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2nd set of springs

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I know some of you guys bought a second set of springs, not liking your first set. Some bought progressive rears ect. or heavier fronts.

 

While my .48nm front springs on my 500 have been useable on the front and an improvement over stock, Im thinking I should have gone to a .52 nm on the front, which I believe would allow me to step down the oil height. Rather than buy a new front and rear set, Im thinking of testing the alternate .52 nm fronts first,  and if that is good, then deal with the rear.

My main issue with .48 is bottoming harshness on flat landings, and they aren't that high. I have to run alteast 110 mm oil to 107mm. to keep the harshness down, recently tried 115mm with more compression and that wasn't good.  I run right at 20 compression, with 15 rb presently.   Ive found going in on compression, even at lighter oil height doesn't solve the harshness at bottoming, its usable but not perfect.  Stock springs were horrid on bottoming, the ,48's are better, but didn't totally solve the issue.

 

So How many sets of springs did you try till you hit the ticket?

 

 

 

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Spud, I made 2 attempts at spring rates to figure out what worked best, front and rear!

Since you have .48 now I would buy the .52   You can then fine tune to your liking by running a .48 & a .52 to get a .50 if you don't like the .52

I am running .50 and oil level down to 125 mm to get a very cushy fork for the  rocks I have to ride in my area. Big G-outs I bottom but nothing I am not prepared for since it is a trail bike, not a race bike. My KX 450 suffices for that.😉

Same thing on the rear, tried heavier and Very heavy with decent results. Then someone loaned me a Progressive, instant improvement! Since it cost a bit more I may not have tried it on my own dime but now it is the only thing I run on this bike. I have a second 500XCW and bought the same spring it worked so well.

FYI, I weigh 200 lbs. but with riding gear and all the crap I carry, tubes, tools, spares, water, etc. I step on the bike at 250 lbs.

Hope you dial it in, keep us posted.

Eric 33

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Thanks Eric,

That's good feed back, I know people who've swapped to progressive,but don't seem to talk about it much. Ive been toying, with just a heavier straight rate on the rear or progressive. Your feed back has me thinking progressive. which rate ranges of rear shock springs have you tried, progressive and straight?

The first time I went off a 3ft drop with stock fork spring, it hit so hard it hurt my hands, the ,48 are defintely better, but still not as cushy as I expect.

 

I ride a variety from rocks , to small logs to high speed hits, but jumps over 4 ft, are very hard on my post 50 year old body( Landing).  Its hurting the joints in my shoulder and wrists sometimes, cause Im in the bottoming area of the fork. The ktm has beat me up pretty good over the last few years. But after 2 years, I know ive tested everything possible with the .48nm/ 8kg set up on my 2015. which year are you riding?

The p20 seems popular on the rear, but I lean towards something from slavens  , the bikes weight is farly stock, but I can weight up to 220 lb geared

Thanks for clarifying the .50 and 125 oil, and its bottoming effect.

Edited by Spud786

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I tried 8.4 straight, ok but not the improvement I was looking for. Then both 8.1-9.5 and a 7.1-9.0 both were an improvement over the straight rate but I preferred the softer 7.1-9.0 due to the initial plushness over rocks and square edges.

Bike yrs are 2013 and 2014 500 XCW

Another point you made, your post 50 yr old body, I am 59 yrs old so we are in the same ballpark in age and weight. Me of course being slightly older and heavier, how depressing! lol.

Eric 33

Edited by Eric 33

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Yeah im 54 , so you have a couple years of more pain than I do:ride:.  Ive landed pretty hard on the ktm, and it has done a number on some joints . My right ankle is sore and I don't know if I did its from kick starting or slamming into jump faces (I feel it on both), my right shoulder has been sore for years, my left wrist is now sore from jumping this last weekend.

8.4 straight was a direction I thought of, but I'll skip that , and look for the progressive for the rear.

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Six months later, I order my first progressive rear. Surprisingly there are as many who like the progressive verses not, so its a bite the bullet and give it a shot type of deal.

I contacted 4 different area tuners.  One said, don't touch a progressive without a revalve for it, where others said, shouldnt be a problem.

Im thinking stick with a narrow range on 2012+ chassis's is the best option to avoid potential valving issues .

I don't have a huge issue with the 8.0 kg straight rear,  the main issue is trying to accelerate to anywhere near full potential into a steep jump face without crunching an ankle, cause the rear of the bike cant take it (unless you crank up HS and litterally kill the shocks performance everywhere else). But on regular stuff, deep square edge , creek bottoms, high speed, not any huge issue.

 

Anyway looking at kreft, they offer csr progressives , the highest on their website is the 8.1-9.1nm. which I thought that odd,  they stop there, unless there was some reason they only go that High. I know CSR carries even higher.

So contacting CSR, and discussing the 7.8-8.8nm or the 8.1nm-9.1nm ,  as a possible decision. They were stating the newer spring versions run soft in comparison to a couple years ago.

they actually recommended that I go with an 8.5-9.5nm (definitely wasn't expecting that).   But Ive heard the .50nm fork springs work well with that 8.5-9.5nm progressive, which Im on .52's , which gives me a little cushion, cause I definitely don't want the rear too stiff.   In the beginning it seems like a toss up(choice wise) with that heavier spring, and then a later conversation they were pretty adamant about going the heavier direction.  So I decided to utilize their assessment.

Anyway, we'll get that thing mounted up and get some testing going.

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ttVTl70.jpg

New progressive mounted 8.5nm-9.5nm  replacing 8.0 kg straight rate . 2015 500exc

I was expecting the new spring to be a little stiffer feeling, and need less preload off the bat, but not really the case it felt soft.

No valving clicker changes , before I ride, to see exactly what the spring does differently.

will test some tommorrow

Edited by Spud786

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Out the door, I was mistaken the new spring is a little stiffer, my ride height was alittle steep as a result( about 1/4 to 1/2 turn on the spring) had to back down 1mm on preload(about 6mm right now). That Im still deciding where is better.

Ive done 125 miles on a wide variance of terrain, I started with the same hydraulics as the 8.0 straight. Once I hit the first small telephone pole, and the rear kicked me in the A$$, I knew atleast the rebound would need adjustment. By the end of the ride, I hit the same pole without issue. Im dealing with about 4 more clicks of rebound.  Jumps and steep faces are cushier, but still fine tuning on the regular stuff, without killing the cushy jump action.

My rock gardens, the shock was pretty good (no complaints)  , one of my down hill tree logs had my feet off the pegs on the first try (tried one more click rebound)

I wont say this spring is a drop in success at this time, in all areas, It will need more repetitive testing.  I can say I did more jumping yesterday than I normally do, and didn't tweak any ankle or wrists, from harsh impacts. 

 

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Okay, so thought Id update my experience with progressive verses straight rate (since its been a few months) and a lot of hours and testing.  The Progressive Ive been running is the 8.5/9.5nm CSR rear spring on my 2015.  This is a fairly heavy spring, for my weight a 1/4 spring turn , makes a significant difference(running right about 6mm preload). This spring is only  1nm variance at bottom of the stroke, I came from an 8.0 nm straight.

I want to point out, that I can make any spring work, its just a matter of getting the hydraulics usable. Sure the spring will eventually limit the out come. Im more saying all spring changes, are going to need Hydraulic changes in addition(none of them are an instant drop in success).  Ive been through 3 different spring rates on my 500, no way could I have any success, without the ability to adjust the hydraulics, the stock ktm clicker ranges and shimming, seem to have been very accommodating  . 

Anyway, when dealing with progressives, there are narrow range and wide range types. I seriously don't see how a wide range progressive, can be functional over a wide range of speed and terrain types without issues, or totally reshim revalving for that spring.

This is because of the rebound control needed, on one end of the shock verses the other, the rebound will never be right with a drastic change at one end or the other on spring rate, set rebound for the stiff side and its too slow for the softer side of the spring rate and viceversa. That was my initial understanding of the dilemma, and after practical experience , I agree with that, and the reason I went with the 1nm csr spring variant , verses say a 2 or 5kg variant.

Ive never considered the ktm 500 mx-able, due to the suspension limitations, on the earlier rates. But this 8.5/9.5 nm, is very capable of full throttle multiple successive 1.5 to 2 ft deep holes, like butter, and still be able to take on a steep jump face or landing without crunching ankles. 

 

I ran a .48nm / 8.0 combo for a long time, but never got it to where I felt it was mx-able , or accurate and plush all at the same time, especially down hill big successive hits, sure I think its usable for general trail bike suspension. But I could never really launch without crunching my ankles, with the 8.0 on a steep face under throttle.

Anyway, I actually was able to keep the same compression setting, on the progressive, the rebound of course got closed a few clicks, but I was able to back off the HS speed, and let the spring do the work, which really paid dividends on the big holes that I was mentioning.

 

So you might say going from a 8.0kg straight to a 8.5 / 9.5nm is significant, and yeah it is. There's also an 8.1-91.nm , that's still heavier than an 8.0kg.

But you might ask what if you just ran a straight rate. 8.6kg(which is the equivalent to an 8.5nm), how would it compare, well I don't know, I can only say that I do use that progressive 9.5nm final rate at times, so it seem to be useful.   But in certain environment the heavier straight may be fine.

I just want to point out, stay narrow in range if going progressive, otherwise.

 

So you might ask, how did you set your rebound? and well, there was a 1 click difference , between better here or better there, and I chose the 1 click that leaned towards to more common type of hits as a norm.

 

Any way, Im definitely done with springs, I have more than enough spring in my ride, for anything that I want to do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THANNNNNNK you for that write up! 

I after 2 rides in 2015 went from a 7.6 prog (stock ktm) to a 9.6 (slavens straight rate) i jsut had my shock serviced at 150 hours/ 2900 miles.  i put in an 8.8kg straight rate sping ( matched rates to my 5.4kg fork springs.  

 

lots of snow in the PWN rite now. but hte small washes i hit today ( still breaking in new spring) the bike came off WAYYY more balanced ( no rear end flyin high from over sprung rear end) 

2015 450 XCW/ 230lbs rider / 270 loaded gear and wolfman bags combined/ stock valving

**just another data point for those looking**

received_10157100633514325.jpeg

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Hey Brute, I didn't mention fork springs, but Im running .52' nm's (.48's previously).

The .52's enabled me to run lower oil heights, and  really aided progressiveness, especially on down hill successive big hits, never getting into the oil height spike, which comes about once you go 115mm or lower on airgap(oil height). actually able to run 120mm to 125mm.  where the .48's required atleast 110mm to aide bottoming.

I have stock tank and no luggage, but I have plenty of reserve spring, Im about 215 to 225 lightly geared.

So you were never able to get the 9.6 to work with the .54's?      I recall you saying you added a lot of oil to the .54's, have you ever measured the oil height in mm's?

 

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@Spud786

 

The .52's enabled me to run lower oil heights, and  really aided progressiveness, especially on down hill successive big hits, never getting into the oil height spike, which comes about once you go 115mm or lower on airgap(oil height). actually able to run 120mm to 125mm.  where the .48's required atleast 110mm to aide bottoming.

 

did you run less oil height with the .48's? and now run a higher oil height with a stiffer fork spring? < maybe im reading this wrong just a bit confused.

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So you were never able to get the 9.6 to work with the .54's?  i'm no suspension guru by any stretch and i just rode the bike and it "worked enough", but over jumps/ bumps i was always coming ass high front low, < that said to me i was over sprung out back.  but i ran the clicker WAY WAY down as the spring could really take the load.

 

I recall you saying you added a lot of oil to the .54's, have you ever measured the oil height in mm's? Initially when got the .54 fork springs i had the oil high at 150 or 160mm to get the stiff feel i had on my CR and try to match the stiffness of the back.  when i blew a fork seal, i rebuilt with 7w fork oil and only put it to 130mm.  that worked for the forks, but the "stink bug" over jumps was ever present. tax time made able to get shock rebuilt and got a spring that better matches the weight rating of the forks. 

**oil level for forks was done with the fancy motion pro tool.  *** with the over sprung rear i was still able to ride harder then ever in eastern oregon desert, but now with proper spring hope to turn it up a notch as i wont have the rear pushing the front over the whoopdy's. 

Edited by brute448

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2 hours ago, brute448 said:

@Spud786

 

 

did you run less oil height with the .48's? and now run a higher oil height with a stiffer fork spring? < maybe im reading this wrong just a bit confused.

I had to run more oil in the .48's for bottoming  ,  fast down hills hitting successive chop, the .48s would hit into the oil height, and jack hammer sometimes, ,the .52's with lower oil height, don't get the spikes and is plush and stable in the same area, and the springs hold the front up better. A lot better hard brake dive control.

oil height is actually airgap, and more airgap, means a higher number, yet actually less oil

 

example  110mm oil height is more oil , than 120 mm oil height

 

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