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CB500X 2017, V-Strom 650
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Well – after a lot of suspension mods seems like I found my final setup for my beloved CB500X. I went through RRP Level 1 on both fork and rear shock, revalved RRP fork kit for more tarmac oriented damping, replaced RRP rear shock with bespoken Nitron R1 and finally arrived to Matris cartridge fork kit. My present suspension setup is Nitron R1 shock and Matris cartridge fork kit together with ContiRoadattack3 tyres with 2.4Bar and 2.7Bar front/rear (I’m 70kg)

And here is my opinion about Matris Cartridge fork kit (F15H245K CB500X) – it’s fantastic. When it arrived I was bit skeptical because it came with 9.5N/mm spring rate – quite stiff for my 70kg weight. After contacting with Matris I was told it was standard spring rate for this cartridge. Okay – days later I installed and went on holidays with my other bike without testing it properly. And yesterday (at last) with my holidays finished I’ve been able to made my favourite canyon route.

My impression couldn’t be better – 9.5N/mm springs does their job very well. Comparing with 5.0 springs of RRP kit they withstands heavy braking without nasty dive allowing to brake very late and without worries about fork rebound upon releasing front brake. The flickability of the bike increased a lot – the absence of fork compression on fast direction changes made the bike very responsive and precise. With OEM and RRP kit you can feel how fork compresses every time you lean the bike making the transitions tad slow, now this feeling gone.

Now about damping – my biggest PITA with RRP kit was to find proper damping characteristics for tarmac. The issue was those 5.0 springs – it was impossible to decrease high speed compression damping with such a soft springs (to avoid fork bottoming) – it made the ride bit harsh on square edged bumps typical on tarmac. Matris’s 9.5 springs works great on this type of bumps and road imperfections – such a stiff spring need very small amount of compression damping making the ride very plush (BTW – compression and rebound have separated adjustment). Installation guide recommends 15 click for Rebound and 15 for Compression. In my case I added 1 click to Rebound (14 clicks form fully closed) – with 15 clicks I felt it bit bouncy (bear in mind we have 34C temp now). With this damping setup the ride is plush on tarmac at high speeds – road joint and potholes just disappeared. BUT – stiff spring have a downside – smooth road undulations are more perceptible. So definitely it’s not good idea to install this cartridge for offroad or trail riding.

Some pics of finishing quality of the kit:

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To summarise – IMHO for tarmac this setup is just perfect. However it shines more with aggressive riding where 9.5 springs allows you late braking and fast direction changes. Fast sweepers are even more fast now. For relaxed ride probably it has no sense but for canyons it’s just spot on.
 
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