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Suspension Upgrade (230)

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Now that the 230 has plenty of power and I'm getting better at riding it, it's time to work on the suspension.  I have been reading up on the XR250 fork conversion.  Comparing the fork conversion to the Race Tech Emulators seems to weigh in favor of the new forks, but a lot of people write that the emulators are very effective.

 

The cost difference is pretty significant, so I'm wondering if the emulators are going to adequately do the job for a 170 pound rider on tougher trails.  If the difference between the two isn't huge, the cost of the emulators really do make them more appealing.  I don't really need the bike to be any taller than it is so that is not an issue.

 

If I can get in touch with him and everything works out, I plan on sending the rear shock to Triplett.  I have heard his shop can do some impressive things with the shocks.

 

I'm going to attempt the forks myself, whichever way I go... but my time is worth something too.  I hear the emulators are an easy install, so I have to factor that in.

 

I would just like some opinions from those who have done, or who have ridden on bikes with the emulators and or the 250 forks.

 

Thanks

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Bruce will not be back from vacation until the end of June so reworking your stock shock will take some time.  You can also use John Hlebo to revalve your stock shock or get a Hagon shock from Bruce.

 

The Race Tech Cartridge Emulators work great and are easily installed.  We have two CRF230s with them and they are almost as good as the forks on the 2003 XR250 we have.  I say almost because the XR250 forks have 1.1 inches more travel and that's a lot.  It makes a big difference on big drops and big jumps.  On the trails, however, the two work equally well.

 

The XR250 forks suffer from a myraid of problems and most tuners consider them one step above junk.  Bruce can give you a detailed lowdown on the problems with the XR250 forks.  If it was my time and money I'd go the emulator route or go with a far better and newer set of forks.

Edited by VortecCPI

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Hlebo Bros in San Jose did my stock front forks and rear shock and transformed the whole bike.  Absolutely amazing 

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I have about 3/4 inch of spacing pre load in my forks. Does that go back in with the emulators?

Edited by Harvo

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Hlebo Bros in San Jose did my stock front forks and rear shock and transformed the whole bike.  Absolutely amazing 

 

Yes sir - John does excellent work!  He really knows these bikes.  We have one of his shocks and it is awesome.

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I called Hagon to get some info, since Bruce is on vacation.  They only list their shock for our bikes up through 2009.  They are supposed to be getting dimensions for me so I can compare that to what I have, but do any of you know if the stock shock configuration has changed any from 2009 to now? 

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I called Hagon to get some info, since Bruce is on vacation.  They only list their shock for our bikes up through 2009.  They are supposed to be getting dimensions for me so I can compare that to what I have, but do any of you know if the stock shock configuration has changed any from 2009 to now? 

 

Honda has made no changes to the rear shock since 2003.  Honda has made very few changes to the CRF230 since it was first released.

 

I suggest you still try to contact Bruce as he may be able to save you a few dollars and can have the shock shipped right to your house.

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I have about 3/4 inch of spacing pre load in my forks. Does that go back in with the emulators?

 

No.  The emulators are about 3/4" tall so they will add a little predload when you install them.

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Thanks for the answers.  You're very helpful.  One more question about the forks...

 

The emulators will help with the bottoming, but mine still rides pretty far into the travel.  Would a 170lb aggressive rider benefit from just one BBR spring in a fork leg or would that make the bike handle all wonky?  In my head I could imagine it working, but I'm not sure if it puts unusual forces on the forks being sprung unequally.

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I weigh 150 and my buddy weighs 200 and we both used only one (1) BBR fork spring each.  It will work very well for you as a starting point.  There are no issues with differing spring rates as the oil and compression holes do all the work, not the springs.

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I weigh 150 and my buddy weighs 200 and we both used only one (1) BBR fork spring each.  It will work very well for you as a starting point.  There are no issues with differing spring rates as the oil and compression holes do all the work, not the springs.

What do you use now? 

 

EDIT... Ok... I just read your sig. Thanks

Edited by Harvo

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So I took the bike to the field to test out some bar adjustments.  I found a kicker to use and I filmed the hops to check out my riding position with the bar change.  Looking at the footage I noticed the suspension is totally slammed on landing.  You can see in the pics from the video, I was only a couple of feet off the ground if that.

 

Should I set the new Hagon shock up at the same preload as the stocker, or will I need to increase preload?  What about the fork?  Will the emulators alone be able to cure the bottoming issue or should I increase the oil volume or viscosity when I put them in?  I already have 3/4" spacers in the forks.

 

Maybe it isn't too bad.  I've never noticed how they look before... but now that I have seen the forks land... they just look scary lol.

 

I know...Helmet...pants... It was a spur of the moment test ...

 

Thoughts?  Thanks!

 

 

preload.png

kicker.png

air.png

Landing.png

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Your bike should bottom lightly at least once around any given track.  Bottoming lightly means you'll experience a "tap", not a "bang".  This is how you know your are using all the travel and leaving nothing unused.  Set your shock preload to attain a sag of 30%-33% at the back.  That equates to 2.7" to 3".  Free sag (i.e., no rider) should be no more than 1 inch.

 

Remember a shock provides more bottoming resistance as the suspension speed (not bike speed) increases.  My bike looks the same way when I watch it and the Fox Podium X rarely, if ever, bottoms.  My forks always bottom with a light tap.

 

The Race Tech Cartridge Emulators give you more slow-speed compression damping and less high-speed compression damping.  You will have good bottoming resistance on big vertical drops and jumps and also have outstanding compliance on square edges.  The best of both worlds.  The stock forks give you the worst of both worlds.

Edited by VortecCPI
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The emulators really help on the hard hits. When the valve blows off and allows it to compress quicker I can hear the valve. Sounds kind of like a releif valve on a hydraulic system when you max out a cylinder. Has kept me from going over the bars more than once.

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So I took the bike to the field to test out some bar adjustments.  I found a kicker to use and I filmed the hops to check out my riding position with the bar change.  Looking at the footage I noticed the suspension is totally slammed on landing.  You can see in the pics from the video, I was only a couple of feet off the ground if that.

 

Should I set the new Hagon shock up at the same preload as the stocker, or will I need to increase preload?  What about the fork?  Will the emulators alone be able to cure the bottoming issue or should I increase the oil volume or viscosity when I put them in?  I already have 3/4" spacers in the forks.

 

Maybe it isn't too bad.  I've never noticed how they look before... but now that I have seen the forks land... they just look scary lol.

 

I know...Helmet...pants... It was a spur of the moment test ...

 

Thoughts?  Thanks!

 

Would a 170lb aggressive rider benefit from just one BBR spring in a fork leg or would that make the bike handle all wonky?  In my head I could imagine it working, but I'm not sure if it puts unusual forces on the forks being sprung unequally.

for motocross track you need one bbr spring.

for aggressive wood riding before buying it i'd try: 

emulators at 2.5-3  turns with blue spring

oil 50% 10w + 50% 15w

oil level : 138-140mm form top (compressed fork and installed emulators) 

Edited by 30x26
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Your bike should bottom lightly at least once around any given track.  Bottoming lightly means you'll experience a "tap", not a "bang".  This is how you know your are using all the travel and leaving nothing unused.  Set your shock preload to attain a sag of 30%-33% at the back.  That equates to 2.7" to 3".  Free sag (i.e., no rider) should be no more than 1 inch.

 

 

On my mountain bike I measure sag on the shock shaft.  I am assuming when you say no more than an inch of free sag for the 230, that is measured on the shock shaft as well.  Is that correct?  Am I measuring at the right place?

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I rode with 1 BBR spring for a couple of years . It was much better than the spacers I tried briefly .Now I have emulators in . Much better at speed on square edges.

How ever the stock rear shock is worse than the front forks and should be upgraded. I have a WORKS SHOCK and it absorbs everything . The stock shock was always trying to send me over the bars. I am able to ride much faster and in control now.A better shock makes a huge difference

Edited by LTGRIME
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How ever the stock rear shock is worse than the front forks and should be upgraded. I have a WORKS SHOCK and it absorbs everything . The stock shock was always trying to send me over the bars. I am able to ride much faster and in control now.A better shock makes a huge difference

 

There's a very good chance you may be injured if you uncork a CRF230 and use the stock shock.  The rebound damping is so slow the back end bucks like crazy.  I have been thrown off the foot pegs many times.  I have almost been thrown over the handlebars many times.  It is a very dangerous and very scary thing to experience.  That is why we ended up with a Hlebo shock, Hagon shock, and a Fox shock on our bikes.

Edited by VortecCPI

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What do you use now? 

 

EDIT... Ok... I just read your sig. Thanks

Harvo,

 

I ran the one BBR fork spring and one stocker on my 150 and I thought it was pretty good.  I also played with different weight oils.  Either way, I thought it was a pretty good set up.  I now run the CR85 forks, but I did think that was a good set up.  There's my two cents.  

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On my mountain bike I measure sag on the shock shaft.  I am assuming when you say no more than an inch of free sag for the 230, that is measured on the shock shaft as well.  Is that correct?  Am I measuring at the right place?

 NO, wrong

talking about motorcycles sag is measured *vertically* from rear axle to tail

you want a difference of 75mm from fully extended to loaded by rider + gear + luggage 

Edited by 30x26

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