Forks: Stock vs Cogent. WTH?

Lee Dodge

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I recently decided to sell my NC and as part of that process I have been returning it to mostly stock. When I first got the bike one the things I noticed was the extremely harsh fork action over sharp bumps. I had also noticed this when I test rode several different dealer demo bikes. I upgraded the forks with Cogent DDC's , fork springs and their recommended oil. The damping rods were left stock. Fork action was much improved. Way smoother over most road imperfections but still a little harsher than I would like over the bigger hits like potholes on gravel roads. I have now returned the forks to stock setup with stock springs/spacers and the recommended oil (Honda 10W) level per the factory service manual. On a test ride today, the forks feel at least as good as the Cogent setup and possibly better on the bigger hits. I can't come up with an explanation for this.

Any thoughts?
 

showkey

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Not drilling the stock damper rods was a mistake on the upgrade install. So some of the fork action was changed.........but maybe not all for the better.
 
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dduelin

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Cogent DDCs don't require drilling out the stock damping rods. The shims are tuned to work with much thinner fork fluid, that's how they install. Oil level has A Lot to do with harshness in high speed compression. Cogent recommends 130 to 150 mm according to rider weight and 10 mm makes a huge difference.

I can't account for the changes Lee posted. Did you use the OEM Honda oil and set oil level to service manual specs?
 

Lee Dodge

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I did use OEM Honda oil set to the level in the factory manual. The only thing that I can think of that could account for it would be a different oil and oil level used on the assembly line when they are built. All I can say is I really like the forks now. As delivered it was like jackhammer.
 

670cc

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I don’t know how much difference it would make, but reduced stiction in the fork sliders and seals would have made the forks more responsive as they aged and broke in. Returning to stock settings, but with less stiction than new, might be an improvement.
 

Lee Dodge

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That may be a factor. I paid attention to alignment when reassembling and the measured stiction was fairly low.
 

mreric

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i dont know if my experience will help you.

when i got the NC new the front suspension was also very harsh and never did anything about it. 20k miles later, the front suspension is very acceptable to me. i mean going from the stop pirelli tire to a michelin pr3 also made things better.
 
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