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A Kiwi idea provides full damping adjustment for basic forks

You might have been halfway through a turn and you hit a sizeable bump. Unable to cope, your bike’s non-adjustable front suspension sends you off-line and possibly onto the other side of the road. Now an innovative idea, Sports Valve, offers a new-tech solution for old-school suspenders to keep your bike on line.

Developed across the Tasman, Sports Valve can be fitted to old-style damper rod front forks, offering adjustable rebound and compression damping (note, these units are not suited to modern cartridge type or inverted forks).

Available for older forks of all makes and models with outter diameters 32mm to 43mm, Sports Motorcycles developed and patented the Sports Valve for road and race bike applications, where each kit is made to order.

The design is a boon for owners of older race bikes looking for a level of fine suspension tuning to cut those lap times.

Once fitted, you can enjoy a safer riding experience knowing the front end will be better able to deal with those hidden bumps and pot-holes on the road, and G-forces on the track.

For more info, visit: sportsvalve.com

forks-and-valve

Making it

The kit consists of a pair of specially developed valves and a long 10mm diameter dual tool to make the adjustments via the top of the fork tubes. These are designed by Robinson in-house and made to order using the latest CAD drawing and CNC machining processes.

Because many older machines have replacement forks with slightly different piston rod diameters or modifications through their respective model years, Sports Motorcycles require the actual damper rod measurement (to 0.1mm accuracy) in order to produce the Sports Valve to the exacting tolerances required for your forks.

 Fitting

Installation is relatively easy for a mechanically minded person as they are similar to fitting traditional emulators. Alternatively have a skilled person do the installation for you.

Another advantage is being able to use thinner fork oil, the nirvana for suspension tuners because it lasts longer and flows easier. Sports Valve allows for 5W fork oil or less.

 Externally adjustable

The Sports Valve kit includes a long dual rod with T-handles to make the adjustments for the inner and outer rods. The inner rod turns inside the outer rod and adjusts the rebound damping, and the outer rod adjusts the compression damping. The inner (rebound) has 30 clicks, while the outer (compression) rod has no clicks so you need to count the turns  ̶  about six. In summary, count the rebound clicks and count the number of compression turns (or part turns), and record each change.

By TERRY STEVENSON

Photos Glyn Robinson & Terry Stevenson

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