Set-Up Tips, Tricks | Ride Engineering

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1) 2024 KX450 Set-Up Tips, Chassis Mods

Basics: Sag at 104mm, forks at 3 mil from flush. I used the Keefer map to try and liven up the motor, which comes with 2025 emissions restrictions. FYI the engine off the showroom floor feels slow but can be made to feel like any other 2024 450 with a few modifications (Vortex ECU mapped by XPR & an FMF exhaust). Note the Kawasaki Rideology app is very limited on what you can do. For example you can't advance the timing past +1. The stock exhaust has some "wings" inside to further reduce noise which also reduces flow and power. You can disassemble the stock canister and modify the core to flow better if an aftermarket exhaust is not in the budget. Removing the rubber plug inside the air box and drilling it out with a lot of 7/8" holes will also improve power and flow. I also added a DT1 filter and cage to increase the surface area so enough air can get through even when the filter gets dirty. The stock valving and spring rates are more suited for a 170lb rider which is not as stiff for my 145lb weight as some of the other brands.

I was able to put 3-4 hours on the stock suspension before shipping it off to ESR Suspension in Hesperia, CA. To properly test chassis parts, it's imperative to get the proper valving and spring rates for the rider's weight and riding ability. In my case we dropped from the stock 5.1N/mm fork springs to 0.46kgmm (4.5N/mm) and even dropped a rate on the pressure springs and re-valved accordingly. On the shock, a re-valve and a 50N/mm shock spring (5.1kgmm) did the trick. Stock is 54N/mm. Looking for better suspension settings? Call Ron at 760 981-8802. By the way, the new 2024 chassis is very good. Kawasaki kept the compliance of the old chassis but steepened up the head angle one degree to make this the best handling KX450 in the bike's 18 year history. Once the new Brembo front brake is broken in, it has excellent power and modulation. On the rear, I immediately swapped the rubber rear brake line to a Ride Eng. braided steel line to reduce the spongy feel. Of course I had to dress my green machine up in a custom graphic kit from Split Design Co.

With suspension working for my weight, I've been riding the bike looking for any flaws in the chassis. Yes the handling is improved over the previous generation but it still can push the front end in dry conditions. It also wiggles sometimes entering corners, better handling comes at a price (losing stability). Finally, although the modified rear suspension feels pretty good, it has a tendency to go sideways when traction isn’t ideal. To address these issues, we started with last year's triple clamps but found they are too soft and move around too much causing inconsistent handling and a harsh feeling through the forks.

After several revisions, we made some clamps that are much stiffer than last year's but give a better ride on this new chassis. You read that right, adding more material which stiffened up both top and bottom made the forks feel more plush. The increased torsional rigidity also improves handling without having to change to a smaller offset. That said, don't write off the 22s yet. Both Brett Metcalfe and Steward Baylor prefer the 22mm offsets over the stock 23s. Brett is racing the Australian nationals on them in the premier MX1 class and Stu XC1 in GNCC. Baylor already has two wins this season! Both options are in stock under new part numbers.

The 22s will make directional changes easier and if you ride hard-pack tracks or when the soil gets dry these will probably be the best for you. At Glen Helen, where the speeds are higher, the dirt is loose and the berms push out, so they offer no advantage. If your tracks are more like this, the Ride Eng. 23s will still improve handling and fork action but be better suited for the faster pace in sand, loam or muddy conditions. In fact, one of the biggest advantages to using our triple clamps is that you can bolt up a Showa or WP damper behind the front number plate to eliminate the wiggle and smooth out corner entry and exit. This makes the bike more stable like the older chassis without sacrificing the turning ability of the new one. Both offsets are in stock in brown, black or green in limited quantities. Dampers and brackets as well.

We also developed a new link spec by testing several options in 0.25mm intervals. See below for details. 

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Supplied

2) New! 2024 KX450 Adjustable Link

Ride Engineering has a new performance link available for the 2024 KX450 & 450X that is 0.75mm longer than the production one. The added length drops the rear 6mm allowing for a 102mm sag number to get the chassis balanced. It helps keep the bike driving forward better than the stock version when traction is less than ideal. You can flip the insert from 'Performance Mode' to 'Lowering Mode' if you intend to use this motorcycle in tight technical trails or to give a shorter, less experienced rider some much needed confidence. The seat height drops 24mm in the latter.

3) New! KTM 6mm Offset Bar Mount Bases

Now available are 6mm offset bases for Ride Engineering 2023+ KTM/Husq/Gas bar mounts. When you purchase a Ride Eng. bar mount all the bases have a 3mm offset. All Japanese models (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki) have a 5mm offset from the factory. All KTMs, Husqvarnas and GasGas models have a 3.5mm offset from the factory. To better customize your bar position, Ride Eng. manufactures 6mm offset bases for these models as well as 0, 6 and 10mm offset bases for the Japanese models.

4) Beta Triple Clamp Offsets – What You Need To Know

Beta uses a variety of triple clamp offsets for each model. The two-stroke 125 & 200 have 23mm offsets from the factory but the 250 & 300 come with 20s. All the four-stroke models come with 22s. The question is are these the best offsets for these bikes? We can't speak for the 125/200 but we have tested different offsets on the 300RX and now the new 450RX. Carlen Gardner is the race team manager at Beta USA and he's also a former pro supercross rider making 450 mains and winning several LCQs. Ride Eng. met Carlen at DT1 MX Park in Tulare, California back in 2022. He brought out a 2023 300rx and we brought out are split triple clamps in both 20.5 and 22mm offsets. Carlen rips on both but he favored the 22s that day. Then months later he came out to race the Two-Stroke World Championship at Glen Helen Raceway and immediately felt more comfortable after replacing the stock clamps he used in the first practice, for his Ride Eng. 22s. These clamps offer better steering precision, more comfort and the rubber mounted bar mount helps reduce vibration and hand fatigue. There is also a kit to install a Showa or WP steering damper on any Beta provided you don't use a headlight.

Now, fast forward to April 2024. We got a call from Josh Mosiman from Motocross Action Mag asking to try some different offset clamps on the new 2024 450RX motocross bike. The MXA test riders were struggling to get comfortable on this new machine. They already experimented with several different valving specs and had a good setting but nobody felt comfortable racing it. What's odd is that the bike already has a heavy front end feel so putting more weight on it with a set of our 20.5s seemed like the opposite thing to do. I was very nervous showing up at Glen Helen with these clamps. Several times I mumbled to anyone that would listen, I wish we were at Perris or the old State Fair. But in the end all the test riders preferred these clamps over stock even at Glen Helen with its high speed down hills and loose, sandy soil. One test rider commented that he could finally race this bike with these clamps on it. Not to mention the light blue clamps truly added the final touch in making this machine look like a factory bike. Stayed tuned for a full review coming from MXA soon. All Beta clamps are back in stock in both offsets and all three colors: red, black and blue.

5) New! 270mm Oversized Rotor Kit For BrakTec

BrakTec components are coming on more and more of the Austrian models. For 2024 all GASGAS models come with BrakTec calipers and master cylinders, as well as some of the Husqvarna off-road models. This brand is not yet on the same performance level as Magura or even Nissin. One simple way to improve stopping power is to increase the size of the rotor for more leverage. However, too large a disc can become problematic in the sense that its more vulnerable to impacts due to its larger size. Ride Eng offers a 270mm wave rotor kit that is 10mm larger than stock and is made of a very high quality material with exceptional frictional properties. We also machine a hanger bracket that fits the BrakTec caliper to improve the power and modulation on these models. We also have a hanger bracket to install a Ride Eng Brake caliper onto any KTM, Husqvarna or GASGAS model. Our caliper has even more power than a Magura with exceptional modulation and feel. However, an 11mm master cylinder is required to operate it (Brembo is 10mm). It so happens that the BrakTec OEM master cylinder is 11mm. If you're on a new GASGAS, particularly an MC450F, you could add our billet brake caliper and 270 rotor kit to have a "factory level" front brake system. One of the few items missing from this top performing bike!

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