2009 wr450f suspension questions - need help


48 replies to this topic
  • drick

Posted January 16, 2010 - 10:57 PM

#1

as a 1 week owner of my 450, i'm still in shakedown mode on it.

i took it up to hollister today, and have to say that i am VERY disappointed in the suspension. i've not been on a dirtbike for almost 20 years, but even so the front shocks on this bike feel like there are no spings in them at all, and there is just solid steel up there. as such my questions are as follows:

1. it seems like several folks here have had problems with bottoming out with stock set up. is this fairly common (i'm 6'1 / over 200 pounds) and can i tweak stock setup to soften it up?
2. if answer is no to q1, where in NorCal can i get the springs redone in a semi timely manner?
3. if i'm doing the front springs/shocks, should i do the rear at the same time?
4. any suggestion on brands, dealers, shops, etc?
5. if i decide to go the yzf route, same questions. Where do i buy them, how much should it cost, etc. .

details -

i'm never going to race the bike
i ride mostly on trails and single track, so i'm looking for a softer ride vs. having a suspension for motocrossing
i don't mind spending money for quality

any/all feedback appreciated
Thnx
D

Edited by drick, January 17, 2010 - 08:20 AM.


  • JDLowrance

Posted January 17, 2010 - 06:04 AM

#2

What you are feeling is not suspension which is too stiff but just the opposite, your suspension is too soft for your weight. I know this sounds counter intuitive but trust me this is the case.

Your weight is causing the bike to ride very low in the stroke which feels very harsh over small to medium sized bumps and rocks. Stiffer springs will keep you and the bike up in the plusher part of the stroke over the small stuff and allow you to absorb the bigger hits without bottoming.

You can go for the fulll blown revalve and spring set up but since you are not planning on racing I'd just opt for some stiffer springs if I were you.

If you are mechanically inclined you can even install them yourself and save a little coin in the process. If not you can have them installed or maybe someone on this forum local to you might step up and give you a hand. I wouold but I'm in So Cal.

John

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 08:16 AM

#3

thanks for the information John and the prompt response.

my buddy who is a mechanic said that this might be the case as well, but the mass # of users here who have already been through this and fixed it seem to be a good place to start.

any suggestions on springs, i can't find any on rocky mountain but it appears that many folks here suggested putting yz forks on the bike, which i'm willing to do if it will fix the problem.

thanks again for the info.

p.s. my buddy can do the work, i just need to know what parts i need, thanks for the offer

  • tribalbc

Posted January 17, 2010 - 08:24 AM

#4

thanks for the information John and the prompt response.

my buddy who is a mechanic said that this might be the case as well, but the mass # of users here who have already been through this and fixed it seem to be a good place to start.

any suggestions on springs, i can't find any on rocky mountain but it appears that many folks here suggested putting yz forks on the bike, which i'm willing to do if it will fix the problem.

thanks again for the info.

p.s. my buddy can do the work, i just need to know what parts i need, thanks for the offer



Contact Dave J at Smart Performance. For alot less money than switching to YZ suspension he can make your WR suspension magical.

http://www.smartperformanceinc.com/

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 08:34 AM

#5

tribal, thanks for the info.

is there a specific kit i should ask for, or just explain my problem and let him tell me what i need?

i sent him a PM here, and an email to the shop this AM

  • tribalbc

Posted January 17, 2010 - 08:55 AM

#6

tribal, thanks for the info.

is there a specific kit i should ask for, or just explain my problem and let him tell me what i need?

i sent him a PM here, and an email to the shop this AM


I did the Phase 4 kit in the forks then he had me change around a few shims in the shock and drill out the exchange piston ports. I had already resprung (he has the cheapest spring prices anyways) It's also worth getting his fluid in there but he'll explain all to you, very helpfull. I did all the work myself and had never revalved suspension or rebuilt a shock. He has all the info available and is always a phone call away. Or he can just do the work for you.

Completely transformed my suspension. Rides high in the stroke and is firm, but plush with very little shock transfer to the rider.

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 09:05 AM

#7

I did the Phase 4 kit in the forks then he had me change around a few shims in the shock and drill out the exchange piston ports. I had already resprung (he has the cheapest spring prices anyways) It's also worth getting his fluid in there but he'll explain all to you, very helpfull. I did all the work myself and had never revalved suspension or rebuilt a shock. He has all the info available and is always a phone call away. Or he can just do the work for you.

Completely transformed my suspension. Rides high in the stroke and is firm, but plush with very little shock transfer to the rider.


Cool, thanks for all that.

so, here is my 1st dumb question of the day (i have the mechanical aptitude of a 3rd grader, so bear with me). looking at the parts list for the phase 4 kit here (http://www.thumperta...11&d=1236280670) it appears that springs are not included in the kit, is that correct? so if my springs are not up to the task of supporting my big ass, what all do i need to purcahse in order to do this?

so far what i think has been suggested is:
1 - new springs (but i don't know which ones to use)
2 - this kit
3 - ???

is that correct?

  • tribalbc

Posted January 17, 2010 - 09:23 AM

#8

Cool, thanks for all that.

so, here is my 1st dumb question of the day (i have the mechanical aptitude of a 3rd grader, so bear with me). looking at the parts list for the phase 4 kit here (http://www.thumperta...11&d=1236280670) it appears that springs are not included in the kit, is that correct? so if my springs are not up to the task of supporting my big ass, what all do i need to purcahse in order to do this?

so far what i think has been suggested is:
1 - new springs (but i don't know which ones to use)
2 - this kit
3 - ???

is that correct?


Thats correct the kit is just the valving. Springs are $84 an end. I'm 190lbs, race senior a hare scrambles, and I went up a rate on the forks and stayed stock on rear. I would guess you would need to go up on front and rear but you should talk to Dave and see what he recomends.

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 09:32 AM

#9

Thats correct the kit is just the valving. Springs are $84 an end. I'm 190lbs, race senior a hare scrambles, and I went up a rate on the forks and stayed stock on rear. I would guess you would need to go up on front and rear but you should talk to Dave and see what he recomends.


I'm well north of 200, so i would tend to agree with you on doing both the front and back (my buddy the mechanic said as much as well). the suggested kit is just for the front forks, right? is there somewhere i can do some research on springs/shocks? as i mentioned rocky mountain has nothing and that is usually my go to place to do research (before joining TT).

  • tribalbc

Posted January 17, 2010 - 10:01 AM

#10

I'm well north of 200, so i would tend to agree with you on doing both the front and back (my buddy the mechanic said as much as well). the suggested kit is just for the front forks, right? is there somewhere i can do some research on springs/shocks? as i mentioned rocky mountain has nothing and that is usually my go to place to do research (before joining TT).


The kit is for the forks, $98 last I know, plus fluid.
The shock he will sell you a few shims to change around on the valving, a few $'s, plus fluid.
Dave carries Eibach springs (best IMO) for both the front and rear, like I said $84 front, $84 rear.
To get an idea of spring rates for yourself go to Race Techs website and find the spring calculator.

If you don't want to spend the $'s you could respring, raise the fork oil level, set your sag and clickers and call it a day. It works, I rode my bike that way for 3yrs.
But for the less than $200 extra (doing work myself) for the valving changes made a huge world of difference. I'm kicking myself for not doing it right off the get go :banghead:

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  • ASternad

Posted January 17, 2010 - 10:16 AM

#11

+1 for Dave's Phase 4 Kit. Just like your initial ride I too was very disappointed with my new bikes suppenders, being 6' and 200 plus.
I just had my 09 WR450 done in Dec, by Dave. Night and day diff. Just took it on a moto x track a weekend ago and I was impressed.

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 10:23 AM

#12

The kit is for the forks, $98 last I know, plus fluid.
The shock he will sell you a few shims to change around on the valving, a few $'s, plus fluid.
Dave carries Eibach springs (best IMO) for both the front and rear, like I said $84 front, $84 rear.
To get an idea of spring rates for yourself go to Race Techs website and find the spring calculator.

If you don't want to spend the $'s you could respring, raise the fork oil level, set your sag and clickers and call it a day. It works, I rode my bike that way for 3yrs.
But for the less than $200 extra (doing work myself) for the valving changes made a huge world of difference. I'm kicking myself for not doing it right off the get go :bonk:


you just hit the nail on the head for me, i only want to do this once. as such i want to do it right, and am willing to pay the $200 extra (or whatever it is) to have a bike that i enjoy riding.

it's cheaper than dental work, which is what i'm going to need if i leave it as is.. :banghead:

  • tribalbc

Posted January 17, 2010 - 10:28 AM

#13

+1 for Dave's Phase 4 Kit. Just like your initial ride I too was very disappointed with my new bikes suppenders, being 6' and 200 plus.
I just had my 09 WR450 done in Dec, by Dave. Night and day diff. Just took it on a moto x track a weekend ago and I was impressed.


Which setup did you go for, Woods, Aggressive Woods or MX?

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 10:35 AM

#14

Which setup did you go for, Woods, Aggressive Woods or MX?


what is the difference between woods & aggressive woods? their website doesn't have a lot of information, and looks to be under construction.

  • tribalbc

Posted January 17, 2010 - 10:51 AM

#15

what is the difference between woods & aggressive woods? their website doesn't have a lot of information, and looks to be under construction.


Websites been like that for awhile....
Just click on the WR phase 4 link then follow all the other links in there for info.
The difference is just a little different valving setup. Your kit will have all the parts for any setup, you just get a different setup sheet based on your weight, ability, terrain.
I went with the Agressive Woods.

  • ASternad

Posted January 17, 2010 - 12:12 PM

#16

Which setup did you go for, Woods, Aggressive Woods or MX?


Not quite sure, I will need to ask Dave.
We dissucssed my riding style as being - mid pack C level rider, with moments of B rider aggresions.

  • JDLowrance

Posted January 17, 2010 - 03:39 PM

#17

drick,

Once again, I think you can save some coin and go with just the springs (at least to start). Get on Racetech's and MXtech's web site and put your info in on the spring calculator and they'll spit out the spring rates you'll need.

I personally like Factory Connection's springs as the shock spring is yellow and looks good on the Yamaha.

You start getting too far into valving without knowing what you're after and you could get lost.

Just sayin....

John

  • drick

Posted January 17, 2010 - 07:31 PM

#18

drick,

Once again, I think you can save some coin and go with just the springs (at least to start). Get on Racetech's and MXtech's web site and put your info in on the spring calculator and they'll spit out the spring rates you'll need.

I personally like Factory Connection's springs as the shock spring is yellow and looks good on the Yamaha.

You start getting too far into valving without knowing what you're after and you could get lost.

Just sayin....

John


JD,

do you think that as i progress on the bike that i would end up doing the full suspension at some point later?

to be transparent, all the work is going to be farmed out except for the removal and attachment of the finished product to the bike by my mechanic friend.

  • Wrfrk

Posted January 17, 2010 - 07:44 PM

#19

Enough has already been said, but after reading the comments by the OP I just had to say something. IMO there has never been a crappier suspension ever put on a bike from a factory. What you described was the very thing I thought/felt about my 07 WR 450 and I had no choice but to respring and revalve the suspension. After getting that done by one of my local guys the bike was night and day different. On a WR it's an ABSOLUTE MUST to get the suspension done....

  • JDLowrance

Posted January 17, 2010 - 08:32 PM

#20

Enough has already been said, but after reading the comments by the OP I just had to say something. IMO there has never been a crappier suspension ever put on a bike from a factory. What you described was the very thing I thought/felt about my 07 WR 450 and I had no choice but to respring and revalve the suspension. After getting that done by one of my local guys the bike was night and day different. On a WR it's an ABSOLUTE MUST to get the suspension done....



Bullshit. I've got a friend that is racing his bike completely stock and is kicking ass with it in D37. Ofcourse, the springs work for his weight.

It's up to you if you want to drop the coin now or not. i was giving you one option.

John




 
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