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  1. #1
    PMK
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    Awesome looking forks

    Great looking forks, be great if they were popular here.

    The upside down DH fork and the double crown conventional forks are pretty tough looking with the billet triple clamps and Kashima tubes.

    Listening to the guy, they have been using Kashima since 1999. If they were 10 years ahead of Fox in coatings, and knowing the Japanese can build outstanding suspension components, I speculate the internals are wicked too.

    Kowa suspension 2011 - Eurobike // Mountain Biking Videos

    Kowa GF 2011 upside-down review | Mountain Bike Web Magazine – Tri-Ride

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 12-10-2011 at 11:32 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Hmmm. As nice as that inverted DH fork is... its price is 231,000JPY... that's an eye-watering 3000USD... or _two_ Manitou Dorados! Still... I do wonder what the offset is and thus would it play nice converted to a 29er fork. :P

  3. #3
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanleyJ View Post
    Hmmm. As nice as that inverted DH fork is... its price is 231,000JPY... that's an eye-watering 3000USD... or _two_ Manitou Dorados! Still... I do wonder what the offset is and thus would it play nice converted to a 29er fork. :P
    Similar to buying the equivalent Showa kit forks. Very high end stuff, much better than routine production stuff, but you pay for it.

    Air sprung, adjustable travel from, 0" to 8", and look wicked tough. The billet clamps and perfect Kashima is very impressive.

    I don't even know what it takes to get these in the US, or if they can be bought here, but I would love to test them back to back with our 2011 Fox 40 Kashima fork.

    PK
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  4. #4
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    If it's available in Japan, you can get it here. It's just a matter of extra cost. I deal with Japanese car parts from time to time and I get stuff through a broker on the web since I don't speak Japanese or deal in Yen. Costs a mint, but when the alternative is to fly to Japan yourself or do without...

  5. #5
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    They appear to be their own US distributor:

    KOWA

    ... so I guess just fire off an email and see what comes back?

  6. #6
    MTB Tandem Nut
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    We've had the Kowa forks here for testing. The 26" infinite travel version didn't lend itself to tandem team weights, but was otherwise a well designed and good fork platform. The inverted fork is something we're looking at, but as noted, the price is prohibitive. Too bad, as an inverted fork makes a great platform for either wheel size. Getting cast lowers for 29" forks is a big issue right now.
    A few changes with their US distributorship, but I'm hoping for some progress on the the new generation of forks soon.
    Kowa also makes a beautiful spoke cutter/threader as well.
    MTB Tandems Inc.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    We've had the Kowa forks here for testing. The 26" infinite travel version didn't lend itself to tandem team weights, but was otherwise a well designed and good fork platform. The inverted fork is something we're looking at, but as noted, the price is prohibitive. Too bad, as an inverted fork makes a great platform for either wheel size. Getting cast lowers for 29" forks is a big issue right now.
    A few changes with their US distributorship, but I'm hoping for some progress on the the new generation of forks soon.
    Kowa also makes a beautiful spoke cutter/threader as well.
    Just curious on your closing remark... is it a case of blind hope... or it is something since you've had said fork in for testing, you've given feedback back to Kowa on the basis that it should make a good tandem fork platform, especially for 29er tandems?

  8. #8
    MTB Tandem Nut
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    We investigated having a version of the fork built for us in tandem version, or importing the fork chassis and sourcing internals stateside. Neither option has panned out so far. The numbers that I can commit to for tandem use are not enough to interest most fork manufacturers, even as small as Kowa. The per unit price is more than we can commit to and still build tandems at reasonable prices.
    I will say though, that they (Kowa) have been receptive and attentive to our input. We have made our wishes known and they are supposedly working on something that may work for our application.
    Preference would be the inverted platform so we could accomodate both wheel sizes, but the cast lowers equipped conventional forks will more likley hit our target price point.
    In the same vein, we have a Manitou Dorado here that was also built with shorter travel for a 29'er tandem setup. Initial results are mixed, as the fork is really TOO plush for our tastes. However, we've requested some changes that don't require remanufacturing parts, and they are supposedly taking a look at it. Price-wise, the Dorado would be around 1200 or so, but that's not inconceivable. The weight is very low for the forks. It is a beautiful piece of machinery.
    MTB Tandems Inc.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the reply Alex! That was kind of my hunch from the way you worded your reply... good to hear about higher quality "tandem rated", especially for 29er tandems possibly coming to fruitition.

    I also know it's the wrong thread... howver I'd like to hear more about the Manitou Dorado as you had it set up for a tandem. I know in "29er mode" the Dorado has 175mm travel. What was it reduced to?

    Then what was the team weight? For a 220lb solo rider, Manitou say it should be 80psi for soft and 100psi for firm. The limit is 110psi, so extrapolating for a "soft" setting, that's around 250~270lb solo rider weight (though on a tandem, the weight distribution is different front/back).

    What are these changes that don't require re-manufacturing parts?


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