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Old January 25th, 2014, 12:39 PM   #31
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Test Ride Report

Venue:
I have a route I call a 'standard ride' that takes us to breakfast at a famous biker hangout and back. It's a 75 mile loop that is at least 50% twisty corners. Been riding it for decades. I went alone today, so I could boogie without watching my mirrors for wifey etc. Weather was mid-to-upper 60's F., dry, with a thin overcast of clouds. Traffic was fairly light.

Bike:
2013 Hyperstrada, mechanically stock except for the Race Tech fork work. Rear shock set at zero preload, rebound at 1-1/2 turns out (standard per manual). Forks pulled up slightly, to the center of the mounting flats; that is how it was delivered. Rider at 175 lb. total weight. Tank bag only.

Ride/handling:
The first thing I noticed was that the little bumps I felt in my hands were mostly gone. Not as much dive under hard braking. I even tried it on the freeway coming home, and the hop at 70+ is also less by maybe a third. Felt a bit low at first, but did not sink too much in corners and held a line perfectly at any throttle setting. I got a toe down, but that was mostly sloppy foot position. I did not use any more or less lean angle, still trying to get used to the feel. Took a bit more effort in hard transitions, found myself heaving at the bars a bit, but that could have been related to some extra -um- enthusiasm. Got it up to speeds to which I must take the fifth without any sign of instability, even when I relaxed my grip.

Conclusion:
Need more time to get used to it, but it looks like the best $500 I've ever spent on a bike. And they didn't even give me a discount!

Usual disclaimers - no affiliation, no kickback, etc. etc. just a satisfied customer.

Last edited by zippy49; January 25th, 2014 at 12:59 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2014, 08:01 AM   #32
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Thanks for that Zippy!
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Old January 26th, 2014, 08:14 AM   #33
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Thanks for review, Zippy. So, is it a standard valving method or do they tailor it to individual's size/weight?

If it were half the price and I could do it myself, I'd be all in. Even if I did plan on Andreani's down the road.
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Old January 26th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #34
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It's tailored to riding style and weight. I agree with R/T that getting the spring rate right is paramount; all the other adjustments are just band-aids.

I read recently that Ohlins and Showa have different design philosophies about this, where Ohlins uses more rate and less damping and Showa does the opposite. But I would ask about the spring rate before I went for the Andreanis. I like the .85 kg/mm ones in my forks. If you are heavier or plan some track days you might want more. They should be able to supply what you need.

PS I forgot to mention the Dunlop Qualifier 3s. They could well have helped high speed stability.

Last edited by zippy49; January 26th, 2014 at 12:23 PM.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 10:33 AM   #35
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correction

Dang, I misread the email about the original spring rate - it was even weaker! The new springs are nearly 35% stiffer.

And the Gold Valve might have compression damping in it as well as rebound - hard to tell, as I know very little about cartridge suspension designs. I only know what I like...
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Old February 1st, 2014, 01:31 PM   #36
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Was at the dealer getting the recall dust seal put on and asked about the front shock. The mechanic- who is one of the best- said he would remove some of the air gap and then put fork oil in its place. I didnt think it would be that big of a difference but it really was a noticeable difference. The fork didnt nose dive at braking and was smoother over the bumps. $73 investment and improved handling and smoother rides. Not too bad.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 12:53 PM   #37
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Evolution Suspension

(Disclaimer, I have no idea about suspension nomenclature or any affiliation to the companies below. This is just some feedback on my experience)

Finally took the bike to Evolution Suspension in San Jose, CA. I spoke in depth to Rob the owner about the issue with the forks and availability of the Andreani. I also spoke to David at Fastbike about the Andreani's and what needs to be done to get them fitted.
After 2 days Rob had reworked the existing forks as the best solution for me (I dont like to bugger about with the suspension). Upgraded springs, repacked shims, new oil, new valves or whatever (he has some pictures I will add showing the old and the new).
He said the old forks had way too soft springs (I'm 165lb inc gear) and Ducati had packed them down to make them stiffer. he also said the holes to let the oil flow were way too small so when the fork compressed, it didn't really do much as the oil had no where to go and so the force came through the handlebars. He also said that with not too much cost increase, the valves could be changed to let the suspension do what it was suppose to do and no idea why Ducati didn't do / hasn't done this.
I took the bike for a quick ride, aimed for potholes and train tracks and the bike was super compliant, most, if not all of the "grainy, harsh feedback had gone" only issue was it did rise up once and hit me on the butt but that may have been over agressive riding over the train tracks. I'll collect the bike this week and give it a full test ride this weekend. Rob can tweak as necessary after my ride.

I'll keep ya posted
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Old March 17th, 2014, 01:29 PM   #38
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quanto costa?
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Old March 17th, 2014, 01:55 PM   #39
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$450
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Old March 17th, 2014, 02:22 PM   #40
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Thanks for that TWO!
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