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Suspension question... am I crazy or what?

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I rode XR400s and XR600s for years in all kinds of terrain. I don't remember ever complaining about the suspension. Since then, I have had every kind of off road bike you can name. I can't tell if I'm getting soft/whimpy in my old age or if the suspension on all the newer bikes suck. I have replaced springs, valving, oil height, oil weight, shim stacks, linkage bikes, PDS bikes, you name it. I can't seem to get anything plush. I ride rocks, roots, canyons, and lots craggy stuff. I have spent tons of money on suspension mods at multiple different shops. I don't know why I can't get my modern off road bike freekin plush!

So are the old right side up forks from the XR400 and XR600 more plush or am I just having favorable flashbacks. I'm ready to sell my $10,000 off road bike and find a 10 year old XR400 again. Please tell me I'm not crazy.

Thanks.

Edited by cardoc
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You probably just didn't notice before and / or didn't know anything better . AND the aging thing .

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I feel the same. Luckily, I didn't learn my lesson from spending a bunch of money on the hottest new trendy bikes, just rode some of my buddies'. They're fast bikes and whatnot, but so harsh. Maybe I'll reconsider when they start keeping up with me and my old pile.

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I don't know how long it's been since you rode an XR 400 with stock suspension, but it is pretty damed harsh itself. I had mine done by a pro to make it plush. Rode a friends 400 one year on a trip to Colorado while my engine was sent off getting a big bore. I sure missed my new plush suspension on that trip. My friends 400 had stock and it beat the crap outta me.

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I'm not going to second guess all your suspension setups. But I will observe, that for most riding conditions the extra weight of the XR's and low engine RPM tends to fool you a bit. But the suspensions on mine are.. Choppy and not too plush stock. But they are old too. Except the XRL. But I like it with 47mm USD's.

Most XR's are under sprung.

Edited by Firestone

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The flex of standard XR4 forks helps with the feel. Removing four to six comp shims and adding the correct springs(usually stiffer) is a very nice package for woods/tech work. Easy and very inexpensive.

Edited by YHGEORGE

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Firestone is on the right track imo.

I ride a modern bike much differently than an xr. I ride a modern bike faster and more aggressive. They tend to feel more harsh, but also absorb big abrupt hits better.

I ride an xr more like a tractor. I tend to lug it and "rock crawl" rather than power over things quickly. I seldom ride in the upper rpm range compared to a modern bike. Suspension is plush, but let's me know it's limitations if pushed too hard.

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Meybe back then your arms and legs provided a fair bit of that plushness,, now 10 years later.........

   Seriously tho, MX bikes are horrid at mild trail riding. Unless you're goin balls out, they just dont work.

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I rode XR400s and XR600s for years in all kinds of terrain. I don't remember ever complaining about the suspension. Since then, I have had every kind of off road bike you can name. I can't tell if I'm getting soft/whimpy in my old age or if the suspension on all the newer bikes suck. I have replaced springs, valving, oil height, oil weight, shim stacks, linkage bikes, PDS bikes, you name it. I can't seem to get anything plush. I ride rocks, roots, canyons, and lots craggy stuff. I have spent tons of money on suspension mods at multiple different shops. I don't know why I can't get my modern off road bike freekin plush!

So are the old right side up forks from the XR400 and XR600 more plush or am I just having favorable flashbacks. I'm ready to sell my $10,000 off road bike and find a 10 year old XR400 again. Please tell me I'm not crazy.

Thanks.

All of the above,your not crazy.The last KTMs I had,beat me to death.On my 11 wr450,Removed USD Forks/XR650r forks/Rear shock revalved like.My revalved Xr400 rear shock,with YZ 250 spring.Now I don't feel old anymore.Rocks/ruts/square edge.One word PLUSH.

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I have a fully rebuilt Xr 400 including paint piston cam chain(crf 450) fmf powercore 4 tires handle bars. Super clean polished engine. That I'm selling with 0 hours on rebuild. Obviously you know what it's worth and I'm in no rush to sell. Make an offer I can drive to Dallas. Also looking for trades. Like your 10,00$ race bike:) I'll send photos

And brand new cam with no decompression bs. Kick starter gear/spring and valves in spec! Let me know

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All of the above,your not crazy.The last KTMs I had,beat me to death.On my 11 wr450,Removed USD Forks/XR650r forks/Rear shock revalved like.My revalved Xr400 rear shock,with YZ 250 spring.Now I don't feel old anymore.Rocks/ruts/square edge.One word PLUSH.

 

Interesting about getting rid of the USD's. Fork flex CAN add a little bit to bump absorbsion.

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Interesting about getting rid of the USD's. Fork flex CAN add a little bit to bump absorbsion.

Its getting pretty bad.When you buy new bike,and it hammers you to death.Then you have to put Xr parts on your new bike.PTDC0115.JPGPTDC0115.JPG

PTDC0112.JPG

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Its getting pretty bad.When you buy new bike,and it hammers you to death.Then you have to put Xr parts on your new bike.📎PTDC0115.JPG📎PTDC0115.JPG

i have to admit I wish I didn't do the USD switch on the xr4, It works a lot better in the woods.
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Only place my KTM suspension works better is hitting sand whoops as hard as I can. That's it. Everywhere else the XR4 rides like a caddy and does great.  👍

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Only place my KTM suspension works better is hitting sand whoops as hard as I can. That's it. Everywhere else the XR4 rides like a caddy and does great.  👍

HAAA! thats what I said about my KTM 525. Its the fastest bike,over the woops.While its beating the death out of me every where else.

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