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A Black 2019 N1K
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Discussion Starter #1
One of Santa's Elves has indicated that there may be some money under the tree this Christmas for some suspension rework on my 2019 N1K.

I've had good results using Race Tech components on previous bikes, so I was thinking of going down that route again.

The trouble is, Santa's Elf only has enough money for reworking the front or reworking the rear suspension, but not both just now.

So, which is the "best bang for the buck"...


Do the front now and then do the rear mid next year, or do the rear now and do the front mid year ??
 

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I think this is like asking for a new set of shoes, but deciding to settle on a left or right. There's no right answer when both need to work together to be good. I would wait and do them, together.

I tried a rear shock, first. That made the front of my 2012 feel way worse than it did as stock. Based on my experience, if I had to make the choice, I would try the fork first.
 

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On my last bike, I did the rear first, because I was heavier than the typical rider. That worked really well for me because the bike wasn't squatting and understeering after fitting the right spring.

When I did the front, it was bliss. The bike felt the way it was meant to be.

I weigh much less than I did before, but I'd still do the rear first.
 

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I have a traxxion dynamics setup on mine. I had my rear suspension rebuilt, then had my bike's suspension tuned professionally. Then after a year, I had cartridges installed in my forks. I also bought extra forks and rear suspension so I could enjoy the bike while it is being worked.

imho, more bang for the buck is the rear suspension.
 

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I’d go the forks first but then they’ll b a miss match. More of a contrast. So I’d save up for both. Or sell the wife’s jewellery, quickest way to get it sorted !
Tell her you’ll b SO much safer
 

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If you are going to do just one end at a time, evaluate what you don't like about the suspension based on your weight and the way you ride. That should help you choose where to start. I have a 2013, and the rear shock was pretty darn bad so that is what I would have done first had I only reworked one end at a time.

However, I would agree with those who say save up some more money and do both ends at the same time. You will likely get better results that way and your bike will be sorted. I took mine to Traxxion Dynamics in Woodstock, Georgia and they did a very good job.
 

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If I had to choose, it would be front first for me. Stock had more diving under hard braking than I liked.
 

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Has anyone done both ends for a reasonable price? I think I was in mine 2000-2200 . That's the ak20 cartridges and a Penske double.

With that said, I really liked the reworked stock shock and that was only 350. Call it 375, with shipping, but still a damn good value.

I know I remember someone doing gold valves in the stock cartridges? I wonder what the minimum is we could do to the fork and not end up with a giant invoice, or massive downtime?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Has anyone done both ends for a reasonable price? I think I was in mine 2000-2200 . That's the ak20 cartridges and a Penske double.

With that said, I really liked the reworked stock shock and that was only 350. Call it 375, with shipping, but still a damn good value.

I know I remember someone doing gold valves in the stock cartridges? I wonder what the minimum is we could do to the fork and not end up with a giant invoice, or massive downtime?

Race Tech ( www.racetech.com ) seem to have a Gold Valve kit for the forks for the N1K. Their website only lists models up to 2016, but I think they also have a kit for the 2017+ models. They also have a kit for the rear shock as well as replacement springs.

I'll be having a chat with Terry Hay at Shock Treatment (Race Tech Importer / Guru for Australia) in a few weeks to see what he can do for me.
 

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I did gold valves and springs on the front of a VFR from a local mechanic who went off and got Racetec certified. It was just under $1000. Seemed pretty expensive at the time but it did a good job helping with the suspension. Since I replaced sacked springs and old fork oil at the same time I did the gold valve job on a 50k mile bike I'm not sure what helped the most.
 
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I had Traxxion Dynamics rebuild both my front and rear suspension on my 2013. Valves and springs were replaced with upgraded parts, new fork seals, dust seals and fork oil etc. Forks were polished to reduce stiction. Cost was 1275 dollars and that included labor required to remove / replace. Dropped the bike off in the morning and had it back late that afternoon.

Worth every penny.
 

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Johnny, you kept the stock cartridges, and the 1275 included the shock work, and labor? That's not bad at all.

I wish we could compare it to my bike and see what the extra money I spent added. In the case of the shock, I didnt get much. I love the penske shock, but it cost another 800.00 over the rebuilt stock shock. It's a little more comfortable than the stock rebuild ( same spring rate) but really does not work any better. I have more adjustment potential, but when Traxxion sets a shock , no more adjustme is needed. With a serious and careful set up, I'm within a click or two of stock.
 

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Johnny, you kept the stock cartridges, and the 1275 included the shock work, and labor? That's not bad at all.

I wish we could compare it to my bike and see what the extra money I spent added. In the case of the shock, I didnt get much. I love the penske shock, but it cost another 800.00 over the rebuilt stock shock. It's a little more comfortable than the stock rebuild ( same spring rate) but really does not work any better. I have more adjustment potential, but when Traxxion sets a shock , no more adjustme is needed. With a serious and careful set up, I'm within a click or two of stock.
I discussed the with them the option of going the Penske / AK-20 route before deciding which way to go. Being the cheap ******* I am I opted for the rebuild.

According to the tech, going the more expensive route would have given me much better bump absorption, and a smoother overall ride. But he also said that for spirited street riding the cheaper route would provide about 80% of the cornering performance and save me about $1000.00. I think he was spot on with his assessment because my first impression when riding with the new, rebuilt suspension was that the ride was only somewhat better than stock...….until I got to the twisty roads and started tossing the bike around and the vast improvement in stability and front end confidence became obvious right away. In retrospect I kind of wish I had spent the extra money for the better bump absorption and smoother ride as I do some touring on this bike, but I am in no way disappointed with my choice as it really works well. My opinion is if you have the cash, go for the extra upgrade. If you are cost conscious the basic rebuild will definitely not disappoint. It is good to have choices. I think if I had it to do over I might be persuaded to go for the upgrade.

Like you experienced, their set up was nearly perfect for me. The only change I made was to take out a small amount of compression damping in the front to quiet the fork a bit over the occasional rough road.

It would be fun to swap bikes with you for a more accurate perspective but it's a long way to Utah!!
 
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That's where this project went off track, for me.

I had my shock done and was going to wait to send my fork in. I did not want to deal with the stock cartridge, myself. This meant downtime. At this point, Jay is interested in buying my shock. I didnt want to sell it, but this let me start over and re consider the decision to keep costs down. That's never a good idea!

I never expected to keep the bike this long, but with good suspension, and Ivan's e6 reflash, there are 2 things that would be difficult to replace if I swapped to a newer bike.
 

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Has anyone road a 13 and a 14? I didn't find the 14 forks that bad but the shock sucked. I bought a Nitron for Lynn's 15 and am planning to put it on soon.

An idea for the front is to try some 11-15 ZX10R Big Piston ABS forks. They look like they would bolt right on. They are a little shorter, but it looks like there would be plenty of material to fit them. I have a set here and I'm thinking about it. Big Piston forks work great. I would have to find a matching ZX10R wheel, but at least the wheel pattern is the same.
 

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57x, I think you would also have to drill the triple clamps with the zx10mod? I've not measured, but usually 41mm tubes, like we have use smaller uppers than the zx10's 43mm tubes? That would look cool as hell if you used the 2016 and newer forks with brembo calipers.

Speaking of BP, how about the z1000? It got those in 2014, I think it was?
 

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Holy crap, 50/52mm fork outer tubes (I just climbed under Lynn's bike)? A 500+ lb bike with 41mm stanchions, wth? No wonder why my H2 SX forks are so much better. These have to go. I'm fairly sure a ZX10R lower triple will fit, and hopefully accept the Ninja 1000 stem so there is no trickery fitting the upper triple. I have to check stem offset, which is fairly easy.
 

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57x, I think you would also have to drill the triple clamps with the zx10mod? I've not measured, but usually 41mm tubes, like we have use smaller uppers than the zx10's 43mm tubes? That would look cool as hell if you used the 2016 and newer forks with brembo calipers.

Speaking of BP, how about the z1000? It got those in 2014, I think it was?
The Stylema Brembo caliper offset on the new stuff is different than our's, so you have to put spacers under the rotors to get them to work with older wheels. I have a set of 2012 ZX10R forks collecting dust, so I'll go that way.
 

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I think Kawasaki is using 100mm caliper spacing on the brembo stuff....at lease the zx14se I measured had 100mm calipers. Harder to find, and more expensive. Especially if you need calipers and rims.

Are you going to do that swingarm swap, too? I seriously look forward to all the crazy **** you put together. Most people have big dreams, but end up putting rim tape on. You are the oposite. You'll show up and say , " well, I put the zx14 motor into the grom." That sort of stuff, and it's fun to watch it develop. Are you fully moved into the Texas location? I would have loved to see how you moved your motorcycle pieces.
 

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Not only are the Stylema calipers 100mm spacing, they have less offset from side to side. Too much work, too much money and I've seen mixed reviews of the gas forks, though I've never tried them myself. I've ran bikes with Big Piston forks and think they are great.

I'm still in PRC (People's Republic of California). Hopefully I'm out of here after the first of the year.
 
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