When I was looking into this I came to the conclusion that the Racetech units are more easily tuned. As an inveterate tinkerer, I went with more easily tuned.
On the Racetechs, the tuning is done by changing the pre-load on the main spring, or by changing the main spring to a stronger or weaker spring. This is the adjustment for big hits - the blow-off, if you will.
The tuning for the small bumps is done by changing the size/number of holes that are in the main valve plate.
Tuning on the Intiminators is considerably more difficult, as the valving holes are oval, in the side of the unit, and must be capable of being covered by the valving sleeve. Forgive my loose terminology here. Tuning them is possible, but not for the faint-hearted. See here for about a bazzillion pages of Intiminator tuning.
The Racetechs do not control rebound to any appreciable degree - that is controlled by oil viscosity. I'm not sure how the Intiminators control rebound.
One criticism of the Racetech is that, due to the loose fit in the fork tube, there is leakage past the unit, and the tuning has to account for that (I think it is a minor point, as most wouldn't even think about it or be aware of it - they'd just tune the system). The Intiminators have a tight fit in the bore and have virtually no leakage past the unit. Maybe this is important if you're building a track bike, but then who builds a track bike with damper forks? I digress...
With the Racetechs you have to drill out the holes in the damper rod and add two more holes. That puts some people off, but I will tell you that once you go to an improved suspension (with either solution) you wouldn't go back. The Initminators don't require drilling the holes, which leads me to believe that the damper rod is still performing some function. This may be an artifact of my original (and incorrect) impression of the Intiminators as simply a sort of inertial poppet valve.
Two holes if you consider the entry and exit hole to be one hole, otherwise it can also be expressed as adding four holes per rod.
My story on the Racetech installation... I'm an owner of a 2nd gen bike. Well, another rider and I were doing the install at the last tech day when it was discovered that nobody had the rod holding tool for the 2nd gen bike. A well-respected guru that was present at the time told us that we'd never get the dampener bolt tightened again without the tool and suggested that we go ahead and install the Emulators without the usual tear down and rod drilling, which, being 500 miles from home, I did. As did the other rider.
There is a noticeable increase in anti-dive properties and a slight improvement over square-edged bumps. I already had stiff progressive wound springs installed up front, that's where the stiffness comes in, not from the Emulators.
Since the tech day, the other rider decided to take a chance and disassemble the forks and do the install properly, using a broom handle in place of the holder tool and a helper. Changed the fork level from 135 to 150, as well. Reports a night and day difference. Says he hit speed bumps at 50 and the wheel just tracks, I guess that's good not really sure.
Rick at Cogent Dynamics gave me a screaming deal on his progressive (not Progressive™) Springs, Moab shock and Race Tech Emulators. If I remember right, I saved about $150 over purchasing them separately. Of course this was a little over a year ago.
Edit: Nah, it was more like $40 saved. Still worth it though.
I just ordered Intiminators and an IAS shock from Ricor. I was going to just get the Intiminators now and then the rear shock later. However, I talked with Brian at Ricor about getting both at the same time. Turns out they have a special of $750 for both.....extra BIG savings...The link to this is buried in their website, and I can't post it here 'cause I haven't 15 posts, so I suggest just talking with Brian if you're interested.
Because this old thread is linked in Tom's excellent "Common Mods and Issues" post I thought I'd update it on new developments over the past 6+ years; since the last post, Cogent Dynamics has come out with their DDC's (Drop In Damper Cartridges) for the KLR. The DDC's seem to offer an improvement over the RT Emulators by using more compliant deflective disk dampening and they also use lighter (5W) oil like the Ricor valves so no drilling of the damper rods is required. Win, win. Coupled with the appropriate dual rate (not progressive) springs the DDC's transform the KLR's front suspension. www.motocd.com I have DDC's, springs and Cogent's excellent shocks (one Adventure and one Moab) on my two KLR's and I'm very pleased with the performance.
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