Motorcycle Classics Garage: Works Performance
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With the bike off the center stand, climb on board and compress the suspension a few times. Next, have a friend measure the distance between the lower shock mount and a point directly above it, such as the main frame or the frame for the hard bags, if so equipped. Record that number then pull the bike back on the center stand. Now measure that same distance again. If you’re installing a standard-length shock, the difference should be between 1-1/4 inch and 1-5/8 inch (3/4 inch to 1 inch with short shocks). If the difference is less than the minimum, loosen the spring preload by turning the large nut on the lower end of the shock unit to the left. This extends the shock. If the difference is more than the minimum, tighten the spring load by turning the large nut to the right. This compresses the shock unit. Measure again following the same method outlined above until the proper difference is achieved.
The big moment comes when you finally head out on the road to experience what your hard-earned money bought you and whether installing the new shock was time well spent. While I anticipated at least a noticeable improvement in compression and rebound control, I didn’t expect the revolutionary difference in handling I experienced from upgrading to the Works Steel Tracker TRS.
Situations that previously unsettled the bike and made aggressive riding pointless, especially any kind of suspension compression while turning, became an excuse to have some fun and push the bike a bit. At over 600 pounds my K100RS is a porker, so I’d just assumed it would never handle with the sharpness I expect out of smaller, lighter machines even like old Commandos. Yet while it’s never going to have the handling characteristics of a modern sport bike, the improvement in wheel control offered by the Steel Tracker’s superior rebound and damping capacity gives the rider a vastly more controlled and therefore safer riding experiencing that’s miles ahead of the stock unit. Simply said, the performance is spectacular, making the Works Steel Tracker a highly recommended upgrade for owners of older K bikes. – Richard Backus
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