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Wow, it's been a few years since I've been on here. Glad to see old farts like greyracer are still on here helping guys out. I recently had an experience that I had to pass along though so I thought I'd log in here and see what's up.

 

I was going through one of my favorite bikes, my "old" '06 YZ450. (I recently rode a couple '17 KTM's and it made me appreciate my YZ even more.) While I was freshening up the suspension, I thought I'd lower it a little bit in the process. I've always been happy with the suspension on that bike so I didn't want to go crazy with big changes, just a little tweaking. Anyway, I needed some shock oil and seals and I wanted to see if anyone local had any in stock. (Something that is getting harder and harder to do. For the local SF Bay Area people, we just lost Zoom Cycles, THE go-to parts and accessories store for the last 45 years.) I do a little google searching and find Dave Johnson of Smart Performance is local to me. I give him a call and sure enough, he has everything I would possibly need for any suspension work I wanted to do. He puts together an order and I drive over to pick it up.

I'm greeted by an obviously VERY intelligent, articulate, helpful and nice guy. I show him what I'm doing and he gives me tons of ideas and suggestions. I leave with everything I would need to build the shock and fill it with oil and nitrogen myself. The next day I realize that having a guy that's done hundreds, if not thousands of shock rebuilds purge the oil of bubbles in a vacuum chamber he built just for that purpose would probably be better than me trying to do it myself. I asked him if he would vacuum and charge the shock and he said no problem, bring it down!

When I went back to have him do the shock, I also brought my fork parts to ask him about lowering ideas. Again, he gave me a ton of excellent information and some upgrade parts to put into the forks in the process. I left with a filled and charged shock in my hand that I had 100% confidence in it being filled perfectly with all air purged properly. I then spent some time on my lathe making a couple spacers for lowering the forks. Just for the h#ll of it, I thought I'd send him some pictures of what I came up with. AGAIN, he gave me his invaluable input and suggestions and it pushed me to make another set of spacers that I could be absolutely positive would work perfectly and dependably. I'm generally a pretty independent thinker and worker. When somebody influences me to be BETTER than I think I can be or do, that impresses me A LOT. Dave's suggestions and thoughts "pushed" me to do a better job and come up with a better final solution. For that, I wanted to return the favor by letting everyone know my personal experience with Dave and Smart Performance. I know this won't come as a surprise to many here, but I just thought I'd share anyway. I'm a HUGE fan of smart people openly sharing knowledge, and Dave is absolutely one of those people. Thanks Dave!

John

(aka gmtech16450yz everywhere else on the web. Google search that or "john's sky redline".)

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You sure are real lucky to have him close by. I have used Dave's kits in all my bikes and just the other day had him build me a kit for my 16 YZ450.
Great person to talk with on the phone and you can tell by just talking to him that he is very intelligent.
Wished I could meet him in person someday.

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I've also had nothing but positive experiences with Dave. He's even convinced me not to buy some parts I thought I might need from him. He's super smart, experienced, and generous with his time. His ideas are sometimes trashed here, but I like that he pushes the design envelope. I'm glad to see him getting some well deserved props here.

 

Also, he's another great option for do-it-yourself kits.

 

 

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I think it was his lack of support that was the most trashed topic on here , and it sounds like it's improved but some are still waiting months by the sounds of things, I actually said his mid could work and me and Russ came up with a compromise via Russ testing , dave then took all the glory for Russ's hard work, at that point things really blew up

 

 

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2 hours ago, mog said:

I think it was his lack of support that was the most trashed topic on here , and it sounds like it's improved but some are still waiting months by the sounds of things, I actually said his mid could work and me and Russ came up with a compromise via Russ testing , dave then took all the glory for Russ's hard work, at that point things really blew up

 

 

Boooo!   :thumbsdn:    Totally unnecessary.

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My kits just crossed the border and should arrive Friday. Can't wait to get them installed and tested. 

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My kits just crossed the border and should arrive Friday. Can't wait to get them installed and tested. 


Did you go full Del Taco, modded MV, special oil, etc? Please report back

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Del Taco, EPNP, clover shim, SKF seals and assorted shims.  I'm already running the fluid. 

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Del Taco, EPNP, clover shim, SKF seals and assorted shims.  I'm already running the fluid. 

I am waiting on him still to ship mine. I will give him another week then tex him to see when he will ship it.
Don't want to aggravate him to much about it. He is probably busy or just hasn't had time to build it yet.
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Aggravate him ? Your paying for a service no ? He's not doing you a favour or is he ?

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Major thing which can be named as reason why lots people have a more negative view of him:
He states his own opinion as THE TRUTH and does not answer questions when you critizise his opinion.
To sound smart, he writes bike endless texts with more opinion based blabla but never proves his opinions.

Good politician these days....

Maybe we will experience a new wave of TT-Smart Performance marketing in the next time, haha!

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On 4/17/2017 at 9:04 AM, motobark said:

I was going through one of my favorite bikes, my "old" '06 YZ450. (I recently rode a couple '17 KTM's and it made me appreciate my YZ even more.) While I was freshening up the suspension, I thought I'd lower it a little bit in the process. I've always been happy with the suspension on that bike so I didn't want to go crazy with big changes, just a little tweaking. Anyway, I needed some shock oil and seals and I wanted to see if anyone local had any in stock. (Something that is getting harder and harder to do. For the local SF Bay Area people, we just lost Zoom Cycles, THE go-to parts and accessories store for the last 45 years.) I do a little google searching and find Dave Johnson of Smart Performance is local to me. I give him a call and sure enough, he has everything I would possibly need for any suspension work I wanted to do. He puts together an order and I drive over to pick it up.

 

motobark - Thanks for sharing.  I also live in the SF Bay area & have tried 3 different local suspension tuners with mediocre results at best in the last 3 decades.  Good to know we have a good suspension resource in our back yard sorta speak.  I've read some of his posts & figured the guy came across as someone who was going revolutionize the suspension on a dirt bike.  I don't believe it's happened , but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have good ideas to share.

I've dealt & purchased from Zoom Cycles since the 80's & surprised they've held on as long as they did given the internet competition.   I haven't purchased anything from them in a couple of yrs. so I didn't know they are closing their doors.

I've also ridden a modern KTM & wasn't impressed & actually feel a 2010 CRF450r owned with FC suspension is a better bike.  The KYB components are really good once revalved.          

Edited by H4L

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I will be in the Bay Area from June 27th until the 4th of July. I'm hoping to visit Dave at the shop. 

If the kits work well my suspension guy will be ordering more for a few guys I know waiting to see the results of my build.

 

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It's funny how every single internet forum is really exactly the same. You have your resident super helpful guy that answers every single question as best he can. You have sh!t disturbers that just want to incite drama to fill the giant void in their lives. You have the guy that has 90k posts and basically lives on the forum 24/7. You also have a bunch of just normal, decent guys and a TON of quiet lurkers that never post but read every word in every thread.

Then you have a guy who knows his chit and has a lot of self confidence because he has a ton of knowledge and has made his OWN discoveries and innovations instead of just regurgitating common internet "knowledge". (I'm not putting names to ANY of these descriptions here because I honestly didn't read anything on here about Dave J or anything else really in the last 5 years or so.) What ends up happening is 90% of the members, and MOSTLY the members that never post, are happy to have the knowledge and information resource a guy like that provides. But it's the 10% that stirs up all the sh!t about the guy.

If you want to, you can take ANYTHING that is typed out and turn it into something it's not or wasn't meant to be. You can find flaws in every single person on this planet if that's what you're into. Or you can learn from them. A smart person isn't smart because they know everything, they're smart because they have the ability to learn anything from anyone. If you have low self esteem and have a problem with people that have a healthy dose of WELL DESERVED self esteem, you're not going to learn and will remain ignorant, which causes more self esteem issues.

Again, I'm not putting names on anything I've said here. I simply don't know you guys and who's who. I am a pretty good judge of character though. I've met Dave Johnson in person several times now. He's an extremely intelligent person. My 25 year old son said this about him after meeting him for the first time also... "I'm betting he has a degree or two under his belt. You can just tell by talking to him that he's intelligent and well educated." I have no idea if that's true, and it really doesn't matter to me anyway. He has a LOT of knowledge, he has no problem sharing it and appears to be a decent person. I have no interest in internet forum opinions of a person, I've been on the wrong side of that too many times being the person that I am. Just remember that what somebody appears like or is defined as in an internet forum may, and most likely does, have nothing to do with reality.

I posted MY opinion and personal experiences with Dave. I have no hidden agenda, no chip on my shoulder and no desire to incite drama or trash talk anyone. In MY opinion, he is a stand-up guy that knows his chit and is more than willing to share that knowledge and help others. If he rubbed any of you the wrong way, there's a VERY good possibility the problem isn't with Dave or anything he's said or done.

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Yes right it's all our fault, he gets what he deserves , I'm not saying he's not intelligent, but as a business man not so good , Russ is one of the most trusted respected non confrontational guys on the internet , if someone upsets him they are a douche , Dave has got his settings from others hard work, to not acknowledge them is like stealing from them , you dont know what's happened, it's your opinion, that's fine but dont say Dave is blame free , no one here believes that , he's not the devil but he's made some big errors and should own up and say so , Is that not reasonable ?

 

 

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Aggravate him ? Your paying for a service no ? He's not doing you a favour or is he ?

I texted him and he said He will have it all together this weekend and ship it Monday. He would also give me a tex back with a tracking number.

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Well I do sincerely hope it's a good setup for you , I bought an original single spring mid valve setup but never fitted it , too many setup problems, but I also think by now he has a well dialed setup , it's like mx tech etc, they take a good few years to home into a good setting, I've grown cynical, I've seen bikes entering at grand prix level with nothing other than shim shuffles , these riders can lap me in 5 laps ! When all these companies charge up to $1500 ( not Dave) for a 4cs fork setup, and you can buy an aer for not much more, then sell the 4cs , I feel bad people pay these crazy prices for jewellery , attracted to it like magpies , I'm not saying you or Dave in thus conversation , this is general chat

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1 hour ago, mog said:

Yes right it's all our fault, he gets what he deserves , I'm not saying he's not intelligent, but as a business man not so good , Russ is one of the most trusted respected non confrontational guys on the internet , if someone upsets him they are a douche , Dave has got his settings from others hard work, to not acknowledge them is like stealing from them , you dont know what's happened, it's your opinion, that's fine but dont say Dave is blame free , no one here believes that , he's not the devil but he's made some big errors and should own up and say so , Is that not reasonable ?

 

 

Fair enough but I don't think it's unreasonable to have a discussion about a tuner or any subject for that matter without people feeling the need to come in for no other reason than to bash or bag on the subject. There are people in this topic discussing positives about SPI and their products. If you want to start your own topic bashing the shit out of the guy than feel free to start one. You and others made your point so maybe it's time to move on and let the thread progress for the people that want it to. And really Mog, don't feel obligated to respond to my post because I don't really care to hear what you have to say. You are a smart guy and I respect your input on many subjects but sometimes it's better to shut your mouth. I'm still learning that trait myself. 

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