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Rear end pushing/digging all the time?

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Just recently I have noticed my xr4 always feels like the rear end is dragging. At first I thought it had something to do with the rear brake, but it is all good. I dropped down to a 14t and that seemed to make it worse. I'm starting to believe this is just how these bikes are suppose to feel. It's only noticeable in 1st/2nd at lower speeds. Not a problem if I am on the pipe, sometimes a problem when trying to take it easy..

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You didn't mention engine braking, so I assume you don't think it can be attributed to that. Lowering gearing will increase the effect of engine braking. Depending on how high you have your idle speed set, backing the throttle off any below what it takes to maintain a certain speed will produce engine braking. Try turning your idle speed up a little so the bike will coast more when backing off the throttle.

With the bike on a stand, compress the brake caliper against the rotor to back the pads off. Does the wheel roll freely in neutral?

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