520 E/XC for a big guy.

Hey folks. I currently ride a KLR 650 and want to trade her in for a 520 EX/C. I am 6' 280# (ya, im fat, so what!) and was wondering if I will need to upgrade the suspension to account for my weight. I have sat on the bike and it felt pretty good where it was at. Would I need a shock upgrade? How about the fork?

Thanks for the advice.

I'm 6'4" 220 plus gear....

Will you need mods? Depends on how hard you ride! The bike is under sprung for guys like us. But stuffing springs in it is easy. I'm used to MX bikes so the 520 felt very soft, but that's a good thing for 3 hours of blasting around in the Desert!

I think you'll like it, you sure don't see many used ones for sale! :)

Way yes on way both.

Oh yea I'm 5'8" 280 plus gear....

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: RetSenior ]

Maybe a little more info is in order...

The bike will primarily see Forestry roads, Fire roads and some single track. I will not be racing, jumping, or running at WOT for great lenghts of time. Mostly just plonking around on our local trails.

With that in mind, will she still need the mods, or can I get away with the stock setup?

thanks again!

Dramus - this is just my opinion and hopefully you will get more. With what you said I think you can get by with the stock set up. Set your front and rear sag up and with the riding you plan to do you should be fine. You will need to add more spacers to your forks to stop it from sagging to much right off. And you will need to screw down on the shock adjusting ring to about 4 inches of rider sag and you should be fine. I raced mine at 280lbs. with the stock set up my first two races and the funny thing is those were my 2 best races of the year before I changed to big boy springs.

I'm 6'8" 245 pounds and ride an '02 520 MX/C.

I changed the fork springs from .42 to .45 and the shock from the stock progressive to a straight rate 8.8 kg. The shock seems perfect, but the forks are still a bit soft and bottom frequently on MX tracks. I'm thinking of raising the oil height in the forks.

As everyone else said, it depends on the type of riding you do. I am only a Novice Vet class MX'r, and I needed the stiffer springs to even get around the track in a reasonable fashion.

I too am a big boy (big boned) at 5'8" 310lbs. I ran the 520 EXC stock springs preloaded to give the proper race sag and copuld not believe how plush it was. I went ahead and got big boy springs and am a lot more comfey hitting big stuff fast now, but it is pretty rough on the small and slow stuff.

For the stock fork springs I used 1/2 of a 1" pvc coupling in each leg. I simply cranked down the shock spring nut till the back was good. 2 things to remember, the shock spring spanner nut is made of cast aluminum and will break if the pinch bolt is overtightened. 2nd ptior to '02 the shock comp adjust knob worked backwards to jap bikes. I thought my suspension needed a re-valve after putting the stiff spring on, when I just had the knob set full hard. I did not find it out till the revalve was done...oops.

just curious fat boy, why would you want such a high performance moto to be "Mostly just plonking around on our local trails." And why would you even need to worry about suspension if you "will not be racing, jumping, or running at WOT for great lenghts of time." You need suspenders not suspension.


To answer your post, I am a power junkie. Just because I wont be racing the bike doesnt mean that I cant use the extra power. Being such a big guy I would like a bike that can actually move without burning the clutch off the thing.

Also, I would like to own something that most people dont, or wont consider. My friends all run CR 250's or 500's and are die hard 2 stroke fans. It would be nice to show them a thing or two about 4 strokers in the future.

As for your little "Fat boy" comment. I have come to grips with my weight situation and it doesnt bother me, so flame away.

This fat spode :) bought it because I could!!

It is one of the best trail bikes I've ever owned...okay it is the best. I am no motocrosser, as a matter of fact I hate jumps. I have done a few desert races and a couple of enduros, always finishing in the bottom half of the beginner or "C" class. At 301 lbs I tire very quickly, but for the first 20 miles or so I can hang with the rest of the "C" class. The awsome power and suspension helps a lazy rider stay out of trouble. I can sit down and haul ass now where on my XR 350 I had to slow down and take a beating. My YZ400 was just as good if not better in the suspension department, but kicking it after crashing sucked. Lofting the front wheel, and let the back slam into just about anything, at most any speed, and you will die on the old XR. No problem with the KTM or YZ.

Fat or skinny, trail or race the KTM RFS is a great line of bikes. It has nothing to do with "NEED". :D

BTW, only the people behind me think I need suspenders, come on out to a good ol Arizona desert race and I'll show you....for the first few miles anyway. :D

[ November 23, 2001: Message edited by: YZ400Court ]

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