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Detailed Review of NOST N10Z suspension for 16 fc450

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I'm 31yo with maybe 60hrs experience on 2 wheels but I have a background racing quads professionally. I'm racing worcs and d37 in the expert and "a" class but motocross races I'm racing intermediate (I struggle in the turns cuz I still want to turn my bike like I would my quad).  I bought a new 2016 fc450 about a month ago and have done some mods but the suspension is still bone stock. Asthetic mods aside I've put mx3s tires, extended brake pedal, 4.1 ti/carbon full exhaust, Tokyo mods programmed ecm, 280mm motostuff rotor, propeg ti pegs, and neken sfs triples. Every one of these mods was money well spent imo, in total I spent $1,650 for the above mentioned mods, and they all made the bike more comfortable for me to ride but despite the mods and the lightweight stable and nimble chassis, these forks SUCK and the shock is oversprung for my weight!!! I weigh 175lbs and couldn't get more than 102mm sag (recommended is 110) on a smooth groomed track the bike feels ok suspension wise aside the initial harshness in the front forks after even small jumps 20' and up. As the track gets rougher though the bike gets more out of shape. The forks are so harsh  and do not track well at all. I've tried increasing the rebound up front to help  the front end to maintain contact with the soil rather than bouncing up and down but this lead the the forks packing in heavy braking bumps and rough sections of the tracks I ride. When I go out on the rebound the fork doesn't compact as easily but it doesn't maintain contact with the soil, rather it bounces up and down. In short it causes the front is too lively and consequently feels very unplanted. Later in the day as the track deteriorates this is a major issue in the faster turns. The forks are harsh but I hadn't had much issue with  them blowing through the stroke as many have mentioned. That was until this last weekend when I foolishly rode too fast for my first lap not realizing they changed a rhythm section until it was too late. I jumped 35' into the steep face of a roller and honestly I thought I may have broke something in my wrist. Yes it was a harsh impact but I've never felt forks blow through the stroke so easily while offering seemingly zero bottoming resistance. That's with the neken sfs triples which really help mask the harshness of the 4cs forks. In the rear I don't have as much to complain about. Because it's oversprung for me and the rear rides too high it bucks really bad in braking bumps. I would like a more supple feel in the initial part of the stroke but both of these issues I'm bringing up would be lessened with a lighter spring.  I have a feeling that with just a 4.6 rear spring I would be content with the rear. But I'm having NOST do the shock and forks. Ive been taking lap times my last 3 rides at DT1 mx park in Tulare ca, which is where I'll be doing my comparison between the NOST and stock suspension. My lap times on that track when it's groomed and broken in are 1:59-2:00 and can go up to 2:02-2:03 range as the soil dries up, ruts get blown out, and the braking and acceleration bumps become more prominent. These times have been consistent over the last month in which I've ridden the track 3x  

 

Edited by digarcia1987
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So far Pete (the owner and inventor of the N10Z valve system has been great to deal with. He responds quickly to texts (which he seems to prefer) and has spent nearly an hr trying to answer my questions and explaining his system. Most of which went over my head even though he was trying to dumb it down for me. But I at least understand the concept. He's also willing to do a 1 day turn around time so I can get my suspension back in time to race this weekend. 

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I've found that just changing out a bunch of stuff for aftermarket parts doesn't really work out too well when it's done all at once and immediately after getting the bike. And I'm not even speaking about the financial aspect, if you got the money then that's cool. Everything on the bike works together and swapping parts kind of upsets that. In hindsight getting the suspension done after working with the OEM suspension setup to figure out what you want would maybe have made more sense and helped with the setup of things other than suspension.
I'm not saying you are asking too much but if I landed into a steep face from a 35' jump then I'm gonna expect a hell of an impact.

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30 minutes ago, gscx said:

I've found that just changing out a bunch of stuff for aftermarket parts doesn't really work out too well when it's done all at once and immediately after getting the bike. And I'm not even speaking about the financial aspect, if you got the money then that's cool. Everything on the bike works together and swapping parts kind of upsets that. In hindsight getting the suspension done after working with the OEM suspension setup to figure out what you want would maybe have made more sense and helped with the setup of things other than suspension.
I'm not saying you are asking too much but if I landed into a steep face from a 35' jump then I'm gonna expect a hell of an impact.

Impact aside the forks suck. No suspension tech I've spoken to has anything positive to say about the 4cs forks in stock form. I'm with you when it comes to leaving stock internals for the showa spring forks and kyb sss which I've had FC revalve both and been very happy with. But the wp 4cs are something differently entirely. You're on a kawi but have u ridden a ktm or husky with the 4cs forks?  I have 15 hrs on the suspension and that's been plenty to realize they just don't work well for me. And that changing the compression and rebound does help alleviate one problem but exacerbates another issue.  

Edited by digarcia1987

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Admittedly I have not. But my point is not to get it working perfectly, or even that great, but to be able to communicate to the person doing the suspension what you honestly like and don't like about the suspension. Getting the spring rates for your weight is the first step and it's not a wasted investment. I eventually got the suspension done on my 16 kx450. But only after messing with it for about 35 hours. By then it what time for a rebuild and I was able to clearly tell what I liked and didn't like. And it was pretty darn close after only one try.

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Communication is huge. As is working with a guy who actually rides and is very familiar with the terrain in your area. Sending your Showa susp to a WP specialist can be a serious no no also.

Edited by YHGEORGE

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I think you are crazy pumping $1800 into 4cs forks. The design of them having the 8mm rod and bottoming system at the base of the rod is defective in design, especially when used for MX. If you change the bottoming system to offer more hydraulic support for bottoming it is a fine line between going too far which causes the thin 8mm rod to bend which then wears the DLC off it real quick.

That money could have been used for a lot better setup like a SSS or Showa conversion into your 4CS legs or put towards WP CC or CV forks which could be transferred to another bike or sold when you are ready to move on.

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Bottom line! Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Edited by YHGEORGE
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On 7/4/2017 at 1:03 PM, bowser said:

I think you are crazy pumping $1800 into 4cs forks. The design of them having the 8mm rod and bottoming system at the base of the rod is defective in design, especially when used for MX. If you change the bottoming system to offer more hydraulic support for bottoming it is a fine line between going too far which causes the thin 8mm rod to bend which then wears the DLC off it real quick.

That money could have been used for a lot better setup like a SSS or Showa conversion into your 4CS legs or put towards WP CC or CV forks which could be transferred to another bike or sold when you are ready to move on.

 

9 hours ago, YHGEORGE said:

Bottom line! Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

It's an entirely new system that, according to NOST, is alplication specific so it can best address the shortcomings of the oem design. It's not a revalve. It's ok to put sss internals into the bike but nothing else? Some guys on here swear the ohlins cartridges kits are far better than SSS fork conversion, some like the cone valve cartridge kit best. Is it at least a possibility that the NOST N10Z could perform just as well if not better? I'm willing to find out. Worst case scenario I'm gonna lose $800 compared to the cheapest suspension work with decent reviews for the 4cs forks. With shipping, wear parts, and rear spring, Corey at ProTune was gonna run me about $1000 front and rear and have a 3-4 week turn around time. The sss conversion runs about $1800 plus $100 shipping and that's just for the forks. Add another $350 for revalve of rear shock, wear parts, and oil and another $120 for the correct spring. That's roughly $2400. The NOST N10Z will run me about $1500 front forks AND rearshock,  plus $120 for 4.6 spring, another $100 shipping, and less than $80 in tax. In total under $1800.  Buying used cv forks will run me at least 2k plus a revalve which tacks on another $500 (rough quote from Factory Connection) including shipping, wear parts, oil, and tax.  Then I still need to address the rear shock. In 2 yrs I'll b able to sell those cv forks when I sell the bike and maybe I'll get what I paid for them so I'll only be out the $500 for the revalve. but that's saving me only $700 compared to the N10Z cone valve fork internals and I have to eat that $2,000 for 2 yrs before I see a return on the investment. And I'd venture to say that the resale of my bike will go up at least $100 maybe $200 or $300 with all new aftermarket internals in the forks like the NOST N10Z. To summarize, sss fork internals and revalved shock will cost me $600 more than the N10Z front and rear. The cone valve option will save me $400-$600 after a 2 year period where I'm without an extra $2,000 minimum until I sell the bike and take the forks off and that's IF I can sell them for the purchase price which is unlikely. As long as the N10Z system performs well, this is a no brainer to me. 

Edited by digarcia1987

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It's not a new system, only new parts (mid and base piston assembly). The inherit design faults of the 4CS are still there ie: the 8mm rod with base bottoming control and that little purple seal that fails at the drop of a hat. I think MX-tech offers a "new system" for the 4cs consisting of a larger diameter rod and basically all new internals to make them more like a conventional fork design.

 

SSS forks here (secondhand) got for 300-500, service add 200 and then custom fit cost.

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28 minutes ago, bowser said:

It's not a new system, only new parts (mid and base piston assembly). The inherit design faults of the 4CS are still there ie: the 8mm rod with base bottoming control and that little purple seal that fails at the drop of a hat. I think MX-tech offers a "new system" for the 4cs consisting of a larger diameter rod and basically all new internals to make them more like a conventional fork design.

 

SSS forks here (secondhand) got for 300-500, service add 200 and then custom fit cost.

Some people just need to learn the hard way... There are wayyy too many threads about the 4cs and its problems, not lime the OP didn't know.

The biggest problem I had with the NOST product (with my Yamaha) was I couldn't tune it using simple suspension logic. It was very complicated, used unconventional shims, cones, springs etc etc... When I got it to work awesome in one area, it failed in another. I was literally revalving it every week, to the point it was costing me a small fortune, but ultimately valuable time. I asked Pete a simple question regarding a stock shock revalve and his answer was what made me abandon the NOST stuff entirely.

The MX-TECH is from what I hear a excellent setup and can be purchased for $900.

Edited by Monk
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When you mention all these mods you did, but DIDN'T touch the suspension first and foremost, that doesn't seem very smart or professional to me!? What am I missing?

You talk about suspension and money (or wasting it) in the same sentences, but Ti Pegs, Ti pipe, Neken TCs are smart mods? Is this thread a troll thread? 

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13 hours ago, Monk said:

When you mention all these mods you did, but DIDN'T touch the suspension first and foremost, that doesn't seem very smart or professional to me!? What am I missing?

You talk about suspension and money (or wasting it) in the same sentences, but Ti Pegs, Ti pipe, Neken TCs are smart mods? Is this thread a troll thread? 

Worry about your own money, don't count mine. I got my ti pegs new for $200 shipped and it was well worth it since the stock ones aren't to my liking and dangerous as my foot slipped off more than once. Fmf 4.1 full ti  w/ cf end cap and 6 hrs use for $500 (that's a no brainer to me). Neken sfs uppers and lowers for $425 shipped and I'm glad I made the purchase cuz they will come into play when I'm racing a 90 min WORCS or D37 Grand Prix. $30 for an extended brake pedal which made a big difference for me and my size 11 boots. $225 for motostuff 280mm brake kit (shout out to them for helping me out). Front and rear mx3s tires for $152 And I touched suspension last since I wanted time to figure out what i did and didn't like about it and to tinker with the clickers but that was to no avail. 

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14 hours ago, Monk said:

When you mention all these mods you did, but DIDN'T touch the suspension first and foremost, that doesn't seem very smart or professional to me!? What am I missing?

You talk about suspension and money (or wasting it) in the same sentences, but Ti Pegs, Ti pipe, Neken TCs are smart mods? Is this thread a troll thread? 

Worry about your own money, don't count mine. I got my ti pegs new for $200 shipped and it was well worth it since the stock ones aren't to my liking and dangerous as my foot slipped off more than once. Fmf 4.1 full ti  w/ cf end cap and 6 hrs use for $500 (that's a no brainer to me). Neken sfs uppers and lowers for $425 shipped and I'm glad I made the purchase cuz they will come into play when I'm racing a 90 min WORCS or D37 Grand Prix. $30 for an extended brake pedal which made a big difference for me and my size 11 boots. $225 for motostuff 280mm brake kit (shout out to them for helping me out). Front and rear mx3s tires for $152 And I touched suspension last since I wanted time to figure out what i did and didn't like about it and to tinker with the clickers but that was to no avail. 

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9 minutes ago, digarcia1987 said:

Worry about your own money, don't count mine. I got my ti pegs new for $200 shipped and it was well worth it since the stock ones aren't to my liking and dangerous as my foot slipped off more than once. Fmf 4.1 full ti  w/ cf end cap and 6 hrs use for $500 (that's a no brainer to me). Neken sfs uppers and lowers for $425 shipped and I'm glad I made the purchase cuz they will come into play when I'm racing a 90 min WORCS or D37 Grand Prix. $30 for an extended brake pedal which made a big difference for me and my size 11 boots. $225 for motostuff 280mm brake kit (shout out to them for helping me out). Front and rear mx3s tires for $152 And I touched suspension last since I wanted time to figure out what i did and didn't like about it and to tinker with the clickers but that was to no avail. 

Lol

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14 hours ago, Monk said:

The biggest problem I had with the NOST product (with my Yamaha) was I couldn't tune it using simple suspension logic. It was very complicated, used unconventional shims, cones, springs etc etc... When I got it to work awesome in one area, it failed in another. I was literally revalving it every week, to the point it was costing me a small fortune, but ultimately valuable time. I asked Pete a simple question regarding a stock shock revalve and his answer was what made me abandon the NOST stuff entirely.

What was the question, what was the reply? I believe your experience with the NOST N10Z valving was from a few yrs back and Pete has since changed his design. Your opinion to me has clout as you've had a first hand experience but again I believe it was on an older design, please correct me if I'm wrong. All others have no experience with this setup but have an abundance of opinions as if they did. 

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I looked real real hard at Pete's stuff hoping to find a solution for my susp fail. I decided against it for a couple reasons but mainly because of what we see in this thread. Other than Pete I found I would be alone in the wilderness with questions. Hope it works out 1987, it seems you take your racing seriously. :thumbsup:

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10 minutes ago, digarcia1987 said:

What was the question, what was the reply? I believe your experience with the NOST N10Z valving was from a few yrs back and Pete has since changed his design. Your opinion to me has clout as you've had a first hand experience but again I believe it was on an older design, please correct me if I'm wrong. All others have no experience with this setup but have an abundance of opinions as if they did. 

End of 2015, beginning of 2016. If things have changed 'that' much, does that not raise an eyebrow? No? I don't know of a new design, I do not know about NOST in the 4cs, let alone forks. But I do know what I read here and also what has been tried and true. 

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I had Pete redo my 4CS forks on my 2016 350 sx-f and it was night and day difference.  pete was (and still is) an extremely knowledgeable guy that makes himself accessible to his customers...nothing but great things to say about my experience with NOST.  

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On 7/10/2017 at 0:37 PM, bkevinmar said:

I had Pete redo my 4CS forks on my 2016 350 sx-f and it was night and day difference.  pete was (and still is) an extremely knowledgeable guy that makes himself accessible to his customers...nothing but great things to say about my experience with NOST.  

I rode on my NOST suspension on Sunday. Like bkevinmar said, "night and day difference" and that's without the sag being set. I tried to get someone at the track measure my sag but apparently he doesn't know how to read a tape measure. Once I get a couple rides in I'll post my full review but so far I'd say it's the best or close to the best suspension I've ridden on.  That includes the ohlins forks (not just the cartridge) and shock that were valves for me and my '10 crf450r, 2008 crf450r with Factory Connection B kit suspension, and my 06 yz250 valved by rg3. 

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