PRODUCT TEST: COPPERSMITH AERO/HYBRID FORK KIT
Turning your WP XACT air fork into an air/spring design
PRODUCT: Coppersmith Racing Suspension, known for its Ohlins suspension setup, has an all-new suspension kit designed for the WP AER air fork. The Coppersmith-installed Ohlins Aero kit turns your stock WP AER or Xact air fork into a hybrid. Coppersmith uses the stock left fork leg with its air-spring technology in conjunction with internals from an Ohlins TTX22 spring-cartridge system installed in your right fork leg using a coil spring. The Coppersmith Aero/Hybrid fork kit gives you the best of both worlds. It combines the smoothness of a spring fork with the tuneability of an air fork. In essence, it is 50-percent Ohlins (damping) and 50-percent WP (air spring). Coppersmith also offers DLC and titanium carbo/nitride coatings as an upgrade. Installing the Coppersmith Aero/Hybrid fork kit in only one fork leg saves weight over traditional coil-spring forks and cuts shipping costs by half. The kit retails for $895.
OUR TAKE: We had the Coppersmith Hybrid kit installed in the right (damping) AER Xact fork on our 2021 KTM 300XC. This bike features just about every positive attribute of a true off-road weapon, including quality suspension. We have little to complain about with the WP Xact air fork, as it works well in both fast and slow scenarios, and rates as “good enough” in the rocks and technical hack. But, after installing the Coppersmith Aero/Hybrid system, we immediately realized where this kit has advantages over the stock forks. The Coppersmith Aero/Hybrid fork allows you to run almost half of the air pressure in the left fork, which makes it less finicky to set up and allows it to feel plusher than stock.
The overall feel of the fork isn’t necessarily softer, but is more forgiving in both fast and slow conditions. In high-speed chop and deep whoops, where the stocker is quite adept, the Coppersmith/Ohlins Hybrid damper is just as balanced yet easier on the pilot. But, it’s in tighter and hackier terrain where the system really shines. In loose rocks and roots, it is much more comfortable and willing to track straight without bouncing off obstacles or deflecting, causing less fatigue in the arms and wrists on a long day of riding, thus conserving energy.
This is not a cheap mod at $895, but considering the level of tuneability, the enhanced plushness from the Ohlins TT22 damping, the fact that it addresses the one possible weakness of the Xact AER fork (a lack of plushness in rooty, rocky and technical terrain), and that it does not sacrifice an iota in the high-speed-impact department, this kit is a winner.
Price: $895 for the kit, spring and installation