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olderthandirt

FZ 07 Traxxion AK-20 review

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olderthandirt
As you already know, the front forks on an FZ 07 are a bit harsh over low speed sharp bumps and offer little rebound damping. At higher speeds the compression damping is ok,.. but the rebound is non existent, especially on the twisty bumpy roads. Traxxion Dynamics AK 20 fork cartridges fix all of that.
Traxxion changed the front springs from .9kgs to 8.5kgs for my weight... 165 pounds with gear. They also revalved my stock shock and changed the spring rate from 640 pounds to a 700 pound spring.  
Initial impressions of the AK 20's were skeptical due to the settings. On most sport bikes the range of settings is about 15 clicks for both compression and rebound...but the AK 20's are a lot more precise with about three and one half turns out for each. Once I turned down the compression damping a lot and the rebound a little....the front forks are just SILKY smooth. The lesson here is when you get the forks back and installed on your bike....you'll need to adjust the spring preload first to get proper sag...and then adjust both the compression damping and the rebound to get it where you like it. Find a proper bumpy road near home and with a 3mm hex wrench it's very easy to turn the adjuster on each fork.
With the AK 20's the REBOUND damping is on the RIGHT fork leg, and the COMPRESSION damping is on the LEFT fork leg. Rebound adjustment is clockwise lightly until it stops....and then count the number of turns counter-clockwise OUT. Rebound from clockwise closed to counter-clockwise all the way out is 2 and 5/8ths turns. Mine is set to one and 7/8ths out. Compression adjustment is clockwise lightly until it stops...and then count the number of turns counter-clockwise OUT. Compression from clockwise closed to counter-clockwise all the way out is 3 and 1/4th turns out. Mine is set to 3 and 1/8th turns out.
I also learned that when the AK-20's are set on ZERO rebound and ZERO compression damping....the AK 20's  still offer more damping than the stock forks had. I saw the cartridges being made at Traxxion and they are really high tech and very precision units. There are no soldered up holes are revamped stock components.  The AK 20's are precision and should last 100,000 miles easy with fresh oil every few years. The oil from Traxxion is 7wt.
I have about 500 miles on the forks and shock and most all of them in the Mountains on the twisty roads. With the stock forks it's impossible to feel what the front tire is doing in the turns. With the AK-20's you can now feel the grip on the tire and the feedback to the handlebars. Since the handlebars are rubber mounted on our FZ 07's ...some of that feeling is lost.....but at least now you get a good deal of confidence knowing what the front end is doing when you ride. For our bikes...the only thing better than the AK 20's is throwing the front end away and buying an Ohlins track fork for about $2500.00. The AK 20's are worth the money.
The rear shock valveing took a little time to get right because it was the first one they did for the FZ-07. The stock rear spring on an FZ07 is soft...so just a spring up grade is better than stock. With the new spring and the re valve...the bike is just about as good as it's going to get. With the stock suspension I'd say the bike was good up to about 84-85%. With the AK 20's and the shock revalve... I'd say the bike is good up to about 95-96%.
Conclusion is that Traxxion now offers the cartridges and the rear shock re valve.....set up correctly for the bike and for your weight. Retail is about $1200 for the AK 20's....but they are offering some discounts for forum members. If you intend on turning a FZ 07 from a standard urban transportation device to a legit back road weapon.....this is the way to do it. I'm very happy with the results.
 
 
 
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Guru
Great review, Thanks!

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Guest unknown
Awesome review, Now I just need to quit going to the bar and save up for these

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pgeldz
Thank you so much for the review. I've been in touch with Dan at Traxxion and we are going to do a full build when the Penske Triple becomes available :)
 
I'm trying to make the ultimate canyon carver, occasional track day weapon...and after an article I recently read comparing Ohlins to Traxxion, my money is going to Traxxion :)
 
- Paulie

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