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Discussion Starter #1
Well, seems these days, I just can't stop tinkering with the bike. Sure dig that Ti Nitride stuff. Yeah, I know, does it really make a diff? Who knows. But I'd like to give it a try anyways. Bling, Bling,,,

Does anyone know who does such work? Can you coat the tubes you have?

Any info is appreciated, and I hope I'm not redundant w/previous posts of yore.
 

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Having those coated would be a pretty big effort (meaning it's going to cost you) for what you are getting.

If you really want it, the best way I can see you doing it is to purchase a set of used forks that have the TiN coating from a reputable seller on eBay... and then consequently selling your pair of forks on eBay. There is not going to be much difference in price. The key, just like nearly anything else in the used market, is just patience.
 

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Bobaganoosh
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I just had Rick from Cogent Dynamics rebuild my Showa's. I talked to him about Ti Nitride and DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) instead of being gold its black, The GSXR 1000 and ZX10R I believe come from the factory with DLC. Starting price is about 400 bucks for Ti and DLC is more expensive. Its also designed to apply over virgin tubes. If your lowers and have rock nics or wear on the chrome, it will increase the chance of the Ti or DLC not having 100% adhesion and could cause some flaking down the road. Most riders wont notice the difference in stiction compared to a Ti and non Ti coated. The payoff is getting the forks rebuilt with the right springs, fresh seals and oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's just bling

Yeah, i doubt I could tell the diff, except in my wallet! :eek:

It's just a curiosity really, I'm not looking for the technical improvement. I could afford to buy another bike or even two, but I just don't have the time to ride that much. And I'm totally happy with my Duc, so I thought I'd buy her some jewelry.... I think I'm with the beauty for the long haul!

Just for the record, she's already got raceteched forks with the proper spring/sag settup. Spent a good bit of time on dialing her in. She's sweet! :rolleyes:
 

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Senior Moment
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TiN and TiCN (Titanium Carbo (or Carbon Nitride)) are vacuum deposition processes either using plasma or RF sputtering (not usually done with ion beam) - the tubes have to be absolutely clean and free of hydrocarbons (oils). The manufacturing machining is done with oil-free coolants. Once you use them.....it would be real tough to get the oil out. Far cheaper to buy forks with the tubes already coated.

The TiCN is the black stuff. DLC Diamond-Like Carbon (or Coating) isn't necessarily black. and isn't as prevalent in consumer products - but we used it in disc drives (on the face of the heads).

But there is also Diamond-Like nanostructure that performs even better in the area of toughness and lubricity. but also more expensive.
 

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If you want to have the fork coated with something to increase lubricity I would recommend either EN teflon or EN boron. The teflon is rather soft but the boron it fairly hard probably around a 45-50 rockwell. EN is Electroless nickle plating its well be really good for an application like fork legs because of the way it plates.
 

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TiN, Ion nitriding, and DLC are great wear resistant coatings. As others said, they're for new parts and not for a rework such as yours.
One of the problems besides the near impossibility to clean them prior to the process, and small surface imperfections that won't "plate" , is that the parts are often heated to about 1500 degrees F. In service parts will develop various retained strsses from normal use. Heating them up to 1500 will relieve the stresses resulting in some warpage.

Add me as another vote to just find some TiN coated forks and slap them on your bike.
 

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Cliff notes: Don't do it.

:)
 

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Bobaganoosh
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Namor said:
how'd they turn out?
I dont want to hijack this thread they came out great, I will make a new post later once I get more of my bike back together.
 

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Aw hell Mark, just take them down to your local metal processor or technical cleaning service. They would cost all of $15 each to have "oxygen clean" if you tell them no certification paperwork is required. Cash.

Piece o' cake.


Buckelew said:
TiN and TiCN (Titanium Carbo (or Carbon Nitride)) are vacuum deposition processes either using plasma or RF sputtering (not usually done with ion beam) - the tubes have to be absolutely clean and free of hydrocarbons (oils). The manufacturing machining is done with oil-free coolants. Once you use them.....it would be real tough to get the oil out. Far cheaper to buy forks with the tubes already coated.

The TiCN is the black stuff. DLC Diamond-Like Carbon (or Coating) isn't necessarily black. and isn't as prevalent in consumer products - but we used it in disc drives (on the face of the heads).

But there is also Diamond-Like nanostructure that performs even better in the area of toughness and lubricity. but also more expensive.
 

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Shops that do CVD (chemical vapor deposition) do have the capabilities to clean oils off. I compete with a company in canada who does CVD on used oil field parts. They do a boronizing process which yield a very slick surface when completed. It is a very price process though. Even though the substate (in this case a fork tube) is heated up due the the process there is no change in surface dimension. This means that the part do not warp or disfigure.
the TiN coating is not for hardness as much as it is for lubricity. There are plenty of coating that yield a harder finish, but the TiN and Diamond coat offer a relatively hard finish with a very high lubricity.
 

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That "Diamond Like Carbon" moniker truly cracks me up. Like it's some proprietary treatment. In truth, it sounds like TiCN, aka Titanium Carbo Nitride coating. This is extremely popular coating in machine shops for cutting tools. The TiCN coating is nearly twice as hard as TiN and has roughly 60% higher lubricity, aka lower dry coeficient of friction. Basically it's really good stuff for a given purpose. Yes, the Suzuki factory race forks recieve this treatment although the similar looking Gixxer1000 forks are supposedly only dark chrome plated to look like the factory race forks, not truly TiCN coated. If you take them into natural light, the material will subtly change colors depending upon the angle of view from black to deep dark brown to deep dark purple.

Does it work? Hell yes! If it did not, machine shops would not spend the $$ to coat their cutting bits. Teams, even as well funded as Suzuki AMA, would not go to the effort if their were not some benefit. In real world street riding? Maybe. The coating if nothing else will protect fork tubes from minor scratching or checking due to small flying debris such as sand. WP/KTM use the coating on their supercross race forks for this very reason. Will it reduce stiction? Yes, but with a caveat. If the lower legs rubbing the fork seals were the only source of stiction we'd be home free. Unfortunately, there are many internal sources for stiction in our cartridge forks. To simply coat the lower legs alone, you'll have little benefit in reduced stiction which would lead to better response and feel. If however you approach the process as one step combined with several other steps of polished surfaces, I do believe you will in fact realize greatly reduced stiction. I have personally done the TiCN coating on my ST3 Showa's, however I also spent several hours polishing every surface on those forks, either by hand or on a polishing wheel mounted on my grinder. That along with some custom valving using Penske internals has turned my forks into what I consider near perfection. I can literally grip bars and smoothly compress fork without even the slightest hint of stiction. When I try similarly on an OEM Ohlins fork on a 999s, there is substantially noticable stiction. The stock ST3 and ST3s forks have just absurd levels of stiction.

Best, most reliable and highest quality sources for TiCN or TiN coatings? Check Yellow Pages for plating firms, especially ones who advertise tool reconditioning. Alternatively, if you know anybody who is a machinist or works at a machine shop, ask for who they send their cutters to for reconditioning. FWIW: I disassemble every fork on every bike I own as soon as I purchase them and proceed to polish the internal components. I do not have all forks coated, my 300EXC and WR450F for example are resprung, revalved and polished but still stock plated. My KTM 950, my ST3 are both plated, polished, resprung and revalved, my new Daytona 675 will recieve similar treatment as soon as I find the time. Take care
 

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I never realized there was this much involved in the combat against stiction :D ... very interesting info -- thanks.
 

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Bobaganoosh
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migz123 said:
I never realized there was this much involved in the combat against stiction :D ... very interesting info -- thanks.
You got a R with Ohlins......Which del amo has a R for 20 OTD....im so tempted!
 

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The shop we have that does the DLC works with a lot of the NASCAR teams and also works with Ducati in Italy on race bike projects. They indicated to me that they could not guarantee the plating on a used fork tube because any corrosion that may have started below the chrome would cause a failure for the coating to adhere. Any imperfections or marks in the tube will still be there after the coating.



We also polish the fork internal parts during a conversion but a lot of the big buck teams coat the damping rods with this stuff. The Ohlins steering dampers used on the MotoGp bikes have the DLC on the damper shaft.



I have not universally recommended this step to people because of the used tube issue as well as the cost to benefit ratio when you have a limited pool of funds are available. If there is an extra $350 laying around, I like to do a full audit of the bikes suspension system and make an assessment from that point of view. For instance, the Penske conversion is about the same cost and makes a lot bigger improvement to the bike. Even with the fork converted and correctly sprung, what’s on the rear of the bike? Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have the coated tubes (and shock shaft) on my bike and I feel like it provides better performance as well as better longevity. Even the high mile Ti coated tubes look like new condition when we see them. ( ;)There are exceptions for those that get tossed into the kitty litter at 100 MPH like some do around here :D)


I plan to try to coat a set for my race bike so I can gain more personal experience with the DLC. I have a low mile used set of tubes I am thinking about taking the chance with.
 

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NCRick said:
They indicated to me that they could not guarantee the plating on a used fork tube because any corrosion that may have started below the chrome would cause a failure for the coating to adhere. Any imperfections or marks in the tube will still be there after the coating. [/font]
Absolutely true that any surface imperfections in existing or used fork tubes will not be filled or masked by any plating.

Not adhering however is a different issue, ime. If the material is properly prepped, plating should absolutely not be a problem. The local shop I have used begins with a thorough washing of material in 2 separate washes. The tubes are then bead blasted to remove any existing plating or paint. The materials are then then pre-treated by 2 more washes and either 2 or 3 part bath, which iirc is some sort of mild acid etching which preps the surface for the plating. The materials are finally dipped in the nitride bath which itself may also be a multipart bath. I have not ventured into that part of shop, I just know the finished product is INCREDIBLY smooth and I have yet to experience a single incidence of flaking or checking in the finished plated surface. I have always used fork tubes that were new or near new for this process, ie. ones w/o any scratches or similar flaws. Take care.
 
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