Road Test: Aprilia Falco Sidebar

A single miscue on Aprilia's part in specifying a shock and the Falco is hobbled for those of us with a penchant for barbecue sandwiches and the need for size-46 suits. Not for long, though, thanks to Traxxion Dynamics. Previously known more to racers than the rank-and-file street guys, Traxxion is trying to bust into the upgrade market with something called a Sport Shock. Take your basic Penske 8900-series shock--a fine, incredibly well-built hunk of suspension lust--remove the external reservoir (and compression-damping adjuster) and revalve. Now knock a bunch off the price and you've got a $575 shock (including shipping) that's custom-tuned for your bike and weight by Traxxion. In fact, you can't get this particular Penske anywhere else.

We can attest to Traxxion's set-up prowess. The Sport Shock bolted on without fuss. Knowing cornering clearance was an issue we wound the ride-height adjuster out two turns, while also returning the fork tubes to the standard, two-lines-showing height. This setup results in 20mm-greater rear ride height, plus all the advantages of having the spring rate correct for larger-than-average riders.

Performance is, in a word: wonderful. To say the Traxxion/Penske transforms the Falco is truly an understatement. The back end tracks better than before, rides expansion joints as though you were rolling on big, black Krispy Kremes, and in general just behaves as it should. It's possible at any time to upgrade the Sport Shock to full reservoir-spec. We like.

The Traxxion/Penske's ride-height adjuster. In concert with a firmer spring, increasing ride height sharpnes the steering and usefully improves cornering clearance.
All that's missing is the remote reservoir and compensation adjuster.