This weeks Off-Road Testing and Tales from the Trail (OTT) showcases some long term 
product testing, our KTM 500EXC setup for the upcoming Nevada 200 and a new suspension 
tuning device for the WP AER off-road fork.



KTM/Husky/GasGas “competition” models come stock with the XACT/AER48 air spring fork.  Our test riders have had issues with the forks ability to track and absorb more technical terrain (rocks and roots). Kreft Moto explains that this is due to the air spring having a “hyper-progressive” spring curve – which means as the fork compresses, the spring rate actually increases exponentially.  (Conversely, a coil-spring has a linear spring curve.) This is excellent for big jumps and mongo landings but lacks the supple response needed for technical off-road riding.

The Kreft Moto Plush Tank addresses this phenomenon by increasing the volume of the main air spring chamber.  They claim the  result is a truly linear spring curve with a coil-like feel. They designed the Plush Tank with a switch that allows the rider to choose a “Plush” or “Firm” ride depending on where they are riding that day.  “Plush” provides off-road performance designed to chew on  rocks and roots.  “Firm” returns the OEM progressive spring rate which is appropriate for MX or more high-speed riding where big hits, whoops, and G-outs are common.


The Plush Tank kit does not require anything special to install. It fits onto the ‘spring side’ and hides behind the fork tube when mounted.
This lever switches the spring rate from Plush to Firm.
All mounted up, sano and protected.

Here’s our take after the first ride: It does exactly what it says with the plush & firm settings.  You set the air pressure to stock PSI in the plush position on the tank, and it has a valve that flips to the firm position.  Testing the fork in both positions provides a dramatic shift in feel and action. In the technical and rocky terrain the fork was far plusher and offered a very forgiving and predictable ride. We rode the fork in the plush mode the most. The fork was much more forgiving over stock especially in plain nasty and rough chop. This also allowed the bike to have a more balanced feel and improved cornering. Once you flip over to the firm position it can be appreciated if you just came out of the mountains on a technical ride and now have 10 miles of deep whoops and super hacked terrain.


Look for a long-term test in Dirt Bike next month.

The Leatt GPX 4.5 Lite glove has been used and abused for over one-year and is still viable. This has been an incredible product by virtue of its durability and its superb fit and feel. While some of the finger protection has peeled away, the Nano palm, fingers and cuff are still totally intact.

One year ago we slipped on the Sidi Atojo boot and rate it as a major player in the boot world. It’s lighter (one pound!) than the Sidi Crossfire, is easier to put on and buckle up and has held up superbly. We have the replaced the other SRS sole once (it is removable), the structure is still sound and they never get loose and floppy at the ankle since it is a pivot boot. They’re not cheap at $524.99, but they do take a licking and keep on kicking.

The Wolfster is getting ready for the Nevada 200, his favorite trail ride of the year. This year he’s riding a 2021 KTM 500EXC and is fine tuning it for his needs. He has spare wheels and suspension setup to his likes.
The Wolf likes the MotoZ Arena Hybrid rear, the Gummy version fit with a Nuetech Nitro Mousse. On the front he’s also using a MotoZ, the Tractionator Enduro IT- a 90/100-21 Fatty.
Gearing wise the 500EXC needs a two teeth larger (50) rear sprocket- at a minimum! Webb plans on going to a 14/52 combo which is very trail savvy gearing for the machine.
For the Nevada 200 we have tested both the FMF 4.1 with SA and the Q, both of which help the machine get some legs.  The 4.1 is still fairly quiet and gives the most power, the Q is actually softer and a bit bit better for the trail rider. The stock muffler is super plugged and we’re looking for alternative end cap for it.
IMS Low Boy footpads lower the pegs by 10mm and are 5mm back. This is a very good mod for the long legged rider searching for more leg room.
The Doubletake Rear View Enduro Mirror is a must for the serious dual sport rider. It folds nicely out of the way for true enduro conditions and offers excellent visibility for the street .  Wolf got his from Slavens Racing.

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