03 WR fork question

After doing a few trail rides I've noticed the forks are kinda harsh on ruts/rocks and did a search finding this is a common complaint. Is there a way to fix this besides doing a revalve? I've played with the clickers and it didn't help much, and yes, my sag is set. I weigh about 180 w/o gear so the springs should be close. Any recommended  suspension shops around central Ohio?

Same complaint with my 2002 WR-250F fork on sharp hits in that kind of terrain.

Ultimately, it really needs a revalve for the wooded terrain around here, as the fork feels best on more motocross-type terrain that has less of the square-edge hits you find out in the rocky woods.

 

You can try lowering the oil level at bit.

I lowered mine 5mm and it did help.

The trade-off is that with less oil and more of an air gap in the forks, the overall spring rate gets a bit softer, and it felt to me the front was riding a bit lower because of that.

It would be an experiment, naturally, and you may or may not like the change.

 

Another thing you could try is to use an oil with a thinner viscosity, like a 2.5 wt.

I did this to my fork, also, and it was improved a bit more.

It's another experiment that you'd have to try and then decide.

Edited by YZEtc

I forgot to add that I did replace the oil while changing oil seals, had a bad leak on the left side so went ahead and changed both since I had no idea if they'd ever been changed. The oil didn't look too bad and I used Motorex 2.5 to replace it. It does feel a little better, but I haven't been trail riding since the swap. I did set the level to the manual specs so I could try lowering it.

Can the stock valves be reshimmed or are they crap?

Stock valves can be re-valved, as there isn't usually anything wrong with the stock piston, just the shim stack on it. I have my doubts that the spring rate is correct for your weight though.

Well, according to Race Tech's spring calculator, they're like .1 from the recommended rate. Not enough for me to worry about. I feel like the rear is softer than the front, but it soaks up the trail trash much better. I'm a total noob at trail/dirt riding, so I'm more interested in feeling in control than going fast. Baby steps...I don't heal so fast at 55!

I put RT Gold Valves and resprung my FJR forks a few years back and while it handles much better, it still is a little too harsh on square edged bumps. Anyone tried RT valves on their WR?

I wonder why Yamaha would valve the WR to work better on an MX track than in the woods when they make the YZ for that?

Edited by not2shabby

It's not that Yamaha tried to develop the WR forks to work in a MX environment, it's that they just don't work all that well for off-road at anything above trail speed. They just need to re-evaluate and set them up for faster/heavier riders for them to work more correctly off-road.

I wonder why Yamaha would valve the WR to work better on an MX track than in the woods when they make the YZ for that?

 

I am guessing that they simply split the difference and tried to make them middle-of-the-road in their bump compliance, along with a dose of saving themselves money.

They probably decided on a setup that would work for the "average guy" on "average terrain", being a bit softer in damping than a YZ, but not full-on woods soft.

 

I also feel the rear shock setup in stock condition is a million times better than the stock fork setup.

Same for the 2009 WR-250F I used to own.

Edited by YZEtc

You also have to remember that those springs are 10 years old.  New springs even of the same rate will feel better, it may be worth it depending on your budget.

I agree whole heartedly about the rear working much better than the forks! That's what I don't get about Jap bike's suspension, just about every bike (street) I've owned has had way too much high speed comp damping. They must think we all ride on glass smooth surfaces!

 

As for the 10 year old springs...they may be a little softer than they were new, but I'd think stiffer springs would just make the problem worse.

 

If the YZ is even stiffer, I'd hate to ride one in the woods!

 

Any suggestions on who/where to revalve?

 

I went riding a while back with my son in law down at Wayne N.F. and let him ride my 93 DR350 and he left me for dead! Embarrassing! In my defense though, he's a bit younger and grew up riding dirt bikes and I've only been trail riding twice before we went. Help!

Edited by not2shabby

So I have been at it for the last month with a 2008 wr250 working with the suspension to get the right feel both front and rear. Here in my part of Colorado it's all rocks and rocky trails so tuning out the harshness is a big deal. I have gone through 3 shock Re valves and 4 front fork settings to get to a setting that is so far " the perfect setting" I don't know if the 03 fork setting is the same as the later bikes but for sure you can't get there with the stock compression parts in the 2008 fork. I used a gold valve compression kit in the fork and with that you get something you can work with. For the rocks I went with the softest fork springs I could find ( .38 ) and a softer then stock rear spring. Those alone helped but the magic is in the damper settings . If you can't do the work yourself its kind of hard to find the right setting but when you get there it makes a good bike great.

Don't assume that stiffer springs will provide a stiffer ride! They will hold the suspension travel up higher in it's stroke, which will provide a more supple ride. It's all about getting everything to work in harmony, to provide a stellar ride. That's why there is soooooooooo many suspension companies out there. They all have there version of what it takes to provide a well working suspension set up.

I've checked the 'race sag' of the front and it's only 2 inches with me on the bike. If anything, it feels like the springs may be too stiff for my riding level/trail conditions. I put a ziptie on one fork tube also and I'm not coming close to bottoming out.

Why is it that all the info I've read about setting sag on dirt bikes never mention the front end? It's always rear sag around 100mm and just a list of spring rates for different weight riders for the front. Street bikes they say to set both ends close to same, less sag for the track and more for the street. I know it's apples and oranges but I would think there should be a ballpark for front sag too.

 

So I have been at it for the last month with a 2008 wr250 working with the suspension to get the right feel both front and rear. Here in my part of Colorado it's all rocks and rocky trails so tuning out the harshness is a big deal. I have gone through 3 shock Re valves and 4 front fork settings to get to a setting that is so far " the perfect setting" I don't know if the 03 fork setting is the same as the later bikes but for sure you can't get there with the stock compression parts in the 2008 fork. I used a gold valve compression kit in the fork and with that you get something you can work with. For the rocks I went with the softest fork springs I could find ( .38 ) and a softer then stock rear spring. Those alone helped but the magic is in the damper settings . If you can't do the work yourself its kind of hard to find the right setting but when you get there it makes a good bike great.

So, have you been using the Gold Valves and changing the shim stacks yourself?

With the front compression valves ( the ones in the bottom) it's a pretty easy on the bike job although if you take the forks off you can leave the oil in place. The fork work takes a reasonable amount of care and understanding of what's going on. You need a good work space as it is kind of a messy job most of the time. The fork kit comes with a video that helps and the paper instructions are fairly clear.

Yeah, it's involved and messy, I've put rebound and comp valves on my FJR so it wouldn't be my 1st rodeo. I've been tempted to change the comp stacks on it as I feel they're still a bit harsh.

 

I know your 08 forks are different from 03's, but what changes did you make to the stacks to get them 'plush' enough for you?

I just worked through the settings on there chart towards the softer damping side. There's not much jumping or hard landings on the trails so the soft springs worked well for my conditions.

Been doing some more research and I guess the cylinder valve at the top of the cartridge is a poor design and needs to be replaced with a bushing and then revalve the comp stack. Anyone tried this?

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now