Suspension advice

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5/6/2020 8:25 AM


With tracks reopening again, it seems like we are finally able to ride again. The reason i started this topic is to gather some tips on how to properly set up your bike. What are some good tips and tricks that doesn’ cost any money, suspension wise.
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5/6/2020 9:24 AM

Set your sag. That's the best place to start.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

5/6/2020 9:30 AM

Write down your baseline and then experiment. A lot of people leave good enough alone for fear of making things worse, but you can always go back to baseline.

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5/6/2020 9:47 AM

Sag and fork height, oil height is free if you’re removing, very cheap if you’re adding, oil weight. Keep them serviced.

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5/6/2020 9:49 AM

Make sure race sag is set, and that free sag isn’t far off where it should be either.

I’d usually put all clickers about in the middle and start from there, if you have high speed comp on shock start at like 1 1/2 maybe 2 turns out.

If you are a forgetful person write down changes you make and where it was originally that way you can go back if don’t like it.

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5/6/2020 9:55 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/6/2020 9:55 AM

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Non Gratum Anus Rodentum

5/6/2020 10:27 AM

Read you owners manual. There is usually good basic set up information in it. It will give you some understanding of when and how to adjust your clickers.

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The older I get, the faster I was.

5/6/2020 11:15 AM

This is a good podcast by a well respected industry test rider on how to set up your suspension. It’s a great starting point for anyone.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rocky-mountain-atv-mc-keefer-tested/id1245516386?i=1000389964898

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5/6/2020 11:33 AM

Set sag

Ensure forks are installed properly
- Level
- Parallel
- Torqued to spec

Ensure linkage is greased and working properly

If your spring rates are off or you haven't had your suspension rebuilt within 30 hours of riding you can get a lot of performance for relatively cheap with proper spring rates and QUALITY fresh fluids.

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5/6/2020 12:59 PM

TheGetFresh wrote:

Write down your baseline and then experiment. A lot of people leave good enough alone for fear of making things worse, but you can always go back to baseline.

Right, and don't be afraid to crank all the way one way to really get an idea what the clickers do. Also never change more than one thing at a time.

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5/6/2020 7:25 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2020 8:11 AM

Get the correct spring rates, set the sag, then make clicker changes as necessary.

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5/6/2020 7:59 PM

CarlinoJoeVideo wrote:

This is a good podcast by a well respected industry test rider on how to set up your suspension. It’s a great starting point for anyone.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rocky-mountain-atv-mc-keefer-tested/id1245516386?i=1000389964898

cool i love keefer. i was gonna get my suspension revalved all the way around but packing my winter weight made me delay until i can do some testing

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5/11/2020 6:44 AM

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

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2019 KTM 150 SX
2019 Husqvarna TX300
2015 Yamaha YZ 250

5/11/2020 6:54 AM

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

Good technique in soaking it up seems just as important as good suspension in that scenario.

But ill let others chime in as well.

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5/11/2020 7:02 AM

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

I would add the 10cc of oil. The comp clicker doesn't really control bottoming as much as brake dive, as its a bleed circuit that is being opened or closed with clicks.

Yes if setup properly, you should have excellent bottoming control, providing the setup does its job in the 1st part of the stroke. It also doesn't blow through on smaller hits, yet still has comfort staying up through those obstacles. The first 6" of travel basically is where we like to see setups excell; provided springs ar correct for rider/terrain, bottoming will be improved as well.

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Livin' the dream, two wheels at a time!

5/11/2020 8:08 AM

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

I would do a clicker change first and see how you like it. Maybe helps, maybe hurts. If you don’t like it then experiment with oil levels.

It’s much easier to change the clickers then add and remove oil all because 1 jump at 1 track.

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5/11/2020 8:19 AM

What bike do you ride? Where do you live?
Best thing to do is set your race sag. Find a vet class racer that is close to your speed and ask them to ride your bike.

I'm only 34 I've been riding and racing my whole life, if people ask me to ride and then set up their bike I am more than happy to set the sag and turn the clickers where I think works best. Most of the time I don't volunteer to help people unless they are broken down just because I don't want to offend someone.

Who on vital lives close to OP and can get him set up?

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5/11/2020 8:31 AM

agree with all above.

Also remember that if your suspension is set up properly it WILL and SHOULD bottom on the largest obstacle on the track, not wrist breaking clank but a normal bottom, this means you are using all 12 inches of the travel!!! If you are trying to tune for only one obstacle, and one that you are making a mistake on by OJing it, i think you will be chasing a setting that could make it worse everywhere else... suspension will never be perfect everywhere it will always require a compromise somewhere!

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Don’t piss off the old people - the older they get the less “life in prison” is a deterrent for them!

2020.5 KTM 450 SXF FE
2006 KX250

5/11/2020 12:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2020 12:38 PM

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

yz133rider wrote:

Good technique in soaking it up seems just as important as good suspension in that scenario.

But ill let others chime in as well.

And what would good technique in soaking it up, entail?

I'm on my Husky 125 with Factory Connection suspension and I was trying to not let my much faster son on his much faster KTM 250 SX-F pass me, so I was on the gas harder than I should've been for this jump, plus I was off to the left which- as it turns out- has a steeper, taller ramp so I _sailed_ out there!!! I over-shot the whole jump, saw the flat-land coming, revved it hard so I'd pull on the soft dirt landing, and soaked it up as well as I could, but OOOF!!!!! Today, my 58-year old knee is hurting a little bit when I climb up the stairs.

But I held the position!!!! For one more corner, anyway. smile

I should learn to scrub but old dog, new trick.

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2019 KTM 150 SX
2019 Husqvarna TX300
2015 Yamaha YZ 250

5/11/2020 2:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2020 2:27 PM

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

yz133rider wrote:

Good technique in soaking it up seems just as important as good suspension in that scenario.

But ill let others chime in as well.

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

And what would good technique in soaking it up, entail?

I'm on my Husky 125 with Factory Connection suspension and I was trying to not let my much faster son on his much faster KTM 250 SX-F pass me, so I was on the gas harder than I should've been for this jump, plus I was off to the left which- as it turns out- has a steeper, taller ramp so I _sailed_ out there!!! I over-shot the whole jump, saw the flat-land coming, revved it hard so I'd pull on the soft dirt landing, and soaked it up as well as I could, but OOOF!!!!! Today, my 58-year old knee is hurting a little bit when I climb up the stairs.

But I held the position!!!! For one more corner, anyway. smile

I should learn to scrub but old dog, new trick.

To stop bottoming. Comp clickers is more for the first half of travel . Mid valve,spring rate and oil are for mid to bottom .You want to be able to keep the nice first part of the travel without having to make it stiff. Adding oil will do that . Changing comp clickers will change the first part of the stroke.

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5/11/2020 3:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/11/2020 3:05 PM

brimx153 wrote:

To stop bottoming. Comp clickers is more for the first half of travel . Mid valve,spring rate and oil are for mid to bottom .You want to be able to keep the nice first part of the travel without having to make it stiff. Adding oil will do that . Changing comp clickers will change the first part of the stroke.

That, my Small Bore Moto Friend, is _exactly_ the precise, concise, and to the point, information I was looking for!!!!

Thanks!!!

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2019 KTM 150 SX
2019 Husqvarna TX300
2015 Yamaha YZ 250

5/12/2020 12:18 AM

spimx wrote:

What bike do you ride? Where do you live?
Best thing to do is set your race sag. Find a vet class racer that is close to your speed and ask them to ride your bike.

I'm only 34 I've been riding and racing my whole life, if people ask me to ride and then set up their bike I am more than happy to set the sag and turn the clickers where I think works best. Most of the time I don't volunteer to help people unless they are broken down just because I don't want to offend someone.

Who on vital lives close to OP and can get him set up?

I’m living in Belguim. I’ve quit riding about 7-8 years ago. I ride a yz250 2 stroke.
Got a lot of good info from this topic. Edpecially the keefer podcast, should have checked it in the first place.
Another question: my weight is around 85kg.
Should the stock spring be ok for my weight?

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5/12/2020 2:35 AM

spimx wrote:

What bike do you ride? Where do you live?
Best thing to do is set your race sag. Find a vet class racer that is close to your speed and ask them to ride your bike.

I'm only 34 I've been riding and racing my whole life, if people ask me to ride and then set up their bike I am more than happy to set the sag and turn the clickers where I think works best. Most of the time I don't volunteer to help people unless they are broken down just because I don't want to offend someone.

Who on vital lives close to OP and can get him set up?

D_L118 wrote:

I’m living in Belguim. I’ve quit riding about 7-8 years ago. I ride a yz250 2 stroke.
Got a lot of good info from this topic. Edpecially the keefer podcast, should have checked it in the first place.
Another question: my weight is around 85kg.
Should the stock spring be ok for my weight?

I'm the same weight as you and ride a 2018 yz250. I run stock fork springs and a 5.4 rear spring. Last time I had the forks serviced the tuner put 375ml of oil in the forks. The difference it made to bottoming was incredible while still being good for the rest of the track.

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5/12/2020 4:33 AM

spimx wrote:

What bike do you ride? Where do you live?
Best thing to do is set your race sag. Find a vet class racer that is close to your speed and ask them to ride your bike.

I'm only 34 I've been riding and racing my whole life, if people ask me to ride and then set up their bike I am more than happy to set the sag and turn the clickers where I think works best. Most of the time I don't volunteer to help people unless they are broken down just because I don't want to offend someone.

Who on vital lives close to OP and can get him set up?

D_L118 wrote:

I’m living in Belguim. I’ve quit riding about 7-8 years ago. I ride a yz250 2 stroke.
Got a lot of good info from this topic. Edpecially the keefer podcast, should have checked it in the first place.
Another question: my weight is around 85kg.
Should the stock spring be ok for my weight?

Check RaceTech's website. You can enter in your bike, weight, riding style, and skill level and they will recommend springs and settings for you.

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5/12/2020 11:35 AM

spimx wrote:

What bike do you ride? Where do you live?
Best thing to do is set your race sag. Find a vet class racer that is close to your speed and ask them to ride your bike.

I'm only 34 I've been riding and racing my whole life, if people ask me to ride and then set up their bike I am more than happy to set the sag and turn the clickers where I think works best. Most of the time I don't volunteer to help people unless they are broken down just because I don't want to offend someone.

Who on vital lives close to OP and can get him set up?

D_L118 wrote:

I’m living in Belguim. I’ve quit riding about 7-8 years ago. I ride a yz250 2 stroke.
Got a lot of good info from this topic. Edpecially the keefer podcast, should have checked it in the first place.
Another question: my weight is around 85kg.
Should the stock spring be ok for my weight?

chump6784 wrote:

I'm the same weight as you and ride a 2018 yz250. I run stock fork springs and a 5.4 rear spring. Last time I had the forks serviced the tuner put 375ml of oil in the forks. The difference it made to bottoming was incredible while still being good for the rest of the track.

Do you ride mostly sand or hardpack?
Did you noticed a big difference putting the 5.4 rear spring on. Compared to the 4.9 stock?

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5/12/2020 1:05 PM

Every time you wash your bike clean the lower fork tubes with silicone spray. Wipe them down. After time the silicone will impregnate into the chrome and you'll have a smoother feel for the seals. This extends seal life and improves suspension action. I recommend Moose Silicone spray. Avoid the brakes!

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5/12/2020 1:21 PM

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

I have a Q.

Suppose you bottom out on one jump on the track where you tend to over-jump but your suspension works good everywhere else. Would you be more inclined to add 10 cc of oil or stiffen your compression?

Related to this... is over-jumping and flat-landing, let's say a 65' tabletop, pretty much always going to result in an ankle-jarring, wrist bending, neck snapping experience or will really good suspension suck it up?

yz133rider wrote:

Good technique in soaking it up seems just as important as good suspension in that scenario.

But ill let others chime in as well.

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

And what would good technique in soaking it up, entail?

I'm on my Husky 125 with Factory Connection suspension and I was trying to not let my much faster son on his much faster KTM 250 SX-F pass me, so I was on the gas harder than I should've been for this jump, plus I was off to the left which- as it turns out- has a steeper, taller ramp so I _sailed_ out there!!! I over-shot the whole jump, saw the flat-land coming, revved it hard so I'd pull on the soft dirt landing, and soaked it up as well as I could, but OOOF!!!!! Today, my 58-year old knee is hurting a little bit when I climb up the stairs.

But I held the position!!!! For one more corner, anyway. smile

I should learn to scrub but old dog, new trick.

If you paid Factory Connection to revalve the suspension for you and you aren’t happy with it, why haven’t you called them to ask them what they suggest? The first time they ever did a bike for me, I had to send it back to make it stiffer. Now that they know what I like, they nail it first time, every time.

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5/15/2020 12:46 AM

1. Correct springs for your weight
2. Correct sag
3. Reasonable fork height
4. Get your rebound bracketed first. You can not even start to dial in compression till your rebound is in the correct range.

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5/15/2020 2:46 AM

D_L118 wrote:

I’m living in Belguim. I’ve quit riding about 7-8 years ago. I ride a yz250 2 stroke.
Got a lot of good info from this topic. Edpecially the keefer podcast, should have checked it in the first place.
Another question: my weight is around 85kg.
Should the stock spring be ok for my weight?

chump6784 wrote:

I'm the same weight as you and ride a 2018 yz250. I run stock fork springs and a 5.4 rear spring. Last time I had the forks serviced the tuner put 375ml of oil in the forks. The difference it made to bottoming was incredible while still being good for the rest of the track.

D_L118 wrote:

Do you ride mostly sand or hardpack?
Did you noticed a big difference putting the 5.4 rear spring on. Compared to the 4.9 stock?

I ride both. When riding sand I usually slow the rebound 2 clicks front and rear and stiffen the compression. Also on hard pack tracks I run 104mm of sag and the forks 10mm up in the clamps, on sand I run the forks flush with the clamps.

With the 5.4 rear spring I don't notice a huge difference over the 4.9, just better bottoming resistance. With the 4.9 spring I'm around 28mm static sag, the 5.4 is around 37mm static sag. Both within the window of being an acceptable rate, just at either end of the spectrum

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