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Traxxion Spring/Damper Kit Install and Impression


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I thought this would be relatively easy, as all the other posts mention relatively quick install, but we had a few problems . . .
Big issue was not having a fork stand, so I had to use ratchet straps to the joists in the garage. I used two and attached them on the sides of the bike where the sliders attach, just above/outboard of the engine. I had the back on the rear stand, so that solidified things a bit, but I was leery of them hanging off the ceiling.
Then pulled everything apart no problem, but it was time to remove the bottom bolt that holds the damper rods in place, and THAT was a problem. First I checked to see if my old mechanical impact driver might bump 'em loose - no. Alright, to the shop and use a pneumatic impact driver - blap, blap, blap, blap. And one off, but the other would not budge. Cranked up the psi and the gun to full strength and still nothing.
Sh!t. So I call around to two local shops and they say, yes there is a special tool, and yes, they would do it and it would cost me $21 to stand there for 3 minutes while they grip the rod from the inside and then remove the bolt. There was silence and a sigh on my side of the phone, to which he apologized and said, he didn't have a choice - shop policy. The second shop said, no worries, bring it down and no charge. So off I went, and the mechanic said, actually we don't have the tool, we generally just leave the springs in and use a pnuemo gun and if it still turns, we have someone sit on the leg and compress it some more and then hit it with the gun again. He said it works almost always.
OK, since it was taken apart, I had to go home and put it back together and then head to my shop again to use my gun, and . . . no. WTF? So, I headed back to their shop and they were good enough to take it back and loosen it. The bolt was so hot from the friction, that it was uncomfortable to hold. That boy was in there. He commented that they had to work it pretty hard to get it out. But at least it's out and I can finish up . . .
Home and working at it again, and all is well except there are some discrepancies to the instructions and my manual. The instructions comment about barely putting the bolts back in and just a smidge over finger tight. Yeah, that doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy, so I check the manual and they want 22 ft-lb (if I recall correctly). And they want lock-tight, which the instructions say do not use. Arghh. So I figure, I'm not going to be pulling these boys apart again, so I'm following the manual. I was able to torque it after the leg was back together completely and loaded; it seemed to hold it in place ok and get me to 22 without spinning.
I again run into this issue when the instructions comment about 6 ft-lbs for the top cap of the stanchion tube, but that again feels a wee bit light, and the manual says something about 4 times that, so again, I go with the manual.
Only open issue is that the spacers have two holes in one end and they do not explicitly state down or up, so I ciphered on that a bit and ended up putting them holes down (oil passage?), but I don't think this is a big deal.
Then thankfully I'm able to pull the front end down off the rafters and take her for a spin. First impression is that it's too damped and I used too thick oil - I used 15wt as I'm 220 and the instructions gave a range of 10-15, so I assumed the springs were stiffer and needed thicker oil to control.
So out for a ride, and initial riding impression is, hey nice work. I have an aftermarket shock in the rear and it's definitely more plush and compliant than the original shock and also the front end. They were definitely mismatched and the taut front end did not like to dive into corners and stay put. It tried to stand me up when I hit bumps and the front/back were not matched well. BUT, the new setup is great! Very well balanced front and rear, and I can heel over and drive to the apex without that tendency to stand up. Bump compliance is much better as well. I haven't noticed a brake-dive difference, but I wasn't really bothered by that before.
So it was a good investment and the ride feels much nicer. All things aside, without the PITA bolts in the bottom locking me up for hours, this would have taken about 3 hours, start to finish. Much better if I had a fork lift though.
Any thoughts about viscosity? What are you all using on the Traxxion kit, and what do you weigh? Anybody install a preload kit with the Traxxion kit? In theory we shouldn't need one, but wondering . . .

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I just installed the traxxion kit last weekend. Those bottom bolts for the stock damper rods were a major pain for me too. I have a good impact but once they broke loose the damper rods just spun. I tried reinstalling springs and putting weight on them but they still spun. I had to take them to a dealer and spend $40 for them to get those damn bolts out. After that everything went smoothly. I decided not to use loctite as someday when I need to replace bushings or oil seals I'll need to get those damper bolts out again. My instructions noted on the spacers if they have holes to put the holes toward the top.
I'm 195 lbs without gear and I used 15w maxima oil. The springs traxxion supplied me were one .90 and one .85. Overall I am very happy with how the fork performs now. Much more confidence inspiring in the corners and only very slightly less plush than stock on bad pavement. I noticed a lot less brake dive now also.

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