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Thread: RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

  1. #1
    Senior Member RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...
    RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

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    RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

    Postman delivered relief for my shoulders and back:



    So I've been scouring the threads trying to find out where to start tuning with the RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators. The install isn't a big deal and I have no problem drilling stuff. RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

    I weigh about 200 lbs all geared up, and sometimes ride with a lot of cargo weight, so I ordered the .90kg springs to go with the RaceTech Gold Valve. I rounded up.

    I figure I'm going to use a 15wt oil as that seems to be the standard recommendation from RT and from what I read elsewhere. I found this on Amazon and using a comparison chart it seems to be a 'real' 15wt:



    I'll have to figure out the correct preload spacer length when I get the adjustable fork caps and get a chance to measure the stock components next to the new stuff...

    A couple of NC700 questions:

    1. How much should the NC forks compress with the rider on?

    I have it in my mind from general suspension tuning literature that it is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the total travel, which would be 30 to 40mm on the NC's 137mm fork travel.

    2. With the RaceTech Gold Valve, I have been given a blue spring and a yellow spring (stiffer) to control the compression dampening rate. RT says 2-5 turns preload on these springs. What is everyone here using?

    3. To control rebound, I have the option of drilling two extra holes in the valve. Do you guys go with 2,3 or 4?

    4. Will the bike explode and the world end if I just put the stuff in as given?

    That is: yellow spring, 2 turns preload, 2 holes in the valve, 120mm 15wt oil.

    Thanks! Can't wait to install these things!
    Last edited by supertux1; 8th March 2017 at 08:21.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...
    RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...
    DirtFlier's Avatar
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    Suspension mods are always trial & error no matter what they provide for guidelines. Be prepared to get into the forks again and again.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rippin209's Avatar
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    I'd say install as is and after 3 to 5k miles if your not completely satisfied start adjusting

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rippin209 View Post
    I'd say install as is and after 3 to 5k miles if your not completely satisfied start adjusting
    +3 ^^^^^^^^^^ on the last two posts......... Just set the sag and give it a try.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...
    RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

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    RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

    Well I did a study of the fork spring / suspension in its static state.

    Honda says it has 137mm of travel according to the service manual.

    Free Sag: When the bike is sitting all by itself, with just the weight of my accessories, the front fork is compressed 47mm, or %37 of 137mm.

    Rider Sag: When I sit on the bike with my gear on, (+200 pounds) that turns into 67mm, or
    %47.



    These numbers seem high to me... I don't recall ever bottoming out the front but as I understand it, the spring is really stiff in the last third or so.
    Has anyone else measured?

    Good thing I got the stiffer spring, I'm hoping it will improve the ride.
    Last edited by supertux1; 6th March 2017 at 16:32.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs... bamamate's Avatar
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    I did the lighter spring (yellow?) with ~2-3 turns. It isn't exactly a precise method of count the turns after the spring makes good contact. I drilled 3 holes. If I remember correctly from a convo 670cc had with RT, generally people feel no difference from 2-3 holes so go 2 or go 4. I'd start with 2 and see how you like it. You can always drill more holes. Hard to un-drill them. I'm going to move to 4 holes for more relief on the square bumps. I believe RT sent 670cc an even lighter spring for a more cushy ride.

    As for preload, I'm on stock springs and just cut the spacers approximately the same amount that the gold valves added. Been too lazy to actually check if that was correct or not. Been thinking about getting the RT springs since I've beefed up over the past year from 165 to 195.

    I went with Maxima 10wt oil. Trying a 50/50 mix of 5wt/10wt next. Note: 16oz wasn't quite enough for both forks to get to the RT recommended level.

    Previous: Kawasaki MT1A 75 (small fat tires, auto clutch), CB400 (Hawk), and after a 20+ year hiatus a NC700X

  7. #7
    Senior Member RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...
    RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bamamate View Post
    I did the lighter spring (yellow?) with ~2-3 turns. It isn't exactly a precise method of count the turns after the spring makes good contact. I drilled 3 holes. If I remember correctly from a convo 670cc had with RT, generally people feel no difference from 2-3 holes so go 2 or go 4. I'd start with 2 and see how you like it. You can always drill more holes. Hard to un-drill them. I'm going to move to 4 holes for more relief on the square bumps. I believe RT sent 670cc an even lighter spring for a more cushy ride.

    As for preload, I'm on stock springs and just cut the spacers approximately the same amount that the gold valves added. Been too lazy to actually check if that was correct or not. Been thinking about getting the RT springs since I've beefed up over the past year from 165 to 195.

    I went with Maxima 10wt oil. Trying a 50/50 mix of 5wt/10wt next. Note: 16oz wasn't quite enough for both forks to get to the RT recommended level.
    I believe the blue spring is the lighter one. The exact 'installed' spring length at 2-3 turns can be calculated if the thread pitch of the bolt is known... in my hand it looks like a M4 coarse thread at .7mm per turn... so whatever the free spring length is minus 1.4 to 2.1mm? I could be wrong, I haven't taken them out of the bag yet...

    I think mother Honda makes this bike for tall skinny people...

    I think getting the correct spring for my weight is going to make a big difference, so I can go with minimal preload and have more of the spring to work with. I think just that with the stock RT valve settings will give a good baseline to make adjustments from.

    By the way, the yellow installed spring length (right from the package) is 26.7mm on one and 27.5mm on the other so you definitely have to set them up the first time...

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by supertux1 View Post
    Well I did a study of the fork spring / suspension in its static state.

    Honda says it has 137mm of travel according to the service manual.

    Free Sag: When the bike is sitting all by itself, with just the weight of my accessories, the front fork is compressed 47mm, or %37 of 137mm.

    Rider Sag: When I sit on the bike with my gear on, (+200 pounds) that turns into 67mm, or
    %47.



    These numbers seem high to me... I don't recall ever bottoming out the front but as I understand it, the spring is really stiff in the last third or so.
    Has anyone else measured?

    Good thing I got the stiffer spring, I'm hoping it will improve the ride.
    Yes - I got similarly high figures for the sag with the standard 2016 forks. I weight 180lbs and the ride of the 2016 bike compared to my previous '12 and '14 NC bikes was appalling. The forks jittered about so much I couldn't use the mirrors and they were so rough in bumpy corners it was IMHO dangerous causing me to stand the bike up and run wide.
    FWIW I discovered that the progressive spring fitted to the 2016 bike is different from that used in the earlier forks, and I think the early part of the spring movement is too light. This means that much of the 'gentle' travel is used up simply with the rider sitting on the bike and you are straight into the hard wound section of the spring leading to a very harsh ride. Also I am not convinced by the new Showa dual bending valve technology. No-one seems to know how it works - even suspension specialists - but if it's a cheap version of an emulator then the problem must surely be that it's a one size fits all. All emulators allow substantial adjustment for the rider weight and the type of riding that is aimed for - the new Showa technology allows no adjustment.
    Finally I spent a lot of time researching what the 'travel' is on the front forks and to cut a long story short I believe the theoretical travel measured along the fork on the 2016 bike is in fact 150mm (The 137mm quoted in my service manual is I believe the amount of vertical travel available to the front axle).
    Hence I have aimed at 50mm of sag with me on the bike and have got fairly close with 0.85 Ktech springs although I suspect that .80 might be slightly better and Ktech have said they will swap them if I wish. In the meantime I have got a decent ride with the Ractech emulators using the lighter blue preload springs with 2 turns and by drilling out the two undrilled holes on the emulator plates. However I used a smaller drill size than the 3mm predrilled holes and I may drill them out to match as the low compression damping could do with being a smidge softer. And I aim to try one turn less on the racetech preload just to soften the high speed bumps a touch. So far I don't get any weaving or wallowing so I think I have a bit to play with, but there are so many variables and it's not like the back end, to fiddle around with the front means a partial strip and rebuild so the temptation is to change several variables at once which would probably be a big mistake.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Senior Member mtiberio's Avatar
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    better too soft than too tight.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators and Springs... 670cc's Avatar
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    What Bamamate said.

    I started with the lighter of the two emulator springs shipped with the GVEs, and later switched to an even lighter "silver" spring. I believe I'm running 10wt Belray oil. I have drilled the two extra holes in the GVE.

    You might say I have mine set too soft, but i think I've got it pretty close to my liking. With the starting recommended settings, the compression damping was stiff enough that I couldn't get any fork action over sharp bumps. Almost no fork travel was being utilized. What is the point of 5+ inches of travel if the forks won't move? So I continued to lighten up the damping to where I think the forks are fairly compliant without getting mushy.

    I guess it depends on the load on the bike, what ride you're looking for, and what your typical road conditions might be.
    Last edited by 670cc; 7th March 2017 at 05:56.
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