them with their TAC-R system. This ingenious design takes
the hyper-progressive nature of air forks and makes them
feel like coil-spring forks. Why not just use spring forks?
Because air is light. If MX-Tech could get the performance
of air to stand toe to toe with coil springs, then air forks
would win every time—as you’ll save several pounds.
That’s a big difference.
How does MX-Tech make air forks feel like coil-spring
forks? They alter the rate at which the volume changes
are occurring inside the fork. This is done by adding a
high-pressure region in sequence with the main air volume. This creates a more tunable fork with a more linear
profile. The system has low-, mid- and high-pressure air
All that sounds very technical, but how does it really
work? As the fork moves through its stroke, the air pressure inside the fork increases dramatically. If kept contained in the fork legs, the pressure would ramp up rapidly
at the end of the stroke and produce an incredibly harsh
feel. To stop this from happening, MX-Tech borrows some
technology from the 1976 Yamaha Speedo-and-Tach air
forks. These long-forgotten air forks used a canister-style
fork cap that acted as a second air chamber with a separator piston inside to vary the size of the fork’s air volume.
MX-Tech mimicked the concept by designing a new fork
cap that extends 80mm into the fork leg. It, like the 1976
fork cap, has a separator piston that moves upward as the
pressure rises inside the fork. This changes the air volume
in the lower chamber as the separator piston moves. In layman’s terms, you have a dual-stage air fork. It’s ingeniously
With some mapping and gearing changes we made the
MX-Tech Service Honda a great performing machine.