Dear Dave Moss, I Love You

Seriously…do you guys know who Dave Moss is? The man is a HERO. He’s the hands and arms and fingers behind Catalyst Reaction Suspension Tuning.

dave moss catalyst reaction

Lets skip back to my n00bish n00biness a couple of years ago when I attended my very first trackday ever. It was with Keigwins at Thunderhill Raceway. Perfect weather, great temps, even if a little on the hot side, and me…a little nervous nancy…with a total squid mentality. I was straddled aboard Kitty. Anyone remember Kitty anymore?

joe when he was a noob riding kitty

I didn’t know a THING about suspension back then (or riding, obviously, by looking at my pic of me in t14). I didn’t even know they had suspension tuners at the track back then. All I knew that day is that I was on a racetrack with people barrelling by me at speeds I couldn’t even comprehend.

All morning, I’d been riding around in a daze. I’d been filming every second of it, and after reviewing some of the footage in the pits and the likes, I knew that I was doing around 2:35 laptimes. Not that I knew it that was even good or bad at the time… After lunch, a friend from South Bay Riders forums that’d been helping me out with lines and body positioning and even helping me stay focused suggested that I take my bike to some guy named “Dave Moss” to get it dialed in. I really didn’t even know what that meant.

10 minutes later, this picture was taken.

joe talking with dave moss about kitty

Dave pressed down on my bikes a few times here and there, then immediately began telling me everything that I didn’t know how to put into words about how the bike was behaving on the brakes, through the corners, and on the gas. All I could do was just nod and giggle like a little school-girl about how suddenly, I felt like a pro. This Dave guy obviously knows what he’s doing, and this is a $20 WELL spent.

A little while later, Kitty is good to go and it’s time to gear up and get my ass back out for some hellacious C group action. I take my warm-up lap, noting that the bike does indeed feel different, but I can’t place how…it certainly feels much more stable…much smoother…by the end of the session, I was doing consistant 2:15s and 2:16s. :O

The ONLY thing that was different was that Dave had twiddled my knobs.

Skip forward a number of years and Dave is still out there, working his ass off about 400 days per year, making magic. I’m pretty sure the guy has a lifetime supply of pixie dust or something…

So, I got this Gixxer 600, and the thing was bone stock when I got it. Nothing had been touched in the 13,000 miles of original ownership (except the rear tire… the front was still OEM *giggle*). The very first thing I do is throw some new meat on it: Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa, what else?! The next thing I do is warm up the suspension and start flicking this and hammering on that until I’ve got what feels like a pretty decent setup on the bike. I mean, afterall, I’ve been working with Dave for years now…I soak up every scrap of knowledge I can from him at every opportunity I can!

gsxr at red rock canyon

I take the bike out for a jaunt in the twisties and something doesn’t feel right. The back end, under heavy braking, just feels weird. I make a few more adjustments…now it’s too stiff…more clicks and bangs and loop-dee-loos and now the rebound it too fast… blah blah blah. For 3 weeks, I’ve been trying to get the rear end dialed in on this bike. For 3 weeks, I’ve failed.

The Mike Summers bikenight was last night. I knew Dave was going to be there. I’m not a big fan of Mike’s bikenights, so I don’t ever bother going…but last night, I went. I went to see Dave.

Dave takes the bike and bounces it effortlessly a few times pressing down on the seat with his strong, tan hands… sinewy triceps probably rippling under that same blue sweater we always see him in… Then he turns and looks at me with his soft blue eyes and says “Your rebound up front is too slow, that’s what’s making the rear end move around.”

WHAT THE HELL?!?!

It takes him 5 minutes to get the entire bike all sorted out. For years, I’ve soaked up everything he’s got to say about suspension. I watch him work and watch what he does and listen to his explainations on how X effects Y which can make LMNOP do this and that and everything like such as…but yet, all this tinkering around I’ve been doing trying to get the bike right, he undoes and actually MAKES it right in 5 minutes flat.

It just goes to show that this man is an expert. I don’t let anyone but Dave twiddle my knobs. I don’t think I’ll even be twiddling my own knobs anymore after this experience…I will go hundreds of miles out of my way to look into Daves soft, inviting blue eyes and say “can you make this bike work for me?” And he will do it. Cause he’s the man.

dave moss at thunderhill

Comments

comments

13 thoughts on “Dear Dave Moss, I Love You”

  1. I shredded a back tire at T-Hill thanks to some bad advice from the onsite tire people so
    when I got to Infineon the next day with new skins I wanted to maximize my setup.
    Dave had great knowledge of the S1000RR suspension and withing three visits it was a
    new bike. Well worth the $40 bucks.
    Thanks Dave!

  2. Not only is Dave a suspension god, but he’s also one of the coolest and funniest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with.

  3. UPDATE – i tracked the bike this weekend… dave moss is a freggin MIRACLE WORKER!!! the bike handles PERFECT. utterly, absolutely PERFECT. SOOOOOO stable.

    thanks again, dave!

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