Been meaning to do this for a bit now but been procrastinating.
I can't give a full review because I know I have not yet begun to push the bike or suspension.
I sent my forks to @forks-by-matt
a couple months ago. While I have had them back for awhile I was only able to finally put them to use this last weekend at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Beloit, WI.
When I got the forks back, they looked almost exactly like I had sent them out. The only difference being it had preload/rebound adjustable fork caps and the compression adjustment on the bottom. I actually though the caps were factory caps. I later found out Matt machines them himself. Matt also included some preload adjusters with the forks.
Forks went into the bike as usual with only a minor hiccup at the fork caps and the top triple clamp. They might have been about a half a mm to big or I just didn't have them lined up perfectly. After I moved the forks a bit on the bottom end they slid right in.
I ended up setting the front sag up by myself. It went pretty well and ended up with 31mm. That was according to TSE, who set up my shock. They didn't need to touch the front forks for sag. They did add a turn of rebound though.
On the track I got down to almost 1:25s, 1:26.053. I know I am not carrying nearly enough corner speed. My body position is not up on the front of the bike enough yet either and I am completely missing apexes. I feel I can get down to 1:22s or lower on this bike. There is one kid doing 1:19s on a KTM. Of course, he is a lot lighter than me, doesn't have a family to worry about at the end of the day, and had been racing the Moto America RC cup series and finished 7th. His bike is a fully set up RC cup bike.
For reference, I was doing very low 1:18s on my supersport SV with my rear shock bottoming out from to light of a spring. The fast supersport guys are doing mid to high 1:16s.
I only got a total of 5 practice sessions and 2 races. I was able to get the front end set up pretty quickly though. If you want to know the layout of the track I was at take a look. This is Blackhawk Farms Raceway (BFR)
Once I got up to speed, consistent 1:27s to 1:26s, going through the carousel, turn 3, I could feel the front end pushing. It was very controlled and predictable. I didn't really feel it anywhere else though. Of course, I probably wasn't carrying enough corner speed through the rest of the turns. I am sure once I start carrying more speed I may feel it other places. The front end coped very well with this problem. The front end would also get really light on the exit of the carousel and 3D. These are quick transition areas. Again, the forks stayed planted and predictable. This wasn't a problem with the forks though. This was geometry and body position issues. The forks handled the problems very well.
We raised the rear shock two turns to solve the light front end and pushing issues. After we did that the forks really hit the dip going through turn 5 hard. Turn 5 is a high speed left hand turn. That is when I took out half a turn of compression and put in half a turn of rebound. That made the forks ride smoothly over that dip. I didn't add the rebound because of the bump though. It just seemed the forks were coming up to fast when I was bouncing on them. That may have been due to increased temp or just the forks getting some use into them.
I did hit the curbing/chatter strips coming out of turn 7 once while chasing a RC390. I didn't even feel the chatter strips! The forks handled it like nothing was there. I know on my SV I have really felt it when I have hit those.
The forks preformed wonderfully under hard braking and trail braking too. I was still using my SV brake markers and style. I was always hard on the brakes with the SV. For this first weekend I tried the Ducati 1199R 16 mm front master cylinder. It was complete overkill. Brakes were either on or off. No middle ground really. Front end handled it very well though.
I checked my front end travel at the end of the day. I am only getting 73mm/2.87" of travel in the front forks. 5.1" is max travel on the forks according to Yamaha. I may need to go to lighter springs or change the air gap. If I can actually lose the 30 lbs like I want to I will definitely need to go to lighter springs!
I only have three issues with the forks. First, Matt forgot to include a build sheet. He did get back to me right away when I asked about what oil, springs, and max/min settings the forks had. Second, when adjusting the preload, I could hear, what sounded like, the spring turning inside the fork tube. It never effected how the forks performed. It has since gone away. Third, and this is really a nitpick, you have to take off the front wheel to adjust the compression. I knew this going in though. I have talked to TSE, who have access to a machine shop, and found I can have two small holes drilled in the axle in order to have access to the adjuster screws with the wheel on. I will just need to index them with a bar when tightening the axle. I had to do that with my 996 Ducati so I could have access to the compression adjusters on the bottom of those forks.
Fork settings were 3 turns for compression and 4 turns for rebound. I have to admit, I was a bit worried about what I initially perceived as a lack of adjustability. While this doesn’t seem like a lot when compared to the $800, w/ out installation, (cheapest) fork cartridge kits it has been more than enough. These are also turns, and not clicks. Meaning it has infinite adjustability vs being limited to the number of clicks available. Also, the $800 doesn’t include installation or oil. Remember, these are turns also, not clicks. I am currently at 2 3/4 turns out on the rebound and 2 turns out on the compression.
If you are considering the emulator route, this is SO much easier to adjust than emulators ever have been. No oil to change or emulators to pull out to adjust. This really sucks if you have days where temperature varies greatly like we do in Wisconsin. This last weekend at BFR temperature ranged from 57o in the morning to a high of 79o. That really plays **** with oil viscosities and how your suspension will work. When I did have emulators in my SV I would pull them out in order to adjust them to work better in the afternoons vs the mornings. Plus, at $350 for the Traxxion emulator/spring/damping rod kit, w/out installation, you really are not saving that much money, if any.
At $475ish, with springs and, I believe, return shipping, it is an absolute bargain compared to emulators/springs or the twice as expensive cartridge kits.
I know I sound like a fan boy, and that is because I am! I am not ashamed to admit that I love being able to have fully adjustable forks at less than half the price of other aftermarket options or just slightly more than emulators.
I hope this will make others decision easier when deciding to upgrade their suspension.