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Looking for what I once had


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I had a 08 KTM 530 xcr-w that I installed Ohlins inserts and shock on. It was the best suspended bike that I ever owned. Others rode it and couldn't believe something as heavy as it was could handle so well. .It made rock gardens and root infested woods feel like smooth ground. Someone stole it in 2012 and I have spent so much money on suspension trying to find the magic again. I currently own a 2017 KTM 250 sx and 2019 450 sx-f that I have set up for the woods and they beat me up in the woods. On a mx track they work much better. I have almost wore out my welcome from the suspension shops looking for help. I have tried all there suggestions and it just isn't working for me. I have done revalves, revalve control, and aftermarket shocks. The 530 had a pds and in the woods is that better than linkage? I know suspension can be made to work really great because of the 530 but I can't find it again and at 64 I don't have time on my side.

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2 hours ago, motox745 said:

I had a 08 KTM 530 xcr-w that I installed Ohlins inserts and shock on. It was the best suspended bike that I ever owned. Others rode it and couldn't believe something as heavy as it was could handle so well. .It made rock gardens and root infested woods feel like smooth ground. Someone stole it in 2012 and I have spent so much money on suspension trying to find the magic again. I currently own a 2017 KTM 250 sx and 2019 450 sx-f that I have set up for the woods and they beat me up in the woods. On a mx track they work much better. I have almost wore out my welcome from the suspension shops looking for help. I have tried all there suggestions and it just isn't working for me. I have done revalves, revalve control, and aftermarket shocks. The 530 had a pds and in the woods is that better than linkage? I know suspension can be made to work really great because of the 530 but I can't find it again and at 64 I don't have time on my side.

Have you tried the Ohlins inserts for your model?  I have ran into several riders that seem to like them.  We have the TTX 44 shocks on many of our PDS bikes and IMO they are the best in the woods, but we ride older models.  You may try the TTX Flow shock.  IMO it is hard to beat the Ohlins offerings.

 

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2 hours ago, jjy130 said:

Are you up for revalving it yourself? 

I used to do all maintenance and mods on my bikes for decades. I'm now getting lazy. Tried to race the 300 over the weekend and had no confidence in the slick rocks and roots. Going to go back and try the 19 sx-f 450 again. It has the Ohlins spring conversion and MX-TECH shock. I have tried softer setting and harder settings and the results are about the same. Beats me up in the rocks and roots. I just remember the 530 being so smooth. Maybe it was the weight of the bike?

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You probably haven't gone soft enough. You're on a mx bike trying to do rocks and roots, you can remove half the stack and it will still be stiff on rocks and roots. At least these aer forks are super easy to revalve. On the sx I would drop down to maybe 3 face shims on the base valve and fine tune from there. It's about a 20 minute job start to finish, take the bars off, pull the base valve assembly out, pull the shims and reassemble. No peening to remove on these either. Start there and if that doesn't get you where you want I had a post about converting the midvalve to a kyb style float. Understand this is not a mx setup if you do a setup like this.

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I FEEL your pain 745. Had a previous bike that swallowed EVERYTHING without a thought. I got faster every time I raced because i found I could not be upset by anything, total trust. ONE simple revalve and NIRVANA! My current bike has had seven GURU tuners, multiple revalves and absorbs NOTHING. $$$$  Nothing but punishment.  Zero confidence, zero stability, zero absorption. I have gotten beat up on forums by smartasses but still no solution. Good luck to you, hope you find the solution. 👍

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2 hours ago, DaveCR said:

 

Try a KYB or Showa suspended machine. WP is the second world, suspension of choice.

Got Ohlins hybrid spring conversion and MX-TECH shock on the 19 450. Haven't found the right setup yet. I've just about wore out the clickers with adjusting it so much. Just doesn't seem to matter where the clickers or air pressure is I still get beat up in the woods. I have a 18 450 sx-f track bike with similar setup and it works great on a mx track. All kinds of confidence with that bike but just the opposite with the woods bike. I have spoke with suspension guys and they tell me that the valving on the woods bike is set up way on the soft side. I have rode the mx bike with stiffer settings in the woods and its just too stiff for the woods. Maybe I need to send it back for a super soft valving adjustment. I'm not really a slow or fast guy even though I have won a several GNCC races but that was years ago on a bike that I had confidence riding.

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1 hour ago, AngieRider said:

What GNCC races did you win, class and year?  That's impressive.

Thanks 2012 50c Rd 4 Big Buck, Rd5 Mammoth, Rd 5 Limestone, Rd 10 Unadilla, and Rd 13 Loretta Lynns. 8 points short of winning the championship. Wasn't consistent enough.

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So what kind of setup did you tell them that you wanted. Enduro gncc hare scramble? A mix of MX an gncc. I had some trouble the first time I got my suspension setup, I told them I wanted a gncc suspension. When I got back it suck , was really sad in the woods , an in G outs it as bad too. So the next time I had it setup I went for a HS , an that was what I was looking for. I ride woods mostly an that work great for me. I think that some time’s, me or the tuner just dose not get it right. I did not know what I was looking for and thought gncc would be good for woods that I ride. But I guess not cause the HS did the trick. 

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5 hours ago, nots0much said:

Have you tried a stock XCW or EXC bike? It might be easier to explain to a tuner when you can use a known quantity as a starting point. 

I have a 19 KTM 450 sx-f and there's not much difference between it and the xc. The others have PDS suspension but maybe that's what I need? I basically replaced the stock suspension with a Ohlins hybrid spring conversion and a Mx-Tech national shock. I gave them my age, weight' riding ability and off road use no mx. It is a single purpose woods bike but I have taken it to a mx track and the suspension works great there. I have sent the shock back and results were the same. Woods no good and mx good. The forks are a new addition so I'm not sure about them just yet. Mx-Tech guy said that the shock is valved really soft. I have tried the clickers every which way and always seem to end up mostly all the way out. I'm not trying to complain I just want the suspension to work for me.

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3 hours ago, tjg53 said:

So what kind of setup did you tell them that you wanted. Enduro gncc hare scramble? A mix of MX an gncc. I had some trouble the first time I got my suspension setup, I told them I wanted a gncc suspension. When I got back it suck , was really sad in the woods , an in G outs it as bad too. So the next time I had it setup I went for a HS , an that was what I was looking for. I ride woods mostly an that work great for me. I think that some time’s, me or the tuner just dose not get it right. I did not know what I was looking for and thought gncc would be good for woods that I ride. But I guess not cause the HS did the trick. 

Single track hare scramble.

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Personally I don't understand why GNCC or HS would not be very close if the tuner understand the region/terrain the customer tides in. Which should always be part of the communication/discussion when asking for a revalve. On my current bike I feel my huge error initially was using a west coast tuner who had no clue about east coast woods. Then each succeeding tuner was dealing with a wonky pkg instead of the oem starting point. Its a complicated process and not all tuners are of equal ability. Can be very frustrating.

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Have you had someone local do both the forks and shock?  Ideally someone that has experience with both MX Tech and Ohlins.

It sounds like that you are running MX Tech's settings on the shock, and Ohlins' on the forks...if so, I highly doubt that that both share the same view point when it comes to valving (or understanding of your terrain, as AngieRider pointed out), which can lead to problems. 

You're also running two different brands of suspension, which may not get along no matter how good the tuner is.  For instance, I had a '17 350sxf where I was originally running the KYB conversion on the front, and the WP shock (revalved) in the back. And no matter what I did, the bike never felt balanced.  So, I ended up getting a KYB Factory shock, and it solved all of my issues. 

 

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1 hour ago, jmfreeman535 said:

Have you had someone local do both the forks and shock?  Ideally someone that has experience with both MX Tech and Ohlins.

It sounds like that you are running MX Tech's settings on the shock, and Ohlins' on the forks...if so, I highly doubt that that both share the same view point when it comes to valving (or understanding of your terrain, as AngieRider pointed out), which can lead to problems. 

You're also running two different brands of suspension, which may not get along no matter how good the tuner is.  For instance, I had a '17 350sxf where I was originally running the KYB conversion on the front, and the WP shock (revalved) in the back. And no matter what I did, the bike never felt balanced.  So, I ended up getting a KYB Factory shock, and it solved all of my issues. 

 

Thanks for all the info. I'm not blaming any one tuner because at the end of the day I'm probably part of the problem. I started with stock suspension then got it revalved with a local tuner that specializes in hare scrambles and that didn't work like I wanted. Then tried revalve control and that didn't either. Purchased a National shock and second revalve and it's still off. Now I've got the Ohlins kit and haven't put alot of time on it so don't really know. Now I know what you guys are thinking. This guy doesn't know what's going on with his suspension. He's just too picky. My problem is that I can take the bike to a mx track and the suspension works amazing. So much confidence with the bike. Big jumps no problem breaking or acceleration bumps no problem. Take it to the woods and it beats me up. I have told everybody that I want it set up for the woods. Mx track is never been in the conversation. To me the suspension is too stiff, firm, or harsh for the woods. I have been told more then once that its been valved on the soft side. So is it me? Am I searching for something that's not possible? Why can the suspension be so amazing on a mx tracks and so bad in the woods when its been supposedly set up for the woods? I know that I'm not as fast as I once was but I'm as fast as I ever was. Ha Ha Thanks again!

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You know what they say...if you want it done right you gotta do it yourself. If you listen to yourself it's super clear that it's too stiff for you. If it works good for mx it's certainly going to be too stiff for plowing through rocks. It should take about 20 minutes to pull a bunch of shims from your base valve and be much happier or you can keep complaining on here and hope it makes you feel better.

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