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Whatever happened to "fork tanks"?


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I'm calling them that cause I don't know what they are really called. They were all the rage then they just faded away. There were tanks, kits to make your bars into tanks, single, double, seperate, combined, now? Nothing. Did they work? If so, how? Why? Gimmick? Any real tech reviews or just hype? Did Bigfoot use fork tanks? Does he still use them? 

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Nope. They were some kind of air tank for better fork action. Supposedly you got better plushness on trails but could do supercross jumps. Sounds fishy as hell but the magazines touted them for awhile.

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Nope. They were some kind of air tank for better fork action. Supposedly you got better plushness on trails but could do supercross jumps. Sounds fishy as hell but the magazines touted them for awhile. Also called sub tanks or volume chambers. Enzo racing, a company called ttr, I think even yoshimura made them. Mostly I remember people making their own. 

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I am really old, and never tried them either. Some mx and off road pros did use them though. I have 02 and 05 ktms with wp forks. Love the bikes, hate the forks. Not very plush on small stuff. Rrvalved, resprung, tuned, still suck on small stuff. (Rocks\roots).  Thought maybe these would help. Also have a 2000 xr 250, love it, but it has the opposite problem: very plush but way too soft on big stuff. Already have expensive custom fork springs. The stiffest made, still way soft. I weigh 220. Was hoping sub tanks might help one or both bikes. I remember an old dirt bike magazine test where they said" why doesn't the factory add these"? The theory seems sound, but I ain't no suspension guru. Why I am asking. But Jeff Emig used them. Pretty sure he knows more than me. 

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I would just jam some kyb forks on that thing if you can figure out a way to kit them on there. Certainly could come up with some sort of triple clamp combo to do a front end swap. Couldnt be any happier with my KYB SSS forks on my YZF with a slight revalve. The tanks are just sort of a band aid solution, in my opinion. 

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You should be able to swap to another fork setup that works way better than those old WP's for about $500 if you wait for the right deal. I did one fork swap for right at $350 on one bike. If you like the bike, and the forks are the only issue, then a fork swap is the cheapest way to go. As far as good forks, KYB 46/48 closed and open, Showa 47mm TC, and Marzocchi PFP48 have all done well for me.

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I have the Kreft Moto Plush Tank on my Gasgas. The EX 350F fork (AER) works very well when pushing hard but has a bit of mid-stroke harshness when the pace isn't sufficient. I had removed the tank prior to racing a hare scramble, and I definitely noticed its absence. It takes some of the edge off larger hits (rocks) at modest speeds. This past race, I had the tank installed and set to the "plush" mode. This event included an mx course, and the fork ended up using all of its travel but didn't feel harsh at all. I'm in the older and slower class (C 50+), and I do feel the Plush Tank does work to reduce impacts felt by the rider. 

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They increase fork volume which helps to lower internal outer chamber pressure when the fork compresses. Similar to lowering oil height.

There are other abilities available with them but generally are not utilized. 

Edited by rjg
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The goal is to increase the forks volume (= lower oil height) on the low speed movement. On high speed movement the restriction between the forks and the tank, that is often variable, enable the oil/air to go in the tank and you end up with a higher oil volume.

I made my own a few years ago on a 2008 KTM XC and the result was ok, I could feel the setting (variable restriction) from open (plush) to close (more bottoming resistance and ramp up). If I was riding again trail on an older bike I will do it again but it will not change a trash forks in to a golden one, there is more then that to do !

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Your XR isn't the type of fork that sub tanks would be effective on. I don't know about the KTM's but if I were you I'd swap CR forks onto the XR if you really like the bike. If it really isn't  the bike you really want then sell them all and buy a new bike.....sorry but you could spend a lot of time, money and effort and still not be satisfied.

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15 hours ago, Budlite said:

Your XR isn't the type of fork that sub tanks would be effective on. I don't know about the KTM's but if I were you I'd swap CR forks onto the XR if you really like the bike. If it really isn't  the bike you really want then sell them all and buy a new bike.....sorry but you could spend a lot of time, money and effort and still not be satisfied.

Yeah. I've already done that with the 05 ktm. It's my 5th ktm and my favorite when it runs but it's been a lemon. But I have a ton of ktm parts. Eventually I'll buy a much newer bike and keep the recycled orange road cone as a backup. I truly like the bike. I'll probably just put up with the funky fork.

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