Front Fork Problem

I've got a 95 XR600R and would like some help with changing the front fork dampening. Right now it is too soft. When you get on the front brake the bike dives pretty good. (kind of like a minivan loaded up in an emergency stop) Also, when you are shifting between 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd the front end feels like it is falling out from under me a bit. :D

Should I just change the oil (who knows when that was done last, since the bike is new to me)? Or should I look into some stiffer springs or progressive springs. I weigh between 190 and 200. Mostly tight trails and some other single tracks in 1st thru 3rd.

I want the forks to be stiffer but not hard, and to stay more upright when shifting. :)

Apparently there are some adjustment screws that click when you turn them, but not sure where they are? :) My manual doesn't talk about them at all.

If you want to throw in some of your oil choices, go ahead. I am going to go with the oil first since it will be the cheepest, but just want the advice from other riders of my weight so I don't waste my time.


The damper adjustment screws are on the very bottom of the forks. Screw in to increase dampening. You should start with new oil otherwise you will have to start over with the adjustments when you change the oil.

Your oil level might be low. The specified level on my 650L (I think the forks are the same 43mm conventional cartridge units) is 145mm from the top. The specified level on the late 80's CR 250's and 500's were around 135mm. Why did I reference those bikes? Same forks. Stiffer springs will help also. You can also pump up the forks (on my bike 6 lbs at the specified 145mm measurement) but atmospheric air builds pressure with heat rather quickly so it is a "poor boys fix". :) I think the adjustment on th bottom of the fork is rebound so it will not help the dive. An increase in oil volume will only help in the latter part of travel but if the oil level is low now there will be a neglible improvement in the initial (there was on mine) travel. An increase in the air pressure will help but the pressure will ramp up with heat. Springs will probably be your best bet if you ride aggresively as it will also help the fork use all it's available travel to absorb out the rought stuff. :)

Why is the rebound adjustment called the damper adjust bolt?

Why is the rebound adjustment called the damper adjust bolt?

there are rebound dampening clickers and compression dampening clickers.

The first thing anyone should do with any bike is tune their clickers for them, that is, after checking fork oil levels and all that.

So instead of just willy nilly changing settings, I would suggest setting everything to optimum (middle vallue, half of maximum, etc) and then going from there.

Remember to think of one thing at a time "Okay... my front is washing out in corners, I have too much rebound, soften it up a few clicks" "Okay, my forks are bottoming on small bumps, tighten up the compression" "My rear is bouncing up and slapping me in the ass, lighten up the rebound"

etc etc etc etc until you have it dialed in as close to perfect as you can get it.

you also, when doing this, need to make sure your sag and everything is set correctly, remember 1" free sag and no more then 4" race sag.

if you do all of this and you are still having issues with the front forks, then its time to either change the oil weight you are running in your forks, or you need to get them revalved, but valving (as BWB states on his website) is only really a factor when coming off of jumps or anything that outruns your dampening.

if any of the above that I stated was wrong, feel free to correct me.

edit: as for which clicker is which, look at your owners manual/FSM.

one controls compression (bottom IIRC) the other rebound (top IIRC), same goes for the rear monoshock.

edit 2: also make sure that you suspension settings on your fork mirror each other, if that isn't the case then you will have some serious issues with deflection and other bad things.

Help me get to this middle value point. I have heard that there is 30 clicks through the range between soft and hard. So 15 clicks would be the middle. Do I adjust all the way in an then click them out 15 times? :) My issue with going all the out out is completely disassembling the Damper Adjust Bolt from the Slider and having to replace the Sealing Washer. Apparently the sealing washer cannot be use again once you take it out. A new one is needed once it is out.

I plan on using 10 wt fork oil and adjusting to the middle, just let me know how to get there? :)

Don't just go by what you have read for the maximum clicks on your dampners.

Run them all the way in, then count all the way out, divide by two and run them back in that number. Then you are in the middle. Thats the way I've done it on the couple bikes I've actually tuned the suspension on, and it works wonderfully.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now