Lansdowne Fork Damper Kit (2009)

L.A.B.

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Lansdowne Fork Damper Kit

Lansdowne Fork Damper Kit (2009)


OK, well, I saw this on UK eBay and thought why not give it a go?

So I got the kit from Lansdowne (John Bould) which took less than a week to arrive, and it all looked to be very well made.

Description

The kit consists of two complete damper assemblies which are a straight replacement for the standard damper tubes, rods and cap nuts.

One assembly controls compression damping, and the other, the rebound. The damping rate of both units is adjusted by altering infinitely variable needle valves within the dampers, so can be set from zero to practically solid damping, using small Allen key socket adjusters in the alloy cap nuts, which form part of the assembly.
Lansdowne Fork Damper Kit (2009)


John e-mailed me the fitting instructions, he also e-mailed me some other helpful suggestions, and also sent me a plate spanner for the cap nuts, and he has certainly taken an interest in how I've been getting on.

Fitting

Fitting the dampers was quite straightforward, and was just a case of removing the front wheel and damper retaining bolts, unscrewing the cap nuts, and pulling out the old damper assemblies which can be done without removing the fork sliders, or dropping the forks out, unless other work needs to be done,-which in my case I removed the sliders as I also wanted to fit the RGM extended upper bush kit.

The fork springs are transferred to the new damper units, and the assemblies dropped into position and secured with new countersunk screws and collars, 180cc/ml of SAE10 fork oil (as recommended by John) was added to each leg, and the cap nuts tightened.

Adjustment

John recommended setting each damper adjuster to approximately 1 turn out from the fully closed position to start with, which felt about right for the compression damping when pumping the forks, but I found that to be a bit too soft for the rebound as the forks would top out each time they extended, so I ended up setting the rebound adjuster to about a quarter turn open where it felt about right and the forks no longer topped out.


Road Test

Riding my normal 'test route' around my local bumpy back roads and lanes, I was immediately aware that the fork action was far better than it had ever been before! The forks were noticeably smoother and more compliant over all road surfaces and I found myself travelling somewhat faster over that ground than I normally would!
I think the initial settings were not too far out, although I'm still experimenting with the fine adjustment at the moment.


Conclusion

Does the kit work? And is it worth the money?

In my opinion, YES, as it seems to be very well made, and I'd say this kit is a definite performance improvement over the standard setup, and anyone who is thinking of upgrading their forks or replacing old worn fork dampers should consider fitting this kit and contact John at Lansdowne for more information (and NO, I'm not getting paid to say this!).



(I also invited John to join in, and if he wishes, to answer any questions or comments that anyone may have about the kit).
 
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Are they readily available? The ebay item is gone (I assume in your dirty little paws) and he doesn't appear to have any other listed.

Is £212 the standard price or what it bid out to be? Roughly US$330.

Will you be posting more on the extended bushes?
 

Chris

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Hi all
John is a good guy to deal with. Blunt & to the point. Dealt with him a while ago (Trident) Described properly & if Duncan Fitchet says the forks are good then!
Its a joy to watch Duncan, as he pushes his Manx so hard.
Next project the Seeley MK2 will be getting a set.
all the best Chris
 

L.A.B.

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swooshdave said:
Are they readily available? The ebay item is gone (I assume in your dirty little paws) and he doesn't appear to have any other listed.

John should be joining us here shortly (I hope) to answer any questions, but in the meantime I will PM you his e-mail address.





swooshdave said:
Will you be posting more on the extended bushes?

Possibly? I was a bit disappointed that they didn't appear to work: extended-top-fork-bush-mod-t4636.html
 
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THE FORK KIT " LANSDOWNE" NAMED FROM IT'S DEVELOPMENT ALONG SIDE LANSDOWNE MANX RIDER DUNCAN FITCHETT. THE OBJECTIVE IS TO PRODUCE A [DROP IN, NO MACHINING OR SPECIAL TOOLS] FORK SYSTEM THAT CONTROL'S THE EXCESSIVE MOVEMENTS IN NORTON FORKS, HAVING READ ALL THE CONCERNS REGARDING "TOPPING" AND BOTTOMING...I DREW UP A SYSTEM THAT CONTROL'S THE FORKS . GUIDED BY TRIUMPHS NEW COMPRESSION/REBOUND FORKS..IT SEEMED TO BE THE WAY FORWARD. THE BIG RESTRICTION IS THE 26 MM HOLE THAT THE NEW SYSTEM WILL FIT IN. AFTER A FEW EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN'S I SETTLED ON A TOP FEED VALVE, THIS QUICKLY PRIMED THE DAMPER,ALSO PREVENTED AIR LOCKS. A CENTRE NEEDLE VALVE ADJUSTER,THAT IS EASY AND QUICK TO ADJUST FROM THE TOP. FULL RANGE OF ADJUSTMENT IS OBTAINED VIA A ALLEN KEY . "HOW DOE'S IT WORK"? ON [CONTROLLED]COMPRESSION OIL IS DRAWN INTO THE BODY VIA A TOP VALVE.REBOUND IS ONLY ALLOWED BY THE PRE SET NEEDLE POSITION. TURNING THE ADJUSTER REGULATES THE RATE OF REBOUND. SPRING EXTENSION IS CONTROLLED BY BOTTOM VALVE'S THAT AGAIN ALLOWS OIL TO ENTER.ESCAPEING AGAIN VIA THE NEEDLE PRESET POSITION. THE RESULT= TOTAL CONTROL OVER COMPRESSION AND REBOUND ACTION,USING SAE10 OIL,OR A.T.F. I USE NEEDLE VALVES BECAUSE THEY WILL LAST FOREVER :) ..AMAL USE THIS CONTROL .NOT IMPROVING ON THE DESIGN IN 90 YEARS! THE DAMPER USE'S THE BEST MATERIALS, BRASS TOP VALVE HOUSING EXTRA LENGTH BEARING SURFACE.,BRASS PISTON, HI TENSILE COLD DRAWN TUBEING. C.N.C ALLOY TUBE SUPPORTS. DESIGNED TO LAST...MADE TO DELIGHT. 65 SETS IN BIKES WORLDWIDE...100% POSITIVE FEEDBACK...QUOTE'S " FANTASTIC PRODUCT" .."FORK'S NOW SWEET" .." MUCH MORE COMPLIENT" AND DUNCAN'S POSTING ON THIS FORUM SAYS IT ALL. ALL THE BEST JOHN. P.S PRICE WILL INCREASE IN THE NEW YEAR......READ LUDWIGS COMMENT " HOW HE MAKE'S THESE AT THIS PRICE?" COST IS £215 POSTAGE FREE [LIMITED OFFER] I EXCEPT PAYPAL AS WIRED TRANSFER CAN BE TRICKY....ALL REMITANCE TO; jrb19502005@yahoo.co.uk PLEASE STATE YEAR/MODEL AND IF THE ALLOY INSTRUMENT POD'S ARE RETAINED. DAMPERS ARE MANUFACTURED HERE IN THE UK BY LANSDOWNE ENG...A GREAT BRITISH PRODUCT..FOR A GREAT BRITISH BIKE..ALL THE BEST JOHN BOULD, LASTLY DISPATCH TIME IS APPROX 10 DAYS. DELIVERY BY ROYAL AIRMAIL TO USA. APPROX 9-12 DAYS...ADJUSTABLE KITS NOW AVAILABLE..TRIUMPH T140..TRACK TEST'S ARE VERY GOOD.
 
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john robert bould said:
Due to demand and other pressing project's i am only using the ebay at the moment

Norton projects? Are you just going to tease us? :mrgreen:
 

Rob94010

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John, Welcome and thanks for joining. I finally started the reserection of my 71 Cammando. I working on the engine first and will be into the forks soon.
 

L.A.B.

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chris plant said:
are the rgm extended top bushes needed for the new dampers

No, I just thought I would try the RGM bushes, as the Lansdowne kit didn't appear to have any built-in rebound buffer stops?
I had already installed the Covenant kit with the floating sleeves (and damper blanking plugs) some years ago, and a few members here have continually insisted that the sleeves don't/can't/shouldn't work, and may even cause problems if they stick or jam, but I have never experienced any problems with the Covenant kit, and as far as I was concerned the Covenant sleeves were an improvement.
However, I was somewhat dismayed to find that the RGM kit didn't seem to work as a buffer stop extended-top-fork-bush-mod-t4636.html so perhaps the Covenant sleeves didn't do much, either?
 
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swooshdave said:
john robert bould said:
Due to demand and other pressing project's i am only using the ebay at the moment

Norton projects? Are you just going to tease us? :mrgreen:
Hi, It's only a eight leading front stopper,based on the CRM,but lighter.More Triton than pucka norton
 
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Chris said:
Hi all
John is a good guy to deal with. Blunt & to the point. Dealt with him a while ago (Trident) Described properly & if Duncan Fitchet says the forks are good then!
Its a joy to watch Duncan, as he pushes his Manx so hard.
Next project the Seeley MK2 will be getting a set.
all the best Chris
Hello, you old dog! Not heard from you in age's. Is that Trident finnished? i fitted my dampers to one ,replacing those silly shuttle valves. Duncan was over the moon with the dampers...infact they endded up is down fall! He was going faster and faster..he was the forth quickest at Goodwood ..that included Rutter! Duncan posted a 92.4 lap!! Before his rear end had other idea's. Problem is those small section rubbers[ regulated size] and 60 wild horse's don't make happy marrage's .I supplied Jack Hebb[lansdowne 350 manx] with a set,he got knocked off before a full test and set up.. I am building the dampers to order...they take a lot of time to make...Not a lot differant on the outside,but lots inside!
 

Chris

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Hi John
Trident finished ridden stripped & used in a Rickman & a Slippery Sam. The Rickman is done & beautiful the S/s has stood still as it was going to go out on track with a friend. Flogged the S/S parts & found a Bonnie Thruxton tank for it as the S/s stuff seemed so bulky. Hope to get it back soon. Funds needed to finish the Seeley MK2 Commando for next season.
Speaking of specials what happened with that glourious Vin?
all the best Chris
 
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so you still need upper and lower bushes with this kit?, or is it just drop in replacement? Just asking because it looks like a bottom bush would black off the side with the lower holes on bottom damper.

L.A.B are you going to keep the extended bushes on?

Would 15w fork oil be ok?

Are the top fork nuts polished?

How much shipping to the US?
 

L.A.B.

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pelican said:
so you still need upper and lower bushes with this kit?, or is it just drop in replacement? Just asking because it looks like a bottom bush would black off the side with the lower holes on bottom damper.

It's a drop in replacement for the damper asemblies, so bushes are still required.


pelican said:
L.A.B are you going to keep the extended bushes on?

Yes. as I doubt they are doing any harm, and I expect they increase the amount of slider support, as they are longer.


pelican said:
Would 15w fork oil be ok?
.

John suggested I keep to the SAE10 oil, but 15 could be OK?



pelican said:
Are the top fork nuts polished?


Yes, although they are not mirror poilished, but if thats what you wanted then you could ask John, as he custom builds the kits, or they would only take a few munutes to shine up anyway.

pelican said:
How much shipping to the US?

I suggest you contct John at Lansdowne?
 
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Regarding longer top bush'es. Testing the extra length i found the following; As the stanchion large hole as no effect on oil resistance,the two small 3mm holes are left to resist the "squeeze". The area left is 2.4ml and the idea that two 3mm holes can resist the outward flow of this amount ? well they donot. I have drilled a 1mm hole in the body of my dampers..the pressure dropped from 200 plus PSI -zero was instant. a 1mm hole is only .785 square . Two 3mm's are 14 square mm,resisting only 2.4ml? Only when the small holes are cut off will things happen..But theres only 3mm of travel left!! I would not consider that a rebound stop!!!. Answer is control the rebound well before the topping out.
 
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I'm curious if 15w oil would work too. Why have them almost at their limit of adjustment with 10w when maybe 15w could give more adjustment range perhaps.
 
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Hi, 10.s or 15's oil ,you will have the same effect, the adjusting needle is just a little more out with thicker oil. I have not tried the 15's but it will give a slightly differant ride that's for sure . i have ran Sae 5 in a manx,the only differance was a slight weep at the seal. Other factors are complex. for eg; Lighter oil escapes more easly and heats up faster,but deairate's quickly, where as heaver oils tend to "hold " onto the bubble's. After almost a full race season the 10 grade did a good job,with no fall off in performance. This grade responded very well to adjustment's. After a full race the slider's where slightly warm,damping was still good. I doubt a road going Commando will give noticable result's wether its 10 or 15....As a experiment i have tried 30's hydraulic...then there was a great change,sluggish! ..regards Lansdowne enginnering. email jrb19502005@yahoo.co.uk
 
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john robert bould said:
Hi, 10.s or 15's oil ,you will have the same effect, the adjusting needle is just a little less out with thicker oil. I have not tried the 15's but it will give a differant ride that's for sure . i have ran Sae 5 in a manx,the only differance was a slight weep at the seal. Other factors are complex. for eg; Lighter oil escapes more easly and heats up faster,but deairate's quickly, where as heaver oils tend to "hold " onto the bubble's. After almost a full race season the 10 grade did a good job,with no fall off in performance. This grade responded very well to adjustment's. After a full race the slider's where slightly warm,damping was still good. I doubt a road going Commando will give noticable result's wether its 10 or 15....As a experiment i have tried 30's hydraulic...then there was a great change,sluggish! You will not realy increase the range providing the needle is adjusted to suit, i hope i answered you question..regards Lansdowne enginnering.

Thanks for the info. I'd like to try out a set of your dampers one of these days.
 
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I have purchased and just finished fitting and testing a Lansdowne fork damping kit on my Commando and in my opinion there is definately an improvement in the fork action.

Prior to fitting the new cartridges, I was running my forks with ATF, in standard format. I am not the worlds greatest development engineer, but what I can tell is that on the back roads where my Norton spends quite a lot of time, except for the severest potholes, the forks now don't crash and jolt me like they would have done prior to fitting the new cartridges. I don't know if it's my imagination, but I seem to be able to squeal the front tyre under braking with less effort than before! Could this be associated with less dive or am I imagining it :?: Now when I hit a series of bumps in the road you can just feel the forks reacting to them now with a soft thud, whereas before, although not a problem, you would have felt it quite noticably with slight jolting through the bars.

I have had a bit of a play with the settings today, and as far as I can tell, about the one full turn out on both of the damping adjusters seems about right for my Norton with me on it @ 11 1/2 stone. I have tried the adjusters at various settings, and this feels like it has the best balance for me and for this type of road. John tells me that he has supplied me with a revised version, with these units he has moved
the needle valve bleed off hole 15mm up the piston rod,this is now covered by the top cap to produce a final hydraulic cushion
. I have to say that I'm not sure exactly what this means but as you will be able to tell from what I've said, I am pleased with the results.
 
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