Hot Bike - - Contents - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: JOHN ZAMORA

Race Tech fork car­tridge and pig­gy­back shocks ........................................ 72

Most stock mo­tor­cy­cle sus­pen­sions are made for the masses. They are made to ac­com­mo­date the widest range of peo­ple pos­si­ble for the largest type of rid­ing styles. The XR1200 isn’t your av­er­age Sport­ster. It was built to rip on the street and the track. What bet­ter way to max­i­mize the han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics of this awe­some ma­chine than to in­stall a cus­tom sus­pen­sion?

Ba­sic rear shock re­place­ment is easy, but front fork car­tridges can get tricky and re­quire spe­cial tools. For ex­am­ple, a lathe is needed to prop­erly tap the spring-only leg to add a sec­ond car­tridge. For that rea­son, you might want to en­list the help of a qual­i­fied shop. We went straight to the source to do the dirty work. You’d be hard-pressed to find a com­pany with more ex­pe­ri­ence or knowl­edge about sus­pen­sion than Race Tech.


3 Re­move the front fender, wheel, and brakes.


Sus­pend the mo­tor­cy­cle on a lift or some­thing sim­i­lar to al­low re­moval of both the front and rear sus­pen­sion.


Re­plac­ing the rear shocks is sim­ple. Sim­ply bolt on the rear shocks and torque to specs.


Re­move the stock em­u­la­tors. Race Tech uses a spe­cial­ized vise to hold the shock.

4 Loosen the triple clamps and re­move both front forks.

2 With the rear wheel in the air, re­move the rear shocks.


Disas­sem­ble the forks ac­cord­ing to the di­rec­tions. Be care­ful not to mar or dam­age the fork tubes.


Stock forks, one side is spring only. In or­der to add a car­tridge kit, the fork must be tap and died. Race Tech uses a lathe to en­sure per­fect ac­cu­racy. It is rec­om­mended you let a pro­fes­sional shop do this.


Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make sure all ma­te­ri­als are clean of any metal or flu­ids.

15 Add rec­om­mended fork oil ac­cord­ing to instructions.


Re­in­stall the front wheel, brakes, and fender. Now you’re ready to rip on the street or the track with a sus­pen­sion setup cus­tom tai­lored just for your weight and rid­ing style.


It’s al­ways a good idea to re­place the stock dust seals when work­ing on shocks.


Fol­low­ing instructions, re­assem­ble the bush­ing, seals, and clips.


In­stall the re­bound damp­ing rod assem­bly then the com­pres­sion assem­bly into the car­tridge.


Race Tech runs the fork tubes on a lathe and runs a light sand­pa­per on them to give them a slightly rough sur­face.

13 In­stall the new dust seals and clips.

18 Re­in­stall the forks back on the bike.

16 Care­fully in­stall the cap af­ter adding oil.


Ad­just the com­pres­sion and re­bound ad­justers ac­cord­ing to instructions.

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