Contractive suspension-Shortening the beast

14 replies to this topic
  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 27, 2001 - 08:50 AM


Hey guys- I appreciated your advice to my last post on jumping.
Has anyone shortened their suspension. I'm 5'8" tall (no jokes please). As all of you know the WR 400 is a tall mother. I read in a new off road publication (the title eludes me)that you can actually shorten the travel, get rid of the sag and have 8 good inches of travel with the bike being about three inches lower. They called it contractive suspension. Two sets of springs in the front forks and a shorter spring in the rear. The book said that the modified bike would give up nothing on the jumps. What are your thoughts on this?


  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 27, 2001 - 08:56 AM



I read the archives post about Scottsperformance. (that was from 1999) before the publication I read regarding contractive suspension.


  • Flying_Solo

Posted July 27, 2001 - 09:14 PM


Clark Mason had his suspension shortened by Scotts, and was quite pleased.

Any major suspension repair shop SHOULD be able to do it.

  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 27, 2001 - 09:35 PM


Thanks FyingSolo

If you're out there Clark I'd love your feedback.

  • TW

Posted July 28, 2001 - 10:35 AM


MA, I am also 5'8", had my suspension lowered one inch by MX-Tech, best mod for the money, unbelievable difference. There are several good shops that will do it, Scotts, Trak Control, MX-Tech to name a few. Also had it revalved at the time, words can't describe how happy I am with this mod.....TW

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted July 28, 2001 - 12:16 PM


Michael, Why would I joke?? Im 5'8 too :)

I've adjusted my rear shock to work for me by softening the shock preload without sacrificing my race sag, Yes the bike IS tall, fortuanly for me I dont ride alot of tight stuff but if you must lower the scoot I would REALLY recommend you give Tom a call at: They did an OUTSTANDING job on my friends XR440 and they are passionate about suspension....

  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 28, 2001 - 12:41 PM


Thanks Dan and TW, I really appreciate your good advice and for not giving me a hard time for being short. My budy is 5'10" but he weighs 215 lbs. I weigh about 160 with gear on a good day. He has the 01 426 and I can suck him up. I have played with my adjustments to suspension. Right now it is set stiff so that I can fly through the air with the greatest of ease and not break (me or the bike). I will ride as is for awhile. I was thinking about the seat mod everyone in here is talking about. If that would give me an inck...I could live with that. Thanks again...

PS- I just got back from riding at Prarie City. It was a lot of fun on the Hangtown track. The jumpimg advice from my last post paid off.

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  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted July 28, 2001 - 02:40 PM


Michael, One last note, I do have an SDG seat on my 01 and I think that because of the shape of the seat you get an extra inch out of it. (we all know that an extra inch is a plus) :) later

  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 28, 2001 - 03:36 PM


Thanks for that last 1" of advice Dan. Very much appreciated.


  • YamaCazi

Posted July 30, 2001 - 06:25 AM


You know what really sucks is that when I first bought my WR I could just barely put my toes on the ground and had to start it by putting down the kickstand.

It finally settled after a year and a half of beating it down with my 210lb massiveness, and I could even kick it over without the stand. :D

This weekend I ripped it apart for a complete service...while I was at it I removed the sub-frame and set my shock compression so that my sag was correct. my blue monster is back to it's original height and I can just barely touch the ground again, not to mention I'm back on the kickstand again. :)

Decisions...Decisions...Man I don't want to take it apart again....

Bonzai.. :D

  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 30, 2001 - 07:54 AM


Thanks for the story Yamakazi. I think it is going to take me longer than two years to beat down my suspension, but thanks for the tip.

  • Mike_in_Silicon_valley

Posted July 30, 2001 - 05:53 PM


I took a fillet knife to my seat and cut about an 1 1/2" off. It made all the difference in the world.


  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 30, 2001 - 08:59 PM


Thanks Mike, years ago I used to work in an upolstry shop. They had a special tool (saw) to cut foam. Maybe I should check with a local shop to see if they can trim down my orignal seat foam.


  • TW

Posted July 31, 2001 - 03:37 AM


MA, even if you cut seat foam I would still do the YZ tank and seat conversion(huge difference). I beleive most on this board would agree.....TW

[This message has been edited by TW (edited 07-31-2001).]

  • MichaelAngelo

Posted July 31, 2001 - 08:39 AM


Thanks TW, If I went into a dealership and sat on a YZ would that give me a realistic expectation of new set height if I went for your suggested mod? I'm still thinking of going for the lowering of suspension you suggested ealier in this thread. Thanks,



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