What suspension tuning can be done at home? 2006 WR450


8 replies to this topic
  • condor74

Posted February 17, 2014 - 08:18 PM

#1

Pretty much what the title says.  Here is the background of myself and the bike.  A few months ago I picked up a 3rd bike unexpectedly in a trade. It is a used 2006 WR450 that seems to be in fairly good shape.  I have 3 bikes total.  A 2004 CRF250X that I have had since new, A 2002 KX250 that is a lot of fun and in great shape and now the WR. 

 

I have not fallen in complete love with the WR on the few rides I have taken it on.  I have had it out about 5 or 10 times now and there are some glaring issues that bug me. (At least with the style of riding I do and what I am used to).  The power is to low end oriented for me but with time adjusting my shifting I may overcome this.  I would like some more rpm and high end power. The bike is heavy which brings me to my biggest issue.  The suspension.  If i could get this dialed in along with a few other improvments, I think the bike could be an excellent bike.

 

The Forks seem extremely soft.  The bike is the heaviest in my stable of bikes and it seems to blow through suspension travel on the smallest of jumps.  Mind you I am not hitting huge jumps with this but on drop offs and small off road style jumps or just doubling up large desert woops.  I want to make the bike into my desert open area bike.   The place I rode it this weekend was out in Spangler Hills near Ridgecrest..  It felt nose heavy.  I cant really judge the rear shock as I felt like the front was so weak.  Perhaps if the forks were staying up in the stroke the, rear shock would show an issue but I cant judge it completly yet. 

 

I have not messed with the clickers yet and I suppose I should start there.  This last weekend I had other things going and did not get to ride near as much as I would have liked so no adjustment time.  What is everyone elses experience with the 2005 to 2006 WR suspension?  What can be done at home with out sending the forks or shock out to have them rebuilt and tuned?  Should I post this in the suspension section as well?  I am 5 10 180 with out gear on. 



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted February 18, 2014 - 06:58 AM

#2

The stock forks have a problem from the factory; the bottom valve is made of suspect components, and probably no longer works.

They usually last about one or two rides in the hands of an aggressive rider.

 

The fork is extremely easy to work on

 

The shock will require one special tool and re-charging

 

 I would recommend at least the RaceTech kit and at most  the Smart Performance fork and shock upgrade kits for the near maximum improvement on the fork and shock, and of course springs to match your weight.

 

Beyond that, it is possibly simpler and easier to replace the front fork with the 2006 YZ250/450 fork (direct bolt on).



  • condor74

Posted February 18, 2014 - 02:25 PM

#3

The stock forks have a problem from the factory; the bottom valve is made of suspect components, and probably no longer works.

They usually last about one or two rides in the hands of an aggressive rider.

 

The fork is extremely easy to work on

 

The shock will require one special tool and re-charging

 

 I would recommend at least the RaceTech kit and at most  the Smart Performance fork and shock upgrade kits for the near maximum improvement on the fork and shock, and of course springs to match your weight.

 

Beyond that, it is possibly simpler and easier to replace the front fork with the 2006 YZ250/450 fork (direct bolt on).

Thank you that is the kind of information I was looking for...  Money is very tight right now (when isnt it) but it is especially tight at the moment so I was looking for things I could do myself in my garage.  I am a professional auto mechanic by trade so working on things are not an issue. No degree of dificulty scares me but if something is made of suspect components then I would be wasting my time. The fork off the YZ.  Is 2006 the only year that swaps on or are there other years.  And the YZ forks do not have any of the reliability problems right?



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted February 18, 2014 - 04:36 PM

#4

The YZ250/450 from 2005 fit's too, but is is the AISS fork, not the SSS fork, which is the 'good' one on the 2006, with the 'large' caliper.

Every year after requires increasingly more YZ parts for it to work, specifically caliper, then wheel.

 

Smart Performance's kit's are relatively inexpensive.

 

The WR forks is open  bath, with cheap plastic and mild steel bottom valve/spring and is not worth maintaining, unless you upgrade it.

 

If you are looking for supple, or triple jump capability the open bath fork can be made to do one or the other, but not both.

The KYB SSS fork is, along with the 2008 Honda Showa forks and 2008 KX KYB forks,  the best production forks ever made to date IMHO.


Edited by TheKoolAidMadeMeSick, February 18, 2014 - 04:40 PM.


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  • condor74

Posted February 18, 2014 - 04:54 PM

#5

There is a set of yz450 forks for sale fairly close to me for 250 dollars but they are from a 2004 bike.  They come with clamps and stearing stem.



  • grayracer513

Posted February 19, 2014 - 07:46 AM

#6

You have an improved version of the '04 fork already.  Buying the '04 would be a waste.

 

The biggest improvement you could possibly make to the WR450 fork is the SMART Performance Phase 4 kit.  Completely re-configures the base valve assembly into something much more useful and tunable than the OEM setup.  They work so well that some people prefer them to the '06+ YZ450 fork once they're done up.  Once you've done the shock, you'll be giggling to yourself at how simple they actually are.  Not that there aren't a couple of cautions to observe, but just the same.

 

As far as special tools, you can get by without them on the fork, but having a cartridge body holder makes things much easier, and a real seal driver just works way better than a home made one.  As far as the shock goes, I can't think of any special tools that are actually required except to refill the nitrogen. 



  • condor74

Posted February 19, 2014 - 10:45 AM

#7

What is the weight range that the stock springs were intended for? 



  • grayracer513

Posted February 19, 2014 - 02:53 PM

#8

What is the weight range that the stock springs were intended for? 

 

around 170-195 without gear.



  • condor74

Posted February 19, 2014 - 02:58 PM

#9

That is good because I am 180ish with out gear.   I should be good with spring rates just a revalve and some good components in the stock fork should work for me then.






 
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