Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Race Tech vs. Factory Connection vs. RG3

Recommended Posts

Can anyone offer a comparison between the three. As far as I can tell Factory and RG3 restack your oem shims and swap springs for your weight whereas Race Tech uses their gold valves (and costs more too). I'd like to save money, but I'm more interested in the long haul, meaning I'm not keen on the "Try it and if you don't like it get Race Tech" approach.

I konw this is a hot topic, but does anyone have experience with any two of these companies ...they are all reasonably close to me (L.A.).

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I revalved a friends XR400 shock right after they came out. My best friend does suspension, engine work and now makes aftermarket stuff for gasgas - Les Tinius at lt-racing. He gave me valving specs using the stock piston that he was using and it worked great.

I would go for the race tech base valves for the forks and the use the stock piston in the rear. The rear suspension on the XR has twice as much leverage compared to an MX'er - so a piston with larger passages won't buy you much - you'd just have to "valve the heck out of it" (lotsa shims) to get it to work well on high speed hits.

If you want to make sure it is "done right" the first time - send it to Les Tinius at lt-racing... Do a search on "les" "tinius" and/or "lt-racing" to see some comments about his work from others here on thumpertalk (cannondalers and husky forums, etc.)

- jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ill tell you this much. Race techs gold valve desing isnt better than the pistons in todays bikes. Its an old design. Ive had race tech before. And i like my suspesion with the proper springs, valving for my ability and weight withthe stock piston better than race techs. And its cheaper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the showa front forks on the XR400 - race-tech makes a complete base valve replacement kit. This give you an adjustable shim stack where there was none before. (I just got off the phone with my friend les and asked him the difference between this and what comes on 250, etc.)

He said he also makes some other internal mods to make them "work right". In other words, I would go with the race tech base valves and send your suspension to him (and noone else). Les is a race-tech dealer so he can line up the base valves, etc. His website is at www.lt-racing.com.

- jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd find someone local you're willing to work with that guarantees their work whose familiar with you're riding environment, your make/model of bike, your application, etc. If you go to a shop that does mostly MX work, they might not nail your application if you're doing mostly off road, trails, etc. Don't be in a hurry and do some checking, shopping & learning. There's more than one shop that knows what they're doing when it comes to suspension work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i may add my 2 cents...have you messed with the stock settings? The reason i ask is this, i'm a rather large guy, 285lbs and 5'11'', i thought about revalving/re-springing, but could no way afford it. A friend of mine referred me to his mechanic, that does race prep for a lot of privateers, and basically, he told me that he would get the stock stuff close to what i need. He put in heavier weight fork oil, adjusted compresion and rebound front and rear, and let me tell ya, what a difference! And it only cost me $160, and that included new fork seals.

I mainly do trail riding, both desert and woods, and i couldn't be happier with what he did! So, if you want to save some cash, look into making what you have work, good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THanks for all the feedback guys. I'm a biggish guy myself (ok, I'm a lightweight at 230) but I ride somewhat aggressively. Mostly high-speed desert stuff. The back isn't horrible, I've dialed it in about as good as it will get though (at least with me on the wrench). ...the front, however, is a different story, the stock springs simply aren't up to task, and neither is the rebound damping.

It makes for a tiring pogo-ride whenever the going gets bumpy at speed. I'll check into your friend Jeff, but depending on where he's at (I haven't looked yet) I may want to go to someone closer for cost reasons. ...but I will look into it.

I also posted this on the suspension forum and the concensus of folks in my area is that Factory Connection is an outstanding shop that specializes in Hondas ...so they may get the nod.

Anyway, a lot of good acvice. Thanks again! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because Race-tech makes a replacement base valve for the XR400 fork, and noone else does - I would send the fork to them or another shop that will valve and install this puppy for you. Going with this will give alot more flexibility in valving for your weight. For example, set up the slow speed dampening so that it doesn't wallow under the massive load (just kidding) and so that it is still compliant over washboard, rocks, roots, etc.

I talked to Les a little more - he modifies the internals on the XR250R (something to do with the mid-valve) to make them work better. For the 400, he just takes the race-tech base valve and sets it up for the individual rider - so you can have that done by any competent shop that does race-tech stuff.

- jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ill tell you this much. Race techs gold valve desing isnt better than the pistons in todays bikes.

Unfortunately, the XR400 pistons aren't exactly the same as the pistons in today's bikes.

I have done Race Tech valve upgrades in both the forks and shock of a DR-Z400 and an XR250. I thought they were great upgrades over stock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, the XR400 pistons aren't exactly the same as the pistons in today's bikes.

I have done Race Tech valve upgrades in both the forks and shock of a DR-Z400 and an XR250. I thought they were great upgrades over stock.

I agree with the Race Tech valves being an upgrade for the xr400. If you're mechanically inclined and have a service manual and the tools, the gold valve kit they sell comes with a video that shows you how to do the work. Not everybody has the tools or the time or feels comfortable doing this, but if you're one of those guys who likes mechanical projects and feels comfotable with taking the forks apart and putting them back together, then the gold valve kit might be worth looking into.

As someone earlier pointed out, you may want to do the easier & less expensive stuff first such as using spring rates to match your riding weight, trying a different fork/shock fluid or playing with the oil levels, clicker settings, making sure static & race sag are correct, etc. Those things can go a long way towards improving your suspension if you haven't already done so. The revalve is like icing on the cake :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again guys. THough I do a lot of my own mechanical stuff here, I prefer to send the suspension out. If I'm going to go through that hassle, I just want to get it fully taken care of and be done with it. :)

Thanks again for all the tips, I'm still doing research so I'm not in a hurry. ...the beauty of not having a truck to haul your own bike out riding is that you tend to have *lots* of time to get things taken care of! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be clear - the front forks are a different issue than the rear shock. And the rear shock piston on the XR is just fine - and I have installed about 10 race-tech gold valves in shocks for buddies, etc. Got into it for a bit, even bought my own nitrogen tank and filler guage. After a few of them, it gets old fast... (especially when done for free with the wife asking "what are you doing out there!" :) )

In the front fork - race tech makes an entire base valve assembly (not just a different piston) which is similar in design to a modern day upside down fork. What's in there to start out with is a tad crude. Once you start revalving the front - if you don't start out by putting one of these in there first, in my opinion, you are just wasting time and money.

- jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, when I look on their site, all I see listed for the XR4 is the Gold Valve Standard Type 1. Does this include the "Base Valve Assembly"? I may just send my forks and shock to Race Tech to set up (and skip the gold valves for the shock) but I want to knowwhat I'm talking about before I call them.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×