Front end feel & stability...



34 replies to this topic
  • Bturner

Posted November 27, 2013 - 08:42 PM

#1

I recently bought an 09 & I've had a few weekends to ride it & get a feel for it. I've noticed how the front end doesn't feel so stable when I really try to push the bike. I was aware I may feel this from all the reading I've done prior to buying the bike. My question(s) is, does the radiator lowering kit help a lot with this? Is it worth getting? Is there other things that I can do/adjust to help the bike feel more planted? I feel like if I push it to hard I'm gonna wad it.

The bike has smart performance suspension sprung for my weight & valved for the woods. It feels really plush & doesn't kick any.

What about moving the forks, adjusting the rebound, sag, moving the rear axle, bars, etc? It's got a new front tire & I'm running 10#psi in both tires as well.

Thanks

  • Yzflier977

Posted November 28, 2013 - 04:22 PM

#2

I've got the same bike and I ride exclusively MX.  I ride at the intermediate level and here's some settings that I've found works to plant the front end a little better.  Slide the forks up in the triple clamps anywhere from 5-8 MM.  This changes the rake and trail (not sure by how much) and it turns in better.  Race sag is very important for front end feel. Mine is happiest at 106 believe it or not.  Also the 9 oz GYRT heavy flywheel weight will help it track better at lower RMP's and you can carry a gear higher than without and it helped my bike with tracking in the corners better.  Also soften your forks up as much as the biggest jump will let you.  That'll let the front end settle into ruts and corners better.  Hope that helps.



  • Yzflier977

Posted November 28, 2013 - 04:25 PM

#3

Also while I don't have personal experience with the radiator lowering kit, I've heard that in order to do that you would have to get the Dr.D header. The stock header has a bend that won't let the right side radiator be lowered without hitting the header.

  • Bturner

Posted November 28, 2013 - 04:27 PM

#4

I've got the same bike and I ride exclusively MX. I ride at the intermediate level and here's some settings that I've found works to plant the front end a little better. Slide the forks up in the triple clamps anywhere from 5-8 MM. This changes the rake and trail (not sure by how much) and it turns in better. Race sag is very important for front end feel. Mine is happiest at 106 believe it or not. Also the 9 oz GYRT heavy flywheel weight will help it track better at lower RMP's and you can carry a gear higher than without and it helped my bike with tracking in the corners better. Also soften your forks up as much as the biggest jump will let you. That'll let the front end settle into ruts and corners better. Hope that helps.


Man thanks a lot. Those were some answers I was hoping to hear. I figured with setting it up right it would help. I already have the 9pz FWW on it. I haven't set the sag yet & I figured that would help balance it out a lot. What about the lowering kit? Do you use that? I have an FMF power bomb & 4.1, so I'd have to go back to the stock header or buy a Dr. D header to put the lot on. I hate to take the pipe off, so I'm hoping I can settle this thing down without doing all that. Thanks

  • Yzflier977

Posted November 28, 2013 - 05:22 PM

#5

Don't have the lowering kit so can't comment on that with any first hand knowledge.  They say it helps but it only lowers it like 10 millimeters or so.  I'd call Dr.D and ask if your current header will work with their lowering kit and just see.  If it were me I'd get the bike setup properly and see how much that helps before doing the lowering mod.  Sag really made a difference with my bike for what it's worth.  Good luck.



  • Bturner

Posted November 28, 2013 - 07:29 PM

#6

Don't have the lowering kit so can't comment on that with any first hand knowledge. They say it helps but it only lowers it like 10 millimeters or so. I'd call Dr.D and ask if your current header will work with their lowering kit and just see. If it were me I'd get the bike setup properly and see how much that helps before doing the lowering mod. Sag really made a difference with my bike for what it's worth. Good luck.


Thanks bud, I'll set it tomorrow. I'll try moving the forks after that. Hope I can get it worked out. I've never had a bike feel like this. The bike feels really good & comfy, I was able to get on it & go fast right away, but once I get to that point, it just feels a little unstable & I'm not 100% confident in the bike.

  • vic2340

Posted November 29, 2013 - 06:36 AM

#7

I have an 09 with mx/woods valving setup for my weight by factory connection. My bike rides more stable than any bike ive ever ridden. I have the rad lowering kit and drd exhaust. I wouldn't say that the rad lowering kit does anything though. I think its a gimmick. Anyways in the factory connection suspension pamphlet i have says that a bike unstable at high speeds in the front end due to head shake or any of those symptoms is due to too much compression dampening. Go to the top of your forks and turn the clickers out two turns and ride it. See if it helps.

  • Bturner

Posted November 29, 2013 - 06:46 AM

#8

I have an 09 with mx/woods valving setup for my weight by factory connection. My bike rides more stable than any bike ive ever ridden. I have the rad lowering kit and drd exhaust. I wouldn't say that the rad lowering kit does anything though. I think its a gimmick. Anyways in the factory connection suspension pamphlet i have says that a bike unstable at high speeds in the front end due to head shake or any of those symptoms is due to too much compression dampening. Go to the top of your forks and turn the clickers out two turns and ride it. See if it helps.

So soften the front end a bit? I've actually tried that because I normally like to run my front end fairly stiff. It seems to help the bike hold a line better in the rougher stuff. But I soften my forks up a lot this past weekend because it was really rocky up in Telico, NC where we rode.

Have you seen anybody talk about using a steering dampener? Thanks

  • grayracer513

Posted November 29, 2013 - 07:34 AM

#9

You're talking about stability under what specific conditions?  High speeds?  Cornering? Rocky ground?  What?



  • Bturner

Posted November 29, 2013 - 03:19 PM

#10

You're talking about stability under what specific conditions? High speeds? Cornering? Rocky ground? What?



Gray, it's really noticeable in rocky conditions at low to medium speeds. It's really rocky here in GA & they are all hidden under the leafs, so your constantly hitting rocks you don't even see. The bike just doesn't feel as planted & stable as my other bikes have on the same trails & conditions.

Also at mid-high speeds there's a feeling of not being fully planted. Just in the rough chop...

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  • grayracer513

Posted November 30, 2013 - 08:11 AM

#11

I know that you're going slow in terms of vehicle speed, but because the speed of the compression stroke is fast as you strike the rock, you're dealing with high speed damping.  High speed compression in the fork, especially high speed/low amplitude hits like a 3" stone, is about 1/4-1/3 compression valve, and 2/3-3/4 mid valve.  Try backing off the compression clickers all the way out once to see how that works.  It may be enough, but you will probably need to have the mid valve restacked (along with the rest of the fork) in order to really get to what you want.  The compression clicker only controls the bleed on the base valve, not the mid.  the mid is a part of the rebound assembly and uses the bleed from the rebound adjuster.

 

Having the rebound too stiff aggravates this problem if the fork can't recover from the hit quickly  enough, too.



  • Bturner

Posted November 30, 2013 - 09:17 AM

#12

Sounds good. That's one thing I didn't know about compression & rebound, what part of the stroke they control. That's good to know. So your saying try running the compression clickers all the way soft to see how it reacts & to slow down the rebound a bit? That's one thing I haven't touched yet, the rebound, only the compression. I'm riding tomorrow, so I'll set the sag & adjust the clickers to see what that does for feel.

Gray, what about forks? I've read a lot about keeping them at 5mm, some even running them flush to get more rake. What's your opinion on the forks?

  • grayracer513

Posted November 30, 2013 - 09:50 AM

#13

No, don't slow the rebound, maybe open it up a bit.

 

The height of the tubes in the clamps and the fork rake aren't really a consideration for that situation.



  • Bturner

Posted November 30, 2013 - 09:52 AM

#14

Got it. Thanks. I'll let you know how it goes & give some feedback tomorrow.

  • vic2340

Posted December 01, 2013 - 08:57 AM

#15

Yeah to much compression dampening could be bad for high speeds as well as slow speeds. If you think about it you dont want your bike to bounce off of bumps. You want it to absorb them. When you are too stiff you get headshake because the suspension is bouncing off of the ground and not keeping the tire well planted.

  • vic2340

Posted December 01, 2013 - 09:04 AM

#16

In any case the Yamahas stock sss suspension is very decent, you should never get any instability with it even in stock form. My suggestion is set your clickers stock, leave the rebound stock and just go out two turns on the top of the fork for compression dampening. You should be good. And if your rebound feels to sticky and you want your forks a little more responsive for the rocks go out a few clicks in two click adjustments on the bottom of your forks for rebound. For compression dampening the only way you are to soft is if you are bottoming out, remember that.

  • grayracer513

Posted December 01, 2013 - 10:10 AM

#17

He's not talking about head shake at high speeds, his problem is deflection off rocks, etc., at lower speeds. 



  • Bturner

Posted December 02, 2013 - 06:37 PM

#18

So I rode this weekend & set the clickers back to stock setting to have a baseline to start with. The bike felt to jumpy & deflecting more than where I was at. The front end was way to busy. Front was 12/12 & rear was 10/12 (comp/rebound). Bike felt a bit stiff to, it was ok at 3rd gear trails, but crawling down some rocky, washed out trails it was stiff & deflecting. I turned the rebound out 2 clicks & compression out 2. It felt a bit worst, but softer. So I figured I was going the wrong way. (It's been a year since I've had to dial new suspension, so this is a refresher) so I went back in 2 clicks to where it originally was, then in 2 more (rebound). So it was definitely moving to fast. So I slowed it down 2 more clicks on the front & rear & softened it 1 more click. Felt worlds better, but not perfect. I was feeling all the square edge bumps in the top of the stroke, so isn't that compression? It's that almost vibrating like feeling in my arms to my shoulders. I rode it like that the rest if the day. I just stopped there I wouldn't get to lost. What do y'all think so far?

  • Team_Oatmeal_Pie

Posted December 02, 2013 - 08:07 PM

#19

Couldnt tell from your posts - but in one you mentioned not having set the sag yet.

 

Do that first, and then dial in the clickers, otherwise the adjustments you are trying to make may be only necessary because of an incorrect sag setting. 



  • grayracer513

Posted December 03, 2013 - 07:40 AM

#20

Two clicks either way on your compression is fine tuning.  You can't fine tune for a major adjustment.

 

And yes, square edge impact harshness is a compression matter, but it's high speed in suspension terms, regardless of how fast the bike is going.

 

The trouble is that the short, high speed strokes like hitting rocks at low speeds are damped largely by the mid valve, and there is no independent external adjustment for that.  It uses the same bleed circuit as the rebound, and because of the differences in how the valves work, the rebound adjuster will only have about 1/6 as much effect on mid valve response as it does on the rebound.

 

And, you didn't take the approach I told you to try: back the compression adjuster all the way out.  Then come out 4 on the rebound and try that on one of your rocky sections.

 

Ideally, the fork would be revalved for this kind of work so it could be better balanced between the mid and rebound, but short of that, give this a try







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