Minimum oil level 07' ktm xc-w

Hi, I'm adjusting my 07' 525 xc-w oil level for rocks and roots and such and I went from 115mm to 160mm oil level. I can always add oil if its to soft, from what I sucked out it works out to roughly 1cc to 1mm of oil level. I've heard of guys going as low as 200mm on the oil level, whats your thoughts thanks.  

I always thought oil level was for bottoming control and having too much oil makes the air-spring within the fork very progressive and early... so you end up with mid-stroke harshness.  Obstacles like rocks and roots shouldn't be using a lot of suspension travel, so I would think that adjusting the oil level for that would be moot.  Personally I have found that running the compression clickers further out or having more bleed and an early x-over in the base valve shim stack helps with rocks and roots.  While at the same time having a shim stack with enough mid/high-speed damping for larger hits on the trail that use up more suspension travel.

I have a 2008 KTM 250 XCW and have had the forks apart quite a bit trying to get rid of the harshness these forks have.  I'm happy with the shim stacks that are in there now (eight revisions).  120mm seems to be the starting place for oil level, when measured correctly.  I tried mine at 120, 130, and have arrived at a sweet spot for me, 140mm.  Jeff Slavens has a great video on his website for measuring the oil level (  I'm a trail rider that runs a pretty good pace for a 57 year old, but i'm not racing.  So take this info with that caveat in mind.  The oil level, for me, was just one part of the answer to proper suspension for my use and preferences.  I have re-shimmed the base valves and mid-valves, several times, changed springs (44s), installed SKF seals and KYB bushings, and polished the tubes.  Back to your question:  I haven't heard of someone setting their oil level that low, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done.  I have heard of 150mm, so you're not way out there.  I found that a 10mm drop does make a difference.  Most veteran riders that have worked on their bikes say that oil level is the most overlooked, unused, biggest bang for the buck adjustment one can make to fork performance.  It sounds like you're not afraid to experiment, but I'd go up in level from 160mm and catalog the differences.  Best of luck.

I had John Curea do my forks 4-5 years ago I'm 6'4'' 315 lbs and run .52 springs last year I was running Jersey sand whoops and raised the oil level when I had the seals changed don't know where John had set them at but my last rock run wasn't a pleasent experance with them at 115 and these forks always worked good in the rocks. Like I said I can always add oil btw where do you run your clickers thx

Call John?? you will be surprised at what he remembers! I bet 120-125mm

Just talked to him 140-150mm is about it but the cool thing is I can always add. He said oil height is one of the most overlooked areas and makes a huge impact even is small bump absorption 

I have '07 WP open chambers and run 140 mm oil in the past..   With my recent revalve, I went to 120mm as a starting point, but may return to the 140mm area.   


I recall posts elsewhere on the 'net where Javier from TT set the height as high as 105mm from the top.   I guess test and tune is the only way.    


At 140mm, with the cartridge rod pulled all the way up, the oil level just covers the top of the bottoming cone tube on the cartridge.  That, for me, is 140 dump method (as seen in the Slavens video). 

Roost, my clickers are at 16/16.  However, that's with my shim stack set up for me: 57, 6-3, 205 w/o gear, 230 with, trail rider in the CO Rockies.  Have you ever visited KTMTalk?  I received a lot of help over there for my stacks.  Of course, it ultimately comes down to each rider's preferences.  I also think that the investment one makes in a good suspension tuner is a wise and value-filled one.  I believe your oil height will end up around 120mm to 140mm.  That's not science, just what others I ride with have theirs set at.  Wish you luck getting it dialed in.

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