Named after a local DH trail network, Keith designed the Darkside to be the bike he always personally wanted for tearing up the Whistler bike park. It is the ultimate pak bike.
He wanted a bike that first and foremost was fun and confidence inspiring to ride. But confidence for most people comes from stability, whereas fun generally comes from a nimble feel, so it is not as easy to achieve both as you might think. It took a lot of work, trial and error, and well... fun to dial in the frame geometry and ride characteristics.
Keith designed the Darkside linkage to have a predictable but lively feel, similar to what you might get from a well-designed single pivot design, but with all the benefits that come from using the KS Link virtual pivot system. The benefits of this linkage over a single pivot are that it offers optimised active braking, tuneable leverage curve, increased lateral stiffness, improved axle path and direct actuation of the rear shock to reduce DU bushing rotation and friction. So you end up with very supple suspension at the start of the travel, which ramps up to give a nice bottomless feel towards end of travel while tracking and carrying speed well, and minimising pedal feedback throughout.
The short chainstays on the Darkside really make the bike feel lively, easy to manual, and results in a bike that is eager to whip, boost or scrub off jumps with style and control. When combined with the linkage you can brake later, carry speed better, pop off lips and obstacles and land big hits with confidence. Add to this that the Darkside has a fairly long front centre, reach and slack head angle and you have a bike that is lively and playful when you hang off the back, but a high speed race ready machine when you get into a forward attack position.
In my eyes this makes the Darkside a perfect park bike / playful DH race bike that will elevate your riding to the next level of style and see you charging hard down steep technical section with confidence... and most of all, it will put a huge grin on your face.