Dialing in my suspension

18 replies to this topic
  • BlueDragon

Posted December 20, 2002 - 05:19 AM


Hey Thumpers, I was hoping somebody could help me with a good starting point for my compression and rebound settings.
I weigh 200lbs and am pretty aggressive on the trails. I ride in the Rockys and do mostly trailriding. My clickers for the most part are stock but I dont know a good starting point for my weight and terrain. I just dont feel like my suspension is working for my weight and riding style. Any 200lbs'ers out there having any luck with there settings. Could you post them for me. Also what should the hi-speed compression on the rear shock be set at? Any help is appreciated :D :D
Thanks Thumpers :)

  • daytripper63

Posted December 20, 2002 - 05:45 AM


Have you changed from stock rear spring yet? I am 200lbs without gear and just changed to racetech 5.6 rear spring stock spring is set for 178lb rider and i haven't seen that in a long time.

  • Dodger

Posted December 20, 2002 - 05:47 AM


High Speed for rear is 1 1/4 out (CClockwise) stock.......

I believe that you may need to go up to a heavier spring for your weight, I'm on the verge and I'm 40 some pounds less than you. As far as were to go with the clickers.........someone else on the board around your weight should be able to point you in a good general direction, just keep one thing in mind. Your suspension works the best right around where the clickers come stock, so it's "best" if you dial your suspension in via correct spring rates and correct valving for your riding. Of course that costs one or two dollars, maybe three :D.........

Seasons Greetings

Dodger :) :D

  • Sylvain

Posted December 26, 2002 - 04:26 PM


I'll be following this topic closely. I weigh 215 with lbs my glasses, and after reading topics on suspension setting, I'm considering stiffer rear and front springs, after I put some more miles on the bike. I only have 200 km on the beast.
I'm not an agressive trail rider, but when I'm on a MX track I grow pimples and feel like I'm 17 again. (For a short while). I'm sure that serious trail riding can be done with the stock springs and the proper setting. The WRs for Europe have normally softer suspension and they are not complaining.



Posted December 26, 2002 - 04:42 PM


One of my riding buddies is a 230 lb vet A cc/enduro rider. His bike is an 01 wr426 - he immediately went to a heavier spring. The 02 wr426 has a heavier stock rear spring than the 01, and is supposed to have a plusher ride because the shock rides higher in travel. My 02 WR426 is just right for me and I weigh 165 lbs so....maybe the 02's need a heavier spring for the big guys too.

  • blue_beast_wins

Posted December 26, 2002 - 07:47 PM


any one know, kilo's or stones???

  • Sylvain

Posted December 26, 2002 - 08:15 PM


Sorry for the confusion, :D :D

It's 215 pounds with glasses, and the 200 Km, means that the bike has 200 kilometers on the odometer. (around 160 miles).

Did I need to explain ? :) :D

Greeeeeetings :D

  • mmbasa

Posted December 26, 2002 - 08:23 PM


2.2 pounds = 1 kilo
I want to say that 14lbs = a stone, but I could be wrong. I could also look it up but just throwing it out there.

  • blue_beast_wins

Posted December 26, 2002 - 09:06 PM


Right at 97 kilo's you need to change your rear spring, in the meantime wind the heck out of your rear spring, screw the rear shock high comp screw back a quarter and low comp all the way out, adjust the rebound so it doesn't feel like a pogo stick, wind the fork compression to about 10 clicks from all the way out and the rebound about half way, that'll be a good starting point, let us know how it feels. :)

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  • Sylvain

Posted December 27, 2002 - 12:50 AM


Thanks I'll do as you say.
These infos are exactly what I needed. :D


  • BlueDragon

Posted December 27, 2002 - 05:22 AM


Blue Beast,
If 2.2lbs=1 kilo Then 97kilos =213.4 lbs. I come in at about 210 with gear and everything. Looks like I need a new spring. But right now the hip national bank is low on funds so for the time being You said to adjust the low comp all the way out? The softest? And rebound from the from the front about half? Half of the entire clicker range? I am looking for a good starting point. :)


Posted December 27, 2002 - 07:08 AM


You probably know this, but just in case, always set the sag first. If you back your spring adjuster all the way out and measure the spring length with no load, you can get a good idea if your spring is too light or heavy when you compare that to the spring length when your sag is set. The spring should compress between 3/8 and 5/8 of an inch (10 to 15mm) if it compresses less than that, the spring is probably too stiff... if it compresses more than that, it is probably too soft. Be very careful about changing your adjusters all at once in large amounts - the bike can become unpredictable at speed and do some serious damage.
Good luck!

  • R_Little

Posted December 27, 2002 - 08:18 AM


I'm 190 and use a 5.4 spring but don't notice much difference from the stock 5.0 on my 2000.

I think you are going to have to exp with yr clickers a bit and see what works. First get yr sag right and replace the rear spring if needed.

Then ride the same loop and change clicker settings 2 at a time and see how the bike behaves. Check out the motoman393 site to get and idea of how the settings affect the bike and proceed accordingly.

I note that the Stock Wr settings are a little firm for trail and a little soft for MX. When riding in rocks and hard dirt you want the settings soft. The WR has a nasty tendency to deflect the frnt wheel on rock hits, so soften the fork compression for this. Set the fork rebound to control the plowing or washing in the front end in turns.

Conversly in sand or mud stiffen the compression to keep the bike from wallowing. Jumps mean stiff.

I turn the clickers way out for trail work and way in for MX. I find the shock less finiky than the fork which can go from much to armpump city in just a few clicks.
Keep a journal of what you do and where.

BTW, I'm considering and MX-tech revalve on the fork and I have not mastered the HSC on the shock yet. I leave it stock.

Good luck

  • Merfman

Posted December 27, 2002 - 10:32 AM



Instead of copying someone else's clicker settings, why not just post what you
don't like about the suspension and lets try to adjust it to suite your style?

As Sputter suggested, the very first step should be to adjust your sag. If, once you've
got 100mm of "race sag", you don't have ~10mm of static sag, you need a stiffer spring.
Conversely, if you get 30mm of static sag, you need a softer spring.

I like to run my suspension as soft as possible and start turning up the compression
when one of two things start happening:
1) I start bottoming
2) The bike starts wallowing around under heaving braking and turning.

One other thing, when you're trying to first get the suspension set up, you should
be in a place where you can repeatedly make the same objective decisions.
IOW, if you're rear suspension is bucking on sharp hits, stop, WRITE DOWN your
thoughts on what the bike is doing, adjust the compression out (softer) by two clicks,
then ride the exact same spot and record your thoughts again. You'd be surprised
how much better that works than trying to remember how one setting works against
another. Make only one adjustment at a time so that you can get a feel for
what clicker does what and how it affects the bike. Make small adjustments.
I once raised the forks on a KTM250EX/C by 10mm and promptly went racing.
Needless to say, this was a very bad idea as it completely changed the personality
of the bike. It went from a bike that wouldn't turn, to a bike that wouldn't go straight.


  • blue_beast_wins

Posted December 27, 2002 - 11:53 AM


Dragon, first of all, as these guys said, set your sag first, you will probably end up with no static sag with the standard spring but by the sounds of it that'll have to do, yes low comp softest, this soakes up all the little corrigations, high comp is for the big jumps, front rebound half the entire clicker range, the front rebound is the hardest to set up but once you have figured out the back the front becomes easy,

Have to dissagree with stiffer suspension in the mud, i use even softer compressions in the mud so that when you accelerate the back squats and loads up the rear tyre, the front dips more under braking and loads up the front tyre, heaps more traction up and down hills, you wont be hitting jumps as hard so its unlikely that y'll bottom out, if so tighten up a click or two. hth


  • Sylvain

Posted February 27, 2003 - 09:57 AM


It's been a while since the last memo about suspension settings for my wr. I had to stop working on the bike for a while because I wrecked my car in january, so other things were on my mind. Now, I have the rear swingarm apart for grease zertz insertion.

I inspected the rear shock to determine what spring rate was on the bike. The spring installed on bike is rated at 5.2 . I followed your recommandations regarding the other setting.

When you say " meantime wind the heck out of your rear spring,", I understood it meant to screw in the adjusting nut to compress the spring from 246 mm to 240.5 mm. The last number being the minimum spec from the shop manual. OK ?

After these modifications, if I bottom the rear shock while riding , that will be the indication that a stiffer spring is needed. Correct ?

I'd like to set up the bike for doing mostly trail riding, enduros,enduro-cross events. I'm not the agressive type rider. I'll see and experiment the setting on the bike.

Your inputs are very useful,

Thanks for all the infos


  • Alabama_Rider

Posted February 27, 2003 - 02:27 PM


Hey Blue, post your results when your done. At 6-2, 210# I am in your weight range and having same problems getting suspension right. Plan to go to bigger springs soon.

  • rockieman

Posted February 27, 2003 - 02:59 PM


Blue Dragon
I just had my suspension re-done on my '99 400...I'm 6'4" and weigh 205 dripping wet..... I, like you ride mostly trails...probably the sames ones based on where we both live. I had my suspension professionally done by Hitchcock Industries (Neal Hores) who worked previously at A-Loop. Here is what he came up with for me based on my input....
Fork: compression 10, rebound 10, spring .46 (stock) using 5 weight oil. For the shock: compression 7, rebound 9, spring was swapped out for a 5.4, sag set at 98, pre-load at 14.
I've only ridden it once since....I was pleased with the results....it seemed a lot better than where I was at....
Hope this helps!
Good luck

  • wr250rr

Posted February 27, 2003 - 03:29 PM


I'm 205 lbs without gear and went to a 6.0 spring in the rear and 48 in the front. I also revalved and changed the piston. your free sag is determined by how much you weigh. In my case it is 20mm. (free sag is measured on the stand fully extended, than off the stand. Not sitting on it)
If your not sure what you need to do to set it up, I would recommend going to where you ride regularly and do this. 1st soften the compression all the way front and back. Do a couple laps (try not to bottom it out too hard)
2nd stiffen it up all the way and do the same laps.
3rd go back to your original starting point and now you'll have a better understanding to which way you may want to go with it. The key is to take mental notes when things are going wrong. Which is why it is so important to ride the exact same line during this excersise. 4th Kick ass and take names :)


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