T7 Suspension 101 Full Works Review

A few weeks back George at Suspension101 put a post up on ADVRider looking for someone to test out his new Gobbler valves and “full works” for the Yamaha T7 (which includes +30mm fork travel), to which I responded and arranged to have George use me as a test mule. I’ve previously done some DIY valving on my T7 and have also made a custom linkage for the rear, which gains 25mm in extension and 20mm on compression. I also do a decent bit of harescramble racing and have made some relatively foolish moves on where I’ve ridden my T7, so this all seemed like a great fit.

The forks and shock got shipped out to George and were back in my hands in less than a couple weeks (the bulk of that time was spent with UPS). Luckily the T7 is super simple to work on aside from Yamaha using 18 different style screws for simple things around the bike, so the Forks and Shock were back on the bike in no time. Top tip, when you remove the rear shock, its easy to sneak it out of the bike from the exhaust side. Chain side, is a bit too tight.

The goods as they came back from Suspension101

And hey, if you’re the type that wants to watch someone manhandle suspension into a bike, and almost drop said bike……I’ve got some videos. The first is me explaining a bit on the Suspension, and the second is assembly. I promise, I’ll get to ride feedback……

Before I go into riding feedback, I want to make a few things known. First, as noted above George provided this suspension to me free of charge. He also noted that if I had issues with the suspension, make that known to any and all. Second and in my opinion is far more important. I grew up riding bikes with garbage suspension. I cut my teeth off-road blasting around on a twin shock Honda XR100R, graduating then to a 1986 YZ125 which 90% of the time I had it, it had blown fork and shock. I had to learn to ride and just deal with it. At the time, I had no luxury of riding a newer\premium bike and I had to just deal with whatever pogo sticks were holding up my bike. As such, I am very critical of people talking about how trashy OEM suspension is and also generally very tolerant of mediocre suspension.

Disclaimers aside, I’ve so far been able to put about an hour on the T7 on some Wisconsin backroads. I’d love to have more, especially my home trails, but if you know anything about the midwest, its amazing that I’m getting any riding in as it is. On these back roads, I wasn’t really expecting to feel much of a difference or improvement. The DIY Revalve I had previously done had given me some great feeling and confidence in riding bombing back roads. This thought was in my head until I hit my first frost heave. Like magic, I didn’t feel any jolt in my hands. OEM valving was absolutely trash here. I had bumps on my commute that had the front end feeling like it was getting launched. My DIY revalve improved things massively, but it was still prevalent. With the Suspension101 full works, I immediately felt like I could attack these sharp edges. Potholes, cracks\junk in the road I was hitting with glee. My mind then drifted to thinking about how sharp 90° turns would be, and fast flowy ones. If the bike is soaking up these sharp edges, maybe the turns will be wallowy. Nope. Not a chance. I could late brake into a turn, feel the bike suspension settle down nicely and then hold throughout the turn, with slowly raising up as I was on the gas coming out. The confidence was incredible, especially considering I’m riding on a set of Tusk D Sport tires.

Half way into my ~hour on the bike, was when I realized that I wasn’t having to think about anything while cruising down the road (other than my rapidly freezing fingers). The best way to explain it was the bike felt as if it were cruising on a cloud. The bike sat in this perfect zone of comfort, with the ability to be stiff where and when needed. Now, I’m trying to temper myself here. It is easy to jump to conclusions too quickly, but immediately after my ride, I warned my buddy (On a stock suspension T7) to NOT ride my bike, as he’ll be pulling his suspension immediately to get reworked by Suspension101.

As the weather clears up here, I will be putting more time in the T7. I’ve got a mix of singletrack, two track, and back roads I am aiming to really test and see how things change throughout the clickers range of adjustment. So be sure to check here and the SBMoto Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@SBMoto for any and all updates. If you’ve got immediate suspension questions, fire a message over to George at S101: https://www.suspension101.com/ Also, if you’ve got any interest in the modified rear linkage, reach out to me here, or George at Suspension101. One of us should be having these available to the public here in the near future.


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