Suzuki has three Holeshot Assist Control settings. That is one
too many for most racers. Stock and mellow would suffice.
Showa’s balance spring works in sync with the inner air
chamber. Any change to one affects the other.
Worse yet, Suzuki and Kawasaki are on different planets
when it comes to air pressure settings (and these forks
aren’t all that different from each other). It’s obvious to
us that when two identical forks have a 30 psi difference
in their recommended settings, the consumer is in for a
The MXA wrecking crew believes that Suzuki is a lot
closer to the correct air spring pressures than Kawasaki,
but suffice it to say that they both need lots of testing to
get dialed in.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE TAC FORKS
ARE SET UP WITH THE WRONG AIR PRESSURE?
A: The possibilities are endless—and not pretty—but
let’s focus on the two most common issues.
(1) Too much air in the inner chamber. If you
run too much air pressure in the inner chamber, because
of your weight, speed or track, the SFF TAC forks stop
being resilient in the corners. Instead of following the
terrain in fast sweepers, they deflect off the ground. It’s
not easy to turn if the front tire keeps pushing outwards.
If your TAC-equipped bike doesn’t allow the front tire to
bite in fast corners, you have too much air in the inner
chamber; however, you cannot fix it by just lowering the
air pressure in the inner chamber.
( 2) Not enough air in the inner chamber. If you
run less air, you will bottom everywhere, and you will
bottom hard, which will force you to put more air
pressure in the inner chamber. This, of course, will
cause the front end to deflect off bumps and negatively
Why does this conundrum happen? Because the inner
air chamber works in relationship with the outer
chamber and the balance chamber. You can’t fix one
without adjusting the others.
Q: WHAT IS THE SFF AIR TAC SETUP
A: You can’t fix it until you understand what the
three chambers do.
Inner chamber. In simplest terms, this is the main
fork spring. It holds the bike up. It essentially replaces
the coil springs of a conventional fork with 174 pounds
of air pressure.
Outer chamber. On the Suzuki, the outer chamber
does not hold any air pressure, while Kawasaki
recommends 7. 3 psi. Think of the outer chamber as a
large-volume/low-pressure air pocket that can add
spring resistance late in the stroke.
Balance chamber. Also known as the negative
spring, the balance chamber works in direct opposition
to the other two air chambers. The pressure in the inner
and outer chambers pushes the fork downward toward
the ground. Conversely, the balance chamber pushes
the fork upwards, away from the ground, to eliminate
topping out when the front wheel is off the ground. The
relationship between the inner spring and the balance
spring is very touchy. If you add air pressure to the inner
spring, the fork will get longer and the preload on the
air spring will be greater. If you add air pressure to the
balance spring, the fork will get shorter and the preload
on the main air spring will be reduced.
Our best setup involves choosing an inner spring
pressure that makes the forks feel supple across rough
ground, doesn’t dive excessively, and allows the forks to
drop in without holding the front too high. It is possible
that the best setting for the mid-stroke will mean that
the fork will bottom. Then, we set the balance chamber
pressure close to the inner chamber pressure. Finally,
we use the outer chamber’s air pressure to stop
bottoming, typically adding 10 to 15 psi.
Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Clutch. This clutch has always been an embarrassment. If you use it, you will lose it.