What factors of design matter to you.

Jeremy Wilkey

Owner, MX-Tech
Jan 28, 2000
1,453
0
As a suspension builder, or OEM manufacturer you have a wide range of responsibilities towards customers. Beside the basics as quality in construction, and customer support what design considerations are most important.

-Should suspension be built for time? In other words does ride quality have less importance than pure speed through a section?

-Conversely does ride comfort mean more than shear performance?

-Does trickness matter? Is the coolest looking and highest tech gadgetry worth its weight in confidence factor? In other words is it worth suffering a slightly poorer set-up in hopes of a long term significant improvement? Or intimidating your competitors with your technical might.

-Economics, when buying a bike or purchasing suspension does the cost of the modifications determine how make your decision? Would one rather buy a bike with a lower price if the suspension was efficient, yet not awesome? Would you buy suspension mods that are less costly, produce modest improvements, but won't be the best?

Obviously as a consumer your perspective is very different than mine, and likewise all riders are different. Please from your standpoint as a rider what do you think? I think backgrounds and age will pay a big factor in this decision.

I also try to think about this from a team managers perspective, or maybe even as a factory rider looking for a new advantage. It gets very interesting as you think about all the consequences. Spend your budget, risk injury, gain advantage..
 

HiG4s

~SPONSOR~
Mar 7, 2001
1,308
0
I marked performance, but to me ride quality (maybe not comfort) is the same as performance. What ever works as smooth as possible under varied conditions is what lets me ride loose with confidence and go faster. I don't care how well it soaks up the bumps and how aggressive a style the suspension will handle, if it is harsh I never get aggressive. Of course what is smooth will be different to different levels of riders.
 

WWR

Sponsoring Member
Jul 15, 2000
161
0
I did not vote on the poll, there are too many factors keeping me from choosing just one. Here is my input, though (not intended to offend anyone):

Setup for pure speed is great, only if it does not compromise comfort. I prefer the best comfort that will allow me to still take the big hits on the track. I would prefer to enjoy hours of riding rather than short bursts of speed. Track time increases speed, anyway, so you get the best of both in the long run. Depending on the conditions, this will be different for different racers. If comfort is a sacrifice, then MX racers probably want a setup that will wear them out about the same time they hit the finish line. Enduro and HS racers would probably prefer something a bit more plush for the long haul.

IMHO, trickness is a non-issue. I actually prefer a "sleeper".

Economics is a big issue for me, and probably most of the riding public. Unless someone else foots the bill, I think everyone is looking for the best "bang for the buck". Many times this is a compromise, but IMHO, if you spend top dollar you should expect to get the very best. Another thing I look for is the durability of the product. If you go for the cheapest price on a suspension setup that works for you, it may turn out great. But if the parts dont last and the suspension goes crappy quickly, then the mod was not worth the money.

And last but not least, there are two other items that many racers would demand. First, and foremost, quality of workmanship. I dont want some careless guy who calls himself a mechanic touching my suspension and screwing it up. No racer wants to have his new suspension torn down to fix a problem caused by negligence. This just wasts track and setup time. Second, I think turnaround time is very important. Not really an issue with me (since I live in Japan and cannot really expect anything to get back to me quickly from the US), but I have had issues in the past with parts taking months to get to me when I was in the US. I think this issue can easily be addressed by the suspension company giving an accurate statement of turnaround time at the time of the suspension order. In other words, avoid negative surprises.
 

00kawa125

Member
May 16, 2001
32
0
We race. We want our bike to handle the conditions of the track at speed. We want the bike to be consistant lap to lap. We want the supension to do what we expect from it. No surprises.

01 yz125
 

JTT

~SPONSOR~
Aug 25, 2000
1,407
0
I voted "absolute performance", although this would refer to Pro MXers primarily. I think others, including trail, HS, and "less than Pro" riders would likely benifit from the "comfort" settings. I agree with WWR in that alll these factors must be considered though, almost equally.
 

Jeremy Wilkey

Owner, MX-Tech
Jan 28, 2000
1,453
0
I feel that many times the riders own physical condtioning can be a factor. Lets face it if you can stay strong then you can deal with more twichyness lets say if the added stablity and directional control are there. ( Say someone like Summers.Or Charmical. )

Someone who does the big fade would be better of lossing some control so the bike could be set up easier to ride.

Either set-up could concieveably place the rider on the ground..


What I'm getting to is the shear vastsness of varibles in bike set-up, and rider interaction. This year I've been foutuneate enough to make a lot of the pro level races and one of the things that boggles me besides just the mechanics, or science of suspension set-up, but the variables beyound that will dircectly impact the goalsheet of the suspension tuner.

It seems to me that Pro-circuit for instance has a "this it,now you ride it approach." The hole team has a certain seemlessness to it that breads massive amounts cohession, and ultimatley success. I think this why they stay with younger riders or riders who can be molded to there method. Some thrive and some don't do well. (it's kind of like a military - survaival of the fitest kind of approach.)

Payton from my side of the fence is with out question the best, and histroically most succesful nonfactory race teams. Again the point is the vastness of factors that lead to sucess.
 

FLBob

Member
Jun 4, 2001
211
0
I picked economy - I just don't have the bucks to spare for the smaller margins of improvement.
I ride HS and an occaisonal enduro so I'm probably in the minority here but I think you left out the most important feature - realiability.
I also don't have the luxury of extensive practice/tuning laps to fine tune things to a particular track so I'm thinking the highest performance set-ups would be a waste of money. I think modest price, as high a quality of components as possibly at that price, low maintenance, and reliability.
 

IBWFO

Member
Aug 5, 2001
367
0
I want my suspension to work the best in the "tough" sections. In other words when I make a mistake. The easy sections are just that, but if I come up short or hit something wrong I wamt my suspension to be able to handle it.
If I can handle the bike and the track physically then I want the suspension to handle the unexpected.
Regards:cool:
 

KC_BigDog_51

Member
Mar 25, 2001
262
0
As a C class racer and still developing my skills, confidence in my bike and knowing how it reacts to different jumps and terrain is of the upmost importance to me. Till I am (which is doubtfull) an expert class racer I don't think equipment is gooing to win races for me. I race to have fun and don't like to entertain thoughts of getting hurt and I feel the more confidence I have in my bikes overall setup is far more benificial than it being the fastest through one section and on the edge of another.

People who buy trick parts to look good and do not really need the benifit of works parts just have an ego problem.
 

stormer94

~SPONSOR~
May 30, 2001
597
0
KC_BigDog_51


People who buy trick parts to look good and do not really need the benifit of works parts just have an ego problem.

I don't think any of us needs works parts, trick parts, aftermarket goodies. It's just FUN! Like painting your house, or putting in a new patio. You don't REALLY need to do it to live in your house. Just makes it funner to own and more personalized.

It's likely that nothing I bolt on our bikes will make us any faster (unless it's a better rider) :confused: But it's fun to make the bike more personalized. My new 250F is getting taken apart before I even ride it, I'm taking the wheels off and sending them off so I can get the gold anodized rims. Do I need it. Nope. Will it help me go fast? Nope. Will it personalize and trick out the bike... YEA BABY!!! :) It's fun to do that kind of stuff. I might even take the rear subframe off and have that annodized, that would be kinda trick. Just want to be a little different. Think how cool it would be to have your triple clamp annodized blue or Gold. You can do that kind of thing for like $50. Trick doesn't have to mean, 'break the bank'. just different and personalized.
 

KC_BigDog_51

Member
Mar 25, 2001
262
0
stormer94- I will give you that. If I had the money Excel Rims and talon hubs would be my first purchase as well as som blue anodized triple clamps. Won't nescessarily make me faster, but look trick as hell.

I was thinking more along the lines of suspension stuff. For examle- The $4500 pair of works Showa forks and shock you can buy from Pro Circuit. That was kind what I was refering to. Should have clarified a little better.
 

stormer94

~SPONSOR~
May 30, 2001
597
0
yea, i wouldn't buy those forks. They wouldn't help me one bit. And if they really did help a lot, I wouldn't want to know about it... what I don't know doesn't hurt my wallet... :cool:

Like the freaky BBR-yz426 they made. I think the article said, if you don't have $15,000 you REALLY don't want to know how well this bike handles. Maybe spodes can feel a difference, I dunno. BUT SURE WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT! :p
 

Patman

Pantless Wonder
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Dec 26, 1999
19,774
0
Absolute comfort for me. If I'm comfortable then I may go faster (probibly not). My total performance days are gone, now I need to be able to roll out of bed with as little pops and creaks as possible. :) So far I can say it's been working.
 

tbevy

Member
Nov 8, 2001
16
0
I'm new to this board, and I just like to say it's neat to read the post here because of the knowledge that the people have and your willingness to help everybody out.

Now, I picked comfort, mostly because these days I don't have the desire to ride wide open to make my forks move, I'm 44 yrs old, have a bad back, 3 screws in my hip, and NO stomach from cancer I had last year, so this old body needs a nice smooth ride......BUT I don't think that (this is just my opinion) that the modern day suspension we spend are hard earned cash on is much better than it was 10 years ago! So instead of playing around with different valving or base valves, I've designed my own dampening system that gives me the ride that I've been looking for for years.

The small guys like Jeremy W are the ones that are going to be the innovators of the future, to give us the performance we want, NOT the factories.
 

35off

Member
Nov 12, 2001
7
0
design factors

performance and value are primary factors. if a $1000.00 suspension mod will yield the results that i need, then that is a better value than a $500.00 mod which yields minimal improvement. i do not want to be limited by my equipment and like to know that the only thing slowing me down is me. as to trickness, i don't care what it looks like as long as it performs.
 

pro-design

Member
Nov 6, 2001
42
0
Here's my view, trickness is the most important factor for me. Before you think I'm a total idiot let me explain. First things first when I ride I stink like a fart, So my thought is this when I pull into the track my only opportunity to feel like a hero happens before I though a leg over the bike. I love the sport as much as anyone and at best I conceder myself a good beginner rider. My thought is that trickness usually equates to higher performance. Their are certain trick parts that are purely eye candy and their are trick parts that make a difference. For the most part all the cool stuff dealing with suspension are internal and can't be appreciated by the average person. Once in awhile you do get to see something like dump tanks or nitrated fork tubes and I feel this draws attention and gets people interested. This year is my first year working with Jeremy Wilkey and let it be known Jeremy makes super cool stuff. The best part of all , is that the cool stuff works even better than it looks. My personal feelings are that there is nobody in the suspension game more knowledgeable or cutting edge as Jeremy and as long as people like him keep producing "trick" parts the performance issue will take of itself.
 

Moteaux

Professional Mud Tester
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Aug 30, 2001
1,524
0
Originally posted by JTT
I voted "absolute performance", although this would refer to Pro MXers primarily. I think others, including trail, HS, and "less than Pro" riders would likely benifit from the "comfort" settings. I agree with WWR in that alll these factors must be considered though, almost equally.

IMHO I think that performance and comfort go hand in hand on the track as well as trail (woods, hare scrambles, enduros). On the track the jumps are bigger and primarily harder landings so the performance factor will enhance the comfort factor when dialed in for the specific rider. I believe the same goes for the off-road rider; trail speed, endurance and confidence will come up when the set up is correct for that rider and terrain. Bottom line for me is that performance breeds comfort and vice-versa.

By the way Jeremy, Shane did my forks here in Lafayette, La on my '01 YZ 250F. I ride primarily HS, enduros and trail. I just thought that I liked the bike before, but now... WOW. Excellent work. Saving coins for the shock now.
:cool:
 
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BarkBuster

Member
Feb 8, 2001
54
0
I agree that a suspension set up to handle track or woods obstacles well will lead to an added level of comfort. If the suspension is set up to work with you in corners, whoops, braking bumps, logs, etc. rather than against you, you would have to supply less energy, therefore you are able to perform at a higher level longer. This works to a point, especially in motocross where obstacles are more predictable and you can stand up most of the time.
In enduro or hs there has to be a compromise. A setup for whoops, jumps, etc. may not be conducive when you are forced to sit through tight sections or sit to conserve energy in easier sections.
Skill would also have a lot to do with it. If you know how your suspension will react, you can compensate ahead of time.
 
Feb 17, 2005
7
0
Well I am caught between comfort and performance.
I voted for comfort and here is why.
I am a tuner with a small buisness I am constantly learning new secrets everyday on what people like and what works.
So from my perspective I voted on comfort because I will define comfort on this list as confidence in your equipment that alows you to go fast and not be abused.
The majority of my customers are happy as far as I have been told.
I spend the extra time if I can to watch their riding style, study the bike, do the research and then make the suggestion and the fix.
since I am working primarily as a local tuner at the moment it allows me the extra time to work towards the quality of the product.
People want improvment.
They want a bike that works better, keeps them out of trouble, sometimes gets them out of trouble, allows them to push themselves and build thier confidence, and does not tire them out.
To me that's comfort.
Trick items mean nothing if they don't work and cheap shortcuts for quality are the same.
Quality is of upmost importance but that does not mean quality has to be expensive.
for example there are lots of different fork oils on the market.
Some are $25.00 a bottle and some are $6.00 a bottle.
If you look hard, test, and research some of the $6.00 oil is very good.
 

MrMXer327

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Mar 2, 2002
276
0
I don't place too much emphisis on how trick it looks, just that it performs without beating the crap out of me and is very forgiving when I make mental errors. I didn't vote due to being torn between Performance and Comfort. For me, It's a combination of the two.
 

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