Requesting Help for the Suspension Challenged



13 replies to this topic
  • Harold_in_So_Cal

Posted September 07, 2000 - 08:40 AM

#1

I’m thinking about having my suspension worked on and wanted to get some input from my best buddies that I’ve never met (except for Concussion John and Eric who I’ve now ridden with).

I’m 6’00, 175 lbs with no gear (except gym shorts and t-shirt- the scales at the gym are in public and the babes appreciate me better with clothes on-too bad). I ride mx and trails. Medium speed and getting faster. Will jump medium to big table tops but still chicken to anything over a small double.

Right now I have the stock WR 2000 suspension set at 12 out on the rebound and 8 out on the compression on both the front and rear. The other rear compression (that is adjusted by the nut near the rear clicker??) I don’t know. Preload on the rear- it looks like its screwed down about 2/3 of the way down. Never have changed the fork oil. On my last mx ride I stiffed up all 4 of the adjustments by 2 clicks and it seemed better for the track.

On the trails it seems pretty good, maybe a little spongy. On the mx tracks it seems soft and I bottom out some, especially when I come up short on a table-top. And it seems to spring/buck a little, especially on those come-up-short table tops.

My questions are:

1. Worth it? Or should I just learn to clear the table tops. For a person of my size and abilities, is it worth it to get the after-market suspension or should I work with the stock set up. I read the recent article in Motocross Action and it seems like your suspension could come back worse not better. I rode another guy’s WR, he’s maybe 30 to 35 lbs heavier than me, he had aftermarket suspension and it was WAY too stiff for me.

2. Cost- It seems that it’s $400 to $500 to do suspension. I wonder how do they quote prices. What happens if all I need is adjustments and not new springs. Wouldn’t that make it a lot cheaper.

3- Balance- I want a set up for both trails and mx where I can change just the clicker settings when I go from one to another. I realize it will be a compromise and I would tend to set up for more trails.

4- Shops- I have an appointment with Scotts next Monday so I’m going to make a quick decision. I’ve heard they are good as are a few others. The MXA article actually had some bad reviews for a few shops. I know Chris in Mojave had a similar posting recently but I couldn’t find it. Anyone had Scotts do their work.

Thanks everyone. Comments are greatly appreciated, I am scheduled to drop off my bike next Monday. If it’s a go I’ll have new suspension by the end of next week.

Thanks

Harold



------------------
Harold
2000 WR

  • Dougie

Posted September 07, 2000 - 09:09 PM

#2

Harold,

Go to the Race Tech site http://www.race-tech.com and you can plug in all your information such as weight, height, riding style, etc.

It will compute this info and give you the spring rates you should be using. You can compare them to the stock rates and see if you need to change them.

As for revalving your bike, that may help you with adjustability. But the way it was explained to me when I got mine done was this: The new valves have larger holes for the oil to be pushed through and the shims are used to adjust your forks. However, I noticed that the holes in the stock valves were actually not that much smaller than the gold valves.

Plus, I think Yamaha made slight inprovements on the 2000 forks.

I will say this though, my revalve and spring rate change did wonders for me. But I am 6' and weigh only 163lbs. So the stock springs (.46) were too stiff. I went to .43 and noticed a big difference.

[This message has been edited by Dougie (edited 09-07-2000).]

  • John_in_Long_Beach

Posted September 07, 2000 - 10:10 AM

#3

Harold,

I have been reading the posts on suspension work for a while and notice quite a difference in opinions. Some people say that they think their 2000WR is too stiff, some say it is too soft.

The first thing to consider is "who is saying it". Do they trail ride or do they motocross.

So a little about me. I am 165 and trail ride with a little motocrossing and I have a 2000WR model.

I can say that my experience is very similar to yours. I think the front end is a little bouncy. I went to 100mm fork oil level and this greatly improved the front end control.

Here is my bottom line.
I love my suspension for TRAILS. Wouldn't change a thing. But for MX the suspension is "WAY TOO SOFT". I was recently at a MX track and landing from quite a few feet and it was absolutely punishing. I had the compression clickers turned all the way in on the front fork and it was still punishing when I landed. I am tired of being pounded when I land.

So I am most likely going to have somebody rework the forks for MX and suffer a little on the trails.

If you are looking for your bike to MX better then only get advice from people that are jumping 30+ feet distance and coming down from 5-10 feet in height.

Suspension requirements are completely different for the trails and MX. Maybe there is no free lunch.

  • DaveJ

Posted September 07, 2000 - 11:12 AM

#4

Harold,

The work of suspension shops will vary, as I learned with Lindemann and Race Tech. Also check out this months edition of MotoCross Action which reviews most of the top suspension shops.

As for the "work" they do, most seem to pull the fork apart and check to see that no parts are worn, and if so, replace them. Then they modify the valve stack to what they think you'll need and expect from the bike. All of which is a simple job. 1/2 hour if your good.

Some companies will go one step further and remove or modify the mid valve, and sometimes even modify the rebound valve. And sometimes they will also send the forks out to apply titanium nitride, (that gold "coating").

I had removed the mid valve on my YZ426 which overstressed the seal heads, of which caused the compression tubes to totally loose nearly all damping, ($$$$). So be careful what universal recommendations you go with.

After this, I have so far learned that the magic is in the main valve stack. So much so that I must have made about 15 attempts at different settings before I got it just right to meet my needs. For others, I'm sure the bike would be too stiff or too soft.

For the quick change, I just rotate the fork upside down, and impact out the valve, change the stack, and impact it back in, (no need to take the fork apart). This of course can be done at the track with the right tools.

I use a Race Tech valve, but only for their knowledge expressed in the form of a valve stack matrix. At this point, Once you understand the difference between the stacks, I think the original valve would suit just fine.

In other words, what sounds like a lot of fancy work, really comes down to just a lot of little shims getting moved around. So...don't be oversold.

However, I think life could be made slightly better if I had the knowledge on how to really fine tune the mid valve. Something that I think only the top suspension shops know how to do (and it's a lot of work). Lindermann never touched mine during their "rework", and I would think the same of others with the exceptions of the top shops.

In most cases, nearly all the race shops are going to make the ride a little rough, (aka, too much high compression valving, which beats up the hands and arms over the little bumps). Be real specific as to what you want and take them back if they don't work for you.

Hope this helps.

Dave

  • Clark_Mason

Posted September 07, 2000 - 06:08 PM

#5

George at Scotts has done my suspension for the past 15 years and I have had excellent results. I went to Race Tech once during that period and was disappointed. I ride trails and dual sport only and no motocross. I weigh 220lbs and usually for me I need a spring change forks and shock to get it right along with revalving and oil height adjustment tuning. The best person working the counter at Scotts to talk with is Steve he has been with Scott along with George the suspension guy since Scott started his business.

Clark

  • Harold_in_So_Cal

Posted September 07, 2000 - 10:04 PM

#6

Thanks for the replies. Clark- I spoke with George this morning. He sounded like he's good. I'm going to see him when he gets back from vacation.

Harold

  • Matt_Porritt

Posted September 08, 2000 - 02:03 AM

#7

Forget valving for now... get your spring rates right then go from there..

The corret springs for your weight etc make a big difference.. if tere is probs, then go fro a revalve..

Try the springs first (you'll need them anyway) it'll save some coin possibly.

------------------
--
**Ride it like you Stole it!**
Matt Porritt
99 YZ400F
Vist the Rubber Chicken Racing Online Shop
Discounts for ThumperTalk members.

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

Posted September 08, 2000 - 02:41 AM

#8

Check out my reply at Taffys post of "rear spring weight".

Bill

------------------
86TT225, 98CR80, 99WR, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank and IMS seat. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA.

  • Chris_in_the_Mojave

Posted September 08, 2000 - 06:55 AM

#9

I'd start by going on Race-Tech's site and checking spring rates. They have a questionnaire you fill out and it computes recommended spring rates vs. the stock rates. That should give you a ballpark idea on springs. Each tuner valves a little differently and will adjust spring rates for that.

As far as picking a shop, it's like picking puppy's. I found most of the shops were within 50 bucks of each other, with a few exceptions to the high end (Race-Tech, RG3). Some of the small shops had good reputations but are "one man" shops, I wanted a "Name" company behind the work. I just wasn't comfortable with giving my 3K worth of bits to some guy in the back of an Auto repair shop! ( Don't laugh, I could tell you shops you'll know that are set up that way!) I put out the word on several sites that I'm active on and heard both good and bad. I won't give you the bad out in public because it wasn't my personal experience. If you email me in private ;-) ( chutist@ridgenet.net )

I don't think you'd go wrong at Scott's, I had a "go 'round" yesterday with them on a dampener mount and they ( Scott and Jake) did make it right. To me you don't really know how good a company is until you have a problem and see how they deal with it. Their reputation is more for their "off-road" suspension rather than MX, just depends on what you're looking for.

Your questions are timely for me, just yesterday I finally dropped off my suspension to be done. (I made my quarterly LA trip and hit Scott's and WB's.) I ended up going with the suspension shop at White Brothers. Steve (the Manager) ran a very well known SoCal shop called "Clean Racing". Steve had worked at WB's in years past and Tom White made Steve "an offer he couldn't refuse" to bring his shop into White Brothers. While I was there, Steve gave me a tour of WB's and in the R&D shop. Spud Walter's YZ426 was there getting suspension and prep for the next race. From Spud's results in the 4 stroke Nat's, I say his suspension works pretty good.

Feel free to email with any questions :-)
Chris

------------------
Chris in the Mojave
'98 YZ400F

[This message has been edited by Chris in the Mojave (edited 09-08-2000).]

  • Matt_Porritt

Posted September 08, 2000 - 12:53 PM

#10

Watch Racetech site for spring rates...
Their given rates are for use with their valves.
The rates I feel are a little on the soft side.
I do use it as a guide then go to the next size up. ie if it returns 0.54 and 5.5 then I'd got to 0.55 and 5.5.
Certain brands only make certain springs. I think Racetech is evens and Eibach are odds.
(I know Eibach are odd! but unsure on the Racetechs)


------------------
--
**Ride it like you Stole it!**
Matt Porritt
99 YZ400F
Vist the Rubber Chicken Racing Online Shop
Discounts for ThumperTalk members.

  • MotoGreg

Posted September 08, 2000 - 04:47 PM

#11

Steve (the Manager) ran a very well known SoCal shop called "Clean Racing".


Steve did my suspension too. Everyone who rides my bike loves the forks. One thing I've noticed with them is that one or two clicks makes a fairly big adjustment now whereas stock you'd have to go several clicks before you noticed a change. I'm super happy with my stuff, plus I've never had a fork seal leak.

------------------
The proceeding nonsense brought to you by MotoGreg
On two wheels (or 3) since 1970
'92 GSXR 7/11 (Until I get a shwangy 916)
'99 WR/YZ400F 'Cause thumpers rule and two strokes drool!
Visit my photo album for the bargain price of $75 - ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK - EVIL LURKS WITHIN!

  • John_in_Long_Beach

Posted September 11, 2000 - 03:19 PM

#12

I dropped my forks off with Steve at White Bros. this afternoon.

The guy brought me back into the shop and spent about an hour talking to me about how the forks work and how to adjust them. Or really about how the adjustment clickers don't really have much control over the dampening.

He couldn't be a nicer guy. And if I want to fine tune the initial setup, I know for sure that the guy will listen to what my complaints are and do his best to improve the set up.

That was my biggest concern - dropping the forks off at some huge company and not having the opportunity to communicate to the person doing the work.

This is clearly not the case.

I can't wait until I get a chance for some big air and not get pounded on the landing.

As a side note, Steve uses the Spectro synthetic 7.5wt equiv for the forks.

I will be ready for you Moto-Greg.

  • MotoGreg

Posted September 11, 2000 - 04:25 PM

#13

When you say... "the clickers don't have much control over the dampning"... do you mean all the time or just as they are stock? Mine didn't seem to make too much of a difference before, but after they were done with them a couple clicks seems to go a long way.

When you say... "I will be ready for you MotoGreg".... do you mean you are going to throw a surprise party for me or something? If so, can we get one of those big cakes where the girl pops out of the top?

------------------
The proceeding nonsense brought to you by MotoGreg
On two wheels (or 3) since 1970
'92 GSXR 7/11 (Until I get a shwangy 916)
'99 WR/YZ400F 'Cause thumpers rule and two strokes drool!
Visit my photo album for the bargain price of $75 - ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK - EVIL LURKS WITHIN!

  • John_in_Long_Beach

Posted September 11, 2000 - 04:41 PM

#14

Greg,

Hopefully, understood this properly and can both explain this properly.

The dampening is handled by the oil flowing through the cartridge and pushing by the disks. The clickers don't affect the tension that is applied to the disks against the valve body. They only affect the oil flow through some by pass valve. So the clickers only affect the oil flow at very low settings not over the entire range of oil flow.

This is a essence of what I learned. There are some other details that I learned as well. But the basics are that the clickers don't affect high level oil flow.

As for being ready for you. Yes I had planned on building a winners podium down at the elsinore intermediate track. And then after me and several trophy girls verified that you made the double. They would supply you with champagne and fulfil every one of your dirty desires.

The only problem will be the podium, girls and the champagne. I may have to substitute them for having you climb on top of my Yukon, a half hearted Yahoo! from my 8 year old daughter and a cold can of coke.

But hey, it's the thought that counts.




 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.