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How good are these Spears Intiminators in comparison to an aftermarket fork cartridge? Would they be used with the stock OEM fork internals? Looks like a good price, instead of having new cartridges installed. Anyone been using these, drawbacks and benefits?

https://www.spearsenterprises.com/intiminator.html
 

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I used intiminators on a ninja 650. Cool mod but it won't ever do the same thing as what a real cartridge will accomplish. Plus when it comes to tuning you gotta take the forks apart every time.

Pros are: no alterations to the internals, it's a true literal drop in part, they are about half the price of a cartridge kit, possible more. I bought mine straight from ricor for the ninja and they were less than $200. The spears ones have a different price on them and that may be due to them being tuned for racing/track, but don't quote me on that. Oddly, last time I checked ricor did not list an application for the R3 though it has several for other 41mm forks.

Cons are : not nearly as easy to tune as a true cartridge. The intiminators alone don't offer preload but that's a cheap fix with preload adjusters.
 

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Lots of spirited discussion on the HD Sporty forum I post on about this and GVE's. I'm in the Racetech GVE camp because you have tuneable options with the GVE. With the Intimidators, they are drop in and use. Technically, there is some tuning adjustment, but you have to order other parts and it is very limited. I had a set sent to me from a HD rider over in Sweden that ordered a set and could never get them to work as advertised. I took one apart to study how they work (I do this more than I should to things).

Similarities:
- Installation, they both sit on top of the damper rod and the spring goes on top of them
- Rebound damping is fixed with no adjustability other than changing the viscosity of the fork oil. This often overlooked as a real tuning option for both devices, that is, people put a fixed weight oil in and take what the device delivers. I have not seen anyone try mixing oils to create a different viscosity oil.
- little to no tuning guidance for either devise is out there on the internet. There are lots of riders who tell you what they have done (subjective) but no qualitative info.

Differences:
- Intimidators: compression damping are handled 2 ways. The highspeed damping is interesting on the Intimidator. That's the part of the device that moves in reacting to sharp inputs by the bike blowing off compression damping like when you hit a pot hole. Otherwise the oil flows trough specific circuits on slow speed compression damping situations like running on the highway through shallow dips. Also, you do not have to drill out the damper rods but you have to use lighter weight fork oil (5wt).
- With GVEs, you have 2 tuning options to control the highspeed and lowspeed compression damping. You have to select between 1 of 2 springs and the amount of preload you use to handle the highspeed and lowspeed conditions. For further slowspeed damping adjustments, you have to mod the number (and size, a possible option) of holes in the compression damping valve. There is nothing to buy, it all comes with the kit. You use higher weight oil 10 wt on the minimum side with many using 15 wt or 20 wt.

Which is better? I say GVE's because of the tunability + they are cheaper. But, like most things, if you don't tune them correctly, they will not do a very good job so you could be wasting your money. In this sense, the Intimidator might be better because it requires the lease amount of knowledge to get it to work reasonably well; just select the viscosity of the oil until you are happy.

Just curios - how many riders are using the Intimidator?
 

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I bought the Ricor intiminators recently but have not been up to the states to pick them up. They are not listed for the R3 (MT-03) on their website. I measured the ID of my fork tubes and called them, they said the KLR intiminators 41mm Kayaba that they sell will fit my MT-03. They included an extra seal slider that is slightly over sized. I will install them next month and report back. The Racetech product requires a lot more modification to tune so I did not want to go with that route. My goal is just to soak up topes and potholes throughout Mexico and Central America. I have no interest in track days.
 
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