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Carpetbombing

Mupo fork internal upgrades - any first hand experience?

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Carpetbombing

Mupo sells a FZ-07 Hydraulic Kit (their version of cartridge emulators) for under $200 and full cartridge system (22 caliber, they call them) for under $600. I'm talking with Lee at Lemick Racing about these two options. There is very little english language chatter on the internet about Mupo. It sounds like most of the competing options have some shortcomings. Has anyone seen these in person? How well designed / engineered are they? Has anyone ridden these?

 

I have complete 2018 forks on my 2015 FZ-07, so the .92kg/mm springs should be about right for my 230lb weight - the emulators would work well for me with the stock springs. I think I'll be the guinea pig on this one, but I'm really on the fence about the 'Hydraulic Kit' emulators vs. the full cartridge kit for 3x the cost. I have a K-tech Razor-R on the back that I just installed; I haven't even ridden it yet.

 

Anyone? Thanks!

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topazsparrow
Posted (edited)

The race tech emulators are well received by most street riders on the forums here. Not quite "race ready" but considered by @pattonme to be the "80%" solution or something like that.

Edited by topazsparrow

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Carpetbombing
Posted (edited)

I had RT emulators decades ago on a Suzuki Bandit 400. I was happy with them then. I'm just curious about the Mupo option. Maybe they're better in some way? My suspension guy recommended the Andreani cartridge kit, but after reading up on those here, it's clear engineering choices differ between brands, and some are markedly better than others as turnkey street solutions. The cost is more or less the same (emulator to emulator or cartridge to cartridge) and I'd rather get the 'best' one for my money. I don't know enough about the finer points of valving methods, etc. to differentiate. The two Mupo options look interesting.

Edited by Carpetbombing

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Adkfz07

Also interested in this, I'm sure it probably on this forum somewhere already but finding the right setup for the money is always key.  I remember doing a bunch of research back when I upgraded my sv650 but man was I stressed about getting the right stuff.

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fzar
On 3/6/2019 at 2:43 PM, Carpetbombing said:

Mupo sells a FZ-07 Hydraulic Kit (their version of cartridge emulators) for under $200 and full cartridge system (22 caliber, they call them) for under $600.

Fire up a link if you could.👍

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Carpetbombing
Posted (edited)

I got the Mupo Hydraulic Kit from https://www.lemickracing.com/ - it's not listed on their limited website, just contact Lee there and tell him what you want. He doesn't stock them, it's custom built / valved for you in Italy then shipped here. It took me a little over a month to get mine. Let me just say for the record that Lee Foley at Lemick spent an extraordinary amount of time responding to emails from me, and was supremely helpful. Way above and beyond in terms of support, though there's an expectation that you have a basic knowledge of what you're doing; he's not going to take your hand and walk you though every little detail. I've been through quite a few sets of forks before.

A little about me - I was a club racer for five years in my 20's and had an expert license for a year. I'm in my 40's now, and still appreciate a well sorted out machine, but no longer ride anywhere near the bleeding edge. I'm 230 lbs. I have an '08 R1 for going fast - the FZ-07 is my really fun lightweight in-town scooter that my wife will actually ride on. (she hates the R1) Honestly, I adore the FZ-07. The motor with the Akrapovic is so, so fun. I put SBS brake pads on the front and Speigler lines all around. The brakes are 100% good enough for me now. I thought the stock suspension wasn't THAT bad, until I put a K-tech Razor-R in the back. Then suddenly the forks sucked. (I have a 2018-spec front end; slightly stiffer springs and a bit more damping from the damping rod)

My two choices were either a Matris full cartridge conversion for 3-4x the price, or this Mupo 'Hydraulic Kit.' I didn't want to throw an unlimited amount of money at the bike, so I decided to try the Mupo.

For the record, I know very little about suspension theory. Not enough, anyway. These sit on top of your damping rod, and form a o-ring seal against the I.D. of the damping rod. They just drop into place above them and get pushed in. An O-ring in the center channel of the device pushes a split washer against the I.D. of the chromed upper fork tube creating a more-or-less seal. There are separate upper and lower shim stacks for both compression and rebound. The fork oil is switched to 5W to take the old damping rod orifices out of the equation (I think, in theory) and off you go. Modified compression and rebound damping. (they want 160mm of air between the top of the oil level and the top of the compressed fork tube, for what it's worth)

The install was pretty simple. Getting the split washer and 'emulator' started into the top of the fork tube was the trickiest part. Other than that it was just removing the forks from the bike. The 'emulator' adds 25mm to the fork preload, but these ship with 125mm aluminum preload spacers. The stock steel spacers are 150mm, so the change to spring preload from stock was zero; I measured less than a millimeter difference installed.

So, how to they work, and would I recommend them?

I haven't run any other brand of cartridge emulator in over a decade and essentially have nothing to compare them to except the stock forks, and the R1, which is a completely different machine. Disclaimer - I JUST installed these today and only got a quick 25 minute ride in, but I deliberately went over some really rough potholed sections of road as well as 'normal' Minnesota roads. Just no high speed sweepers. These gave the front end a really nice inert, perfect-bordering-on-overdamped feel. Worlds better than the wobbly stock damping. If anything, the Mupo Kit, as installed, feels closer to perfect than the K-Tech on the default settings did. Now that the front end doesn't suck anymore, it's clear my shock is underdamped by comparison, especially rebound. That's easy to fix with a few clicks, the K-Tech is VERY good and I haven't bothered making any adjustments to it yet, but the Mupo kit on the front is really good out of the box. The only weird thing is that the front springs (I suspect .92kg/mm for 2018 spec) seem to have too much preload. I may need to cut down the aluminum spacers. I'm only getting around 32mm of sag in the front, (remember I'm 230 lbs) and my shock is set up for 33mm of sag in the rear. Current feel is slightly oversprung in the front and underdamped in the rear, but I'm splitting hairs because it's finally good enough to notice stuff like that. I hate to say it, but the stock suspension really does suck by comparison.

The short answer is yes, I'd 100% recommend these as a fork upgrade, but I'll check back in once I increase damping in the back and have some proper miles on them and can give more detailed feedback. These feel just fine for my purposes.

 

20190411_193259.jpg

20190411_192740.jpg

Edited by Carpetbombing
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sorkyah

Good to know there's yet another option out there for fork kits. 

Thank carpet


ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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Carpetbombing
Posted (edited)

FInal report here - I ended up cutting down the Mupo-supplied spacers by 6.5mm, resulting in a fork spring preload of around 10mm. Believe it or not, the stock 2018-spec springs (.92 kg/mm??) and preload amount seemed too stiff for me. Not enough rider sag for street use. I need to wait until I have some friends over to measure rider sag again, but it feels really good now. I think I'll increase shock spring preload a mm or so to match, we'll see. I increased compression and rebound damping to 6 out (out of 32) on the K-Tech shock, and now everything is feeling a lot more balanced front to back. The damping on the forks is superb; again, on the firm side of perfect. Doing the forks gave the bike the 'fidelity' for me to really feel small adjustments to the shock where I couldn't before. It's a whole new bike. It's really composed in cloverleafs, absorbs big pothole / manhole cover type bumps as well as can be expected, and it doesn't wallow when loaded. The word 'plush' comes to mind, but not soft. The forks are very controlled. In my opinion, for street use these are 100% good enough and well worth the money. Simple install, fair price, and huge performance increase. The one big drawback I see is that adjustments are ponderous and involved to make. A true cartridge conversion allows you to adjust preload, compression and rebound with a few clicks of the fork caps. That's a huge upside. A cartridge may have a teeny, tiny bit better ability to handle both high and low speed hits, but I can't say for sure. If I was racing this bike I'd do the cartridge kit just for the simplicity of on-the-fly tweaks. I was curious about the cartridge conversion, but if I had to do it over again, for street use I'd do this Mupo kit again without blinking.

If anyone else tries these, especially someone with experience with different emulator products, I'd be really curious to hear how you think they compare. I have no affiliation with Mupo or Lemick Racing, by the way, I'm just a happy customer. Photo (for the fun of it) was from before I installed the Hydraulic Kit - if you notice the O-rings on the forks, I no longer max out the travel like that any more.

20190419_190216.jpg

Edited by Carpetbombing

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