KTM / Husqvarna Competition Tuned Suspension Systems
It will come as no surprise to most dirt dike enthusiasts that KTM / Husky brands have become the most popular brand of off-road motorcycle. The orange bikes are everywhere. With the overwhelming popularity and growth of KTM / Husky comes increasing diversity within their product line. Since 2007 KTM has fitted 4 new WP forks to the XC and SX models, added the X-Plor fork to the EXC and XCW model lines and updated there existing cartridge fork. Rear suspension changes have kept pace with the fork updates. Linkage has been added to the XC and SX models and all Husky models 2015 and newer. The excellent PDS rear shock on the EXC and XCW models has been updated several times. Moto Pro Suspension has kept pace with KTM’s suspension changes. We test new bikes and determine where suspension performance is lacking. Stock WP suspension settings are typically lacking in plushness, traction and overall control. WP forks and shocks are very high quality and deliver fantastic performance when properly tuned for the rider and application.
Discriminating KTM / Husky owners look no further than Moto Pro Suspension. We have been tuning and engineering industry leading suspension solutions for over 25 years. Internet pop up shops come and go like the wind. I call them “pay and pray” shops. You pay, then you pray your suspension actually works better when it comes back than it did when you sent it out. Avoid future hassle and frustration by dealing with Moto Pro Suspension, one of the oldest suspension shops in the country. Raise the level of your riding to an impressive new high that your riding buddies will definitely notice. Call John at 800-277-5089 so we can discuss any questions you have about high performance suspension tuning. We will discuss what changes I would suggest and why. Creating a custom high performance suspension system that actually works requires reliable data, access to new bikes and the ability to critically test new designs for areas of weakness. Let’s transform your late model KTM or Husky into the best handling off-road weapon you have ever ridden.
Late Model WP Forks
The "SEPARATED CHAMBER" WP fork is a new design for 2024. This fork is similar in design and tuning to the excellent KYB "Dual Chamber fork). WP finally has a dual spring / pressurized cartridge fork design that offers linear response to bumps without the inherent problems of single side spring or air forks. Our tests have proven this fork can be tuned soft & plush for technical mountain riders or firm and racy for track experts. KTM / Husky owners have been waiting for this type of fork for a long time. This fork has astounding potential for all riders when properly valved & set up.
The WP X-Plor fork arrived on the KTM / Husky woods / off-road models in 2017 as a replacement for the excellent WP cartridge fork. The X-Plor is a tremendously capable woods / off-road design. Capable of being tuned for a plush ride over roots & rocks while still delivering excellent bottoming resistance. Newer versions have external adjustable spring preload. This is a huge upgrade that allows for very precise fork tuning with convenient finger adjusters.
WP's AER fork is a single side air fork / damping cartridge design. The left leg contains a high pressure sealed air cylinder inside the fork tubes. The AER is a very durable design and retains full function / ride height even if you blow a fork oil seal. This fork tunes well for woods riders but the progressive nature of air forks lends its application to fast, aggressive riders / jumpers willing to give up some plushness for excellent bottoming resistance.
The 4CS, is a new design with some significant changes compared to previous offerings. Most notable changes include the elimination of Nitrogen charged bladders. This single change eliminates the chance for any leakage or bladder failure. Another notable change is the conversion to single leg compression / rebound adjustability. Both legs have springs and internal compression and rebound hydraulics with the left fork cap offering compression adjustment and the right leg offering rebound adjustment. This system is not ideal, it introduces a torque load into the front suspension especially on high velocity square edge bumps. On the plus side, riders seem to appreciate the convenient adjuster location. From the perspective of a high performance suspension tuner my opinion of the new fork is mixed. Component quality is very good, no issues there. For most riders especially off-road, woods and trail riders the fork is way too firm both in hydraulics and spring rate. Luckily, the 4CS is very tunable, offering a broad range of tuning options for racers and trail riders alike. Moto Pro Suspension has engineered a custom package of internal modifications designed specifically for the 4CS to deliver a plush ride, increased traction and improve the overall feeling of control.
I saved (in my opinion) the best for last. The very fine WP cartridge fork found on the older EXC and XCW models is more than adequate for the vast majority of riders not pounding around the MX track. This durable WP fork not only has no internal cartridge pressure like the bladder fork and 4CS, but has external adjustable preload. This is a huge tuning advantage because it allows altering the ride height of the front of the bike without moving the fork tubes. Preload changes will also slightly soften or firm the initial feeling of the fork. The WP cartridge fork (when compared against other WP fork models) tunes with a smoother more buttery feel and offers superior square edge bump performance. Off-roaders / Enduro riders looking for the most forgiving and plushest ride over roots and rocks will want to consider putting this fork on their bike. If your curious call John and we can discuss the reasons why I believe this fork has so much potential.
Late Model WP Shocks
WP rear shocks are divided into two types, the PDS shock is found on all models without linkage. The center bleed shock in several versions is fitted to KTM / Husky models that utilize rear suspension linkage. Debuting in 1998, the PDS shock was unusual and misunderstood by most suspension shops. Dedicated testing revealed the PDS shock was capable of performance equal to anything on the market at the time. The WP PDS shock remains very durable and effective design with tremendous potential for high performance tuning. Paired with the appropriate progressive spring this is a very capable rear shock and is one of the reasons the EXC and XCW models have dominated the off-road scene for many years, and will probably continue for many more. Newer versions of the PDS shock have received internal updates that provide greater latitude for high performance tuning. The newest PDS model has a lighter overall weight and a shorter spring with less progression. Recent updates to the frame design of the PDS bikes have improved the Off-road capability of the EXC / XCW models. Moto Pro's most recent upgrade package builds on WP's new efficient design and allows for even greater custom tuning to meet your suspension needs.
The CENTER BLEED WP SHOCK was introduced on KTM SX models in 2011. The first year for KTM’s return to a rear suspension linkage in over a decade. This new shock is similar in design to a Showa or KYB found on Japanese dirt bikes. The most significant difference is the large diameter reservoir incorporating a separator piston instead of a rubber bladder for Nitrogen containment. The piston design is very effective at maintaining consistent shock performance and totally eliminates the chance for bladder failures. The internals of the WP shock use spring steel shims like any other velocity sensitive design. The valve body is a very efficient design and has impressive flow capability. The newest version of the WP Center Bleed Shock incorporates a huge 60+ mm separator piston, revised rebound metering, new 50mm valve body & finger friendly compression and rebound adjusters. These updates allow for further improvement with custom valving and flow enhancements that deliver tremendous square edge bump absorption. The result is improved traction and an overall feeling of greater control. Paired with the correct spring for the rider’s weight and riding style the WP center bleed shock will deliver all the performance you can handle under virtually any riding condition.
Thank you for sticking with me this long. The above information is essentially a short story of WP the suspension fitted to most KTM models 2001 and newer, and late model Husky's. If you get stuck trying to set up your KTM or Husky don’t get frustrated and fall victim to no name internet garbage solutions. Call John at the 800 number listed above. We can straighten out many suspension problems over the phone. Have fun riding and remember to ride legal and ride safe.