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ESP Suspension - La Crescenta Ca.
Posted January 08, 2012 - 05:47 PM
Well, by any means I am not a professional rider, but I do know how I like a bike to feel. The stock suspension on my bike was great for slower trail riding, but a bit too soft for the desert. A couple years ago, I had my suspension rebuilt by another company. They were very technical with MX, and I can tell you, they turned my bike into the most aggravating, PITA bike I have ever ridden. Aside from the fact that the dude over the phone had pretty much made me feel like I was the bane of his existence simply by me trying to convey how I'd like my bike to setup, the bike came back setup for a 19 year old riding supercross or some pretty serious jumping. I had absolutely NO desire to even try to send it back and deal with them again.
ERROR 1: Sending your bikes suspension out of state, or anywhere to be rebuilt based on info you put down on a form
Time passed, and I had 2 kids, and after battling some of my own demons, I decided to really put focus back into what I loved almost as much as my family. So, 1st thing 1st... suspension. The crap that was on there had to go. Started with research... and a lot of it. One consistency kept popping up... George with ESP. Over and over... Even after talking with some buddies, same thing. George with ESP. So I gave the guy a call, slightly on the defence ready for another prick.
ERROR 2: Assuming all suspension shops are the same.
Right out the gate, George blew me away. We were talking like old high school buddies, just talking about riding. He even offered to meet me at Gorman where his kids were going to be riding and take a look at my bike. The guy totally blew me away. So per his advice, I took my whole bike to his shop, not just the components that way as he said, he could be positive everything was going to work. When I was at his shop, we were having what I felt was a very laid back conversation about riding, where I like to go, how long I've been riding, and little did I know, he was totally analyzing how my bike needed to be setup. He even came up with some very well thought out ways to lower my bike about 1" other than the suspension and a lowering link in order to make things just a bit more comfortable for me. His knowledge of suspension, components and other companies "gimmicks" was unbelievable.
It has been 4 rides later, and I will tell you from the heart, I could not be happier. My bike has the best feel I have yet to get out of it yet. Plush on the single track, but takes the whoops and begs for more. Riding my bike has never been more enjoyable, and I credit George and all of his guys at his shop. (who in themselves are a class act, stellar group of guys)
If I could give anyone looking for an upgrade to their suspension some advice. It would be simple, call George at ESP in La Crescenta if you're in the area. Hell, even if your not in the area. Don't fall for another companies gimmick, or believe that there is a "magic part" that will make your bike the best thing since sliced bread. If your experience with George is even half of what mine was, you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Posted January 09, 2012 - 12:02 AM
Sadly, once I got into some serious riding and had a seriously competitive bike, I tried to get George to build me something that would work and he wasn't able to. He really worked with me and was awesome in every sense of the word and is very understanding. When I was fed up with trying I went to Z racing which is a KTM only dealer and Mark made the forks worse. So I wound up going to FC and spending roughly $1300 bux getting the shock and forks done properly for motocross. I must say, that whole experience was entirely different then any other shop I've been to. Professional is not a strong enough word to use, the guys at FC so cal are beyond top-notch and the results they've given me have been precisely what I needed.
Moral of the story, George knows his stuff and for sure knows how to make compliant and plush suspension. Where his shop and a multitude of other shops lack is understanding how to make motocross suspension work properly. That takes MUCH more then shim stacks, spring rates and oil level. Factory Connection for instance changes valves and does a whole host of modifications to the shock and forks that "fix" problems the components have out of the factory.