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  1. Greetings!

    We met some of you at last year's TMC conference where we had a table set up. I was gung-ho to get some suspension data on a Tesla and brought scales, etc. as you can see below!

    fcm-shaikh-teslive-white.jpg

    After speaking with Doug today (who also is a Miata enthusiast like me :wink: ), I decided it was time to connect more fully with the online community of TMC. I did talk with a good number of enthusiasts during the event and felt this would be a good place for continuing my goal. Fat Cat Motorsports is an outgrowth of my passion for Suspension Truth, a need to understand what makes a vehicle tick and then harmonizing it to what each owner needs. Probably 85% of our customers daily-drive their weekend track / autocross cars, so hitting the sweet spot of handling and grip is essential. I've found that you get maximum grip with a surprising amount of comfort - a truly fast race car doesn't beat you up! In fact, a rough-riding car is proof the suspension isn't optimized for road-holding. Through many colleagues, friends and learning from customer feedback over the years, we've been continually refining our methods. I'm grateful that FCM has become a respected name in suspension tuning. My background is actually physics and math, not mechanical engineering, although I've studied, tested, and immersed myself in the world of suspension design and improvement for nearly 15 years. At heart, I'm really an enthusiast who just couldn't fork over money for something unless I really could trust it would do what I needed. Turns out I had to build suspensions for myself then others ... !

    During last year's event, I got to drive one member's Roadster S and later take a ride in a new Model S. They have a very different driving character and I knew I would want to make a few changes to improve comfort in the Roadster S and enhance the handling on the Model S. I'm an incessant tweaker (no, not breaking anything bad) and also know everyone has their own preference. What I seem to do well is to listen to qualitative feedback on what someone likes or doesn't like about their car and then make the technical changes to deliver the result they need. I guess you could say 'suspension whisperer' ... if that sounds cheesy, I'll accept it. :wink:

    I'd love to make our services available to any enthusiast who wants to get a more uniquely-tailored ride / drive experience for their Tesla. I'm a big fan of the monotube Bilstein shock and it's the basis for all the work we do for whatever vehicle we improve. I found out last year that many Teslas (if not all) also use Bilsteins from the factory. That got me VERY excited at the potential to work with the existing OE suspension! We can rebuild the internal seals, replacement components if / as necessary and revalve the shocks here with our on-site shock assembly machine and Roehrig 2VS shock dyno. I like to be resource-conscious (my first major at SJSU was environmental health and toxicology) which is why the rebuildable and high-quality Bilstein is an ideal choice for what we do. Changes to spring rate, bump stop length and type, etc. are all within our purview.

    We've had excellent results applying our methods to many types of vehicles. I'd like to extend an offer for a half-price revalve of a set of OE Bilsteins for a Roadster or Roadster S owner in the SF Bay Area enthusiast so we can get before/after impressions. Exact price TBD but I expect standard price of $300-400 per shock for a full custom retune of the shock. I want to work with someone who will attend this year's TMC 2014 Connect and be able to give rides of our work. If there are more than one interested enthusiasts, that's great! But I do have a business to run and can only offer one discounted service. It's very important to me that we provide high value for our fees.

    We can also work on the Model S but some of the version with the Air Ride would be a bit more complicated to optimize so I'd prefer someone with the Standard suspension. Those cars has a softer ride generally than the Roadster although there's always room to improve the experience specific to what an owner may want. We like to take individual corner weights when making our suspension changes, everything is tailored to fit you as well as possible. That's why I call this service 'FCM Elite.'

    Last year I also began work on a technology I call KBO (Kerb Blow-Off) which allows less high speed compression force to be generated by the shock, improving comfort over expansion joints, through potholes, etc. It also allows softened rebound damping which provides better grip on rough or damp surfaces. It's a new technology we've exclusively designed for Bilstein shocks and I'm currently testing on our Miata race car 'Senna.' I'm able to hit speed bumps much faster than I can with a standard non-KBO Bilstein so I see this as an overall improvement for any kind of driving.

    Link to our Suspension Truth newsletter - KBO dyno graphs and Bay Area Tesla Roadster owner search
    http://archive.aweber.com/suspensiontruth/Jlqqn/h/Introducing_KBO_by_Fat_Cat.htm

    To begin with, I want to focus on the Roadster or Roadster S (whichever model has the Bilsteins which I believe both do). To me, it's the purest enthusiast driving experience that I'm proud to tailor to an owner's needs.

    This is a bit rambling and there are many potential ways to engage with you all. I think this will be a great year for EVs and Tesla in particular as everyone realizes how special these creations are. I want to add value in the way I am most able - to craft a unique ride and handling experience that is right for YOU!

    If you're interested you can fill out our FCM Elite consult form here:
    http://fatcatmotorsports.com/FCM_Elite_consult_form.htm

    or contact me via our website Contact Us page

    http://fatcatmotorsports.com/contact.htm

    or through the forum (PM) and I'll respond soon as I can.

    Thanks in advance,
    Shaikh

    PS I'd like to share a short video with feedback from a few pro drivers who ran an AWD race car we did suspension tuning on for the NASA 25 Hrs of Thunderhill. One of my assistants, Nik (himself an experienced Modified racer) is on the right, Alan McCallum far left and Kai Goddard next to him. I personally didn't get my hands on the car but had my assistants take measurements so I could develop the spring rates / lengths, shock damping profiles, bump stop choices and other variables to make the car work right from the get-go. I'll be seeing that car this weekend at Thunderhill for a test / time attack event.



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