Twitchy......

Since I am new to riding KTMs', could some one tell me if the front end is notoriously twitchy? Seemed like it was fine until I got it broke in, Now if I end up going the right direction it seems to be about half luck.... I know I need stiffer springs and that will help...Just wondering what you folks know about twitchy steering.

I just switched from a WR to an exc 400 and I found the same thing. The bars get ripped out of my hands all the time and sometimes when you're going pretty good (3rd or 4th gear) it feels like the front end is not even there. The local guy's I know all have steering dampers and all had their forks either revalved or the springs changed or both. I haven't done mine yet, but plan to in the near future.

M

I had the same problem with mine. I raised the forks 9mm. did not revalve or change springs I like the stock susp. What made the biggest difference was setting up the rear end.Iam 220lb. with gear on. I changed the rear spring for my weight.It worked wonders.If you have never ridden a KTM before they are much different than a Jap bike. When riding standing on the pegs your chin should be over the handlebars. When sitting down you should be as far forward as possible.Also the bike handles much better when you are standing.It lets the susp. work

------------------

TWIST&SHOUT

I had the same twitchy problem with my 01 520EXC. Too much headshake. So I lowered the suspension in the triple clamps to where only about 1 mm is shown between the caps and the triple clamps. I also switched to 7 weight oil and raised the level by about 10 mm from stock. In the back I've tightened the shock adj ring two full turns. I weigh about 230 with gear so this is working for the present but might be altered as I get more time on the bike. I've toyed with the idea of going back to 5 weight in the front with a higher level and will probably try that next fork oil change.

Later,

Concho

Not sure this will help, but I was having the same problem with my DRZ (I know, very different suspension, but the symptoms were identical). As my speed increased, and the trail/track got rough (like stutter/braking bumps, etc.), the bike became a real bear to control. It was like trying to wrestle a steer. The solution was to put on a Scotts damper, AND crank up the rebound damping on the forks. What a difference. Once I made these changes, I could rip through stutters at any speed I wanted, and the bike never got out of shape. In a "test" section I was using to make these mods, I went from squirrely in second gear to dead straight and solid in fourth!

Hope this helps.

Crash

P.S. I've already ordered a Scotts for my yet-to-be-delivered EXC400, since it looks like the KTM needs it as much as the Suzuki did (and I'm selling the Suzuki with the Scotts on it....my bro is gonna need it as much as I did).

When you guys say "lowered the suspension" and "raised the forks", are you saying the same thing?

I'm about 205 and I increased the spring tension on my 520EXC by about 10mm and it made a big difference. Haven't done a thing to the front-end yet other than a Scotts dampner. Seems like it's handling pretty good to me with the current setup.

[This message has been edited by Arbellspi (edited September 27, 2001).]

I don't know if it is a weight thing or a suspension setup thing but I weigh 170 and my bike (400 MXC) never does anything weard. I set the rear static sag to 7/8 in. as per my suspension guys info and have my forks raised in the triple clamps 10 mm. I ride mostly double and single track but I ran a desert race in June with NO twitching at all. We were running on very rocky trailes - sand wash - and lots of high speed - 70 MPH ereas. GOOD LUCK

I'm 255 in full gear, and every bike I buy tries to throw me off untill I have it redone.

us "BIG" guys ride the bike pushed down in the nasty progressive part of the suspension.

It's like you 150 pounders pulling 1 3/4 gees all the time. The bike is constantly trying to shove the suspension upward to get out of the bottoming area.

You "LITTLE" guys get to ride the bikes in the soft, slushy areas of the suspension.

im not fat, I'm "above average"

Thanks for all of the input guys. I have done just about every imaginable combo possible to the stock suspension as far as fork height in the T/C, oil level, spring tensions on the shock, rebound and comp adjust etc. For some strange reason when I was riding today at a MX track, I couldn't jump the thing to save my life....bottomed like crazy on a few big doubles......Probably shouldn't do that with stock woods suspension and enough size to block out the sun. No that wasn't an eclipse today! It was me doing a double! I think I will just order new springs....When it was brand new (about 2 weeks ago) It handled so awesome that I couldn't sleep at night... Now that it is all broke in (read 'down' hehe) sometimes it won't turn well and sometimes it pushes. Don't know. Does any of you other "above average" riders out there have any guesses as to what spring rates I should shoot for?

5'11"

250lb

B level woods guy

Originally posted by tripm:

I just switched from a WR to an exc 400 and I found the same thing. The bars get ripped out of my hands all the time and sometimes when you're going pretty good (3rd or 4th gear) it feels like the front end is not even there. The local guy's I know all have steering dampers and all had their forks either revalved or the springs changed or both. I haven't done mine yet, but plan to in the near future.

M

Mark, When did you get it and where? Did you trade your's in? This DRZS is killing me. How light does it feel compared to your WR? Hows the E button, is it just for restarts? I know, so many questions....Ken

Ken,

I sort of sold/traded the wr for a YZ 125 and I bought the ktm new from a dealer (2002). It does feel much, much lighter than my WR. Easier to handle in the woods too, and I think that it's more than just the size and weight - I think the power makes it a little easier to handle. If you want to hook up sometime you're welcome to try it out. But if you really want something light and easy to handle, the YZ is it. Out of about 30 bikes I've owned, street and dirt, I think that the YZ might be the best bike I've ever had. Keven Hines company down near the Cape has a kit to make it 'street' legal. Sort of. But good enough for a plate. Maybe you should think about that?

Oh yeah, Ken, I was thinking you had the 'E' model. The ktm feels about 100 lbs lighter than your bike.

Mark

[This message has been edited by tripm (edited September 28, 2001).]

Helmet,

Call george at Scotts in CA. Buy the springs from him so when you need to have it re-valved you can just send him the suspension and it will be about $300 to revalve it and it will be perfect!

George did my suspension for my DRZ400E and it was 10 times better "$450" with new springs. He has my 02 KTM 520 suspension right now revalving and springs.

Originally posted by helmetcam guy:

For some strange reason when I was riding today at a MX track, I couldn't jump the thing to save my life....bottomed like crazy on a few big doubles......

Did you turn the compression adjuster on the shock COUNTER clockwise to stiffen it? All the stock PDS shocks, except the ones on the '02 SX models, work backwards to what you'd think on the compression adjuster.

------------------

John Brunsgaard

jejb@att.net

01 400 EXC, 99 250 EXC (gone), 99 200 EXC, 98 125 EXC, 98 380 MXC (long gone)

Originally posted by tripm:

Ken,

I sort of sold/traded the wr for a YZ 125 and I bought the ktm new from a dealer (2002). It does feel much, much lighter than my WR. Easier to handle in the woods too, and I think that it's more than just the size and weight - I think the power makes it a little easier to handle. If you want to hook up sometime you're welcome to try it out. But if you really want something light and easy to handle, the YZ is it. Out of about 30 bikes I've owned, street and dirt, I think that the YZ might be the best bike I've ever had. Keven Hines company down near the Cape has a kit to make it 'street' legal. Sort of. But good enough for a plate. Maybe you should think about that?

Oh yeah, Ken, I was thinking you had the 'E' model. The ktm feels about 100 lbs lighter than your bike.

Mark

[This message has been edited by tripm (edited September 28, 2001).]

Mark, I would love to try it out but I'm working nights for now. Are you going to ride the Tri State turkey run next Sunday in Winchendon Ma. Maybe I'll see you there if I can get out of work at midnight Saturday to get some sleep. Ken

Ok. So I dropped the forks through the top triple clamp and it's no longer twitchy.

Now I like my bike....

Yes Jeb. I knew that when I bought this bike that it was alot different than any of the other bikes I have owned or turned wrenches on and made double sure to read the manual(don't tell my wife! hehehe!) before doing any adjustments....Like I said before tho..I am 250lbs and I was hucking some fairly good sized doubles...Didn't have quite the lift from the springs that I get from my decked out CR 250...

DrS. I have a suspension guy up here that has done wonders for all of our bikes as well as for the riders on our team. he just hasn't done very much with KTMs. I was just hoping that someone my size had allready been down this road. Oh well...I will call George.....Thanks!

Two words: STEERING DAMPER

Thought about getting a damper anyway but I think it is more important to get the spring rates right, then go for "luxury items". Thanks for the advice guys.

Do you have a helmet cam?

Yep! Sure do. We make them. We have wireless cams, cabled systems and systems installed into the helmet shell itself....We also rent and do custom configurations. If you need one email me directly.

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