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One last chance for my XR4

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Hey Guys,

Before I jump ship and just get a new bike with better suspension, I'm going to take some time to re-spring my 2002 XR4. I love the power and reliability so I figure it is worth a shot right?

I weigh 150 without gear, and even though Race Tech recommends a .44 fork spring, I don't really have that many complaints about the front end. It's the rear end that keep beating me up. I hear RT runs stiff on their recommendations anyway.

So I thought I would just leave the stock fork springs in and slide the tubes as far down as they will go in the triple clamps for more clearance ( did I mention I had ground clearance problems too?). But, I definitely need a softer shock spring. Based on some feedback I'll go with an Eibach 8.5.

So, my questions are:

1. For a rider of my size do you think this is a reasonable solution worth a try or will it barely be noticable?

2. How much of a pain is changing the shock spring? I have a shop manual, but would like a reality check. How do you get the spring seat circlip off the shock etc? Any other gotchas?

3. If you think I wont see much benefit without changing the fork springs as well... what's the tricky part of that job?

Thanks in advance for your input, Guys.

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Thought about it, but if I'm ging to spend that kind of money... seems like I should put it towards another bike. I was just hoping for an inexpensive fix that would make the rear end livable.

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I weigh 175 lbs. without gear.

On my XR4, the stock fork springs were too light, so I resprung them with RaceTech .42 springs and went with PJW 2.5 wt fluid to bring the forks around to my weight and performance requirements.

The shock comes setup for about my weight, so it remains stock, I'm happy for now.

The forks as you said should be good for you as is.

The shock will be too heavy, respring.

You can buy a new bike but it won't come setup for you, so you'll be in the same boat and it will cost you more.

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I'm also 155 lb without gear and I just got rid of a '99 XR4. My big problem was with the shock; spring was stiff and valving was quite stiff in both compression and rebound. You're much more close to the mark with the stock fork valving and springs.

From my experience, your order of mods should be:

1) revalve shock compression and rebound.

2) respring shock.

3) revalve fork compression (many people prefer less HSCD).

I tried both a 9.0 and an 8.5 kg/mm shock spring. Both were pretty close, and although I got good race/static sag with the 8.5, I think I preferred the 9.0 kg/mm as the 8.5 seemed a bit soft. I have a 9.0 kg/mm Race Tech shock spring, PM me if you're interested. In the end, I suspect you should choose whether the other aspects of the XR (reliability, reliability, reliability) make you want to commit to it for the long term. If so, go ahead and send the forks and shock out to an XR competent suspension house (WER) and prepare for a radical improvement. Or, do what I did; let the strong points of the 250X (fun, fun, fun) win you over. At your weight, the X is set up just about perfectly from Honda.

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Hey Guys,

Before I jump ship and just get a new bike with better suspension, I'm going to take some time to re-spring my 2002 XR4. I love the power and reliability so I figure it is worth a shot right?

I weigh 150 without gear, and even though Race Tech recommends a .44 fork spring, I don't really have that many complaints about the front end. It's the rear end that keep beating me up. I hear RT runs stiff on their recommendations anyway.

So I thought I would just leave the stock fork springs in and slide the tubes as far down as they will go in the triple clamps for more clearance ( did I mention I had ground clearance problems too?). But, I definitely need a softer shock spring. Based on some feedback I'll go with an Eibach 8.5.

So, my questions are:

1. For a rider of my size do you think this is a reasonable solution worth a try or will it barely be noticable?

2. How much of a pain is changing the shock spring? I have a shop manual, but would like a reality check. How do you get the spring seat circlip off the shock etc? Any other gotchas?

3. If you think I wont see much benefit without changing the fork springs as well... what's the tricky part of that job?

Thanks in advance for your input, Guys.

Peter,

You're on the lightweight side for the 400 oem settings. Most people here are trying to beef them up because of their weight. The spring is easy to change; back off the rings and it will fall off. Getting the shock assembly off to the point where you can do that is more the crux of the operation. My son had this same problem with a KDX--they are notoriously stiff in the rear. We got a lighter spring and viola.

You could get a different bike, but in the >250 class you will be doing the same thing--lightening up the suspension. Wait for some more replies from leaner members.

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Peter, what year is your XR4? The first years were notorious for having a shock that was valved and sprung for something like a 230lb rider.

I would really just look at getting the stock suspension set up for your weight. At least revalve the shock. You probably can get away with the stock springs.

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:cry: Pete,

Don't give up! Fix that suspension, both front and back. You'll be amazed on how much you'll improve the handling characteristics. It will be like a different bike. Things you couldn't do........ever.......your bike will just glide over! :cry:

Race Tech was right on for me! But hey, I'm 6'5" and 265 lbs. :cry:

I know. I speak from experience! :cry:

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There is alot of info in the suspension forum on the XR400. If you wanted to try to tackle it yourself you'd be able to save aot of money. I was able to redo my suspension for $40, but i already had the proper springs for my weight..........plus I learned alot while doing so.

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Like team burk said, even if you get a new bike, you'll most likely have to re-do your suspension anyways. Might as well re do the XR than buy a new bike IMO. Respring it first and see how you like it. It will feel a lot better. If you want better after that point, revalve it.

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I am about 165lbs, I went with the 8.5 on the shock and a re-valve with progressive springs up front. With the stock set-up the bike would just buck me off in the rough stuff it is much better now. good luck :cry:

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Thanks for all the feedback guys!

As the Skipn8r said, a stock 250F would probably come set up just about right for my weight... better valving and spring rates. I just really like a lot of the other aspects of the XR4.

Sounds like from the feedback, the front springs on my 2002 XR aren't far off the mark for my 150 lbs. without gear. If the worst part of changing the shock spring is getting the subframe and linkage dissassembled, I can probably handle that. So it's probably worth a shot to spend the $90 on the spring and see what happens.

With the softer shock spring my ground clearance problems will only get worse, though, and I'm already casing stuff right and left - I'm an aggressive woods rider with an MX background. Will sliding the fork tubes down in the clamps make any noticable improvement in this area? I hear Dwight suggesting this often, but wonder much difference it will make... and how the softer spring and raised front end will make the bike handle. Will the front end push a lot more?

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With the softer shock spring my ground clearance problems will only get worse, though, and I'm already casing stuff right and left - I'm an aggressive woods rider with an MX background. Will sliding the fork tubes down in the clamps make any noticable improvement in this area? I hear Dwight suggesting this often, but wonder much difference it will make... and how the softer spring and raised front end will make the bike handle. Will the front end push a lot more?

First, I'm assuming you've set your race sag with the stock spring and will set it again with your new spring. If so, your basic static ride height shouldn't change with the new spring. As for pushing the forks down in the clamps, this is personal preference. I tried it, but really didn't like the turning. I ended up preferring the stock fork location along with (typically) 3.75" race sag for non-sand, tight handling. For the sand, I used to increase the race sag to 4" or so.

As for casing it, you should explain the situations in which this happens; coming off a jump? Climbing over obstacles? Just normal riding?

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Good points about the race sag. I have checked it and with the stock spring I was at about 105mm so I never touched it. I guess you are right, if I set the sag to the correct amount with the softer shock spring the turning should be about the same, huh? Although under cornering situations, where there is load involved, won't the softer sprung rear end compress more changing handling?

The situations where I run into ground clearance issues are when blasting over small ridges/sharp jumps. i.e. flat ground and then a sharp two foot jump. I case it right as I am launching off it. The other situation is in deep ruts.

I did a search on "Fork Tubes" and the general concensus was that most guys run the tubes flush with the triple clamps, so it's probably worth a try. I'll only gain about a half inch of clearance, though.

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