here on this thread, globally dispersed and very few in numbers, we talk, we PM and email each other, we try to help each other out in many ways and share information and experience so that we can all benefit. We are not trying to take the earnings out of yours or any other suspension tuners pockets... We have some old obscure bikes that we are trying to get the most out of by putting on some slightly newer (still kind of obscure) forks and the sharing of details is very important for us.

I think we all well understand that the best suspension tuning results will come from personalised case-by-case treatment by a proper suspension tuning expert that actually puts in the time and effort to get it right. In other words, suspension tuning over the internet is likely to be a fraught process. However, a lot of our bikes are actually very similar in set-up and purpose.
I think we also understand that when "swapping suspension onto bikes it wasn't designed for" it can take a lot of work and expertise to figure it out and get the most from it.
I think we also understand that each suspension tuner has their own tricks and different approaches and techniques- and this is why it would be great to actually be able to share some of the details about what has been done and what different things work or don't work, rather than just having to hand over our forks to the best local service we can find and blindly hope for the best.


Personally, I have not managed to find anyone local to me that I feel at all confident about handing my forks over to for them to work on- and I have emailed and phoned and asked and looked around a lot. I've encountered mostly complete dis-interest in doing the job, occasionally attitudes like 'those forks are crap you should have put some USD forks on', and other times when not this sort of thing just gotten a bad feeling about it.
I will come up with the money to hand them over if I find someone local who feels right, otherwise I am more than happy to do the actual labour work on my own forks.
I like many others here have re-sprung my forks (custom wound .60kg/mm) to suit my weight, and bike and personal tastes. The springs feel good to me.
In order to get a little more out of this swap I would like to re-shim- as I strongly suspect it would be of great benefit.

With full knowledge that the results might be less than the best possible outcome (compared to handing over my complete forks for example) I for one would very happily take a gamble to buy a shim stack from someone such as yourself who has done the work of applying these forks to a G/S already, and thus would be in a good position to provide their best educated guess. Aside from slightly different weight springs (and riders) my bike will be almost identical in set-up and purpose to Solo Lobos.
Of course some suspension tuners seem OK with selling shim stacks and some don't want to this.
With no guarantees, or anything like that, would you be interested in selling a shim stacks?


Failing this I will be trying to find somewhere to buy a basic set/variety of shims so that I can begin the work of trial and error re-shimming myself. Of course this is guesswork and expensive in itself.


you say:
Quote:
I would be more than happy to share some tips with everyone, just ask..
I won't try to draw the line of what is OK for you to share and what needs to be protected, I'll let you do that yourself of course.
Basically I would like to know anything and EVERYTHING you feel OK to share about applying these forks to this bike and purpose- be vague where you want and specific where you can, ramble on and ponder, and whatever else. It is all good

some questions on the top of my mind:
Did you find that the stock (or not?) shim stack in Solo's forks needed many changes? Minor tweak to major overhaul? (of course these WP50 forks came with different shim stacks for the different model bikes that they came from so this might mean little or a lot...)
Other than re-shimming (and springing) was there any other things you think deserve doing for this kind of application?
Also anything about oil weight or weights. Heavier shims and lighter oil... Damage to shims? Different oil weights in each side? Fork bushings? etc etc.

Basically I and I am sure the others on this thread would love to hear any thoughts or tips or details you are able to offer about this application.

I do hope I find someone local who I feel confident about handing my forks over to, but in the mean time it looks like I have find another way to re-shim my forks myself.

sorry for the long post.


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Old 04-18-2013, 05:36 AM   #753
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I very much understand the professional angle in our quest to get an answer from a tuner about settings. But I paid for the settings.....I should know what is in my machine! I've never had a tech not give me a detailed, written description of what was done. I for one would not publish said numbers, but would be happy to share one on one to at least get that persons tuner in the "ballpark". None of us (don't take offense Hans) are trianed enough to even understand what some of the chicken scratch is. I'm just annoyed that I paid for the service, but am locked out of even knowing what that service is!!! The really annoying thing is my tuner is happy to give me a copy of what he did, but his rude wife who is the office person will not let him.

Let me just say that I've "walked" many people over the phone as to do what I do to make money. But explaining it and doing it are 2 very different things. So tuners, you would be helping other tuners 9 X's out of 10. I wouldn't attempt to do what you do.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #754
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No offense taken Jenna, I only know what I've managed to scrape together from the net and personal communications about suspension tuning and that is worryingly little- if I actually have to tackle the re-shimming myself I really hope to get some well advised ballpark starting points and good advice otherwise I am probably screwed and in for a long learning curve.
I haven't come across many good feasible alternatives...

I didn't want to comment on your suspension tune specifically, but I would feel exactly the same as you have done in your situation. And I also feel the same about openly publishing vs the private sharing of info like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
Let me just say that I've "walked" many people over the phone as to do what I do to make money. But explaining it and doing it are 2 very different things. .
Same with me. In my current areas of expertise and methods of income (and in a lot of past ones), I share the hell out of every trade and other secret I know and I even take considerable time and effort and even lend my tools on occasion... but that is just what I am like, I am a bit of a mug!
I can instruct and explain in great detail exactly how people can do a particular job, but I can't teach how to know how to do this and other jobs.
If anything this approach gets me more work. But then I've got plenty of work when I want it, and this work is a means to an end (to get finally through extended studies and into a different line of work) and even though it doesn't pay all that well for the time and effort, there are considerable acquired skills that are required along with the knowledge and my work is heavy on labour... I'll help someone know how to do stuff I earn money doing but they will take 4 times as long and not come out with the same result...

I totally respect the professional angle of suspension tuning, the time and expense of setting up and learning the trade, and don't know the business reality and threats they face. I am not judging.
I also understand the need for protection of information.
We are just such a small specific group here in this thread that it is hard to not be able to share amongst ourselves, and even harder to imagine this sharing can hurt anyone's bottom line (even if we all lived in the same town)

Whatever the case and with absolutely no judgment or hard feelings I would really welcome anything and everything from the totally broad and vague to the specific and detailed that Alex would be able to share about his thoughts on these forks on these bikes.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #755
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I would liken suspension tuning to many other professional trades in that I am paying for a result (improved suspension in this case) and not for lessons in how to tune my suspension.

Think about this like flowing head, machining cylinders, services like that which take ability, correct tools and most of all experience in knowing how and what to do.

I'll gladly pay for the result without learning the process in many cases, this is a perfect example.
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Quote:
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your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #756
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What is it that tuners are trying to keep secret here? That's my question. In my mind, it can only be one of two things:

- First, is the secret all the little tips and tricks in rebuilding and making these forks better? This seems moot since those things can be found with a bit of research on forums and such. It's also not as important on the 50s as the 48s. Speaking of which, keeping this info secret is REALLY frustrating when you speak with suspension tuners who say, "gee, I'm not sure I remember everything about these things, I haven't worked on them in years." And the wealth of knowledge that you've built up and worked so hard for is for naught in the end. At some point, with newer better stuff coming out that makes up the majority of your income, wouldn't you WANT to share the old info?

- Secondly, are tuners trying to keep their figures, tables, and calculation methods secret? I understand the need to keep these secret. I'm sure this is a huge store of information in and of itself, but to pull one, small example out of it and share it cannot be much, if any, of a loss to that intellectual property. Not to mention the fact that most of us don't even WANT to know this stuff, it's heady and undecipherable for the layperson. Most of us are willing to pay you for a basic guideline of shim stacks that's even slightly better than stock. Any of us can get the stock shim stacks easy enough, it'll work, and we could get other's shim stacks that seem good and probably work better. But that's only a tiny part of your intellectual property that we want to share, to help out one person like Ontic or myself, with a shim & spring setup that may be similar for someone who doesn't want to send in their forks.

Personally, I too have no one within 300 miles that I trust to work on these things. Sure, I could send them in, pay an extra $2-300 in labor, plus an extra $50 each way in shipping thus risking shipping damage, get them done right, and never touch the insides. But to me, that's $900 instead of 4 or 500, and if something were to happen to the forks in the middle of bumf*#& nowhere, I'd have no idea how to fix it without sending it in, and I'd have to spend that same $7-900 EVERY SINGLE YEAR that they apparently require rebuilding. If I know my forks, I have a go-to shim and spring setup that I like, (maybe not even ideal, who cares as long as it works well multitasking dirt and street), then every year, I can feel confident about taking them apart, only replacing what I need, thus costing much MUCH less, and knowing what to do in a situation like a busted shim, spring, or seal when I get to the nearest town that I can order parts from or even on the trail with extras. So the secrecy is especially frustrating for airheads who own these bikes specifically because of our ability to maintain them. They require maintenance yet are solid machines; These forks seem to be along the same lines and we simply want to learn how to maintain them; we do NOT want to learn how to find ideal motocross shim stacks for racing. I suspect that it's this later thing that tuners are trying to keep secret, and it's moot because we don't want to know it. We just want the parts and maybe a little helpful tips on rebuilding.

Plus, it's us who go to the KTM forums for advice, not the other way around. I can understand the fact that this is a public forum and the secret could easily get out that this obscure little beemer forum has the dark, secret arts described in it, but even so, most of the KTM guys that have these older forks already figured out how to work on them, and what, there's like FIVE, maybe TEN of us here that have the goods. Help out some old fuddy duddies man .
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #757
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Anyway, how about a compromise, Alex? One of us (or more if we wanted to all go in on it ) can pay you for your time and patience for two things; the tips and tricks to rebuilding these past what is described in the instruction manuals; and a set of 5 different combinations of springs and shims that generally meet our needs depending on weight of rider and bike (dual sport range and longevity is valued well over the need to be perfect) and are a bit better than stock. Like .48, .52, .56, .60, and .64 springs relating to rider and bike weight and the relative shim stacks for each.

Unfortunately, I'm here on the WP50 forum asking for help that won't necessarily apply to the WP48 crowd like me. That gets much more complicated since they've gone through a great many revisions and are currently produced. But I can't imagine that the spring and shim settings would be much different. We could even keep this info locked up for only airheads who are converting if you insist.

We want to
Quote:
pay for a result (improved suspension in this case) and not for lessons in how to tune my suspension.
. Yes, exactly. Rebuilding them, taking them apart, is not especially difficult and doesn't require any special tools except for a pin wrench and a vise with special clamps (that can be cut from wood).
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #758
SOLO LOBO OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naginalf View Post
Anyway, how about a compromise, Alex? One of us (or more if we wanted to all go in on it ) can pay you for your time and patience for two things; .
Racetech teaches suspension classe, not cheap BTW

http://www.racetech.com/page/id/27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naginalf View Post
We want to . Yes, exactly. Rebuilding them, taking them apart, is not especially difficult and doesn't require any special tools except for a pin wrench and a vise with special clamps (that can be cut from wood).
I think you are missing the point here, the magic isn't in the ability to take something apart and put it back together... it is in knowing what you are looking at, what requires replacement, what changes really work, why they work and how make further successful changes when given new input

Hard earned knowledge and experience is worth something, you may argue with the value of this knowledge but if you don't like what you are being charged for something shop around!

Arguing with the service provider about the value of their services seems pretty petty to me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.

SOLO LOBO screwed with this post 07-23-2013 at 12:40 PM
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:04 AM   #760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLO LOBO View Post
Racetech teaches suspension classe, not cheap BTW

http://www.racetech.com/page/id/27
This is the problem, right here. WE DON'T WANT SUSPENSION CLASSES! We don't want the dark secrets of tuning. We just want the PARTS and to know things like the fact that (on WP48s) you don't follow the manual to fill the oil, or that a modified base valve can help shim deflection. I don't give two craps about how to tune the suspension, I just want someone to say, "here's a general spring and shim setup that's better than stock for your weight." If you want something more perfect and "tuned" then send in your forks or work with a tuner personally. I agree that that is better, but it's not what I or others want when attempting to do it ourselves.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:05 AM   #761
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naginalf View Post
"here's a general spring and shim setup that's better than stock for your weight."
That request IS suspension tuning!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #762
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I'm not arguing about the value of the services. The service is very valuable, and I'm willing to pay the price. I'm willing to pay for advice and tips, whatever the cost. But don't give me this horse poo that I can't tell a bad shim from a good one. I'm sure in motocross, knowing the intricate details is important, but we just want general stuff, not the deep dark secrets he has worked so hard for.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLO LOBO View Post
That request IS suspension tuning!
Yes, it is, and I want to pay HIM to do so, not teach me how.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:12 AM   #764
SOLO LOBO OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naginalf View Post
I'm not arguing about the value of the services. The service is very valuable, and I'm willing to pay the price. I'm willing to pay for advice and tips, whatever the cost. But don't give me this horse poo that I can't tell a bad shim from a good one. I'm sure in motocross, knowing the intricate details is important, but we just want general stuff, not the deep dark secrets he has worked so hard for.
So you are willing to pay anything, but don't want to pay to send your forks to a tuner?

Anyway, this is wasting time and bandwidth in an otherwise pretty decent thread.

I apologize to the other readers for my transgressions here.... let's get back to something of more value...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #765
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLO LOBO View Post
So you are willing to pay anything, but don't want to pay to send your forks to a tuner?

Anyway, this is wasting time and bandwidth in an otherwise pretty decent thread.

I apologize to the other readers for my transgressions here.... let's get back to something of more value...
I too digress and apologize, but will close by asking if you, Solo, having worked so hard to know your airhead inside and out, can honestly say that you are comfortable not knowing ANYTHING about the inside of your forks? Are you willing to give up on an engine or carb rebuild because someone told you it's impossible except by experts despite seeing many MANY threads to the contrary? I for one, am not. That's why I bought an airhead. I WOULD rather pay MORE money to know my forks inside and out, learn from my mistakes, waste money, but know them, rather than pay to send forks out and know nothing. These forks REQUIRE frequent rebuilds, and I do NOT want to send them in every year. I thought my offer was quite fair. If Alex does not, that's up to him and I don't fault him for it. But I'd love to pay him to help all of us out with general settings.
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