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300r suspension madness

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All,

I know we have talked before about various suspension modifications that can be made to the KLX 300. I am now at the point where everything on the bike is set up perfectly powerwise, but the suspension is just not suiting my needs.

The facts:

- I am an X-motocrosser, so I ride extremely aggressively

- I now ride 100% woods

- I am 5 foot 10 and weigh 185 lbs.

- suspension is 100% stok as far as I know

- bike feels like pure mush and definately not in tune for my size or riding style.

- budget = 350.00

What parts should I order and what should I have done ? Any info you KLX vets is much appreciated :cry: Thanks in advance.

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Replace the fork springs with .44kg units (stock are .38kg).

Stock shock spring should be good for your weight and riding, but the shock should be either reshimmed or install Gold Valve. There is way too much rebound dampening in the stock shim stack.

That should set you back about $250, total for parts.

Try that and if not happy with fork dampening, install Gold Valves, an additional $150 for parts.

Ride on

Brewster

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side topic...I was in the same boat, I wanted to overhaul the suspension on my klx and all the stuff I read was that gold valves and new springs were the best bet. I took it to a well respected local suspension expert and he insisted that reshiming the fork with the stock valves was a better bet than using gold valves, even though I said I'd spend the extra $200 on the valves. I haven't ridden the bike offroad yet (this weekend) but the suspension feels much better, I did new fork springs, and revalved front and rear, left the rear spring. Cost me $497, and I was budgeting $800 so that was fine.

any input on reshimming vs. gold valves?

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I live in Ga, and used a guy up in NC he races two KLX's one for H/S one for enduros. We raised up the front 1 inch and the rear he does this thing called the terrain tamer, commpresion on one side rebound on the other.I found a good deal on a ohlins for a kx he shortend it to fit and put a bladder in for a more subtle ride on the small stuff. He knows a lot about klx's he is a master mechanic and Kaw dealer till retiring he has a web site www.brucessuspension.com get his # and just call him.I done several thing to mine If I knew how to load a pic on this site i would show you my bike . I had to lengthen my kick stand with bruce's help it looks like a KTM up and under the sideplate it's nice not to drag in the ruts.

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Jesse;

There's not much to work with in the stock forks, just the valve body, 3 shims, and a spring. The rebound valve is basically sealed. Gold Valves give you a progressive shim stack to work with. Different suspension shops have different approaches to setting up the forks. One of my local shops (AfterShocks) does something with the stock valve and another one (JN Innovations) says that the KLX is one of the few bikes that he recommends installing Gold Valves.

On the other hand, the shock can be reshimmed to work as well or better than a Gold Valve.

Ride on

Brewster

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Wow. this is some excellent information. i really appreciate all of the in-depth feedback everyone is giving me. i guess i will try the gold valves since people say they are so and the new fork springs, etc...

I wonder about the ride height though... it seems so low to the ground and the travel is so limited ... is it me or ?

Any other thoughts ? Thanks in advance !

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This is my personal opinion - which is different than some - but I would say take your suspension to a shop that specializes in suspension. Don't do it yourself. Better yet, take it to a shop like ESP that does lots of KLX's. Unless you are gifted in understanding how suspension works and/or have lots of time and patience on your hands, your net result will be well worth the extra couple of hundred you will spend by taking it to a shop. The bike will be better and more suited for you and your style. Plus - if you don't get it right the first... or second... or third time, you've only got yourself to blame. If it's not right coming from the shop, they will redo it until you are happy with it. (That is if you choose a reputable shop.) On the other hand, you might learn something by doing it yourself.. Just my opinion....

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Bill,

I will have to do some research on who does suspension for woods riding around here. I mean, we have honda/yamaha of troy (the pro mx team) down the road, but they do mx only ... I will see what I kind find, but gold valves seem to be the way to go if i want to get this sorted for real.

Also, what brand of fork spring should I get ?

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I had just the opposite on my new 04 KLX 300 R but I'm only 150 lbs. The thing beat me up bad from being too stiff. I was told it would break in and be much better over time. In the mean time, I replaced the stock fork oil with Bel-Ray 5W. Much better but still waiting for that break-in. I didn't want to touch the fork springs until I was sure it was broke in.

wldrdr

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My 2001 is well broke in and I weigh about 40 more pounds then you do :cry: The rear is ok, but the forks are total mush. I am trying to sort that out by getting some new gold valves and fork springs ... I am hapoing to find a good local suspension shop, but the hunt is still on.

Anyone know if race tech fork springs are good and what rate I should go with ... .44 kg were mentioned earlier ... does that sound right ?

Let me know if you get a chance everyone and thanks in advance.

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Nathan, if you have a shop do your suspension, have them tell you what the correct spring is. Different tuners do it different. George at ESP (who did mine) has a philosophy of lighter springs and stiffer valving. Others do exactly the opposite. I'm 200lbs and have .42's w/ gold valves and they plenty stiff enough for me. However that's due to the way that George valves them. Good luck.

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Bill, Do you have any contact info for "George at ESP"? I'd like to talk to him about doing my suspension.

Thanks,

Ron

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Hey Ron - I sure do. Corey's 340 is in there right now getting new valves. Mine is up next for new valves. I'm probably due for rings and maybe a piston too. If so, I'll probably end up going to a 340. You can reach ESP at: 818.951.9144 Good luck. You'll love what they do to the KLX. Tell George I sent you.

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Bill,

Thanks for the info. I'll give him a call tomorrow and see what he says. Is there alot of difference between the stock engine and the 340 kit? What does it usually cost for the 340 kit? Not that I plan on doing it anytime soon, but eventually probably will.

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Yeah, it's a pretty big difference. Definately makes it much easier to get the front wheel up. More fun to ride. :cry:

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Well, I finally got to take my *new* '98 out this weekend and test the suspension work. First thing I did was mob some woops and at first, I wasn't impressed, the front is pretty stiff, and the back was very bouncy, kicking me all over the place. After lowering the rebound on the back it was 10 times better, but the front is still very stiff, and pretty uncomfortable for trail riding. I did .44 fork springs, and re-shimmed front and rear valves. I'm debating whether I should have him redo the front vavling with gold valves... On the other hand, I did tell him I wanted to jump it pretty good, and I did that. The bike jumps great now, and without bottoming. I landed one jump from probably 6 feet up to flat without bottoming and the landing was very smooth (I was expecting pain).

Do you think revalving the front with gold valves will smooth it out a little for trail stuff? Or is that just what happens when you put in .44s?

Jesse

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It sounds like your shop did what you asked for. Jumping and trail riding are two pretty different things. There are some types of suspension out there that are plusher at low speed and still will not bottom at high speed jumps, but even with Gold Valves, the KLX suspension is not "state-of-the-art". I would say though that the gold valves give you a plusher slow ride if you install them. If you put in .44's and the valving is pretty stiff up front, the bike will definately be stiff. The springs will settle in with time and not be so stiff. I would call the shop and explain your situation, back off the compression in the front and try it again. You may be able to figure it out without sending it back in. Ask them to re-suggest compression and rebound settings. Honest assesment of your abilities, type of riding and detailed descriptions of what the bike is doing will allow them to zero in on your problems and fix them. All that said, I've never heard of anyone saying that the KLX forks are better without the gold valves. Some tuners say they don't *need* the gold valves to make it work, but I've never heard that they are not as good as just re-shimming the stock setup. The method that I have come to like is using slightly less stiff springs (in my case .42's) and valving stiffer. That will allow you to back off the compression for the technical slow stuff and readjust if you are hitting high speed trails with whoops and jumps. JMHO. Good luck.

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Jesse;

You didn't mention if you had tried backing out the compression clickers on the bottom of the forks. That can make a big difference when going over the smaller stuff. The clickers control fluid that is bypassing the shim stack.

Ride on

Brewster

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Yeah, I'm hoping lowering the front compression will help, I didn't try that, was having too much fun riding and didn't want to stop the pack to readjust that. I'll mess with it more next time. I'm thinking the .42s might have been better for me, I just told him how I ride and he went with it, I also told him money wasn't a big deal at that point and I wanted it done well (and I said at first I wanted gold valves and he talked me out of it...go figure)

I'll try to mess with the compression damping and see, I'm going out again next weekend and probably will do some track riding also so I'll try everything. If I keep using the .44s on stock valves, what oil should I run? I ride the bike mildly hard on trails and I like to jump everything I can find...

thanks

Jesse

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