2013 and the new Aftermarket Conve Valve WP forks are known throughout the land. But WP’s road was quite bumpy over the last couple of years. In 2003 KTM decided to have an in-house R&D department for suspension in order to synchronise the development of chassis and motor even more. At that time WP was already owned by KTM but was situated in the Netherlands. KTM - as we all know – is situated in Austria.
Hendrik Nolting and my husband were in charge of building up this suspension department at KTM. Little did they know that they were clearing the path for KTM’s acquisition and merger strategy for WP. Four years later the whole of WP production was moved to Austria. This was an enormous move that was strategically important but left a lot of casualties in its wake. Only the racing department stayed in the Netherlands for the meantime.
Smooth running production lines, supply chains and especially decades of forefront technology knowledge, had to be transferred from one end of Europe to the other. It doesn’t need further mentioning that the Dutch WP engineers who saw their life’s blood and sweat snatched up under their noses weren’t too impressed or cooperative for that matter.
This left the company with many problems. The main priority was to keep the production line running in order to avoid subsequent production stops at KTM.
The aftermarket sector came to a grinding halt and even acquisition of common spare parts like bushes and seals was not guaranteed.
Another four years down the line and most of the upheaval problems on the production and spare part side have been resolved. The waves that this move made on the suspension market are turning into ripples and most of the old WP engineers and employees have found other places to apply their brains to, like Yacugar and Donerre.
Since 2012 WP Aftermarket has been running under a new management and they are working hard to bring the company back to their previous standard. The new Cone Valve forks and the Trax shock available for PDS and linkage, now known throughout the land, were created in those efforts. Even though WP falls slightly short of their claim to have an individual personalized setting on each unit the material is nevertheless the finest on the market at present.
Friction is always the main enemy in the suspension game and the Cone Valve forks and Track shocks possess extremely fine sensitivity due to friction optimized coating on inner and outer tubes. All materials are high grade components manufactured with high precision computerized CNC systems. This guarantees a constant damping even under high temperatures and extreme strain.
The edge over the production material though comes with a price. Therefore these aftermarket goodies stay in the realm of sponsored top riders or private racers with a very generous (wife) budget.
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