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XR650L Upgrading the suspension for log crossings.

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Where I live, because of bark beetles, dead fall trees are the most common obstacle encountered on trails. I’ve crossed logs with the XR650L  but felt like I was holding onto a rodeo horse. Are there any suspension mods to make log crossing  more controlled?   Thanks.

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There are no mods specific to log crossings. Rather, you will want to improve the suspension in general (for all tasks). This begins with setup (sag, etc.) as described in the manual.

Assuming that you've done that, then the next step is often springs. How much do you weigh (with gear)?

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18 hours ago, Harry Potter said:

Where I live, because of bark beetles, dead fall trees are the most common obstacle encountered on trails. I’ve crossed logs with the XR650L  but felt like I was holding onto a rodeo horse. Are there any suspension mods to make log crossing  more controlled?   Thanks.

Are you getting enough front wheel loft that the front wheel lightly bounces off the log?

 

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You can get valves changed (have someone do that)

you can change the oil weight (action)

you can get stiffer springs (usually for weight)

get progressive springs (stiffer as they compress but soft on top..............

OR talk with a suspension guy............... he can set up what up need for your riding style and speed, experience ect.

This can go from $25 in oil to $250 in springs to $350 valves springs and oil...................

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Back off the clickers all the way if your bike has them. The softer it is the better it will work on logs. Of course by the time it's soft enough it will be awful everywhere else. And it's still a 300+ pound bike. Maybe go slower?

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11 hours ago, Arrowtree551 said:

Don't you have a spell or something they can teach you at Hogwarts?

Ya but, sometimes I can’t remember where I left my wand. ?

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3 hours ago, XR650L_Dave said:

Are you getting enough front wheel loft that the front wheel lightly bounces off the log?

 

That’s what I’ll work on as soon as the snow melts and the mud dries out.  Just came back from Trials Training  Days a few weeks back in Tennesse and was thinking I need to re-wire the brain when I am lofting the heavier fromt tire of the XR650L.

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I think that specific situation is more experience than suspension settings. Slightly tapping your front wheel and shifting weight to the back like a wheelie will help. But that suspension and heavy bike will have their limitations. I've never been great at the log crossings! Are you running low tire pressure as well? That can help reduce the impacts.

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4 hours ago, EarthCruzn said:

You can get valves changed (have someone do that)

you can change the oil weight (action)

you can get stiffer springs (usually for weight)

get progressive springs (stiffer as they compress but soft on top..............

OR talk with a suspension guy............... he can set up what up need for your riding style and speed, experience ect.

This can go from $25 in oil to $250 in springs to $350 valves springs and oil...................

 

3 hours ago, nobade said:

Back off the clickers all the way if your bike has them. The softer it is the better it will work on logs. Of course by the time it's soft enough it will be awful everywhere else. And it's still a 300+ pound bike. Maybe go slower?

Thanks for the replies, great information. Where I live those who think they know suspension only know Motocross, not what I’m looking for.

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25 minutes ago, timbanditos said:

I think that specific situation is more experience than suspension settings. Slightly tapping your front wheel and shifting weight to the back like a wheelie will help. But that suspension and heavy bike will have their limitations. I've never been great at the log crossings! Are you running low tire pressure as well? That can help reduce the impacts.

Usually run about 12 pounds when slow trail riding.

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18 hours ago, Harry Potter said:

That’s what I’ll work on as soon as the snow melts and the mud dries out.  Just came back from Trials Training  Days a few weeks back in Tennesse and was thinking I need to re-wire the brain when I am lofting the heavier fromt tire of the XR650L.

The pig with the mellow throttle response and extra weight definitely needs to be 'ridden further ahead' than lesser bikes (bikes with less gravitational pull).

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I think you have to just put in the pain.gravity is the enemy of these bikes. It seems like most guys with lighter bikes just muscle it out when they get hung up or get the timing off. I know the last one I nosed over into a log patch cured me.

I'm done with the sizable logs on the pig.

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14 hours ago, rustyrodknocker said:

I think you have to just put in the pain.gravity is the enemy of these bikes. It seems like most guys with lighter bikes just muscle it out when they get hung up or get the timing off. I know the last one I nosed over into a log patch cured me.

I'm done with the sizable logs on the pig.

The trick is to hit them hard enough that if you don't get it right you get thrown clear.

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Just lean back and hold pressure. At least that's how I do it on the trials bike. May be a little different on a BRP though...

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I have no problem with logs on my YZ250FX but I'm a lot more careful on my XR650L.

I don't need 350 pounds of pig landing on me.

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The first thing you learn in bike school is how to BAIL.................

Bail safely is best but BAIL!

The first thing to hit the ground is NOT your feet............. its the BIKE.................. then your feet.

Easily said than done..................

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9 hours ago, XR650L_Dave said:

The trick is to hit them hard enough that if you don't get it right you get thrown clear.

I was thrown clear...

Clear over into the rocks...

The thorn bush was not substantial enough to really slow me down..

Well I think it slowed my chest down but my legs went right on by and I hit my knee on a sharp rock...

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