Fork settings...Warm vs Cold AIR

I have a new XR250R, which has hardly been broken in. I had put no more than 100 miles on it since I purchesed it two weeks ago. It is 100% factory set.

I put on the first 80 miles in temp above 60degF. Let me tell you, that after 25years without sitting on a bike, it felt like heaven ! :cry: Seems that I hadn't forgotten how to ride in all that time!!!

This last weekend however, I went riding in temps hovering around 35degF. I could barely finish 15 miles before the trail beat the crap out of me. Even the smallest bump rose up the handlebar and thrashed my arms. This brings me to my question....

According to the "Honda" manual, if the initial stages of the suspension are too stiff, I should raise the oil volume :cry:, and decrease the damping :cry:. It doesn't say anything about riding in the cold air of the Great White North ( of the US that is )( BTW.. EH !! to all you Canadian neighbors, the true "GWN" )

Any recommendation about setting the forks for cold weather ????

bleed the forks? less rebound?

They list raise the oil volume with the idea in mind that it will give increased bottoming resistance in the latter stages of travel. You can lighten up on the damping and if bottoming isn't an issue then you can ignore the adding oil part. Chances are if you aren't jumping or anything, you can probably start with the compression damping adjuster (does the 250 even have one?) wide open.

If there isn't a compression damping adjustment, then you may just simply want to go to a lighter (thinner) fork oil to offset the increased viscosity (thickness) caused by the cold. Note that not all fork oils are the same thickness, even when marketed with the same number (e.g. SAE 5, SAE 10, whatever). If you want to have an idea, then compare your old oil with your new oil. This can be as easy as timing how long it takes for a set amount (say 100mL) to flow through a small orfice (e.g. an old main jet, a small pipe, whatever). Both oil samples MUST be at the SAME temperature, or your test will tell you nothing.

Backing out the rebound clicker (it must have one of them) a few clicks will help if it seems like the damping is holding the forks down in the stroke (pumping down). Don't be afraid to experiment.


Thanks HairyScary.

I rode this weekend, without making any adjustments to the front suspension. The temp was 60fegF, 20deg warmer than the last arm-buster session. The ride was noticeably better, but still quite rough on the arms:(

During the ride it did seem that the initial hits were acceptable, but the rebound is what was killing me. Hard to tell though. The trail had about two miles of nasty rock formations.

I will increase the rebound damping on both front and rear the next time out. I'm sure it will be trial and error for the next few rides.

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