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Bruce's Suspension - Terrain Tamer Forks for XR250

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I didn't realize he is 30 minutes away from me! Need to go check him out!

 

I HIGHLY recommend you do.  Bruce is a great guy with a wealth of knowledge.

 

His shop is not a sales building so you will not find shiny stuff for sale hanging on the walls.  What you will find is a LOT of parts, a complete machine shop, and a man capable of handling all of it.  He is even familiar with, and has parts for, Ohlins, Marzocchi, White Power...  You name it.

 

He loves to talk so come prepared!

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Let us know how the rear turns out! The rear shock is the worst part of my XR250R.

 

Absolutely will do.  According to Bruce he can do a lot with it but the big problem is the small body, which means service every year if riding hard an/or competitively.

 

We've tried to deal with the shock on our two late-model XR250s and neither could be made to work remotely close to the Fox Podium X on My CRF230.  I think even the Hagon on my buddy's CRF2203 is better than the XR250 shock.

 

We are greatly looking forward to what Bruce can do.  The shock on my 1984 Al Baker XR265 was simply incredible.  It was built and tuned specifically for my needs and weight and the difference was insane.  I'm sure Bruce will be able to accomplish the same.

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I just picked up the Terrain Tamer forks.  Wow.  Very cool what Bruce does to the forks to create such a design.  One leg has no compression damping and rebound adjustability and one leg has no rebound damping and compression adjustability.  Bruce cures the lack-of-rebound issue by using a very ingenious approach which I will not disclose.  The man is a creative genius.

 

Bruce supplies six pages of semi-custom documentation for the work he does for your suspension.  It includes findings during inspection, labor, parts, suggestions, adjustment procedures, adjustment suggestions, suggested maintenance, etc.  The suspension package gets a serial number so Bruce can look up your setup to help you at any time.  Extremely impressive work.

 

He let me ride a 77 Kawasaki 175 with his suspension and I was blown away by how plush it was.  He changed fork position and shock position to fix the slow steering.   I can't believe a bike with such little travel felt so good.

 

He also made me a new set of damper rods for my CRF230 to make the mid-stroke, mid-speed portion a little plusher.  The first set he made for me were so good I ditched my Race Tech Cartridge Emulators last year.

 

For those of you with older XRs with stock damper rod forks YOU NEED a set of Bruce's damper rods!  Period!

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Im surprised,that If your talking about,late Xr250 rear shock.That they did not work out for you.Our re-valved Xr300s rear shocks work great,maybe our Susp,guy got lucky.

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Im surprised,that If your talking about,late Xr250 rear shock.That they did not work out for you.Our re-valved Xr300s rear shocks work great,maybe our Susp,guy got lucky.

 

   The '96-'04 XR250R is a good shock.   It has a 44mm piston with an aluminum body - you should have it valved by someone with experience with an XR as it needs stiffer valving than your standard shock due to the aggressive linkage ratio on the XR....   Regardless - any bike that is ridden regularly does well with an annual shock service. 

 

   I did swap off my rear shock for an ohlins - but it isn't as "big as a step" on my 2004....    When I swapped the shock off my '94 or my '95 (38mm shock) for an ohlins it was a bigger difference in terms of performance when pushing it hard - fade, etc.    Talking about it makes me miss the zerk fittings on the shock linkage on my '95!

 

Jeff

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So do the adjustments end up on the top of the bottom of the forks?

 

How do they handle in the sand whoops?

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So do the adjustments end up on the top of the bottom of the forks?

 

How do they handle in the sand whoops?

 

Bottom.  One side is compression and one side is rebound.  I'll try to test them this weekend.

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Anyone have Bruce work on forks previously re-valved with Pro Action stuff? I bought an XR4 from a friend with a full PA setup and it is really bad.

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Lets say Bruce can make the bad xr250 forks work.You still need fork brace,as my front wheel.Was dancing around the fork flex so bad,that was half the problem.With fork brace,big plus.Also for.YG on your forks you need to trash,what ever other company did to forks,just shim stack mod,the right Wt oil,and springs.On rear shock we have a Guy in Calif stock spring revalve..They work better for trail riding then any bike in our fleet.

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Lets say Bruce can make the bad xr250 forks work.You still need fork brace,as my front wheel.Was dancing around the fork flex so bad,that was half the problem.With fork brace,big plus.Also for.YG on your forks you need to trash,what ever other company did to forks,just shim stack mod,the right Wt oil,and springs.On rear shock we have a Guy in Calif stock spring revalve..They work better for trail riding then any bike in our fleet.

 

Bruce CAN fix the awful XR forks and has been doing it for more than a decade.

 

I will politely disagree on the fork flex problem.  For an average rider in average conditions this is not a huge problem.  As far as the front wheel dancing around that can certainly be due to fork flex but it can also be due to improperly-tuned forks.

 

For the average rider Bruce can make even vintage damper rods forks incredibly good.

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Ok VC, I could be that you live in NC,maybe more trails.Slower speeds? This goes back years ago,On my Xr300 (and the 11 other we built.Here is where the fork flex problem (Im not fast rider,) At high speed,pot hole road,or smooth rolling up and down trail again at speed.Very unnerving,with front wheel,going Lt/Rt.When you dont want it too.I dont like fork braces,but it was Magic.On the wimpy Xr250 forks.I did not think,that the fork brace would help on tight trails.Day and night.If you based your opinions,without.using one.Then you would not know if it makes it better or not.I think if Bruce can fix,the action of the fork,the brace would finish the job.Its Also nice to know,he has ten years exp.Working on Xrs Susp. My Experience is a little longer on Xrs. 43years.Please give full report,on forks when done,There are lots of Xr250 riders,that could benefit.From good working forks.As we had no options back in the day to make them work.We still ride them,but with Xr400 forks with mods,Also 1987 Cr250/500 forks.I also think he is genius,for making adjustable rebound.BTR 

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Ok VC, I could be that you live in NC,maybe more trails.Slower speeds? This goes back years ago,On my Xr300 (and the 11 other we built.Here is where the fork flex problem (Im not fast rider,) At high speed,pot hole road,or smooth rolling up and down trail again at speed.Very unnerving,with front wheel,going Lt/Rt.When you dont want it too.I dont like fork braces,but it was Magic.On the wimpy Xr250 forks.I did not think,that the fork brace would help on tight trails.Day and night.If you based your opinions,without.using one.Then you would not know if it makes it better or not.I think if Bruce can fix,the action of the fork,the brace would finish the job.Its Also nice to know,he has ten years exp.Working on Xrs Susp. My Experience is a little longer on Xrs. 43years.Please give full report,on forks when done,There are lots of Xr250 riders,that could benefit.From good working forks.As we had no options back in the day to make them work.We still ride them,but with Xr400 forks with mods,Also 1987 Cr250/500 forks.I also think he is genius,for making adjustable rebound.BTR 

 

Yes.  I should have better stated the intent of the build and the context of our riding.

 

We are all intermediate riders in an age group varying from 48 to 56.  We ride mostly slow, short, technical trails where the maximum speeds reach a whopping 15-20 MPH.  We do encounter huge rocks and roots but the speeds are such that the flex in the forks is easily managed.

 

All of our suspensions are completely custom consisting of Fox, Hagon, and Bruce shock along with forks consisting of Bruce and Race Tech.  The bikes are setup and tuned for low-speed work and low-speed power.

 

Two of us had 1984 Al Baker XR265s and used to ride extremely fast in our younger days.  These days we are more interested in difficulty as opposed to speed.  We really enjoy challenging trails and have often gone places with our "lowly" CRF230s and XR250s where others on high-tech bikes could not or would not.

 

One of the biggest problems with many forks, especially damper rod and late-model XR250/XR400/XR600 forks, is a lack of rebound control.  Bruce will tell you the XR250 forks are simply awful and the XR400 forks, though adjustable, aren't much better.  Curing the rebound problem can be very difficult but Bruce's Terrain Tamer modification takes care of it completely.

 

We are very excited about the Terrain Tamer forks.  Just a simple push test yields something I've never felt before.  Bruce uses a myriad of creative ideas and internals to achieve his proprietary design.  Bruce and others say the forks are the best you can get if you want to retain the stock XR forks.  He can do the same for XR400 and XR600 forks as well, and many other KYB/Kayaba forks.  What's really impressive is what he can do with damper rod forks for very little money.

 

Coincidentally Bruce and I did discuss fork braces when I was at his shop last Friday and I totally agree with your statement.

 

I wish I could disclose more about what I've learned from Bruce about the Terrain Tamer forks but I greatly respect his business and the all the expensive R&D time he has invested in his proprietary design.

Edited by VortecCPI

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That is exactly the riding we do in Baja,We ride horse,and foot trails.Or no trail,make our own.Speeds walking speed.Very hard up down  steep mountains. Our ages 50/71 years. Best bike I have for short day rides Crf 230 in Crf150 frame.Next Xr300,I do ride my Xr440/wr450 on the same trails.Pain in the butt,to ride big bikes there,super slow going on big bikes.I dont know ,of any handling problems.With rebound on Modded Xr400/600 forks.Like I said before,Our fleet and past fleet bikes,modded Xr400 forks better then any of our other bikes,super plush,works great over rocks,tree roots.The secret after mods is 2 1/2 wt fork oil.Its very hard to get the right 2 1/2 wt fork oil,They call it that,but it is not.Not to say Bruce cant make them better.

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That is exactly the riding we do in Baja,We ride horse,and foot trails.Or no trail,make our own.Speeds walking speed.Very hard up down  steep mountains. Our ages 50/71 years. Best bike I have for short day rides Crf 230 in Crf150 frame.Next Xr300,I do ride my Xr440/wr450 on the same trails.Pain in the butt,to ride big bikes there,super slow going on big bikes.I dont know ,of any handling problems.With rebound on Modded Xr400/600 forks.Like I said before,Our fleet and past fleet bikes,modded Xr400 forks better then any of our other bikes,super plush,works great over rocks,tree roots.The secret after mods is 2 1/2 wt fork oil.Its very hard to get the right 2 1/2 wt fork oil,They call it that,but it is not.Not to say Bruce cant make them better.

 

I wish I could tell you a little more about the fork oils Bruce uses in the Terrain Tamers.

 

Most riders do not realize there is a rebound problem until they hop on a bike that has proper rebound control.  I know we didn't as all of our forks felt pretty good, especially the CRF230 forks with emulators and 15w oil.  Compared to Bruce's forks, however, the emulator-equipped forks offer far less control.  Bruce's forks hold lines so good it's silly.  Even under full power and in almost-lock-to-lock turns Bruce's forks are amazing.

 

He and I discussed the rebound issue a bit and he said proper rebound control is imperative for steering control.  Compared to Bruce's forks most other forks are way too fast on the way up.  The XR250 forks, even with proper new oil and in like-new condition feel like a pogo stick, as do the emulator-equipped forks.  And they only get worse when they heat up...

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You are dead on right with Xr250 fork and Crf230 fork.I rode one 230 with emulators.Total waste of money.Do you know how many years ago,they had those for sale? Over 20 years,Worthless.If your putting in 15wt oil in Xr forks.That where not modded just for that thick oil.It wont work.Im very very picky,about my susp.As this year like last year.We had two tours total 10 days riding.First one 6days,one day rest(that means working on bikes) then 4 more days.Hard trail riding.Since Im not 25 anymore,Super plush,is only way I can do it.

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You are dead on right with Xr250 fork and Crf230 fork.I rode one 230 with emulators.Total waste of money.Do you know how many years ago,they had those for sale? Over 20 years,Worthless.If your putting in 15wt oil in Xr forks.That where not modded just for that thick oil.It wont work.Im very very picky,about my susp.As this year like last year.We had two tours total 10 days riding.First one 6days,one day rest(that means working on bikes) then 4 more days.Hard trail riding.Since Im not 25 anymore,Super plush,is only way I can do it.

 

I used emulators for quite a few years and they were far superior to the bone-stock forks but obviously created a spring preload issue and harshness over small stuff.  Bruce's modified damper rods are better overall for my riding needs.  Less cost.  Less time.  Less work.  No preload issues.  Unbelievable bottoming resistance.  I can not believe I have such good landings from big hits and big vertical drops.  Incredible.

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