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Suspension work for light rider

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So I have been looking through threads all day about how getting suspension reworked is the best mod to do. I only weigh 160 pounds and I read that the bike comes set up stock for around my weight. So would it even be worth the cost for me to have my suspension done at my weight? The front end seems to wash out easier than other bikes I've ridden. I know the drz isn't going to perform 100% as good as some other bikes but I'm trying to make it as good as possible. Thanks

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While the springs might be good for your weight, valving will depend on your intended riding (street, race, woods, mx, desert, etc...).  Measuring race & static sag both front and rear will give you an idea if the springs will be good.  Also what model DRZ S, E, SM?

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adjust the rear preload so you get 60 to 70 mm sag and slide the fork tubes up a bit (to lower the front end)...this should get you a better feel with the front end.

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I have a 2006 S model. I'm mostly riding so-cal dirt trails / desert. Every thread I read on this is usually posted by a larger rider so I just don't know if the change for me would be drastic enough to spend my money on suspension or other mods first.

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sorry, I thought you had an sm....rear sag should be around 90-100mm for your bike. I think the springs will be fine for your size...just need to make adjustments to get it handling proper.

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Like the classic RaceTech saying, "the best you've ridden, is the best you know".  So if you don't have any complaints about the suspension when riding and it doesn't limit you then maybe you don't need anything changed.  However, I'd bet it's lacking in certain areas and you just don't know because you have experienced a better riding bike... maybe I'm wrong.

 

I would definitely set the rear race sag (its free, just some time, as priority #1) to about 100 mm (since you're mostly riding off-road).  Then based on your static sag you'll know if the spring is too stiff or soft.  The front is more difficult to measure, but race sag will also give you an indication whether the springs are good.  I'd say likely the front springs (0.44 kg/mm) are good, the rear (5.5 kg/mm) a little too stiff for your weight.

 

Besides that, start playing with the clickers... if you notice that you're running them close to all the way in or out, you'll probably need a revalve.  Revalve is more about the terrain you ride on and your skill level (speed) more so than your weight (unless your very light or very heavy).  Take notes: does one end feel harsh, does it wash out, do I bottom, is the bike wallowy, etc...

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It gets complicated :)  The DR-Z isn't fundamentally bad - it's fundamentally good IMO - it's just differently sprung and valved from most bikes that are ridden the same in the same places. I would personally choose to say that it's valved a little oddly, but that's just an opinion.

 

What bikes have you tried and liked?

 

And then w.r.t washing out - Mine did that when it was too low in the front and too high in the rear, which is geometry that causes handling to be less stable (rake/trail). In addition to what has been suggested already, you could try increasing rear sag a bit - say 5mm, even if that's not the "correct" rear sag. Or lower the forks in the tubes, making them more flush with the yoke. Then see how the bike feels. If it feels better, you like a more stable geometry. If by doing this test you are having the rear sag more than is recommended, you can raise the rear back up and adjust the forks to get a similar effect.

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It gets complicated :)  The DR-Z isn't fundamentally bad - it's fundamentally good IMO - it's just differently sprung and valved from most bikes that are ridden the same in the same places. I would personally choose to say that it's valved a little oddly, but that's just an opinion.

 

Surprised to see this after all thats been said about the DRZ suspension. 

 

It's about as good a discription as I've Seen.

 

Tony

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Good and bad is subjective... the components themselves are good (Showa 49 mm conventional forks and 50 mm), but the spring rates are miss-matched front to rear and the valving is at best good for casual street and very light trail use.

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