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AER Air Fork Update Review

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So these forks have been out for a while now, and initially they had very positive reviews but I never trust early reviews from a naturally profit minded industry promoting new products. Ive been researching this morning, clocks been doing laps and no one wants to spend their whole day researching and filtering recent and relevant information. So what is the current climate regarding these forks? Ive noted one issue with the forks sticking near the bottom of their stroke, is this issue resolved? Whats the next issue?

I race Desert, or Cross Country depending on what side of the country you come from, B class, and I use a local suspension tuner(same guy always). High speeds, slows speeds over rocks(note common and potential damage to forks), hill climbs(rocks again), dust, averaging from as short as 1 hour to as long as 6 hours per event. Did I mention a lot of rocks? Pending a new bike purchase, Im looking at getting a 250 four stroke, and I wanna stay KTM, so theres interest in the 250 XCF(but the YZFX makes a lot of sense). So my concerns are, prep time prior to race start I don't care to be adding another step of setting air fork PSI, high speeds in dust I don't want to find myself going over the handlebars because the forks have collapsed, rock damage to stanchion compromising the fork, heat build up and ambient temperature change over the course of a 2-4hour race effecting my apparent spring rate. I immediately thought, looks like Ill have to pony up a few extra hundred bucks for the spring conversion since this corrects all of my concerns, but then I call up my suspension guy to get his opinion before purchasing a new bike, and he goes "no no don't waste your money on the spring kit, I got the air fork working GREAT!" OK awesome, so now if I insist on the spring kit Im asking him to delve into something he hasn't invested experience in and Im going against his recommendation. Or I go to another tuner. Or I cooperate and go air fork, but at what cost?

So whats the consensus on these WP forks? Have WP addressed and corrected all the issues and growing pains of the new design? How fun is it setting fork PSI, or is there anyone using nitrogen as a more stable alternative and what is that experience? Can I afford to scratch the fork tubes on rocks on the 3rd loop of a NHHA? Can I assume the feeling and performance is still true and these are great forks? Thanks in advance!

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Hi we got the AER forks in Europe in 2016, a year ahead of the USA. We had issues with a very early set on one of our 125s dropping to half their travel - as you say sticking valve. KTM said you could still ride the bike - maybe one of their trick testers could safely! However, our later 2016 125 has the modified AERs and my son reckons they are really good for motocross. We got the early cartridge repaired under warranty (allegedly) but he refuses to use it as he says he can't ever trust it. While waiting to get it back we used a K Tech spring kit in the leg but he just couldn't get on with it. He's a quick national level rider and we run cone valves on the race bike. However, we are just about to get some work done on the early AERs - new 2017  innards for the left leg and some other work.  The AERs are really easy to adjust - we have the WP pump which inflates 0.5lb per stroke or deflates the same by pushing a button. There are cheaper pumps but haven't used one. It will be interesting to hear other US views as your air chamber should be trouble free. Cannot comment on how they are for woods work/enduros. There's a good WP instructional video on line showing how to service the AERs. Bob.

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If you ride 6 hour races you will need a engine piston every 10 races ,that will get crazy expensive , forks will need a service every 50 hours max as will shock

 

 

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12 minutes ago, mog said:

If you ride 6 hour races you will need a engine piston every 10 races ,that will get crazy expensive , forks will need a service every 50 hours max as will shock

 

 

Thanks for not contributing to the topic to share irrelevant speculation...

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No concerns on the AER’s. Scratch a tube not going to lose air, separate chamber. Personally I didn’t care for them stock. The valving seemed firm for Moto and I’m 185lbs. They held up in the stroke and didn’t settle in corners so I had to compensate with very low psi. After revalve they’re great. Like pillows over chop. One air valve, easy. IMO this gives you an extra tuning option. Adjust PSI before jumping on more than 2 compression clicks. IMO ambient temperature has more of an affect than use in regards to PSI increase. And yes a couple pounds difference is noticeable. After riding different terrain you will have your “go to” PSI “spring rate”. Hard pack chop less, sand with bottoming rollers more. Soap box: The has been internet experts have killed the rep of the air fork. OK, sure 3 chambers on the Showa sounds like a PITA. I hope KTM/Husky stick with the air fork. It’s lighter and follows the ground better than spring. Biggest thing I noticed over spring is small bump absorption and how well the front tracked in flat corners.

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Thanks for not contributing to the topic to share irrelevant speculation...

Its very relevant if you don't service it within 50 hours it can fail , I love the aer and I'm sharing that it's not a ride and forget fork , if you don't want to listen it's your call
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Its very relevant if you don't service it within 50 hours it can fail , I love the aer and I'm sharing that it's not a ride and forget fork , if you don't want to listen it's your call

You can only lead a horse to water mog
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19 hours ago, redcouch1212 said:

So whats the consensus on these WP forks? Have WP addressed and corrected all the issues and growing pains of the new design? How fun is it setting fork PSI, or is there anyone using nitrogen as a more stable alternative and what is that experience? Can I afford to scratch the fork tubes on rocks on the 3rd loop of a NHHA? Can I assume the feeling and performance is still true and these are great forks? Thanks in advance!

 

18 hours ago, mog said:

If you ride 6 hour races you will need a engine piston every 10 races ,that will get crazy expensive , forks will need a service every 50 hours max as will shock

 

 

No, its not relevant. Engine pistons have nothing to do with this, aside from the fact that youre taking an extreme and using it as an average to make an inaccurate point, and you make it sound like racing a four stroke is financially irrational even though a lot, or most people do it on average. Then you add I will need to service my suspension, doesn't pertain to any of the topic questions and is very redundant(all suspension needs maintenance). Service intervals are recommended by my suspension guy, someone who would better know what my suspension is going through. Ive also noticed you've got two other of your cronies giving you support and also adding nothing to the topic, which leads me to believe youre just one of those guys who lives on internet forums with nothing to add(ironically Im asking for regurgitated information and you don't even provide that). Not to mention you think its very relevant suspension could fail after 50 hours, when the topic is concerned about the suspension possibly failing before reasonable expectations(and if that concern has been corrected). I figured Id nip it in the butt and deter these kind of responses, but it looks like Im just going to get more push back. So forget it, very good input mog, thank you very much. Everyone elses input is greatly appreciated, please keep them coming.

Edited by redcouch1212

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Lol have it your way , your aggressive tone turns me off anyway , and a 250f is a ticking time bomb for 6 Hours races , the pistons I promise you won't go much past 60 hours if your a decent level of rider , it makes 44hp at 14k , it's not designed to last for 100s of hours , again you asked how reliable the forks are , I stated they are reliable when serviced and you didn't like that answer either , I have owned tons of ktms and specifically lots of 250sxf including a 2017 , you have a great day and all the best in your quest to run an sxf in the way you describe

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Maybe you should ask this question to your suspension guy

And the aer is not like a normal fork , it will fail if you just ride it and ride it , a normal fork doesn't fail , it can leak the oil out but it won't fail , the aer will , I love ktm but you want the bike to be something is isn't

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No, its not relevant. Engine pistons have nothing to do with this, aside from the fact that youre taking an extreme and using it as an average to make an inaccurate point, and you make it sound like racing a four stroke is financially irrational even though a lot, or most people do it on average. Then you add I will need to service my suspension, doesn't pertain to any of the topic questions and is very redundant(all suspension needs maintenance). Service intervals are recommended by my suspension guy, someone who would better know what my suspension is going through. Ive also noticed you've got two other of your cronies giving you support and also adding nothing to the topic, which leads me to believe youre just one of those guys who lives on internet forums with nothing to add(ironically Im asking for regurgitated information and you don't even provide that). Not to mention you think its very relevant suspension could fail after 50 hours, when the topic is concerned about the suspension possibly failing before reasonable expectations(and if that concern has been corrected). I figured Id nip it in the butt and deter these kind of responses, but it looks like Im just going to get more push back. So forget it, very good input mog, thank you very much. Everyone elses input is greatly appreciated, please keep them coming.

A bit dramatic. Mog knows those forks as well as most tuners. He also cares about race bikes as a whole being maintained well. He figured you were a racer and responded as such. You got bothered by that and I just can't get my head around why. He has experience with the forks and you shit on it.

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4 minutes ago, mog said:

Maybe you should ask this question to your suspension guy

And the aer is not like a normal fork , it will fail if you just ride it and ride it , a normal fork doesn't fail , it can leak the oil out but it won't fail , the aer will , I love ktm but you want the bike to be something is isn't

20 hours ago, redcouch1212 said:

I race Desert, or Cross Country depending on what side of the country you come from, B class, and I use a local suspension tuner(same guy always). High speeds, slows speeds over rocks(note common and potential damage to forks), hill climbs(rocks again), dust, averaging from as short as 1 hour to as long as 6 hours per event. Did I mention a lot of rocks? Pending a new bike purchase, Im looking at getting a 250 four stroke, and I wanna stay KTM, so theres interest in the 250 XCF(but the YZFX makes a lot of sense). So my concerns are, prep time prior to race start I don't care to be adding another step of setting air fork PSI, high speeds in dust I don't want to find myself going over the handlebars because the forks have collapsed, rock damage to stanchion compromising the fork, heat build up and ambient temperature change over the course of a 2-4hour race effecting my apparent spring rate. I immediately thought, looks like Ill have to pony up a few extra hundred bucks for the spring conversion since this corrects all of my concerns, but then I call up my suspension guy to get his opinion before purchasing a new bike, and he goes "no no don't waste your money on the spring kit, I got the air fork working GREAT!" OK awesome, so now if I insist on the spring kit Im asking him to delve into something he hasn't invested experience in and Im going against his recommendation. Or I go to another tuner. Or I cooperate and go air fork, but at what cost?

 

8 minutes ago, mog said:

Lol have it your way , your aggressive tone turns me off anyway , and a 250f is a ticking time bomb for 6 Hours races , the pistons I promise you won't go much past 60 hours if your a decent level of rider , it makes 44hp at 14k , it's not designed to last for 100s of hours , again you asked how reliable the forks are , I stated they are reliable when serviced and you didn't like that answer either , I have owned tons of ktms and specifically lots of 250sxf including a 2017 , you have a great day and all the best in your quest to run an sxf in the way you describe

Lets be honest, its doesn't turn you off, youll come back to argue youre completely out of line disposition so long as I choose to keep it going(that's what people who live on internet forums live for). You never made the point they were reliable when serviced, Ive quoted you on that before, stop trying to twist your words and save reputation. You do a very bad job of reading the content of the topic and posts, I don't think you can manage to save this endeavor.

 

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12 minutes ago, hondaman331 said:


A bit dramatic. Mog knows those forks as well as most tuners. He also cares about race bikes as a whole being maintained well. He figured you were a racer and responded as such. You got bothered by that and I just can't get my head around why. He has experience with the forks and you shit on it.

 

13 hours ago, rcmxracing said:

No concerns on the AER’s. Scratch a tube not going to lose air, separate chamber. Personally I didn’t care for them stock. The valving seemed firm for Moto and I’m 185lbs. They held up in the stroke and didn’t settle in corners so I had to compensate with very low psi. After revalve they’re great. Like pillows over chop. One air valve, easy. IMO this gives you an extra tuning option. Adjust PSI before jumping on more than 2 compression clicks. IMO ambient temperature has more of an affect than use in regards to PSI increase. And yes a couple pounds difference is noticeable. After riding different terrain you will have your “go to” PSI “spring rate”. Hard pack chop less, sand with bottoming rollers more. Soap box: The has been internet experts have killed the rep of the air fork. OK, sure 3 chambers on the Showa sounds like a PITA. I hope KTM/Husky stick with the air fork. It’s lighter and follows the ground better than spring. Biggest thing I noticed over spring is small bump absorption and how well the front tracked in flat corners.

Here is how a "racer" responds. Take notes chronie.

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Here is how a "racer" responds. Take notes chronie.

As a racer, I don't ask stupid questions about whether or not fork tubes scratch or get in an tizzy over whether my air forks are gonna lose air. I keep my shit tight, the manual has a maintenance log you should follow. Follow it and you'll be fine. Simple. Stretch it or take some internet warrior advice instead will probably get you to the failures you're so worried about. Most racers know that. Chronie.
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I feel sorry for you , I honestly do

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So these forks have been out for a while now, and initially they had very positive reviews but I never trust early reviews from a naturally profit minded industry promoting new products. Ive been researching this morning, clocks been doing laps and no one wants to spend their whole day researching and filtering recent and relevant information. So what is the current climate regarding these forks? Ive noted one issue with the forks sticking near the bottom of their stroke, is this issue resolved? Whats the next issue?
I race Desert, or Cross Country depending on what side of the country you come from, B class, and I use a local suspension tuner(same guy always). High speeds, slows speeds over rocks(note common and potential damage to forks), hill climbs(rocks again), dust, averaging from as short as 1 hour to as long as 6 hours per event. Did I mention a lot of rocks? Pending a new bike purchase, Im looking at getting a 250 four stroke, and I wanna stay KTM, so theres interest in the 250 XCF(but the YZFX makes a lot of sense). So my concerns are, prep time prior to race start I don't care to be adding another step of setting air fork PSI, high speeds in dust I don't want to find myself going over the handlebars because the forks have collapsed, rock damage to stanchion compromising the fork, heat build up and ambient temperature change over the course of a 2-4hour race effecting my apparent spring rate. I immediately thought, looks like Ill have to pony up a few extra hundred bucks for the spring conversion since this corrects all of my concerns, but then I call up my suspension guy to get his opinion before purchasing a new bike, and he goes "no no don't waste your money on the spring kit, I got the air fork working GREAT!" OK awesome, so now if I insist on the spring kit Im asking him to delve into something he hasn't invested experience in and Im going against his recommendation. Or I go to another tuner. Or I cooperate and go air fork, but at what cost?
So whats the consensus on these WP forks? Have WP addressed and corrected all the issues and growing pains of the new design? How fun is it setting fork PSI, or is there anyone using nitrogen as a more stable alternative and what is that experience? Can I afford to scratch the fork tubes on rocks on the 3rd loop of a NHHA? Can I assume the feeling and performance is still true and these are great forks? Thanks in advance!

Unless you spend all your time at 13k rpms, the yam fx is a no brainer. Unless you put sss cartridges the aer's you'll already be second best. Plus you can get the fx a grand cheaper at least. Your money. Doesn't bother me a bit wearing orange gear and riding a blue bike.
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19 minutes ago, motocrotts said:


Unless you spend all your time at 13k rpms, the yam fx is a no brainer. Unless you put sss cartridges the aer's you'll already be second best. Plus you can get the fx a grand cheaper at least. Your money. Doesn't bother me a bit wearing orange gear and riding a blue bike.

Youre right, the Yamaha is an obvious, cant go wrong choice. Might go that way, still investigating the options though...

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38 minutes ago, hondaman331 said:


As a racer, I don't ask stupid questions about whether or not fork tubes scratch or get in an tizzy over whether my air forks are gonna lose air. I keep my shit tight, the manual has a maintenance log you should follow. Follow it and you'll be fine. Simple. Stretch it or take some internet warrior advice instead will probably get you to the failures you're so worried about. Most racers know that. Chronie.

Haha, try harder...

37 minutes ago, mog said:

I feel sorry for you , I honestly do

Of course you feel that way, you replied to a topic you apparently had no business in, I checked you, and now youre embarrassed and trying to justify your relevance. You could have just moved on, but you pursued this rabbit hole(all the while still providing no information). Remember, this is the post youre trying defend here...

 

19 hours ago, mog said:

If you ride 6 hour races you will need a engine piston every 10 races ,that will get crazy expensive , forks will need a service every 50 hours max as will shock

 

 

What good is that? Thanks for trying to hijack my thread

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