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2012 RMZ 450 pushing in corners.

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I will start off by saying that I have never been inside a set of forks so you will have to bear with me if I ask some stupid questions along the way, but through testing with my tuner I feel that I have learned quite a bit, and I really want to continue to learn. Im also interested in beginning to do my own fork and shock rebuilds which is why I am asking here instead of just dumping them off to my tuner like I have done in the past.

 

Anyways, on to the meat and potatoes. I will try to cover everything in my initial post so bear with me.

 

This is my first Suzuki. Been a LONG time Yamaha rider. So I am not really familiar with this bike or these forks and where they like to be set up wise. The front end is pushing a lot and I don't like it. If there is a nice rut I can lay it in there and it will track nicely, but anything other than a "perfect", smooth and cupped rut and it pushes. I have had a revalve and respring and didn't have the issue in stock trim but it was entirely too soft and I dealt with bottoming and the rear end kicking out on me, but now that the bike rides perfectly literally everywhere else on the tack, I cannot find a happy medium in the corners. I have tried following the clicker adjustments recommended by my tuner since he is pretty far away so I have to attempt to work this out over the phone. I hate to admit it but I usually cannot remember what he told me to do when I feel something by the time I go to the track and start testing. After making these changes the bike wants to knife. It seems like it is either one extreme or the other. Is there something wrong with my valving maybe? I have played with clickers, oil height, you name it I have tried it... everything apart from taking the forks back apart.

 

The bike stopped bottoming, tracks great and the rear end is planted as all get out which is exactly what I asked him to do but now I'm having the issues with the front end pushing or knifing. I just don't understand why there is no inbetween, it is either one or the other. If I have to I will just go back to the shop and get it worked out but I think it has got to be something simple that I am missing.

 

Im running my forks at 6mm from the clamp to the bottom of the fork cap. 112mm (I know, quite a bit but it works really well have tried everything from the 112 I am at now all the way up to 100mm) of race sag (static sag at 33mm) in the rear and have 78mm (41mm of static sag) of race sag in the forks. This seems like it should be about perfect. 

 

A little about me. I am 6'4 225 before gear. 26 year old Mid pack B rider on the local level, never really raced outside of the local scene so I don't know how I stack up against stiffer competition. My current settings are

 

Fork

Spring rate - .51kg

Oil height - 374cc (have played with everything from 365 - 380

Compression - 11 out

Rebound - 9 out

 

Shock

Spring rate - 6.1

Compression 14 out

Rebound - 10 out 

High speed - 2 turns out

 

and just for kicks in case it matters, I'm running a brand new M403 at 12-13 psi depending on the track. I ride mostly deeply disced and beautifully prepped MX tracks that turn to nice fluffy loam.

 

These are the clicker settings that the bike feels the best, but there is something missing. I believe I covered everything except for valving because I cannot remember exactly what those settings are. I have them written down somewhere but I will have to dig them out if you need them.

 

EDIT: Found my stacks... This is what I suggested after trying multiple shim stacks based on info from a member here on TT while reading up on the RMZ450 before I bought it.

Base
30X0.10 x10
29x0.10x2
28x0.15
26x0.15
24x0.15
22x0.15
20x0.15
18x0.25

Mid
0.20 float
20x0.10 x5
18x0.10
17x0.10
16x0.10
15x0.10
14x0.10 
Spacer
9.5x0.20
10x0.20 x2

Reb
20x0.10 x3
19x0.10
12x0.10
18x0.10
16x0.10
15x0.10
14x0.10
13x0.10
12x0.10
11x0.10
10x0.20

 

Shock has stock valving as far as I know. I will dig up the work sheet this weekend to verify all of this info.

 

Any tips that might help get me going in the right direction would be VERY much appreciated. Also wondering if anyone notices anything that is off in my set up. Any legit suggestions will be taken seriously and tested. Anything is worth a shot. Apologies for the long winded post but I wanted to cover as much as I could right off the bat so those questions did not need to be asked. Some of you suspension Gurus should be able to get me going in the right direction. It is rideable as it sits but I think there is room for improvement. My buddy who is an A class rider (close to the same size as me but he is only about 210 lbs) can hop on my bike and spin hot laps like the bike is on rails. He says the set up is absolutely perfect and he thinks it is mental but I don't think so since I have never had this issue before.

 

Thanks again, Brian

Edited by BDubb106

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Think ur front fork springs a little stiff for u, u could put 1 of ur std springs in the fork and leave 1 of the heavy springs in to start. Or even open the float a little. Sounds like ur needing the front to run a little lower in the stroke to me.

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If I go any softer on the forks, they bottom out through whoops and bigger jumps and the sag is around the number that it should be as far as I know. I should be able to get it dialed with these springs. They are much softer than the springs I was running on my Yamaha's.

Edited by BDubb106

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Bottoming can be reduced with higher oil level

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Bottoming can be reduced with higher oil level

So you think I should go with a softer spring as well? Even though my sag is in the right range? What rate would you suggest, Im assuming stock would be too soft? 

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What are your sags ? I would not choose a spring based on bottoming

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So you think I should go with a softer spring as well? Even though my sag is in the right range? What rate would you suggest, Im assuming stock would be too soft? 

 

BDubb, I am about the same height and weight as you, I am running .50s up front at 370cc of oil, stock valving, 51s were too stiff and giving me front end feel issues.  I do bottom ocasionally, but I am not slamming down hard, but corners are alot better.  Personally, I like the fact I am using all of the travel every once in a while this way.  Sounds like you have nicer dirt than we have, and better ability, so I dont know if this info is even rellevant.  I run a Pirelli mh up front btw.

Edited by LSeca
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the trouble with doing sag on the forks is the amount of friction you have on forks. i feel your problem is your front end may not be diving enough and riding a bit high this will cause this problem. i think you could use 4.8nm spings with your rear spring with no trouble at all. either this or opening your float a little to try and get the front to dive a little. your mid speed stack is stiff so opening the float i feel wont cause you a problem. it takes 5 mins to swap fork springs over and is somthing you could do at the track aswell.

so just trying 1 spring at a time wont take long at all. how much preload is on your springs? i do think 50nm springs and your mv being quite stiff with little float is where i would first start. this should be a quick fix track side in a short time.

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Running 112 mm of sag is just too much. If you go down 1mm at a time I bet this issue will be almost fixed. You have to compromise.

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Hello there I don't know if this post is relevant to the one I started a while back but after much messing around with my front end pushing and washing out all the time in corners I fitted a stronger rear shock spring and finally made the bike stable in corners.

I think the rear was staying down too low in corners .

Cheers

  • Like 2

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Leave the forks alone for the moment but 112 is too low bump it up to 106/108. I dont think your fork springs are too stiff in fact at your weight and height and if you are riding at a decent pace you could go up a rate, sounds crazy but on that bike trust me!

You could also go stiffer with the shock spring and have 40 static at 106/108

Edited by 24seven
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Thanks for the responses. I will try the sag first but I have done some testing on the shock already and at 105mm the rear end wanted to buck and kick all over the place. Def worth a shot though. I will do that tomorrow at the track. As far as springs I would have to order some softer fork springs before I could play with those. But I could play with the oil height some more.

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I think its the rider.  If your use to riding a yamaha which has a lighter front end feeling your going to think that sense now you can feel it and its heavier that when you turn it, it sticks unlike a yamaha which doesnt transfer the feeling as theres less weight on it.  Try sitting a little farther back and dont have as much weight on the front end.  

 

You can try going in a couple clicks on the compression,  but if your not bottoming it out and its knifing sounds like its the guy in the helmet.

Edited by Ringo25

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I think its the rider.  If your use to riding a yamaha which has a lighter front end feeling your going to think that sense now you can feel it and its heavier that when you turn it, it sticks unlike a yamaha which doesnt transfer the feeling as theres less weight on it.  Try sitting a little farther back and dont have as much weight on the front end.  

 

You can try going in a couple clicks on the compression,  but if your not bottoming it out and its knifing sounds like its the guy in the helmet.

Wouldn't that give the bike the feeling that it is knifing? Not pushing? A light front end pushes. Being too heavy on the front end causes it to knife. At least in my set up experience. Like everyone else said. I don't think the front end is riding low enough in the stroke (or the back end is riding too low in the stroke taking away from the feeling of the front end)

 

I have ridden plenty of Suzuki's and none of them pushed. They have all turned like they were on rails. I'm 100% confident that it is set up related. Not because it is a different brand of bike. 

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Sorry to hear that mate how high to you run the air pressure?

Air pressure in what? I don't have the SFF forks. Mine are still the traditional dual spring forks.

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Leave the forks alone for the moment but 112 is too low bump it up to 106/108. I dont think your fork springs are too stiff in fact at your weight and height and if you are riding at a decent pace you could go up a rate, sounds crazy but on that bike trust me!

You could also go stiffer with the shock spring and have 40 static at 106/108

Just set the sag at 107 to start with tomorrow and will adjust from there. I will report back as soon as I get through the first session tomorrow morning. 

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