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Discussion Starter #1
As many of us have chosen, I needed to upgrade my front suspension, and I wanted some adjustability, so I know the oil and spring swap would not cut it for me.
I explored cartridge replacement and discovered the Andreani group.

First... why I chose Andreani

1. I wanted good quality. Andreani have over 20 years in the business and more importantly have formed strategic relationships with several other companies in the moto suspension world. The trademarks they represent include Ohlins Queen Termignoni Marchesini Marzocchi Kayaba Showa and others. In fact you can purchase Andreani kits for the FZ-09 which include the Andreani cartridges plus an ohlins shock!

2. I wanted best value. I've found that those who retail other kits perhaps never have sales on their products, and all fall in the $1000+ price range. I found Sonicracingparts on Ebay... a company operating out of Italy where I got the cartridges for about US $550 before shipping.

3. I don't live in the US and there are no reliable options for dealer install here, so I knew that I would have to do it myself, so I looked for a brand with easy install reports. :cool:
 

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As many of us have chosen, I needed to upgrade my front suspension, and I wanted some adjustability, so I know the oil and spring swap would not cut it for me.
I explored cartridge replacement and discovered the Andreani group.

First... why I chose Andreani

1. I wanted good quality. Andreani have over 20 years in the business and more importantly have formed strategic relationships with several other companies in the moto suspension world. The trademarks they represent include Ohlins Queen Termignoni Marchesini Marzocchi Kayaba Showa and others. In fact you can purchase Andreani kits for the FZ-09 which include the Andreani cartridges plus an ohlins shock!

2. I wanted best value. I've found that those who retail other kits perhaps never have sales on their products, and all fall in the $1000+ price range. I found Sonicracingparts on Ebay... a company operating out of Italy where I got the cartridges for about US $550 before shipping.

3. I don't live in the US and there are no reliable options for dealer install here, so I knew that I would have to do it myself, so I looked for a brand with easy install reports. :cool:

please, a website link...
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Myths about cartridge installation

While I respect the rights of suspension shops to offer services, some of the you tube videos I've seen and forum reports really make it seem as though this is a monumental task which you would be crazy to attempt by yourself. This is just not the case.

Myth 1
You don't need a bunch of special tools for this. The only special tool I used was a race tech fork spring compressor which is an awesome took, and guarantees that this is a one-man job. But if you have a friend willing to help out, you can use a cheaper spring compressor or build one yourself. Oh... almost forgot, I used a oil height gauge, but this was not absolutely necessary.

Myth 2
You don't need a lot of space. I did this with my bike in the corner of my small garage in a space no larger than 6 x 8 feet

Myth 3
Its not technically difficult to do! To remove a cartridge, there is one bolt, one nut, and the fork cap! That's it!
The hardest part is really removing the forks.

Myth 4
There is no need to separate the fork legs to install new cartridges. Therefore your fork seals don't need to be disturbed. For the life of me I canot understand why some shops choose to interfere with perfectly good seals on a bike less than one year old!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK so now I will share some tips to help anyone following who now realizes that you can do this yourself!

First, you have to lift the front wheel off the ground a bit. No a lot mind you, just a tad. How you do that is up to you, perhaps you have access to a front end stand that lifts from under the yoke, or perhaps you will be creative like I got and used the frame sliders to hold the bike up.
IMG_1996.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
IMG_1997.jpg

OK here you see Andreani stuff on top and two other springs below. I was not completely sure if the new cartridges would come with springs, so I ordered some .85 racetech springs in advance. As it turns out, not only do the cartridges come with springs, but the default spring is about the same rating as the stock spring.... somewhere in the .76 range or for me too soft. My riding weight is in the mid to high 180s.

I later verified with sonicracingparts that you can specify the spring you want in advance of the order and he will accommodate.

Now obviously the racetech springs are longer, so I had to cut the new spacers to bring the overall length in spec.

TIP Don't go overboard with spring strength. For me the difference between the stock springs and the .85 springs was significant, so I'm really glad I did not go with any stiffer springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now back to my point of not needing many special tools.

This is how you slacken the fork cap without removing the handle bars and without any special tools: just slide the fork down, and clamp with the bottom triple clamps. Then you can get a 24mm socket on there and loosen the caps :cool:

IMG_1998.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
IMG_1999.jpg

You can see by this shot that it is possible to remove the left fork leg without completely removing the wheel or fender or handle bars. You may also notice the extremely close quarters that I worked in, and of course my use of masking tape to hold the calipers out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
IMG_2001.jpg

So I rested the forks on my cylinder head porting station for a while before disassembly. This is a good time to make sure the spring preload is all the way out before removing the caps.

IMG_2002.jpg
Then compress the spring and remove the caps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
While you don't need soft jaws on your vice to remove the stock cartridge, you do need a vice.
IMG_2005.jpg

I just throw a micro fiber rag in my bench vice, and clamp the fork leg to access and remove the allen bolt at the bottom. Its a bit tight but with a little effort it comes right out. Not a scratch on the lower part of the fork legs!

TIP From the time you take the caps off, the fork tubes can be separated, so be careful where you hold them to move them around. You do not have to separate the fork tube for this upgrade, and you do not have to change oil seals.
 

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A few questions for you Rado.

You mentioned the cost of the Andreani's as $550 USD.
What was the import duty, shipping costs, delivery time and any other Value Added Taxes?

And other than the benefits of adjustable compression, I must wonder if these are any better than
the well tuned compression stack and retuned adjustable rebound of the Stoltec/GP suspension single leg cartridge solution?

And what tool was used to screw down the fork caps?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A few questions for you Rado.

You mentioned the cost of the Andreani's as $550 USD.
What was the import duty, shipping costs, delivery time and any other Value Added Taxes?

And other than the benefits of adjustable compression, I must wonder if these are any better than
the well tuned compression stack and retuned adjustable rebound of the Stoltec/GP suspension single leg cartridge solution?

And what tool was used to screw down the fork caps?
I live in Trinidad & Tobago so the shipping cost for me was 65 euro. The seller provide all information I needed, and my local duty charges were very small. It took about 5 days to get to me after the paypal purchase, and tracking was available. But I ordered a day before Christmas so, perhaps not the best time for speedy delivery.

For your final question, I believe the only way someone could fairly make a comparison between products like these is if that individual has tried both / several options. Because of the cost factor, I have not read a review by anyone who has tried multiple cartridge or suspension valve options.

That said, in my opinion, any fully adjustable cartridge solution would be better than oil / spring change or even a valve upgrade for the single reason that you have options to easily tune to suit your riding conditions. Many of us ride on various road conditions, in various weather or temperatures and with varying loads. So while I cannot say brand A is better than brand B, I can say that I am 100% satisfied when I can easily set the bike up exactly the way I want it. That's the value of adjustability to me.

Evaluation based on cost is a no-brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm gonna push though with the final stages of the install.

IMG_2006.jpg
So remove one bolt at the bottom of the fork and the stock cartridge comes right out. In the pic above you can see the allen key I used in conjunction with a regular combination spanner to get the bolt out.

Now as I mentioned I used my Racetech .85 springs which I had purchased before so some adjustment of the spacer was required. So I marked it with some masking tape (of course) and cut the plastic spacer with a hack saw.
IMG_2007.jpg

Below we see the Racetech springs, cut spacers ready to install. Note the metal washers which Racetec provides to be used at the top and bottom of their springs.
IMG_2010.jpg
 
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