Suspension setup XR650R

I have been setting up my rear suspension sag and changed the front fork oil with 5wt. Everything is stock.

Here is where I left the rear Rider Sag- 95mm, Static Sag 44mm which means I have too hard of a rear spring.

What I want the suspension to do is absorb a 3-4in. bumps

without killing the rider. I know this is a tall order. But I am willing to sacrifice big jumps and dropping off a 4ft ledge without bottoming.

I am planning to go to 2.5wt oil in the forks and rear shock and a Race Tech SESP 885105 (10.5kg/mm) Rear spring and a FRSP 405147, 39.5X508mm (.47 kg/mm) Front spring.

Will this get me closer to my goal or am I going the wrong way. I am looking for more of a "plush" ride for the first 3-4 in. of travel.

I weigh 175lb.

At 175 pounds 10.5kg & .47kg springs are way to stiff :cry:

If you are not bottoming the bike with the stock springs don't go stiffer. Stock spring are 9.2kg for 160 to 180 pound rider that dosn't jump big and the .43kg stock fork spring are for 180 pound rider. You are right on the money with going with lighter fluid. Drilling out the fork valves will help also but, if you are going to hit anything big you will have to stiffen up the slow shim stack.

Click on the words "Fork Page" and "Shock Page" at this site- Click Here: XR650R Suspension

and see if these pages help you decide what you want. At the bottom of the the pages there is a spring chart.

Wow Bruce, good stuff, thanks. You make it sound like even I could work my forks. I think I'm gonna try it over the winter.

I'm looking to set up better for miserable Northeast enduro stuff. Would the "fast trail rider" setup work for fine for a 165# "ok trail rider" or do you have other suggestions (other than buying an EXC200) ?

Also, where could I buy the 4 shims ?

Peace be with you,


I love your saying at the bottom "The older I get the Faster I was" Ever sence I saw that a while back it fits me! If I get much older I will have been awefully fast :cry:

The trail rider one sounds good and if it makes you a better rider you will be in the know on how to stiffen it up for the big are one of the luky ones the springs were put in there for you :cry: Ligher fluid will really help! If you drill out the fork Valve with a #27 bit (.1135 just a tad over a 1/8" bit it works as well) You will have to stiffen up the slow stack a little if you have ever bottomed out your forks before.

God Bless

I put in 2 1/2 wt. Bel-Ray last spring and my compression's way out and it helped alot. I still rarely bottom either. It's mostly rock gardens, creek beds, and tree roots around here. I'd just like to take the edge off all the small-to-medium sized hits that tend to pump my forearms.

So...where to get shims ?

Sorry for hijacking the post, BRP27. I hope it's still relevant/helpful.

I realy don't like BelRay.....It doesn't seem to be 2.5wt (75/375) It is heavier at least when cold. It is just my $.02 worth but, I think it is hard on seals. If your not into getting air then you might realy like 2.5wt Golden Spectro cartridge fluid or Maxxis 3wt oil with the fork valve drilled out. Just try changing the oil in the shock for now. Then If that isn't stiff enough then get the shims. I get them at Race Tech.

Got it. I'll order up some Spectro.

I try to buy local when I can. All anyone around here had was 10wt. except I found 3 dusty bottles of BelRay 2 1/2 buried in the shelf at one place.

So..drilling helps with "plush" ? Switching the shims goes back stiff ?

Sorry for my ignorance. This is my 1st trip past changing fork oil wt. and level.

I'm getting along fine with the shock, I think.

In September I completely overhauled my forks using Bruce's specs --->>> sweet!!!!! :cry: Used the golden spectro 2.5, bought my shims from Race Tech, Eibach springs from Lindemann Engineering.

Do it! You'll love it.

Here is what I have gotten out of this thread so far

2.5 wt oil Front and rear

Drill fork valves , is there any drilling needed on the rear shock?

Stiffer slow shim stack, Front only?

Leave the springs alone the after market springs go stiffer and that is not what I want

What should I expect from just doing 2.5 wt oil, A more "plush" ride but the chance of bottoming out goes up?

With ligher oil/fluid you are able to move more fluid more & faster=plusher ride. So, you rely on the shim shack more on movement then the by-pass. There is a lot more to it then this but, I am just making it easy. You sound like you nowhere near bottoming in the back? So, I won't get into the rest. The Trail Rider with heavier spring,(shim stack) is a shim stack that I was shown for a rider that neededs more rebound control for a bigger spring and or the lighter fluid but, didn't need more compression control. Fire roads. technical fast real big whoops or big jumps. It will still handle all that the stock shock would handle just a lot plusher. A few clicks harder on the compression adjuster and it will still take on some jumping and 3~4' drop offs. Some of the first video jumping on my bike is with this setup! When the bike is still red and white. It handles the ruts and whash board way better then stock with the lighter fluid. Nice thing is you don't need to buyu shims and it works great....Jimmy Soans showed me this type of setup for my XR600 when I weighed only 148 pounds. The stock shim setup in the shock will be real good just with the lighest fluid with the stock spring and a light rider. Not quite as plush as above but, plusher then stock and still good. My suspension page keeps changing I added links to help get it setup after you are done. I am working on a setup page of my own that is more for the all around ride insted of a MX rider. I like links because there is no reason for me to remake something that someone already has made that is better then what I can come up with :cry: :cry: So, far the biggest difference in my page and others, is that I give out shim stacks. A little humor and some important links. Other then that you can find the rest on the net.

I have not had a problem with bottoming out on the forks or shock. I ride fire type roads and tight trails. On the tight trails the front wheel wants to slide out in a turn. I pushed the front forks down 1/4 in in the triple tree and it helped the front to weigh more but it hurt the high speed stability at 65mph and higher. I am getting some head shake even with a stabilizer(GPR). Its not the GPR not working, its the front forks lowered ( no head shake until I lowered the forks). Not sure if I want to trade stopping a low speed slide of the front wheel for head shake and a high speed fall. A positive of lowering the front forks was the bike feels more responsive at slow speeds.

The rear shock with the stiff spring (relative to my weight, 175lb) and 5wt oil seems to let the rear of the bike bounce from side to side as you hit bumps and the bike bounces up and then over some. The rear wheel seems to bounce up lose contact with the ground moving at speed over bumps. It is an apparent result of a stiff spring and compression not soft enough? and rebound not quick enough?. It appears that going to 2.5wt oil in the shock would help keep the rear wheel on the ground. Also the Tera Flex made this condition worse. It would appear that the Tera Flex acts like a big rubber ball to some extent.

It's really not handling all that bad it just feels like there is room for improvement with some well placed adjustment of the suspension. Thanks for the help with the tuning.

Reduce you race sage on the shock to 4" insted of the usual 3.75" maybe even 4.25" this will help stop the head shake! Get a Pirelli MT450 ScorpionCross front tire. :cry: :cry: :cry: Don't go more then 5mm from the bottom of the top fork cap to the top of your top triple clamp. This stuff will help a lot. If you can get farther back on the seat. In the sand and rough fast stuff.

This is MX stuff but it will help you get how it all works.

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