0.52 or 0.54 fork springs for woods riding ? Springs damage by tiedowns ?


15 replies to this topic
  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 12, 2014 - 11:04 AM

#1

2012 WR450F, lightened 22 pounds.  Runs great.  I'm, 6'1", 215-220 pounds in street clothes. My riding gear is pretty light. 

 

Forks resprung with 0.50 Kg/mm Racetech springs.  Oil level 330ccs.  Fork rebound is -2 clicks from stock.   Fork compression is about -4 from stock.  

 

Shock resprung with 6.0 Kg/mm Racetech spring.  Rebound -1 from stock.  HS compression, about 1.5 turns out.  LS compression, about 4 clicks out from stock.   Pretty soft, pretty plush, at least compared to some bikes I've ridden.

 

My WR is mostly used in tight woods.  Occasionally on ATV trails.  The front is pretty plush in that it isn't deflecting off rocks and roots anymore.  Nor do I get sore wrists !    The rear is still a bit rough on roots, but pretty good on everything else.  A 3 foot drop will pretty much bottom both ends of the bike.  4 feet for sure.  That doesn't happen often with where we ride.

 

Fork static sag is 21mm.  Race sag is 52 to 58 mm.  Both measured along the fork itself.

 

Shock static sag is 13mm.   Race sag is about 98mm.  Measured to the ground, so there is a bit of tire squish in there too.  Probably 95mm if measured to the frame.  I realize that is a bit less than what some recommend, but the bike turns a lot better with a tall rear suspension.

 

Problem: the front end seems to ride low all the time.  It also seems to dive a lot when using the front brake, especially on downhills.  I don't trust the fork on fast terrain, especially if its bumpy and/or downhill.  The front end doesn't wash out since I put an IRC Vulcanenduro (VE33) on it and it seems to steer nice, but what do I know ?

 

I thought the forks were great when I first installed the 0.50 springs in them.  Is my mind playing tricks on me or have they softened up ?  FWIW, I bottomed the forks with the stock oil/springs on a regular basis in moderate bumps. That no longer happens, but I still feel the front is soft.

 

I realize that the forks would be somewhat stiffer if I had 350ccs of oil in them.  Will bumping up the oil level be enough, or should I slap in a set of stiffer springs too.   Judging by the sag numbers, the 0.50s seem stiff enough ?  My concern is that increasing the oil doesn't increase the stiffness until they compress a bit, which is kind of too late in the stroke ?

 

Is anyone my size (about 195-200 pounds equivalent with the weight removed from my bike) running 0.52 or 0.54s on their WR in the woods and how do you find them ?  What are your sag numbers ?

 

FWIW, my friend, who is similar in size to me, is running 0.5s on his YZ125 woods racer special.  I think the forks are a bit stiff on it, but generally work well.  Given that my bike weighs about 30 pounds more than his, shouldn't I be running at least 0.52s ?

 

Finally, does compressing the fork when tying down the bike harm the springs in any way ?  I tend to crank down pretty hard on the tie downs when hauling my bike.  Would measuring the free length of the installed springs tell if they are ?  Does one need a spacer between the fender and the front wheel, like the KTM boys use ?

 

Thanks in advance !


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 12, 2014 - 11:07 AM.


  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 12, 2014 - 11:09 AM

#2

Any chance this is a bar position issue and my fork just feels low/soft due to rider position ?  I mean if its plush and its not bottoming and the sag numbers look ok then maybe I should live with the dive it has and compensate other ways ?



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 12, 2014 - 11:35 AM

#3

When I use the RaceTech spring calculator, I have to be an expert before it even gets to recommending the springs I have (0.50s).  I generated the following using a rider weight of 200 pounds, ie 220 pounds actual after removing 20 pounds from my bike.

 

Scenario #1

 

Modifiers:
Riding Type: Trail/Enduro
Age: 45 years and Older
Skill Level: Dirt Novice/Intermediate/C Class
Height: Standard Height
Gas Tank: Standard Gas Tank

FRONT FORK SPRINGS
Recommended Fork Spring Rate: 0.45 kg/mm (use closest available)

 

 

Scenario #2

 

Modifiers:
Riding Type: Trail/Enduro
Age: 45 years and Older
Skill Level: Dirt Intermediate/Expert/A Class
Height: Tall (6'3" or 190cm plus)
Gas Tank: Standard Gas Tank

FRONT FORK SPRINGS
Recommended Fork Spring Rate: 0.494 kg/mm (use closest available)

 

Scenario #3

 

Modifiers:
Riding Type: Trail/Enduro
Age: 45 years and Older
Skill Level: Dirt Professional
Height: Tall (6'3" or 190cm plus)
Gas Tank: Standard Gas Tank

FRONT FORK SPRINGS
Recommended Fork Spring Rate: 0.509 kg/mm (use closest available)

 

 

Scenario #4

 

Riding Type: Trail/Enduro
Age: Standard Age - Up to 29
Skill Level: Dirt Intermediate/Expert/A Class
Height: Tall (6'3" or 190cm plus)
Gas Tank: Standard Gas Tank

FRONT FORK SPRINGS
Recommended Fork Spring Rate: 0.524 kg/mm (use closest available)

 

The other interesting aspect is that the highest shock spring they recommend is about 5.8.  Most times its a 5.6.   I'm pretty happy with the 6.0 I have on my bike.  Maybe this is why the front feels soft ?   The bike is unbalanced suspension wise ?


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 12, 2014 - 11:37 AM.


  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 12, 2014 - 01:10 PM

#4

You are way overthinking this.

 

Turn your compression clickers in.....way in... and see what you get. You should get much less dive....

The forks will stay higher in the stroke all the time, giving you more suspension travel.

...but does it get too harsh? Then back off the rebound a few clicks or more until that problem stops. 

 

You should not be able to lift the front wheel off the ground faster than the suspension pushes it back down. 

If you can, it will pack and get harsh.

 

...or,....you have the rear set up way too firm, causing a severe weight transfer from rear to front....or

...you need a re-valve fornt and rear.

 

Stock valving is for ultra-beginners.

 

Basic clicker tuning:

Standing next to the bike, front brake engaged, push down on the closest foot peg....hard.  The bike should react nearly evenly front and back. 

Pump it up and down with that foot peg. Soften clickers on the 'stiff ' end to match to soft end. If too soft when riding, click in both front and rear at the same time.

Keep the rebound loose until you find the right suspension reaction for compression, then add more rebound if it pushes back at you.

This will ONLY adjust the low speed damper settings. To adjust the high speed you can only adjust the rear using the outer clicker. The forks have to be re-worked.

 

* Do you self a favor, and turn your rear high speed setting out 1/2 turn or more and leave it there. You will notice much better rear traction.

Mine is out 1 turn from stock, and I still don't bottom (but I am revalved)

 

Springs do one thing only: hold the bike up at the right height.

They have little  to do with 'soft' or 'hard' suspension when you are riding, unless waaaay over or under sprung.

That is created by the damper valving.

 

Send them to the closest reputable tuner


Edited by Kah Ran Nee, August 12, 2014 - 01:13 PM.


  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 12, 2014 - 01:31 PM

#5

I believe I have the clickers dialed correctly OR I'm in need of a revalve.  

 

I've been fine tuning clickers on my last 3-4 rides.  Other than the fork being too soft and riding low, its really good.  Prior to backing off the compression damping I was getting sore wrists.   And the front tire was deflecting off of everything.  We ride in rocks and roots all day long, so that was a problem.  I've got as little rebound damping as possible for the front end to not feel like a pogo.  I've got compression damping backed off so that I'm not getting jolts through the handlebars, the front wheel is staying planted and its not deflecting off stuff.

 

Damping shouldn't be a substitute for fork dive when braking.   That happens so slow that damping shouldn't play a role.   Damping only matters when the fork is moving.   I believe my options are more oil or stronger springs.

 

I do plan to revalve my forks at some point.  I'll be doing that myself.   I want to get the spring rate correct before I do so.

 

You might be right about decreasing the high speed damping on the rear.   I was going to do that on m last ride, but didn't have the opportunity.

 

BTW, Krannie, some of your hill climb tips were golden.  In particular, I blasted one huge hill wide open in second.  Even got airborn a few times.   The other bikes in the group made it as well, but I think I looked the best doing it ! That matters for something, right ?   At least it made up for the hill that I didn't clear... LOL.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 12, 2014 - 01:42 PM.


  • RockerYZWR

Posted August 12, 2014 - 02:00 PM

#6

FWIW, I weigh around 220 all geared up (including Camelbak), the bike is probably 280 lbs all said and done with the extra protective gear I have on there and I run the stock .47 springs that came in the '06 YZ450 my forks came off of and it works great for desert and offroad for my ability. I ran RT .50s in those forks for a little while, but felt it was way over-sprung, and changing fluid levels didn't help much. So I went with the stock .47s and 345 mL of 5 wt and it works very well for me. I jump the bike regularly, sometimes flat landing the crap out of it, and it doesn't bottom too badly. Under most circumstances, it never bottoms, and I feel that it has a good, fairly plush feel early in the stroke. The mid stroke can be a bit harsh - I realize that now that I'm also on another SSS-equipped bike that's been revalved for offroad (which I sprung for me and adjusted fork fluid level).

But for the stock YZ450 springs and valving (which I can't be 100% sure that it's stock valving until I take apart those shim stacks), it does pretty well on rocks, ruts, sand, and ugly obstacles. I could honestly probably use a set of .48s in there. I run race sag at 105mm (25mm static) on a 5.8 rear. I can't recite my clicker settings right now, but I change them up and down a couple of clicks regularly anyway. I use the front/rear balance checking method that Krannie described - it'll at least get you close.

I personally think you need a good 15-20 cc more oil in each fork before you chase an impossible problem with the clickers. It'll make a difference. 330 for a heavier rider is pretty low (regardless of the 22 lb weight loss - I run 350 in my YZ, and that bike is under 230 lbs and feels awesome).

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 12, 2014 - 02:55 PM

#7

I believe I have the clickers dialed correctly OR I'm in need of a revalve.  

 

I've been fine tuning clickers on my last 3-4 rides.  Other than the fork being too soft and riding low, its really good.  Prior to backing off the compression damping I was getting sore wrists.   And the front tire was deflecting off of everything.  We ride in rocks and roots all day long, so that was a problem.  I've got as little rebound damping as possible for the front end to not feel like a pogo.  I've got compression damping backed off so that I'm not getting jolts through the handlebars, the front wheel is staying planted and its not deflecting off stuff.

 

Damping shouldn't be a substitute for fork dive when braking.   That happens so slow that damping shouldn't play a role.   Damping only matters when the fork is moving.   I believe my options are more oil or stronger springs.

 

I do plan to revalve my forks at some point.  I'll be doing that myself.   I want to get the spring rate correct before I do so.

 

You might be right about decreasing the high speed damping on the rear.   I was going to do that on m last ride, but didn't have the opportunity.

 

BTW, Krannie, some of your hill climb tips were golden.  In particular, I blasted one huge hill wide open in second.  Even got airborn a few times.   The other bikes in the group made it as well, but I think I looked the best doing it ! That matters for something, right ?   At least it made up for the hill that I didn't clear... LOL.

 

Actually, you have that backwards.

You only pick spring weight for sag. Do not try and alter ride with spring tension!

If you do, you will screw up the handling big time.

Once you have the correct spring rate by measuring sag, you are DONE with spring rate changes. No reason to alter them.

You want to try and achieve the baseline sag numbers with spring rates so you can acheive the neutral handling the engineers strived so hard to acheive.

If you over spring, you will have much much worse low speed problems than you do now. It will essetially be rigid for small bump terrain, and your fork stiction will go up.

Diving when braking, with the proper sag numbers is 100% damping.

 

You never change oil height when the damping is too soft. It will not solve the problem.

You only change oil height for everything past half travel. It changes the air spring.

 

If you can't bottom the forks with soft compression settings, you have oil height that is too high.

If you can't use the last 15% of travel on hard riding, you oil height it too high.

 

Raising the oil height will make your problem worse, as the forks will spike sooner.

Changing the oil density will also make it worse, also causing it to spike sooner.

 

These are not open-bath forks, so you must not think of them like all the forks on your older bikes.

Cartridge forks are very sophisicated, and come from the factory with too soft non-linear damping characteristics, too spikey (SSS valve too sensitive), and under sprung.

 

You need a re-valve.

You need to alter the pressure spring (that handles the first 2" of travel and fork 'topping')

You need to change the pop-off pressure to start later and ramp slower so you can increase the compression settings withtout getting spiking.

You need to alter the to shim stacks to get the fork to move less with the same pressure, and transition better.

 

It's ALL about the damping!


Edited by Kah Ran Nee, August 12, 2014 - 02:58 PM.


  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 12, 2014 - 05:38 PM

#8

I personally think you need a good 15-20 cc more oil in each fork before you chase an impossible problem with the clickers. It'll make a difference. 330 for a heavier rider is pretty low (regardless of the 22 lb weight loss - I run 350 in my YZ, and that bike is under 230 lbs and feels awesome).

 

I'll give that a try.  Thanks for the info.



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  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 12, 2014 - 06:06 PM

#9

'welcome



  • revelc

Posted August 13, 2014 - 06:46 PM

#10

Since you guys are on the subject I need help.

I'm clueless as to how to tune my suspension.

I have a 2012 WR450
I weigh 220 pounds
I ride in rolling pastures and single track.

I turned the clickers all the way in them 4 out front and rear as I assumed I had too much weight for the stock settings.

At one point on a ride I hit a 12" ledge and it flung my ass end around almost completely sideways when the rear tire hit. Definitely scared the poop out of me.

How can I set my sag by myself?
How do I tune the other settings properly before I mess with oil and springs?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


2014 WRR R.I.Pieces
2012 WR450F ECU, GYTR tuner, Q4, MSR rad guards, Cycra Pros, and a growing wish list...

Edited by revelc, August 13, 2014 - 06:48 PM.


  • GP1K

Posted August 14, 2014 - 07:53 AM

#11

Since you guys are on the subject I need help.

I'm clueless as to how to tune my suspension.

I have a 2012 WR450
I weigh 220 pounds
I ride in rolling pastures and single track.

I turned the clickers all the way in them 4 out front and rear as I assumed I had too much weight for the stock settings.

At one point on a ride I hit a 12" ledge and it flung my ass end around almost completely sideways when the rear tire hit. Definitely scared the poop out of me.

How can I set my sag by myself?
How do I tune the other settings properly before I mess with oil and springs?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


2014 WRR R.I.Pieces
2012 WR450F ECU, GYTR tuner, Q4, MSR rad guards, Cycra Pros, and a growing wish list...

 

You MUST do springs first. You absolutely cannot make up for too light of springs with clicker settings, it just doesn't work that way. It just makes the problem worse, as you discovered. You will never be able to set your sag correctly with too soft of springs, and at 220 you are definitely too heavy for the stock springs.

 

Put your clickers back to stock, get your bike sprung for your weight and then go from there.



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 14, 2014 - 01:25 PM

#12

Since you guys are on the subject I need help.

I'm clueless as to how to tune my suspension.

I have a 2012 WR450
I weigh 220 pounds
I ride in rolling pastures and single track.

I turned the clickers all the way in them 4 out front and rear as I assumed I had too much weight for the stock settings.

At one point on a ride I hit a 12" ledge and it flung my ass end around almost completely sideways when the rear tire hit. Definitely scared the poop out of me.

How can I set my sag by myself?
How do I tune the other settings properly before I mess with oil and springs?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


2014 WRR R.I.Pieces
2012 WR450F ECU, GYTR tuner, Q4, MSR rad guards, Cycra Pros, and a growing wish list...

 

You should not piggy-back on anothers thread; you should start your own

 

Search 'suspension' in this forum and start reading....then come back with quesitons.



  • revelc

Posted August 14, 2014 - 02:04 PM

#13

You should not piggy-back on anothers thread; you should start your own

Search 'suspension' in this forum and start reading....then come back with quesitons.


ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1408053893.679783.jpg


2014 WRR R.I.Pieces
2012 WR450F ECU, GYTR tuner, Q4, MSR rad guards, Cycra Pros, and a growing wish list...

  • revelc

Posted August 14, 2014 - 02:15 PM

#14

You MUST do springs first. You absolutely cannot make up for too light of springs with clicker settings, it just doesn't work that way. It just makes the problem worse, as you discovered. You will never be able to set your sag correctly with too soft of springs, and at 220 you are definitely too heavy for the stock springs.

Put your clickers back to stock, get your bike sprung for your weight and then go from there.


Thank you for the informative reply.


2014 WRR R.I.Pieces
2012 WR450F ECU, GYTR tuner, Q4, MSR rad guards, Cycra Pros, and a growing wish list...

  • RMK800

Posted August 14, 2014 - 07:22 PM

#15

* Do you self a favor, and turn your rear high speed setting out 1/2 turn or more and leave it there. You will notice much better rear traction.
Mine is out 1 turn from stock, and I still don't bottom

Hey K, question about this. The high speed compression setting for the rear shock is maximum turned in and 2 turns out for minimum. Service manual says don't exceed either. Do you run yours all the way out then?

Edited by RMK800, August 14, 2014 - 07:45 PM.


  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 14, 2014 - 08:30 PM

#16

Hey K, question about this. The high speed compression setting for the rear shock is maximum turned in and 2 turns out for minimum. Service manual says don't exceed either. Do you run yours all the way out then?

 

You can turn it to wherever you want.

Stock, the valving is pretty soft, so if you go past a certain point, high speed damping will cease (shaft speed, not bike speed)  and will probably bottom.

This setting has no effect on low speed (rolling g-out, for example) which is in the low speed setting. 

 

Put some duct tape on your cross bar pad to write on, rubber band a sharpie and a straight screw driver to the bars, and go experiment.

 

My shock has been revalved so I can go all the way out and it will only bottom on certain trail stuff.....but if I ran it that way in the desert, my fillings would pop out.....

The 'popoff' speed has been slowed down, so there is a less harsh transition from low to high speed damping.

 

Depending on the terrain, my fork comp damping goes +/- 6 clicks (out for traction on rough slow hills, and in for control ) and the shock usual +- 4 clicks.

 

The rebound setting rarely changes






 
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