XR650r suspension Racetech or Barnums?


15 replies to this topic
  • Desmo

Posted November 16, 2004 - 07:38 AM

#1

Greetings

I'm considering sending off the whole package, (front & rear) off for springs/revalve so it suits my weight/riding style. (200 lbs, dual sport/tight trails/norcal foothills/conservative-lowskilled rider).

I've had excellent customer service from Barnums for other items so I'm leaning this way, but would appreciate any input from those that had their suspension set ups done by either (or another) shop.

One time Rob Barnum spent 45 minutes on the phone with me telling me how to adjust/repair a very old (non-pumper edlebrock ) carb that I bought off ebay. I like to reward companies that seem to care about the customer service, so I'm very inclined to go with his shop. But I've heard good things about Race-tech too.

Thanks for any input folks.

Cheers

Scott

  • BigMikey

Posted November 16, 2004 - 08:20 AM

#2

Greetings,

Although I don't have any experience with Race Tech, I can wholeheartedly recommend Barnums suspension services. I sent both front and rear off to Rob early this year. All I can say is Holy Cow! The suspension is so incredibly good now that I have no excuses for riding so slow, (I still do). Plush where it should be and capable of soaking up the biggest hits.

I've had a couple of friends ride it (who ride alot better than I), and they all shook their collective heads and said that it doesn't handle like any XR they have ever seen or ridden. One went so far as to declare the newly sprung BRP a "weapon".

As for service, I think the Barnums (Rob and Denise) are among the best I've dealt with in any industry. They'll get my vote everytime. I'll be calling in a few months for that spiffy EB carb that everyone raves about.

Whichever way you go I think you'll like the results.

Mikey

  • Desmo

Posted November 16, 2004 - 08:32 AM

#3

Thanks mike

I'll probably take your advice.

I'd appreciate any more input, but I'm way leaning Barnums right now.

Thanks again!!!

Scott

  • BIGGITY

Posted November 16, 2004 - 09:25 AM

#4

Desmo, It's cool that your taking care of Barnum w/ biz since he is so helpful but you might want to think about Precision Concepts. There is a reason they do all the bikes for the Baja 1000/500/250 Honda Team Racers. On the other hand I have never had anything done by Barnum so I don't know him or his work but all I have ever heard about him is really good things. Just thought I would throw a curveball in there. :cry:

  • RingKingPin

Posted November 16, 2004 - 09:47 AM

#5

I had my suspension (and many other things) done by Barnums a couple years back. It was the SINGLE most important modification I made that helped me go faster. I only wished that they were doing the aerospace coatings on the forks when I went to him. I'd opt for the coating as well if I were you. FYI I'm 6'5" and 250 geared up.

Geoff

  • oldoutdoorsman

Posted November 16, 2004 - 09:54 AM

#6

Not particulary Barnum's cause I can call him but what does the cost range from fork and shock rework (don't need springs)? I'm on East coast and I dread the cost of shipping more than anything...I'm sure the cost of the work is worth it but I don't look forward to shipping at all!

OOM

  • BWB63

Posted November 16, 2004 - 12:06 PM

#7

Race Tech will push springs that are too stiff and try to get you to buy thier Gold valve. They are geared for MX and thier suspensions for the XR650R will show that. PC is alot of money for a name....you won't get the guys that biulds the good stuff (for the Baja racers)but, the guys that are learning will do your easy to work on Cartridge forks. I have only Had one Baja Designs shock here apart and that's because it came apart. The nut came off the shock shaft (it had no threads) putting the rider in the hospital with a brocken neck. IMHO if it (the nut) had been torqued to spec. it would have been cought. This is where the biggest problem is...The machanic that's done it a million times and takes short cuts or dose it by "feel" and the new guy that doesn't know what he is looking for. I would wait till a week after the Baja before sending it anywhere. I would want the machanic to be tuned into what he is working on not trying to recoup and put everything away :cry:

If you want to read more of my $.02 worth there are links to suspension pages here:
http://www.borynack....650R/xr650r.htm

You may not want to do the work yourself but, you can know more about it and how it works.

  • JohnnyAirtime

Posted November 16, 2004 - 12:14 PM

#8

Desmo, It's cool that your taking care of Barnum w/ biz since he is so helpful but you might want to think about Precision Concepts. There is a reason they do all the bikes for the Baja 1000/500/250 Honda Team Racers. On the other hand I have never had anything done by Barnum so I don't know him or his work but all I have ever heard about him is really good things. Just thought I would throw a curveball in there. :cry:


Precision did mine....
And OOOOohhhh what a difference!
I asked for the "JohnnyCampbell" fork setup... and now, it's so smooth I forget about g-outs and small stutter bumps. It's so progressive and so supple... I love it. Even with me being 200lbs, plus gear.

I've also just picked up the right peg "fix" from them. Pretty simple fix (I could have done it), but I was in a hurry... they even waited for me to pick it up, or had work to do while I was on my way.... GREAT PEOPLE!!

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Desmo

Posted November 16, 2004 - 05:13 PM

#9

Excellent, helpful responses

i love tt

thanks again!

Are all BRP owners so cool?

scott

  • Rokatt88

Posted November 16, 2004 - 05:28 PM

#10

Excellent, helpful responses

i love tt

thanks again!

Are all BRP owners so cool?

scott



Absolutely!

  • tirebiter

Posted November 16, 2004 - 07:16 PM

#11

Excellent, helpful responses

i love tt

thanks again!

Are all BRP owners so cool?

scott


Nope, some folks around here I'll take the seat from right under your butt!! :cry: :cry: :cry:

  • KEVXR416

Posted November 17, 2004 - 10:46 AM

#12

:cry: :cry: BARNUM'S must go BARNUM'S :cry: :cry:

  • BoZerk

Posted November 17, 2004 - 11:26 AM

#13

I had Barnum's do my suspension front and back.

I'm very happy with the results and customer service. Plus, if you go out there he takes the time to have you test ride it and fine tune it for you!

  • qadsan

Posted November 19, 2004 - 07:19 AM

#14

Barnums has done the suspension on several bikes for our friends (YZ426, XR600, WR450, CRF450's) and several of our bikes (KX250, CR250, XR250's, XR650's). I'm very pleased with his work :cry: .

  • Mikie1

Posted November 24, 2004 - 09:53 AM

#15

BARNUM all the way, baby. I had mine done by Rob- excellent customer service and a genuine nice guy. He and his wife Denise are absolute tops. I got a chance to know them a little at the 1000 last weekend, & drove with Denise from Ensenada to Bahia de Los Angeles (about 6-1/2 hours).

They are (so far) strictly a family affair- extremely customer oriented, with a small shop on the property where they live, and Rob does all the work himself.

I also had a chance to ride another bike done by Precision Concepts this last week. It was also a vast improvement over stock, but I still like my Barnum's suspension a bit better. What REALLY tips the scales for me is how personable, helpful and genuine Rob and Denise are. Denise says they don't want to be "just another bike shop"- and they aren't! Can't say enough good stuff.

Mike

  • mikekay

Posted November 24, 2004 - 11:23 AM

#16

When i rode sweep on Baja tours with Chris Haines i got to ride THE Johnny Campbell set up. Including the 20" front wheel. I gotta say that Precision Concepts set up was awesome.

In all i have ridden 25-30 different XR650R's with re-worked suspensions.

Mine is a bit exotic--with an Ohlins rear shock. I have re-done the front forks 5 times. Race Tech springs, Eibach springs, mixed spring rates, etc...I have also tried ESP, Race Tech, and the Barnums set up.

The nicest suspension i have ever ridden was on Rob's XR680R at last Junes Baja 500. That bike was incredible. I was a good 10% faster on that than anything else i have ridden. In fact it wasnt until i had done 100 miles into my 200 mile section that i got past my own 'wall' and trusted the bike to take more. It was incredible. What i imagine a works bike must feel like.

IMHO the best suspension set up is the one Rob has on his race bike. :cry:

ESP and Race Tech are basically the same set up. Gold Valves with 45 or 47 springs.

Precision's set up uses a diffeent Eibach spring--its not the one that Eibach lists in their catalogue for the 650R. INstead its a spring with 8 mm pre load. They run 130mm of 2.5 wt. and bottoming cones...a nice touch.

Rob runs the standard eibachs, and has the shim stack thing worked out well. He goes with the lighter oil also. If memory serves me he goes 110mm.

Rob charges less than the others. He always jokes that if he charged as much as the other guys he would get more business!

Just FYI:
Some guys go with a KX500 rear shock. Thats what Honda races with (they justify it as the CR500 rear shock!). Its a better set up than stock ever will be. But it all depends on what ya wanna spend. I love my Ohlins rear shock--but its expensive and takes a lot of development to get it right.





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