Installing Ohlins on my Beta…
This year, I didn’t get a Racing Beta as all the past years. The real reason was the oil injection and nothing else. In our job we refill the bikes two or three times per day and this means that among all the bikes that had the oil injection I was forced to mix, calculate the fuel poured in the tank and estimate the oil needed, watching the exhaust pipe being pissed when it spilled the oil or terrified when it was extra dry after a long ride hoping i did not mix the oil wrong. Carrying 300 ml of oil in my back pack, among all the parts I may need for the riders, added extra weight to my back, while my stuff close to the oil bottle were always oily no matter the oil box, It always spill. After all, the only thing that really matters between the RR and the racing model is the suspension. This Kayaba fork is mesmerising if set correctly to riders specs and measurement. My options were two. Get a racing model and install a pump, or get an RR and install a nice suspension. The scale weighted on the second option for one reason only. By upgrading the suspension I had the oportunity to change and test also rear suspension in the RR model instead of getting the Kayaba and Sachs combo that I already knew for many days riding and had a complete opinion about it’s perfect delivery. After all, besides the riding pleasure of riding a bike, we the insane ones, receives a huge amount of pleasure by upgrading our motorcycles and testing new gear. Its a compulsive moto guy disorder which gives me great pleasure so why cure it?
How about my suspension upgrade experience? Well, I have fitted an Ohlins TTX in my 2011 Gasgas EC 300. I also fitted a perfect WP changing clamps and front wheel to the same bike. In my Xtrainer I used, Boano front (the best upgrade for Xtrainer) and Fox rear (sucks). In my 450 KTM I used White Power top line front and upgraded rear with no benefit at all. My Husamberg FE 450 turned into 390, came from UK with a perfect catridge kit SHOWA called twin chamber, Previous owner was nuts fitting those beauties on this beast and the result was awesome, maybe the best suspension I had in my life. Last trial was the KYB on my racing which came from the factory and a nice sets of WP on my KTM 950.
Enough with the confessions and straight to the juice. TTX in front and TTX flow DV in the rear and yeas you guessed it right. Ohlins. You may ask me why TTX and not the RXF and I will come to you saying it’s a 2k euros distance between them that made me choose the first and look what was on their website: Never mind the outside … it’s the inside that counts. True for the MX cartridge kit with the powerful TTX-technology.
Does this mean the extra 2k is only a marketing purchase? Well, I will find out later. Anyway, installing the rear suspension I weighted both the TTX and the Sachs looking at a 400grams difference on behalf of the ohlins, a fact that made me wonder why. In a world of trying to reduce the weight of our bike, I added half a kilo by upgrading it ? Well, there is a counteract in this process though. The front is 550 grams lighter so you gain almost 150 grams less from the total. Not significant but still, you are not adding weight I you go full rear and front and only front actually reduces bike weight for the ones who care.
Fitting the rear is a piece of cake, bolts off ,remove Sachs, install Ohlins, bolts on. The front requires a lot of suspension knowledge and it can’t be fitted by amateurs easily, plus you need a couple of tools, like the special wrenches to unscrew the suspension head and other little stuff. Once fitted the head is the only visible difference on the suspension and a lovely one, gold painted and with one compression setting screw between two air bleeders (?)
Kit comes in a fancy box, with all manuals and a good set of decals, for your forks and bike. You need oil and your springs.
Riding the bike you feel the difference between the two setups immediately. Bikes is turned into a racing model having a Kayaba fork feeling (you know, stiff, controllable, reading, precise) but hard on the hands. Definitely needs revalving on riders specs as soon as possible but I would strongly recommend to wait for 5 to 10 hours of riding to break it in and really estimate if that’s needed. The rear, using a 5.4 srping was still hard for me and my dimensions. You know short and chubby so I will make chances to it as well. Feels very hard even in the lower setting and not so comfortable on xtreme tracks full of rocks when you want to go fast.
Does it worth it? Well, only if you are a crazy upgrade moto enthusiast where you will feel super happy by seeing your bike with Ohlins suspensions on. The original suspension of the bike is super good. If you want to make changes, I strongly suggest you experiment with the original ones by changing springs, oil level, revalving it and set up Sag and other adjustments. Results will be great and cheap. The upgrade to TTX is for the ones who don’t mind to spend and experiment since it’s a setup that needs improvement, revalving, spring change and adjustments in workshops that will cost time and money.
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