Any smart racer knows, it doesn’t matter how powerful an engine is if the power can’t be effectively transferred to the ground. Traction is essential in all forms of motorcycle racing and riding, and a proper suspension setup is necessary for optimum results.
Cycledrag.com put John Curea of East Coast Suspension in Enon Valley, Pa., 724-336-3293, to the test. Curea, an ex-aircraft mechanic from California with over 20 years of experience servicing, rebuilding and tuning suspension, was given the shocks off of a 2002 KX 250 and asked to fine tune them for a 190-pounder intending to ride and race in the harsh, bumpy and unforgiving terrain of the woods.
After inspection, Curea determined Kawasaki set the KX up for a supercross or arenacross application, where clearing jump gaps of 70-feet and longer is often required. After a basic overhaul of the contaminated oil and old seals, Curea used his high-tech equipment and years of tuning and riding experience to make much-needed, drastic changes to the valving of the suspension to get the most out of the bike in the woods.
As is the case with every piece of suspension that leaves his shop, Curea used his state-of-the-art shock dyno to ensure the KX shock was performing exactly how he intended it to. It is the same technology being used by NASCAR teams. A computer generated graph allows Curea to monitor compression, rebounding and how the shock will behave at different velocities. This incredible attention to detail vaults East Coast over most suspension shops.
Johns shows us his shock dyno here –
After reassembling the shocks, Curea stressed how important it is to not over-tighten any bolts when installing the suspension on the motorcycle. In the next video Curea takes us through an essential and often-omitted step when installing the front forks.
The positive changes were instantly apparent on the first ride of the KX . The overall feel of the motorcycle, especially the handling and stability, was much-improved. Without any extra effort, I was able to navigate through the woods much quicker with a new-found abundance of traction. In sections where the bike would spin the tire or bounce off the line, the KX now hooked up and motored through. In sections where the front tire seemed to want to bounce out of a rut, the KX now seemed to settle in and stay on course. I had no idea what I was missing out on before my trip to East Coast Suspension.
Also, because the suspension was soaking up the rocks, roots and bumps so much more effectively, I wasn’t becoming fatigued as quick. The changes Curea made to my suspension not only made me quicker but also saved my body by lessening the pounding and grueling attrition a woods rider faces.
East Coast Suspension has the right formula for the dirt, street or track and offers some of the best prices in the industry. Call Curea and mention this article from Cycledrag.com for a special price quote. Curea also offers very affordable shipping for riders too far from his shop. East Coast Suspension can be reached at (724) 336-3293.