Monday, 20 May 2013

Shock Horror

Suspension - motosickle development has come a long way since rigid-frame, sprung-seat two wheelers were the norm. Suspending as much of the mass as possible of any vehicle by spring has the effect of cushioning the occupants from the harsh vagaries of the road surface. Springs alone will provide cushioning and a degree of comfort but left to their own devices they will absorb the energy and reciprocate with an equal amount of rebound offering a very "bouncy" ride and failing in the all important task of keeping the tyres in contact with the road. In vehicle suspension we really need this springing to be controlled by damping.
When the GT50 first appeared on the scene last year it was apparent that the ancient Paioli suspension (both back and front) had long since given up damping and was content with doing just the bouncing. Fellow Shit-Bike Club member and enthusiast Rupe Paul will have no truck with iffy suspension and is something of an expert - so I listen to him. Initial response, in the usual Diplo 'shop manner, was to strip the offending shocker (only one on the very advanced mono-shock GT50) and fettle/bodge some sort of recovery. The constituent parts can be seen laid out in the picture - piston, damper rod, seals and pressure bladder are all shot to pieces. Time for a Yorkshire Gold brew and a Turkish smoke to consider the options. First port of call was the very accommodating suspension guru Darren Wnukowski at MCT in Suffolk - he suggested I shipped the offending item to him for a re-build quote. Next day a very brief 'phone call - "beyond salvage". That said, Darren immediately furnished a quote to get a new bespoke shock built by Falcon Shock Absorbers - the beauty of these guys doing their job properly is that they absorb all the shock of the quote - suffice to say very reasonable.
How refreshing to keep bumping into friendly, helpful, practical people in the world of the motosickle - people actually manufacturing top quality products on this little island of ours - marvellous.
I include a shot of the new unit by way of demonstrating just how wonderful life can be - doesn't get any better than this ......
Front forks and other issues to follow.

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