Glyn Robinson on the New SPORTS VALVE by Sports Motorcycles
What make of motorcycle is the Sports Valve suitable for?
Almost every model currently fitted with damper rods will benefit from a Sports Valve. It is not designed for a cartridge-style fork. We’ve fitted the valves in a wide variety of forks with great success, though there are a small number of forks that won’t conform. I have developed a damper rod kit for Marzocchi forks as they can be complicated.
I’m happy to answer questions by email if there is any uncertainty - (email@example.com)
The Sports Valve comes in different sizes depending on the internal fork measurement to the first decimal place. We can accommodate forks with an internal measurement between 25.5 mm and 39.0 mm.
What does the Sports Valve do that makes it different to other methods of damping control?
The Sports Valve is fully adjustable for both compression and rebound damping, making it a highly efficient component.
All adjustments can be made externally too, so there’s no need to remove the valve from the fork. They can be installed in a home workshop with basic mechanical knowledge.
What was the motivation behind the Sports Valve?
Sports Motorcycles manufactures and supplies Classic Ducati race parts. We have an extensive machine shop with CNC capabilities, and I have personally spent thirty years building, tuning and racing motorcycles, and am always seeking to make improvements.
I found myself constantly frustrated by the lack of rebound adjustment in damper rod forks, and thought there had to be a way to create a single unit in each leg to control all the damping. Key to the design was the ability to make adjustments easily accessible externally.
How long did it take you to come up with a solution?
I’ve been engineering bike-specific components for most of my life, so it didn’t take very long. A couple of days with designing on CAD and a couple more on the machines, and the prototype was ready for testing.
And what about the testing?
I’m lucky. I have my own testing facility with the Sports Motorcycles Race Team, and one of the best development riders in the world – Chris Swallow. We have tested the Sports Valve thoroughly on a number of circuits and monitored the performance.
At the first circuit in Taupo, New Zealand, the Sports Valve shaved 3 seconds off Chris’s previous best lap time, and he went on to claim a race win at Phillip Island, Australia.
Being able to fine tune the suspension meant that he could take different lines and make the most of the entry and exit speeds into each corner.
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Check out the Sports Valve web page for more information.