RACING SHOCKS AUSTRALIA: SUSPENSION DAMPER SPECIALISTS
The company is also the only approved Australian service agent for Motion Control Suspension Dampers and JRi Shocks
Racing Shocks Australia is a suspension damper specialist and the only approved Australian service agent for Motion Control Suspension Dampers and JRi Shocks.
The company acquired hands-on training facilities in June of 2019 for both brands and boasts more than 20 years of motorsport experience in OEM-production based vehicles, high-end GT vehicles and most recently, in Supercars.
The company also services and can provide alternative valving for modern aftermarket and motorsport shocks manufactured by Ohlins, Sachs, Penske, KW, Moton, Integra and Supashock, amongst others. The company utilises the latest CTW Shock Dyno for testing purposes.
Racing Shocks Australia cautions that some aftermarket brands have high friction seals or are made with poor quality materials. It says this can lead to poor absorption and poor response to surface irregularities seen on Australian roads.
“We have had customers call us to repair a brand they have owned for less than 12 months with leaking seals only to be told from the original reseller the units need to go back to the country of manufacture to have them repaired,” Racing Shocks Australia Director, Rob Palermo, said.
“This can out-weigh the cost of the unit, but this then gives us an opportunity to educate the owners with a higher quality product. When you buy a MCS or JRi system you are buying a product for the lifetime of the vehicle that can be serviced and rebuilt locally.”
Racing Shocks Australia says it is seeing more car owners purchase higher end brands that were designed for motorsport, but due to their high precision of build, lower internal gas pressure to maintain internal efficiency and high adjustability, are being fitted on street cars which see only occasional track use.
“A racing shock does the same thing as a shock built for the road, but is often lighter, stronger and custom-tuned for the individual’s specific needs,” Rob explained.
“The downside is it is a more expensive system to buy outright but at the same time it lasts longer, provides more reliability and also much better performance.
“We recently setup a FG Falcon XR6 street/track car on a set of Motion Control Suspension Dampers. Previously we had replaced all of the suspension bushes with polyurethane items, fitted adjustable roll bar drop links and bigger diameter roll bars. The car had aftermarket shocks fitted with one adjuster that effected compression and rebound together,” Rob said.
“We replaced these with two-way non remote canister units and retained the aftermarket spring rates, lowered ride heights and higher negative camber setting and so on.
“The new MCS units were 1.5kg lighter per front wheel and the rears were over 1.0kg lighter. Despite the MCS units also having more overall damping forces and being fitted with rigid mono-ball mountings, when driven on the road the harshness and road noise that are associated with aftermarket shocks was reduced but when pushed, the compression could be felt to support the car more and the rebound control over bumps and crests was far superior than the standard and prior aftermarket shocks fitted.
“The owner was extremely happy with the purchase – allowing the owner to adjust the compression and rebound separately further enhanced his driving experience.
“We were really impressed with the quality build and the technical assistance both MCS and JRi provided to not only us, but also to our customers to suit their needs. They go out of their way to make it happen.”
Whilst the MCS and JRi brands have a relatively young racing pedigree and history, the founders behind the two brands boast more than 60 years of racing experience and have products which suit motorsport applications for circuit racing, tarmac rally, drag racing and speedway.
“Between the two brands, we have covered ourselves to be able to assist with 90 percent of any new enquiries,” Rob said.
“MCS are a wet strut leg specialist and build strut configurations with new or reconditioned spindles which are highly popular with owners of German makes such as Porsche and BMW.
“At the same time they have made big inroads with Asian manufactured vehicles as well. Most applications are designed for circuit racing but one of their popular builds include early 911 struts suited for Safari/rally events.
“JRi on the other hand have a very diverse technical motorsport background in all forms of motorsport and are highly popular in the US drag racing and speedway markets.
“In the first 12 months of supplying to the motorsport industry, a JRi Shock equipped NASCAR took victory at the Daytona 500. JRi Shocks is also the control shock manufacturer that is fitted to the new S5000 open-wheeler championship cars built by Garry Rogers Motorsport.
“Jeff Ryan, the founder of the JRi company, has invented various systems including a hydraulic ride height control system which works over coil over spring setups with eye to eye attachments, electronic damping systems which can alter the damping characteristics by a push of a button and more common designs to suit JK Jeeps, Polaris Slingshot and Harley Davidson/Indian touring motorcycles.
“Further, JRi Shocks is teamed up with many custom shops in the USA and have recently come out with a Builders Series shocks range for those who want the race inspired look for their performance street vehicle or hot rods.”
Racing Shocks Australia explains that while the two brands are quite different, they achieve similar performance and as both brands are designed and assembled in the USA, pricing does not come into it when trying to sell to the customer.
“Often one brand will already have something on the shelf to suit a vehicle, application or category. Some customers don’t want any adjustability except for ride height, but we can still provide a shock that responds better than the standard OEM product or other high-end motorsport brands. Other customers want everything and both manufacturers can build them with one up to four-way adjustment systems,” Rob said.
“Whilst not the cheapest shock on the market, the MCS and JRi shocks offer far more superior quality, adjustability, longer service life and response to handling and road surface changes. And if they get damaged, the modular design makes them easy and cost effective to repair.
“In the USA, competitors and car builders for World Time Attack events are now only just starting to understand it is not just about heaps of power and aero. You need the mechanical grip to make the car go fast and be easier for the driver to steer the car – something that lends to high quality shocks.
“Often the customer is only as well informed as the workshop that supplies and fits the components to their vehicle. We are happy to assist the trade to educate their customers if they have a modern aftermarket/motorsport shock that requires repairing, servicing or needs something for a custom project.
“MCS Dampers or JRi Shocks can get it built and often competitively priced against other high-quality motorsport brands with a 12-month warranty. When it’s time to service it or you need a custom setup, then we can perform the work locally.”
Having a local official sales and service agent is something that can come in particularly handy for customers too, explains Racing Shocks Australia.
“Recently an owner of a Harley Davidson that had JRi fork internals and shocks fitted was involved in an accident. Unfortunately, the accident occurred when JRi had no official sales and service agent in Australia. As a result, the insurer would not cover the cost of their JRI investment. Had it happened after we became official agents the insurance company would have covered the replacement cost and the owner would have got their investment back,” Rob explained.
“Not many consumers or workshops are aware of this situation and should advise car owners before upgrading their shocks. Providing the customer with as much information as possible allows them to make an informed decision when comparing brands.”