When I first read that the 2011 R model would be equipped with a Sachs fork instead of the Showa, I started looking for an opportunity to look inside the new fork.
I finally got a chance to take one apart and compare the internals with the Showa and Ohlins FG616.
My first impression was very positive, Sachs uses very high quality parts in this fork. Nice precision billet aluminum parts compared to less expensive and heavier steel parts on the Showa.
I see that the Sachs also has an extra valve, sort of an anti-dive to help slow down the travel at the very end of stoke. It is independent of the compression and rebound valves and starts to take effect at 35mm from the bottom of fork travel.
Going a little deeper, I see that the pistons are 30mm.
Both compression and rebound pistons are the same, only the shim stack and chk plate are made up of different thickness shims (as expected).
Sachs uses 7mm ID shims, compared to Showa's 6mm and Ohlins 8mm.
That makes it a bit more difficult to source the shims locally, time to start searching for a source of 7mm shims.
There is also a top out spring, I was surprised that it is a very high rate spring.
I believe that the Sachs fork has a lot of potential.
IMO, for those who know suspension and are willing to spend time tuning and testing it from the inside out, this fork can be made to work every bit as good for a lot less money than installing a racing cartridge kit.
This fork requires a spring compressor tool to disassemble, there is quite a bit of preload on the spring.