WHAT IS IT? The Inn Teck low-friction cartridge seal
kit replaces the stock cartridge rod seals and air divider
piston seals in the Showa SFF-Air TAC fork. The kit is
designed to decrease friction and drag compared to
conventional seals found in TAC-suspended bikes.
WHAT’S IT COST? $169.99.
CONTACT? www.ridejbi.com or (480) 269-5585.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the Inn Teck low-friction cartridge seal kit.
(1) Production. Showa’s SFF-Air TAC (Triple Air
Chamber) fork uses six seals to keep the inner, outer
and balance chamber air pressures separate. Five of the
seals are under extremely high pressure, which equates
to a tighter seal and more seal drag compared to
spring-equipped forks. Friction creates an adverse effect
on fork performance, as stroke travel isn’t as fluid. As a
result, many riders complain about stiction issues when
riding with the TAC fork.
( 2) Solution. InnTeck, in conjunction with seal
specialist SKF, developed a replacement seal kit for the
SFF-Air TAC fork. The low-friction kit uses SKF proprietary materials and an improved design with one seal
in place of three standard seals. By eliminating friction
caused by excess seal contact points, the Inn Teck kit
offers better sealing capabilities and less drag.
( 3) Inn Teck kit. The low-friction cartridge seal
kit contains an air-divider piston, rod seal head and
oil-damper cartridge rod seal. A standard air-divider
piston is responsible for separating the air from the top
of the inner chamber and the bottom of the balance
chamber. It contains three seals, while the InnTeck
design uses just one seal for less drag. Inn Teck also
managed to create a seal head using one seal instead
of three for less contact on the cartridge rod. An SKF
oil-damper cartridge rod seal completes the package.
Made from SKF’s proprietary seal material, it has
improved rod sealing for less drag.
( 4) Installation. Most riders should have the
InnTeck kit installed by a qualified suspension
technician. We used Ride JBI, out of Arizona, to get
the job done. Expect to pay around $180 in labor for
the installation, not including shipping and handling.
Competent backyard mechanics, proficient at replacing
fork seals, shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring
out how to install the kit.
( 5) Performance. It’s amazing how reducing
the number of fork-seal friction points made such a
noticeable difference. Slower riders weren’t as adept at
discerning the performance advantages of the Inn Teck
kit, but, otherwise, the kit was an eye-opener. On our
Kawasaki KX450F we were able to drop the air pressure
in the outer chamber to zero and go out a few clicks on
compression. The fork felt much more fluid and had a
more predictable reaction. It was very smooth, allowing
riders to loosen their grip on the bars and trust in
what the front end was going to do. Best of all, the
InnTeck kit doubles as a performance modification and
improves seal durability.
( 6) Models. Given that the Inn Teck low-friction
cartridge seal kit is designed for Showa SFF-Air TAC
forks, it only works on the 2015–’ 16 Kawasaki KX450F
and 2015–’ 16 Suzuki RM-Z450. The Inn Teck kit can
also be fitted with the balance chamber cone on the
2015–’ 16 Honda CRF250.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have two quibbles.
(1) Slower riders will have a hard time noticing the
difference. ( 2) Odds are the kit will need to be installed
by a technician.
This is a five-star product for those who hate
the performance of their TAC forks and a
three-star product for everyone else. We like it.
INNTECK LOW-FRICTION TAC CARTRIDGE KIT
MXA TEAM TESTED