Author Topic: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes  (Read 778 times)

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Offline HintonTM

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Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« on: January 26, 2018, 07:14:29 PM »
Iím working on a 11 road glide... I added the Race Tech emulator and springs, I set up bike exactly like instructions , with a 2 1/2 turn setting on the emulator. I used SE Harley suspension oil and set it at the 125mm from the top of the tube. When braking very hard or on some bigger bumps there was a horrible ďclunkĒ this is the second bike I have worked on that this happened (first was my bike and it wasnít as bad) I called Race Tech, they suggested a 30w oil, and less oil set at 150mm from tops. Did that, noise was worse!! So thinking I added back the 25mm oil to fork ďclunkĒ now much less often, so I added another 20mm of oil ( this would make my measurement 105mm from top) clunk is gone!! Bike rides well itís a little stiff but thatís what I was going for.  Can anybody think of any reason this extra oils will cause any problems? Spec is 125mm from top, Race Tech gives 100-160 as tuning range on spec sheet..
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Offline koko3052

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 07:21:58 PM »
"a little stiff" at most of our ages isn't a bad thing!  :wink::hyst:

Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 01:03:36 PM »
If I follow your post correctly you have 30wt oil at 105mm?

2-1/2 turns with which spring yellow-64lbs/in or blue-40lbs/in on the emulator?

2,  7/64" slow speed holes in emulator disc/valve, as delivered?

Guessing you have 1.0kg/mm fork springs?

Is this bike stock...fork (inside/outside), wheel, fender, trees, rake, fork covers/cowbells etc.?

I recommend 4,  7/64" slow speed bleeds for most Harley applications especially if you are using 20wt or heavier.  Race Tech has partially drilled the additional 2 holes so all you need to do is finish drilling them through.  This will reduce slow speed compression improving ride quality noticeably without having a significant effect on med/high speed compression.

As far as noise,  it's possible for the spring to snap over against the tube during fork travel also preload washers and the spacer if metal may make a little noise.  Only other thing is the click you'll sometimes hear from the washer/rebound valve in the end of the fork tube.

One thing that will make a clunk you can feel is leaving a lower fork tree pinch bolt loose.

I typically suggest oil level at 130 - 140mm/5-1/8" - 5-1/2" on touring models,  RG I would go 125-130mm.  Oil level changes the volume of the air spring effecting spring rate deep into fork travel,  last 1.5" or so.  You don't want to raise oil level to the point that the fork hydraulics (no air space) before it reaches full travel/bottomed.

The SE Heavy oil is a typical 20wt, mid 60'scSt@40C unless it has been changed, should be plenty heavy.  Depending on the rider and year model,  touring riders typically use 15wt. something in the 45-55cSt@40C viscosity.




Offline HintonTM

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 06:09:06 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice! Yes both bikes Iím working with ( mine 2013 RG , his 2011 RGU) both fully stock front ends. The ultra was the one that made a noticeable clunk under hard breaking and med to large bumps. They both have the emulators with yellow springs , the ultra is set at 2 1/2 turns ( bigger bike) and mine I set at 2. I tried seting the ultra oil at 150 and it seemed worse, went back to 125 was a little better with the 30w vice the 20w, so I added oil to see if it would get better... it did noise gone. On my RG I drained oil and put it to 115mm... I didnít notice any real change the noise was still there. Now Iíve had my Race Tech installed for about 2 years and around 10,000 miles... I didnít always get the noise and I just kinda went with it. I saw no damage when I took them apart today.
Of course I did check ALL bolts involved on both bikes and ensured they were all torqued correctly... neither bike was bottoming out... my buddies bike was really bad and he isnít the type to just accept a strange sound... Iím thinking of playing with mine more ... adding the extra whole in the emulators is my next step.
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Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 07:45:50 PM »
Depending on how old your emulators are they should have the 2 extra 7/64" holes partially drilled,  you need 4 7/64" holes in each valve disc.

I suspect 2 turns will be preferred to 2-1/2 on the emulator springs.

You didn't mention if the  fork spring rate is 1.0kg/mm?

Also what brand fork oil?  SE heavy/20wt? and the 30wt?  20wt should be heavy enough...30wt should be sluggish especially without the extra holes in the emulator.

Like said,  oil level will make spring rate more progressive...not sure how/why it has any effect on your noise.

Offline HintonTM

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 09:36:58 PM »
Both bikes have the .91 spring, I was running the SE Fork oil but per Race Tech I went up to Red Line 30w. Iím going to pull mine off again and drill out the 2 other holes in the emulators and go back to 125mm of fork oil... the only difference on the 2 bikes is my buddy accidentally got the lowering kit so his front is now 1Ē lower... the noise on isnít even on every bump and not on a hard break... his was horrible with a hard break causing the large clunk... we both love the ride... much less drop on breaking and I feel the road a lot more
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Offline HintonTM

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 11:34:09 AM »
WOW! Duce.... took your advise went in and drilled the two more holes in the emulators for a total of 4 holes in valve I have the yellow spring at 2 turns. I then went to the SE fork oil (20w) and filled to 130mm. My main spring is the .91. All I can say is WOW!! That was the perfect combo, zero noise no clunk, and I got better ride after it all... thanks for all the help!!   
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Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2018, 12:50:14 PM »
Didn't see/read your last post as I've been doing other things during my reply.

The main reason I was asking about which oil is on the chance you were using Red Line 30wt which I use and or mix with medium.  Red Line heavy 30wt is actually similar to most common brands of 20wt as far as viscosity.  The old bottle was 66-67cSt@40C, the new bottle is 69cSt@40C.
Common 20wt fork oils cSt@40C:
Bel-Ray 77
Golden Spectro 73
Maxima 71
PJ-1 68
SE Heavy 68

So you can see Red Line heavy 30wt is right in there or a smidge lighter than common 20 weights.  To know where your at on fork oil viscosity I recommend looking up the specs/viscosity on that company's website.

Typically on later model touring forks I would recommend a 15wt or an oil between 45-55cSt@40C.  Running the .90kg/mm springs I understand that the Red Line 30wt at 67cSt@40c may feel pretty good and would leave it.  If you up the fork spring rate I would free up the damping and maybe mix Red line Heavy 30wt and Red Line Medium at 2 parts Heavy to 1 part Medium.  If using the new labeled bottles Heavy is 69cSt@40C and Medium is 32cSt@40C.  Mixed 2-1 it will be 53cSt@40C. 
Here's a calculator as mixing oil viscosities is not straight math:
http://www.widman.biz/English/Calculators/Mixtures.html

I would still recommend the extra 2, 7/64" holes in the emulator valve/disc as this will smooth out the road surface and small bumps that is being transferred to the bars.
2 - 2.5 turns on the yellow springs if you leave the .90kg/mm springs and 1-7/8 - 2 turns if using 1.1kg/mm springs.

Road Glides need at least a 1.0kg/mm spring and if either of you guys is 200lbs+ or ride sprited/aggressive I would use a 1.1kg/mm spring available from Sonic Spring (made by Cannon Racecraft) or Traxxion Dynamics which I think is more $.

Race Tech re-did their spring calculator a while back and if you look up suggested rates for a RG with 200lb rider they suggest a 1.2kg/mm but they only have a max of 1.0kg/mm available for 41mm Harley forks.  I wouldn't go to a 1.2kg/mm but a 1.1kg/mm would be fine...hence the Sonic suggestion.

Race Tech spring calculator:  http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/2/Harley/FLTR%20Road%20Glide%20Custom%20-%20Ultra/2006-13

The Sonic spring calculator also suggest a 1.2kg/mm spring rate on a 850lb bike and 200lb rider for normal street use...1.1kg/mm is a safe bet.

All Race Tech fork spring/emulator kits for 41mm forks to my knowledge come with an option/ability to lower the fork. An extra top-out spring like the stock spring to be added/stacked with the stock spring or a longer spring to replace the stock top-out spring.  With a lowered fork you would definitely need a firm fork spring rate.  It's against my religion to lower a fork on a touring model or any Harley for that matter.  The bike is heavy, relatively short travel at standard/stock height and needs ride height to maintain clearance/lean angle.  Going back to one stock top-out spring and adding a longer preload spacers is easy.

Not sure what the laden SAG is set at but on your non-lowered bike I would set it at 1-1/4" and on the lowered bike 1".  This is measured difference between wheel off ground fork fully extended to rider on bike feet on floorboards.

If Race Tech sold you the .90kg/mm springs I would ask for a swap on a set of 1.0kg/mm or just buy a set of 1.1kg/mm from Sonic for $85:  http://sonicsprings.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=154_243



Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 12:56:57 PM »
WOW! Duce.... took your advise went in and drilled the two more holes in the emulators for a total of 4 holes in valve I have the yellow spring at 2 turns. I then went to the SE fork oil (20w) and filled to 130mm. My main spring is the .91. All I can say is WOW!! That was the perfect combo, zero noise no clunk, and I got better ride after it all... thanks for all the help!!   

Should be good settings,  are you sure you have a .91 and not a .90 or .95 spring...what brand?

Your settings should be close.  With a little more spring rate and less compression damping you may be able to get as good or better ride quality with less dive and travel used.

Offline HintonTM

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 10:46:05 PM »
Itís the race tech .90.... Iím going to ride it like this for a bit, im also calling race tech back to let them know what I have tried and how itís going to work. Im in a smaller town and Iíve already had two other guys wanting this set up... Iíd like to be able to get it down to where Iím not redoing them 3 or 4 times to get it right. Thanks again for all the info...
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Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 11:18:50 AM »
Glad you like it better.

Race Tech is aware of some of the suggestions I make.  Matt Wiley an outside rep for Race Tech and author of the emulator tuning guide helped me with suggestions years back.  The sales/phone guys aren't always the best source although they have access to what the shop does spec. wise.  Things/staff evolve and hopefully improve but cruiser market never seems to get a fair shake as far as R&D time regardless of which company.  Race Tech is one of the best at helping and giving info. to end users.

If buying Race Tech spring/emulator kits for touring models I would go with 1.0kg/mm spring rate.

Offline sfmichael

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 01:03:48 PM »
Deuce do you think this is the best front end upgrade for a bagger?
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Offline No Cents

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2018, 04:27:18 PM »
   Rick (04 SE DEUCE) was kind enough a few years ago to help me and talk me thru the install process of the Race Tech 1.0/mm spring kit with the gold emulators for the old Duracell.   :up:
  I actually had the bike out yesterday for the first time this year because it went into the 50's. The suspension on my bagger is a dream. It sits down nicely after it wheelies.  :embarrassed:
08 FLHX my grocery getter, 124ci, wfolarry 110" heads, Burns pipe, 158/152 sae

Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 07:03:26 PM »
Deuce do you think this is the best front end upgrade for a bagger?

Good bang for the buck if set up right/close for the application and not a bad match for a cruiser.  Pretty basic and stone reliable with really no more maintenance requirements than a damper rod fork.  Going to valving that is speed sensitive compared to fixed orifice takes you out of the cave man era.

A well sorted quality cartridge set-up should be better but if it's not set-up properly or at least close for the app. you won't see much/any improvement over well sorted emulators...had a rep for a company that makes cartridge kits say the same.  Spending more can net marginal returns.

IMO the cruiser Harley market doesn't get a lot of R&D along with the expected lower level of tech compared to other markets.  Also you need good feedback to upgrade/refine based on end user assessments.

I don't have much experience with other more expensive options for the Harley market.  Most guys want an upgrade that doesn't wallow and dive excessively and adds a level of stability/control along with an improvement in ride quality.

These bikes are inherently limited (born handicapped), weight, lean angle, amount of suspension travel, chassis/frame flex etc. A properly sprung/set-up emulator fork should do anything you need it to and be comfortable for the rider right up to the bikes limits.

You can buy a complete USD fork but it's a little like equipping Special Olympic participants with the best shoes/cleats available.  No need spending a bunch to smear lipstick on that piggy.

Flipside is pouring molasses in the forks and bolting on the cheapest shocks you can get.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 07:21:27 PM by 04 SE DEUCE »

Offline sfmichael

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2018, 01:32:05 PM »
thanks Rick and Ray  :up: :up:

I'm still a year or two (maybe more) from a new scoot and the suspension is my biggest complaint with my '13 Street Glide - especially the rear

Even solo it's terrible. Front doesn't bother me near as much but I'm a conservative rider - I know I'm on a barge

I have a set of Rushmore shocks off a new (at the time '15 or '16 model) and wonder if they're worth the time to bolt on?

I'd even step up to Ohlins or whatever but I'm afraid I'll spend $700-1000 and still be disappointed and then be pissed at myself as well for spending so much for so little

thoughts?   :pop:
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Offline 04 SE DEUCE

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Re: Race Tech Emulator on touring bikes
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 06:56:49 PM »
thanks Rick and Ray  :up: :up:

I'm still a year or two (maybe more) from a new scoot and the suspension is my biggest complaint with my '13 Street Glide - especially the rear

Even solo it's terrible. Front doesn't bother me near as much but I'm a conservative rider - I know I'm on a barge

I have a set of Rushmore shocks off a new (at the time '15 or '16 model) and wonder if they're worth the time to bolt on?

I'd even step up to Ohlins or whatever but I'm afraid I'll spend $700-1000 and still be disappointed and then be pissed at myself as well for spending so much for so little

thoughts?   :pop:

Ohlins HD 772 Blackline or HD 159 natural list for $875, you can find them discounted.  Lots of guys riding and happy with these.

If you buy Ohlins you want the late style "-40", part # 03377-40 piston for ride quality.  I believe all the Blackline shocks have the late piston but if you get old stock on the HD 159 I think it's possible to get the old piston.  In that case you need to know the number after HD 159 that designates how current/updated the shock is.  I think the HD 159 is up to HD 1594.  There may be 1591, 1592, 1593 etc.  Need to know where the -40 piston was introduced,  I think it was HD 1594.

Other than making sure you are buying current stock with the new piston (if you buy HD 159) you should be happy with these shocks as an upgrade.