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123BigcoopDawg576

Smart Performance - Phase 4 Install/Review

9 posts in this topic

Parts/Install

At the beginning of the year, I reached out to DaveJ to inquire about my suspension and the possibility of upgrading/changing things up. I asked about swapping YZ forks but Dave kept circling back to the WR forks and how good they could be. I asked how good … especially when a “bigger” named company had already “re-worked” my forks…At the end of the day, I ended up breaking down my forks (had to replace a seal anyways) and photographing my current valving for DaveJ. Upon Dave’s inspection of the base valve and the mid valve, it was concluded that only slight modifications to the base valve had been applied. The mid valve was completely stock…:busted:

Dave took on the challenge and set out to help show me “how” good the WR forks can be! He put together a build sheet sent out the parts. :p:moon:

Leading up to the build, Dave was extremely busy, a little back logged on orders and at one point sick. This lead to a longer wait for my parts but in the end, that wait was worth it! So if at any time you do decide to go with Smart Performance make sure you have plenty of time as things will happen (whether they are due to parts availability or the actually install etc). Also make sure to give Dave the benefit of the doubt. He is 150% about the customer; he is always quick to return phone calls/emails.

The cool thing about this project was about a year ago, my Dad ordered a kit from Dave for is 06 WR450 but he never installed. Fast forward, the 06 was sold and replaced with a new 09. This ment we were able to valve our forks/shocks at the same time. :thumbsup:

On Saturday, 7 days before a 500 mile dual sport ride, my parts arrived and my Dad and I broke down our forks and rear shock. Let’s just say, working on a virgin set of forks was nice…no missing shims to deal with (compared to my already previously reworked forks). Sunday we started working on the rear shocks…that’s when trouble hit…like with my forks, my rear shock was missing a lot of what Dave calls for on his build sheet (Dave's build sheet uses some of the stock shims...the previous tuner had removed alot of those that Dave expects to be there). Then there was the need for the special hi-temp loc tight and the ability to/have the rear shock charged!

All along the way, Dave was always a phone call away! Heck he even shipped out the missing shims I needed to finish my rear shock Monday morning. By Wednesday, the parts arrived and we all but finished the suspension…still had to charge the rear shock. Needless to say, Friday at noon, I found a local rider who had the right setup in HER garage to charg rear shocks. With the suspension installed, both my bike and my Dad’s bike still had to be prepped for the ride. Having done multiple Baja Adventures, several local desert race and countless dual sport rides, we were able to have both bikes prepped in less than 4 hours and load in the truck.

Ride/Test Report

Geared up and ready to roll, I have to admit I was nervous…I couldn’t help but wonder had we rebuilt the suspension correctly. How was the bike going to handle etc. To say the least, I/we were blown away. DaveJ’s suspension mods are leaps and bounds above the company that had previously done all my suspension. Over the course of 500 miles and 3 days, we covered graded dirt roads, washes, washboard roads, hill climbs, rocky roads, roads that were 100% rock, sand…you name it. The suspension handled it all and well. Everything that I noticed with my stiffer valved/shimmed suspension my Dad noticed with his softer valved/shimmed suspension. ;)

Three BIG takeaways that stood out when comparing Dave’s suspension to the previous suspension:

• Washboard Roads – Before, this was an area that I either had to avoid or go faster on because anything under a certain speed would rattle your brain. After, it didn’t matter if I was doing 5 miles an hour or 70; the forks soaked it up like it was butter!

• Front wheel & Rocks – Before the ride, I found myself having to run a high PSI because when I’d tag a rock, the front end would hit it and deflect and often times you knew you hit that rock. After, I was able to drop the PSI by 2lbs, hit rocks, not even notice them and the front end stay true as can be! The front end flat out tracked straight!

• G Outs – Before, I was able to hit g outs but you felt them…you could see them coming and you in a sense prepared for them. After, you could see them coming but when you hit them…you didn’t even notice the hit. The rear just rolls them like they don’t even exist!

After each day of the ride, I’d get off the bike and wasn’t physically tired. I didn’t feel like I had been riding for 8 hours. That is how much the suspension gives back!

No matter how you like your ride to feel (hard/firm/soft/stiff) Dave will build you kit that not only handles extremely well but that is tailored to what you are looking for :confused::smirk:;)

Conclusion

Aside from ending up with a GREAT setup, working with Dave and installing the SPI Phase 4 Kit, I have to honestly say I learned so much about the forks/rear shock. Understanding that the when tuning the fork, you want to adjust the rebound first (which btw on the WR’s is on the top of the forks) and then the compression. Or like when the rear shock, the blue nut that around the compression adjust actually controls the high speed setting of the shock!

I learned that working on the forks AND the shock is surprisingly easy. If you’ve ever rebuilt a 2 stroke top end, a rebuild a 4 stroke top end, replaced a fork seal and such you can re-valve your forks/shock! It’s not a hidden secret and it’s not hard, it just takes patients, common sense and the ability to follow directions (I mean come on, you have TT and Dave...which is only a phone call away!).

Challenge

If you are looking to do some suspension upgrades, I urge you ask/challenge your tuner and ask some of the following questions:

• What specific modifications are you going to do?

• Can you supply me with a build sheet?

• Absolutely ask for all your stock parts/shims back (makes is easy if you ever want to go back etc).

If they can’t answer the questions or the answer is no, then walk away. I have to admit I was extremely dis-appointed to find out that a bigger name company did little to no modifications to my suspension. I wish I’d have known to asked the above questions. But that’s life. Not to mention the end product doesnt even come close to DaveJ's ride :moon:

Final Words

All in all, DaveJ and his Phase 4 kit is awesome. Like I’ve mention above dealing with Dave was great. I highly recommend you at least give him a call and talk to him about any suspension upgrade you may have. :worthy:

Below are some random photos taken during the install and ride. If you have any questions about SPI/DaveJ or working on your forks...ASK! There are TONS and TONS of reviews on TT and lots of guys willing to answer questions.

Base Valve:

83e99545.jpg?t=1305302727

Mid Valve:

74fbf759.jpg?t=1305302827

Rear Shock:

5df2899e.jpg?t=1305302846

Rear Shock Valve Stack:

5c70c9a9.jpg?t=1305302877

Bikes during the Build:

26445886.jpg?t=1305302907

Dad and I during the ride (Chase Truck driver took this photo :moon: ):

04-05-11DualSportRideAppleValleytoVegas031.jpg

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Nice report. I'm curious how your build sheet compares to mine? Would you mind sharing? If you would like to see mine I'd be happy to send it to you too.

A couple of Q's:

1. What kind of riding/skill level did you ask Dave to set it up for?

2. What's your weight?

3. What spring rates are you running front and back?

4. How many clicks out are you running the fork compression adjusters at?

I love my set up too, but have one issue: I have to run my fork comp adjuster out at 18 to get the plushness I want. 17 clicks and it's too harsh, 19 clicks and it wants to wash out. I would like a little better fine tuning adjustability with the forks.

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A couple of Q's:

1. What kind of riding/skill level did you ask Dave to set it up for?

2. What's your weight?

3. What spring rates are you running front and back?

4. How many clicks out are you running the fork compression adjusters at?

1) I dont have it electroniclly so hopefully DaveJ can post it.

2) 210 but when I orignally has my suspension done, I was up towards 230 and at one point 240 :confused: (I've lost almost 35lbs :thumbsup:)

3) .48kg front springs and .56kg rear spring

4) I'd have to look. I want to save whatever DaveJ had on the build sheet. The only thing I messed with was the rebound. From all the reading I did, I'm under the impress that you should 100% dial the rebound (which I did) and then play with the compression.

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1) I dont have it electroniclly so hopefully DaveJ can post it.

2) 210 but when I orignally has my suspension done, I was up towards 230 and at one point 240 :confused: (I've lost almost 35lbs :thumbsup:)

3) .48kg front springs and .56kg rear spring

4) I'd have to look. I want to save whatever DaveJ had on the build sheet. The only thing I messed with was the rebound. From all the reading I did, I'm under the impress that you should 100% dial the rebound (which I did) and then play with the compression.

Can the both of you fella's send me your build sheets? I am getting mine done next week. It would be interesting to compare.

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Can the both of you fella's send me your build sheets? I am getting mine done next week. It would be interesting to compare.

Ken - PM me your email address.

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Can the both of you fella's send me your build sheets? I am getting mine done next week. It would be interesting to compare.

Mines the same as SXP's, seen his before.

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Good to hear you happy with the outcome Coop. Didn't hear back from you so figured you were good. Were did you end up with sag? I find the forks very sensitive to rear sag.

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Aaron,

That's good news to read. I talked to DaveJ several days ago, and my order should ship out this week. I'm nervous and excited. It gives me confidence that an experienced guy like yourself felt such dramatic and positive changes.

Also, I'd like to get build sheets too from everyone for comparison. I'm working on losing a few Lb's and may need to do some fine tuning.

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I had dave do the suspension on my 01 yz250 a few years ago. It was almost unride able offroad because it felt like a jack hammer at times. After he finished, the bike absorbed hits so well that I looked forward to running into the g-outs at high speed. It was unbelievably stable in the whoops. He's a master with those open bath Kayabas.

Since I sold that bike, I've had three other bikes with suspensions from other "known" and respected tuners. For the life of me, I can't understand why they can't make theirs more like Daves. When you tell them that you want an offroad suspension that doesn't bottom, they never get that through their thick skull.

As much as I loved Daves setup, I enjoyed it even more after I put some air cannisters on the forks. On the small chop, it make them perfect and able to handle big and small hits. I regret selling that bike because of the suspension it had.

It makes me wonder if Dave has the same magic touch with KTM's.

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