Gold valves here's why

A service reference
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bikeman2502001
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Gold valves here's why

Post by bikeman2502001 » 07:16 pm May 16 2020

I bought a really nice 02 220 and decided to update my suspension for saftey's sake as around here there is alot of tree roots here and in the 35 years of riding here I have seen some really bad accidents all because of improperly set up suspension. 1st ride was ok but as an old hare scrambler and enduro rider we still like to sprint around for at least a little bit and I did not feel like I could trust the front end totally. After tearing down the forks I saw that the stock piston isnt capable of flowing enough oil on big hits no matter how much you mess with the valving you can never out shim the problems caused by an incorrect piston. Im posting some pictures to show the superior oil flow capacity of the gold valves. If your tired of getting spit off of the trail with out notice I highly recommend these and proper spring rates, for higher speeds they are a must. Im going with Jeff Fredette's recommendation to go to 7.5 weight oil to get a little more rebound out of them 5 is too light 10 is too heavy.Race tech recommends going to 145 mm oil height. These mods are for woods riding motocross will be different. I hope this helps you ride safer
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by KDXGarage » 12:32 pm May 17 2020

They do offer better tuning.
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by rungrandpa » 10:31 pm May 18 2020

I noticed a picture that Jeff Fredette posted with all his KDX's he did not have any fork conversions on any of them that I could see.

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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by kdxsully » 06:03 am May 19 2020

Some people drill more holes into the piston, then chamfer them with a dremel.
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bikeman2502001
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by bikeman2502001 » 10:09 am May 19 2020

Yes your right, Jeff's bikes all used a modified version of the stock forks and other parts. What im seeing when people are switching to motocross
forks they miss the fact that they are not woods forks and require much more work and money to get them to work in the woods. Jeff Raced the Kdx as they came from the factory with messaged stock parts at the highest level there is and won many gold medals and a ton more of silvers. If the stock forks were good enough for Jeff than surely they will be good enough for me. In the past i saw many near stock KDX's in the expert class and winning. I guess its in what you want, I always gravitate toward the best bang for the buck mods my self. I have come to realize that some people just have more money than I do LOL

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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by KDXGarage » 11:16 am May 19 2020

Stock 1995+ forks are nearly identical to the 1988 KX forks, so they have 1987 technology. Using more modern forks, even by a few years, is nice if all the steps are taken to get the forks working properly in the woods.

People who buy KX forks and run MX valving will not get all the benefits that the forks have to offer.
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by doakley » 05:54 pm May 19 2020

Jeff Fredette could whip us all on a unicycle.

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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by KDXGarage » 11:25 pm May 19 2020

VERY TRUE! Some of us need all the help we can get! (ME!)
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by SS109 » 02:44 am May 20 2020

bikeman2502001 wrote:
10:09 am May 19 2020
What im seeing when people are switching to motocross
forks they miss the fact that they are not woods forks and require much more work and money to get them to work in the woods. Jeff Raced the Kdx as they came from the factory with messaged stock parts at the highest level there is and won many gold medals and a ton more of silvers. If the stock forks were good enough for Jeff than surely they will be good enough for me.
I would hope, and I do believe, most understand that MX valving is different from woods valving and especially so if they're the type of person interested in doing a fork swap on a KDX. IME, it costs no more to have modern forks re-valved compared to the stock KDX forks and adding Gold Valves to your KDX forks makes them considerably more costly.

Even under the best of circumstances, the KDX forks are 1980's technology and, no matter what you do to them, they flex like crazy at speed in rough terrain, have more under-hang, and you have no rebound adjustment. If you're riding low and slow I think they can be pretty decent forks. I loved them in the hike-a-bike stuff. However, I've had more than a few occasions when the speeds got above 15-20mph where the forks flexed and they sent me flying off the trail and crashing. Maybe if I was as skilled as Jeff that wouldn't be a problem but I'm not. I'm just fast enough that stock forks get me hurt. Since adding Showa 47mm twin chamber USD forks to my KDX I don't go flying randomly off the trail anymore. IMO/IME they were a worthy upgrade for the performance, adjustability, and safety benefits.

As far as what Jeff has accomplished, yes, he's a absolute legend. He was a better rider than 99% of off road racers during his time. What he could do with somewhat stock forks, with all their shortcomings, is a testament to his skill and determination and not to the suitability of the KDX forks to the task at hand. So, what Jeff, as an off road god, can make work is not the same for us less talented people.

That all said, do what you like! We all rider different terrains, at different skill levels, and are looking for different goals with our bikes. Only you know what is best for you!
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by bikeman2502001 » 06:02 am May 20 2020

Yes I agree,please dont get me wrong Im slamming people for upgrading they do look pretty cool and do have less flex, But there always has been controversy over upside downs and conventional forks for off road ever since the introduction of the up side downs, Many manufactures went back and forth between the two for years.there are tons of testimonial on both sides of the argument. I do like the fact that the newer forks have the adjustable rebound though, And again the upside downs have gotten better as years pass by but even they have gone through an evolution. Your right its all in rider preference and loving to work on and make our bikes our own. I grew up in the muscle car days its all the same. I cannot defend the statement that these stock forks are indeed old technology they are. Lets Go riding!

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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by SS109 » 09:58 pm May 20 2020

Very true. If you like conventional forks better, look for some forks off a 1998 Suzuki RM250. They were, and still are, considered the best conventional forks (49mm Showa) ever put on a dirt bike. I think they would be an awesome upgrade for any KDX. I think we even had a member here that did a swap with them some years back IIRC.
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by bikeman2502001 » 10:05 am May 21 2020

Yeah I had a 99 Ktm250exc and it came with super tough (largetube) conventional s they were the best fork I experienced on a KTM of those years,on big hits I just felt a big cushhhh they were awsome and for many years after many on KTM talk would take off their new forks on their new bikes and put these on they were that good. Im not sure what Im going to do in the future as our forest closed down after just one ride,
I had a couple of RMX's also those forks just needed to be stiffened up just a little and worked well also. I also liked my forks on my wr450's for that matter So im not going to make any decision's either way for now until i get more time in the saddle and if I do change to be honest Im not sure what ill change to, Thanks for your imput on the Suzuki Forks. I have a question though We know that the forks on the KDX's have underhang
is there any changes to the rake and trail or is the front ride any higher with forks of anykind that dont have underhang? I have to admit in one hare scramble i raced years ago I did infact see a kdx rider catch a stump with the stock forks and went flying through the air pretty bad, Luckily it was right in front of the spectator area so I was sure he got the care he needed right away.

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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by KDXGarage » 10:32 am May 21 2020

KX (and other) forks may have a different axle to top of the fork tube measurement than a KDX fork. Most people pull the "other" forks up a little in the clamps. A few have the travel internally shortened.
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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by bikeman2502001 » 06:37 pm May 21 2020

Thanks for that info these are things i need to look at in the future.

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Re: Gold valves here's why

Post by KDXGarage » 11:24 pm May 21 2020

Otherwise, lime green Easy Rider :-)
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