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red7

Suspension advice.

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I recently got an 04 WR450 and I could tell right off that I need to do something with the suspension. I weigh 185 (probably 200 with gear). Without spending a fortune what can I do to set the bike up better for me. This is my first dirt bike so I have nothing to compare it to but it seems to squat down an awful lot when I sit on it. I'm just starting to get comfortable jumping and just going over some small jumps the suspension seems to compress quite a bit and I don't know how much is left before I bottom out.

Thanks!

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Since I'm clueless of my options it might help if you guys can give me several options from cheap to expensive. You know like "you'll notice a huge improvement if you do this for $100 but if you spend another $200 you can do this which is even better and if you spen $--- you'll have the perfect setup.

Obviously I don't need it setup for racing. I just want to get it dialed in for my weight.

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The stock suspension is probably pretty good for a novice at your weight. Just set the sag on the rear at just over 4 inches. Get someone to help you with the measurement. When you get a little faster you might consider revalving for your ridng style and weight. I think you might be surprised at how little of your suspension you are really using. Get someone to take a video of you jumping to watch it working.

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I just went out and tested it because I didn't want to exaggerate. Basically, when I get on it I can stand on my very tippy toes without putting any weight on the bike. Then if I sit down it sags until I can just barely stand flat footed with flip flops on. I'm 6' even so does that sound about right.

Is there a trick to setting the sag to 4"? Anything else I should adjust on the front or back suspension. Any after market thing I should do?

I'm happy if the stock setup is good for me I just want to make sure everything is optimal before I start pushing myself to ride more aggressively. I also asked this because I've heard from several guys that the suspension should be the first thing to have dialed in before worrying about some of the other stuff.

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Static Sag or Race Sag is the amount the bike compresses from fully extended, with the rider on board.

Here's how to measure it.

1. First extend the forks or shock completely and measure from the wiper to the bottom of the triple clamp on forks or from the axle to a vertical reference point on the chassis. This is L1.

2. Take the bike off the stand, put the rider on board in riding position. Get an assistant to balance the bike or have the rider hold onto something, comress the suspension about 25 mm (1") and let it extend very slowly (slowly is the critical term). Where it stops, measure the distance between the wiper and the bottom of the triple clamp or the axle and the reference point on the chassis again. Do not bounce. This is L2. (If there were no friction in the seals the bike would come up a little further.)

3. Next lift up on the suspension and let it drop very slowly. Where it stops measure again. Do not bounce. This is L3. The reason L2 and L3 are different is due to stiction or drag in the seals and bushings. (If there were no friction in the seals or the linkage the bike would drop a little further.)

4. Half way between L1 and L2 is where it would come to rest with no friction. Therefore L2 and L3 must be averaged and subtracted from L1 to calculate true Static Sag.

Static Sag = L1 - (L3 + L2)/2

5. To adjust Static Sag make longer or shorter preload spacers or use the preload adjusters, if available.

Taken from RaceTech's website. (http://www.race-tech.com)

TIP that I read somewhere-

Changing the Race Sage to to a lower value will raise the rear end making the bike turn sharper and reduce bottoming. Conversely changing the Sag to a higher value will lower the rear and increase high speed stability.

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If you have the money, correct suspension tuning turns your bike into something wonderful to ride. You don't need to be a pro to enjoy good suspension!

Go to www.racetech.com and use their spring calculators for your bike. This will tell you if you need new springs. I haven't checked for you but I think you will be good with the ones you already got.

Set the sag correctly, do a search or read your manual on how to do it if you have no idea. this makes a big difference to the bikes suspension performance. Have a play around with the clickers too, but write everything down so you remember what works and what doesn't. Change out the oil too. You can get significantly better performance out of the suspension with fresh oil. My bet is your's is gluggy.

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Static Sag or Race Sag is the amount the bike compresses from fully extended, with the rider on board.

Here's how to measure it.

1. First extend the forks or shock completely and measure from the wiper to the bottom of the triple clamp on forks or from the axle to a vertical reference point on the chassis. This is L1.

2. Take the bike off the stand, put the rider on board in riding position. Get an assistant to balance the bike or have the rider hold onto something, comress the suspension about 25 mm (1") and let it extend very slowly (slowly is the critical term). Where it stops, measure the distance between the wiper and the bottom of the triple clamp or the axle and the reference point on the chassis again. Do not bounce. This is L2. (If there were no friction in the seals the bike would come up a little further.)

3. Next lift up on the suspension and let it drop very slowly. Where it stops measure again. Do not bounce. This is L3. The reason L2 and L3 are different is due to stiction or drag in the seals and bushings. (If there were no friction in the seals or the linkage the bike would drop a little further.)

4. Half way between L1 and L2 is where it would come to rest with no friction. Therefore L2 and L3 must be averaged and subtracted from L1 to calculate true Static Sag.

Static Sag = L1 - (L3 + L2)/2

5. To adjust Static Sag make longer or shorter preload spacers or use the preload adjusters, if available.

Taken from RaceTech's website. (http://www.race-tech.com)

TIP that I read somewhere-

Changing the Race Sage to to a lower value will raise the rear end making the bike turn sharper and reduce bottoming. Conversely changing the Sag to a higher value will lower the rear and increase high speed stability.

1. What is the wiper and what vertical reference point do I use on the chassis?

2. When you say compress the suspension 1 inch do you mean have me sit on it so it's compressed by my weight and then have someone else push down on the seat another inch and then allow it to come up slowly?

3. Then do I just raise up on my toes a little taking some weight off the bike and then slowly drop town again?

Is static sag the same thing Old Man Dan was talking about when he said set the sag to 4"? If not how do your two comments correlate? If so, does the manual make it obvious how to set it?

Do I want to touch anything else like preload or something else or just worry about the sag for now?

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I checked the spring rate and it said 0.462 kg/mm for my weight. I can't find anywhere in the manual to confirm the stock spring rate. I also can't find in the manual where it mentions adjusting sag. Do they use different lingo to describe sag? They mention preload, rebound damping force, low compression damping force and high compression damping force.

I'm confused and feeling very much like the newbie I am. :excuseme:

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I checked the spring rate and it said 0.462 kg/mm for my weight. I can't find anywhere in the manual to confirm the stock spring rate. I also can't find in the manual where it mentions adjusting sag. Do they use different lingo to describe sag? They mention preload, rebound damping force, low compression damping force and high compression damping force.

I'm confused and feeling very much like the newbie I am. :excuseme:

Racetechs site / spring calculator will give you the stock spring rate, I have an 04' as well and I re-sprung to a stiffer spring. I can't remember what the stock springs were but I know the on-line calculator tells you what it is. At 180, the stock spring rate is probably good. Your sag adjustment should be in your manual, might be in the front under initial set up.... If not Race Tech should provide some instructions. :bonk:

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1. What is the wiper and what vertical reference point do I use on the chassis?

2. When you say compress the suspension 1 inch do you mean have me sit on it so it's compressed by my weight and then have someone else push down on the seat another inch and then allow it to come up slowly?

3. Then do I just raise up on my toes a little taking some weight off the bike and then slowly drop town again?

Is static sag the same thing Old Man Dan was talking about when he said set the sag to 4"? If not how do your two comments correlate? If so, does the manual make it obvious how to set it?

Do I want to touch anything else like preload or something else or just worry about the sag for now?

1. The wiper is the outer seal on your forks, in this case we are talking about the rear so use the axle as a reference point. A good reference point on the frame is the seat bolt. It's the one I use anyway. So- measure from your rear axle to the seat bolt.

2. You should measure your points with the bike on a stand and write that down. In this step you take the bike off the stand and get on it. (This part is a lot easier with a buddy to help you) Stand up on the pegs in your riding position (you can sit if your a sit down rider) Get someone to balance you and yes, press down on the bike a little then let it up slowly. Take the measurement again.

3. You have the right idea! Or you could just have your helper lift the back a little then slowly let it back down. Measure again.

Static Sag & Race Sag are the same thing. Just two different terms.

In the manual it talks about preload. Increasing preload raises the "sag" and decreasing the preload lowers the "sag". Adjusting the preload is done by turning the rings on the shock. Reference the manual again and I think you might start to understand.

Here are a few more links that might help you understand it more too.

http://www.tootechracing.com/suspension_tips.htm

http://www.4strokes.com/tech/racesag.asp

http://www.shocktherapyracing.com/sagsettings.htm

Don't get all worked up about it. You will learn more with time. If you're still unsure feel free to ask more questions. We all had to start somewhere.

As for spring rates I think you'll be fine with stock if you're not motocrossing or doing some high jumps.

Type of Riding: Desert / Enduro / Trail

Rider Weight: 185 lbs

Recommended Spring Rate: 5.40 kg/mm (use closest available)

Stock Shock Spring Rate (measured): 5.3 kg/mm (stock)

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Just set your sag according to the manual and you'll be fine. The WR has good suspension stock. I would change the fork and shock oil if the bike has time on it.

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The WR has good suspension stock.

Not really, it can be improved way out of sight! Trust me! :excuseme:

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I went for correct springs for my weight front and rear and Race Tech Gold valves front and rear, changed oil.

Totally different bike to ride.

Race Tech does get my vote !

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I went for correct springs for my weight front and rear and Race Tech Gold valves front and rear, changed oil.

I was thinking of doing this to my 05. I was wondering if the Gold Valves are really nessicarry, but I weight 220 lbs and know I need springs. So I guess I might as well. :excuseme:

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I was thinking of doing this to my 05. I was wondering if the Gold Valves are really nessicarry, but I weight 220 lbs and know I need springs. So I guess I might as well. :excuseme:

Yes, this would be a must do thing if you are going to raise the spring rates that much. They have soft valving stock as it is!

Trust me, I got heavier springs first before sending my syspension away. I just couldn't do anything to make up for the soft valving. I tried heavier oil, less oil in the tubes, everything.

Spend the money, you won't regret it! Even if you just trail ride, it turns your bike into a razor sharp weapon that is just so easy to ride.

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If you are going into the supension anyway, go with Race-Tech Gold Valves.

Do it right the first time, then spend time riding, not wrenching.

Just my view.

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call jeremy at MX-TECH.his number is 815-936-6217.he wrote the entire suspension chapter in eric gorr's book on setting up your bike.he answers his own phone and will take the time to help you.he assisted me with my 05 wr450 and also with several friends bikes that i service.correct spring rate,sag height and working from a baseline setting on the clickers and you'll make that bike handle so much better.this is a project that even a beginner can do without a bunch of special tools.this was not a ad for mxtech.it was just a recommendation cause most of the suspension companies treat us like idiots and act as though they are the keepers of a black art.

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call jeremy at MX-TECH.his number is 815-936-6217.he wrote the entire suspension chapter in eric gorr's book on setting up your bike.he answers his own phone and will take the time to help you.he assisted me with my 05 wr450 and also with several friends bikes that i service.correct spring rate,sag height and working from a baseline setting on the clickers and you'll make that bike handle so much better.this is a project that even a beginner can do without a bunch of special tools.this was not a ad for mxtech.it was just a recommendation cause most of the suspension companies treat us like idiots and act as though they are the keepers of a black art.

And this is why I will be using MX-TECH valve componets in my suspension when I rebuild next time.

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