Suspension. Please educate me

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4/23/2018 5:17 AM

Hi all,

Just wondering. Suspension set up. Where does it count or more importantly,when does it make a difference.
I read that it s one of the first and best thing to do as an upgrade.
Will a novice like me notice a difference and ride improvement? I probably now have over 30hours on the 2015 Honda CRF250R.
What will a suspension set up bring me? Is it better for jumps, or general handling.?
To be honest, I am having as much fun, if not more, cornering than jumping. I may not do big airs, but I love to overtake in and out of corners, playing with the clutch and leaning the bike really “hard”...
Such a blast that sport... just wish I had picked it earlier, but due to my line of work, I could not really afford the risk of coming off and not working for 4 weeks...

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4/23/2018 5:22 AM

If you like your settings, don't mess with it. If you want to fine tune, learn what your clickers do and make small adjustments. You are doing it right with cornering. Anybody can jump. Not everyone has good corner speed. The GOAT always said that you win races in the corners

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4/23/2018 5:27 AM

Well at 30 hours your forks need servicing and your shock is going to need it soon if not now. To answer your question, yes your suspension can be improved greatly. Is it worth it, well I would ask you what your goals are first?

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2020 YZ450F
2018 KTM 450SXF FE
2016 YZ250F 2008 CRF450R
2015 YZ250F 2008 CRF250R
2001 CR250R
2010 YZ250 2012 CRF150R
2009 YZ125 2010 KX109.5
SSR Motorsports Dealer YCF Motorcycles
TAGMX Suspension & Graphics! www.tagmxsuspension.com https://www.liquidskinzdesign.com/



4/23/2018 5:34 AM

Hi,
Thanks for the replies.
My current setting: I find the bike a bit stiff, but that could be my lack of experience on how to handle it and positioning.
My goal: to have even more fun. ? to make it less fatiguing I guess and handle better.

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4/23/2018 5:42 AM

Well I would say a service and revalving for your weight and experience level would achieve your goals. You can make your stock set up better by making sure what you have is set up properly and adjusting to get it closer to your liking. However, it is amazing IMO how much better it can be made. The forks you have is going to require you to stay on top of pressure though!

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2020 YZ450F
2018 KTM 450SXF FE
2016 YZ250F 2008 CRF450R
2015 YZ250F 2008 CRF250R
2001 CR250R
2010 YZ250 2012 CRF150R
2009 YZ125 2010 KX109.5
SSR Motorsports Dealer YCF Motorcycles
TAGMX Suspension & Graphics! www.tagmxsuspension.com https://www.liquidskinzdesign.com/



4/23/2018 6:05 AM

I suggest springing the bike for your weight and run it. Unless you know exactly what to feel for you wont even know what to tell a suspension company for a revalve. Revalving before a spring change and a few hours of testing is throwing away money.

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4/23/2018 6:08 AM

The short answer is you want your wheels to follow the ground and soak up bumps. Well depending on your speed/skill, weight and terrain (trails or tracks) will determine how a tuner will set up your suspension.

Once your get your suspension, fine adjustments can be made to suit different tracks and trails.

But setting your sag is very important, and not just once but check it a few times as you gain or loose weight. Also suspension breaks in and will effect your sag number.

Sag: is the amount the bike settles with a rider sitting on the bike in full gear. Higher the sag number, the more the bias is on the rear, less sag a lower number, more bias is on the front. Your bike manual will have more details.

Setting Sag, having the right spring rate for your weight and changing your oil does wonders for stock suspension.Most people neglect those three things and go right to a tuner.

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4/23/2018 6:11 AM

"The best you've ridden is the best you know."

I always tell guys, once they have experienced great suspension, they will never want to ride with anything less. It's a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Not much can beat the feeling of a exceptional suspension setup that makes you feel 1 with the bike, but you'll then always have a "need" for that.

Is the suspension currently completely stock? How much do you weigh? Race Tech recommends rebuilds every 20-30 hours to keep everything in proper working order and prevent damage to your components.

A few other things to keep in mind when thinking about your suspension:

- Suspension is more than just jumps, bumps and whoops. The way it corners, goes into and out of ruts, tracks up and goes where you want it can all be affected by suspension.

- Spring rates (or air fork pressure) will set the balance/geometry of your bike while valving will control the action of your suspension.

- Check your sag, fork alignment, bleed your forks, maintain your air pressures, make sure your bike is properly greased, fork bolts are torqued to spec. All of those things drastically affect your suspension performance and are free.

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4/23/2018 10:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/23/2018 10:16 AM

Froggy76 wrote:

Hi all,

Just wondering. Suspension set up. Where does it count or more importantly,when does it make a difference.
I read ...more

For all novice (D) and most Juniors (C) and even some intermediates ( B )...they will go faster by spending their money on a riding school or two or three or four that will improve their technique...than they will even modifying the suspension. And certainly more than performance mods (exhausts) and bling.

If i were you...I'd only modify your suspension so far as you can do it in its stock form (clickers, sag)-unless you are way over/under weight, then springs are a must do-and spend all the money you might have spent on a suspension revalve on a good riding school. That will get you far more gains in terms of speed and confidence than a revalve will.

It's not your bike (suspension) slowing you down at this point...its your technique.

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4/23/2018 10:37 AM

If you fall into the 140 - 185 lb range you should be fine until you get faster. Even if you're outside of that range I wouldn't bother with it until you really start to pick up the pace.

If you are way under or over the target weight you'll need a revalve with your springs. The damping works with the springs to compliment each other. If you have too heavy of a spring with too light damping it won't have the effect you're looking for. I've had friends who weigh 140lbs trying to set the sag on a 450 and they've turned the spring so much that the compression damping of the shock was holding their weight up.

When I was a beginner rider I had my forks rebuilt mid-way through a season on my 30 hour old 250F when my seals started leaking and just getting fresh oil made a HUGE difference. You'll be surprised what you get used to. At that time I was jumping everything on the track except for the lone "big triples" that tracks used to put in to separate the men from the boys, and I was one of the faster beginners - borderline sandbagging...If you're just really getting started I think you have a little time before its an issue unless you're pushing 230lbs +



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4/23/2018 10:56 AM

Froggy76 wrote:

Hi all,

Just wondering. Suspension set up. Where does it count or more importantly,when does it make a difference.
I read ...more

Titan1 wrote:

For all novice (D) and most Juniors (C) and even some intermediates ( B )...they will go faster by spending their money on a ...more

I agree with this to a degree. D and c riders may not increase speed, but it may increase their “comfort.”

I have a bad wrist and comfort is important to me. I can’t ride more than a few laps if my wrist is killing me because of suspension. But once set up for comfort, I can go for quite many laps and outlast the other old guys. :-)

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4/23/2018 11:39 AM

Froggy76 wrote:

Hi all,

Just wondering. Suspension set up. Where does it count or more importantly,when does it make a difference.
I read ...more

Titan1 wrote:

For all novice (D) and most Juniors (C) and even some intermediates ( B )...they will go faster by spending their money on a ...more

coastie44 wrote:

I agree with this to a degree. D and c riders may not increase speed, but it may increase their “comfort.”

I have a bad ...more

When riding properly your wrists shouldn't be bearing any significant weight or force...if you are supporting your upper body with your arms/shoulders/WRISTS you're technique is wrong (that is what core muscles are for). If you are holding yourself on the bike with your hands/arms your technique is wrong (that is what your core muscles and legs are for)....Correcting your technique, would probably solve your wrist problems...and allow you to go faster, longer, no matter the suspension settings.

So like I said...D, C, and some B riders would be far better off spending money on a riding school than they would on suspension.

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4/23/2018 12:47 PM

Whatever you do make sure to at least set your sag!

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4/24/2018 1:02 PM

Mike_Frisk wrote:

Whatever you do make sure to at least set your sag!

In my opinion Clickers, Sag and Springs are all most riders need to worry about when it comes to suspension. Only one that costs anything are the springs. (exceptions are if they are riding an MX bike off-road...and fast guys.)

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4/24/2018 1:11 PM

Have the fluid and wear bits serviced. If the spring rates are incorrect for your speed/weight, get correct springs. Set the sag, clickers and fork height correctly and go ride. If you have to ask a question like this, you aren’t skilled enough for anything else to matter. So keep having fun on your dirt bike!

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4/24/2018 4:05 PM

Thanks for your replies.
I think you may be right by saying that I may not be experienced enough to notice a major difference.
I am sure , my body position is wrong and intend to do a 2 hour one on one session with a coach then a few group session.
I get a bit of a sore wrist in the left from time to time.

The reason for asking about suspension, is that though I enjoy riding the CRF250R, I don t feel confortable on it. It seems to me that it s bulky..
When I was picking my son ktm50seniors I jumped on a new KX250F and though I did not take it for a ride, it felt better in between my legs.
Could just be a placebo effect of a spanking new kx and nothing else ?

This in turn led me to start looking at different bikes, set up....
I don t mind spending money p, I just hate wasting it. I am afraid that I will spend $ on a new bike, or improve mine and not see a difference due to my lack of experience...

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4/24/2018 4:38 PM

Not sure what part of Aus you are in but start doing your homework on good suspension tuners in your area. Go out and talk to them all and you'll work out pretty quick who is going to give you the best service. You'll need fork seals and suspension services done at some point so start that relationship and book it in to set up your standard settings for you first so you have a good idea of what that set up feels like in it's best state. You'll then be able to give them a better idea of how it is working for you. It's amazing how much better a properly tuned setup can be, even if not ideal versus a bike that has been tuned by someone playing roulette with the clickers.

A good tuner will know more about what you need anyway. Good luck

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4/24/2018 5:30 PM

Suspension is all black arts and voodoo. Listen to the podium interviews, "we were chasing settings all day". Track conditions, layout, temperature, your riding style all play into it and those factors change almost every time you ride. Either get smart and rich so you can tell your suspension guy what you need or learn to dial in what you have and live with it....or become a wizard.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

4/25/2018 11:06 AM

Titan1 wrote:

When riding properly your wrists shouldn't be bearing any significant weight or force...if you are supporting your upper body ...more

Hahaha this is total bullshit and sorry but you obviously have not experienced a wrist like mine. You shouldn’t be weighing in on it at all. With a normal wrist (my other side) I feel nothing.

It’s actually a really good indicator of well setup suspension if my wrist never gets sore! It’s my secret weapon.

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4/25/2018 11:14 AM

coastie44 wrote:

Hahaha this is total bullshit and sorry but you obviously have not experienced a wrist like mine. You shouldn’t be weighing in ...more

Lol - I was thinking the same thing.

If you're hanging onto the bike you're going to get some feedback from the front end. Whoops...braking bumps...anything the front end deflects off.

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4/25/2018 2:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/25/2018 2:47 PM

coastie44 wrote:

I agree with this to a degree. D and c riders may not increase speed, but it may increase their “comfort.”

I have a bad ...more

Titan1 wrote:

When riding properly your wrists shouldn't be bearing any significant weight or force...if you are supporting your upper body ...more

coastie44 wrote:

Hahaha this is total bullshit and sorry but you obviously have not experienced a wrist like mine. You shouldn’t be weighing in ...more

Well, I don't know the condition of your wrist, you're right on that...and it may be the most jacked up wrist in the world and beyond repair...so I won't argue about your experience....but my point is valid in terms of technique and suspension in relation to D, C, and a lot of B riders (those with majorly jacked up wrists being the exception.)

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4/26/2018 3:04 AM

By the way, what exercise do you recommend for improving mx.
Running, swimming, core strength like Pilates, yoga or may be just strength work out like lifting weights...
Any advice would be welcomed.
I m obviously not going to race pro, but intend to race next year in the beginner or novice class ( might be different classification in the USA).
I would like to say that I don t care if I finish last, and that it s trying that counts, but that s not me.
I want to race and finish first. Reality will probably be more likely the opposite ...?

Just thought of another question actually.
If you were to recommend a bike to a new comer, would it be a 125 2 stroke or a 250f.
Cheers

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4/26/2018 3:12 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/26/2018 3:17 AM

Froggy76 wrote:

By the way, what exercise do you recommend for improving mx.
Running, swimming, core strength like Pilates, yoga or may be ...more

Go out for a ride day and test for yourself. If you feel like you just sprinted a mile after a 20 min moto then work on cardio. Spin bike, rower, running, anything really.

If you feel like your legs cant withstand big landings or theyre weak or wore out at the end of a moto then do front squats and deadlifts.

You should be able to feel what you need. Some people need cardio and some need strength. For me it changes monthly and i can feel which one im lacking.

A 250f is a beginner bike. Its not going to bite you if you grab a handful.

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4/26/2018 3:21 AM

Froggy76 wrote:

Hi all,

Just wondering. Suspension set up. Where does it count or more importantly,when does it make a difference.
I read ...more

DONT WAIST your money! Spend it on fuel and oils and good gear! Go to a track and make friends and stick to ones that never cry's, or complains and is a smooth fair rider as those are the people that are willing to help others! Just make sure to keep your maintenance up.. ALWAYS wear a helmet and boots.
Remember stay away from the trouble makers and dirty riders cause good fast clean riders will ALWAYS get help and Factory rides before the dirty one do!

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4/26/2018 5:21 AM

Froggy76 wrote:

By the way, what exercise do you recommend for improving mx.
Running, swimming, core strength like Pilates, yoga or may be ...more

Don't discredit mobility & flexibility. For me I focused on cardio and strength earlier in life and now I'm working on my lack of mobility since I neglected it. You can find range of motion workouts on Youtube and you'll definitely feel the results.

A lot of guys in here will give you their regiment and IMO most people push too hard too often through the week. Anything you do through the week should compliment your riding on the weekend, but riding the bike should be #1. Pushups, Pull ups, planks, and live in zone 2 on the aerobic apparatus of your choice (bicycle, rower, skierg, treadmill) will help you tremendously. Riding is hard and people want to mimic that stress with their workouts, and I admit nothing makes you feel more alive than an acid bath but keeping the intensity lighter on your aerobic workouts will give you the specific physiological adaptations that will help you to push harder on the dirt bike when you pick up the intensity and recover easier.

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4/26/2018 5:30 AM

If u have to ask, then you probably don't need an upgrade.

The more you ride, the faster you will go. The faster you go, the more you will notice where your suspension is lacking. But.. that will take hundreds of more hours practicing.

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