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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to replace the rear shock on my 999. Currently my options are the ohlins triple clicker, or the Penske triple clicker.
I've heard a ton of good stuff about the Penske from racers... good track support, better adjustability... traxxion dynamics claims the high speed compression adjustment is useless on the ohlins. They have a shock dyno and do some good work setting up their suspension.
i'm looking for some objective advice... someone who has tried both.
 

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IMO the Penske and Ohlins are both very fine products. The Penske is easier and more versatile to custom valve as their are numerous valving and shimming options. Yes the hs comp circuit does work very effectively and independent of ls setting, unlike the Ohlins. The biggest upside however is that in order to service a Penske, a decent set of allen wrenches is all that is needed, the Ohlins requires several specialized (read pricey $$!!) tools to service. The downside to the Penske? Price mainly. It's typically $2-300 more costly, at least retail. The other possible downside is market value. If you were to sell bike, the Penske would not add any more value than an Ohlins, it may even be worth less because the Ohlins name is golden among squids, especially Ducati Sbk buyers who don't know any better. If resale value doesn't mean anything to you and your budget allows, get the Penske. Be sure to buy from a shop that truly can setup shock spring and valving to your size and riding style. Improperly setup, you're losing the entire advantage of the Penske design. Better yet, consider spending the $$ on Penske valves in fork. A custom valved and sprung rear shock is great but properly setup forks are a more noticable change, imo. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
my plan was to use the ohlins internals for the fronts from section 8... with an eventual upgrade to R/T forks (for the radial mount option). i didn't know Penske made internals to fit the 999... do you have any info on where i can get them?
I was planning to buy my rear from traxxion dynamics, they seem reputable and experienced, you pay a little extra than what i've found the shock for in some places that just send it out the door, but its worth it to me.
they list the penske for 1150$ all set up.

resale value and squid appeal mean nothing to me, i'd much rather pay for the best performing setup. even if it isn't all gold bling bling on the bike.
all go and no show... thats the best way.
 

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Senior Moment
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Get a hold of NCRick at Cogent dynamics - he's a sponsor. And he's done work on my bike. He's a a Penske and Ohlins dealer and shop. And he's a ducati rider. Not only will he give you a damn good price, he'll set it up right for you.
 

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Fox said:
my plan was to use the ohlins internals for the fronts from section 8... with an eventual upgrade to R/T forks (for the radial mount option). i didn't know Penske made internals to fit the 999.
Yes, Penske makes piston and shim stack kits for your Showa fork. Combine that with alot of polishing of cartridge component surfaces and the reduced stiction along with more versatile valving will equal or exceed the performance of an R/T fork...for $2000 less!

Radial mounted calipers, why? No real benefit here, imo. You could upgrade caliper to a Brembo 1-piece billet or something as exotic as Beringer but there is no need to switch to radial mounted caliper. If it's just for improved feel and fade control, consider ductile iron ff rotors such as those from Braketech, better pad material from EBC, Galfer or Ferodo and higher temp brake fluid such as Motul RBF600, although I've personally switched to the pricier Prospeed 610 which imo offers better feel and seems to last considerably longer before contamination.

Honestly, for the $$ of the R/T forks alone, not counting the need for radial calipers and related hardware, you could have your fork reworked with Penske valving, sliding surfaces hand polished, ductile iron rotors f&r, new pads, new racing fluid AND have a few $$ left over to start saving for some lightweight wheels...something that will definitely improve feel and performance of bike.

BTW: per the previous posters comments recommending NCRick. I've never spoken to the man, never had him work on or consult on my suspension, but having read several previous comments he has made regarding suspension setup and mods, I suspect he is highly qualified to properly setup your suspension. The fact he is an Ohlins and Penske dealer makes him a terrific candidate for your suspension needs. Take care
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i haven't ridden the difference between radial and standard mounts on a ducati... but i rode a standard mount 600RR and then the radial mount 600RR, and i was very impressed with the radial mounts upgrade. so i liked them, and late braking is my favorite place to pass (i'm pretty light, so given similar bikes i can usually out brake "normal" sized riders) so i figured working to a brake upgrade wouldn't be a bad deal.
 

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Buckelew said:
Get a hold of NCRick at Cogent dynamics - he's a sponsor. And he's done work on my bike. He's a a Penske and Ohlins dealer and shop. And he's a ducati rider. Not only will he give you a damn good price, he'll set it up right for you.
+1 for Rick, he rebult my Showas with a .95 spring and Penske internals and my Penske 3 way shock is being built. Alot of racers I know and even my local Ducati shop recommend the Penske over Ohlins. Also Rick will take the time to talk about suspension and explain your options and what works and doesnt work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
just in looking at his site it doesn't seem as knowledgable as the traxxion dynamics site...
and on his page he only offers double clickers.
do any of you know if he has a shock dyno?
I'm sure he is knowledgable and nice... i haven't made my decision yet as to who i'm going with... but these reviews have helped. i'm going to call both places and see what they each recommend.
I'll post up each recommendation, you guys let me know what you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm right at packard's corner in allston. I hadn't gone to GMD yet... i was going to get the bike measured and setup by them at a later date... they seemed a little expensive for the components themselves.
Have you had good experience with them?
 

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Yea... I've had good experience with GMD.

Give him a call... I'm sure he can give you his opinion.
 

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+1 on NC Rick. This guy eats, sleeps and dreams suspension, is a super nice guy, rides a Duc 900SS on the road and has two Ducati SBK race bikes - he knows the Ducati setups. Max and the other guys are also excellent suspension tuners, and I'm sure provide an excellent service, but I guess you could ask yourself who has the most DUCATI personal experience and setup info.....

Website? Well, he's a small outfit, and does the valving work & recondition/refresh service HIMSELF (not some hired tech) and is extremely meticulous.

Give Rick a call. Believe me, you will not be sorry.

OB
 

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Thank you so much for the nice comments folks! I am sorry my website sucks, it is a work in progress that I am doing on my own, I have no experience with this web stuff and I learn as I go. The last few months have had me quite tied up doing what I love, setting up forks for guys and I have not taken the time to work on the site. I think I will have time this weekend but it will be warm and sunny so the 900SS will likely get a bunch of miles on it (anyone want to come ride this weekend?)



Max at Traxxion is a good guy, I am sure he knows more than I do. That guy has been kicked out of more race events than I have been to (from the support side anyhow). He has also been doing this stuff on a commercial basis for way longer than I.



Cogent Dynamics have been specializing in just a few bikes and I have a very well developed relationship with Penske. We are one of the very first shops to have installed the Penske Superbike conversion on “normal” (non-sponsored racers) bikes. We have worked hand-in-hand with Penske to develop a custom valving set up that works correctly for our customers. I am fairly certain that we are the only ones doing the Penske conversion on the SS, Monster and ST2, 3and 4(s). Cogent Dynamics manufactures special parts that allow this application to work as well as it does in these bikes.



With regard to the Penske shocks; we discuss our customers needs in detail and work with the same people at Penske who set up the AMA pro level bikes so that the Penske technicians and engineers can custom configure each shock to best fit our customers needs. Each shock is run on the Penske shock dyno before it ships and the dyno sheet is included with the shock. I do not profess to know more about these shocks than the engineers who designed them. I do not have my own shock dyno. If I charged my customers as much as some other shops, I could easily have one.



We strive to provide our customers with the very best personalized service. I treat every project as if it were my own. Every set of forks that go through here are done by me and receive the same care and attention as I do on my own. I am doing this stuff for my friends and I am passionate about that fact.



Fox, give me a call. Regardless of what choice you make, I will do my best to help you make the best decision on the best shock for you and your bike. I can save you some $$ too.



With an Ohlins or a Penske, you will have a top of the line product that you will be very pleased with.
 

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Another in Rick's camp here. It's all about the customer with him. I did the Superbike Penske internals along with a Penske 8991 for the rear. All custom done after quite few emails back and forth and a couple of phone calls... Great to deal with. My forks aren't here yet. The Penske rear shock is a work of art... MAJOR cool!!!
 

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What's a tripple clicker?? And how's that different from a double clicker someone mentioned??

I read a neat article in a magazine (forgot which one but it was one of the good ones...not Sport Rider or some crap) on suspension for race teams and such. The article really focused on how race teams are getting away from soooo many adjustments on the suspensions. No hi and low speed dampening adjustments, just one if that. I think it said something like some of them even have a small range of adjustment, like 10 clicks or so on the adjustments they do have. Now granted, I fully understand these suspensions are completely custom built for that rider and that track, don't get me wrong. Heck, I had mine set up by Dave Moss at a track day and haven't touched it since then. And 99.5% sure I wont touch it again until Rick overhauls mine this spring:) Just wonder why the average rider would or could even take advantage of all that adjustability.
 

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Has a high speed compression damping adjuster. Careful Galaxy, you could open up the "what do any of us really need" can of worms. But its actually a nice adjustment, on the Penske that is, as you can dial out some of the quicker bumps without affecting the overall compression setting.
 

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For some discussions on Penske versus Ohlins versus Elka take a look at this thread (and some melodramatic entertainment): Shocks

I think Max chimes in on page 6. Max, if anything, is very entertaining. I bought a Penske from Traxxion a couple years ago and couldn't be happier with the shock and with the service from Traxxion. I personally think Penske is a better shock, but YMMV. There are a lot of good suspension people out there. No one person has a monopoly on suspension knowledge. For some reason suspension people tend to be outspoken (i.e., very annoying). Go with the person who talks straight and listens to you (i.e., shows they want to determine what particular set-up is best for you). I too didn't know about Penske internals for forks. Very good information. I'll be contacting Cogent when I am ready to have my forks done.
 

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I went with the Penske triple on my Mille and it really is an top-notch item. I went with it over the Olins triple and I believe I made the right choice (YMMV).

Also, one of the guys from Penske rides in one of the clubs I belong to - he shows up and helps out with set up questions and is an overall good guy - he can even completely rebuild the shock in about 15 minutes if needed.

Full disclosure - I had some trouble as it leaked out all of the nitrogen within a few weeks of buying it - they repaired it asap.... however, they DID charge me $60 and I was less-than-enthused...
 
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