Andreani Cartridge Kit Review
I think that most of us can agree that the front suspension on our bikes leaves something to be desired. In my personal case, being used to the high performance fork style found on ZX-6Rs, the front forks on my Gen 2 V650 were dog ****. Too much high-speed damping, not nearly enough low-speed damping, and a front end that seemed to have two positions: uncompressed and fully compressed. After fiddling around with rebound and pre-load setting, and even experimenting with different weight oils I came to the realization that the stock components were never going to get me close to what I needed.
A Gold valve kit from Race tech was the first option I looked into, but wasn't thrilled with the idea that I still wouldn't have any compression damping adjustment. The other two options were to go with a cartridge kit or swap over to a ZX-6R fork. Not wanting to lose height and travel with the ZX forks (even though I have a spare set), I decided to go with a cartridge kit. There are a few brands on the market, though Andreani was the only name I was familiar with, and also the cheapest; so I picked up a new set off eBay for $600 shipped.
Installation of the cartridge kits is pretty straight forward as long as you have a fork spring compressor. I won't get into the exact process of installation, because this isn't a How-To thread, but basically you're just removing the OEM cartridge and installing the Andreani cartridge in it's place. The Andreani set up uses one fork for compression, and one for rebound, with both having preload.
After throwing the forks back on the bike I set compression, rebound, and preload all in the middle of their range and then fine tuned the adjustments over the next few weeks. Overall I'd say the cartridges are tuned more for sport riding, so I ended up on the softer side of the adjustment range to allow for a little more touring comfort but still stiff enough to handle the twisities without me needing to make adjustments. Over all I'm super happy with the kit, it's made a night and day difference in how the front end handles and the bike is actually, imo, safer to ride as it is more predictable and easier to handle under hard braking. No longer does the bike dive all the way to the bottom of its travel when you hit the brakes or bounce and wallow around when hitting uneven surfaces in a corner.
Next up is a rear shock to compliment the improved front suspension. But I gotta save up my spending cash again for that.
Last edited by Eviltwin; 09-05-2018 at 04:23 PM.