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Tractive Extreme Cartridges and Shock


powder
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Hello friends,

 

I recently installed a set of closed cartridges and rear shock to improve my heavy offroad use since I wasn't happy with my stock suspension beeing too soft and deflecting on every rock.

I have only used the new suspension for around 30km on the road and maybe they need a bit more break in but the feeling at the moment is that it's firm but also harsh on any sort of small road bump, it feels like a track bike, like the suspension is not working and instead going over things.  My  weight with gear is 80kg and my springs are 6.0Nm front and 80Nm on the back. Edit: SAG is correct. 

I have experience with Enduro bikes over the years; good suspension is plush over small things like riding on a cloud but when you go hard on squared rocks they firm up without deflecting.

 

Anyone here with the Tractive/Rally raid parts can share their feelings about it?

Don't know if the valving shim/stack is set up for heavy bikes full of luggage in mind or the front springrate is too high (although by charts it isn't) for my weight.

 

 

Edited by powder
SAG
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How many plastic preload washers are in the forks when you assembled them?

You should have sag on front forks, did you check the forks lined up OK before tightening axle pinch bolts?

 

Edited by Ktmmitch
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15 minutes ago, Ktmmitch said:

How many plastic preload washers are in the forks when you assembled them?

You should have sag on front forks, did you check the forks lined up OK before tightening axle pinch bolts?

 

Only the thin ones, to avoid metal with metal contact. They were installed by a suspension specialist. 

 

The front has SAG but its very small, I will measure it and post back. Also I'm going to check the alignment of the forks.

Don't know if its relevant but the fork chrome tubes have parallel marks from the seals, they dont look clean and uniform. 

 

Thanks John

 

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I have the open cartridges and had this feeling initially. Like said above, check you forks,  but if I remember right the stock setting they tell you to set in the instructions are only 4 or 6 clicks out from max compression. I rode some roads I know, and ended up about 4 clicks out from there on compression and it softened it right up. 
 

definitely check your mechanical stuff first, then find a section of road you can play on. Back off a few click at a time and see if it helps, ride a bump you feel is harsh.

 

other thing to check is rebound. Front is harder to check, but make sure the rear end is good too. My rear shock was beating me up till I got the right spring and extreme rear shock.  Getting the rear dialed in will help a lot, it’s easier too.

 

Mike

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Ive got the RR Tractive open cartridge kit and Pre load Tractive rear shock.

personally i believe your front springs are too highly rated for your weight. I started with the 6nm and went to the 5.6 nm with 25mm sag front and rear.

the springs are longer on the 5.6 nm than the 6nm, so the 6nm come with a large 25mm stainless spacer which of course it not springy and im 85kgs dressed with bike gear so you are lighter.

also the pistons are much bigger than stock and behave like a stronger spring as more controllable.

 

i could immediately feel with the longer 5.6 nm springs that they were alot more reactive and bordering “plush” and my compression settings are 2 clicks in from fully loose so possibly 15 clicks out from tight.

( i want more movement whilst bedding in)

i want plush but not wallowing..

bearing in mind ive only done 1100 miles mostly on road so there is an element of  “stiction” which is getting better all the time. 

you need to change the springs for your weight as too hard.

On my RR adventure shock ive got the 85 nm with 25 mm pre load ,the pre load  is virtually undone all the way so will be ideal when i load up with luggage as more than plenty left.

Not sure you will get the desired results with those 6nm springs, ask you suspension guy for lesser springs and lose the stainless 25mm spacer.

hope that helps you.

Edited by Matth
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

 

I have tried to open the compression on the fork, mild improvement but nothing drastic, still feels like it goes over things instead of absorbing them. I have mounted the knobbies back and will give it a good try on my typical rocky tracks this weekend.

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Matth said:

Ive got the RR Tractive open cartridge kit and Pre load Tractive rear shock.

personally i believe your front springs are too highly rated for your weight. I started with the 6nm and went to the 5.6 nm with 25mm sag front and rear.

the springs are longer on the 5.6 nm than the 6nm, so the 6nm come with a large 25mm stainless spacer which of course it not springy and im 85kgs dressed with bike gear so you are lighter.

also the pistons are much bigger than stock and behave like a stronger spring as more controllable.

 

i could immediately feel with the longer 5.6 nm springs that they were alot more reactive and bordering “plush” and my compression settings are 2 clicks in from fully loose so possibly 15 clicks out from tight.

( i want more movement whilst bedding in)

i want plush but not wallowing..

bearing in mind ive only done 1100 miles mostly on road so there is an element of  “stiction” which is getting better all the time. 

you need to change the springs for your weight as too hard.

On my RR adventure shock ive got the 85 nm with 25 mm pre load ,the pre load  is virtually undone all the way so will be ideal when i load up with luggage as more than plenty left.

Not sure you will get the desired results with those 6nm springs, ask you suspension guy for lesser springs and lose the stainless 25mm spacer.

hope that helps you.

We have had new fork springs made to the correct length now, for both open and closed cartridges, so there is no spacers needed.

 

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Okay guys, update. 

 

Today I finally was able to put the new suspension to test offroad and I will summary my feelings:

 

Rear Sag: 15% static 30% dynamic. 

Front Sag 19% static 29,5% dynamic. 

Tyre and pressure:  Motoz Rallz 1,6 bar

 

-Feels much much harder than stock. Small potholes are felt like you were riding a track focused SBK. If I bounce standing like preparing a wheelie the suspension barely moves. 

 

-It only uses about 30% of the stroke in rocky terrain at good pace and i only achieved to use about 70% of travel (see attached pic) pushing it on purpose in big flat jump landings. Rebound is set at the middle, 10 from full in and compression at 3 from full soft. 

 

-On low speed rocky terrain, the suspension doesn't work well, almost crashed twice. 

 

-When you go at speed over square edged rocks and sudden perpendicular water chanels, super stable and no fear compared to stock. 

 

-It absorbs heavy jumps like nothing happened. 

 

-The front has a high tendency to wash out on corners. - Can this be due to the front staying much higher on the stroke, hence, changing the geometry and having less weight on the front compared to stock? 


Overall at the moment I am really disappointed with the swap. I have also checked the alignment of the forks and axle and they are ok. The only thing left is to check if the cartridges were correctly installed - which I don't have doubts as it was done by a suspension shop. I'm starting to think that Tractive didn't do much real testing on the T7 and just adapted them from other bikes to fit. 

 

You guys in the UK are lucky to have John and Rally Raid with their magnificent customer service but the rest of the world we are left alone in the desert. 

 

Not sure what to do from here. 

 

IMG_20210103_141524.jpg

IMG_20210103_141505.jpg

Edited by powder
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46 minutes ago, powder said:

Okay guys, update. 

 

Today I finally was able to put the new suspension to test offroad and I will summary my feelings:

 

Rear Sag: 15% static 30% dynamic. 

Front Sag 19% static 29,5% dynamic. 

Tyre and pressure:  Motoz Rallz 1,6 bar

 

-Feels much much harder than stock. Small potholes are felt like you were riding a track focused SBK. If I bounce standing like preparing a wheelie the suspension barely moves. 

 

-It only uses about 30% of the stroke in rocky terrain at good pace and i only achieved to use about 70% of travel (see attached pic) pushing it on purpose in big flat jump landings. Rebound is set at the middle, 10 from full in and compression at 3 from full soft. 

 

-On low speed rocky terrain, the suspension doesn't work well, almost crashed twice. 

 

-When you go at speed over square edged rocks and sudden perpendicular water chanels, super stable and no fear compared to stock. 

 

-It absorbs heavy jumps like nothing happened. 

 

-The front has a high tendency to wash out on corners. - Can this be due to the front staying much higher on the stroke, hence, changing the geometry and having less weight on the front compared to stock? 


Overall at the moment I am really disappointed with the swap. I have also checked the alignment of the forks and axle and they are ok. The only thing left is to check if the cartridges were correctly installed - which I don't have doubts as it was done by a suspension shop. I'm starting to think that Tractive didn't do much real testing on the T7 and just adapted them from other bikes to fit. 

 

You guys in the UK are lucky to have John and Rally Raid with their magnificent customer service but the rest of the world we are left alone in the desert. 

 

Not sure what to do from here. 

 

IMG_20210103_141524.jpg

IMG_20210103_141505.jpg

Did you buy these from Rally Raid?

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31 minutes ago, Ktmmitch said:

Did you buy these from Rally Raid?

I would if I'd lived in the UK.

 

I bought them to the Tractive dealer in Germany, OTR. 

 

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Ok interesting write up and saddened to hear that your not getting the feel out of the suspension you want.

for me i went to the lower spring as spoke about earlier and the 6 was too firm (for my weight) and now i will virtually describe it as plush with compression backed right off.

the fronts were so good the rears then showed their limit, got the Adventure shock with 85nm spring ( may use luggage) and again backed off the low speed and mid way on high speed.

 

its Flippin awesome now high speed handling on road no wallowing at all and the off road handling and feedback has way more than im capable, brilliant high speed trail bike 

 

Change those front springs as it makes the suspension work!

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  • 2 months later...
7 hours ago, JayD said:

Any updates?

 

Yes, they are in my suspension shop (the guys who do my Enduro bike) for dyno testing and revalving for my needs. As they come valved from factory they didn't suit my use (slow to medium rough rocky technical stuff). 

 

681750599_2021-03-0518_28_27.thumb.jpg.d49d05513a92939b0b12b2634aacd009.jpg

 


It may take a couple of weeks to get them back as the suspension shop is not used to work with digressive pistons (mostly used in the car industry) and they need to take their time with the dyno testing.

 

I will post more info once I get them back revalved and have them properly tested.

 

All I can say right now is that if you do a lot of road spirited riding and dirt tracks that are not very extreme, they improve the stock T7 as they are very firm on the first part of the stroke and they do not dive, also they do not bottom on big jumps. Another discussion is if it's worth the investment for that sort of use.

 

For my use, you'll be disappointed by the harshness of the initial stroke with the factory valving.

 

 

 

Edited by powder
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Hmm, interesting. I have mine on order from RR, so haven’t tested them yet. I based my purchase solely on the feedback from the aussie crew at MAD TV on youtube. People on this forum seems to be very happy with it too.

 

I hope you figure it out, I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve tested mine. Looking forward to the coming updates.
 

Nice riding by the way!

Edited by JayD
I went with the open cartridge, not the closed one. Dont know how they compare in feel.
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I had tractive forks on a different bike and had the harshness described.

I removed 5-8 ml oil (? mermory)and it was a drastic improvement on small bumps, rocks,edges etc.

Was going to use a lighter viscosity fork oil at the reduced level but sold the bike.

Cheap and easy to try.

These bikes are never going to be suspended as good as a real dirt bike given the weight of bike, fork dimensions, limited travel etc. but we already know the design limits.

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  • 10 months later...

I'm installing Tractive rear suspension,  Shock X-TREME-PA PDS BLACK, 85 Nm to be specific. My weight with gear is 106k + luggage 15-20 kg. In theory 85 Nm should be more than enough, but I'm getting strange sag and ride height numbers. Preload set on zero.

free sag = 2mm...

110 kg = ride height 14mm [as I can see in manual that perfect distance should be 40-65 mm]

130 kg = ride height 25 mm

170 kg = ride height 49 mm

Don't have suspension guys around my village, so need to figure it out be myself. Any advice much appreciated!

 

Btw, can this be a problem, that hydraulic adjuster "eating" that preloading distance?

 

photo_2022-01-15_18-41-54.thumb.jpg.79c2397c5db9709693d56904430c653a.jpg

 

spring: 85-235 TT  34/20

Edited by Don.Mihalych
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1 hour ago, Don.Mihalych said:

I'm installing Tractive rear suspension,  Shock X-TREME-PA PDS BLACK, 85 Nm to be specific. My weight with gear is 106k + luggage 15-20 kg. In theory 85 Nm should be more than enough, but I'm getting strange sag and ride height numbers. Preload set on zero.

free sag = 2mm...

110 kg = ride height 14mm [as I can see in manual that perfect distance should be 40-65 mm]

130 kg = ride height 25 mm

170 kg = ride height 49 mm

Don't have suspension guys around my village, so need to figure it out be myself. Any advice much appreciated!

 

Btw, can this be a problem, that hydraulic adjuster "eating" that preloading distance?

 

photo_2022-01-15_18-41-54.thumb.jpg.79c2397c5db9709693d56904430c653a.jpg

 

spring: 85-235 TT  34/20

I am having a hard time understanding what you mean by., 

110 kg = ride height 14mm [as I can see in manual that perfect distance should be 40-65 mm]

130 kg = ride height 25 mm

170 kg = ride height 49 mm??

 

No matter what you weigh you should be aiming for approx 10% bike sag, 25-35% rider sag. So approx 20mm bike sag/60mm rider sag.

 

The spring data you posted indicates 85N, and I assume the 235 is the spring free length. 

With all preload removed from the remote adjuster, measure the spring length as it sits on the shock and let me know.

 

My bet is you have an excessive amount of installed preload on the spring.

This is one reason I am not a fan of hydraulic adjusters.  In some cases they do not give you the ability to get proper preload on the spring to achieve proper sag numbers.

 

I can't tell from the pic, but have a close look above the hydraulic adjuster for some threads on the shock body.

It may be possible to move the hydraulic adjuster up on the shock body to remove some of the installed preload on the spring.

 

If not most likely you need a shorter spring  so you have less installed preload.

 

I am 100kg without gear and I run a 90N spring.  I would never consider anything less.  I actually think 95 N would be better for me, but I am running a revalved stock shock and with the hydraulic adjuster finding a spring the correct length to get proper numbers is a compromise.

 

Personally I think whoever picked that spring length made the wrong decision.  235mm spring should have been a 220mm free length spring I think.

 

Let us know the springs installed length as it sits right now.

 

 

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I'll do the measurements, thank you!

I took formulas and meanings (like free sag and ride height) from my user manual, not sure if its common meanings or not.

106-110 kg is my weight with my gear. 130 kg just added some bottles of water behind me :), 170 kg added more water weight. I tried to understand under what load the spring began to squeeze finally.

 

photo_2022-01-10_19-35-53.jpg

 

photo_2022-01-10_19-35-52.jpg

Edited by Don.Mihalych
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5 hours ago, Don.Mihalych said:

I'll do the measurements, thank you!

I took formulas and meanings (like free sag and ride height) from my user manual, not sure if its common meanings or not.

106-110 kg is my weight with my gear. 130 kg just added some bottles of water behind me :), 170 kg added more water weight. I tried to understand under what load the spring began to squeeze finally.

 

photo_2022-01-10_19-35-53.jpg

 

photo_2022-01-10_19-35-52.jpg

Thanks, I now understand what you were referring to.  Different terms used by some can be confusing sometimes.

 

I wish they would just explain free sag and rider sag as a percentage in those manuals.  Then tell the owner to make calculations based on their own bikes suspension travel. 

 

If you are only getting 14mm rider sag when you are on the bike that shock must have the wrong length spring installed.

My rough estimate is when you measure the spring length as it sits right now you will read around 200-205mm.

This is approx 15mm too much preload.

Someone installed the wrong spring on that shock.  

 

Tractive sells shocks with a hydraulic preload adjuster and also models with a simple threaded adjuster.

I bet they normally use 210-220mm springs on the shocks with a hydraulic adjuster and 235mm springs on those with the simple threaded preload adjuster.

Someone made a mistake, grabbed a spring from the wrong shelf and installed the wrong length spring on that shock.

Call them up and explain your issue.  I would think they would exchange springs if you bought this shock new from them.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by williestreet
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On 1/15/2022 at 4:45 PM, Don.Mihalych said:

I'm installing Tractive rear suspension,  Shock X-TREME-PA PDS BLACK, 85 Nm to be specific. My weight with gear is 106k + luggage 15-20 kg. In theory 85 Nm should be more than enough, but I'm getting strange sag and ride height numbers. Preload set on zero.

free sag = 2mm...

110 kg = ride height 14mm [as I can see in manual that perfect distance should be 40-65 mm]

130 kg = ride height 25 mm

170 kg = ride height 49 mm

Don't have suspension guys around my village, so need to figure it out be myself. Any advice much appreciated!

 

Btw, can this be a problem, that hydraulic adjuster "eating" that preloading distance?

 

photo_2022-01-15_18-41-54.thumb.jpg.79c2397c5db9709693d56904430c653a.jpg

 

spring: 85-235 TT  34/20

John here from RR in UK, it looks like you have too much initial preload dialled into the spring.

it is possible,if there is space above the locking ring,  to undo the small M3 set screw in the locking ring above the preload adjuster, then rotate the ring to remove some fixed preload.

We build all our shocks here individually, to suit the owners weights etc, so I cannot say how this one has been set up, can you not contact the company you purchased it from?

 

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I've got a confirmation on my issue from TracTive Suspension support "your shock with preload adjuster needs a spring with length 205mm. Not the 235mm spring. Please have this changed at your dealer."
Guys, thanks for the help!

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