The best thing about air is that it is
plentiful, light and cheap.
SHARPEN THE PENCILS IN
After reading all the reviews
about the Kayaba SSS suspension on
the YZ450F, why do the other big
manufacturers keep using air forks?
They’re complex and problematic.
Sticking with the trusted spring
suspension is a selling factor for
me. Do KTM, Kawasaki, Honda and
Suzuki know something that
Yamaha and the MXA crew don’t?
Yes, they know that there is a
larger profit margin in spec’ing air
forks over coil-spring forks. Air forks
offer two benefits to manufacturers.
(1) They are cheaper to purchase
because they have fewer parts,
assembly is faster and air is cheaper
than steel. ( 2) The typical air fork
weighs 2 to 3 pounds less than a
coil-spring fork. This is important,
because imagine the weight of a
2016 Suzuki RM-Z450 if it had
coil-spring forks instead of Showa
SFF TAC air forks. It would be
pushing 243 pounds. When a
manufacturer specs parts for a
production bike, they have to take
cost and weight into consideration—
and often those two things outweigh