WP FORK GOBBLERS
GOBBLE UP ROOTS - GOBBLE UP WHOOPS - GOBBLE UP THE COMPETITION!
DIY INSTALL IN MINUTES
Don't even have to drain your fork oil
Fits open chamber WP forks 2002 to 2021 including Xplor
Patent Pending US 62/765,370
So... I was pretty happy with the stock suspension... or so I thought. Then along comes Rob and says "Hey you should contact this guy about his fork valves"... um... ok??? I did. Some random dude in SoCal that knows nothing about me or my riding :>) Was going to do up my suspension but then got busy and said he would just send me this cool little base valve he makes that has a high speed comp adjustor and his valving along with the right fork spring.
I've been riding for almost 40 years and for about 20 of them had a lot of suspension work done as well as doing some of my own experimenting with valve stacks, spring rates and fork sub chambers. I am FAR from new at this game. That said I am fortunate enough to have a handful of people offering me suspension services. 2-3 of these guys I use regularly and they do a fantastic job for me. I was not looking for another suspension guy but now I have one.
Fast forward to last week when these fancy bolt in base valves with high speed adjustors show up. He also sends me the right spring rate for the forks and get this... a progressive spring for the rear??? WFH? This is a linkage bike. He says ya, I know.
Installed the base valves is silly easy, 17mm allen to remove the stock base valves and the included tool to screw his in with. Thats it, unscrew one part and screw in the new one. Done. Then I flipped the fork over and popped the top cap and installed the stiffer springs. You can do all this in like an hour and leave the stock oil if you want. So freaking simple.
The shock spring took longer as it is a little work to unearth the shock form the bike.
All done and the next day looks nice. Quick after work ride before the sunsets to see how bad I ruined the good stock suspension ha ha ha
I seriously was not prepared for the level of compliance of this setup while maintaining ultimate control. Usually you get uber plush or you get race speed control but rarely do you get both. This setup eats up the terrain in a fashion I have never seen before. Rock gardens disappear. Massive root wads, gone. slamming into hard face foot tall step-ups, no deflection. OK fantastic but this has to be a wallowy mess as easy as it gobbles up the gnar... NOPE. Gets better that faster you go. It's actually mine boggling how well this setup works for me. I have two solid rides now in very rough relentless terrain and can say without flinching, these are the best forks I have ever sampled on my bike or any other. I rode a 2020 KREFT redone bike the other day and it was really good as well. For me not as good as these forks. The way they resist deflecting is magic. I'm learning to pick new lines, in fact learning that line choice is not as important as it was and pick the fast lines not the ones that miss trail crap. The bike actually turns even better too as the front end feels like it never give up contact with the ground no matter how nasty it is. Braking bumps, gone. Root wads, gone. big hits, gone. Jump landings, smooth and controlled. I am an endless suspension adjuster and yesterday I rode a VERY demanding area that is a constant beating, never touched the fork settings, never felt so good and never had so much left at the end of the day. THE FORKS FLAT RULE and you can install this stuff at home in an hour. Brilliant work.
The progressive shock spring (with stock valving) was at first just OK. Did not really feel any better than the stock spring and I set out to adjust it. Got it closer on my initial 2 hours after work ride. Yesterday was the acid test on the long gnarly high mountain stuff and using info I got from George the suspension guru I set about adjusting it counterintuitive to my initial feelings. HE said a progressive spring needs a different setup. I typically like very little high speed compression to gobble up the rough stuff and roots/rocks. He suggested very little spring preload and adding high speed damping. Hummmm.... OK. I messed with it some through the day and felt like I was getting closer. Near the end of the day I went 2 full turns in on the high speed (way more than I usually run, backed off the low speed which I had added earlier in the day and a few more clicks of rebound to calm the rear end down. Bingo. While it does not quite make everything disappear like the front does it is in itself amazing how composed it is. The level of control I have over this bike right now is nothing short of amazing. The roughest conditions disappear and you can't get the bike our of shape. Pick literally any line you want. The last part of the ride back to the truck is 4.8 miles and 2500 feet elevation loss. its pretty punishing and relentless, lots of deep rutts, roots at crazy angles, rock gardens, sand, a little of everything but mostly a beat down. I stood up the entire way, something I've never been able to do as about half way down I'm just to beat (and this is always the end of the day). Was easy yesterday because of the lack of beating I took all day.
You can probably read it in my post here but I have never been so impressed by an upgrade to a bike, and I have done decades of upgrades. This is a game changer upgrade. I have ZERO dog in this fight as they say, I dont even know George that sent me this stuff. Talked to him once on the phone and handful of Emails. I am a believer and am fortunate Rob thought of me and reached out. I would have never known about this product and the level of refinement I could have.
This 2021 TE250i has been an eye opener for me. Working in the industry I get to try a lot of stuff and ride so many bikes. This one has fit me like a glove since day one as new. Then I took a ride class and it also was a huge jump forward. https://cispuscycles.com/ Then I hooked up with Shinko to test and try some of their tires as well as provide input for some upcoming models (not a paid gig just like to work with good peeps in the industry) and have loved some of their tires (fatty front and 520DC rear). Now I added this fantastic suspension and am on cloud 9.
At 56 years old I was not expecting advancements in my riding. This year has proved that wrong. My typical crew is mentioning how fast I am right now and that this bike is obviously working for me. Funny thing is I'm no longer trying to go fast, I just happen to learn some new riding skills thanks to that class and that in conjunction with how well this bike fits me has pushed me tot he next level. I feel it. I am in that zone all the time now. I feel i can do no wrong on the bike as it works so well and I understand how my balance is key to bringing it all together.
I love this sport and love moving forward. It's cool how people reach out in the industry and work together. Years ago by chance I came across this fancy carb called the Lectron, found out the company was very cool, worked with the top guys there and sold over 300 carbs in one year and set a whole carb industry up for Lectron. Years ago someone who worked at ZipTy reached out to me about this new "fatty tire", the GT216, I tried it and now it is the go to front for many people. So good.
Is this the next game changer product... maybe, sure is for me.
SUCCESS & HISTORY WHILE DEVELOPING THE GOBBLERS IN PRO CLASS RACING
Thanks to the Hero Baja racing team. A bunch of old guys racing the 50 year old pro class.
These guys are quite successful as they regularly finish ahead of the 40yr old pro class. But this team does not stop there. They also give the 30yr old pro class a run for their money with repeated podiums.
Ya, you guessed it, they did not stop there either. Then they take the overall championship! Wow!
Congrats to the team and thank you guys for all the feeback while perfecting the Gobbler designs.
Noah Kepple #696 EnduroCross - Worcs - Tecate Enduro's - Tenessee Knock Outs,
and many other events and track days, and test after test after test.
Winning is what Noah does. He and his dad Gary show up one day some years ago and asked about a set up for his KTM. I thought hmm Noah who? So I did a set up for him and charged accordingly. A couple weeks later they returned.
Apparently they were shopping tuners. Getting suspension done at various tuners and testing. They asked if I was interested in working together long term. By then some customers told me this guy can throw it down.
Well we had recently done a cutting edge gobbler design for Ricky Johnson's Showa and he really liked it. Called me a couple weeks later just to let me know that it saved his bacon when he hit a 10" rock while doing a Toyota commercial.
So we started working on a sprung mid design first for Noah's forks, no Gobbler as it was too early in development. The sprung mid valve is what Cone Valve came out with a few years later.
We started making some progress with the mid and getting results and then Noah gets a ride with GasGas with Marzocchi forks.
Wow new build but we made fast work out of this one. Noah was learning fast and was already giving me such detailed feedback we were able to test and dial new designs in four or five test sessions.
Then GasGas switches to KYB sss. Wow completely different animal but we were able to hit it out of the park in even less time. I am thinking to myself who is this guy. Fast yes, but this guy is a master at suspension.
It was time to step it up to the Gobbler high speed design and Noah was all in.
I still have the video text Noah sent me that first test, putting it down on the GasGas at Cahuilla MX track.
He texted, I didn't even have to change a clicker check this out.
"Gobbler design was here to stay"
At this point we are able to dial in new suspension components to a very high level in three and sometimes two shots.
Noah then gets picked up by Husky and they insisted we make the Aer work. Threw everything at them for a month or two. We got very close but not quite there.
WP relents and sends us a couple of their spring kits and we win the next Worcs race.
Regarding the Xplor fork, it out performs the factory suspension. Cone valve, etc. it did not matter. WP sent it, we tested them and always went back to the Xplor open cartridge. Even rode the team bikes and we tested their stacks. Hmm, very interesting.
Then we decide to convert a Cone valve fork.
Noah wins the Tecate Enduro that week. Dang!
This design is blowing us away. It improves every single fork.
Noah now rides for Husky exclusively and we are no longer his tuner. We miss him and pretty sure it is mutual.
The feedback and input Noah is capable of communicating is nothing short of amazing. I am talking about one of the best rider tuners worldwide, absolutely no doubt. We were doing as many as 5 re-valves a day and one day I test him. I pull one shim from his stack without telling him. He not only told me I pulled a shim, he told me the area of the stack I pulled it from. Unbelievable.
Noah has opened a couple of eyes regarding set up over at Husky.
Not sure if the upper level at Husky/KTM/WP/GasGas will ever realize his capabilities.
We are truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Noah and his whole family. A wonderful family.
Thank you for teaching us so much and for the thousands of hours spent helping us make suspension better!
Found the video text Noah sent on his first Gobbler test. GasGas KYB SSS
Expert Class wins during the years of Gobbler development
1st Place Police & Fire Games MX Colorado
1st Place Mammoth MX
1st Place World Vet Nationals
Did two re-valves last week for two expert dist38 racers. Both won their classes the very next race. Too many wins to remember during these years.
Gobblers are under development with running prototypes for more bikes.
Stay tuned for:
Set of prototype DIY WP Gobblers.
Set of fork springs
Variable rate shock spring.
Full pro level fork re-design with Gobblers & springs.
plus wear parts, seals, etc.
Full shock re-valve including compression valve mods, spring, vacuum bled with full synthetic fluid, plus wear parts.
You can also add a bladder, Xtrig adjuster, Variable shock spring, piston bands and more.