I have purchased a KHS Tandemania Sport a few months ago and for casual sunday rides along the beach it is a wonderful machine but I have been thinking of changing the front fork to a shock type. The stoker already has a shock post and she loves it but I feel all the jolts in my back and my shoulders so I was thinking that a front shock would help. Does any one have any suggestions? The KHS warranty says that any modification will void the warranty. So what can I do? I have written several emails to their customer service dept. without any response. Their silence makes me wonder what kind of company they are. The dealer where I bought it obviously wants me to have their shop do it but I have done such mods to my mtb and to my son's..... and we both have all our teeth in good shape so I must have done something right. I guess. Any help is appreciated.
I would say talk more to your dealer, he wants to install it so... will he warranty the work or any voids in the factory warranty. I would also recomend that you choose a fork carefully, tandems are heavy and most aftermarket forks are designed for singles. I'm not sure that any manufacturer recomends their fork for a tandem although I have seen them fitted. I would look toward the higher end forks and plan on spending some duckies! If you buy a cheap fork you will hate it and it will probably be overwhelmed with the weight.
SJScycles in the UK have just released a tandem compatable suspension fork. It is designed for road and trail touring and can be fitted with pannier bags and fenders. The tandem version has a stronger fork crown than the solo version.
I have a cannondale mtn tandem. I put a suspension fork on it years ago and hated it. I rode it for about 2 months before I changed it back to the stock fork. The suspension benifits were minimal at best, but the main issue was steering presision, a big deal on a tandem. At the time we rode off road quite often, and with the suspension fork I was all over the trail - could not hold my line at all. I would say if your keeping your tandem on the road most of the time you might not notice the lack of steering presision, but if that's the case you probably would'nt need a shock anyhow.