suspension tuning help for Wr450


18 replies to this topic
  • Jethro07

Posted August 08, 2009 - 04:43 AM

#1

Just acquired a 2009 WR450. I weight approx 75kg without riding gear and having some issues with my suspension. I have managed to increase my preload on the shock to obtain a rider sag of around 101mm and static sag of around 37mm. Since i believe these values are within the acceptable range i suspect the standard rear shock spring must be OK for my weight. Unfortunately i seem to have a problem with my forks. They seem too soft. I tend to ride a lot of sand/whoops in a semi desert like environment. I believe under these conditions firmer suspension is preferred?

My :thumbsup: fork static sag is 35mm but my rider sag is 70mm. I believe that the rider sag is too high. Currently all my clicker settings for both shock and forks for both compression and damping are set as per the standard manual settings. I haven't played with these yet as i still don't seem to have the right fork rider sag. Can i improve my fork situation by increasing compression damping? or am i destined for a stiffer fork spring or can the problem be solved by altering the amount of oil in the fork.

As i am a relatively inexperienced rider and new to this forum any help would be very gratefully appreciated.

Thank you in advance for any help/suggestions offered.

  • YamaLink

Posted August 08, 2009 - 06:17 AM

#2

75 kg without gear is fine for the stock springs.

Your rear sag is indeed within the acceptable range. As you may or may not know, even your rear shock's rebound and compression will have an effect on how your front forks perform.

Write down the rear shock settings before you fine tune the front. Set comp and rebound in the middle and work on one end at a time. I'd go for the front compression. Go in, say, 5 clicks and see how it feels. Don't be afraid to go either way drastically during the testing. Get it good, write it down and then work on rebound. Front then rear. Obviously you want plush on the smaller stuff without bad bottoming: bottoning once or twice per ride is what you want because it means you're using full travel front and rear.

Unless there's something drastically off with your fork oil level, you should be able to get the springy/mushy front end remedied in no time.

  • Jethro07

Posted August 09, 2009 - 11:24 PM

#3

Thank you very much for your helpful response.

Currently as i stated all my compression & dampening clicker settings for both fork & shock are set to standard as is recommended by my manual.

I will try your suggestion of reducing the number of clicks out from zero (increase compression dampening in my forks to begin with, that is from 9 to 7 or less) as you have suggested.

Will adding dampening on both compression and dampening clickers on both the forks and shock produce a more stable ride in sandy/whooped conditions or will this only produce a rougher ride.

Can i improve the situation by adjusting my clickers if the fork spring is too soft as indicated by a sag of around 65 -70 mm?

Thanks in advance again for any help offered.

  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 10, 2009 - 12:11 AM

#4

I dont know the conversion for your weight but for a WR it should be around 25-30 freesag and 110-115....with your numbers the spring you have is on the heavy side for your weight and skill....at 101 your placing more weight to the front...causing it to not steer and go straight in soft dirt...

when you ride in the sandy stuff and you find the bike hard to keep straight go 3-4 cklicks in on comp for the forks...leave the reb, on the rear after you change the spring if it is stable then leave it as is...

if you cant get a spring just by changing the sag to 110-115 will help lots in the sand and give you an even smoother ride in the chop

  • Jethro07

Posted August 10, 2009 - 06:51 PM

#5

Thank you very much for your helpful comments. If i may, i need to clarify a few questions with you.

I am 75kg or 165 lb without riding gear. I was of the opinion that the rider sag was supposed to be around 90 - 105mm. As a consequence of this i increased the preload on my shock by around 3 - 4 turns on my standard (pink marked) grey spring to achieve a rider sag of around 101. My free/static sag is around 37mm and i was of the opinion that the static sag is supposed to be around 20 -40mm. Hence as a result of these rear shock settings i have presumed that my rear end should be fine as all values are within the acceptable range.

With my forks my static sag is around 40mm which again seems to be just within what i believe is an acceptable range of 20 - 40mm. However my rider sag is around 70mm which i believe is too much. I believe it should be 40 - 60mm.

I would appreciate very much if someone can confirm whether the above mentioned static and rider sag ranges for both fork and shock are correct or do i have the incorrect values.

In addition i would be very grateful if anyone can recommend what changes i can make to my clickers in an attempt to produce a more stable ride in sandy/whooped out terrain.

My current clicker settings are all set to standard as stipulated in the 2009 manual for county AUS.

As the ride still feels too whallowe and unstable should i be increasing (winding my clickers in) on both compression and rebound for both fork and shock, in an attempt to stiffen the ride? Or should i be stiffen the fork settings only??

All help very gratefully appreciated.

  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 10, 2009 - 08:03 PM

#6

If the springs are standard they will work fine for your weight and skill. You are running more rear sag than I think you should...and by running sag that high will explain the wallo feeling...you just have too much weight transfered...lower the rear to 105 - 110 and support yourself with a leg on a box and bounce with the other leg on the foot peg...both front and rear should dip nearly the same amount...

when you go for your next ride find a section that is giving you the wallow ride it as is...then go 4 clicks in on front compression....then ride the same line...if you notice a huge difference then your on the right track...go 4 more and if no difference start backing it out 2 clicks at a time until the wallow comes back...then go back up 1 or 2 clicks to get it perfect...as far as the rear you need to find a section that is firm dirt and find out if it is too harsh, or feels like swaping...

You need to do one end at a time...

  • Jethro07

Posted August 10, 2009 - 08:59 PM

#7

Thanks Dirt rider39.

I'm still a little confused. When you mentioned i'm running more rear sag than i should and you recommend i lower it to 105 - 110mm. My sag is already 101mm which is lower than your recommendation of 105-110mm. Don't you mean increase my sag from 101 to 105-110? Doesn't a higher sag value create an even greater wallower ride, while less sag produces a firmer ride.

What are the recommended(ideal) ranges for both fork and shock static sag and rider sag?

  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 10, 2009 - 11:41 PM

#8

Sorry. wasnt reading what I wrote, increase the rear sag, make it softer, make the rear slightly lower...hahaha there! that should be it! .... you cant really do much with the fork sag other than put in spacers to increase the preload increase/decrease the oil level, or change springs. the stock front springs are fine for your weight, I am 185lbs and I run the stock springs, but i went to a 5.4 rear....it made a huge difference in the way the forks worked and the rear actually got softer..The bike is now nicely balanced....

Hope this helps!

Where in Aus are you? My kid is in Sydney....Would love to go visit her and get a ride around...

  • Jethro07

Posted August 11, 2009 - 03:38 PM

#9

Thanks dirt rider39.

Your suggesting to increase my rear sag from 101 to 105 - 110mm. When i acquired the bike it was around 105 - 110mm and i increased the preload to reduce the sag to approx 100mm which seems to be the sag widely touted as the bike felt too soft and wallowy. I'm trying to firm it up so that it doesn't seem to be wallowing all over the place. Do i need to increase or decrease my rider sag in order to achieve this outcome? I was of the opinion that i need to reduce my rider sag not increase it to achieve this. Am i incorrect?

Can you confirm whether the static and rider sag ranges i quoted in my previous reply are correct and i should be aiming to set my bike within these figures. In addition if it still feels to soft/wallowy should i in general be firming up both front and rear suspension by turning the clickers in for both compression and rebound?

In answer to your question I'm from Mildura, which is in North West Victoria. A dry semi desert region on the Murray River which unfortunately is drying up due to climate change.

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  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 11, 2009 - 04:38 PM

#10

Hi
Your welcome! hope anything helps!

Put the bike back to where it was...lets see if I can explain...simply put the springs are what holds the bike up...the clickers are what controls the action of the springs....by increasing/decreasing rear sag you are raising/lowering the rear which changes the fork angle...if you lower the rear the forks tip back which makes the bike more stable but turns slow....when you jack up the rear (which is what you did going to 101) the bike becomes less stable but steers quicker...

Now for different conditions you use these adjustments to "dial in" how you want the bike to perform...

For soft sandy like your in you want stability...so you need to loosen the spring to let the rear drop a bit...the next thing is since the dirt is soft you need to increase the compression in the forks since some of the energy of the wheel is being absorbed by the soft dirt....this is giving you the vague wallowy feeling since the tire is "searching"

Next is body position...in the soft sand whoops you need to help the bike "lighten" the front to avoid the tire from digging...to do this transfer all your weight to the back of the bike....your butt should be at the end of the seat as you drive into the face of the whoop!

So for now loosen the rear spring so you get back to 110...turn in 4 clicks on the front forks compression, and go 2 in on the rear shock....go for a ride and I am sure there will be a nice improvment.

Cheers!

  • Jethro07

Posted August 11, 2009 - 06:23 PM

#11

Thanks very much for the explanation - much appreciated. I will try your suggestion of increasing compression on the forks(turn CW) and increase compression on the shock also (turn CW).

Can you please however before i change my spring preload again, clarify sag settings for me.

In relation to static & rider sag, should i still be trying to achieve what my reading suggest is the ideal settings of rider sag of approx. 100mm and static sag of around 25 - 30mm. Articles i have read on suspension claim that you must first set your rider sag to around 100mm and then your static sag to around 25mm. If you can't achieve the correct static sag(25-35) after setting correct rider sag (97 -103) then you need to consider a different spring.

So do i ignore these ideal sag settings and set my bike to the higher settings you are recommending(rider sag 105-110mm & static sag of 40 -50). That is still a vexed point for me. Maybe i'm thick, getting too old for this stuff.

Originally when i acquired the bike (with presumed standard settings) my rider sag was around 115mm and my static say around 50mm. I was of the opinion that the very soft/wallowy feel i was experiencing was due to my slightly higher static and rider sag values . Hence i proceeded to increase my spring preload to obtain a rider sag of around 100 & static sag of around 25 -35 in an attempt to fix my perceived problem.

If i understand you right i need to return to the approx. standard settings rider sag approx. 105 - 110mm even though both my rider sag and static sag will be higher than ideal and then correct the ride feel by increasing compression clicker settings as you have suggested.

I hope i'm not driving you crazy, but i am still a little confused as to the correct sag values i should set the bike to.

Cheers.

  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 11, 2009 - 09:43 PM

#12

[quote name='Jethro07']Thanks very much for the explanation - much appreciated. I will try your suggestion of increasing compression on the forks(turn CW) and increase compression on the shock also (turn CW).

Can you please however before i change my spring preload again, clarify sag settings for me.

[QUOTE]In relation to static & rider sag, should i still be trying to achieve what my reading suggest is the ideal settings of rider sag of approx. 100mm and static sag of around 25 - 30mm. Articles i have read on suspension claim that you must first set your rider sag to around 100mm and then your static sag to around 25mm. If you can't achieve the correct static sag(25-35) after setting correct rider sag (97 -103) then you need to consider a different spring.[/QUOTE]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]This is right, but this is also recomended settings for MX bikes on tracks hitting jumps. For a trail/off road bike, your WR a softer setting is desired.[/COLOR]

[QUOTE]So do i ignore these ideal sag settings and set my bike to the higher settings you are recommending(rider sag 105-110mm & static sag of 40 -50). [/QUOTE]
[COLOR="royalblue"]These settings are only my opinion and what I like to set my bikes at and what I found works for me.[/COLOR]

[QUOTE]Originally when i acquired the bike (with presumed standard settings) my rider sag was around 115mm and my static say around 50mm. [/QUOTE]
[COLOR="royalblue"]This setting could be what the previous owner found worked. [/COLOR]

[QUOTE]I was of the opinion that the very soft/wallowy feel i was experiencing was due to my slightly higher static and rider sag values . Hence i proceeded to increase my spring preload to obtain a rider sag of around 100 & static sag of around 25 -35 in an attempt to fix my perceived problem.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="royalblue"]This actually will cause the problem to be worse[/COLOR]

[QUOTE]If i understand you right i need to return to the approx. standard settings rider sag approx. 105 - 110mm even though both my rider sag and static sag will be higher than ideal and then correct the ride feel by increasing compression clicker settings as you have suggested.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="royalblue"]Yes, but again it is only my suggestion. you could just leave it where it is especialy if you carry a tool pouch and a drinksystem [adds about 10-15lbs][/COLOR]

[QUOTE]I hope i'm not driving you crazy, but i am still a little confused as to the correct sag values i should set the bike to.[/QUOTE]
No worries! I hope I can be of assistance!

Cheers!:thumbsup:

  • tribalbc

Posted August 12, 2009 - 11:06 AM

#13

Well I'm going to make things real confusing here and disagree with dirt rider 39.

Sag is about cornering, not jumps versus trail.
Spring rate is jumps versus trails.
You still want the same rider sag offroad, just less static sag, meaning softer spring rate.
I can understand your thinking for soft ground to keep the forks from diving but IMO you want to achieve this with spring rate and valving, not different sag.

So Jethro07 I think you don't need a stiffer fork spring with your weight, but you should try a higher fork oil level. Somewhere in the 100-110mm mark.
I hated the stock forks on my 07 as well. Started with raising the oil level to 100mm, helped lots. Then I went up a spring rate but I weigh around 195lbs- whatever that is in Kilos. They work pretty damn good now.
I'm sure a revalve would be even better if I had the bucks.

  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 12, 2009 - 09:17 PM

#14

:thumbsup:

Well I'm going to make things real confusing here and disagree with dirt rider 39.

Sag is about cornering, not jumps versus trail.
Spring rate is jumps versus trails.
You still want the same rider sag offroad, just less static sag, meaning softer spring rate.
I can understand your thinking for soft ground to keep the forks from diving but IMO you want to achieve this with spring rate and valving, not different sag.

So Jethro07 I think you don't need a stiffer fork spring with your weight, but you should try a higher fork oil level. Somewhere in the 100-110mm mark.
I hated the stock forks on my 07 as well. Started with raising the oil level to 100mm, helped lots. Then I went up a spring rate but I weigh around 195lbs- whatever that is in Kilos. They work pretty damn good now.
I'm sure a revalve would be even better if I had the bucks.


Your right about sag affecting steering, I said that earlier, I was trying to explain that 95-105 are settings used more so on MX bikes for tracks, and a sag of 105- even 120 is better for trail / off road riding.

Its hard to put some things into words??? like trying to write down how to tie a shoe lace, we all know how to do it but to write it down step by step isnt my strongest skill...thats why I ride...I can do that better than writing:thumbsup:

Tribalbc Ps, Did you have problems with harsness on the small stuff? and at mid stroke it got too firm? I might have the fix.

Thanks

  • tribalbc

Posted August 13, 2009 - 06:44 AM

#15

:thumbsup:

Your right about sag affecting steering, I said that earlier, I was trying to explain that 95-105 are settings used more so on MX bikes for tracks, and a sag of 105- even 120 is better for trail / off road riding.

Its hard to put some things into words??? like trying to write down how to tie a shoe lace, we all know how to do it but to write it down step by step isnt my strongest skill...thats why I ride...I can do that better than writing:thumbsup:

Tribalbc Ps, Did you have problems with harsness on the small stuff? and at mid stroke it got too firm? I might have the fix.

Thanks



I still think sag is sag, and 100mm works good for me on my WR. The right sag with the forks raised in the tubes is key to making this bike turn decent.
I think Jethro would benefit from dropping his rear spring rate though. At my weight I'm on the verge of a 5.4, stock is 5.5. I have a 5.4, used that for a while, good plushness for the rocks. I'm back at stock rate now as I decided the reduced bottoming was worth a little small chop plushness.

I know what you mean about writing down what you're thinking :worthy:


My forks were fairly harsh on the small stuff with the clickers the same when I upped the fork oil level. But I was able to smooth it out nice backing the compression off. I'm way out in compression, I think 15 clicks, I would have to look. Gives me lots of adjustment when I want to stiffen it up for the MX track.
Mid stroke has a bit more spike but it's certainly nothing harsh.

If you have a cheap fix that you thinks improves these forks lay it on me, I'm all ears :)

My riding is about 80% woods, race Senior Exp PNWMA & OHSS series and about 20% MX track so I probably like my fork a little bit stiffer than some.

Where in BC do you ride/ located ?

  • dirt_rider_39

Posted August 13, 2009 - 10:14 AM

#16

sorry about the derail...

I have RMR do my bikes, on my yamaha and others we found the forks for some reason arnt aligned, and we had to pre load the forks slightly apart...

where the right side of the axle slides in the fork leg if yours sits flush with the edge of the clamp we found setting the axle about .030-060 in from the edge...it cured the stiction and made them ride silky smooth...

if you notice an improvment after this you can put back the compression and the forks will feel like a KTM!.

I ride all over BC, Kamloops, Princeton, Hope, Lilloett, Lyton.
Now just play with all the old guys I used to race with.

Just go to events to help out probably punched your card somewhere, haha

  • tribalbc

Posted August 14, 2009 - 06:04 AM

#17

sorry about the derail...

I have RMR do my bikes, on my yamaha and others we found the forks for some reason arnt aligned, and we had to pre load the forks slightly apart...

where the right side of the axle slides in the fork leg if yours sits flush with the edge of the clamp we found setting the axle about .030-060 in from the edge...it cured the stiction and made them ride silky smooth...

if you notice an improvment after this you can put back the compression and the forks will feel like a KTM!.

I ride all over BC, Kamloops, Princeton, Hope, Lilloett, Lyton.
Now just play with all the old guys I used to race with.

Just go to events to help out probably punched your card somewhere, haha



This is one of those things that could be hard to explain, or myself understand :D

So are you saying to tighten the axle down with the pinch bolts 0.3-0.6 in from being flush with the outside of the right pinch bolt clamp :thumbsup:

Thanks for helping out on the races, noble thing to do :worthy:

It's not really a full derail, were still talking suspension improvements :)

  • vtripper

Posted September 11, 2009 - 07:14 PM

#18

I highly recomend sending your suspension to factory Connection or some other suspension specialist. I ride faster and with more confidence and I feel it is also much safer becouse my bike rides like it should. Since getting it done and setting my sag (to their recomendation) I have not turned one click on anything.

  • dbshea

Posted November 05, 2009 - 07:50 PM

#19

what was the total cost of that if you don't mind me asking?




 
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