One of my goals when I bought my 2014 KTM 450 SX-F was to get my hands on a set of kit supension. A good handling bike is very important and it seemed high end suspension is a necessity to having the best handling bike possible. I wanted to get a Showa or Kayaba A-Kit and see how it worked on the KTM, but I had no interest in air forks and that’s all those brands had available. Fortunately, after doing some research I found Ohlins is still selling high end spring forks.
Ohlins RXF Fork
Ohlins RXF Fork Price: $3,505.00
Ohlins RXF Fork Weight: Left: 10.1 lbs (stock: 10.33 lbs); Right: 10.66 lbs (stock: 10.96 lbs)
- Compression: 28
- Rebound: 22
What is the Ohlins RXF Fork?
Ohlins’ top of the line fork that is available to the public. Think about it as their A-Kit offering. It is a bit less expensive than Showa or Kayaba’s A-Kit, this is nice because it is a more reasonable option for the masses.
The RXF forks offer high end outer tubes with Ohlins TTX22 cartridge kits inside. They feature higher tolerances than OEM fork tubes and high end coatings to provide smooth, factory level performance.
What does TTX technology do?
This is the tech stuff directly from Ohlins: TTX technology creates a positive pressure balance in the system, thanks to twin tube technology. The gas pressurized dividing piston inside does an excellent job of pushing the hydraulic fluid back into the low pressure side. The end result is better performance and no more cavitation. A gas pressurized damping system allows for immediate damping response. The twin tube design also allows the compression and rebound to be adjusted without affecting each other.
Ohlins’ recommended set-up for RXF Forks
- 15-45mm of static sag
- 40-60mm of sag
- The sag and static sag numbers are very broad. I recommend keeping it close to the middle of what they recommend.
- Ohlins recommends keeping the compression and rebound within five clicks of center for most riders and tracks.
How well do the RXF Forks work?
I really love the Ohlins RXF forks. They are super plush and work excellently in most situations and on most bumps. The smooth, plush fork action absorbs small chattery bumps amazingly. The bottoming resistance is also very good, among the best I have ever experienced. It works well in over jump situations and in large bumps. The few times I did notice a harsh bottom out it was in weird situations jumping into the face of a jump (small jumps, trying to grab the inside going into a corner). No need to go two clicks each time you want adjust your compression or rebound – each click actually makes a noticeable difference.
UPDATE – Durability Issues
During a regular service visit a whole bunch of broken parts were found inside of my RXF forks. It appears I bottomed hard, breaking the junk plastic hydraulic bottoming stop tubes, which hold the hydraulic bottoming pistons in place, allowing the piston to bounce around freely, destroying numerous parts inside both of my forks. For some reason it seems Ohlins has no plans to replace the plastic part with an aluminum one. The worst part? Ohlins USA didn’t have these parts in stock and they had to be ordered from Sweden, this took over a month! No, the parts weren’t warrantied. Final Thought: This is a junk design for such an expensive fork.
Ohlins TTX 44 Shock
Ohlins TTX Shock Price: $1,250.00
Ohlins TTX Shock Weight: 8.42 lbs (9.21 stock)
- Compression: 22
- High-Speed Compression: 3
- Rebound: 44
What is the Ohlins TTX 44 Shock?
Just like the Ohlins RXF forks, the TTX shock features a patented concept with a unique twin tube design that allows gas pressure to always back-up the low-pressure side of the piston to keep pressure at a controlled level. The twin tube design also allows the shock’s compression and rebound to work completely separately.
Ohlins’ recommended set-up for the TTX 44 Shock
- 20-40mm of static sag you’d be crazy to go below 30mm
- 95-115mm of sag – I ended up at 110mm You’d be crazy to go below 100mm
- For most conditions they recommend keeping the compression and rebound within five clicks from center. They recommend keeping the high speed compression in position two for most riders and tracks.
How well does TTX 44 Shock work?
Once you get the TTX 44 shock set up it works great. I especially love how well it works on braking bumps entering corners. It was a bit tricky for me to get the correct setting for g-out type situations, but once I did I was happy with how the shock worked in those situations as well.
What I didn’t like
I like the performance of the TTX 44 Shock when it’s dialed in correctly, but it can take a bit of work to get it there, if your sag and clickers aren’t right you’ll know it. I also don’t like that the high speed compression is limited to only 3 clicks. Typically high speed compression adjustments are done by turns allowing changes to be done by whatever increment you choose within the 3-1/2 available turns. Finally, the nylon preload ring can be a pain in the ass to turn at times.
How well does it work?
Did I mention I absolutely love the forks? I like the shock too, as a combo this is a huge improvement over the stock WP suspension. One thing that stands out about the full set is how plush it is on both ends and how well it responds to braking and acceleration bumps. I have noticed is that this stuff doesn’t work well when I’m not riding right. If I’m off my normal pace, the suspension feels like it is fighting me, but when I’m riding normal I truly love how this stuff works. When riding “normal” the Ohlins TTX 44/RXF combo is very plush and predictable and provides bottoming resistance that is better than a large majority of suspension I have used in the past.
Who should buy Ohlins RXF Forks & TTX 44 Shock?
- KTM Owners WP suspension has been an issue for KTM’s for years (I personally especially dislike the forks), the Ohlins RXF forks, or even the TTX22 cartridges are a big improvement over stock.
- People who don’t like air forks can either replace them with the complete RXF fork or in many cases install TTX22 cartridges and switch their air forks to standard spring forks.
- Someone who wants A-Kit forks Ohlins gives you a less expensive option to Showa and Kayaba A-Kit suspension and is your only option if you don’t want air forks.
There seems to be some debate whether Ohlins is any better than stock. I can tell you from experience that the Ohlins combo is a big improvement on KTM’s. The fact that Chad Reed even considered switching to Ohlins tells me that they’re making products that perform well on the track (he did run it at the Motocross des Nations). Kyle Chisolm and Mike Alessi have been running it in Supercross – Alessi may be having a career season. Is it worth buying? Yes, especially for your KTM. Not to mention you can get the TTX 22 Cartridge Kit put it inside of your stock fork tubes instead of the RXF Forks and have an amazing fork and shock set up for $2,000.