K-Tech have built on their incredible success in global road racing and motocross championships for nearly 30 years, constantly evolving and providing championship-winning products. With a pedigree in road-racing suspension that is unrivalled, many may not realise that the Midlands-based company have been involved in off-road suspension for nearly 20 years. Their knowledge of the requirements for off-road racing is the same knowledge that has helped take riders to the top level of motocross racing, and that expertise can help you too!
K-Tech Suspension offer everything that your average rider could want to get the optimal settings for your bike and suit your style of riding. With over 50 off-road service centres and dealers located throughout the UK (and 500 worldwide) there has never been a better time to give your bike the TLC it deserves! K-Tech can provide it all from servicing, spare parts, bespoke suspension, conversion kits, service manuals and tooling!
Such is K-Tech’s dedication to innovation that they continue to expand their research and development even today. With multiple road, enduro and motocross successes to its name, K-Tech is now one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of motorcycle suspension products and parts. Formed by Ken Summerton (Tru Track Suspension) and Chris Taylor (CTR Suspension) in 2001, K-Tech builds upon over 57 years of combined expertise. Ken had previously been working in a small home-based workshop since 1985 whilst working full-time as an aircraft engineer. Chris also started a part-time business in 1992 after competing in motocross events in the UK and Europe. Chris went on to work with many high level teams in British and World Motocross championships including RWJ, CAT Finning Honda, TBC Yamaha, Rob Hooper Suzuki and Team Green Kawasaki working with such calibre of riders as Neil Prince, Paul Cooper, Rob Herring, Jared Smith, Mike Brown, Carl Nunn, Tony Marshall and Stefan Everts.
More recently, they have continued to forge forward in their pursuit of off-road success by testing with riders at the highest level of motocross racing. The MX Vice team caught up with K-Tech Technician Michael Hancock last year during a two-day test in Belgium with JWR Yamaha MXGP riders Kevin Strijbos and Vsevolod Brylyakov. The team were busy dialling in their settings ready for another assault on the FIM Motocross World Championship and with K-Tech’s help they focussed the two-day test on giving increased performance and control for the upcoming sand and hard pack GPs at Valkenswaard and Pietramurata.
Testing began at a sand track in Eindhoven where K-Tech’s suspension technician Michael Hancock talked us through the base settings they traditionally start with, set up on the dyno at the workshop it gives a solid base to work from. “With experienced riders like Kevin it is really easy to get the settings dialled in as he knows exactly what he wants,” Michael said whilst measuring the Belgian’s static sag measurements. Final checks were made to the clicker positions before both riders went out on track.
Out of interest I asked Michael the differences in his approach to suspension testing, be it for the pros or average riders. Michael explains the importance of starting with a good basic setting to begin with, regardless of rider ability, not dialling in or out too far on the compression to begin with. “This gives a neutral balance to start from. From there is it easier to refine the compression and rebound based on the individual end user’s preference.”
The test sessions are a true indication of the impact a rider’s natural style can have on their suspension set-up. Kevin, an MXGP veteran entering his twentieth year, preferred a comfort feel from the rear suspension whilst Seva, with his renowned aggressive style leant towards a stiffer rear suspension. Each rider ended up with a very bespoke solution from their rear-shock in the sand. Their front suspension settings, meanwhile, both underwent similar compression and rebound adjustments.
Whilst this should give you a good indication of just how serious the company is about their products, it is also interesting to see how they cater for the average off-road rider as all data from the JWR test is taken back and added to their database so that the technicians can learn and refine their products for the general end user. K-Tech are all about providing that factory feel at an affordable price and with their ORDS, ORVS and ORSS systems they offer a comprehensive set of options for any rider interested in replacing or converting their existing suspension.
All K-Tech products are developed to improve performance of a system or replace a system. Here we spotlight two of their most popular innovations, the Off-Road Valve System (ORVS)and Off-Road Spring System (ORSS).
|Off Road Valve System (ORVS)|
The K-Tech Off-Road Valve System (ORVS) is a replacement valve system for the WP 48mm AER forks fitted to Husqvarna and KTM 125cc and above motocross bikes from 2016 onwards and WP 43mm AER forks fitted to Husqvarna and KTM 85cc motocross bikes. The ORVS replaces the original compression and rebound damping assemblies along with the adjustment needles giving improved damping characteristics and wider adjustment range, thereby enhancing overall ride quality and stability on all terrains.
Through their experience in off-road racing, the ORVS has been designed with performance in mind, and has been rigorously tested to ensure maximum performance.
– Complete compression and rebound damping assemblies for easy fitment.
– Revised piston design for better damping characteristics.
– Revised adjustment needle design for improved adjustment range.
MRRP: £165.65 (WP 43mm AER Replacement) £224.95 (WP 48mm AER Replacement)
|Off Road Spring System (ORSS-2)|
Air suspension is a good concept, but many find it too complex for average riders. Consumers want simplicity and this is where the ORSS-2 system can help! The K-Tech “Air2Spring” system has been designed to replace the air system found in the latest off-road motorcycles with a more conventional spring system.
The conventional spring system carries a number of benefits straight off the bat too. Firstly, there is less complication. No need to calculate or understand the optimum balance of pressures required with the main chamber, outer chamber and balance chamber commonly found in the air forks. The ORSS is a direct replacement spring system, which requires no machining to install and also features an external spring preload adjustment allowing the end user the ability to fine tune changes on the fly for the optimum settings, be it hard-pack or sand conditions. The system also comes with a hydraulic bottoming device, which protects the rider on hard landings.
– Complete compression and rebound damping assemblies for easy fit.
– More conventional spring system, where spring rate is matched to rider weight.
– Lower friction for smoother performance.
– External spring preload adjustment.
– Internal top out spring options for hard-pack and sand conditions.
– Simple design using high-grade materials.
– Easy fitment and no machining required.
– Supplied with spring rate suitable for weight of rider.
– No pressures to check, simply get on and ride!
Moving across to the rear of the bike, K-Tech also offer a shock absorber reservoir bladder conversion kit. Aimed at improving the performance of your shock absorber it introduces a larger nitrogen capacity over the original design, creating smaller pressure rise, allowing the shock to run cooler whilst ensuring less fade during those 30-minute motos or long days at the practice track.
The conversion kits are available for all KTM and Husqvarna 125cc bikes and above, from 2016 onwards. Included in the conversion is a new reservoir tube, end cap, end cap clip and bladder.
Aside from their fork replacement and conversion systems, a large part of K-Tech’s business is supplying service parts to dealers and their distributors around the world. Their dedicated warehouse and distribution facility carry one of the largest stocks of replacement parts in Europe, supplying fork and shock springs, fork seals, fork bushes and shock absorber service kits for every major brand.
Their numbers are impressive too. K-Tech has supplied over 75,000 fork seals and over 60,000 bushes to companies based in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Europe and Asia. For those of you passing time by working on your bike over the past few weeks, you can rest assured that K-Tech have you covered during lockdown! They offer a next-day delivery service on all replacement parts and hold over £1.7M worth of parts in stock, which are shipped from their warehouse daily!
For further information on K-Tech’s full range of motorcycle suspension products and parts, or to locate your closest authorised dealer, visit www.ktechsuspension.com or call +44 (0)1283 559 007.
Words: MX Vice | Lead Image: ConwayMX