For motocross and off-road racers looking to upgrade to factory-level suspension, WP has released the new AER 48 forks. These forks were used by 2015 Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champion Ryan Dungey (KTM SX-F450) during the 2015 season. According to WP, the air-fork design reduces weight by three pounds.“Air suspension systems combine a number of advantages. Firstly, the system allows adjustment to the weight of the rider and the specific features of the route without having to open the fork as is the case with conventional systems,” according to a WP spokesman. “Secondly, air suspension systems enable an extremely rugged design combined with less weight in comparison with forks that work on the basis of the elastic deformation of a spiral spring.”
Using a split fork design, the WP AER 48 has an air spring cartridge in the left fork, and a damping cartridge in the right. By storing the air in its own internal camper, the fork will hold air, even when the fork seal fails. This means a collapse of the forks is impossible.The air spring is a single 34mm chamber with one filling valve to simplify tuning. There is a bypass for pressure compensation, as well as an integrated hydro-top. The multi-stage sealing system uses low-friction seals for smooth action.WP recommends that riders adjust in air pressure in 0.2 bar increments, and that the fork pressure be checked regularly. This is accomplished easily with the WP air pump, which has an integrated pressure gauge. Full set-up instructions are available online.The hydraulic damping cartridge is also a 34mm design — both the base valve and mid-valve pistons are 34mm — with the expected compression and rebound adjustment capabilities. This is a no-bladder system that uses a reservoir spring system. The main seal has a new design with reduced friction.WP’s AER 48 forks will be available to riders of Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, KTM, and Beta dirt bikes. The forks are sold as bolt-on replacement units and are setup and equipped to fit each particular bike out of the box.WP has an online suspension configurator to help riders personalize the action of the WP AER 48 forks, as well as WP shocks and steering dampers.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!