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CRF250L Suspension/Handling Upgrade Thread

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On 17/04/2017 at 0:45 AM, PatriotUSMC said:

500 miles since replacing my shock with the YSS and I am LOVING IT!!!! HUGE improvement over stock. Now I need to figure out what I want to do with the forks......

 

 

CRFshock.JPG

Racetech gold valves/shim stack/spring compliment the yss very nicely imo. You won't regret it. 

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10 hours ago, CRFThai said:

Racetech gold valves/shim stack/spring compliment the yss very nicely imo. You won't regret it. 

Thank you, I've heard very good things about the Racetech fork upgrade. I'll probably go that route someday. 

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Removed the forks and rear shock this morning, going to do the gold valves this afternoon and replace the spring on the stock shock with one from racetech. Any one have a pic of the stock shock with the upgraded spring on it? It can't be that hard to figure out. The spring collar goes into the spacer to spring is very tight 

this right? 

IMG_5397.JPG

IMG_5398.JPG

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Decided after looking at all the options if I am going to invest the money i am going Racetech. For those that ordered their shock from Racetech, the website seems confusing to me when ordering, easier to call?

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6 hours ago, Cyclic said:

Decided after looking at all the options if I am going to invest the money i am going Racetech. For those that ordered their shock from Racetech, the website seems confusing to me when ordering, easier to call?

Yes, easier to call. I emailed my info to Christie@racetech first and then called her to place the order, pay and confirm some stuff.

You will need to click on DIRT on the web site and put in your rider info and style to get the spring rates.

Example :

Modifiers: 
Riding Type: Trail/Enduro
Age: 45 years and Older
Skill Level: Dirt Novice/Intermediate/C Class
Height: Standard Height
Gas Tank: Oversize Gas Tank

Your Height/weight:

 

My order looked something like this before the TT discount:

Front Fork Spring kit: FRSP 3951K - $114.99

Type 3 Gold valve kit: FMGV 2002C- $169.99

Rear shock RT G3-S:                      -$799.00

Enough Fork oil for the front forks:- USF05 $29.99 each you will need 2 (or whatever fork oil you can find locally, cheaper)if you don't plan on changing the fluid in the right fork, you can just go with 1 thing of oil.

Since you are in Canada, not sure who you contact, but here is Christie's email and phone #, she should be able to get you all set up.

christie@racetech.com

951-279-6655   Ext: 107

 

 

 

Edited by Force0321
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Removed the forks and rear shock this morning, going to do the gold valves this afternoon and replace the spring on the stock shock with one from racetech. Any one have a pic of the stock shock with the upgraded spring on it? It can't be that hard to figure out. The spring collar goes into the spacer to spring is very tight 
this right? 
IMG_5397.JPG.b144511c1847012222bc4f14cc6ee114.JPG
IMG_5398.JPG.3e6dd498185f7c58687c308380ff15e3.JPG


How did this work out?

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On 5/15/2017 at 0:37 PM, Cyclic said:

 


How did this work out?

 

It wasn't to bad. We used the hydraulic press with the bearing buster and cut a peice of pipe to fit over the top of the shock. Hairy part, we compressed the spring enough to put an auto body shim between the spring and the nut. Used a thin wrench to bread the clevis end of the shock loose. Stuck it back in the press and took the shim out and decompress the stock spring. 

The only part that was a pain was seating the one spring washer. 

IMG_5481.JPG

IMG_5482.JPG

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Just got my front and rear RT in the mail. They completely screwed up my order. Took 4 weeks to arrive and they sent me someone elses order.

I know nothing about suspension, for the front forks is there only one spring, one valve, etc? They only sent one of each, I assumed there would be a spring and valve in both forks.

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10 minutes ago, Kompact said:

Just got my front and rear RT in the mail. They completely screwed up my order. Took 4 weeks to arrive and they sent me someone elses order.

I know nothing about suspension, for the front forks is there only one spring, one valve, etc? They only sent one of each, I assumed there would be a spring and valve in both forks.

Correct, kinda. Only one spring for the left fork, and 2 valves.( compression and rebound) Nothing needs to be done to the right fork, unless you want to change the oil in it.

look here:

 

Edited by Force0321

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2 hours ago, Kompact said:

Just got my front and rear RT in the mail. They completely screwed up my order. Took 4 weeks to arrive and they sent me someone elses order.

I know nothing about suspension, for the front forks is there only one spring, one valve, etc? They only sent one of each, I assumed there would be a spring and valve in both forks.

How can you tell it's the wrong order?  If I recall correctly, the RT components for the front are pretty generic (as in not customized for you) - fork spring kit, FMGV 2002C RT Gold Valve kit.  The valving stack has to be calculated and built by you or a shop.

I'm guessing the only things they could have messed up is sending you someone else rear shock or the wrong gold valve kit?  Is that what happened?  That would make me cry.

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I ordered a custom color red and black rear shock to match my bike. They sent me a pure black one. The paperwork included where is shows how much you weight, type of riding, etc. Was completely wrong. Said I weighed in at 50lbs over what I submitted, type of riding was wrong, said it was setup for a 22 lbs side pannier when I don't have one, etc.

Took 4 weeks and cost me $400 with shipping and import fees ...

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6 minutes ago, Kompact said:

I ordered a custom color red and black rear shock to match my bike. They sent me a pure black one. The paperwork included where is shows how much you weight, type of riding, etc. Was completely wrong. Said I weighed in at 50lbs over what I submitted, type of riding was wrong, said it was setup for a 22 lbs side pannier when I don't have one, etc.

Took 4 weeks and cost me $400 with shipping and import fees ...

Man, that's a bummer.  I had problems too but not that bad.  The top eyelet on my rear shock was assembled with the wrong part.  I didn't realize until I had the whole subframe and swing arm disassembled.  Had to wait on them to mail replacement parts so I could fix it myself without shipping it back.  Bike sat in pieces until I could get around to it again.

Hope they get it sorted.

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12 minutes ago, Kompact said:

I ordered a custom color red and black rear shock to match my bike. They sent me a pure black one. The paperwork included where is shows how much you weight, type of riding, etc. Was completely wrong. Said I weighed in at 50lbs over what I submitted, type of riding was wrong, said it was setup for a 22 lbs side pannier when I don't have one, etc.

Took 4 weeks and cost me $400 with shipping and import fees ...

 

That's a bummer man but, chit happens sometimes .... :banghead:  ....  I know they will make it right and it will not cost you a dime.  I would call Christie not email her ... she is a very nice lady and will fix this ASAP ... :thumbsup:  

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Too bad man, I would be vexed too. I read a couple similar stories on WR forum of shipping errors.

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Christie is working to make it right, she has been good and I have no issue with her. The issue for me is there is only one shop in town who is experienced installing RT and they are booked up for a month. I have to forfeit my appointment and now I won't be able to get it done until close to the end of the riding season. 

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13 hours ago, Kompact said:

Christie is working to make it right, she has been good and I have no issue with her. The issue for me is there is only one shop in town who is experienced installing RT and they are booked up for a month. I have to forfeit my appointment and now I won't be able to get it done until close to the end of the riding season. 

Talk to them as well .... they might be able to make an exception and work with you.  Most people in general are good people .... keep the faith my friend ... :thumbsup:  Your thoughts are important as we seem to attract what we think .... think bad and bad things happen ... think positive and good things happen ...        angel-praying-smiley-emoticon.gif 

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Hey guys, I did the full front and rear racetech upgrade earlier this year. I'm very happy with the rear racetech shock, but the front forks with the gold valves and spring upgrade still aren't the way I'd like them to be. It's definitely better than stock, but I still feel it's more squirrely on gravel than it should be. I also feel like it should do better on small jumps. I know this is not a motocross bike, but I'm not riding like a motocross rider or doing big jumps either. I had a 90s era cr125 years ago and it handled many times better than this on rough gravel and small jumps, as did dual sports I've ridden from the 90s and mid 2000s like DRZs and so forth. While I never expected the crf250l to feel like a motocross bike, I had hoped the forks would feel better than they do. Small jumps feel like they "hit" really hard on the front forks of the crf, whereas all other bikes I've ridden seemed to just gently soak up the hit. I've also bottomed the forks out twice on the crf, so I'm going to put another spacer or two under the spring and possibly add 5-10cc of oil. The valving has been very carefully triple-checked as per the instructions, photos, and my custom valving profile from racetech, and everything is exactly as it should be. Am I just hoping for too much? When it feels like it hits too hard on small jumps, does that mean the compression damping is too firm for my tastes, or is it just a symptom of a somewhat heavier bike than I'm used to with different geometry and limited fork travel? Is the squirreliness on gravel considered pretty normal on this bike, or could that also be because the damping could be improved upon in some way? The feeling on gravel is kind of like you're on ice, it just feels like it can slide out from under you too easily and can occasionally take its on path when hitting really rough spots. Sometimes it can even feel like I have a flat tire on certain size gravel, only to look down and see it's ok. I just don't remember feeling that way to that extent on any other bikes. 
 

I know the custom valving/shim profile is designed for our weight, but could it be that the compression damping is set too firm for my tastes or what I'm used to? If that were true, then should it still be able to bottom out if the damping is that firm? On the other hand, could it be that the compression is ok but the rebound is a bit too stiff for my tastes or compared to what I'm used to? I guess what I'm saying is that the forks don't feel "plush" like numerous other bikes I've ridden on this same exact terrain, nor do I feel as in control as I have with other bikes. Also, if it helps any to understand what might be going on, when riding 2-up with my girlfriend, gravel roads feel even more squirrely, and of course it's easier to bottom out. So if the very things I'm unhappy with get worse with more weight, but still exist even with only my weight, it would seem like the compression damping isn't enough for our weight or even just my own, yet the symptoms I'm describing seem to almost suggest the opposite. Again, maybe I'm just hoping for too much out of this bike, but then again, I've seen videos of guys on the 250L jumping, riding on large rocks, and even hopping up logs or cross ties or something, and even if I possessed the skill to do that, the way this bike handles currently, it would be a hell of a jarring hit on the front forks and I'm almost certain would break something fairly quickly. I'm leaving for a 2 month trip up the California coast and into the pacific northwest next week and carrying the bike with me, so if I'm going to do anything to try to improve this, I need to get it done by this weekend. Any ideas or explanations would be appreciated. Maybe if I can't figure anything out, I can find someone else on my route who has this bike and suspension to ride mine and compare and see what they think. At least that way I'd have a better idea of whether that's just the way I'm going to feel on this bike, or if it's my setup and valving/shims specifically.

Edited by jstephens999
clarification, more details

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The front forks are a little short on travel, but still shouldn't be bottoming out unless you hit something really hard.  You have to determine weither the suspension is actually bottoming or not, basically wrap something around the fork that will move down when pushed by the fork, want it tight enough not to move without getting pushed, and not something that will damage the seal, then measure it aggainst the full extension and travel spec, this can help greatly in deciding weither it is actually bottoming, and to increase oil level and high speed dampening, or if it is hitting the stiffer end of the suspension range too early, where you would need more low speed/1st stage compression.  You essentially have 3 things trying to slow down the suspension before it actually bottoms, and all 3 can feel harsh in some instances, primary compression, 2nd stage compression, and progressive pressure increase.  The first 2 are set by the shim stack, the 3rd is the rapid increase in air pressure as the volume in the fork is reduced near the bottom, and can be influenced by oil level.  The shim "recipe" is also not the end of tuning, it's the beginning, you can increase or decrease aspects to better suit you.  The compression setting RT gives is a little stiff at slower speeds, or with slow movements like brake dive.

 

 Mine felt great on the road, but slow going offroad on ruts and rocks felt harsh, had to actually speed up and ride MORE agressively, let the suspension do it's job, and it smoothed out a great deal.  I haven't jumped high or far, the bike just isn't built for it, but I've jumped a few feet, and it felt good, with the full suspension travel available you do want to land with a bit more weight on the back than usual, it helps soak up the impact better. If the front feels sketchy offroad, i would suspect the tires too, the stock ones kinda suck on anything loose, airing them down helps, but they are limited, and don't have all that great directional stability compared to tires better suited for offroad use.  If you stiffen up the suspension, have decent tires, and it still doesn't do what you want it to offroad, then might consider a bike better suited for your style of riding instead of essentially a 50-50 dualsport.

Edited by alucard0822

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Thanks, I appreciate it. I'm sure they bottomed, it was a loud, hard thud a split second after the tire hit the ground and I could feel it in the handlebars. It bottomed like that very easily before the racetech upgrade, and it felt like it was going to blow them apart back then, so I took it really easy until I got the upgrades done. After the upgrades, it's only bottomed once when I jumped a small hill in my yard by myself and another time riding 2 up and slowly going over a very steep dirt mound on a trail and down into a dip with a dirt mound on the other side. The weight of both of us was shifting toward the front of the bike because the rear wheel was just beginning to roll down from the top of the mound we just summited and we were at a steep angle leaned forward when the front wheel hit the bottom of the dip and started up the next mound and they bottomed. Neither of those things will be happening often, but I'd rather them not ever happen at all. It sounds bad and can't be good for the bike. I got new tires on it when I did the suspension upgrade, TKC80s, and they still have very few miles on them. It certainly feels and handles much better going faster, and that's the only way I can ride loose dirt or gravel on it, so I'm with you on that aspect for sure. It just sucks sometimes and I don't remember any other bikes I ever rode on those gravel roads feeling quite this sketchy. It's rideable at slower speeds, but it's very sensitive to every bump and the least bit of rutting or washboard tries to force the front wheel to the side a bit and that gets sketchy with a girl on the back, plus it's mentally exhausting to have to deal with for very long. I know it's not the ideal bike for rough riding or for a passenger, but it's what I've got, and due to a variety of circumstances, it's all I'm going to be able to have for at least a few years. I do like the bike, I had just hoped that the racetech fork upgrades would have been a little bit more of an improvement than they have been so far. Maybe the low-speed stack needs to be stiffened a bit and some oil and spacers added, or maybe I'm just hoping for a little too much. 

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The Race tech kit is a big improvement, but can't cheat physics, it's still a heavy bike with less than 9" of travel in the front.  I would check the sag, if it drops by more than around 25% then definitely add shims, might add a small ammount of oil if it still bottoms after that.  Being it only bottomed a couple times, that is probably the easiest way to add a little preload and compression ratio.  If it's still not enough, then I would go a little stiffer on the compression stack.  One good thing is the instructions include a chart with the stack layout from light to stiff, so easy to know what to change it to, typically adding a shim to the primary stack to increase overall compression dampening.

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