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KTM WP XPLOR Fork and Shock Review

With the new bikes hitting the showroom floor we have had a full year to put the new KTM WP XPLR suspension through it’s paces. As the budget for suspension tightened up it is clear that we will see some shortcomings from the performance and modifications will be necessary for the serious rider or racer. Some issues to address will be the effectiveness of the fork compression adjustment and the long term durability of the shock.

WP XPLOR 48 Fork

With the 4CS a thing of the past we are on to a redesigned open chamber fork. Keeping with the single adjuster theme WP adjusts the XPLOR on the top with rebound and compression adjuster. Some models come with external pre-load adjusters. We have found the compression adjuster to make very little difference through out the range and the fork lacks sufficient dampening control for any aggressive riding. With most of the damping control isolated to the rebound side the compression side has a plunger style adjuster. This plunger valve body has an adjustable port area and an open cartridge via 4 holes just below the cartridge rod bushing. The plunger can never be totally closed off or else the fork would hydraulically lock out. This is a simple and not very effective design. The more parts they can leave out the lower the budget can be. Essentially just to get the bike off the showroom floor.

Solutions

Total cartridge replacement. With high quality fork tubes replacing the lacking internals is a viable option. MX-TECH has designed and tuned a really nice complete cartridge fork that comes with necessary springs. LINK

Dal Soggio Sphere is another cartridge kit to replace the internals with high quality parts. Springs are additional. Some modifications are necessary for installation and it is recommended to have a professional install them.

DS also supplies an upgraded kit to add the missing parts called the XP-ONE.

Focused Fork revalve is available but added parts are recommended to gain added compression adjust-ability. Base valves and a 2nd mid-valve.

WP XPLOR SHOCK 

WP goes for a lighter and less expensive design for the shock. Down to 46mm this shock is prone to overheating and fading with less shock fluid to control damping. The shock has a similar feel to the PDS as it has a tendency to have a fast rebound and kick up in consecutive bumps. The best solution for the shock is to revalve to correct the high speed damping for square edge bumps. Increased capacity by adding a TANK from MX-TECH. This will help keep the shock cool by lowering friction and adds overall oil capacity. The tank replaces the OEM plastic piston with a coated aluminium unit.

The second piston design has been simplified. Instead of the bottoming needle there is now a Ohlins or MX-TECH style piston and cylinder to aid in damping for the last part of the stroke. Along with the new piston there is a check valve.

If you have any questions or need to set up an appointment feel free to call us 661 252-0269.

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Results are in…Race around the Lake, OTHG, Glen Helen REM

Two weeks ago the N2Dirt crew prepped Sean Collier’s KTM 450SXF for the Race around the Lake GP. The track consisted of many different types of terrain to race on. From beach sand to concrete pathways and everything between. Getting a bike setup to go fast here is tricky to say the least. After spending all morning at LACR for the OTHG 9-11 memorial race, lead mechanic Brian Bolding hustled to Castaic lake for Pro race which was  the last race of the day. Having raced the GP the day before Brian was able to make setting changes to Sean’s KTM to go from a MX setup to more of an offroad setting. The fast course was rough, hard, and dusty through most of the course. Sag adjustment, air pressure settings with the A48R, and clickers were all dialed in to suit the course.

Brian making last minute preparations on Sean’s KTM 450SXF.

Sean pulled an early lead over teammate Darryn Durham as the race started. After a few laps the lead was about 15 seconds as both riders found their pace over the rest of the pack. Sean’s bike was custom fitted with triple clamps and  a Scott’s steering stabilizer by LuxonMX to keep Sean going fast and in control.  As the rider’s searched for smooth lines the gap tighten. Darryn was pushing the pace and made up time on Sean. With super dusty and silty conditions making a move would be difficult as it was hard to see.

One of the less dusty spots on the course with the lake in the background.

As the race came to an end Sean and Darryn had left the rest of the field. Darryn made a late charge for the win but with out a whole lot of track left or room to pass Sean was able to cruise to victory.

Brian Medieros ripping the REM track.

Glen Helen REM Saturday MX returned from a month long summer break. With new bikes out the pits were super busy. The MXA crew switched brands all day long to get a feel for the new models. N2Dirt rider Tommy Wilcox came out and had an impressive day aboard his KTM with Brian wrenching for him. He ended the day with 4 moto wins including an overall even though he suffered a front flat.

Tommy making waves.

Jody Weisel of MXA testing out the N2Dirt suspension. These forks were fitted with the Sphere cartridges by Dal Soggio. He was impressed by the feel and it was a huge improvement over the stock fork.

 

Jon Ortner had a good day going 1-1 in the 50 elite class. The second moto he raced the KTM450sxf fitted with the Sphere system. It was a photo finished as the bike had a fuel leak at the end of the race from contact with another rider.

A heart felt tribute to an amazing man Tom White. The REM crew got together to give him this photo and banner. Tom is on the white flag lap in his life. As racers we all are like family to each other. Tom has been instrumental in so many ways to us and has made this world so much better. We honor and love the man you are. REM 

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A48R with Shock Huck Valve Expert setup

We now have a dozens of rides on the latest version of the MX-Tech shock huck valve with AER fork on our 2016 KTM450SXF.

This mod is intended on running it in conjunction with the PC complete linkage, TANK, Triple Adjuster, and 5.2kg/mm spring. 195lbs Vet expert moto/gp settings.

First impression is huge improvement of bottoming resistance over revalved shock. I used to have a good amount of rub marks on the fender after a long moto and now I am just noticing the dirt is just getting rubbed off and no tire mark. The presents of the bottoming system is there and you can feel it but as long as your compression clicker isn’t backed out to far you don’t feel it come on too much when it’s low in the stroke.

Watching the action of the rear end of the bike looks so much different than a stock setup bike. Much more controlled motion and planted feel. Traction is greatly improved as you don’t need a really stiff low speed compression stack to compensate for bottoming resistance.

With the triple adjuster you can really dial in the low speed rebound to keep the back tire biting when unloaded on entry of a low speed roller into a turn.

Seat bounce any jump face out of a turn with confidence that you won’t blow through the entire stroke instantly.

The balance of the bike has improved to match the bottoming resistance of the AER Fork. While we are happy with the results so far we aren’t done tuning yet and will continue with races as weather is permiting. Stay tuned!

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WP AER Midvalve Leaf spring mid valve and plastic piston replacement

2017 KTM and Husky models fitted with the AER Fork contain a solid clamp mid valve or a wave washer mid valve.  Along with having tuning constraints they are prone to failure and WP updated the new models to a sintered piston. We have a fix the Aer leaf spring with mid valve piston will also give the fork a much better feel. It is highly tuneable and durable.