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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a new Ohlins cartridge kit on ebay that was being sold with the correct springs I need (according to Ohlins). Made an offer and got them w/ springs for a very good deal. Since the rear shock upgrade the forks feel even more horrendous so after some research I guess the cartridge kit is the best option to upgrade the forks.
Does anyone have experience installing these and/or using them? Not sure I’ll get to it right off but at least I have them to install this winter.
It looks very straight forward. They bolt to the bottom of the forks using the damper rod bolts and then there is a threaded sleeve that sits under the circlip at the top. Then you screw the top cap into the threaded sleeve. I’ll make my own “special tools” to pull the cartridge up and hold it during installation. I am interested to see how much it actually improves the forks for street riding. The racetech springs and 15w oil had helped but still far from perfect. Under hard braking is where I notice the forks the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I’ve been going back and forth whether to sell the 300 and get a 650 or is it worth keeping the bike and paying to fix its short-comings. The forks are my bikes biggest weakness (for me) other than the power lol. I’ve been riding now over 10 years and have owned a 600 but I just like the small bikes. Perfect for me and the kind of back road cruising I do. Of course I’d love to be able to just roll on the throttle and loft the front wheel sometimes but what can you do, gotta make sacrifices somewhere haha. So anyway it makes sense for me to put some money in the 300 (and save money in the long run I hope).
I may also do the front brake caliper/master upgrade as well (if I can find a good Nissan or Tokico) but thats more to give me another winter project.
Hopefully with these Ohlins I can find use the stock handlebars by making more room inside the bars for the fork caps to fit. Sadly noone will see the beautiful Ohlins caps… :cry:I tried woodcraft clip ons and did not like them.
The guy that sold me the cartridges kept the Ohlins stickers!!! Blasphemy!
 

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84' Goldwing Aspencade, 91' EX500, 98' Ninja 250 w/ 17' 300 engine, 07 EX500
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I've always said, the best thing one can do is suspension upgrades to these small Kawi, EX models.

After that brakes and tires.

Kawi has already squeezed the max HP out of these parallel twin engines, no large or significant gains will come about from doing anything else, considering costs involved.

If it's for a track only bike then knock yourselves out full exhaust etc etc but for street use save your money don't bother, for a couple of HP you'll gain, doesn't offset the cost involved, IMHO.

With that said and out of the way, I've been known to go overboard on a lot of projects and overspend on them to the point where I can never ever get my money back out of the bike or car etc etc. But when I do this on projects I made my mind up that I'm going to keep the bike or car etc etc I will not sell it, it is mine until I die.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course I like the 400 but getting one for me would involve selling my 300 and most likely losing some money on it after everything I’ve done (new tires, chain and sprockets, steering head bearings, rear shock etc.) and then buying a Ninja 400 which will cost me a little more than I can sell my 300 for. And THEN starting over with all the suspension mods and other things.
I just said 650 in my earlier post to convey that I want a sport touring type bike with a more upright seating position. I’d love to have a 400 instead of the 300 of course but was it willing the extra money and having to start over? I guess not for me at the moment.
Ghost, same here really. I’ve gone all out in the past but trying to do the most important things first.
I bought a spare Gsxr600 rear shock so I could have the clevis milled out and then have traxxion rebuild it. I’ve got one on my bike now and it works fine but being so old these shocks at the least should have new oil. And the fact that I did a quick hack job widening the clevis on my first one haha. For less than $50 its a hell of a shock though. $250 for a complete, professional rebuild and it should be very nice. The second shock I got looks like it was hardly used besides a few marks on the spring.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’m guessing 5wt fork oil is what to use? Keep it light and let the cartridge do the damping? Ohlins recommends only that you use their oil (of course :devilish:) but they dont specify a weight to start with…
Regular vs. synthetic shouldn’t matter much for me since I change it regularly? I have a liter of Motul that should do fine?
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As if fork oil weight ratings weren’t confusing enough, Ohlins makes a couple different fork oils labeled as “#5”. And they have different rated cst viscosity levels. Their #5 labels range from 17 to 22 cst.

This Motul has a cst rating of 17. If you can confirm that Ohlins is recommending their 5wt, the Motul would be just a bit lighter than Ohlins.

Fork Oil Ratings
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They don’t recommend the weight only that you use their fork fluid. I’ll start with the 5w Motul and can change from there. As long as I stuck to Motul from now on then a heavier/lighter weight should mean just that. No way I’m dropping $30-40 on a liter of Ohlins fluid. I don’t mind spending money just not tossing it away needlessly :)
 

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They don’t recommend the weight only that you use their fork fluid. I’ll start with the 5w Motul and can change from there. As long as I stuck to Motul from now on then a heavier/lighter weight should mean just that. No way I’m dropping $30-40 on a liter of Ohlins fluid. I don’t mind spending money just not tossing it away needlessly :)
their fluid is a total racket!
 
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