A soft front end is cured with the Andreani fork kit.
The problem with the RGV feeling like it was running out of fuel, was probably just that. We never found out definitively but we cleaned out the fuel tank breather, took the fuel tap apart and cleaned it and it seemed ok after that. We ran it up and down the car park a few times and resolved to keep the tank full next time out, so even when the bike was on its side there was still fuel going down the pipe.
The front suspension being too soft was the other big problem. We suspected that someone had messed around inside the forks in an attempt to improve them and made matters worse instead of better, they were so spongy and bottomed out under braking, not nice. The rear end had a fully adjustable Sachs shock fitted from an Aprilia RS250, so it didn’t need any further attention but it was hard to tell when the front was so vague.
A bit of research on the rgv250 forum told us there was fork upgrade kit from Andreani that comprised uprated springs and damper rods. This was just what we needed, so we ordered them from Sean at The Tuning Works and waited for their arrival.
Fitting the kit wasn’t too hard, the forks came apart without any dramas, the usual problem with dismantling forks is the damper rod bolts that go up the bottom of the fork (where the front axle sits), they are frequently over tightened and because they are recessed and difficult to get to, they can be a problem to get out (like on the VFR400 – thank you very much previous owners!). A good tip when removing forks from the bike is to loosen the top yoke and handlebar bolts first (leave the bottom yokes tight) and then loosen the fork caps. If you don’t do this you will find the fork caps extremely hard to get off.
The most technical part is having to drill out the existing damper rods but the instructions are clear enough. We also got some new fork seals as it’s wise to fit new ones any time you have the forks apart.
In the picture below you can see the new damper rods and springs on the left, ready to be installed.
Once they are fitted and the oil is topped you just need to to screw the fork caps back on and it’s done.
Even just bouncing the forks on their own you can feel how much firmer they are. At the next track day it felt like a different bike, it ran all day without any issues and Steve and I had great fun swapping between the VFR and the RGV.
The new front end had transformed the RGV and felt stable and predictable in the corners. It turned a little bit quicker that the VFR but didn’t feel quite as stable, but then it’s always a bit of a trade-off. The RGV needs more work than the VFR especially the gear changes, it’s a lot harder to keep it in the power band but great fun when you do.