Front end feeling 'heavy'?



My tuning woes are a thing of the past and I have had two good weekend of riding.  I missed my IT200 this weekend though.  The WR felt extremely heavy and I was fighting the steering all the way.


My front pressure was .6bar.  My riding included a lot of loose sand and twisty tracks, with a tar section to get home.


I haven't done any thing to the front forks yet, but will change the oil soon.


Can I just follow the standard fork settings or is there some other mod with oil weight or such that would lighten the front end?


Should I raise the forks a bit?  They are flush with the clamp at the moment.



What year is the bike? Your weight?

Yup depends on what year you have. The pre 2012 aluminum frame bikes had what I call defective forks stock.

Sorry guys, just finished my working day.  It is a 2005.  I weigh +/- 70kg.  The bike felt top heavy and difficult to 'pick up' in real loose or twisty stuff.  Probably more so than my 83 XT 550 with period suspension.


Edit:  Snap!  Does that mean that the front can be too hard?

Edited by bigl

That top-heavy feeling is pretty normal for a 4t, especially a WR450. Not much you can do about it to make it feel any lighter...

Yea.    i have a 2014 WR450 with the Race ECU, airbox opened up and pea shooter removed.    My son has a stock 2014 YZ450..   We were riding side by side on a wide dirt road at 60mph.   He would twist the throttle and bring the front end off the ground and ride it for 1/2 mile.  complete power wheelie 1 to 2 feet off the ground....    At the same time I would goose the WR and not even sure I could get the front suspension to de weight all the way.   

Set your sag, stiffen your suspension

Set your sag, stiffen your suspension

I do need to set the sag... I don't really want to stiffen the suspention... One I don't need to do power wheelies at 60mph and two I like it kinda soft, well compared to the yz.. Funny I get on my sons YZ and it's fun for about 5 min than I want my WR back and my son feels the same way about ridding my WR... Both great bikes just made for different people. Haha

Let me re-phrase that:

Set your sag, so you can determine spring rate needs, and set your clickers to eliminate dive and pogo.

Adding to the great advice already given, if you want "front end heavy" take a ride on the Honda CRF450X. A WR450 will feel like a mountain bike up front!

I have the 450X, the 450R, the WR450, and a KTM 350XCFW


If you set the sag exactly the same on all, and have them all valved for your use, the front ends feel very similar, accept the KTM wanders, flexes, and is generally sub-par for any speed work.


Proper spring rate is really not an option, if you want all the fun this bike has to offer.


If you stiffen the rear slow compression, but soften the high speed, the ride will be less harsh, but more controlled, and the front will lift much easier.

You have to match that with changes in the  front too....


I set my high speed 1.5 turns out from stock.

Kah Rah Nee. Do now of a good thread or video. Link to the proper way to set up the suspension? I've seen a bunch but not sure which one would be the best. Thanks

Well, there used to be some good ones linked/pinned in one of the forums.....lemme look...


Ah, this is an updated complete guide to suspension set up and proper front wheel installation (eliminating binding of the forks)


A a more details, personal approach with similar information:


The bottom line is, you want the wheels STUCK to the ground, not boucing from too little rebound (pogo) and not bouncing from to much rebound or compression (packing).

Edited by Kah Ran Nee

If by heavy you mean the steering is slow (and conversely light = quick steering), then I can assure you that raising the forks in the triple clamp will help. Just moving them up 1 notch (or even a half a notch) will have a fairly profound effect. How he front behaves is of course dependent on how the rear is set up. If you stiffen the rear, then you might not need to raise the forks at all. I suggest you set your race sag (rear) as recommended above and then adjust the front forks in the clamps (if needed)..  

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