2012 WR450 spring rates vs rider weight


6 replies to this topic
  • drdanbozeman

Posted April 15, 2013 - 11:00 AM

#1

I know a lot of guys on the 450 forum have stated that they changed fork & shock springs because they are heavy. I'm at the opposite range of the spectrum and weigh 150 without riding gear. I had my bike mechanic help me with suspension setup: with stock settings the rear static sag was under minimum at 20 mm and rider sag was 80 mm. By removing a lot of pre-load (rear shock) we were able to get 99 mm rider sag, using a desirable range of 95-105. We looked at fork sag as well, I don't remember the numbers, but it was a bit stiff. Stock suspension on most enduro bikes is set for a weight range of 70-85 kg, and I'm 68 kg. We called RaceTech and they said I could go one spring-rate softer front and rear - key word is could. I'm too close to call one way or the other.

I don't race and I ride at a moderate pace, but do get into terrain that requires good suspension travel. I'd like the bike to be set up right, so my question is--- Since this is a borderline case, is it worth going to a lighter spring rate in order to assure good suspension setup?

  • whatsitmatter

Posted April 15, 2013 - 11:53 AM

#2

Take this with a grain of salt - but unless you are racing - I wouldn't worry too much about that difference since it's on the 'stiffer' side...

I'm right with ya, 145lbs. I'm riding a wr450 (2004 so suspension has softened up a bit) that was adjusted for a 180 lb rider. I can sit on it and it sags an inch and a half.. I bought it used a little while ago and haven't bothered to adjust the setup. It works for me , I'm not a racer , just like to have fun in the trails...

Ride with what you are comfortable with. Since you are not a racer - I can't imagine your difference affecting you too much since it's on the 'stiffer' side... but everyone has an opinion! I've always thought a stiffer setup is better any how... so if it's setup stiff and you are comfortable with it, why not ride it. The cost of the lighter springs / suspension setup may not be worth the difference in rideability for what you are doing.

It's a little different with heavier riders cause too much sag or plush suspension may affect the handling. Each to their own tho.

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted April 15, 2013 - 01:57 PM

#3

So, here's my point of view.

It does NOT MATTER if you are a racer or a trail rider.
The most important reason for getting sag correct, is for proper steering geometry, number one, and suspension balance from front to rear, two.
Too stiff, too soft, it doesn't matter if you can get the front and rear balanced, AND get the sag numbers you need to get the kind of over-steer or under-steer you are looking for.

If you can't get the sag numbers you want, then you need to change BOTH FRONT AND REAR SPRINGS at the same time. Most WR riders I have met are set up waaaaay to soft, and waaaaay to under damped, and therefore ride sitting down too much, and fall down a lot, due to constant out-of-control weight transfer from front to rear, making the bike unstable

I personally like a bit of oversteer on my Japanese bikes, so I play with rear wheel turning (steering damper must be off) to get the balance I need. Usually, it is 22/98 for the '07-11 WR chassis, and 25/105 for the stock '03-'06 chassis. This makes the bike steer extremely easy from the rear when standing up, but not too easy when sitting down, when over-steer can cause high-siding ....which is bad.

I suggest you use Racetech's spring guide exactly, front and rear, and put in a set of emulators and fresh oil, and see how you like it.

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  • Remington_NC

Posted April 17, 2013 - 09:21 AM

#4

I've been riding a while now, and the opposite of you in weight. I would agree with most of the comments here as I am new to getting my suspension tuned.

Here is the deal as I understand and have personally tested it.

If your light (using stock springs) the forks and shock move through their travel slow and the circuits in your valves are doing their job properly. It might feel firm, but this is not bad.

If your heavy (using stock springs) the forks and shock move through their travel too fast and this feels really harsh and abrupt. This is because your forcing oil through the valves at a velocity they were not designed for. You need to slow the oil down so the valves can meter better. When you add firmer springs it slows the action of the oil down and things act and feel better again. It seems weird that soft springs will cause a harsh ride, but if your too heavy for them this is exactly what happens, it will literally feel more plush with firmer springs. Counter intuitive but true.

If I had to pick I think your on the better end of the spectrum. If you want to make a change on a dirt bike suspension is everything. I would do this kind of messing around before I would add power. Like the other guys said here, if your riding for fun it comes down to how much you want to spend versus how much you want to improve your ride feel. I would mess around with it, springs and oil is pretty cheap, but if your low on cash then keep riding until you have the extra bucks.

Good luck

  • whatsitmatter

Posted April 17, 2013 - 09:52 AM

#5

Yea - I've always ridden my dirt bikes with factory setup which is typically for a rider 30-40 lbs heavier then me.

Maybe I just don't ride through the gnarley stuff fast enough, but I don't have any issues of bike sliding where I don't want it to. I had always thought a stiffer setup is best - so if you are light, changing the suspension/shocks from factory is more for comfort then control.

  • GP1K

Posted April 17, 2013 - 02:27 PM

#6

So, here's my point of view.

It does NOT MATTER if you are a racer or a trail rider.
The most important reason for getting sag correct, is for proper steering geometry, number one, and suspension balance from front to rear, two.
Too stiff, too soft, it doesn't matter if you can get the front and rear balanced, AND get the sag numbers you need to get the kind of over-steer or under-steer you are looking for.

If you can't get the sag numbers you want, then you need to change BOTH FRONT AND REAR SPRINGS at the same time. Most WR riders I have met are set up waaaaay to soft, and waaaaay to under damped, and therefore ride sitting down too much, and fall down a lot, due to constant out-of-control weight transfer from front to rear, making the bike unstable

I personally like a bit of oversteer on my Japanese bikes, so I play with rear wheel turning (steering damper must be off) to get the balance I need. Usually, it is 22/98 for the '07-11 WR chassis, and 25/105 for the stock '03-'06 chassis. This makes the bike steer extremely easy from the rear when standing up, but not too easy when sitting down, when over-steer can cause high-siding ....which is bad.

I suggest you use Racetech's spring guide exactly, front and rear, and put in a set of emulators and fresh oil, and see how you like it.


+1

It's not just about a stiff or soft feeling ride, it's about balance and getting the sag right so the bike handles properly. Yes a little stiff is probably better than a little soft in most cases, but you'll never get the max out of your suspension unless it's properly sprung and set up for your weight.

Best money you spend on a dirt bike, IMO.

  • JDLowrance

Posted April 17, 2013 - 03:47 PM

#7

Don't know how many hours you have on your bike but it takes about 5 hours or so to properly break in the bushings and seals on the 2012 WR.

Once broken in I think you'll find the bike is plenty soft and controlled for your intended use. If you're set at 100-105mm rider and 20-40mm static I wouldn't seat swapping out the springs.

No need for cartridge emulators on this bike as it is equiped with cartridge forks with plenty of adjustment on the LS, HS and rebound to achieve any kind of suspension action you could desire. Being as light as you are I would recommend adjusting the shocks HS comp adjuster from 1 turn out to 2 out leaving everything else stock and give it a go. Think you might find it's perfect as is. If it still feels too stiff for the riding you are doing do as Krannie suggests and soften up fornt and rear together to maintain balance front to rear. Take a couple clicks of LS compression out of the fork and shock simultaniously until you get ti soft enough for your type and style of riding.

Enjoy the ride.

Edited by JDLowrance, April 17, 2013 - 03:51 PM.





 
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