Jim Lindemann was a genius in the suspension business who saw opportunity where others didn’t – by improving upon the suspension a motorcycle came with from the factory. Many moons ago, when Kawasaki Ninja 250s were littering race tracks as a fun and inexpensive way of getting into racing, competitors were replacing their shocks with aftermarket pieces. Lindemann, in keeping with the inexpensive nature of the class, modified a stock shock and gave it adjustable rebound and compression circuits, along with a remote reservoir to house the pressurized fluid, all for less than the aftermarket shocks on the market at the time. The result? I set a lap record around Willow Springs Raceway using that shock on a Ninja 250 (that was beaten a lap later by another racer).
The unofficial MO motto is “More is more.” So, naturally we were happy to learn at the International Motorcycle Shows Long Beach media day last week that Indian has released the Thunder Stroke 116-Cubic-Inch Stage 3 Big Bore Kit. What’s that, you say? Well, how does a claimed 15% increase in torque and a 20% bump in horsepower strike you? Yeah, us, too. So, if your Thunder Stroke 111 has started to feel a little anemic after reading this paragraph, moto-salvation is at hand.
We’ve oft complained about the lack of travel in the stock rear suspension of Harley-Davidsons. Maybe we ride a little faster than we should, pushing the American cruisers and tourers beyond their intended performance parameters. Still, even if we didn’t, the 2.1 inches of travel in the twin shocks of H-D’s Dyna models is a minimalist approach to functional suspension.