YZF Suspension Midvalve??

80 replies to this topic
  • thumpy

Posted November 22, 2001 - 05:06 AM



I just read your first post and got the details...sounds nasty.

It should be noted that I had an experience with a particular triple a couple weeks ago that had me uneasy about it. At first I couldn't figure out what it was about it that had me so sketchy and I asked my buddies how they felt about it and none of us could figure it out. The approach just didn't feel right. After several run up attempts I got it figured out. My front forks were too soft which caused an uneven balance. This is something you really don't notice, it's not obvious and will sneak up on you and bite your butt (as you figured out also). I adjusted my compression clickers in 6 clicks and viola! All the difference in the world. The approach was cake as well as the launch and landing.

So the moral of the story is, if you're not feeling right about something take the time to really investigate and figure it out, it just might save you an exit in an ambulance!


Posted November 22, 2001 - 09:09 PM


WoW! What a thread. Great info from all.
I ride the O 40 Expert class and had my 01 426 done by Race Tech. I wasn't expecting much because I didn't think my suspension was that bad.
The very 1st day I got it put back together I was doing a 90 footer and tried it in a higher gear than normal (not a good idea and I knew it)
I was pretty sure it was going to hurt. When I landed I expected to go over the bars but the bike soaked it up great. Since then I'm not nearly as timid at trying the big ones or coming up short.
In defense of the MX-Tech guys my buddy runs MX-Tech and loves what he has.

  • MX_Tuner

Posted November 23, 2001 - 01:47 PM


Springs don't "break in". They start off a certain rate and begin to deteriorate from there. I hear guys say they'll wait to set the sag on a new bike until after the springs" breaks in". Sure thing, pal. Whatever makes you think you're doing the right thing.

The new fork seals will need to break in a bit before you'll get *normal* plushness.

  • motoman393

Posted December 20, 2001 - 05:00 PM


Ok guys I finally got a chance to ride again...and oh my god am I sore!!! Anyways about my suspension:

First off the shock works great! It no longer deflects and bounces off little square edged bumps and it was money well spent! But the forks are a different story. I tried the Race Tech valving specs first in the forks (just because I thought they would be fairly close) Well after I rode the bike with the recommended valving CL6 and CH5 it is WAY too stiff/harsh. I know MXTuner is thinking "haha I told you so" right about now. And after riding the bike I understand what he (MXTuner--Mark) was talking about. Tomorrow I will be switching out the shims to MXTuners recommended specs of CL5 and CH2 and go from there (I will be sending you an email after I post this Mark)! I will be riding again on Sunday and will let you guys know how it goes! Thanks a bunch Mark (and everyone else who has contributed to this post) I appreciate your info. My suspension (as of right now) is far superior to my stock setup...but I know it can be better, that is why I am changing out the shims tomorrow! Thanks a bunch,

Garrett Berg

  • MX_Tuner

Posted December 20, 2001 - 06:00 PM


No, Garrett, at least you'll know the difference between the two valve stacks. Otherwise, you'd always wonder what the other was like. Start out with the clickers at 14 out on the compression adjuster and 14 out on the rebound. It's easy to swap shims if you have an impact wrench to help remove the comp adjuster assembly. Simply turn the fully assembled fork upside down, stroke it up and down a couple times and pull the comp adjuster out. Carefully set the fork aside and do your shim swap. You can have the shims swapped and the bike put back together in less than an hour.

  • Jasons

Posted December 21, 2001 - 05:09 AM


To do a quick shim change I put a piece of carpet on the garage floor and flip the bike upside down(turn off the gas), use an impact wrench and you can have the stacks out in 5 min.

Motoman did you get the type 1 or 2 valves? I tried the type two in my 98 250 forks and could never get a plush feel and I am a 195lb fast intermediate to slow pro. Race tech switched out the valves for type 1 for just the price of postage and I installed them and found a huge difference. No bottoming and a nice controlled stroke. I did have the bottoming cones as well. I thought I would need the 2's since I am a heavier and faster rider but they were too harsh.
It took me about 3 tries to get the action I wanted out of the fork, their charts are close but not perfect. The shock was great on my first try.

  • motoman393

Posted December 21, 2001 - 05:41 AM



I got the type 1 valves (I am 168lbs and the same skill level as you)! What valve stack are you currently runnning? And yes my shock works much better now, and I only had to change the compression 2 clicks softer than Race Tech's specs and it seems to be working great (but I will see whenever my forks get setup like I want them). It is cool being able to change the valving this easy, thanks guys! Later,


  • yzrider

Posted December 21, 2001 - 06:06 AM


Great thread. I now know a lot more about the art of suspending an off road bike. I am not as experienced of a rider as most in this thread seem to be, but I thought I would add this (not so technical) observation and see what you all think.

I have very little problem with the stock suspension setup. I have a 00 426F all stock with the exception of a RaceTech shock spring. Here is my thought:

Rider position is a big factor in how my suspension works. Weight distribution can alter the suspension drastically producing the dreaded headshake no matter how finely tuned in you think your suspension may be. Tuning your riding is much easier than tuning your suspension.

Just an observation... :)

Of course, if you are hitting 140' jumps regurlarly, a more "robust" setup is probably in order.

  • Jasons

Posted December 21, 2001 - 08:29 AM


I am running the stock pistons in my 01 426. I used the RT stuff on a 98 250 that I had before. Right now I am running C-cycle bottoming cones, .47 springs,100mm oil height, stock midvalve and 3 more .1x24 shims on the forks. I always run the rebound between 9 and 11 and I think the compression is at around 8, for off road play riding I will back them out to around 12. This is working pretty good. It seemed to hang way down in the stroke before I added the stiffer springs and I was always digging up dirt with the foot pegs if I would land turning or lay it over in ruts. I am going to try a 2 stage stack with 15-.1x24s, a .1x14 crossover and .15x24, .15x22,.15x20 and on down same as stock. I am hoping it will give a little plusher feel on the initial hit than it is now, without blowing through the stroke.

In the rear I have a 5.6 spring and have added 2-0.1 shims to the low speed and 1-0.1 shim to the high speed stack. This setup is very good in the rear, maybe even a little soft for me but I don't get the constant stripes under the back fender, it will bottom though. I am not sure where I have the clickers on the rear, I think I am around 1/4 turn extra on the HS adjuster and 8-10 out on the LS and the rebound is at 8 or 9, I think.

I am also looking into building an Enzo style tank system to play with.

  • Jasons

Posted December 21, 2001 - 08:58 AM


A good rider can compensate for bad suspension, but it takes a lot of energy and it is a distraction. I can ride my fastest when the bike doesn't do anything unexpected. It is much easier to push and ride faster or attack a rough section of the track if you know the bike won't be kicking sideways on a bump half way through. The best way to figure this out is to ride a bike that is set up well.

Then try a bike that isn't. I once tried a friend's ktm 200 that had the rebound set way too fast and I couldn't clear jumps that I could easily overjump on my bike, because it never felt stable on the face of the jump. It was actually scary. I got him to adjust it and he couldn't believe how well it worked and it was his bike.

If it is a little off it mainly affects comfort and feel and you can compensate although it may mess with your confidence. If it is way off then it will make it very hard to go fast. We are lucky since the YZ's are so good stock that all you need to do is tune them for your weight and speed.
I could ride stock suspension and go pretty fast, but it would bottom all the time and that isn't fun. I ride for fun. I also enjoy the technical side of bike setup so why not play with it.

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  • yzrider

Posted December 21, 2001 - 01:27 PM



I agree with all you say, and I wish I were a good enough rider to overcome my belief that I am generally the root of all my trouble. I only brought up the rider issue because the original post said that he had been clearing the same exact jump all day long and only missed once. To me this says that the bike is possibly not the real issue.

You said good riding can overcome bad suspension, but isn't the opposite true that bad riding can mess up good suspension. All it takes is for your weight to be misplaced for a split second to blow the approach. Fatigue or a momentary lack of concentration and no suspension is going to save your arse. :)

  • Jasons

Posted December 21, 2001 - 02:02 PM


I am not sure that suspension was the only cause of motoman's crash, but a well set up bike could have saved him some energy through the moto and may have helped. The best suspension won't always make up for a rider error but it sure is nice to have the extra cushion.
Keep in mind that the bikes are set up for a average weight and average speed rider in average conditions so his bike could have probably been set up better for him.
I do know that I can get away with waaaaay more on my bike than I could do on my 86 YZ125. I would have crashed many more times with that suspension doing the same things that my bike easily handles. Granted there is a huge difference between an 01 and the 86 but, it basically comes down to technology and settings, so better settings can't hurt.

  • motoman393

Posted December 21, 2001 - 04:37 PM



You are right about the rider positioning and balancing...this is the most important part of going fast! But in this circumstance I know my suspension was not working like it should. The reason I know this is because I rode a CR450 (with revalved/resprung suspension for a 175lb pro MXer) and it was WAY better than mine (and no it wasnt the CRF either, because I have ridden a stock 450 too and have something to compare the suspension to)! He was easily going through choppy stuff that I was struggling to go fast through (and it wasnt rider error, because I could go faster on his bike through this particular section) The section that I am talking about (to any of you local guys) is 2 turns/straight aways before the big triple step up (this is where I got headshake and took a nice head first soil sample LOL)

BTW I just finished putting in MXtuner's recommended stack! I will let you guys know how it works whenever I ride it (probably Monday or Tuesday)! Thanks,


  • MX_Tuner

Posted December 25, 2001 - 07:24 AM


Okay, Garrett, how'd the bike work? How'd your body work?

  • motoman393

Posted December 25, 2001 - 08:11 AM


All the tracks around here are closed today on Christmas :) (or they were only open 2-3hrs) I will be riding tomorrow and will let you know how it goes! I now understand why your stack will help! Because it was the high speed hits that I was taking a beating on! The low speed landings felt pretty good (just a tad stiff). Thanks,


  • motoman393

Posted December 26, 2001 - 01:53 PM


I finally got to ride today...oh my god is my suspension awesome! It now soaks up the little stuff and allows me to "screw up" on occasion :) ! To give you an example: today I jumped a 90ft triple (for the 1st time) and totally cased the jump on the first try...I was thinking, "oh crap here comes another broken collarbone/concussion combo", but it actually didn't even feel like I bottomed (even though I know it did) it is not even funny how great my whole bike handles and jumps now! I now am glad I spent the $450 for new springs and valves...because it is seriously "night and day" difference! I would like to thank all of you guys for helping me and giving me hints about this stuff! MXTuner, you saved me alot of time by giving me that valve stack recommendation...and I appreciate it! I am riding again Friday, if any of you local guys can come (either 290MX or Highlands)! Thanks and Happy Holidays,

Garrett Berg

  • MX_Tuner

Posted December 26, 2001 - 02:34 PM


Cool, glad to hear it works nicely. I just wonder how many guys out there are unhappy with the Race Tech stuff because they followed their recommended valving. Glad you like it.

I have a serious question. Do you think it could be any better than it is now?

  • motoman393

Posted December 26, 2001 - 05:22 PM


Thats true RT's specs are really harsh!

Honestly, I think it could be better... but I am so happy with it right now and it was well worth the money! I will be playing with the rebound clickers a bit to get the rear end to "bite" a little better on acceleration bumps! All in all I am happy with the performance from Race Tech! I am sure that if I would have send my suspension to MX Tech that it would be just as good if not better...but I wanted to learn how to do my own suspension! After all I am only 16 and have about 50-60 more years that I can ride (hopefully LOL) and there will always be suspension, so I might as well learn how to work on it now! Hopefully I can land a job in the MX field with a Mechanical Engineer degree (now that would be fun) Having a job you like...is this possible LOL?

The installation wasn't very hard but real time consuming the first time! I could now do it in 1/2 the time it took me a month ago. And for all the guys who havent done the gold valves and are planning on doing it...I have put some helpful tips/instructions on my site and this ought to help!

Keep me posted on how your suspension is setup (and Ga426owner's)...It would be interesting to see what you are running in comparison to wahtever I end up running! Happy Holidays,

Garrett Berg

  • MX_Tuner

Posted December 27, 2001 - 02:02 PM


If you're not happy with the shock, change it. I think I'd look at going a little lighter on the high speed compression. You may be able to adjust some of that out.

How about the forks? Any complaints?

What makes you think sending them off to anyone would have given a better ride than what you have?

  • John_Curea

Posted December 27, 2001 - 05:26 PM


Glad to hear everything worked out good.

There is always something to be said for doing a job yourself.

About getting into a job that you like, sounds to me , like you are already heading there....

And if you are getting into the engineering aspect, lets design a variable metering orifice that replaces the piston and shim concept.

Maybe we will start a future post with that topic to toss around!!

Your post generated (at this point) 79 replies!!

About meeting up in March, we have a spare set of YZ forks coming in from Cali, that we are going to use for testing. I will bring those with me to Ga. I have an extra shock from a 00 Cr125, I am still looking for a YZ shock.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas :)

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