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      02-17-2012, 01:36 AM   #52

Drives: 2014 Shelby GT500
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC

iTrader: (4)

Basically, what Richard said.

As soon as you start comparing adjustment approaches and designs, you end up in an indeterminate debate. Most of the high end dampers can be valved and adjusted to produce a damper curve that's the optimum for a car, a spring and bar setup and a track. Pro teams use technicians, tools, data acquisition and easy to rebuild dampers to achieve this goal. The range of adjustability can be zero - fixed with no adjusters like F1 to wide, like the Ohlins for GT cars. None of them is "best"; they're all "excellent" and that's as much of a conclusion as you can draw. After that, it's all down to the human that sets them up and the tools they use.

I remember a racing series (VLN perhaps?) where more than half the field runs KW competition dampers. That's the half of the field that the winner usually comes from. Could these cars win by switching to Ohlins? Apparently not, otherwise they'd all be running Ohlins. My point isn't that KW is better than Ohlins. My point is that talented people who know how to set up KW's can produce winning cars that outperform Ohlins equipped cars in that particular series. Other series' produce other, often completely different, results.

If I had to pick the key factors that distinguish racing dampers like Ohlins and the rest of that breed, it's that they don't really sell dampers. They sell damper kits - a basic design and a cabinet full of parts that you can blend to produce any curves you like. That's where the real market is for these suppliers. Anyone who wants to buy a damper, adjust it and go driving is better off with a clubsport type of unit from one of the companies that make them.

Last edited by JAJ; 02-17-2012 at 02:00 AM.