Technique Help Wanted: Front end washing out....

17 replies to this topic
  • tetfsu

Posted March 12, 2003 - 08:25 AM


I have a real problem with the front end washing out on me, I am looking for some good advice to help my technique. I don't really have any issues with it washing out on me in the tight stuff, it is mainly just when I am coming around a berm or a sandy turn. Some friends tell me to make sure I stay up on the tank as much as possible, but with the HUGE tank on the WR426 it is difficult to get my weight forward. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

  • Hick

Posted March 12, 2003 - 11:04 AM


Yeah, I can't turn one of those things either with that tank on there, and I'm 6'1".

My advice for you is to buy a YZ tank and seat. If you are lucky you can find one in the "parts for sale" side of Thumpertalk, if not a stocker, then an aftermarket dez tank which generally let you scoot up as much as the stocker.

I loaned a friend of mine my stock YZ tank so he could turn some laps on his WR and he wouldn't give it back. And he is like 6'4".

So I don't think you have a technique problem. The WR 400/426 has retarded ergos IMO, all due to that weird tank.

My two cents.

  • ckulzer

Posted March 12, 2003 - 11:30 AM


The other option is to not worry about the front and steer it with the rear wheel. Throttle steering the thing means that you are already on the gas and accelerating by mid-corner.

Anyone know how to make snow melt faster?

  • Talonboy

Posted March 12, 2003 - 12:24 PM


Put a YZ style tank and seat on the bike. Also try pulling the fork tubes up in the triple clamps. I think about 10mm worked for me. These 2 mods will make the bike turn much better.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted March 12, 2003 - 12:34 PM


Read this

Plus What tire you running in the front
how much pressure in the tire
How is your suspension setup (Front and Rear)

Allot of factors are involved here to determine cause of front wash.

Technique is a good part but your setup for sandy loam type terrain is what needs to be looked at.

  • tetfsu

Posted March 12, 2003 - 01:03 PM



I am running a stock front tire, and stock suspension (I assume it is stock just because I haven't ever touched it, so I don't exactly know what it is set to. This is my first bike and I only started riding about 4 months ago. I have just learned to ride it the way it is. Which is also why I want to sell the bike, I think it is too much for me to handle, I want to go down to a WR250F.)

I keep recomended air pressure in both front and rear tires.

As far as the terrain goes, you hit that right on the head. Where I ride it is mostly soft sandy terrain. (if you have ever been to the Capital City Enduro here in Tallahasee, you will know what I am talking about.) The trails are usually pretty wooped out in the straights and the "faster" berm turns are usually pretty sandy. The guys I ride behind most of the time, have no problems with them, just seems like I am always the one going off trail by highsiding the berm.

  • tetfsu

Posted March 12, 2003 - 01:06 PM



You Wrote: Also try pulling the fork tubes up in the triple clamps.

Now because I am a newbie still, does that mean that the triple clamps go lower down or higher up the fork tubes. I assume down, but I want to make sure, I wouldn't want to compound the issue by going the wrong way.

  • Hick

Posted March 12, 2003 - 01:19 PM


If you loosen the fork tube pinch bolts on the triple clamps and slide the tubes up in the clamps two things happen:

The bike will sit lower up front, so more weight will be on the front tire, and the rake will be steeper. Both of these things will help it turn.

I would also recommend you run your front tire at 10 or 11 psi, buy a good sand tire like an Michelin S12 or Dunlop 773, and definitely check and set your race sag.

But if you plan on keeping this bike you will be much happier without that silly tank on there.

Also, washing out and/or knifing under in a sandy turn is sort of a rite of passage for a new rider. Actually, I still do it on occasion, and I've been riding now for about 4 years, 99% of that in sand.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted March 12, 2003 - 01:31 PM


Being able to handle the bike is a good point. If you are uncomfortable with the bike then maybe it is a bit much, going to the 250 may be a practical solution until your skills are tuned as well. But only you can make that call.

In my opinion if you are nervous riding, the fun is gone, you must first have fun.

But here are some pointers.
1: Ride to Have fun, Don't worry about your style technique or how fast the other guys go

2: ask questions at the local track watch other riders and how they handle the same corners.

3: learning to ride sand is tough to begin with, Get good sand tires as mentioned

4: Ride at your ability first, don't ride over your head.

5: remember power is your friend, you can easily get out of trouble by rolling the throttle on then chopping it or shutting it off.

6: As for number 5, keep a steady throttle and roll on from there, never just shut off in sand the front will plow, keep the throttle steady.

In the link I posted for you there are some real good tips on riding. Plus you may want to invest in a few videos to just get the Gist.

Good Luck

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  • The_Blue_One

Posted March 12, 2003 - 02:07 PM


Are you still running the stock 739 tire up front.That is a hard pack tire and won't help out any.Get the s-12 or the dunlop 756 up front.You'll see a big difference.

One note on changing bikes and i have gone through a few recently.the 426 may be to much now ,but much once you get the bike setup and get the feel for riding the 250 may not be enough.How big are you?I would try setting the 426 up correctly and give it a chance then decide if less power is the way to go.IMHO

  • Bill

Posted March 12, 2003 - 03:06 PM


Also make sure your sag is set correctly. If not, the forks will not have the proper rake and create problems i.e. front end wash out.


  • Brian_in_Long_Beach

Posted March 12, 2003 - 03:28 PM


I had similar wash out/can't turn problems and put on an IMS YZ tank/seat BEFORE getting rid of the stock Dunlop 739 and raising the fork tubes. I should have done it the other way around. Raising the fork tubes is free and a front tire is ~$55. I couldn't believe the difference the tire & fork tubes made. I'm 6'4"/255 so it ain't a matter of man handling the bike.....

BTW - I have the YZ seat cover & foam from my IMS kit that I'd like to sell. I went with a tall foam & new cover after 1 ride.


  • Dan_from_HB

Posted March 12, 2003 - 05:32 PM


BINGO. Bill is right on! Although there are lots of factors, race sag in the REAR suspension has a huge effect on steering with these bikes. I'd say maybe 3-3/4 inches and no more than 4 inches. I can feel a difference if my sag changes only 1/4 inch. It's amazing.
The other biggest factor is the tire. I typically use Dunlop D756, but just tried a Maxxis IT. I really like this Maxxis tire. I hear they wear much better than Dunlops, too. And I ride in sand much of the time.

  • tetfsu

Posted March 13, 2003 - 05:12 AM



Thank you all for such good advice. To answer the question of how big I am, I have to say that I weigh more than I wish I did. That being said, I am 6'0" tall and about 195 lbs in full gear. I am going to check the sag tonight and try and raise the front forks in the triple clamps. I am going to go with the recommendation of 10 mm for now on that. I looked last night and saw that the forks are as low in the triple clamps as they could possibly be.

In regard to selling the bike... Don't get me wrong, I really love the bike, it is a great machine so I don't want anyone to misunderstand that. I am going to ride a buddy's 01 250F this weekend for a bit to see if the difference is worth making the switch. With all of the good tips I am hearing from you guys I am going to make these changes to the setup and try things out for a while before I decide to make the switch.

EGO you mentioned about nervious riding and having fun. I assume this is something that all but the most fearless go through, but I am a bit nervious from time to time (normally after a spill) but it usually goes away. One thing for me is that it also depends on who I am riding with. If I know the guys better, it seems like I ride better. Is that strange? Maybe it is because the ones I know better, I have more trust in them not to leave me all wadded up against a tree someplace.

All that being said, I LOVE RIDING, even thought I am not all that fast or have the greatest knowledge and technique right now. I know that I am improving, because my best friend and riding buddy tells me he can tell a big difference (He just had a little boy, so he hasn't been able to go out as much as I have, so I am catching him slowly but surely) Since I got the bike in November, I have been riding every weekend except the ones around Christmas and 2 weekends because of rain. Other than those times I have been riding and trying to improve.

Thanks to all of you guys for the advice, I really appreciate it. :)


Posted March 13, 2003 - 03:26 PM


Stick with the 426, I think that after you get it all figured out you might regret the smaller bike.

Try to follow the fastest guy in your group(after asking him to keep it mellower)watch his tecniques and style. It will take a little while but you'll get the hang of it.
I always get better by pacing guys faster than me.

I've rode a few stock wr 426's. With a few changes mentioned above, tire being first, tank seat combo second. It is really a good bike. I borrowed a friends one day when mine was apart, and led the pack all day on it. NO complaints. :)

Cornering does take a certain degree of agressiveness, and charge. It is probably the most intimidating factor for new riders. Keep you weight forward, outer elbow turned up w/ tennis grip on the throttle and ROLL the gas on and off smoothly. If you chop the throttle to much it will cause the bike to raise in the rear and unweight, causing a loss of traction. Also brake before the corner, find your line, and smoothly roll the gas on and power out. And above all just have fun with it. :D

Hope this helps some.

  • ThumperWR450F

Posted March 13, 2003 - 03:47 PM


i used too watch the faster guys infront of me, i watched where the sat on there tank ,how they leaned, when they decelerated and accelerated in turns. after a few weeks they were watching me. practice makes perfect."A FAST BIKE IN THE HANDS OF A SLOW RIDER IS STILL A SLOW BIKE"

  • HighPlainsWR

Posted March 13, 2003 - 06:21 PM


I agree with Talon. Iv'e had a 98'WR400, 02WR426 and now an 03' WR450. I spent lot's of dollars and time on front ends and it comes down to four things at the first level: IMS Tank/YZ Seat, raise the forks 5-10mm, the right front tire and a Scotts steering dampner. The next level: revalving the forks to your needs, adjusting compression and rebound, various tire pressures and custom bars (width, rake and pullback) should finish the process. But, I never forget the cardinal rule of washing out on a WR: grab a big handful of throttle. You'll forget all about the wash out since now you've got new problems.


Posted March 14, 2003 - 10:42 AM


lower your fork tubes 2mm that will help


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