DIY suspension wr 450

Looking for some opinions or advise on due it yourself suspension kits. I have a 2007 wr450f with stock suspension. I already have new springs for my weight. What brands are out there for this bike? I have seen Race Tech and Smart Performance wondering if there are any more to chose from. What was your experience with them. Just so you know I have had an order in to DaveJ from smart performance for over a month and have no idea what is going on with it. Looking at other options Thanks.

Looking for some opinions or advise on due it yourself suspension kits. I have a 2007 wr450f with stock suspension. I already have new springs for my weight. What brands are out there for this bike? I have seen Race Tech and Smart Performance wondering if there are any more to chose from. What was your experience with them. Just so you know I have had an order in to DaveJ from smart performance for over a month and have no idea what is going on with it. Looking at other options Thanks.

Smart Performance and Race Tech are the only ones that I know of that will give you shim stacks and the specifics on the exact shock/fork internals.

The race tech stuff is pretty inclusive and gives you everything you need as well as support.

Dave's stuff is FANTASTIC... however, you will have to be patient if you want to deal with him.

Its cool that you are going to do your own. You'll be better off in the long run.

Smart Performance and Race Tech are the only ones that I know of that will give you shim stacks and the specifics on the exact shock/fork internals.

The race tech stuff is pretty inclusive and gives you everything you need as well as support.

Dave's stuff is FANTASTIC... however, you will have to be patient if you want to deal with him.

Its cool that you are going to do your own. You'll be better off in the long run.

If you are willing to do some research, you can do plenty on your own. If it's parts you need (shims, seals, etc.) you can get them from Suspension Direct http://www.suspensiondirect.com/

Check out the suspension forum and you will see that it's really not that complicated to do your own valving.

Smart Performance and Race Tech are the only ones that I know of that will give you shim stacks and the specifics on the exact shock/fork internals.

The race tech stuff is pretty inclusive and gives you everything you need as well as support.

Dave's stuff is FANTASTIC... however, you will have to be patient if you want to deal with him.

Its cool that you are going to do your own. You'll be better off in the long run.

I would love to try Smart Performance everything I have read on here is positive. Just thought he forgot about me. I have never been a patient man. Have a trip scheduled to West Virginia end of the month and am running out of time. Maybe have to put stock shock and forks back together for the trip. Edited by Eightball64

If you are willing to do some research, you can do plenty on your own. If it's parts you need (shims, seals, etc.) you can get them from Suspension Direct http://www.suspensiondirect.com/

Check out the suspension forum and you will see that it's really not that complicated to do your own valving.

I have worked on engines and other parts of the bike just never suspension. Just thought it would be easier to have a professional kit to start with. I may look into it just not sure where to start.

I had Smart Performance do my forks and shock on a old yz250 about 3 years ago. He was the third guy to touch it. It took Dave a while to get to it, but when he did, it was better than I had imagined. Get his kit, do it your self.

Next time I deal with Dave (yes, there would be a next time), I'm going to buy a spare set of forks and shock to send to him.

He requires patience. It was worth it, but it wasn't fast.

I had Smart Performance do my forks and shock on a old yz250 about 3 years ago. He was the third guy to touch it. It took Dave a while to get to it, but when he did, it was better than I had imagined. Get his kit, do it your self.

Next time I deal with Dave (yes, there would be a next time), I'm going to buy a spare set of forks and shock to send to him.

He requires patience. It was worth it, but it wasn't fast.

Thanks for the advise maybe he hasn't forgot just busy. I am waiting on the kit.

Thanks for the advise maybe he hasn't forgot just busy. I am waiting on the kit.

Be the squeaky wheel. Its ok...

I don't think I've every heard anything but good reports on Smart Performance. This is also an interesting site for the do-it-yourselfer http://shimrestackor.com/

I don't think I've every heard anything but good reports on Smart Performance. This is also an interesting site for the do-it-yourselfer http://shimrestackor.com/

Interesting site May have to fall back on it. Thank You

Smart Performance did my 08 WR450 and I did have to bug him a bit but it was worth the time and money.

I was extremely happy with the results.

Smart Performance did my 08 WR450 and I did have to bug him a bit but it was worth the time and money.

I was extremely happy with the results.

I don't like bugging people but looks like its time to start. I would just like a straight answer from Dave if he is actually going to send me the phase 4 kit.

So what's up with the Smartperformance website? All I get is an index page with no links, contact info, nothing. It's been like that for a while.

Did he just shut his web page down so he didn't have to be bothered with it?

So what's up with the Smartperformance website? All I get is an index page with no links, contact info, nothing. It's been like that for a while.

Did he just shut his web page down so he didn't have to be bothered with it?

Been that way for quite a while. After talking to him just think he is as busy as he wants to be. Actually got a hold of Dave today and says my stuff will be shipped out on Monday. Excited as a school girl! :bonk:

I have worked on engines and other parts of the bike just never suspension. Just thought it would be easier to have a professional kit to start with. I may look into it just not sure where to start.

Suspension tuning is something that is horribly subjective and no two suspension 'experts' will agree on everything. That's why I tell people to try to learn as much as possible on the subject and try their hand at doing it themselves. I've been doing my own suspension tuning for about 15 years now. I really can't imagine being able to send my stuff off to someone with a note or a phone call telling them what I want. It just isn't that simple.

Start by doing some research. You are at the right place for that. Kit's arent really necessary. There three basic things that you need to understand when you start playing with suspension settings;

Spring rate; Is the spring correct for the weight of the bike/rider and ability/riding style?

Trapped air volume; The oil level in the fork. Adjusts the forks resistance to bottoming.

Damping charistics; Digressive vs. progressive. Dependant on riding type and ability.

Spring rate isn't something that is absolute. Two different riders that weigh the same on identical bikes aren't going to use identical springs. The guide on Race Techs website is exactly that, a guide. It will get you close, but you may be happy with something a little different.

Trapped air volume is fairly simple to understand; More oil=more resistance to bottoming. But at a price. Oil level too high and you will have your teeth knocked out if you are on the front brake and hit a square edged rut. Oil level makes the forks more position sensitive.

Understanding progressive damping vs.digressive damping is where most people get tripped up. Here is where the terms 'high speed' and 'low speed' damping come into play. They have nothing to do with the speed of the bike or what gear your in. This is where you will be concentrating your efforts if you plan on changing the shim stacks on the base valve and mid valve.

If you do research on those three topics and have some basic understanding of what is going on, you will be able to figure out what aspect of your suspension performance you are unhappy with and figure out how to address it. At the very least, It will allow you to give a detailed description of what changes you want if you do send your stuff to someone else.

Edited by 2grimjim

I've done 4 of the Phase 4 kits for guys with WR450's and helped another guy do the job himself. Every one of these exceeded the expectations of the rider and 4 of the 5 left it just the way it came "out of the box". In three cases they had previous suspension work done (which semi-seriously complicated things in one case on two counts, but that's another story), and they were still impressed at the improvement.

If you are at all leaning toward a DIY kit, go with the Phase 4 from SMART. You'll learn a lot from it, and you'll love the results.

Suspension tuning is something that is horribly subjective and no two suspension 'experts' will agree on everything. That's why I tell people to try to learn as much as possible on the subject and try their hand at doing it themselves. I've been doing my own suspension tuning for about 15 years now. I really can't imagine being able to send my stuff off to someone with a note or a phone call telling them what I want. It just isn't that simple.

Start by doing some research. You are at the right place for that. Kit's arent really necessary. There three basic things that you need to understand when you start playing with suspension settings;

Spring rate; Is the spring correct for the weight of the bike/rider and ability/riding style?

Trapped air volume; The oil level in the fork. Adjusts the forks resistance to bottoming.

Damping charistics; Digressive vs. progressive. Dependant on riding type and ability.

Spring rate isn't something that is absolute. Two different riders that weigh the same on identical bikes aren't going to use identical springs. The guide on Race Techs website is exactly that, a guide. It will get you close, but you may be happy with something a little different.

Trapped air volume is fairly simple to understand; More oil=more resistance to bottoming. But at a price. Oil level too high and you will have your teeth knocked out if you are on the front brake and hit a square edged rut. Oil level makes the forks more position sensitive.

Understanding progressive damping vs.digressive damping is where most people get tripped up. Here is where the terms 'high speed' and 'low speed' damping come into play. They have nothing to do with the speed of the bike or what gear your in. This is where you will be concentrating your efforts if you plan on changing the shim stacks on the base valve and mid valve.

If you do research on those three topics and have some basic understanding of what is going on, you will be able to figure out what aspect of your suspension performance you are unhappy with and figure out how to address it. At the very least, It will allow you to give a detailed description of what changes you want if you do send your stuff to someone else.

I will do some studing on those 3 basics. Think I am looking for the easy way for my first rebuild Maybe good maybe bad. I shoud get a build sheet and some options to change to if the first one is not to my liking.

I've done 4 of the Phase 4 kits for guys with WR450's and helped another guy do the job himself. Every one of these exceeded the expectations of the rider and 4 of the 5 left it just the way it came "out of the box". In three cases they had previous suspension work done (which semi-seriously complicated things in one case on two counts, but that's another story), and they were still impressed at the improvement.

If you are at all leaning toward a DIY kit, go with the Phase 4 from SMART. You'll learn a lot from it, and you'll love the results.

Thats exactly what I am doing. Mine is stock right now and have never been happy with it. I did alot of research on thumpertalk before ordering it from Dave. I would say 98% of what I read was positive. Did you do the forks and shock on those rebuilds? Have had the forks apart but never the shock.

I've done 4 of the Phase 4 kits for guys with WR450's and helped another guy do the job himself. Every one of these exceeded the expectations of the rider and 4 of the 5 left it just the way it came "out of the box". In three cases they had previous suspension work done (which semi-seriously complicated things in one case on two counts, but that's another story), and they were still impressed at the improvement.

If you are at all leaning toward a DIY kit, go with the Phase 4 from SMART. You'll learn a lot from it, and you'll love the results.

Rich,

My shoulder has finally healed enough to allow me to get back on the bike a few weeks ago. This was the first time since you installed the Phase 4 on my '07 WR450. I too have been impressed with the setup. My main issue was bottoming in the middle of a set of whoops in the desert. That has all but disapeared and without any sacrafice to the slow speed bump handling. Another satisified customer of Smartperformance and I want to thank you for the quick turnaround on the setup :bonk:

Ken

Edited by kenshaw720

Did you do the forks and shock on those rebuilds? Have had the forks apart but never the shock.

Yes, I did the shocks in all cases except one of the ones with previous suspension jobs. The shock makes a big difference in the control you have at speed. The instructions Dave sends are very complete and thorough, and if followed, will get you through your first one with no problem. IMO, they're simpler than the forks are.

Rich,

Another satisified customer of Smartperformance and I want to thank you for the quick turnaround on the setup :lol:

Ken

I've been wondering about you. You're quite welcome. Glad you're happy with it all, but I'm not surprised. :bonk:

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