2011 help with stability in woods!

I've got 10 hours on my new yz450 in the woods. I'm 210lbs "B" class enduro rider. I can't for the life of me get used to the turning on this thing! I've got the power tamed down using the tuner g2 throttle tamer and I'm running 13-50 gearing. I swapped back and forth with my buddies WR400 and I'm much faster on his than mine. His bike seems to stick to the trail and tracks straight as an arrow through sand washes and really sandy corners. Mine seems to have a bunch of headshake and feels squirrelly. I've played with the suspension but it just feels like the front end steers to quick and dances around in deep sand. We're both running Michelin cross country tires. Through the loamy stuff mines it as bad, but I'm all over the place in sand and rutted out stuff. I've ridden for years and owned a lot of bikes but haven't had this kind of front end issues.

So I'm looking for a fix without spending a bunch of money. I'm thinking now I should have just bought a Wr instead but I wanted EFI and lighter weight like my 2 strokes.

So I've found a lowering link that is supposed to slow the handling down and I'll have to buy a new spring. I've looked at is the engine relocation kits. Would a softer revalve make the most difference or is this a geometry and weight distribution issue with these bikes?

We ride a lot of deep sandy trails at times and I'm on the tank into the corner, than standing with my weight back to keep from knifing the front end. This gets tiring after several miles since mozt of fhe trails are whooped out. When I rode the WR I could just stay neutral and rail the corners and track straight through the sand without a ton of changing body positions.

Sorry this is so long winded! Lastly if I ride this bike like my two strokes, pull the clutch and roll into the corners and then clutch out it feels like it tracks much better than rolling in using compression braking. The impression braking seems like it throws the front end off or makes it dance around or something?

What's your fork height and your sag in the rear? I'm about the same weight and probably close to the same speed and I LOVE the bike offroad and how it turns, having come from a YZ250.

My opinion is the YZ450 definitely likes the weight back, and chews up stuff when you get weight off the front. The tough part is that when you have too much weight on the front it knifes, and when you have too much weight off the front it wiggles and feels vague. Some where in there is a good sage setting for you (I run 108mm with the stock spring at 200lbs without gear), fork level (flush for me) and riding style. Don't believe the hype of all the MX reviews, the bike doesn't need massive changes to ride off road. You're not hitting fifth gear turns, or ripping bowl turns at high speed. Or maybe you are!

Also, I roll a lot of small to mid-sized offroad turns without using the clutch. I get my clutch work done smoothly as I'm getting close to the apex of the turns, still dragging the front brake, sit, turn, and then if another turn is coming shortly, I don't clutch again but play with the throttle to set the front end into the turn and roll out. I just cover the clutch in that case.

Hope that helps!

Thanks, I know I'm a little heavy for my spring rates, but I was thinking a little extra sag in the rear might not be bad for slowing the turning down. I'm mostly riding 3rd gear, but remember I'm geared at 50t rear. It just feels strange to me, I can't figure out the steering. My last bikes were WR250F, Yz250 and RMX 250 (Older 2t). I could fly with the RMX and it felt so stable and solid. I never had to worry about the front end kicking out on a rock or chasing ruts through the whoops or in big sandy corners. I've only had the bike a few weeks so I'm still adjusting but I do have 10 hours on so far. I've always been the weight back roll the corners and kinda steer with the rear wheel guy. It's worked really well but this bike just feels so light in the front end trying to corner with my weight back it's scary. It's just wierd to me that I can ride so much better on my older bikes and even my buddies big Wr400 pig. I'm tiring a LOT faster riding this bike since it feels like I'm constantly fighting to keep the front end going straight. Ugh, hopefully I can get things squared away before too long. I have a hare scramble next weekend and I was thinking of just ordering a lowering link to try this week to see if that helps. One thing I will say is my last few bikes were quite a bit undersprung for me and seemed to really soak up the ruts and rocks and were very slow and predictible in corners, which I actually really liked. Maybe I just need to save up and revalve before I try anything else?

lightspeed engine relocation kit. makes it easier to steer with the back in a controlled manner, front end feels more planted. also allows you to run more sag without creating a push as well as soften the shock to help with straight line stability. pretty awesome mod. best bang for your buck for sure.

I race an 11 yz 450 in offroad races, I found the following helped a lot:

- Increase rebound on the rear shock, I had mine revalved and the tuner added 4 or 5 face shims on rebound, I can now run the adjuster farther out and get more rebound damping than stock (actually a lot more rebound damping)

- I tried the pro circuit lowering link but prefered the stock one once the shock had been revalved,

- I run the forks 8-10mm up in the triple clamps

- I run the DrD relocating kit and it helped a bunch

- I also run more rebound on the forks but that is a personal perferance, i like the bike to react slower and not be so twitchy

Also I am quite heavy for the bike so its undersprung a bit with stiffer valving, but I prefer the way it rides and corners, my sag numbers are 108mm rider, 28mm static at 10mm pre load, I could go up a size but its ok

Edited by Stu2

i just rode my new 2011 yz450 today for the first time, all set for desert/woods/trails...im getting used to it, but its amazing. much faster reacting bike. but i am having to work out the issues also...i run a scotts stabilizer, tubeless tires and they both get ya tracking better. been playing a lot with the clickers...i think one issue i am having is a tall rear tire stink bugging the bike and messing with the geometry to it. so next round a lower tire with drop it a half inch. also the efi mapping, its twitchy up front, but turns amazingly. so its a toss up. i feel the bike really needs to be rode up on the tank.

You think its the tire causing the stink bug? What tire do you have on ?

Well I'm starting to get used to it better. I am going to try a lowering link to see what happens. I did realize I was leaning in while turning and not staying upright and leaning he bike over. As soon as I started focusing on keeping my posture up and laying the bike over more it cornered a ton better! Ill post an update when my lowering link arrive.

I'm using the Maxxis Desert IT in the 120/90-19" the specs on there website say its 28.1" diameter. Thats one full inch bigger than the Dunlop 756 it comes with. So there's a half inch. I love the tire for how we ride but on this bike it was just to big. I will go with a 110/90/19" and the 10MM lowering kit and that will drop me 3/4". I also flushed out the forks in the tripple clamps and adjust the chain to the tightest length for now. That should help for now. I may take a bit out of the preload also.

More so with this bike than most, if you ask 10 people you get 8 different responses on how to make it turn. That must mean it's a particular bike, but still, there are plenty of people riding it without lowering link, less offset, etc. Food for thought.

As for the link specifically, unless you think lowering the front end by "opening" things up with the lower link will help, I'd say think about what exactly is causing your issues. For reference, I haven't seen many offroad pro teams using lowering links on the YZ450's (although they could be moving the engines). Not AmPro, not Chris Bach, not Kyle Summers. But, then when you get to some WORCS bikes, or almost all Moto/SuperCross bikes, they have different links.

In regards to the Lightspeed/DrD engine kits, I'd be curious how many people riding enduro/cross country are actually using these, or even feel there isn't enough weight on the front. That definitely seems to be MX feedback, and not offroad, from what I've read/heard.

Personally, I'd say go with the 110/90 as that definitely help my bike flop side to side, set the sag/forks where you feel comfortable with the bike turning and in a straight line, then decide about the link/engine kit/triples/whatever. Jumping straight to a "steering" fix without putting the time in to set up the bike can be a waste of money. Hope the devils advocate approach helps!

Edited by Joe846

Well I'm by no means a pro rider. I have around 11 hours on the bike in the last three weeks so I admit I'm still learning to ride the bike. I can hop on my buddy's WR which are claimed to be very slow steering and I feel a lot more stable and in control. I can ride faster on his bike and I feel more in control. I'm going to see if the lowering link slows the handling down enough I feel more comfortable. It's a fix to a problem that probably doesn't exist for most riders. I'll post back what happens with the link when it arrives.

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