This site is very much under construction. Maybe I'll actually get this done this by end of 2017. In the meantime, will get my attention.

To quote Pirelli, "Power is nothing without control."

So why do so many motorcycle OEMs equip their bikes with suspension that is mush and yet harsh and unsettled over bigger bumps, or won't hold a line in a corner? After putting down $7000+ on a new steed, why should you have to spend another $1000-1800 (fork+shock) to fix the handling problems the factory could have addressed with a couple hundred higher MSRP? The short-sighted and self-defeating cost-cutting demands of accounting departments is a mystery.

Cartridge forks have been standard equipment since 1990 on most top-of-the-line sport bikes. Using 4 valves, they are independently tunable for compression and rebound behavior. I can't think of a good reason why the factories don't dust off the cartridge systems of yester-year (say late 90's, early 00's) and ship a solidly handling bike. And yet they persist in choosing damper rods and thoroughly ruin the handling of new models year after year.

Well, now you too can enjoy the full performance of an adjustable, custom-tuned cartridge system tailored to your bike, your weight, riding style and preferences; all without having to replace the whole frontend or spend considerable effort and money trying to adapt handlebars, clipons, headlight brackets, or instrument cluster to the better class of fork. The only visual indication of the upgrade is a different fork cap. This is also permissable under supersport rules for many amateur racing organizations.

Early on in my riding career I tried the oft-recommended band-aids like
cartridge emulators. But I still had to fiddle with oil weights trying to get a handle on rebound, and having to fish them in and out of the oil column to make adjustments was downright inconvenient and messy. I did several bikes this way before I decided enough was enough. There had to be a better way.

So in 2003 I set about retrofitting GSXR and ZX6R cartridge systems into my personal rides and then for others who were likewise fed up. Bikes like the
  • Suzuki SV650
  • Kawasaki Ninja 300
  • Kawasaki Ninja 650R
  • Kawasaki ZR7
  • Yamaha FZ07
  • Yamaha FZ750
  • Yamaha R3
  • Triumph Thruxton
To say the transformation in stability and bump compliance was profound is putting it mildly. Whereas riding over frost heaves and sharp-edged bumps would hammer the palms of my hands, now I felt a mild "thump" and the front end stayed planted. Similarly, I didn't have to wait for the bike to settle down in curves before I could get back on the gas or risk running wide. Then there was the convenience of a few clicks of rebound, a twist of compression, a couple turns of preload and I could trivially transition from hot to cold seasons, from dry to wet, from street to track, from riding single to 2-up.

I was hooked.

Unfortunately I don't have an inexpensive solution for the sub-standard shock. But I can fix the forks for about $500 all-in, delivered to your door, ready to bolt into your triple clamps and go ride. And marvel at how much more enjoyable your ownership experience just became.