Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 06 February 11

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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VOLUME 57 ISSUE 6 FEBRUARY 11, 2020 P103 MSRP: $1795 Website: S TANDOUT FEATURE Top-level fully adjustable suspension with high- and low-speed damping settings RIDER AN ALYSIS Upgrading your suspension is by far the most impactful performance improvement you can make to a stock motorcycle. When you're ready to upgrade, there are several key features that you want to be certain to get in your upgraded components. First and foremost, you want as much adjust- ability as possible. From there, pay attention to spring rates, compression and rebound, and high- and low-speed settings. High- and low-speed adjust- ability allows you to fine-tune the sus- pension so that it performs perfectly in every situation. The Touratech Extreme rear shock offers all of that, along with expert tuning assistance from staff members at Touratech USA. We ordered our components online, where the process starts by answer- ing a few questions: your weight, what type of riding you do, how much gear you carry, and how often you ride two- up. Once all of this was calculated, Touratech USA installed a spring heavy enough to support my needs and shipped the parts to me. The installa- tion was straightforward, and within a couple of hours I was ready to begin the first step of properly adjusting my new suspension by setting the sag. The rear shock offers 15mm of pre- load adjustment—almost double what SHOCK LOWDOWN the factory shock has—so I'll have plenty of adjustment when we're two- up on long trips and fully loaded. Set- ting the other adjustments is a matter of trial and error. The setup was pretty good right out of the box, but I knew that with a little work I could make it perfect. I've upgraded the suspension on every motorcycle that I've ever owned—it's that important to me—but the feeling on the first upgraded ride always surprises me. It's like you're riding a completely new machine. This was certainly the case with the newly installed Touratech components: the bike is so much livelier and more predictable, especially in the turns. Soft factory suspension tends to allow for way too much "push" in turns. You don't realize how much it's actually happening until you experience the same bike with upgraded suspension. With the new suspension installed, the bike goes exactly where you tell it to go and the front is planted and predictable. The Touratech Extreme shock also offers position-dependent compres- sion dampening, which prevents the shocks from bottoming out on big harsh bumps. This is a feature that is especially important for ADV riders carrying heavy loads like camping gear on long expeditions. As I ex- perimented with the compression and rebound settings, the feel of the ma- chine improved, and within a couple of hours I felt like I had it right. Riding off-road or on the street, the improve- ments are so dramatic that it's worth every penny of the investment. Speaking of the investment, Tourat- •SPECIAL TOOL NEEDED FOR DAMPING ADJUSTMENTS. THE TOOL IS INCLUDED, BUT A SIMPLE FLAT-BLADE SCREWDRIVER ADJUSTMENT WOULD BE BETTER. •HYDRAULIC SPRING PRELOAD ADJUSTMENT •HIGH- AND LOW-SPEED COMPRESSION DAMPING ADJUST •ANTI-BOTTOMING TECHNOLOGY ech offers lots of options to choose from, and pricing varies widely based on features: limited manual adjustment vs. electronic damping, preload adjustments with additional two-way manual compression adjust- ers, and more. Depending on your budget, you can simply purchase a new spring for your current shock or go all the way with their Extreme rear shock. The same is true for the front end; you can choose springs only, like I did, or a complete conversion to cartridge forks, depending on the make and model of your machine. They also offer options for lowering your machine if you're vertically challenged. The bottom line is, you don't have to take out a second mortgage to get better suspension, and once you experience really great suspension, you won't want to go home anyway. By Keith Dowdle

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