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13' 450SXF Secret for better corning

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OK guys, here is the deal. Been a yamaha guy my whole life and i KNOW that the pre 2010 yamahas are not the greatest turning bikes. 2010-13 are much better but I do not like the way those bikes feel. Tried but couldn't get used to them. Bought a 13 450 SXF this fall and absolutely love the bike. Suspension was a little soft so I had MX Tech revalve and spring the suspension. It is getting real close to the setup I prefer but I still cant get this bike to turn well. I have tried the forks at the top (cap line) and the 1st and 2nd ring. I have tried messing with the sag (100mm to 110mm) and nothing seems to help. The bike will not stay in a rut and wants to keep pushing through corners. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

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OK guys, here is the deal. Been a yamaha guy my whole life and i KNOW that the pre 2010 yamahas are not the greatest turning bikes. 2010-13 are much better but I do not like the way those bikes feel. Tried but couldn't get used to them. Bought a 13 450 SXF this fall and absolutely love the bike. Suspension was a little soft so I had MX Tech revalve and spring the suspension. It is getting real close to the setup I prefer but I still cant get this bike to turn well. I have tried the forks at the top (cap line) and the 1st and 2nd ring. I have tried messing with the sag (100mm to 110mm) and nothing seems to help. The bike will not stay in a rut and wants to keep pushing through corners. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

I run my forks 3mm under the 2nd ring and sag at 100mm. I found this to be the perfect setup for me. Also make sure you dont have your comp and rebound to high, as this will not allow the front end to settle in. I tried the 2nd line and I felt the same as you, moved it just a little more and bingo. As everyone says, these bikes are really sensitive to adjustments. You'll know when you find it, it stands out that much.

Edited by FiremanKay

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I know this seems simple, but do you think you could post a pic of where your forks are sitting in the clamps. If not, no big deal.

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OK guys, here is the deal. Been a yamaha guy my whole life and i KNOW that the pre 2010 yamahas are not the greatest turning bikes. 2010-13 are much better but I do not like the way those bikes feel. Tried but couldn't get used to them. Bought a 13 450 SXF this fall and absolutely love the bike. Suspension was a little soft so I had MX Tech revalve and spring the suspension. It is getting real close to the setup I prefer but I still cant get this bike to turn well. I have tried the forks at the top (cap line) and the 1st and 2nd ring. I have tried messing with the sag (100mm to 110mm) and nothing seems to help. The bike will not stay in a rut and wants to keep pushing through corners. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

You have 4 positions for the handlebar on the KTM. Say 4 is the one in the most fwd position (fwd holes, fwd rotated clamps) then run it in fwd wholes, but rotated back so position 3. I run position 4, but i have my handlebar RC-style.

Hardpacked: Fork 5mm up, 103-105mm SAG

Sand: Fork flush at top, same SAG (if i have the time i drop it to 107 something, have fixed marks on my rear spring)

Edited by addeeriksson

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Thanks for the responses guys. I swapped the front tire for a Bridgestone 403 and that helped. I also changed my bar location to most forward position. I did these two things last week before this past weekends race. They seemed to help but I still cant get this thing to corner better. When you say RC style what are you talking about? I will try the fork position of lower than the 2nd ring and see whnat that does for me. Anyone try aftermarket tripley clamps with a steeper offset?

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Its a tough call because it can be so many things. Tires, spring rates, damping, ride height (sag), body position, dirt surface, etc.

I too have had an issue with the front end pushing wide (understeering), but putting more weight on the front, I don't feel is the solution. Part of the issue in my view is the wheelbase and the fork offset. The stock offset is 22mm, which works great for stability, but the bike doesn't have the sharp steering which is a character trait of the older KTM's. Brining the front wheel a tiny bit back, changing the offset to 20mm and bringing that rear wheel a tiny bit in, shortening the wheelbase, does make the bike steer a lot better.

There are many companies making adjustable offset triple clamps for KTM's. Xtrig are the defacto standard, but they're not the only ones.

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Bring rear wheel forward...shorten chain....all of the above suggestions will enhance after shortening chain

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Maybe it is you? Try dragging your front break through the apex of the rut. It weights the front and keeps the bike from walking out of the rut. Weight the out side peg. Last but not least don't be afraid to lean it over.

Maybe it is you? Try dragging your front break through the apex of the rut. It weights the front and keeps the bike from walking out of the rut. Weight the out side peg. Last but not least don't be afraid to lean it over.

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Drop10cc of oil out of each fork.....the bike will sit lower in the stroke and settle through the corner......Your sag and fork height are bang on! Dump the MX51 if thats what you're still riding on.....

  • Like 1

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It could be forks, it could be tires, it could be your muffler beating as well......or it could just be you. I know a few pros on that same bike, one ran it completely stock for 3 months with just clicker changes. They can keep the pace and fly through corners. When you stop blaming the machine and work more on your technique, training, physical fitness and a ton of seat time you will be able to be fast on anything. Until then, the bike will always be the problem.

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Another difference between KTM and Japs is that KTM has its footpegs/chassi higher up. I used the fastway footpegs to lower them and that made a HUGE difference even though it moved them back a few mm also.

  • Like 2

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Another difference between KTM and Japs is that KTM has its footpegs/chassi higher up. I used the fastway footpegs to lower them and that made a HUGE difference even though it moved them back a few mm also.

Agree 100%! Since bolting the Fastways the handling improvements are tremendous....

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I`m using 20mm offset triple clamps and they also help a lot that the bike corners better and feels more like a smaller bike. No problem with unstable on straights or so as the KTMs are so stable anyway!

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I`m using 20mm offset triple clamps and they also help a lot that the bike corners better and feels more like a smaller bike. No problem with unstable on straights or so as the KTMs are so stable anyway!

Which one did you buy?

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Personally, I'd add two clicks harder rebound on the forks...

If that doesn't feel better ... Set it back and turn the high speed compression on the shock in 1/8 of a turn harder.

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Modern KTMs handle immpecably completely stock.

The keys to making any bike really stick in the turn is going in much faster than you thought possible, braking firmly w/ the front brake (my back tire often comes off the ground entering turns), and then beginning the throttle roll on right as you let off the brakes. No coasting allowed. This shoves the front end into the ground/ rut/ berm and alters the steering geometry making the front end stick.

The other thing is you need the forks to settle. Add rebound or subtract compression up front if needed to get the front end to not pogo back up when getting off the brakes. Sometimes it helps if you do the opposite to the rear end to make it ride high and not settle when on the throttle.

Lastly, I've tried 18, 20, 22mm fork offsets on my '08 KTM (which handles exactly like my '13 btw) and 22mm is by far and away the best. 18 isn't even ridable and 20 is typical old school KTM, sort of vague and you need something to bounce off of to get it to turn.

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I had an 09 yz 450 that I could practically do donuts dragging a bar at the dunes.

I basically have the same problem getting my front end to cooperate ((vague feeling in corners, little confidence, just hard to stick it into the corner and throttle out) (mostly in very, very deep sand)). I rode at a dirt track lately and really didn't have any problems, we'll see how it works this Memorial day at the dunes.

P.S. I don't think anyone appreciates these "It's your technique" comments, I believe there is a general consensus that these bikes can be difficult to setup (lets work as a community).

So far this is what I've done.

Xtrig preload adjuster, to get sag set easily. (Very expensive and a bitch to install, don't forget shock must be disassembled, refilled with nitro, etc... total cost can be $200 :'()

BRP dampened Scotts sub mount (Very expensive, this puts the bars in the 3rd position fwd, and up about an inch, Great product, Good bye arm pump, look forward to adjusting the Scotts for the sand)

Forks set to 2nd line down from top.

I'll report my findings after Memorial. I plan on playing with fork height and the adjusters and Scotts, to see where I can get to.

Edited by FlintownKilla

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In no way was I meaning for my comment to sound dickish. I was a long time yz rider and had just recently turned into a KTM fanatic. To me it is easy to blame the bike rather than stepping back and doing a style check. Here is a 1999 yz400f corner pic. Yes it was a tank and no it didn't want to turn.560702_545218782156242_1910141092_n.jpg

Here is my 05 yz450f. Yes it was a tank and no it didn't want to turn.

6132_100627123282079_4363882_n.jpg

Here is my 07 Yz450f. Not as bad of a tank but still did not like to turn.

10129_103768222967969_359734_n.jpg

My 12 KTM 350sx

221973_3252594608669_2024902656_n.jpg

Wish I had a picture of me on my 1983 Maico 250 dragging bar. What I am trying to get at is spending all this money on aftermarket parts can only get you so far. There is no magic turn part out there. These bikes were all stock accept for handle bars and pipes. Practice technique. Get out in a open field and make a figure 8 track. Practice entrance body position, throttle control, and keeping your momentum up. Save all that cash and buy beers for the end of the day bench racing with your buddies.

Edited by nornevrder

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After having the front and rear suspension re valved and shimmed by Darren at www.tillitsuspension.com the bike's handling has been transformed. I also dropped the forks 5mm below the second ring and she corners like a dream without any loss of stability on the straights.

I'm running 13/50 sprockets, Dunlop MX 51 tire's and 103 mm sag, handlebars full forward position, 6kg rear spring. I weigh in at 96 kg kitted up and I'm 5ft 10".

The bike is awesome now I LOVE it!!!

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