Suspension Black Art?

Related:
Create New Tag

11/16/2012 7:16 AM

Hey kids I have a small mom and pop shop out here in Az and I'm thinking of dabbling in doing suspension. Mainly on my own stuff til I get somewhat educated on it. Anybody have any good internet links or any tip or tricks they are willing to share. Thanks.

P.S. I'm talking revalves, shims and setup for rider ability NOT forkseals and the like I already do that mumbo jumbo lol.

|

You're trying to use logic in your post and 4stroke doesn't appreciate logic! (FACT)


11/16/2012 7:28 AM

Buy Race Techs Suspension Bible.

|

11/16/2012 7:49 AM

BAMX wrote:

Buy Race Techs Suspension Bible.

Thanks will check it out.

|

You're trying to use logic in your post and 4stroke doesn't appreciate logic! (FACT)


11/16/2012 10:06 AM

I second that. That book is a great resource and reference.

Hey 4Stroke4DWN, if you ever have any questions feel free to give me a call or email, Ill be happy to help.

|

11/16/2012 10:17 AM

RideJBI wrote:

I second that. That book is a great resource and reference.

Hey 4Stroke4DWN, if you ever have any questions feel free to give me a call or email, Ill be happy to help.

Will do thanks, you ever ride out at ET?

|

You're trying to use logic in your post and 4stroke doesn't appreciate logic! (FACT)


11/16/2012 10:49 AM

Black Art or Black Magic? I've always wondered how some suspension tuners come up with a "right" setup. Being that I mostly ride vintage bikes with basic simple dampening rod setups and non adjustable shocks, climbing onto a modern bike with a foot of nearly infinitely adjustable suspension, well it's like riding a works bike! LOL

Still, it is obvious even for a spode such as myself when you fell a midstroke spike or slap a landing and feel a metal to metal bottoming. I won a gift certificate about ten years ago in our racing series for a suspension revalve, labor only. It was time for a re-oil on my YZ250F anyway so I went with it. By the time it was done they popped me for an additional $300.00 for parts and fluids and that did not include any springs as I had already done those. Got it back ( with no old parts returned) and it felt absolutely no different than before the work was supposedly done. That is the only time I've ever actually sent suspension off until I bought this new KTM150. I wanted to see what the really good stuff works like so I had Jeremy Wilkey at MX-Tech handle it since he is supposed to be one of the WP guru's. Threw a chunk of money at it for the good stuff including DLC coatings to cut down on friction for the lightweight small bore bike. Hopefully will get a chance to get the bike out to a track in the next week, dying to try it out. MX-Tech sent me back a bag full of old stock misc. parts that they had replaced with their own.

I am planning on investing in some more suspension specific tools in the future myself. I've rebuilt quite a bit of old shocks and forks and done basic stuff on my modern bikes over the years. Still wanting to try and figure out what makes the new stuff tick myself.

|

11/16/2012 2:40 PM

newmann wrote:

Black Art or Black Magic? I've always wondered how some suspension tuners come up with a "right" setup. Being that I mostly ride vintage bikes with basic simple dampening rod setups and non adjustable shocks, climbing onto a modern bike with a foot of nearly infinitely adjustable suspension, well it's like riding a works bike! LOL

Still, it is obvious even for a spode such as myself when you fell a midstroke spike or slap a landing and feel a metal to metal bottoming. I won a gift certificate about ten years ago in our racing series for a suspension revalve, labor only. It was time for a re-oil on my YZ250F anyway so I went with it. By the time it was done they popped me for an additional $300.00 for parts and fluids and that did not include any springs as I had already done those. Got it back ( with no old parts returned) and it felt absolutely no different than before the work was supposedly done. That is the only time I've ever actually sent suspension off until I bought this new KTM150. I wanted to see what the really good stuff works like so I had Jeremy Wilkey at MX-Tech handle it since he is supposed to be one of the WP guru's. Threw a chunk of money at it for the good stuff including DLC coatings to cut down on friction for the lightweight small bore bike. Hopefully will get a chance to get the bike out to a track in the next week, dying to try it out. MX-Tech sent me back a bag full of old stock misc. parts that they had replaced with their own.

I am planning on investing in some more suspension specific tools in the future myself. I've rebuilt quite a bit of old shocks and forks and done basic stuff on my modern bikes over the years. Still wanting to try and figure out what makes the new stuff tick myself.

Thats what I'm after also, Amazon has that Race tech suspension bible for 23.00 and I just hooked up with a buddy that doesn't know jack about 4 strokes but does suspension, he wants to learn 4t's and I want to learn suspension so little trade off.

|

You're trying to use logic in your post and 4stroke doesn't appreciate logic! (FACT)


11/16/2012 4:14 PM

I always used a local guy , nothing better than making a phone between practice sessions and asking a question from the guy who did work on your bike and having him tell you what to adjust.

|

11/17/2012 1:19 AM

MR. X wrote:

I always used a local guy , nothing better than making a phone between practice sessions and asking a question from the guy who did work on your bike and having him tell you what to adjust.

Bingo!!!

That is unless you like investing in UPS or Fed Ex.

|

11/22/2012 2:03 PM

Suspension is the worse nightmare there's as in sooo much psyche involved, and they are rather complex for me at least.

I have been restoring recent Showas on CRFs, KXFs to the point I almost went mental. I learned A LOT by trial an error, but my concern was newer about stock being bad, it was more of an issue to turning leaky, harshen ones back to original plushness.

I'm about to restore my leaky but still plush KYBs SSS back to show room standard, and my feeling is that 90% of the revalve, shim altering magic rebuilds is totally BS for 99.9% of riders. Pro-riders should have correlation in their feelings between altering and performance, but I feel I would have the best set-up ever if I took stock stuff and had a good tuner, he would do miracles for my mind just by his presence, and some clicks with a screwdriver, rather than sending my suspension away to whatever with some note saying hardpack, weight, B-rider...

But again, it's my feeling.

As in restoring, which was not the topic, OEM stuff and oils, some suspension cleaning spray and suspension grease is the magic in my book...

|

11/23/2012 8:02 PM

DrSweden wrote:

Suspension is the worse nightmare there's as in sooo much psyche involved, and they are rather complex for me at least.

I have been restoring recent Showas on CRFs, KXFs to the point I almost went mental. I learned A LOT by trial an error, but my concern was newer about stock being bad, it was more of an issue to turning leaky, harshen ones back to original plushness.

I'm about to restore my leaky but still plush KYBs SSS back to show room standard, and my feeling is that 90% of the revalve, shim altering magic rebuilds is totally BS for 99.9% of riders. Pro-riders should have correlation in their feelings between altering and performance, but I feel I would have the best set-up ever if I took stock stuff and had a good tuner, he would do miracles for my mind just by his presence, and some clicks with a screwdriver, rather than sending my suspension away to whatever with some note saying hardpack, weight, B-rider...

But again, it's my feeling.

As in restoring, which was not the topic, OEM stuff and oils, some suspension cleaning spray and suspension grease is the magic in my book...

you need to ride suspension valved for you and the tracks you ride. if they gave you what you needed for your speed/terrain its night and day.

ive been doing the DIY thing with help from a member on another forum. Simply went into it seeing what can be accomplished with the right ideas in the stack. bike is an old 2nd gen honda cr250 with the "harsh" frame, the thing handles and corners better than my brand new '13 250sx, braking bumps on big downhills feel "soft" now, where before the thing would kick and buck like a heroin addict, it stays on top of whoops instead of "in" them, its awesome and tells me where i need to get the ktm for my weight/speed/terrain

shows you properly valved suspension on a 12 year old bike can ride better than my brand new bike.

IMO either learn to do it yourself, or have someone do it for you, but just have it done.

|

11/24/2012 10:33 PM

mynewcr250 wrote:

you need to ride suspension valved for you and the tracks you ride. if they gave you what you needed for your speed/terrain its night and day.

ive been doing the DIY thing with help from a member on another forum. Simply went into it seeing what can be accomplished with the right ideas in the stack. bike is an old 2nd gen honda cr250 with the "harsh" frame, the thing handles and corners better than my brand new '13 250sx, braking bumps on big downhills feel "soft" now, where before the thing would kick and buck like a heroin addict, it stays on top of whoops instead of "in" them, its awesome and tells me where i need to get the ktm for my weight/speed/terrain

shows you properly valved suspension on a 12 year old bike can ride better than my brand new bike.

IMO either learn to do it yourself, or have someone do it for you, but just have it done.

As my boss often says, "The best you've ridden is the best you know."

I once was at the stage of giving up on finding a good suspension tuner and accepting that stock or close to it was really the best it could get and it wouldn't change much for the better... then I met someone who seemed to do magic with my suspension. I have since followed him to Race Tech to work alongside him.

I am positive there are other tuners out there who can also do it, I know a lot of guys who have had positive experiences with a handful of different tuners and companies. Doing it yourself and learning yourself might be your best bet. I know understanding how your suspension works will make it easier for you to improve your bike.

|

Race Tech Director of Marketing
www.racetech.com
Proud supporters of VitalMX. Ask me about the VitalMX Discount!

11/24/2012 10:36 PM

Whoops, felt it was necessary to add a bit.

Remember, any bike from the factory is a compromise. They have to make a bike work acceptable for riders that weight 120 pounds to riders that weight 275 pounds. Riders that are novices to pros, from trail riders to SX. They will appeal this compromised setup to as many people as possible, but even for the "ideal" rider, there are holdbacks to allow for others to have an acceptable feel.

A good suspension setup is a personalized setup first and foremost.

|

Race Tech Director of Marketing
www.racetech.com
Proud supporters of VitalMX. Ask me about the VitalMX Discount!

11/30/2012 8:33 AM

@ mynewcr250:

Totally agree with your post. Being doing some digging on shim stacks on thumpertalk & cr500 riders.
Did you buy new valves or just altering all your shim stacks?

|

12/1/2012 9:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/1/2012 9:11 PM

-eagle- wrote:

@ mynewcr250:

Totally agree with your post. Being doing some digging on shim stacks on thumpertalk & cr500 riders.
Did you buy new valves or just altering all your shim stacks?

im over at thumpertalk as well. im definitely no pro, but i started the DIY thing maybe 8 months ago? i actually got help from "thedogger" over there in the crf450 forum. the guy can get you a very good baseline stack to start from and will work with you to get you going in the right direction so long as you are *willing to listen and learn*.

id post up in the crf450 DIY valving thread and see if hes got the time to help you. very friendly guy.

per his advice i run all stock components in the forks, just much different stacks (stiffer and more progressive) and a tighter float, and the shocks got the factory connection HSC spring with a stiffer stack. ive learned a lot from him and feel much more confident trying my own stacks now.

|