Do you modify your suspension?

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9/12/2019 9:41 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/12/2019 9:42 AM

Ive been watching all the shootout videos and listening to the podcasts and wondering how people keep the suspension stock. Maybe I’m on crazy pills, but I’ve never had a stock suspension setting past 30 hours.

Your suspension setup

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9/12/2019 9:54 AM

Only valving
Always race tech gold valves

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9/12/2019 10:02 AM

I had stock for the past 2 years pretty much, as you know the whole Beaumont video was on stock stuff. Only got suspension done for Hawaii otherwise I probably wouldn't care. 125 was on stock valving all year too... maybe that explains my performance....

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9/12/2019 10:21 AM

I guess it depends on the rider. If they happen to fall into demographic that the bike was designed around (weight and skill level), then there's not much reason to deviate from stock. For the rest of us, a re-spring is a must at a minimum, but likely a revalve too.

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Billy Wight
Luxon MX
@LuxonMX
https://luxonmx.com
Precision Engineered Motocross Components

9/12/2019 10:22 AM

I'm over 200lbs, sitting 220 w/o gear right now. Always springs at the bare minimum, usually valving as well. Currently springs/valving/pistons all around. Rode the stock stuff 2 days and it wanted to kill me lol.

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9/12/2019 10:48 AM

owndjoo852 wrote:

I'm over 200lbs, sitting 220 w/o gear right now. Always springs at the bare minimum, usually valving as well. Currently springs/valving/pistons all around. Rode the stock stuff 2 days and it wanted to kill me lol.

Same here...rode my 2018 CRF450RX anbout 5 hours before getting revalved/resprund for my weight and preferences. I was crushing the forks (and my wrists)

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9/12/2019 11:01 AM

New springs front and back before I even ride the bike (215-220#'s). Then I spend some time on the stock valving to see how close I can get it and find out what is really bothering me. I'd say I've re-valved maybe 2 out of every 3 bikes I've owned?

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9/12/2019 11:33 AM

I was gonna revalve mine but that was before I had to rebuild the engine
My next bike (buying this fall or winter) will get the suspension sent to RG3 asap.

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9/12/2019 11:35 AM

Springs and valving, typically at 15-20 hours for me.

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9/12/2019 11:39 AM

Revalve and respring on all of them. My local guy has settings that seem to work great for me.

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Race Bike: 2018 KTM 350SXF

Other Bikes: 1985 CR80R, 1990 CR250R, 1998 PW80, Giant Stance 2.

Sold: 2016 YZ250F, 2012 CRF250R

9/12/2019 11:41 AM

I've alwasy ridden motocross bikes offroad...so its always been a full revalve (stock springs usually work with my weight).

But I just bought a YZ450FX...and the suspension is SO good stock...that I won't be doing anything but the clickers and sag on this thing.

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9/12/2019 11:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/12/2019 12:22 PM

I will say...I think a lot of people spend money revalving suspension (and sometimes even on springs) to try and compensate for poor technique...Doesn't matter how good the suspension is, if you aren't riding the motorcycle correctly, the suspension won't work right.

If I were a C, D, maybe even slow B (I'm slow A and could use a few more riding schools...and could for sure use some more time in the gym. HA!)...I'd take all the money I'd spend on suspension and spend it on riding schools and a gym membership. For riders at that level, their technique and fitness hold them back far more than their suspension. And they'd gain far more speed by improving their technique and fitness than they would improving their suspension.

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9/12/2019 1:06 PM

CarlinoJoeVideo wrote:

Ive been watching all the shootout videos and listening to the podcasts and wondering how people keep the suspension stock. Maybe I’m on crazy pills, but I’ve never had a stock suspension setting past 30 hours.

I didn't vote in your poll because it's too limiting in it's wording. Everything is "always" or "only"...

In my view, I change it if it needs changing. I'm 165 lbs and the current race bikes are pretty damn good stock. I've ridden the Kwaker, Honda, Husky and KTMs... I would run stock spring rate in all but the Kawi, which definitely benefits from a stiffer fork spring. I have ridden the latest YZ250F and could leave that pretty much bone stock to race, it's very good.


When I was a beginner I just changed clickers, sag and learned about fork height.
When I could run up front in novice, I had an old-timer buddy who helped me improve my Honda by shuffling a few shims and changing springs.

These days, as a 39 year old expert, I buy an extra set of suspension and send it out. Then I compare the stuff to my best stock setting. If the revavled stuff is better everywhere I duplicate the setting in my stock stuff and develop it further with shims, springs, oil, etc. so that I have what I believe is a best setting for me in two sets of suspension.

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9/12/2019 1:22 PM

While I agree with Titan on the fitness part, I think you can clearly tell the difference between stock and mod suspension once you become a good, fast (winning) novice or midpack intermediate rider. Any faster than that and most stock suspension will be holding you back at best, and outright dangerous in some cases at worst.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

9/12/2019 1:46 PM

All good thoughts! Nice to read a positive thread with honest comments.

I’m just trying to wrap my head around all the shootout feedback and wondering if 75% of the riders are changing the valving and springs how it would change the rankings.

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9/12/2019 1:49 PM

PatrickEvans71 wrote:

I had stock for the past 2 years pretty much, as you know the whole Beaumont video was on stock stuff. Only got suspension done for Hawaii otherwise I probably wouldn't care. 125 was on stock valving all year too... maybe that explains my performance....

Dude, at your level you’d definitely benefit from correct suspension set up. Especially on your 125 at those national tracks!

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9/12/2019 1:58 PM

Falcon wrote:

While I agree with Titan on the fitness part, I think you can clearly tell the difference between stock and mod suspension once you become a good, fast (winning) novice or midpack intermediate rider. Any faster than that and most stock suspension will be holding you back at best, and outright dangerous in some cases at worst.

I don't think we disagree at all...I said anyone slower than a slow B rider (intermediate) should spend money on riding schools...I don't think its a stretch to say that most "good, fast (winning) Novice" riders would be mid pack intermediates. So I think we agree.

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9/12/2019 2:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/13/2019 1:47 PM

The 2020 Yamaha yz450f that i have is the first bike in years where i don't want to F--k it up by sending it away. Otherwise....always a revalve and springs. I've had the Cone Valves before.....not a gamechanger or anything. just decent

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9/12/2019 2:10 PM

Revalve and springs. Pushing 245 so pretty much a necessity.

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9/12/2019 2:22 PM

I weigh around 185 without gear and currently ride a 2018 yz250. On this bike all I have done is gone up on the rear spring rate and played with the clickers. I actually rode the stock rear spring for about 15 hours and it was pretty good but had the heavier one there so put it on.
My previous bike was a 2010 yz250 that got the full treatment. It was probably better than my stock 2018 but not $1000 better that the revalve cost me and there were still some things that after sending it back twice I still didn't like.
I think a lot depends on the bike and rider. Some bikes just don't come with good settings, others do while some riders are the weight the stock suspension was designed for, others are not

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9/12/2019 3:25 PM

"Stock" suspension is set up for some target rider of some target skill level on some type of motocross track. That's not necessarily what YOU, the rider of said bike, need. It may work for some but definitely not everyone. Everyone is different in their riding style, skill level, type of riding they do, and how they prefer a bike feels. A majority of the motocross community hasn't a clue what to change to make their suspension better. I think many riders would benefit from understanding how valving works and how to get the balance of the bike right with springs (or air pressure) and fork height/shock sag. Instead of heading to the track for a practice day to just spin laps, how about spending an entire ride day focusing on testing out various sag settings, or fork height, or clicker settings, or all of the above? Just because a magazine tells you 105mm of sag and 2.7mm of fork height is ideal doesn't mean that's what YOU should use. Start there and go higher or lower and get a sense of what feels right. At the end of the day, a good suspension setting gives you confidence on the bike and ultimately allows you to go faster around a track, so find what makes YOU most comfortable and confident.

No offense to the major suspension companies out there, but there's not really much magic involved in revalving suspension. Even companies like RaceTech, Factory Connection, etc will only get you "close" based on the information you provided to them when you placed your order. I've had multiple bikes with RaceTech Gold Valves and, for me, they worked great compared to how the bike was in stock form. But unless you have one of those companies at the track watching you, and making adjustments right then and there, you're just getting a setup that is in the ballpark. That may be good enough for some people, but i'm pretty anal about how my bikes handle.

I now have a stockpile of various shims, a decent amount of suspension tools, and do most of my own suspension work. Anything that requires resurfacing or machining i'll send out.

With my Alta MXR, there really wasn't a good set of suspension settings out there to start from, so it truly has been trial and error to get the suspension feeling how i like it. But it's been fun learning and testing.

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9/12/2019 3:32 PM

I'm 6'2" around 250lbs, What do you think?

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We are the sum of a 1,000 lives. What we know is almost nothing at all.

9/12/2019 4:44 PM

I have mine done before I even start my new bike. I'm 150, and the stock suspension is way too stiff for me, even on a 250.
I can back the rear spring off as far as it will safely go and still can't get the sag close. Most stock bikes are set up for about 165 to 190.

I have FC do mine. I still do some adjusting, but I always end up very happy with their work.

Having your suspension done is money well spent imo.

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9/12/2019 5:28 PM

I weigh 150, midpack B rider. Never had my suspension revalved on any bike I've owned. I would like to see what it's all about but for now I'll just ride and keep working on my technique.

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9/12/2019 5:37 PM

Both of my bikes are currently on stock suspension. 177-183lbs naked. A level speed for a few laps, then slowing down to mid pack B as my cardio fades. I never felt like the $1000 spent was really worth it. I played around quite a bit with clickers and air adjustments, and got my bikes to be predictable.

I think you are better off getting a setting you can trust, and then riding with it. When you are constantly changing shit, you never know how the bike is going to react. I do make mild clicker adjustments from time to time.

There is definitely room for a little bit of improvement on both of my bikes. But FC and some of the other companies have priced themselves right out of the game. FC wants a metric fortune to work on the AER forks, and they are unbelievably simple....I just do not personally see the ROI.

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Jason Anderson FTW

9/12/2019 6:08 PM

I have to go full bore, after riding a bike with the best suspension compontents, I could never ride a stock bike
again, atleast from what I have experienced. I typically ride the bike once or twice to see the condition of the valving and spring rate and then adjust accordingly. I can feel the coatings so they are a necessity and Factory Connection dials the valving almost immediately. I have ridden two sets of forks set up for me back to back same day, with and without coatings and they do make a drastic difference in comfort and lap times. Factory Connection usually does a small tweak the first service after the set up and then it is good for most of the year.


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9/12/2019 8:44 PM

Just bought a 18 CRF450R a couple weeks ago, it has around 2 hrs on the bike and its now at race tech getting gold valves re valved and springs for my 250lb frame. Ive ridden 27 years and never had suspension done before, so pumped to feel the difference!

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It aint nothing but a little bit of this and a little bit of Braaaap!!!

9/13/2019 3:02 AM

Ive had cone valves etc on my ktm but this past 2 months bought a new 19kx450f put 10hours on it with stock suspension. Then sent it away to have revalved. i gave the tuner feedback on what the stock stuff was doing. When i got it back ive never noticed such a big difference from stock to setup stuff. The bike was better in every area. He used the stock spring rate with different valving. I was blown away.

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9/13/2019 3:39 AM

It’s hard to keep it stock when you’ve experienced an amazing set up. That’s my biggest problem. I’ve ridden some awesome cone valve settings and know how good the KTM forks can be. It’s hard to keep it stock.

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9/13/2019 4:59 AM

CarlinoJoeVideo wrote:

It’s hard to keep it stock when you’ve experienced an amazing set up. That’s my biggest problem. I’ve ridden some awesome cone valve settings and know how good the KTM forks can be. It’s hard to keep it stock.

I’ve ridden cone valves, absolutely fell in love. Just not worth the $4k price tag...for me. That’s a lot of cheddar to invest in an already expensive bike.

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Jason Anderson FTW