WR450 Headshake

10 replies to this topic
  • Jim_bo

Posted March 21, 2003 - 01:06 PM


I love my new WR450. However, in some high speed situations, especially in sand, I get a moment of headshake. Is there anything I can do to address this problem other than spend a bunch of money on a steering dampner? I just bought the bike, I ain't got no money left for parts!!


  • utvols

Posted March 21, 2003 - 05:28 PM


Set your suspension up properly before you decide to spend money on a dampner. I run one on my 450 but it usually stays in softest setting. I find the 450 to be one of the most stable bikes I have owned. I think you will find if your sag is to soft you will not have enough weight over the front tire which will lead to headshake.

  • Dodger

Posted March 21, 2003 - 06:08 PM


Yup, suspension first, damper to take up the slack.......

Dodger :) :D

  • Indy_WR450

Posted March 21, 2003 - 06:14 PM


Get a damper on quick before you end up getting tossed off at 60 plus miles per hour. From 60 to 90 the damper is a must safety item. My body is worth it and I bet so is yours.

  • HighPlainsWR

Posted March 23, 2003 - 12:33 PM


Jim Bo.

I ride lots of sand on the WR450. Nothing here but sand washes and high desert. I agree with UTVOLS, tires and suspension first.

But if I could have solid axles in sand I'd be better off. So I set the compression clickers in the middle and stiffen the rebound, more so in the rear. Seems to work.

Other than that I stand up, lean back, pull up on the handlesbars and grab a BIG FIST FULL OF THROTTLE :). Speed is your best friend in sand.

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  • Jim_bo

Posted March 23, 2003 - 01:44 PM



I agree that speed is your friend in the sand, until you have to turn. The WR tends to get very distracted with ruts in the sand and when the trail turns, the WR wants to go straight.

I am not sure what you guys mean when you say suspension first. I agree with the tire, I have a Mich. S12 on my KDX that does a lot better. However, what to do with the suspension, I don't know.


  • HighPlainsWR

Posted March 23, 2003 - 08:09 PM


Hey there Jim Bo. If you do a search on "sand", or "front end washing out", you'll find a posting titled: "Technique Wanted: front end washing out..." (second page). There is a plethera of information regarding this subject, including the mysterious suspension set up, et al. My recommendation is to read that series of posting first, it's more than enough info. More than you may want to know. Good luck TT buddy.

  • WR450

Posted March 23, 2003 - 08:43 PM



Regarding Headshake I found the WR to be extremely stable even before I put my scotts damper on.

Set suspension to suit your weight you also need to regraese the steering head bearing as their is hardly any grease their and at the same time check tightness of steering head.

Regarding riding in sand I have also found that coming off a 2 stroke that when I turned in the sand that the front would wash out.
I was shown that with a four stroke you must ride more agressively in the sand as I have found if you tap off in the corner the compression pushes the front out more than on a 2 stroke.
drop it into the corner and give it gas.

  • 4stroked

Posted March 27, 2003 - 06:30 PM


I have got the ticket to any headshake you could encounter. RTT steering stabalizer retails for $599 I am selling it for $425. Never slow down or reach down to adjust it. Best product out there ask Larry Roesler. Used twice on a YZ450f. I changed out bikes and need to get one for my new KTM.
See it at http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=2408941033

Thanks for you time.

  • yamaha250f

Posted March 27, 2003 - 07:09 PM


Adding a link to your chain will make your bike more stable. Just another way to help cure that headshake :)

  • Merfman

Posted March 28, 2003 - 04:46 AM


> I am not sure what you guys mean when you say suspension first. I agree with the tire, I have a Mich. S12 on my KDX that does a lot better. However,
> what to do with the suspension, I don't know.

The A#1 thing to do is to set the race sag:
Put the bike on a stand where the rear swingarm is fully extended.
Place a short piece of tape on the side panel.
Measure from the center of the axle to the bottom, left corner
of the tape. It doesn't really matter where you measure on the tape,
just be repeatable.
Put on all your riding gear, full camelback, etc. Whatever you
normally ride with.
Take the bike off the stand.
Remount and get into your normal riding position.
Have a helper repeat the measurement from the center of the
axle to the tape.
Subtract measurement 2 from measurement 1.
The difference should be 95-100mm. If it is not, adjust the
spring preload until it is. The Yammies seem to be pretty
picky about preload. My 98YZ worked best a 97mm. At 105mm
I had headshake.
Once you've got the preload set, lift up the rear of the bike
and allow it to settle under it's own weight. Re-measure from
the axle to the tape. This is "static" sag and should be in
the 10mm range. If you have less, you may need a stiffer spring.
More, you may need a softer spring.

Once that's done, for sand riding, you can generally run stiffer
settings than normal.



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