As some of you may recall I re-valved my stock forks a few years ago. I made the stock valving change to try and get some of the harshness out of hitting square edge cracks and such. The low speed bigger movements, braking dive, etc was never terrible. Which is good because changing the stock rebound control was much more difficult to change. So I rode it for 4 years and the whole time I always wanted the forks to be better. So lately I boiled it down to getting an adventure bike with a 19" front and some adjustability or keeping the V and trying out the Traxxion AK-20 cartridges.
I choose to keep the bike primarily because it fits me well and secondly because, IF the Traxxion mod worked, the $1300 was way cheaper than selling and getting a new bike.
I think if you feel like the suspension up front needs to be better you will appreciate the ride that the AK-20s give. Traxxion recommends and by default provides .90kg springs, which are on the firm side for solo riding. The replacement cartridges provide for rebound bleed in one leg and compression bleed in the other via the provided fork caps.
The bleed adjusters don't click but rather give you 3 turns of adjustment. They recommend starting at 1.5 turns out. I dialed in the rebound first. I tried 1 turn out and it slowed too much and found for me 1 1/4 turns was perfect. But you'll find the rebound bleed gives some amazing control that was not available with the stock fork. The compression bleeder doesn't seem to make a lot of difference. I ended up turning it all the way out. The compression bleed typically has effect on "low speed" events which aren't something i'm usually tuning for on the street.
The valving in both forks feels very good. Compared to stock the bike handling tightens up, the cracks in the road disappear, and the dips through the low water crossings are a pleasure.
The quality of the cartridges are excellent and the spring's rates measured as advertised on my intercomp load cell.
I measured the stock springs on my '08 to be .85kg/mm and for solo riding would think that the Traxxion units would perform even better with the lighter springs.
Basically the Traxxion AK-20s come with all new insides for your forks. The only thing you re-use is the base bolt and oring on the fork cap. Seems like for the price those things could be included. Traxxion does include a cartridge holding tool for the new AK-20s.
No special tools are required to remove the old cartridges. Just take out the base bolt and unscrew the cap and the whole thing slides out in one piece.
What you will need if you choose to do it yourself is a way to support your bike while the forks are removed and a way to compress the spring to install the new cartridges.
I ride the hill country west of Austin all the way out to the Three Sisters area and the bike is now amazing. I've since added an Ohlins KA907 shock and a dunlop 616 front tire. It just keeps getting better. I'm very happy I stuck with the V. Basically for 2K I got a new bike because that kawi parallel twin will last forever.
I just wish I'd have done the forks sooner. I could have avoided many of those pucker times going through a wash board corner. Now the front tire finally stays on the ground.
I'll try to attach some picks of the cartridges.