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KTM suspension ... What exactly dont you like?

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I see lots of people saying the suspension sucks ... the suspension sucks ... the suspension sucks.... spacifically what dont you like about it?

I bought my 15.5 450FE from a 140 lb A rider and PG had revalved the suspension and put in lighter springs. Since I am 220 LB I went back to the stock springs and set preload and started riding and changing the clickers. Ended up backing the compression out on the forks and they seem to work well for me. For reference I went to the KTM from a 2008 YZ450F with stock valving and heavier springs that worked really well.

Again what spacifically do you not like with the stock KTM suspension? What did you try to change it besides just throwing $$$$$$ at it for cone forks?

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There's a lot that can be said on the critical side of WP suspension.  They've had some high points and many low points.  I need to run but I'll post back with a personal history of my WP experiences.  This will be entertaining to follow.  

 

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I have never owned a ktm before my 2016 250sx-f euro bike. I've hade Suzuki and Yamaha to compare.
Initially, I didn't mind the AER, but it definitely was still an air fork. The choppy breaking bumps really took a toll on you throughout the day. I never had a failure on mine so I think they are a reliable system, but just too much spike/deflection for me to be comfortable. I bought some ohlins and will never look back. Amazing product and great feel.

Shock. The shock was the high point for my setup compared to the AER. Once I bought the ohlins the shock stood out. I did research and found the pro circuit linkage system. Installed it with the correct race tech spring and I am still dialing in the clickers. On accel bumps and square edges the back felt dead, now with better geometry, the bike absorbs these obstacles. Overall I'm very pleased with both products and they definitely made the bike much better to ride.


I did get to ride my buddies 4cs forks recently and I was extremely surprised with them. I felt like I was riding on 2x4's in the front.

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My experiences with WP in chronological order:

FORKS

Open Chamber Forks: Pre-2011, were sticky in the initial stroke, then blew through the rest.  The bike geometry didn't help matters in that it was nervous handling, it liked to dive, knife, and bottom while still somehow feeling harsh.  

Closed Chamber Fork: 2011xc: They had this one almost right but they had the same sticky WP seals.  This fork was also sticky but otherwise worked fairly well in stock form.  It was a bit complicated to work on but at least it functioned well.  Once they went to SKF seals, this fork became their best fork to this day.  Yes, better in stock form than the AER.

Open Chamber (Post-2011): These aren't bad unless you try to go fast.  Then they had a harsh spike on sharp edges....just occasionally.  They dove like the older forks on hard braking and bottomed easily.  If you valve them to be stiffer, they got harsh.  I never could get these to work well, but they were always ok if you weren't going too fast.

4CS: (2014 KTM 250xc): These are horrendously bad.  I can't believe someone tested these forks and said they were good for production.  They have a horrible spike on high speed hits.  They are absolutely un-rideable in chop, roots, rocks.  I should mention that while going slow, or riding in sand, they felt ok.  Any sort of sharp edge at higher speed was absolutely scary.  I love how the magazines did a 180 on this fork.  When it came out they praised it's performance and said it was better than the closed chamber.  Then, when WP dropped it, they all agreed how bad it was.  It's hard to take them seriously on any reviews.  Sure, they can be fixed.  But it most often involves replacing internal parts and big money.  

AER: These are good and simple.  I'm impressed so far but I only have 20 hours on mine.  I've revalved them and I'm happy.  By removing 2 shims and clamping on a smaller clamp shim, these are very good on mountain singletrack, high speed singletrac, etc.  They stay up in the stroke and absorb just about anything with tolerable feedback through the bars. Testing in the desert/MX situations will need to wait until it cools off.  They are so easy to revalve that I may do it seasonally.  

 

SHOCKS:

There are really only two categories here, PDS and Linkage.  There is no comparison in any situation in my mind.  If you ever get out of first gear, the linkage shocks have been better at everything from day one.   

 

Edited by hrpufinstuff
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On 7/10/2017 at 10:25 PM, Orion6781 said:

I have never owned a ktm before my 2016 250sx-f euro bike. I've hade Suzuki and Yamaha to compare.
Initially, I didn't mind the AER, but it definitely was still an air fork. The choppy breaking bumps really took a toll on you throughout the day. I never had a failure on mine so I think they are a reliable system, but just too much spike/deflection for me to be comfortable. I bought some ohlins and will never look back. Amazing product and great feel.

Shock. The shock was the high point for my setup compared to the AER. Once I bought the ohlins the shock stood out. I did research and found the pro circuit linkage system. Installed it with the correct race tech spring and I am still dialing in the clickers. On accel bumps and square edges the back felt dead, now with better geometry, the bike absorbs these obstacles. Overall I'm very pleased with both products and they definitely made the bike much better to ride.


I did get to ride my buddies 4cs forks recently and I was extremely surprised with them. I felt like I was riding on 2x4's in the front.

The AER in stock form is a little too stiff IMO for woods riding.  However, I just removed 2 shims and clamped on a smaller diameter shim and they are very good now.  My 2016 YZ250x forks came stock feeling similar to the AER forks stock.  After some minor softening, they still feel similar and both perform very well.  I rode the yzx yesterday to compare the 350xc and I can say that the KYB's are still better but not by much.  The KYB's feel more firm but perform better at higher speeds.  

The 4cs forks that came on Husaberg's back in 2013 were not bad for rocks but were too soft for anything else.  They're much different than the ones that came on the SX's and XC's in 2014.  The KTM version of the 4cs was ridiculously harsh on high speed hits.  2x4's is a good way to describe their performance.  I owned a 2014 250xc for three months.  After two revalves and several "flying off the trail" incidents, I gave up on the bike due to the forks.       

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The AER will always be Air and breaking bumps will always be an issue. I hade mine revalved 2x. The last time was by protune who is known to be the "go-to-guy" for anything wp. A spring for square edges and chops is always gonna perform better in my opinion. I have heard people say how great the AER is and from my experience, most of those people are KTM riders only who are coming from closed chamber or 4cs. WP was never known for having great suspension. And having the "best air fork" is like having the best pile of crap.

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Sorry just not true, I rode a full kyb kitted sxf on Sunday, it wasn't any better than my revalved aer and the shock wasn't better either

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Everyone has there own opinion. It's true to me. I haven't heard of anyone other than 4cs owners switching to air forks for preference. How many guys you see out there running air on the Yamaha? Not going to happen.

Finally the industry is learning and Honda and Kawasaki are back to springs. Won't be long for all brands to be back there. KTM will once again be left with some of the worst production forks again. Don't get me wrong, love the ktm. Most comfortable bike for me to sit on and I love the way it turns. But the AER needs a lot of money to get it to feel as plush as a spring. A simple clamp and shin float valve mod won't get it there.

Throwing a kyb shock isn't going to help the geometry in the rear 16+ sxf's. The shock is not the issue, The linkage is way off. Ktm tried to save weight everywhere they could. The 4.5 spring was perfect in terms of sag settings. It was just dead with no feedback. Now have a 5.0 on it with the pro circuit linkage and it is night and day. Still not the best but I only have 2 rides on it and it could use a revalve due to the change, but it's a huge leap in front of my other setup.

I have always seen mog defend the AER stuff. I've ridden many kyb and showa setups that are far greater than the AER. The AER is acceptable, but IN MY OPINION, you either are a genius and should sell whatever you did to your aer's to all the big companies, or your horrible at setting up your SSS.


I think Air is a great concept and could be great in the woods at low speeds. It will absorb the square edges to an extent. Higher speeds in mx is no comparison.

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Aer comes second in all the shootouts ahead of all but the Yamaha sss, so quite a lot don't agree with you , the geometry if the sxf ? Best handling bike I have ever ridden, again no bike beats it in any shootout , a revalve is all the aer needs , I rode a 18 tc 125 on Sunday, I would say std it was better than my aer, sorry I just don't agree, i have even put kyb on my 14 sxf and 10 rmz and I was not impressed, I think the revalved wp and showas were just as good

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Did you happen to see the new spring to air conversion for the Honda? Me neither. The air characteristics are not desired by riders.

Geometry of the chassis is great. Couldn't agree more, best handling bike. Geometry of the linkage and it's ratio are completely off. Why do pro circuit, pr2, and I think about 2 other companies make linkage systems? Because it's off and it's harsh.

This thread is about what I felt is wrong with the wp stuff. Sorry if your getting butt hurt about me talking bad about them. You have stock in wp?

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Sure i have same as all the shootouts, companies sell anything people will buy , Karl Anderson revalved std suspension got 2nd overall at the emx300 class ( world 2 stroke ) a few weekends ago , maybe you should tell them how its no good ? I'm not bit hurt just don't like people saying spring is better, if I showed you a graph showing the progression is the same as a spring, would you accept the steel spring doesn't actually change anything?

 

 

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Why would I look at a graph and accept it? I've had back to back rides with my stuff and I know the spring feels better. I don't really care about a piece of paper. I have actual seat time.

The op asked for what exactly I don't like. I said what I don't like and the reasons why. Why are you trying to say what I am saying isn't true? Really, do you own part of wp? Do you have any sort of stake in wp? Just because someone doesn't like the AER it's no reason to say that person is wrong. It's my opinion. I spent $10,000 plus anther $3,000 on springs. I believe I have the right to my opinion.

People ride what they have and make it the best they can. To the guy who got 2nd in the emx, I think they should have offered him a spring conversion, cones or ohlins. He may have gotten first.

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I did 60 hours on my aer and had 3 revalves. Couldn't get along with the inconsistent feel. As the race chopped up more the fork would ramp up and become stiffer. Air is unstable and a 3 psi change is as noticeable as a spring rate change. Some events would change up to 10psi. I don't like going into a corner and it feeling different each time. This combined with the extra stiction had me lacking confidence. Each air pressure change would need the the comp and rebound adjusted to make it work so when the air pressure is changing depending how fast those forks are going up and down it becomes unpredictable.

Anyway I now have the kroozetune spring conversion and could not be happier or more confident in my bike. No stiction issues and the most consistent feel. I really wish I did it after 10 hours and I know it will be my first modification to my 2018. It was a process though and I had to go through it. If anyone is thinking of a spring conversion, do it and don't bag it until you have tried it.

4cs forks needed work from stock. In my 2016 250xcf we added a set of bottoming cones from a 2015 4cs fork and a simple revalve and they honestly are a great fork. I currently have a set in my 2016 150 and they soak up everything at all speeds. My tuner has a 2016 450xcf and is a very handy rider. He has tinkered for hours to get his right so his customers with 4cs benefit from his experience.

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let me say this My Brother n Law & my self  have a great private track . So we have a lot of people who want to come ride . So it's known you ride my track, I'm riding your bike  fair enough...So I get to ride every new stock & modded bike around.

My Opinion is the AER is the best & easiest to set up for the avg guy. I like them .I found a workable PSI & raced them stock  worked good w/Good btm resistance. The kawi TAC was a close 2nd but after the new wore off 3 chambers too much trouble. RMz Tac stock no Thanks

PSF 1 OK &  good with a FC revalve. PSF2 no thanks

What I don't like about the AER is the breakaway stiction  & the ft tire traction feel with the psi I prefer. Then they ride a bit high.

Also track to track they need something adjusted. My last 4 personal bikes were [2] 17 350's,17 crf 450 ended up not getting along with it & a 16 yz250f I could ride it anywhere any terrain with little to no adjustment resprung of course . Also I have put in about 50 hours on AER's.

So I was just given a Race Tech spring conversion to test. Dropped it in last night. full disclosure I have tweaked AER valving for my air spring & shock is valved stiffer along with a stiffer spring.

But the spring  kit, per garage test is very compliant in the first 75mm. AER's not so much. My assumption is I will have to stiffen valving  a bit ,but just a guess at this point. 200 # vet A

I have ridden a conversion on a 17 350 xcw. The whole thing was so soft I won't give any comments. Rode a MX tech psf 1 sff spring conversion did not like it as well as FC revalved PSF1 same bike.

I will give a  short review of the conversion providing I don't get rained out tomorrow. But generally don't get involved in these threads as I'm not keen on being told my Opinion is wrong .I have ridden 40+ years & know what I'm looking for, Along with being Too busy to argue.

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15 hours ago, Orion6781 said:

The AER will always be Air and breaking bumps will always be an issue. I hade mine revalved 2x. The last time was by protune who is known to be the "go-to-guy" for anything wp. A spring for square edges and chops is always gonna perform better in my opinion. I have heard people say how great the AER is and from my experience, most of those people are KTM riders only who are coming from closed chamber or 4cs. WP was never known for having great suspension. And having the "best air fork" is like having the best pile of crap.

Very excellent point about some KTM riders not having a good perspective of what "good" is. I am struggling to find a solution from a setup given to me on my Showas by KTM specialists. My self adjusted, simple but very careful clicker and oil mods were better and actually safer than their "pro" mods. Should have known better.

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I don't like to argue either , I'm trying to say to people if the aer feels stiff at the top of the stroke it's down to the setting, I have personally seen a graph showing the full progression of the spring side of the fork from 0 to 300mm , I don't think many people have, it mimacs a 11 rmz450 fork exactly, now imagine bolting that fork onto your super light sxf and it will sure feel like it rides high and stiff and lack plushness, but as we know ktm set the pressure to high , if you believe you going to get a different fork progression going to a spring then fine go ahead, just please no one say the air fork ramps up too much and it won't settle, that's only because it's set too high , drop the pressure to a more reasonable 130psi ,do something about the bleed shims ( to remove the floaty feel ) and add a bit of float on compression side , and you have a super light adjustable plush fork, overall maybe the best fork produced ever , it's as plush as any , light as any and adjustable more than any spring yet easy to adjust, there is really no fork like it , you see very few for sale and the reviews like it even with ktm settings that could be better imo , the 18 tc 125 fork was better than any I can remember including a kit showa, kit kyb, modified kyb, modified showa and wp , it was better than my fork with 4 revalves

But if people want to believe the myths then go ahead, I've been saying since day 1 the aer is good and every mag test agrees , not every one loves it , but to imply it's a bad fork is stupid, if it can do well at almost gp level and someone on here says it's terrible you have to wonder....btw I have slated wp stuff in the past many times , the worst bike I have ever tried 14 kxf 250 , harshest bike I have ever ridden lol

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Btw ohlins bend damper rods with fast riders as do the 4cs , so dont buy those forks if your fast, but spend 13k on a 10k bike , that sounds sensible to me ? I would take advice from that person all the time lol

 

 

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Mog takes a bunch of flack on his opinions on the KTM stuff but I've found my forks have responded exceptionally well to some of his suggestions. Have done a couple of other mods based on my tuner's ideas. Say what you will about Mog but he seems to know his stuff pretty well.

Also keep reading about complaining about jumps in air pressure. I haven't had that experience. Seem to stay fairly consistent unless it's gets really hot. I'm not a pro but I'm no where near a beginner either and can challenge my suspension so I'd expect them to build more pressure but they typically do not. My current setup behaves pretty well in braking bumps. Went to an XC midvalve that's closed down a little. Still adjusting on oil level and air pressure but overall it's a very good fork.

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This thread is about personal opinions of problems with WP suspension. Your arguing with people who have a different opinion than you and calling us liars.

Really just relax and stop trying to force your thoughts on everyone. Create a thread about why people love WP and all of you fanboys can get excited about each other.

Did you say the AER was the best produced fork ever???? You must be a WP dealer or something.

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If I were to drop my psi to 130 2 hours later I would be in the OR getting wrist surgery. I'm in the 150 - 154psi depending on the track with compression about 4-8 out stock valving. See everyone is different. I may or may not like the spring conversion But I gonna test it.

The bike in my avatar was a 16 with full Ohlins . I prefer the AER to the Ohlins,Bling factor aside. 

 

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