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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I just need some clarification. I tried searching all over but could not find any definitive answer.

I am planning on getting the gold valve emulators installed on my 2012 SV650S (Australian Model). I believe it's the same model as the USA 08/09 model essentially.

My question is, the Race Tech instructions say to drill extra holes in the stock damper rods. I will most likely be taking the bike to Australia's only Race Tech distributor (Shock Treatment) in Sydney.

Is it an error to drill the extra holes? I don't feel comfortable telling a suspension expert what to do if that is the case and he follows the Race Tech instructions.

Also, now that years have passed, are there any other alternatives to the emulators that are as cost effective/simple to have installed?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, my predicament is this - what do you think would be best for me to purchase?

The options are:

1) Gold valve emulators, new springs/oil and a fork service (approximately $800).

2) Traxxion Dynamics AR-25's (approximately $750)

3) Andreani Cartridge Kit (approximately $800)

I just need some direction on what would be the best upgrade. If it helps I currently have a ZX10R shock in the rear and only ride on the street/twisties.

Thanks!
 

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Wait, you have the option to install a proper cartridgekit for the same price as something that would just emulate cartridges?

I never checked into the full on cartridge options (went straight to GSX-R forks), so I can't tell you if Traxxion AR-25's or the Andreani's are better, but both outclass emulators.
Although the Traxxion kit aren't full on cartridges either, they seem to sit somewhere in between.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, essentially the Andreani cartridges will cost about the same as gold valve emulators installed with new springs.

My problem is that no one seems to have the Andreani cartridges and im too worried to be one of the first guinea pigs.

Im really just looking for real world experiences from others with my bike before I fork out a lot of money.

Cheers
 

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With the Racetech emulators, you will need to open up the existing holes in the lowers. This will allow oil to flow from the inside and outside of the uppers. Otherwise, you can "pack up" the suspension.

Also, if you have the space, this is a good job to do yourself. Good opportunity to get to know your bike and save a lot of money.
 

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... or you could just buy some cartridges and have them install those? the performance gain of cartridges is miles better IMO!

I played around with Emulator front forks on my SV for a long time, I should have gone with the cartridges in the first place is my 20/20 hindsight...

but, if you must install them Emulators... I found that leaving the stock holes as is at the bottom of the stock damping rods worked best... and the upper small 1/8" hole needs to be brazed shut. I believe the RaceTech instructions and others recommend enlarging the lower holes, ... again, I found leaving them stock was better.
 

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Yeah, essentially the Andreani cartridges will cost about the same as gold valve emulators installed with new springs.
uhm you'd have to pay someone to install those too.

goldvalves + springs is like $300. the rest is labor (and labor you can do yourself). AKwhatevers are like $800 just for the parts. and then someone would still need to install them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After careful consideration I have decided to go with the AR-25s.

I will install them myself too to save the coin.

Unfortunately for us in Australia emulators run about $280AUD, springs are another $200 and the install/fork service is $280.

I also much prefer the idea of not drilling out my own rods etc. and believe the Traxxions will be better than GVEs.
 

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I had those in mine... not sure how much better than stock they are...
I picked up my Andreani cartridges on ebay for a little bit more than the AK-25 and the cartridge is miles better in performance, especially if you plan on going *fast*.

... looking back, I'm not too sure using emulators is much better than the stock setup, maybe just a placebo.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Really? You found the AR-25s were similar to stock? From all accounts I've only heard good things about emulators and that the Traxxions are even better still.

Did you have yours setup for your weight and riding style? I'm just a little surprised to hear your experience wasnt that great.
 

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I had two Gen1 SV bikes for a while... until my kid crashed one in a tank slapper crash (which could have been avoided with a better fork setup... 20/20 hindsight) one of our bikes had just Emulators on the stock damping rods and the other (mine) had the Traxxion cartridge Emulator setup... and I almost preferred the feel of the stock setup with the Emulator (don't tell Traxxion!)... but, I didn't play with the Emulator setup that much on the tank slapped and failed/crashed bike (as I did on the Traxxion)
... but, that is all hindsight now because I've got Andreani cartridges now and wouldn't go back!... just trying to spread some knowledge! Get the cartridges!

Although, before I put in my cartridges I experimented with my Emulator (on top of the Traxxion setup) and found running them with no preload on the "blow off" spring made for a more compliant setup (opposed to the 2.5 turns they recommended), and I was running about 50% sag in the fork (!)... it was still not good at higher speeds... having very poor manners compared to cartridges in "high speed damping control"....

Now, I'm not sure what tweaks that Traxxion has made to there cartridge Emulator setup... I purchased mine years years ago when they first came out... they were not called AR-25 when I purchased...

Really? You found the AR-25s were similar to stock? From all accounts I've only heard good things about emulators and that the Traxxions are even better still.

Did you have yours setup for your weight and riding style? I'm just a little surprised to hear your experience wasnt that great.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well it is good to hear from someone with real world Andreani experience because I couldn't find too many people that have used them.

Also, I should probably clarify - the Traxxion setup you used to have, was that the purpose built damper rods that were to be used with gold valve emulators??

If so, the AR-25 kit is completely new and features purpose built damper rods, their 25mm Axxion Valve from their cartridges, springs and precut spacers.

I dont think Traxxion offered anything similar to the AR-25s years ago, however I could be wrong. I just feel it may be a little like comparing apples to oranges if you're referencing the kit they had that relied on gold valve emulators.
 

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I just took a look at Traxxions AR-25.. and yes, looks to have a bigger flow piston at the top of the damping rods... mine did use the Race Tech Emulator on top.. I'd still get the cartridges! Especially at that cost... the cost is almost what I paid for the Andreani cartridges! without a cartridge, I imagine the rebound damping control is still going to be very poor!

again, I played around with that Emulator fork for a long time doing track days... and never got the front of the bike to feel "good" (after spending previous track experiences on GSXR's)... The Andreani cartridge has changed that for me... now I have a much better "Sport" bike...

the Andreani are not perfect either, I must say... especially at slow speeds... but, at higher speeds they "save your ass"!!! The Emulator setup is the exact reverse opposite: feeling good at slow speeds then trying to kill you at higher speeds with head shakes, tank slappers, lack of compliance!

need I say more?

Well it is good to hear from someone with real world Andreani experience because I couldn't find too many people that have used them.

Also, I should probably clarify - the Traxxion setup you used to have, was that the purpose built damper rods that were to be used with gold valve emulators??

If so, the AR-25 kit is completely new and features purpose built damper rods, their 25mm Axxion Valve from their cartridges, springs and precut spacers.

I dont think Traxxion offered anything similar to the AR-25s years ago, however I could be wrong. I just feel it may be a little like comparing apples to oranges if you're referencing the kit they had that relied on gold valve emulators.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well thanks heaps for sharing your experiences! Its nice to know that the Andreanis are a good cartridge!

I guess im venturing into unchartered territory a bit unless someone else out there has done the AR25 install and has feedback?
 

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I've got the Andreani cartridges too, on both my SV and my GS. Plenty of threads out there for our bike and various others if you do a little searching. That said, I'm happy with mine.
 

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the problem with any of the "emulator" setups is that the rebound circuitry is poor, compared to what cartridges offer... making them very slow to react at higher speeds... no comparison, really! I don't see the AR-25 being any better at "rebound", the way the damper rod works is compromised in rebound performance and might actually get worse once the Emulator is put on top (I'd be curious to try a back to back comparison stock vs. Emulator... again, I'm leaning toward "placebo"!).

Well thanks heaps for sharing your experiences! Its nice to know that the Andreanis are a good cartridge!

I guess im venturing into unchartered territory a bit unless someone else out there has done the AR25 install and has feedback?
 

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(I'd be curious to try a back to back comparison stock vs. Emulator... again, I'm leaning toward "placebo"!).
race proven... and even just logically proven. rebound dampening doesnt get worse. it gets slower. it isn't however adjustable without changing springs or oil thickness etc. but definitely not going to hydrolock like you can with stock rods since the holes are much bigger
 
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