Eric hard at work. As you can see, we give him the best conditions to work in.
Ohlins steering damper is part of the Vance & Hines kit.
The stock oil cooler is relocated in front of the forks from its original spot beside the engine, where it was vulnerable to damage in a crash.
The forks have been modified by Fast Bike Industries, with Andreani pistons replacing the stock BPF units.
The Ohlins shocks have all the features of the company's high-end race shocks, and are a whopping 2.5 inches longer than the stockers.
Because so few modifications are allowed in the AMA's XR1200 series, it's important to take advantage of what's available in the areas that changes are allowed. Suspension is one of those critical elements, and we opted to use Ohlins through Fast Bike Industries, one of the company's North American service centers. David Behrend, the owner of FBI, has worked with many professional teams and top riders in the AMA paddock, and offered a complete package of a revalved fork and Ohlins shocks for the project XR.
Just because the Harley has twin shocks does not mean a performance aftermarket alternative is not available. The Ohlins S36P shocks provide all the adjustments you'd expect from a high-end shock, including preload, compression and rebound damping, and ride height. Amazingly, these shocks are more than two inches longer than the stock shocks, raising the rear of the bike a huge amount. The stock fork is Showa's BPF unit (an upgrade specific to the XR1200X model that we have). One popular option is to completely remove the fork's internals and use 20mm or 25mm cartridge kits, but Fast Bike Industries chose to replace the BPF's stock pistons with units from Andreani, an Italian suspension company that works closely with Ohlins and provides trackside support to many of the World Superbike and Supersport teams. These are said to work as well as replacement cartridges, and are much more reasonable on the credit card.
With the suspension installed, we continued with the rest of the assembly using the Vance & Hines kit parts - the exhaust system, oil cooler relocation kit, seat pan and Ohlins steering damper are all mounted, and we're getting geared up for our first track day with the bike.
Fast Bike Industries (Ohlins suspension)
Vance & Hines XR1200 Series