Sport & Adventure Touring Testimonials
Check out these testimonials from our Sport & Adventure Touring Customers!
Subject: Suspension Feedback
I've ridden around 500 miles with the rear shock installed and half of those miles with a fresh set of tires I installed for my upcoming trip. After scrubbing them in I was able to really test the complete suspension with a fresh set of tires. Absolutely freakin awesome!!! The Penske rear shock and your AK-20 front end has transformed my Tiger 800 into a a fantastic handling and riding motorcycle.
Today I went out for a ride with my gear on loaded close to the weight I will launch with when I ride 8 Western and Southwestern states and Mexico. It was like a completely different motorcycle with my gear on... felt solid in the corners and at high cruising speeds. Under braking at higher speeds the bike felt great... no front end dive and the rear was stable as well. I have not made any adjustments and feel the way it was set up will work superbly while on my 5K mile trip. When I get back and ride off road I will play around with the front and rear adjustments.
Thanks again Dan!!! I have been talking up Traxxion Dynamics to all my buddies and on the Triumph Tiger Forum. Thanks for the decals... I have attached a couple of pictures of them proudly adorned to my Tiger 800.
All the best...
Subject: Tiger 800 Front Suspension
My mechanic did the installation over the weekend and it was a straight forward install... no issues or surprises. He set it up as per the recommendations provided with the installation instructions.
I picked the bike up Monday and went for a little 30+ mile ride in the city. The first thing I noticed was how light and nimble the front end felt. In addition, slogging in city traffic and having the need to get on the front brake occasionally the front end was solid... no more front end dive like with the OEM suspension.
Yesterday I went on a 175 mile ride on a route that I am very familiar with... runs on paved 4 lane roads at moderate speeds, twisties in the Foothills with turns posted at 10 and 20 mph, about 30 miles of dirt road, and some nice high speed runs with sweeper corners. The end result was am very pleased and impressed.
At speeds at 100+ mph the front end is stable and planted. On the dirt the ride over washboard sections was entirely different... the front end just glided over the washboard sections... no chatter or bouncing which I experienced with the stock front suspension. In the twisties where the corner speeds can be 10, 15, 20 mph the front was again solid and rolled into the corners without any front end dive. On the occasion I came in too hot and being a late braker, the front end again was solid... it certainly gave me more mental comfort and confidence resulting in being able to handle these corners at higher speeds than before. The same goes for the high speed sweepers... corners posted at 50 -60 mph are easily handled with confidence at 80-85+ mph no problem.
The only downside was having the stock rear shock so the rear end did get a bit twitchy at times... I can't wait to get the Penske shock installed... I won't be doing any tweaking of the front end, if at all, until I get the Penske shock installed.
I just wanted to give you my feedback based on my riding style and conditions as described above. I now only wish I had upgraded sooner... hahaha You can be assured I will be talking up your product to my buddies and on the Triumph Forum.
I am heading out tomorrow for a 200+ mile ride up into the canyons... I am looking forward to having another fun day. I will try and connect with you Friday morning... Hopefully my Penske shock will be getting to you soon.
Subject: Re: Contact
OK That is why I wanted to ask the suspension experts before I did anything stupid like spend days tearing my suspension apart.
I just want to say Traxxion Dynamics has some of the best customer service I have ever seen. And knowledge of their products and industry.
I have heard nothing but good things about the company, in fact, I have a friend who owns a shop here in Memphis TN that knows the owner of Traxxion Dynamics and said he has known him since he was working out of a trailer in the early years.
From: David -----
To: Lee Spitler
Subject: 2007 FJR1300
It was a pleasure spending a couple of hours at the Traxxion Dynamics offices on Friday morning while my FJR was upgraded with AK-20 cartridges and a Penske 8987 shock. WOW what a difference! I rode about 150 miles around the north Georgia mountains Friday afternoon including a couple of trips up and down highway 11/19/129 (whatever you want to call it) between Turner’s corner and the top of Blood Mountain. I couldn’t stand the thought of not being able to ride on Saturday, so I got out in the heavy rain for about a hundred miles. I found out the hard way that my Aerostich is in need of some refreshing on its waterproofing, so my ride ended up being shorter than I had hoped-there’s nothing like having a stream of cold water running down your leg and filling up your boot to make you anxious to get back home in a hurry.
I can tell it is going to take time to wrap my brain around the new suspension. On all of my favorite routes in the mountains, after 43,000 miles on the FJR I’ve learned how fast I can enter each turn without scaring myself. With the new suspension I quickly found out that my old limits no longer apply – I can enter those same turns at significantly higher speeds. That was especially evident in turns that have a big bump or dip in the middle of the turn-with the worn out shock suspension I was accustomed to slowing down because big bumps would upset the chassis-now those same bumps are of no concern. In my ride on Friday afternoon I was not able to push myself to high enough speeds to get the bike to do anything scary-it felt perfectly controlled at speeds that would have felt like the ragged edge before. The bike’s limits are so high now that I have no business exploring them on public roads- I’ll need to go to a track day to really find out what the new suspension can do.
In all honestly, I’m not sure this upgrade was necessarily a good idea- I think you may have make a FJR a little too fast and too much fun for my own good. Before, I could get that “near limit, adrenalin rush” feeling at speeds that weren’t all that far over the posted speed limits on the mountain roads. I’ve ridden past speed traps a few times at my usual pace without drawing any attention to myself because my pace was so far below the sport bikes. With the new suspension, speeds that used to feel thrilling now feel downright mundane. If I can have the self discipline to ride at the same pace I was riding before, I know the new suspension will provide a much larger margin of safety. I think we all know how hard it is to maintain that level of self discipline - I will definitely need to take the FJR to the track to work the “need for speed” out of my system.
So thanks I guess J my initial impression is that you guys did your job to perfection – whether that turns out to be a good thing for me remains to be seen.
Subject: Axxion Jackson!
Been riding the FZI a bit more, had a decent thrash on the Crest until I got a ticket for—get this—a “loud” pipe and ear plugs! Geez.
Anyway, I’m really impressed with the fork now. I’ve set the sag, played with the damping a few clicks from the baseline and have found a whole new bike under there. Boy, it really sticks on the brakes, particularly into a couple of rippled corners. Much, much better than stock. (And, maybe because of the big, tall bar, but it seems better that a whole lot of bikes I’ve ridden lately.)
At first you think the ride is a bit “busy” but then you look down and see the brake lines QUIVERING over the bumps. Man, that fork is moving fast. Yet there’s tons of feedback and never any harshness. Plus the spring rate is right on. I would have thought .95s would be a bit soft for a 515 pound bike with a 190 pound rider, but the big-time low-speed compression damping really controls the ride.
All in all, I’m very impressed. (And you know that a good first impression is hard to undo.)
If you’re still interested in doing that Falco shock, let’s get with it. We’re going to run the test soon, probably a month before the full FZ story. (I also understand that you’ll have to BUY—ugh, that’s an ugly word!—the shock from Penske, so I’ll not be put out if you take a pass on this smaller project. Up to you.)
Subject: FJR Results
I’m the guy who brought the FJR in for suspension upgrades a few weeks back and thought I’d let you guys know how things worked out.
Excellent in a word. You brought new life back into the old Yami. She was getting pretty lame in the handling department after 25K miles. Actually, to the point where I wasn’t really even enjoying riding it anymore. I had thought about selling it. It is sweet now and once again a superb sport touring platform. I was so used to the loose feel of the bike that it took some time to gain enough trust I the new setup to push it. It is a really amazing transformation.
The bike handles very well in all situations. What is most amazing to me is that, just like Lee said, the settings really do not need to be changed for different speeds or riding styles. That has never happened before on any of my bikes and still confounds me. I am used to constantly changing the settings mid ride. I am impressed.
The other thing that impresses me is the fact that I am unable to improve the initial settings that Lee dialed in. Wow. Don’t know how he did that in such a short time, but he really got it spot on. I messed around and tried adjusting everything many times during my trip. I ended up putting everything exactly where Lee left it and it is absolutely perfect. That has saved me months of mucking around trying to find the proper balance. Thanks Lee.
The only change I made that resulted in an improvement was to the triple clamps. When I first bought the bike, I noticed a lot of stiction in the forks. I loosened the lower triple clamps, pumped the forks, jacked the front wheel off the ground then very gradually torqued the triple clamp bolts very evenly to spec. That made a substantial difference. So I did this again when I got home and gained the same improvement once again.
I ended up at the Dragon for 2 days. The suspension performed flawlessly. The bike was up for anything I asked it to do and did not hold me back at all. That is amazing for such a tight twisted road with such heavy and loaded down bike. Lotsa fun man.
I rode for two weeks on every road surface imaginable and was never disappointed in the handling. When I got home, I rested my ass for a couple days and then felt the urge to ride some of my favorite roads; The ones with no paint stripes, full of gravel and pot holes and unpredictable turns and hills. The ones I really know like the back of my hand.
I thought for sure I would find some minor flaws. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not find any shortcomings even when thrashing down these crappy old roads. That is what makes it all really worth it to me. The bike has a quality feel like never before.
So the Yami has now regained its number one position in my 3 bike stable. I was taking my Buell out when I wanted to thrash. The Yami was a mess when ridden hard. I’ve been riding it every day since I got back it is such a joy to ride again.
Thanks to Dan and Lee for your great hospitality and keeping your commitment with no surprises. And also to the fork tech dude whose name I do not remember. He kept a low profile but did a great job. You guys were the key to making this vacation work. You showed a great mix of biker brotherhood, bench racer BSing and professionalism at a level I am not accustomed to. Really nice job.
Thanks again. –Alan 2005 Yamaha FJR 1300
Well “WOW” just doesn’t quite do your work justice! You recently rebuilt my ST1100 forks (and had $800 worth of “fun” with them J ) with adjustable F4 stuff in them.
First class effort! What a difference in the feel of the whole bike! I did turn them down about ¼ turn to soften them and may go another ¼ turn, but the ride quality is so vastly superior and the weight control of the behemoth 650lb ST1100 is amazing!
In this day-in-age, usually vendors/shops/etc. hear about are the complaints. I wanted to take this opportunity to give you some * Kudos* for a job well done….gone beyond my expectations. I highly recommend that you offer this service to any “Sport Touring” class of motorcycle riders, as the already nimble handling characteristics of the ST 1100 was so improved upon, that the extra few (Ok, not: “so few” J ) bucks is well worth it!
Thank you again and keep up the good work!
Pleasant Hill, CA
Subject: Attention Mike
I just chatted with you on the phone. This is Rob___. I mentioned a testimonial to the products you guys produce and that I’d send you what I just sent to the FZ1 list. Below is the excerpt.
Thanks again. You guys sure know your suspensions!
Hey everyone. Here’s the scoop on the FZ1 I’m selling.
’02 Liquid Silver FZ1 5,500 miles
***Full Traxxion Dynamics suspension upgrade*** (see below) absolutely mint. Never dropped. Always garaged. Frame sliders, Yamaha bar lowers (still have stock ones) Yamaha touring windscreen(stock) 90% of the tread remaining on both tires, just changed oil and synched carbs. Everything else is bone stock. Located in NC. Price $6,900 (please read below to understand the price premium)
So what’s the big deal about the Traxxion Dynamics suspension setup? It’s the single best/most important thing you can do to an FZ1 to truly transform it into what this bike wants to be. For those of you that just want to ride fast in a straight line and don’t like the twisties, you can just move on...this bike isn’t for you.
I’m a very experienced rider. I’ve ridden extremely technical roads for the last 13 years in the NC, TN, and GA mountains. I mostly had well suspended lightweight sport bikes. Then came the FZ1…a do everything bike that had so much potential. But the suspension just isn’t up to par on a stock FZ1. The bike isn’t very soft sprung at both ends and no amount of adjustment can really rectify poor componentry. The bike dives hard under hard braking, it wallows through corners and provides so little feedback you have no idea what the front end is doing. In short, it’s not at all a good set of suspenders.
Enter Traxxion Dynamics (pronounced Traction Dynamics) for those that don’t know, Traxxion Dynamics is THE premium suspension company in the country. Start talking to racers and you’ll find that the ones that were able to afford it all put Traxxion Dynamics internals in their forks and most went with their specked Penske shock. It has dominated US Supersport and Superbike Racing since 2000. This is the good stuff, everyone. Here’s their website: ( www.traxxion.com)
I got their full blown treatment in the form of Traxxion Dynamics Axxion Valve Kit (http://www.traxxion.com/products.fork.axxion.shtml) in the forks. This is the $800 kit. It is highly suggested that this be professionally installed. They claim the FZ1 is the worst shock to work on w/out the proper tools…as it requires some drilling and most people that have tried this have screwed it up…and are looking for replacement forks. They’ve got the tools, they’re the pros, let them do it.
I also had them install a Penske 8981 Double Adjustable shock (http://www.traxxion.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=P81) It’s valved to Traxxion Dynamic’s specs, is upgradeable to a triple-adjustable shock, and is completely re-buildable…so you’ll never throw it away. Plus you can adjust the height. Price on the bad boy is $774.I was going to be on a bike trip very close to their headquarters, so last May I arranged to drop the bike off for the day and let them do all the work. The fork work, shock and labor to install the shock, plus tax was $1,700. What they accomplished was sheer magic.
If you’re still with me, I’ll so my best to describe what I noticed. There is a section of road in VA that I ride a few times a year. It’s very narrow, very washboard and extremely rough. I never felt comfortable going through those corners on the FZ1 at anything over 40-45 mph. I just had no idea what the front-end was doing. The bike was rough, wallowy and really provided no confidence. The weekend after I got the Traxxion Dynamics stuff, I went for a ride up there. I couldn’t believe the difference. Everything was so smooth, so well damped and so communicative. I was finding myself going 65-70 mph through the same curves. It was incredible. You can look down and see the forks moving up and down, but can barely feel it in the bike as it just absorbs everything. I just can’t describe it. I don’t know how it works…it just works.
Here’s another example. A friend has a FZ1 with a nice Akro pipe and Ivan’s jet kit. I’m sure he makes a little more horsepower. We used to chase each other through the corners in the mountains. We’re similar in riding ability and have a great time following each other. A month after the Traxxion Dynamics stuff was installed, we went for a ride and I kept losing him. Eventually I pulled over and asked if he was alright. He accused me of putting in track time…that I was much faster than usual. I shrugged my shoulders and blamed it on the suspension. Then we traded bikes. Wow... I noticed it instantly. The shock stuff just isn’t up to par. I chased him while riding his FZ1 and gave it an honest effort and he would just walk away from me… over and over. Yes, this stuff is really that good.
So here’s my plea to everyone. Even if you don’t buy my bike, stop spending money on fancy pipes and other go-fast goodies. Nothing will improve this motorcycle better than a good suspension upgrade. Save your money and let Traxxion Dynamics perform their magic. You will be so impressed by what the FZ1 can become. The suspension component is why I’m asking more for my bike that other ‘02’s and you’re getting a killer deal on all that suspension work.
If you have any questions, email me at rob……com
Thanks for reading this and sorry for the long post.
Chuck D./ IL
Taming the FJR1300-a Tale of Products and some Evaluation
Part1 – Throttle and Suspension
Yamaha’s FJR1300 – perhaps the most written about sport-touring machine of all time. FJR has spawned dozens of websites, several forums, and won bike of the year almost as many times as the crowd-pleasing Honda VFR. So as my personal stable of motorcycles began to thin out and my significant other gave her blessing, I did what most of the rest of you do – I started shopping.
During the last two decades, youth and my swimmer’s physique did a backstroke. Now beget of barrel shape, I’m buoyed in any mass of water. But please don’t laugh – great girth gave me a correspondingly great education in aftermarket suspensions. White power, Ohlins, Fox, HyperCo, Progressive-even defunct brands like ATK – have tamed over loaded pogo sticks of bikes I’ve owned.
But each company held compromise; their products requiring a lot of tweaking. And to get them just right, I’ve swapped springs, valves, replaced fishy smelling fork oil for expensive elixirs and added air pressurization systems.
It never came right of the box, until I bought from HSTA Merchant Member Traxxion Dynamics.
So how did Traxxion get it right the first time? It seems easy (the way it should be). I whispered my weight to Dan at Traxxion (firstname.lastname@example.org) under an oath of silence, told him about “just in case” tools and over-weight tail pack I typically carry. Dan then asked me about my riding style. I confessed my hot shoe had cooled off a bit.
Traxxion then translated this survey into a perfect spring valve and oil combination. And the results are spectacular. Here’s and example - Rapid downhill descent during the Mail Pouch Fly By, lead rider Bill hits a torrid pocket of pavement. Bill’s BlackBird’s (Showa) suspension gives away, hoisting him off the seat a few inches. Riding skill brings him back under control, but by contrast my Traxxion-controlled FJR1300AE swallowed up the hole with both wheels planted, then rebounded once back into position. WOW!
The Traxxion Dynamics system replaces the stock fork cartridge with a proprietary design (the AK-20), balanced in the rear with a shock from Penske (with Traxxion specified spring). And what did I have to do to get this system? Other than clutching a credit card and answering the how-much-do-you-weigh-and-how-do-you-ride-survey, my only involvement in the process was to FedEx my front forks to Traxxion Dynamics in Georgia. The whole process took seven days –ship to receipt – although delay may occur due to the production schedule at Penske.
Traxxion Dynamics AK-20 Cartridge and rear Penske shock was the cure for OEM Pogo Stick Blues.
Love the suspension (on my FZ1)! To me the difference is night and day. The bike handles better, feels more stable and also more nimble. The bike no longer has that “jarring” effect that the stock suspension produced. I’m not sure how to put it into words but I feel more confident on the bike. It feels planted if that makes any sense. The AK20s and the Penske shock/remote resi are ideal for this bike. Great products, better than fair prices and superb customer support have made me a very happy camper. Thanks for all your help Lee/Dan.
-Ray H., Shreveport, La
Received and installed a penske shock for my FZ1 today -very happy with the entire process, shock works great. Unbelievable that I received the shock in Australia from the US a little over 2 weeks. The UPS tracking is a really good service. If I can send some more customers your way I will. Thanks Again.
-Phill K., Australia
Happy new year Dan,
Finally got a chance to do some fine tuning on the new 8983.
I adjusted ride height one and a half turns out.
Spun the preload half a turn stiffer, Compression a half a turn softer, Rebound 4 clicks softer.
Took it out for a shake down today on the roughest road around here. You can see in the pic its a bugger.
Well all I can say is it was definitely worth $834 for the great ride. The Kawi shock did a pretty good job... but the Penske is exactly what I was looking for.
The bike is so planted every where I go. Fast or slow.
With the AK-20's up front and the Penske on the rear the balance is perfect and the bike is a total joy to ride.
Thanks again for working with me on this journey.
You guys are the best.