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Race Tech Suspension

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Hey guys! I'm just curious as to what exactly Race Tech does when you ship them your front forks to have them personalized for your riding type, weight, and ability? Is it something that I could do myself if I buy the right parts?

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Yes you can do it yourself if you are savvy. The can mail you the kit for your setup. Shim stacks, valves, springs, oil.

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I know about different springs, but could you explain how different oil has different affects? And what are shims?

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The oil is pushed through the shims. Different shims or sets of shims will be easier or harder to move the oil through, making the fork react faster or slower. Thicker oil is harder to move through as well.

They can set up the shims/oil combination to customize how stiff your suspension is on small bumps vs large square bumps vs big jump landings, etc.

It's not that hard to do- the hard part is knowing how to change the shim stacks. Race Tech (and any other decent suspension tuner) has a lot of info to help them make that decision without as much guesswork.

Way oversimplified, btw.

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Ehhh, I think it would probably be best to let a professional do it then. That way I won't just have to guess and hope I'm making the right adjustments. Thanks for the help!

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I installed the Gold Valves in my forks a cpl months ago. and I LOVE THEM. When you buy the kit, they give you an Access Code for the website, enter your info, and it spits out a range of shim stacks, oil level starting point, and clicker starting point for you. The kit is a bit shy on shims in my opinion,

The preferred stack they wanted me to run wasn't attainable with the shims they send in the kit, or with a combination of my old shims, so I stepped up 2 stiffer levels...(to an attainable stack).

I race a decent vet pace, but definitely no (A) rider. Although I hit all the same obstacles as an (A) rider, my corner speed is down. 😏

They work for me, and I like digging into stuff like that till I figure it out. I spent many nights and days on this site reading about stacks and trying to figure out how to do it myself. But if your not comfortable doing your own fork seals then you might not wanna dig in.

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I installed the Gold Valves in my forks a cpl months ago. and I LOVE THEM. When you buy the kit, they give you an Access Code for the website, enter your info, and it spits out a range of shim stacks, oil level starting point, and clicker starting point for you. The kit is a bit shy on shims in my opinion,

The preferred stack they wanted me to run wasn't attainable with the shims they send in the kit, or with a combination of my old shims, so I stepped up 2 stiffer levels...(to an attainable stack).

I race a decent vet pace, but definitely no (A) rider. Although I hit all the same obstacles as an (A) rider, my corner speed is down. 😏

They work for me, and I like digging into stuff like that till I figure it out. I spent many nights and days on this site reading about stacks and trying to figure out how to do it myself. But if your not comfortable doing your own fork seals then you might not wanna dig in.

Thank you! That actually sounds pretty easy. I'm comfortable changing my fork seals. I have not done it, but I know how and I have changed my fork oil twice.

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It's easier than most people think, but it's way more difficult than some people think.

Just being a philosopher now, haha.

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LOL, there is no doubt that the first time in is a little daunting. Like I said, I spend probably 40-50 hours going over the forums trying to learn...

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I installed the Gold Valves in my forks a cpl months ago. and I LOVE THEM. When you buy the kit, they give you an Access Code for the website, enter your info, and it spits out a range of shim stacks, oil level starting point, and clicker starting point for you. The kit is a bit shy on shims in my opinion,

The preferred stack they wanted me to run wasn't attainable with the shims they send in the kit, or with a combination of my old shims, so I stepped up 2 stiffer levels...(to an attainable stack).

I race a decent vet pace, but definitely no (A) rider. Although I hit all the same obstacles as an (A) rider, my corner speed is down. 😏

They work for me, and I like digging into stuff like that till I figure it out. I spent many nights and days on this site reading about stacks and trying to figure out how to do it myself. But if your not comfortable doing your own fork seals then you might not wanna dig in.

The only thing I don't like about Gold Valves is that you are paying for a valve and access to the shims stacks to which anyone here in the suspension forum can help build a stack of shims. You buy your shims to get your desired stack and them test and tune (much cheaper). Gold Valves are a decent place to start, but stock valves are just as good and can be tuned to a great suspension.

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I suppose that may be true, but I like riding much more than I like having my forks in a vice. LOL So for me, they worked just fine right off the bat... maybe im special, but thankfully I couldn't get the stack they recommended and I went a couple steps stiffer on their chart and I'm happy... Time is money, lol, had the valves in 3 days, a stack recommendation in 10 minutes, and was riding the next day, with a valving chart and some explanations that I could visualize compared to the chart stacks... guess it isn't for everybody and maybe I will sometime go back to the stock valves to try a stack on there, but right now im satisfied...

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To answer the original question, what Race Tech does during the service depends on what you are looking for. Everything from just updating springs, to a rebuild, to a full revalve.

If you are speaking of a revalve, everything is torn down, inspected, cleaned, and then a setting is created for you (weight/skill/bike/additional parts like linkages and oversized tanks are taken into account as well). This setting is installed along with Gold Valves (aftermarket pistons developed to create better flow, putting the valving control on the shim stack vs. the piston) back into your forks. Recently, Race Tech has also started adding an Ultra Slick Suspension Treatment (fancy name for a crosshatch) to your chrome fork legs and shock shaft that helps keep oil on the surface to drastically reduce stiction.

You can do it yourself, and in addition to instructions that come with the kits and the help here at TTalk, Race Tech also has a Tech Support line available to help you through the process. Finally, here are some videos (a bit dated, but will help you figure out if you are up to the task) to show the process.

http://www.racetech.com/page/id/136

http://www.racetech.com/page/id/138

I am sure there are many good settings on TTalk, just like there are many good suspension tuners out there. Race Tech does have the advantage of suspension dynos, chassis measurement equipment, data acquisition, many test sessions, and most importantly thousands of sets of suspension that go out meaning a huge database of notes to learn and fine tune settings. Whether it is a setting for one of our pro guys or the Vet Novice trail rider, we've likely done suspension for them and updated our settings based on their feedback to give you the best setup possible. That setting you will get either from sending your suspension to Race Tech or through the DVS that comes with every Gold Valve kit.

Sorry to be so wordy, and I'm more than happy to answer anymore questions via email at chris@racetech.com if you'd like.

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The preferred stack they wanted me to run wasn't attainable with the shims they send in the kit, or with a combination of my old shims, so I stepped up 2 stiffer levels...(to an attainable stack).

If you'd like, or ever are in the situation in the future, give us a call or shoot me an email to chris@racetech.com and we'd be more than happy to send you the shims you need.

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If you'd like, or ever are in the situation in the future, give us a call or shoot me an email to chris@racetech.com and we'd be more than happy to send you the shims you need.

THIS is awesome customer service. When I get around to doing my forks, any parts I order will most definitely come from y'all.

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We have two bikes with Race Tech valving we did ourselves. We are highly satisfied with our set ups. One is a 2012 CRF250R and one is a 2011 KXF250 SFF. We weren't able to find a suspension tuner that could dial in the SFF, The SFF Race Tech valves are working out great. We did change the valving one time because we thought it was to stiff with the first setting from the Website. We called Race Tech, they gave a new settings to try and believe he is going to stay with the new stack settings. We did it in an afternoon, sure beat taking it to a shop.

Doing the compression on Showa forks is "pretty" easy.

The shock is definitely more challenging to make sure it gets bled properly.

If you get the RT kit, one thing I found missing was an explanation of the labeling of the shim packets, unless I missed in the instructions, but they are labeled by thickness, if I remember right, the label is <partnumber-thickness>

I recommend getting a good micrometer so you don't accidentally install two that are stuck together and caliper, both digital for quick reading. After while you get pretty good at identifying thickness and diameter by eye and feel, but I still always measure, but at least it makes picks a lot quicker.

And just like Chris said, if the kit is short on shims, give them a call they'll send you what you need, they did for me.

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I debated sending my suspension off to a tuner to get it set up for me, but I also wanted to learn how to do it myself. So I ordered the Race Tech gold valve setup for my forks and shock and did it. I wasn't really satisfied with their initial recommended settings (setting up a YZ250 for off road), however with a few little changes which they map out in detail how to do in detail on the build sheets. I am happy with how it turned out. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again on my next bike.

They teach you how to work on your own stuff, give you a decent starting place for the valving, along with alot of different options going stiffer or softer etc. And it was still cheaper than having someone else do it.

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I 2nd what everyone said. Racetech does include gold valves, which you may really not need, but what really sets them apart is that they have a very comprehensive program for the DIY-er. Frankly, if you're going to have someone else do it, I'd try to stay local for ease of follow up help. Invariably, you'll want to tweak something.

I did GVs front and back for our 2 offroad YZ's last winter and we've been very happy with them. Clickers seem to make more noticable adjustments, too.

In fact, I did some riding with majhazard a couple weeks back in some gnarly, rocky trail in WI and we were both humming along pretty good on Racetech suspension. I almost kept up with him!

Next bike I might just reshim the stock valves with all the "free" help from the good folks here, or see what Racetech has at the time.

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I just got a custom setting installed in my 2011 YZ450. Chris helped during the purchase and setup process . I should be able to ride this WE and will report after. Communication with the tech staff was a bit challenging. I imagine they are busy and it is not always easy to reach them but Chris was very helpful.

My local tuner who did the install is RT certified and I have always been pleased with the results.

Yet, the most important is to find someone who will be able to watch you ride, analyze what's happening, listen to you so that he can adjust as needed.

I used some "big" companies in the past and while it was a definite improvement over stock, I am not convinced that their large database can really capture all the details of each track condition and rider's skills (or lack of in my case🤣 )

I am in Central FL and two tracks where I'm spending most of my time are drastically different.

Setup for one won't be as good on the other one.

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I have used RaceTech Gold Valves on several bikes. I have always been pleased with the settings they've recommended. I'm sure the stock pistons can work as well as Gold Valves, but you are paying for the entire setup. I figure it is about the same price as sending suspension out for a revalve, but you can do it yourself. Just like sending it out, the initial setup may not suit you 100%, but unlike sending it out, you can change it on your own instead of waiting for shipping to/from and service time. My experience has been that they are really close (I've only had to change clickers), but I may not be as sensitive as others. Overall, I've been happy with Gold Valves. There is some pride in the fact that you were able to do your own suspension. If you have to call Race Tech, they have always been very helpful and more than willing to make me happy. I've been riding YZs for years (which are known for great suspension stock), but I feel like Gold Valves made them better for me.

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Thanks guys! After reading your posts, I will definitely try doing the work myself. Unfortunately, my clutch is slipping so I have to rebuild it before I can do anymore work to my bike. :/

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