CounterShox Review [Counter-Reaction Steering Device]

As an enthusiast dirt bike rider, I want a fun, safe, and exciting ride without any serious surprises. Riding in Southern California means we have a wide variety of terrain. From sand and silt, to rocks and boulders, to just plain dirt with rain ruts, it’s all fun, and it’s all challenging. I use whatever I can to improve my riding experience—from Fasst Company Flexx handlebars (reduced arm impact) and NueTech Tubliss tire inserts (increased traction from lower tire pressures) to setting up the suspension for my weight and ability. After some investigation, the innovative fork leg-mounted CounterShox device looked worthy of consideration, as I want my rides to be longer, less fatiguing, and more enjoyable.

CounterShox Review: For Sale

Basically, it’s a counterweight riding in an oil-filled tube. Although it weighs about three pounds, it mimics as much as 90 pounds of counterweight. Explaining the physics laymen’s terms behind how the CounterShox works is difficult, so here’s the word from the manufacturer: “CounterShox is a bolt-on device designed to provide a tuned counter-reaction to obstacles in racing and extreme racing environments. Impulses to the front fork are used to provide an automatic reactionary force that the rider no longer has to provide through the handlebars.” CounterShox’ website backs up the claims with charts describing the effect of the device.

Claims are great. However, it’s all about results, and we always go into a test of new technology with appropriate skepticism.

Installation is simple, taking not more than 10 minutes, and fits all full-size inverted fork legs. Start by loosely mounting the clamps to the fork leg (two bolts per clamp). Next, mount the CounterShox on the clamp (two more bolts per clamp). Then, tighten all bolts to spec. Done.

The unit can be positioned below the lower triple clamp, or behind the numberplate or headlight between the triple clamps. The $350 CounterShox device comes in four colors—black, blue, red, and orange.

CounterShox Review: Husqvarna Mounted

CounterShox recommends mounting the unit on the fork leg between the triple clamps. However, I mounted it below the bottom triple clamp to make removal fast and easy. I wanted to be able to take it off quickly if I did not like its effect.

After installing the CounterShox on my Husqvarna FE450, I immediately went for a long ride

Right out of the gate on my first ride, I thought my tire pressure was lower than usual, or my steering damper was turned up too much. The front wheel stability improvement was immediately noticeable. The CounterShox offers so much stability that I turned my steering damper off for the rest of the day. That allowed me to focus on the effect of the CounterShox. I never felt the need to turn the steering damper back on; I usually run it with at least four clicks in.

On single-track trails with lots of exposed yet embedded rocks, the improvement is immediate. I roughly estimate a 50 percent decrease in deflection. That means a much-reduced need to cover the clutch for surprises arising from deflection.

CounterShox Review: What does it do?

On faster, bowled-sand single track ridden at speeds ranging from 15 to 40 mph, the need to death-grip the bars is gone. The front wheel tracks bowled trails perfectly, and understeer in the sand is significantly reduced.

It is difficult to describe precisely the effect of the CounterShox. It is like a steering damper combined with a fork suspension upgrade, plus a bulldozer riding in front of you, flattening out the terrain.

While I thought I might feel a difference, that it might make the front end feel less heavy over whoops and such, it did a lot more than that.

CounterShox cancels forces that will otherwise throw you off your line, or braking/bump forces that would cause an upset in rider stability when sitting or standing. It makes the front end feel lighter, yet considerably more planted in all kinds of dirt.

That’s all great, so I took it off to see if I would notice the difference.

That was a big mistake—deflection returned, as did the constant compensating required on sandy and rocky single-track trails. I am now spoiled.

I quickly reinstalled it, and it has become a permanent fixture on my Husqvarna FE 450 with dozens of hours under its belt. My satisfaction with its performance is undiminished. Next, I’m going to put on my Beta 430 RR Race Edition—it’s that good.

Is the CounterShox unit Pixie Dust or Black Magic, or maybe it provides the world’s best placebo effect? Actually, it’s none of those, though it is a black box design. However, the CounterShox is science, and it works.