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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, so I crumbled under the pressure, which BTW was completely internal. So I guess that means I exploded (?)

Anyway, adjustable (comp/reb damping, preload) Andreani Misano Evo 20mm Cartridges and Nitron R3 (low + high speed compression damping, rebound damping) shock on order from Fast Bike Industries.

More to come, hopefully, next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Imploded? . A stomach singularity? - It happens! - it's the dark side.
I actually think it has to be "exploded", as the pressure was internal so, physically, one can not implode but rather has to explode.

As a member of the scientific community, I am certain that you will agree with my educated conclusion.

I am open to discussion regarding the question "does a dark side singularity obey the basic principals of physics?" but this is bound to lead us further into a series of rabbit holes that might adversely affect the structure of the forum, motorcycling, the internet, the world as we know it and maybe the universe itself.
 

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I am open to discussion regarding the question "does a dark side singularity obey the basic principals of physics?" but this is bound to lead us further into a series of rabbit holes that might adversely affect the structure of the forum, motorcycling, the internet, the world as we know it and maybe the universe itself.
As an ex nuclear scientist (for almost a full year) : Let me just put this out there:-

THE WORLD IS FLAT. This factoid complements the simple truth that GRAVITY DOES NOT EXIST - It's just that the world sucks!.

Rabbit holes or worm holes? - A bit Alice vs Albert - but we all have a cross to bear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
And so it begins...

Had my farewell ride with the stock suspension, yesterday. Really nothing to complain about, other than the fact that is does get bouncy over choppy asphalt.

Came back home and quickly got the forks off. Really easy to do. The only two problems were:

1. Decide on the best way to lift the front wheel in the air and keep the bike up, once forks are out.
2. Get in to release the top clamp bolts (see picture). Just not enough room to maneuver freely with the star bit set I have. They (T45 bit, specifically) are a bit too long. Ordered shorter ones for the install. I will need to get a torque wrench in there.

Driving up to Hendersonville, NC on Wednesday. That's where Fast Bike Industries are located. Will have them set the cartridges up.
 

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1. Decide on the best way to lift the front wheel in the air and keep the bike up, once forks are out.
2. Get in to release the top clamp bolts (see picture). Just not enough room to maneuver freely with the star bit set I have. They (T45 bit, specifically) are a bit too long. Ordered shorter ones for the install. I will need to get a torque wrench in there..
1) Happily - should I ever need it - I have a head-stock stand :wink:
2) A short arm normal L key will be enough - usually. I doubt you can over torque then. But I will look and see if we Euros (with shorter stems) are equally affected. I know this sounds contrary - but I prefer the wider spacing of the US blinkers. But no - I'll stick with them as they are.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
1. I thought about the head-stock stand. I rarely do anything the calls for one (like taking the fork off...). It's not needed to take off the front wheel. Maybe next investment.

2. Indeed. Truth be told, I did not check to see if this is an issue (no mention in the workshop manual). I have the sockets and just assumed that they will work/fit. I will take a picture of the "solution" that I used loosen, although it will not be applicable for using a torque wrench when tightening. Ended up finding a L-type T45 in the toolbox, but was done already.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
My fork adventure continued, as planned, when I decided that the day before Thanksgiving will be great for travel and took a two hour (120 miles, not 30 like what 2 hours of travel will get you in SoCal) trip to Hendersonville, NC, the home of Fast Bike Industries. As mentioned before, they are the official US distributors for both Andreani and Nitron. Nestled in the mountains, about 20 miles from Ashville, it's a really nice place to visit, in general.

FBI has a small store front, with an office space and a very clean and well equipped workshop in the back. It is clearly suspension focused. Displays in the store feature different Andreani and Nitron models. Definitely some drooling action resulted.

Upon my arrival, I met David -- the owner, Tige -- the head technician and Burch -- in charge of marketing and sales. All three are avid motorcyclists, as one can guess, with riding, racing and significant suspension related experience. David mentioned to me that he has just returned states side, after spending the second half of the season working on the American Racing KTM Moto2 team. As it goes, we quickly started exchanging motorcycling stories and experiences, although I had little to contribute, compared to the others...

At some point I had to let them go back to work, so I left my precious forks in their very capable hands and went to get breakfast and a cup of coffee in the picturesque town center with my lovely wife, who joined my on the trip.

Burch was kind enough to snap a few pics of the installation process, that I can use in my write-up.

The Andreani Misano Evo kit is an upgrade over the previous version, with better internal coating and upgraded caps. The price of the kit includes springs, selected for weight and riding type. Valving is based on a three-orifice design, which provides simplicity coupled with precise damping and easy to adjust action.

The caps -- the only parts that can be seen once they are installed, are not as beautiful as some of the competition, but they are not bad looking either. They definitely look better than the OEM. This wasn't a factor for me, because I was more interested in function over form.

As with other modern setups, one leg controls compression damping, while the other controls rebound. As can be expected both damping and spring pre-load is adjustable, with a pretty wide range. Preload uses a 17mm wrench/socket and the damping is controlled through with a 3mm allen on top.

Unfortunately, the amount of information available regarding these cartridges in the US is minimal. There is more info from European and Asian sources, where Andreani is more widely used.

David, who has a lot of installing, tuning and racing experience with these kits told me that he really believes that, for the price, there is nothing better in the market today. He also said that their real-time riding and racing performance, as he himself experienced both as a racer and a tuner, does not fall short of the Golden or the WP options, which cost about time and a half to double.



FBI did not raise the prices on the Evo version, although pricing from Andreani is a bit higher. At $595, springs included, it is a really very nice deal.

Here are a few pics side by side with the OEM internals.







The springs installed on the Andreani were chosen as 7.8 N/mm, about 10% heavier rate than the OEM, to better fit my fat a** (195# + gear). As can be seen, they are straight rate and not progressive.

Tige went quickly to work and replaced the cartridges.





The OEM cartridges went into the ultrasonic bath, for cleaning, and into the box for safe keeping.



 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
A couple of hours after dropping the forks off with FBI, I got a call from Burch that they are ready. Quick drive back to the shop, a bit more chitchat and we were ready to say our goodbyes. Had another two hours' drive back home and did not want to get stuck in Thanksgiving traffic.

Here are a few more installation pics:









Two hours later, we were was back home, with some time left to install the forks on the bike, before heading out to a Zoso concert, later in the evening...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Installation of the forks was pretty straight forward. Just following the very simple instructions in the Manual (with reading glasses, @barbagris).

Only issue was that my setup with the Renthal bars in the forward position and the Brembo RCS M/C were interfering with getting the right fork leg to the correct location (height). I had to readjust the brake line connection, which took a another two minutes.

The only thing is that access to adjustments is not possible with my aftermarket bars in their current position. I will have to decide if I want to move them back, in order to get better access to the adjusters.



The rest went quickly:





 

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Discussion Starter #11
As it was getting late, I only managed to take the bike for a quick spin. More impressions will follow after a longer ride, in the coming days.

First impressions are that the ride is much more compliant, especially while negotiating less than perfect asphalt. Most of the choppiness of the OEM is gone. I also experience less dive while braking and a general more stable feel from the front. This is, by no means, a thorough analysis and will have to be followed with/after more (aggressive) riding.

It should be noted that the forks were set us on the "softer" side. David told me that this is how he prefers to set up road going bikes because, well, they spend most of their time on the road, at way less than 100% pace. He mentioned that the range of adjustment is more than sufficient when track setup is in order.

David was kind enough to give me his and his team's mobile numbers while adding: "if you have any question or need any help with adjustment, just give us a call".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As for the Nitron Shock, I ended up going with the NTR3, which is 3-way damping, preload and length adjustable.



It was ordered last week, already built-to-order in the UK and is on its way to FBI. Once arriving, it will be inspected and shipped to me. It is expected to be here next week, so I will probably we able to install it next weekend.

Can't wait.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
There is no doubt that KTM really hit the mark with the OEM suspension, while managing to keep costs low by not including adjustability.

Not surprisingly, though, installing better suspension components really transforms this bike from good to great. I am about half way into the process, with the forks fitted. So...

Took the bike for a longer ride today. Full gear on dry roads (compared to jeans and jacket on damp roads, yesterday) makes a difference. I was able to push the bike a bit more, although still only at road rather than track pace. The fact that it is National Turkey Day today really helped with empty roads, with most people either eating or sleeping their food off...

The difference with the new setup is very noticeable. Less dive and much more controlled weight transfer really help with smooth riding. In addition, sharp pavement irregularities, which used to jerk the front with the OEM suspension, are much less unsettling. You can still notice them through the bars but it really feels like the better damping is helping to keep the front down instead of becoming bouncy. The upgraded fork clearly does a better job tracking the road's surface.

The Andreani cartridges change the way the front feels and instill more confidence in the bike's handling in a straight line, during braking, accelerating and cornering. Can't wait to feel how they will pair up with the Nitron shock.

More to come.
 

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As for the Nitron Shock, I ended up going with the NTR3, which is 3-way damping, preload and length adjustable.
I am not sure I could live with that minty-blue spring though!.

Ditto Maxton Purple. Tbh - Not all that happy with WP-White.

One awaits photos. :grin:
 

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Thanks

Thanks for the awesome write-up mate.

i've been thinking to go with Andreani for the front since i watched this video

Basically they are the exclusive importer in Italy for Ohlins.
In addition, they also can build you a custom suspension for any bike with Ohlins components, even if Olhins doesn't make a specific SKU for the model.

For the 790, the Misano is their own product line, with components designed and built by them and tested with proprietary machinery.

I'm from Italy but live in Australia.
Unlike when i lived in Italy, now i can sometimes afford some less than reasonable expenses.
When i can, i like to buy products from these Italian companies that push the boundaries of technology and craftsmanship rather than cheaper options. However, usually, this comes at a hefty price.

In this case, it even cheaper than the competition, i guess I'll follow your path soon.


just not sure about the rear, thinking Ohlins but curious to hear your review on Nitron.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am not sure I could live with that minty-blue spring though!.
I did go with the minty-blue. I think it will look good on a black bike. They also have a metallic titanium black option, which I probably would have chosen on a KTM orange bike.
 

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The rest went quickly:

Thanks for sharing all of these man. Was contemplating between the Ohlins Nix30 and these. Yeah price difference is a lot, but judging from the last few pictures, doesn't look like you've got much room for adjusting fork height and the accessibility to the adjusters seems pretty tight.

Just 1 question:
What exactly is the difference between the stock bars and your Renthal bars?

Thanks man, really appreciate your thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for sharing all of these man. Was contemplating between the Ohlins Nix30 and these. Yeah price difference is a lot, but judging from the last few pictures, doesn't look like you've got much room for adjusting fork height and the accessibility to the adjusters seems pretty tight.

Just 1 question:
What exactly is the difference between the stock bars and your Renthal bars?

Thanks man, really appreciate your thread.
The Renthal bars are flatter and less swept back. This puts me in a more forward leaning position. See more info in my post, here.

As mentioned, I am running a aftermarket bars in the front position:

1. This should not be the case with the OEM bars. Definitely not in the rear, original position.
2. Any cartridges will have more or less the same accessibility.
3. I don't find it as a big issue. I will not be adjusting on a daily basis and if I move to the original bar position, there is no issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Nitron shock arrived, but I am traveling :sad:

Pictures and maybe even installation, tomorrow.
 

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The Renthal bars are flatter and less swept back. This puts me in a more forward leaning position. See more info in my post, here.

As mentioned, I am running a aftermarket bars in the front position:

1. This should not be the case with the OEM bars. Definitely not in the rear, original position.
2. Any cartridges will have more or less the same accessibility.
3. I don't find it as a big issue. I will not be adjusting on a daily basis and if I move to the original bar position, there is no issue.
Thanks man. Read that you're really tall as well hahah. So doubt I'll be needing the bars in the forward position.
 
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