WHAT IS IT? Originally thought of as a KTM works part
when it first appeared on Ryan Dungey’s KTM 450SXF
at the start of the 2014 AMA Supercross season, the NK
SFS air triple clamp is actually an aftermarket triple clamp
that is available for all brands of modern motocross bikes.
What makes the NK SFS air triple clamp unique is that
the handlebar mounts are actually small air shocks with
oil damping that suspend the handlebars to offer 10mm
of shock-absorbing travel.
WHAT’S IT COST? $730.00 (top clamp only),
$929.00 (complete triple clamp).
CONTACT? www.budracing-usa.com or (951) 245-2660.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with NK’s SFS air triple clamp.
(1) Purpose. Absorbing vibrations and blows from
the rider’s hands has historically been left to Rube
Goldberg-style flex handlebars, overly plush grips and
rubber-mounted bars. The NK SFS air triple clamp pushes
energy absorption into a new realm by solidly mounting
the handlebars to its own set of adjustable air shocks.
( 2) System. The system is very simple. Where
conventional bar-mount bolts attach to the top triple
clamp, the SFS clamp uses miniature aluminum air
shocks as the bar-mount bolts. This clever idea utilizes
the existing triple clamp design, but enhances it.
( 3) Air pressure. There is only one surefire way for
a rider to test the NK SFS air triple clamps. On the
first ride, put 115 psi in the triple clamps so that the handlebars cannot move on impact. Then, after riding with
rigid triple clamps, lower the pressure to 65 psi and ride
again. The difference is amazing. As a rule of thumb,
most MXA test riders set the SFS clamps up
with between 70 and 80 psi in the bar mount.
( 4) Checking the pressure. It is important to note
that you can’t check the air pressure in the SFS shocks
by attaching your pump and reading the gauge. Since
the volume of the pump’s fittings is so large, it will
bleed off some air pressure from the tiny shocks when
attached. Just ignore what the pump’s gauge reads and
set the air pressure at the desired level. For example, if
you have been running 60 psi but want the bar mounts
to be a little stiffer, just pump them up to 65.
( 5) Performance. The biggest surprise with the NK
SFS triple clamps is how absorbent they are. Unlike
handlebars that flex or rubber-mounted bar mounts, the
SFS clamp combines the bars, clamps and air shocks into
one unit (and part of the high price tag is because the
bar mounts are included—unlike with many aftermarket
( 6) Colors. Every SFS air triple clamp is anodized,
with the Honda and Suzuki models available in red,
Yamaha and Kawasaki in blue, and KTM/Husqvarna in
orange, blue or black.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have one minor issue.
On the complete NK clamp system (top, bottom, stem
and bar mounts), the bottom steering bearing is not
included, which means you have to press it on yourself.
There isn’t a single MXA test rider who
NK SFS CRF450 AIR TRIPLE CLAMP
doesn’t love this triple clamp.
MXA TEAM TESTED