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What makes KYB forks so good?

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  • What makes KYB forks so good?

    Hi friends,

    I'm currently eyeing off a couple of new bike options and am being pointed in the direction of bikes with KYB forks over others.

    I'm a pretty average rider these days, I don't get on the trails as much as I did before settling down and having kids etc etc. I can't tell if my sag is setup or not. I have no issue with 10yr+ ktm forks that have been professionally setup for my weight and riding style. Why do I want KYB forks, what are the major differences about them and why does everyone like them so much?
    It pumps one way and then it pumps the other...
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  • #2
    Don't forget, there's KYB and then there's KYB. All aren't the same. Sherco, Beta, not same same.

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    • #3
      My understanding was the KYB SSS on the Yamaha's was what the reputation was built on.

      I've got KYB inserts on a 2016 300 (not sure if they're SSS though), they shit over the 4CS it had stock, even after Dave at Suspension Matters modified them with his Control setup.
      The OC's on my 200 are also a lot better than the modded 4CS and probably better in slower stuff than the KYB, but it gets a bit twitchy at speed across rocky terrain.

      Most of my time on the 300 is spent plodding around in the bush looking for technical hardish enduro style loops, so for the most part the KYB's offer little if any benefit, but yesterday arve on a new faster revision of the track here at home (with plenty rock-strewn 4th gear off-camber sweepers) they had me grinning from ear to ear.
      The faster & harder I push the KYB's the more they inspire me to push faster & harder... it's bound to end in pain.

      I don't think the KYB should make or break a sale unless you intend pushing it a bit.
      Besides, forks are easy to change out whereas you're pretty much stuck with the engine & chassis you choose.
      Which bikes are on your radar?

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      • #4
        Most forks will be fine for trail riding if setup for your weight and the type of riding you do, there obviously have been some dud designs over the years though.

        I have the opposite experience to what 380 has outlined above although with the same/similar forks and it’s due simply to setup rather than fork type. I had a 350 exc with revalved OCs that where setup for faster riding. They beat the heck out of me in slow tight stuff but as soon as you could open the throttle it was likes rocks, roots, holes, mounds etc just did not exist. You could hit almost anything hard and ride straight through it, made me look like a better rider than I am once I realised what they where capable of.

        My current bike has a revalved set of WP CC, they are setup so soft (too soft really) for crawling around tight trails, they are beautiful for a middle age trail rider but dangerous if you get a little too frisky.

        Get the bike you want and set the forks up accordingly.

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        • #5
          Yep, set-up is key
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          • #6
            It's all a matter of opinion based on "feelings" I reckon. Case in point, I swapped my 2018 KTM with a mate's Sherco with KYB. We both got off saying the other person's suspension felt great! Go figure. But, in saying that, there are certain things worth chasing in any suspension set up. "Plush-ness" over roots and rocks at reasonable speed is to be desired. So is a non-bottoming-out experience from a reasonable jump. Nor a bounce of the rear end off a flat landing. Traction and drive out of a corner is largely suspension set up too. As is washing out the front end on certain turns. Wouldn't it be great to just have a guru with you all the time?

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            • #7
              I’ve generally prescribed to the idea of getting it setup as firm as you can tolerate, you’ll eventually stuff up and it will pay off when you ride straight through what you thought was going to be a major incident - it’s a great feeling, like cheating death I’d imagine

              Firm forks save lives

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