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Has anyone ever moved up a class based on a revalve? How much do new bike riders really benefit from revamp vs a careful setup of what they come with? We all know that one really fast guy who makes a few clicks and gets right back to warp speed on a new bike, why are so many C and B speed guys fixated on throwing thousands at their forks? Does more seat time and burpees make you faster than suspension "upgrades?" In starting to think the Emporer has no clothes.  

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Imo unless you're way out of the stock range (too heavy or light) it's not going to make a huge difference until you've put time into training cardio, strength, even bike time. There's definitely a difference, but I think for making you a better rider other things come into play first.

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Some riders are just better at setting up suspension then others. All the revalves and parts in the world dont mean much if you don't know how to set sag properly. 

But with a good base knowledge of setup, combined with revalved suspension, you be able to ride faster, longer and more safely...

Good suspension setup poorly is no better then stock suspension setup correctly... 

Conditioning will always be a major factor regardless of setup. 

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Quality susp can make a huge difference. Some/most have never really experienced it. But it can also be said to be overpriced in some cases where result/quality does not match the price. I have had a fairly priced revalve setup transform my riding and had similar priced revalves be a total waste of money. Just like back surgery its a crap shoot far too often.

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4 minutes ago, CR250_182 said:

Imo unless you're way out of the stock range (too heavy or light) it's not going to make a huge difference until you've put time into training cardio, strength, even bike time. There's definitely a difference, but I think for making you a better rider other things come into play first.

That's what I'm thinking. A thousand bucks buys a lot of seat time in gas and tires. I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve, getting better every ride, so maybe I'll plateau sometime soon and really feel a need to rethink the stock stuff. For now a few clicks and a little preload adjustment seems to be totally sufficient from area to area on varying terrain. To be clear, I'm not talking about total garbage that just blows, like the 4cs that came on my Husqvarna. I'm more considering what's on the new high dollar xc and enduro bikes. 

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13 minutes ago, HeavyRotationClassic said:

That's what I'm thinking. A thousand bucks buys a lot of seat time in gas and tires. I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve, getting better every ride, so maybe I'll plateau sometime soon and really feel a need to rethink the stock stuff. For now a few clicks and a little preload adjustment seems to be totally sufficient from area to area on varying terrain. To be clear, I'm not talking about total garbage that just blows, like the 4cs that came on my Husqvarna. I'm more considering what's on the new high dollar xc and enduro bikes. 

And to go with what hans said, definitely do everything you can to get your stock stuff in good form (sag, fork height, etc). Set yourself up for success, but like you said part of that is how much time you're spending on the bike.

It's just weighing cost vs benefit. I will say the first time I rode on properly valved suspension I immediately felt more confident.

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I think it depends on the riding you do also, a guy that is trail riding is likely well served by a good setup on stock suspension. But as soon as you are asking more of the machine, be it big jumps, whoops at high speed, or errors/mistakes at HIGH speed well tuned suspension makes a gigantic difference. It makes the margin for error larger. just my 2c

 

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I have found that most oem suspension cannot be made to my liking with the clickers, and the difference between custom valving from a good tuner is night and day.  No amount of cardio is going to keep your front wheel from washing out from bad fork valving.  No amount of cardio is going to protect my lower back like good shock valving.  

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1 hour ago, HeavyRotationClassic said:

Has anyone ever moved up a class based on a revalve? How much do new bike riders really benefit from revamp vs a careful setup of what they come with? We all know that one really fast guy who makes a few clicks and gets right back to warp speed on a new bike, why are so many C and B speed guys fixated on throwing thousands at their forks? Does more seat time and burpees make you faster than suspension "upgrades?" In starting to think the Emporer has no clothes.  

Its about confidence and trust.  If you can't trust the bike to go straight when you hit stuff and hold a line it will slow your advancement, especially if you find that out by crashing .  The more challenging, technical, and/or potentially injurious the terrain the more this is true.  Has nothing to do with ability and actually more skilled riders can deal with shortcomings better as they know what's going on.   Some of the stuff I see in videos from your area is not particularly difficult for stock stuff to deal with.  Others perhaps, where its repetitive high damper speed hits, higher bike speeds,  will give you problems.   Its all relative to how much the terrain deviates from the norm that the stock setup can respond to, and how this is handled by the particular rider.  No one answer, but all the seat time in the world will not make a stock OC Sachs fork feel like a well tuned KYB.   

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People are always trying to blame anything but themselves for being too slow.  I honestly think I could start a suspension company and simply send back forks and shocks without touching them and the placebo effect would have people raving over them.  I see tons of guys who send their suspension out for revalving on a brand new bike without ever even riding the stock suspension.  How the hell do you even know what problem it is you are trying to solve?

I've seen talented riders get on mini's and ride an MX track faster than 90% of us will ever be able to.  And that's on a stock 4-stroke mini trail bike.  A bone stock race bike is holding back very few non-racers, C racers and B racers from faster lap times. 

Just my opinion, but I know after getting destroyed by a talented 12 year old MX racer on a bone stock YZ85 last week, the problem isn't my suspension or how much power my bike makes.  The only thing holding me back is skill and conditioning.

Doc 

Edited by Doc_d
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Pardon the interruption gents, newb here, but is there a book I can read or class I can take to understand what the heck y'all are talking about?  Revalving, sag, fork height, preload adjustment, front wheel washing out, good tuner... I'm lost. 

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1 minute ago, quest4reds said:

Pardon the interruption gents, newb here, but is there a book I can read or class I can take to understand what the heck y'all are talking about?  Revalving, sag, fork height, preload adjustment, front wheel washing out, good tuner... I'm lost. 

The Race Tech Suspension Bible.

link: https://www.amazon.ca/Race-Techs-Motorcycle-Suspension-Bible/dp/0760331405

Edited by mlatour
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5 minutes ago, quest4reds said:

Pardon the interruption gents, newb here, but is there a book I can read or class I can take to understand what the heck y'all are talking about?  Revalving, sag, fork height, preload adjustment, front wheel washing out, good tuner... I'm lost. 

A lot of that stuff (sag, preload, fork height and clickers) is in the owner’s manual of your bike. Tuners are guys who revalve (change the damping and rebound characteristics of your shocks and forks for $$$) front wheel washed out when the suspension won’t or can’t absorb the bumps and keep even pressure on the tire contact while turning. Don’t know of any classes, but lots of magazines 😂 

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I’ve had two of my past machines revalved, each with different results. First one was my old Kawasaki. The balance of the bike was never right so I had both ends revalved and had the springs swapped out for my weight at the same time. It made a huge difference but after buying a similar parts bike and swapping the revalved forks and shock out for the stock units with proper springs, I couldn’t tell the difference at all between the two. 

Second machine was a 2011 GasGas EC250E with Marzocchi 45mm OC forks up front and an Ohlins shock out back. The forks were nothing short of dangerous regardless of where the compression and rebound clickers were set. Had them worked over by a well reputed shop after the first year of ownership along with the shock and it was like night and day. 

The three Betas I have owned have all had stellar suspension (as far as action goes, not build quality) and I have not felt the need to have the boingers worked over. 

As has been mentioned above, before dumping thousands on custom valving make sure the machine is sprung properly for your weight and spend a good amount of time trying to find a good setup. I believe the vast majority of problems can be solved with this alone. 

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33 minutes ago, GP said:

Its about confidence and trust.  If you can't trust the bike to go straight when you hit stuff and hold a line it will slow your advancement, especially if you find that out by crashing .  The more challenging, technical, and/or potentially injurious the terrain the more this is true.  Has nothing to do with ability and actually more skilled riders can deal with shortcomings better as they know what's going on.   Some of the stuff I see in videos from your area is not particularly difficult for stock stuff to deal with.  Others perhaps, where its repetitive high damper speed hits, higher bike speeds,  will give you problems.   Its all relative to how much the terrain deviates from the norm that the stock setup can respond to, and how this is handled by the particular rider.  No one answer, but all the seat time in the world will not make a stock OC Sachs fork feel like a well tuned KYB.   

I have both, the revalved kyb is much easier to charge big whoops on for sure, but man does it suck on the gnarly stuff. My stock sachs feel 100% better through 4th gear. I'm definitely using all the stroke but they never feel harsh, just wallow a bit on 5th gear trails. I drive a lot to ride hugely diverse areas, TSF one day to open desert the next. Id much rather just take a little speed off and cruise in the open stuff in favor of having a stable and low-deflection setup for rough mt single track. The answer is to have several bikes with good setups for different areas. 

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36 minutes ago, Doc_d said:

People are always trying to blame anything but themselves for being too slow.  I honestly think I could start a suspension company and simply send back forks and shocks without touching them and the placebo effect would have people raving over them.

You would not be far off of some of the work I have seen from big name companies.  Most people don't take their shit apart when they get it back and look at shim stacks, they never know how little was done.

This is the best case for doing it yourself.  At least you know what shims you had to start with and what you did from there.  There are plenty of resources out there to help you figure out how to get where you want to go.

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28 minutes ago, HeavyRotationClassic said:

I have both, the revalved kyb is much easier to charge big whoops on for sure, but man does it suck on the gnarly stuff. My stock sachs feel 100% better through 4th gear. I'm definitely using all the stroke but they never feel harsh, just wallow a bit on 5th gear trails. I drive a lot to ride hugely diverse areas, TSF one day to open desert the next. Id much rather just take a little speed off and cruise in the open stuff in favor of having a stable and low-deflection setup for rough mt single track. The answer is to have several bikes with good setups for different areas. 

This is a big challenge out here. A bike setup for charging hard at China Hat or the D100, is going to struggle to absorb the roots and rocks at slow speeds at TSF or Gifford and vice versa.  

The stock Sachs  is decent,  but I really struggled when pushing the pace hard, especially through areas that have long sections of embedded rocks and trying to maintain pace through them. I thought it worked good for the woods,  but struggled when obstacles with speed were incorporated.  

Like GP said,  suspension is all about confidence and trust.  If you're feeling both at your current style of riding,  then spending big dough on a revalved se suspension is not necessarily worthwhile.  

BTW,  I  can definitely suggest who NOT to use for local suspension tuning if you choose to go that route.  Unfortunately,  our resident top notch suspension tuner doesn't do Sachs, but there's a really solid option up North.  

 

Edited by firffighter
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it seems a lot of the responses are from fast or competitive riders. for the casual slow rider that only gets out once a month if lucky, it's about comfort. small trail trash and roots that would likely be absorbed by faster riding is jarring when just plonking. when I ride my 390 that's been revalved by Steve from after hours with my buddy that has a stock 430, I can tell just by watching him my bike bike is way more comfortable. not to mention at the end of the day I'm tired but he is wasted.

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48 minutes ago, Adam Meyerson said:

A lot of that stuff (sag, preload, fork height and clickers) is in the owner’s manual of your bike. Tuners are guys who revalve (change the damping and rebound characteristics of your shocks and forks for $$$) front wheel washed out when the suspension won’t or can’t absorb the bumps and keep even pressure on the tire contact while turning. Don’t know of any classes, but lots of magazines 😂 

Actually none of that stuff is in the owner's manual.  Procured my bike on a Monday, couldn't ride till Saturday, so I had nearly a whole week to read it and I did.  Also just downloaded a copy at work to make sure I didn't miss anything, I didn't.  Not even a mention of where suspension adjustment is, let alone how to set sag, preload and fork height or even what those terms refer to.  Only tool that came with my bike for the spokes, no spanner wrench or anything else.

So 'tuners' refers to suspension and not to adjusting carbs or tuning a fuel injection setup?  Or are there two types of tuners?

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27 minutes ago, randysoo said:

it seems a lot of the responses are from fast or competitive riders. for the casual slow rider....

For slower riders, its about more than just comfort. You need the suspension to match your riding. If you ride technical trails, an MX setup will be terrible. You want the suspension to keep the tires in contact with the ground. For my riding, that is pretty soft. And some of us are not the same size as the typical factory setup. KTMs are setup for a 165 lb rider. I'm more like 265 lbs. I have to have different springs and then I go with a modest revalve.

But there is no interest in a $3000 WP Cone valve system from me.

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