04 yz450 = painfull wrists

This was posted in the suspension forum, but didnt get any one with similar exp. or any tips so giving this one a go

I recently picked up a brand new 04 yz450 after stepping off a 00 cr250 which I'd had since new. I love most of the suspension action on this bike, its suppleness is something I could never achieve on the cr.

Unfortunately the yz seems to blow right thru the travel and bottom quite hard on the one large tabletop I cant clear at our track, I first tried raising the oil level and finally ended at the max height, then I slowly adjusted the clickers until it started to get too harsh on the rest of the track but the wrists still hurt, I'm also trying to land with the gas on.

My current settings are 5 clicks out from bottom on the compression and 8 on the rebound with oil level at the max, I weigh approx 185 lb and am a C grade racer who mostly races sand tracks.

Searching the old posts didn’t seem to show much other than a few posts about sub tanks helping. Can valving changes help or are tanks the only way? I'm not aware of anyone in AUS that deals with the sub tanks

Are you positive that it's actually bottoming? If you only weigh 185 and you're at the max oil height, unless you're falling front wheel first from some serious altitude I would be surprised if you're actually bottoming. When it gets towards the bottom of the stroke sometimes it can feel as if it's bottoming, but it's just getting very stiff. Yes you can have it revalved, but first find out what's really happening. 1) Make sure it's truely bottoming. Put a small zip tie on one of the lower fork lets up near the dust wiper. Put it on snug enough to stay but not so tight it's hard to slide. Jump the jump, pull off and check the zip tie. That will tell you if your fork is really bottoming. 2) If you're landing on flat ground from high up, don't land level or front wheel first, land on the gas and rear wheel first if possible. 3) Try some flexable handlebars, such as the Answer ProTaper, etc.. Those helped my wrists personally. Maybe someone who is better with suspension than I am can give you some better tips, but I hope this helps.

I dunno if this will help at all, but you can put a zip tie around the fork tube to see just how far it is compressing. Then just bottom the forks off the track with straps or something and compare how far down it goes.

I've seen that done several times on street bikes out of curiousity and it will work the same way on a dirt bike.

Ditto on the Zip tie suggestion. I thought I was bottoming out as well when I first go the bike ( and this was from only about a five foot drop... ended up I was quite a ways from actually bottoming, I just wasn't used to the plush-plush-hard type of feel of the 426's front forks... definately room for improvement.


well, seems to me that you are stuck somewhere. I assume you are really bottoming.......a suspension set up is always a compromise....so, when the set up works fine on the rest of the track and bottoms on this table you don`t jump, there a three solutions:

#1: set up the suspension for the table....but you won`t do that, because the rest of the lap is screwed up!!!

#2: go faster and jump the table....when you jump it correctly your ride will be plush again!

#3: when #2 doesn`t work, go slower over the table and it will not bottom

....like I said, suspension set up is always a compromise!!!

Sure, you can get a revalve and longer "anti-bottom-rods", but this is not the solution.

I`m afraid you have to go with #2 or #3!!!!

Hello mx_crash, I'm sure you know that the compression is on the bottom and rebound is on the top of forks on '04 450, right?

I have met guys who thought compression was adjusted at top like it is done in older Showa forks (you talk about your old CR)... Just my sincere thought. :cry:

Heavier springs? :cry:

At 185 you shouldnt need new springs. I always land front first (which is the correct technique) on my WR250 stock springs but +5mm oil in forks. It hardly ever bottoms, just gets very firm near bottom of stroke. when I first got it it bottomed regularly, but with +5mm oil, some comression clicks and a change in technique where im taking my weight by gripping the bike with my feet and relaxing on landing it never bottoms any more. Go back and practice on some smaller jumps untill you can land with no pressure on your hands. It makes the world of difference.

Yep done the cable tie thing and it ends up at the bottom, even when the tie is not there I check the where the dust is wiped to, but maybe it doesnt bottom because I dont hear a cluck but the bike certainly its a savage hit.

Fair coment re what adjuster is what, but I've had gsxr's since 86 (yes I'm 30+) so I am used to where the comp and rebound are, mind you I still get asked by some of my mates what is what so I know where you are coming from.

Front wheel first ? I always thought it was land with the front slightly higher than the rear. On all the other jumps I can match the down slope and the thing just glides along but this jump and to a lesser extent a drop off the front seems to blow thru, and punish me.

I'm don't feel I have the skills yet to clear this jump (50 ft) or be able to control the bike should something go wrong, so maybe I should'nt try so hard on this jump and just concentrate on the rest of the track it's just not enjoyable coming to the track for a ride and your wrists ache, note: I try to ride 3 times a week, driving a desk just doesn't do anything for mx.

3x a week? Damn.. I'm in the wrong profession, lucky if I get to ride 1x a month lately. :cry: So you're really bottoming... I have 3 more ideas: 1) Great chance to practice not getting air! Ever see the really fast guys just haul booty up to a jump and somehow stay low! 2) As some suspension shops. There are some different things they can do to make bottoming nicer without totally killing performance in other areas. I'm not sure if the gold valves would help with your model forks but it may be worth asking a good suspension shop. 3) Final idea; have the forks ever been apart? If so, you may want to check to be sure they were put back together correctly. Hope this helps, if not maybe someone else has better ideas!

Springs or gold valves. I did both to my bike and what difference. Im a large guy and still get the forks to bottom hard on really hard landings but that is just how they are one thing for another. Good luck.

At 185lbs you do not need stiffer springs - I would raise your fork oil height 5cc-10cc in each fork and see what your results are - You said you did this - did you remove the forks or just add oil?

New forks have to break in - the oil height from sock is usually in the 125-135mm range - 90mm works very well.

Service the forks every 6 mos(normal) for 3X per week I would do a service every 3rd month - new oil makes for better fork action.

My 03 works real well with 90mm oil height.

The stock forks can be made a lot better with revalving and or/ subtanks and revalving.

Rubber mounted triple clamps will help dissipate the hit on those slapper landings - :cry:

Couple a things

1. Some suspension theorists seem to reckon the bike should do a small bottom out on the biggest jump on the track

2. Yes landing front wheel first is the correct technique

3. Get your shocks serviced they probably need it anyway

4. Dont go and smash yourself just to clear this TT

5. Find a small jump and practice flat landings getting gradually bigger every time you can nail it by relaxing, landing slightly front wheel first, without bottoming if youve got the correct technique you should be gripping the bike with your feet and bending your legs and arms relaxed as you land. Not bracing yourself and hurting or jarring anything. Good luck.

PS The 04 YZ450F is known for haveing great bottoming resistance, so your forks or fork setup are stuffed and or your technique needs fixing. At 185 your not heavy for these forks. Im 194 with no probs even flat landing on a 50ft + TT.

You guys who are saying landing front wheel first is the correct technique for a flat landing from way up high.. no offense, but you guys are nutts. Do you also like to face the next jump front wheel first when you short a double or triple? If I'm up high and looking at a clanker of a landing, it's full throttle and rear wheel first! Front wheel first on a really hard landing is a great way to blow out your front wheel and/or break your wrists. :cry:

You guys who are saying landing front wheel first is the correct technique for a flat landing from way up high.. no offense, but you guys are nutts. Do you also like to face the next jump front wheel first when you short a double or triple? If I'm up high and looking at a clanker of a landing, it's full throttle and rear wheel first! Front wheel first on a really hard landing is a great way to blow out your front wheel and/or break your wrists. :cry:


he was talking about landing on the flat of a table top not into the face of the next jump, which are two different scenarios all together. Yeh if I was death staring a front wheel landing into the face of a jump id be gassing it up too, but for flat landings a frontwheel landing aligns the bike and allows you to transition your weight movement towards the rear, increasing the time to soak up the force of the landing. Its what all the acadamy schools teach and it works very nice indeed.

Front wheel first landings are great in some situations, but not all situations. If you're landing on the downside of a nice jump, or if you're not that high and the landing is nice terrain, landing into a corner, etc.. then yes front wheel is great, I agree 100%. You do NOT want to land front wheel first when it would be painful or dangerous, such as from a very high altitude onto a flat landing, when you're landing into soft sand, landing into a bunch of ruts, etc.. Front wheel landings are not for all situations, and a situation where you're going to clank the forks and cause yourself pain is one situation where you want to land rear wheel first.

mx crash you say its a 50ft TT how far and how high are you jumping whn you bottom out. Cause if your jumping 45ft and landing on the flat than a bottom out is understandable, but if your jumping 30ft and bottoming then a technique or fork change is warranted. As Sirthumpalot says front landings are not for 100%, but if your only jumpin 30ft or less give it ago.

Yes 3 times a week is lucky it helps having a job were you can start at 6.30am and knock off at 3.00pm but now that the seasons ended and its starting to warm up time to cut back to once a week.

Think I may need to send them out to at least be pulled apart and at least checked.

After 15hrs I dropped the forks out and changed the oil, hoping it would help, when it didnt I did the raising bit, with the springs out damper rod and forks fully compressed and stopped at 105mm which is the max according to the manual. I always aim to get the suspension serviced every 30 hours.

Maybe the rubber mounts are what I need as the CR had them and I never experienced this problem, if only I had money those flex bars look the goods.

As the tracks I race on are sand, not loam or hardpack, I'll stick to the rear wheel first.

I'll have to get a mate to video me to see if how I'm landing, maybe not enough gas?

I'm jumping close to 40ft from the top of the takeoff to where I land, I'll go have a talk to the local suspension shop this week.

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