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pattonme

Matt's Bitubo JBH fork and XXF11 shock review

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pattonme
Guess what showed up in the mail last night...
 
The shock is just gorgeous. It has a threaded eyelet at the top and a threaded clevis at the bottom so if you want to shorten your shock it looks like you can by about 12mm. (need to verify how deep it can go) Subject to minimum insertion depth it may also let you lengthen it beyond the ~8mm available via the clevis end.
 
XXF11.jpg
 
I've never seen such a large, thick wall, and well padded box used for fork cartridges. No, you can't run over them in your car, but they'll survive postal handlers the world over.
 
It has a 'fake' damper rod so it drops right into stock forks. Where it diverges from Ohlins NIX-22 and Matris F15 is that the cartridge is "sealed" and under pressure. I'm trying to get the shop manual for the unit but I suspect it has a separator piston in the bottom and the rest filled with a "standard" suspension oil. The instructions call for putting a token 170ml of Bitubo 997630 oil (looks like ~14cSt@40, Silkolene 2.5W) into the forks. Basically this is just to lube the stanchion and not much else.
 
IMG_20161223_175757.jpg
 
I'm excited to see how they perform. The pressuried tube is a nice touch - it prevents cavitation. Such features cost more like $2000. Since there is very little oil in the system and air can get pretty warm under repeated cycles I'm not sure I would have gone with shrouding the body with the Delrin spring spacers - much less air circulation, but rather put the spring down low and the spacers up top. I'm probably over-thinking it.
 
 
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etorty
Wow!
I remember when I've received the same box... with this big mono shock that I wasn't sure that can fit in the little space available in the MT-07.
 
One question about the spring: I can read "123"... I'm seeing right? Or it's "125"??
Is this mono tailored for you and your FZ-07, I suppose.
My spring is "120". And I've obtained the right Sag with about 13 mm of preload (8 standard + 5 added).
I suspect that for my weight (79 kg in gear = about 174 lbs) a spring a little strong can be better.
This maybe let me have the right Sag, with less preload.
Obviously, with a stronger spring, the hydraulic registers will be modified to suit the force of the new spring.
I've spoken with the Bitubo's technician at Eicma, and they told me that maybe I can go better with an harder spring... but they can't assure me for that, without a direct test.
 
 
Let us know your details... if you can! :)
Obviously, I'm waiting for the rest of the review... ;)

www.MT-Series.it
Yamaha Official MT-Series Club

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pattonme
It's a 125N/mm and I'm 250lb (115KG) so it's a bit light for me. Ideal I should have asked for a 130 but I have this notion that I'm going to lose weight and unless the preload needs get crazy it should do. If not I can swap in an EIBACH. I'm planning on taking the spring off anyway so I can fit a Torrington.
 
One thing I noticed both for the shock and the fork is they put white lithium grease on several threads. I don't know why almost nobody else does especially for the shock preload rings but it's a nice thing to do. Well assuming you don't have a lot of dirt flying around that can get stuck in said grease and turn into a cutting compound. For the FZ07 I'm going to need a shock sock, for sure.
 
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rowdy
It's a 125N/mm and I'm 250lb (115KG) so it's a bit light for me. Ideal I should have asked for a 130 but I have this notion that I'm going to lose weight and unless the preload needs get crazy it should do. If not I can swap in an EIBACH. I'm planning on taking the spring off anyway so I can fit a Torrington. 
One thing I noticed both for the shock and the fork is they put white lithium grease on several threads. I don't know why almost nobody else does especially for the shock preload rings but it's a nice thing to do. Well assuming you don't have a lot of dirt flying around that can get stuck in said grease and turn into a cutting compound. For the FZ07 I'm going to need a shock sock, for sure.

I've been thinking about getting a shock sock too.  If you find one that fits well, let me know. :) 

Why can't left turners see us?

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rossco
What length of shock cover would it be? 6 or 7?
 

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JanM
Looking forward to your review on this setup, Matt.
Just a couple of things to note; all images of the JBH kit I have seen does not show the big delrin spacer, but uses a clip or collar that rests on top of the cartridge seal head to carry the spring, so maybe there has been a design change or maybe they were out of the collars? Could be to save on oil, the 997630 is Silkolene 02, which in itself is one of the best fluids out there, but it comes at a price. As you mention it is for lubrication and setting air volume only, so can easily be substituted with something else, incidentally Bitubo prescribes using Silkolene 02 inside their pressurized ECH29 fork cartridges but Silkolene 05 outside. Just use a nice smooth lubricating oil outside closed cartridges...

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bellissimoto
It's a 125N/mm and I'm 250lb (115KG) so it's a bit light for me. Ideal I should have asked for a 130 but I have this notion that I'm going to lose weight and unless the preload needs get crazy it should do. If not I can swap in an EIBACH. I'm planning on taking the spring off anyway so I can fit a Torrington. 
One thing I noticed both for the shock and the fork is they put white lithium grease on several threads. I don't know why almost nobody else does especially for the shock preload rings but it's a nice thing to do. Well assuming you don't have a lot of dirt flying around that can get stuck in said grease and turn into a cutting compound. For the FZ07 I'm going to need a shock sock, for sure.

@pattonme, 
If you end up putting in the Eibach spring to test it out and you find it works better for you, let me know and we can get you a stiffer Bitubo spring to suit.
 
- Paul
 
www.bellissimoto.com

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booboobusfz07
Those cartridges are gorgeous. Super reasonable pricewise for true drop in cartridges.
Where is the adjustments for them tho?
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pattonme
I'll re-take the pics of the cap. 6" spring.

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pattonme
As you mention it is for lubrication and setting air volume only, so can easily be substituted with something else,
 
I can't see how it does anything for 'air spring' though. 170ml is a tiny amount. I put ~450ml of oil into forks built with Showa cartridges. I doubt 170ml manages to submerge even the fake damper rod.

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JanM
170ml is a low amount of oil, but it is the actual volume of all parts that take up room inside the forks that affects the air spring. And is a parameter in setting up forks, so we can adjust to our liking anyway.

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jmacas87
Those look great.
Looking forward to your thoughts on the cartridges.

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jorge
Those look great. Looking forward to your thoughts on the cartridges.
x2

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etorty
Hi Matt, regarding the bolt that you're changing on the shock
http://fz07.org/post/107975/thread
 
I remember that when I've received my XXF11 the bolt provided by Bitubo was too short.
The thread locker ring was out of the bolt thread, and I was worried about that.
I've called Bitubo immediately.
They've sent me a new (longer) bolt.
In the meantime (the same day: I wasn't sure when the new bolt will be arrived at home) I've bought a longer bolt from a local supplier.
Not a specific motorcycle bolt (the head was [HASH]17, in order to have the right thread diameter), but it's a good quality hi-torque bolt.
When the Bitubo bolt has arrived (the next day: their service is awesome) I've seen that with this bolt the length was at the limit, in order to accept the whole fork of the shock, two washers (about 1mm each) and the nut. And at this point I've decided to use the bolt that I've bought: this have a little more room and some thread can be seen out of the nut. For me, this is more safe.
At this moment I can't measure all the bolts, but I'll do as soon as I can.
Please, can you measure the length of the Bitubo bolt that you've received?
Maybe I will speak with the techs, by phone... maybe also in person at the MotorBikeExpo in Verona at the end of this month.
I'll refer to them your problem for sure.
:)
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www.MT-Series.it
Yamaha Official MT-Series Club

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bellissimoto
Guys ( @pattonme and @etorty )
 
Please let me know the final length of the bolt you ended up with, and how much longer it was than stock so I can address this with Bitubo...
 
- Paul
 
BellissiMoto.com
 
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etorty
Hi Matt!
Do you have any news about the JBH cartridges?
 
@bellissimoto: in the next hours I'll be able to do some measurement.
In the past two weeks I was not healthy (two weeks in the bed, but not in the way I like ;) ).
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www.MT-Series.it
Yamaha Official MT-Series Club

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etorty
Hi Paul,
 
I must do some correction to the post http://fz07.org/post/107999/thread
I have to write some more infos about the bolts.
 
The news are:
• when I've received my XXF11, there was no bolt in the package from Bitubo
• at the first attempt I've mounted the Yamaha's OEM bolt, but it was too short, even without any washer
DSC_1161.jpg
the length of the OE bolt is 50 mm
 
• I've called Bitubo, and they've decided to send me a replacement bolt
• I've bought a couple of black bolts 8.8 (of different length: one 55 mm and one 60 mm) from a local supplier (20 km from home) and some thick washers
• the day after I've received the replacement bolt from Bitubo (8.8, length 55 mm, with two thin washers)
• I've already mounted the mono with the 60 mm black bolt, with the two thick washers (2 mm each) and the OE nut.
DSC_1162.jpg
with this bolt there's some thread off of the nut, and I'm happy.
 
Here you can see some details of the various bolts:
 
20170115_155725_LLS.jpg
 
20170115_155833_LLS.jpg
 
Later, I've forget all these details, and maybe I've not reported to Bitubo that I've used a longer bolt instead of the one they've sent to me. I apologize for the wrong infos written in my previous post.
 
 
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www.MT-Series.it
Yamaha Official MT-Series Club

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bellissimoto
Hope your' feeling well @etorty!
 
Thanks for the info guys!
 
- Paul
 
BellissiMoto.com
 
 

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etorty
this is the IMO more correct bolt. https://www.mcmaster.com/#92981A335
though I would probably run this instead
https://www.mcmaster.com/#90298A630

 
 
This metric bolt have a total length of 58 mm.
If you use two thin washers (1 mm) maybe it's ok. But with two thicker washers maybe the total length will be not sufficient, or will be near the limit.
 
Really nice bolts, btw. :)

www.MT-Series.it
Yamaha Official MT-Series Club

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etorty
Hi Matt, any news about the JBH cartridges?
Or... any plan for a test in the next future?
I'm really curious to know how the JBH performs on the road...
Let us know, when you can! ;)

www.MT-Series.it
Yamaha Official MT-Series Club

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jorge
Hi Matt, any news about the JBH cartridges? Or... any plan for a test in the next future?
I'm really curious to know how the JBH performs on the road...
Let us know, when you can! ;)
x2

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pattonme
I appreciate the prodding, guys but it's gonna be a couple more weeks I'm afraid. I'm finally back to building forks and I've got about 10 sets that need getting done.
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