2003 YZ450F Suspension

Hey everyone.... I just picked up a new YZ450F and need some advice on where to start with the suspension on this thing. I used to race 125's about 5 years ago, got out of racing for a while because of college, and am now getting back into it. I would like to get some good clicker settings for both the front and rear for intermediate moto-x, and I weigh around 180lbs with all my gear. Right now, the front is a little harsh and tends to wobble when getting into the rough stuff... The back isnt too bad, but if you come up short, or take a flat landing, it tends to bouce and thow me up tword the tank. Everything now is factory.... Where should I start?

The stock sprngs should be fine for your weight. I would start with changing the fork oil. Use a good 5-7 wt fork oil and set the level at 100mm. Then set the clickers at the stock positions and begin tinkering with it.

Same with the shock. Set everything to the stock positions and go from there. Everyone is different so it is impossible to tell you what clicker settings to use.

If you want to go one step further, install gold valves in the forks and shock. TexasDirtNap swears by it. He did the gold valves himself on is 04 yZ450F and the difference is night and day. Here is a little info on gold valves:

Installing Gold Valves


I weigh about the same as you and my local tech told me that I was right on the bubble as far as springs were concerned. I rode the bike for about 3 months (6-8 rides) and was not happy with the handling or the way the bike felt when taking off on a jump. I left the rear spring alone but I did go up a size on the springs in the front. I also went with the Race Tech Delta Valves. After doing this upgrade the bike handled much better all over the track. It was actually fun to hammer through whoop sections!

I know that not everyone has the cash to do all of the upgrades, but at least get the bigger springs in and replace the poor excuse of fork oil that the factiry puts in.

Just my .o2c

Good luck :thumbsup:

MxHuggy and Satch got this one pretty much nailed. My weight is slightly over 200 :devil: so I had no choice but to go all the way. I would highly recommend that you DO NOT DO THE WORK YOURSELF unless you have a very experienced friend to help. Although you get a video tape and paper instructions they are not clear unless you have done it before. I went with Race Tech Gold valves and am very happy with the results.

It made a HUGE difference on my bike. Replaced springs, rear shock, compression/damping valves (even installed a check valve on the damping). The laxative that Yamaha uses in place of fork oil is a joke do do yourself a big favor an replace with some good Belray. Once you are done with that check your race sag and preload, check your fork position in the triple clamps (too much and the front end will wobble in high speed straights, too little and the bike feels like a bus around corners) and then enjoy. Its the best mod i've ever done to a bike. :thumbsup:

Take a little time in getting to know your adjustment options, know the difference between Rebound & Compression. If your getting bucked on a flat lander (No one likes flatlanders) then the Rebound is fast and could be slowed a bit taking some of that kick out... Here are a couple links I like to read and refer to...



Question for TexasDirtNap ... Which gold valves did you go with the regular or the type 2 for better bottoming? :thumbsup:

It is personal preference of course, but don't just change the springs. I weigh 210 without equipment and I'm still running the stock springs front and rear. I did have it revalved but even according to Rach Tech's website the springs on the '03 YZ450F are good for 200lbs.

You may be happy with the heavier springs but at least give the stock ones a chance.

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