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Yamaha Triple clamp offsets

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Ok I'm still a neubie so forgive me I have a lot of questions! I was talking with another YZ250F owner this past weekend and we were talking about bike turning. They, a prior CRF owner moved over to Yamaha for reliabilty and not handling they said. They told me when the got the YZ250F they rode it and immediately changed the triple to one with about 21 degrees of offset to help the bike turn better. Now my son has a 04 KTM 125SX. From the factory it comes with a 14 degree offset clamp. I was told and read that this type of offset may cause the bike to knife in on long fast straight away and was not recommended for younger riders. So he now has a Triple with 20 degree of offset. In general Japanese bike run around 23 degrees. What are the pros and cons to doing this on a 250F Yamaha?

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Just to start with, the offset is not measured in degrees. It is the distance between a line drawn between the centers of the two fork tubes, and the center of the steering stem. Yamaha's standard offset for several years has been 24.5mm or 25mm. Honda CRF's started out as a quick turning, but rather nervous and imprecise machine, and they changed the overall offset of the fork a couple of times since '02 to clear that up. YZF's on the other hand, have been known for their stability at speed, whether in a straight line, or once settled into a corner, but have been faulted for "feeling heavy" and being reluctant to turn.

Note that what is actually being changed by changing the fork offset is a dimension of the bike's steering geometry called trail. That is, how far behind the steering axis the front tire touches the ground, or trails. Look at your bike from the side, wheel pointed straight. Notice where the front tire contacts the ground. Now, imagine a line drawn through the steering stem all the way to the ground. It hits the floor about 4 inches in front of the tire's contact point, doesn't it? That's the trail.

Trail can be changed by changing the axle offset (how far in front of the fork tubes the axle is placed) or the triple clamp offset. The total offset of the two combined is what determines the trail.

Several people have reported having good results on later YZ/YZF's by going to triple clamps with an offset in the range of 22-23mm in place of the standard. They have said that the bike turns in much more willingly. Those who I have seen reports from have not complained of any loss of stability or new-found skittishness, either. So far, I've heard 95% pro. (I have a set on order).

KTM's were kind of an odd one. There's a little write up here:

http://www.emigracing.com/confused.htm

Trail has an odd effect on handling. On the one hand, it is the dimension that causes the front wheel to straighten out at speed, and want to stay centered. Too little, and the bike becomes unstable. But a motorcycle leans to maintain balance when it turns, and if you simply lean your bike over at a standstill, you'll notice how the positive trail causes the front end to fall to the inside. Too much of that can make the bike seem too quick, or feel like it wants to tuck the wheel under. The trick is in finding the right balance. Notice how only a couple of millimeters makes such a difference

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OK Thanks for the education! I have standard Yamaha Offset EMIG clamps on bike. Bought em only because they look cool. My friend has RG3 which I tried to find on the net to see what offsets are available and no joy. Anyway good luck with your new clamps when you get them!

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since you ride an 04, another other option is a storm racing suspension link. it's a slightly longer than stock and jacks the rear end up a few mm and gives you a similar effect as off set triple trees. i originally started raising the forks in the triple trees to get it to handle better. i went down to the first line and it handled better, then a little farther down and i started getting more headshake. i went back to the first line from the fork cap and installed the storm link. the bike handles better than it did with 2nd lowering i originally did, and no problems at all with headshake. i know another tt'er just bought one so i hope he shares his thoughts on the link.

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Apllied Racing has them for an '04 as a stocked item. That's where I got mine. (I have '04 forks)

The difference in using clamps and using the Storm link is that the Storm link modifies the front end geometry indirectly by raising the back of the bike, which has exactly the same efect as raising the fork tubes up in the clamps does; it "tips" the bike forward, making the head angle steeper. This change does make the bike more willing to turn, but does so by decreasing the head angle and reducing trail simultaneously, and that reduces the bike's stability at the same time. In addition, the link makes the bike higher than it already is.

Adding trail by changing the clamp offset changes only the trail, leaving the head angle the same, and can actually make the bike more stable at the same time, in some cases.

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OK so if I raise the forks a line I'll improve my turning performance. Right now I'm in the stock position first line from top. I'll try it just to see. Thanks

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Joe, the offset clamps feel quite different from raising or lowering the forks.

ANYONE who has ridden with the 22 or 23 mm offset says "I wonder why the bike did not come that way from the factory"

They are that nice. Keep an eye on ebay. Stes pop up from time to time.

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I really dont know why people hammer YZ250F handling. People say the bike feels top-heavy...yes, its true, and its contrinuted to the severely outdated steel frame. However, that doesn't mean the bike doesn't handle better that the red bike...because, in fact...it does. The YZF will stay in a rut and keep a line like nobody's business. And, it should be just about perfect in '06 with the addition of the aluminum plug-and-play frame because it'll take away that top-heavy feel.

New offset triple clamps are a must on almost every Honda. Yamaha's dont especially need them, except for an upgrade to rubber-mounted, four-post clamps to lessen (or almost eliminate) vibration in the bars...like the one's RG3 offers.

Although, this is just one man's opinion. :banghead:

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You're pretty much right about most of that, especially with regard to the overall tracking accuracy of the beast. But some people would rather have the bike feel a little lighter, and be a little more willing to enter a turn, making it a little less work to toss around, even if they had to trade off some of that stability to get there. The thing that I've heard from most people who have gone with a little more offset on the YZF is that there's no trade off, or at least that the upside benefit was bigger than the downside. The "top heavy feel" and "reluctance to turn" are really the only thing that the bike can be dinged for, so at the least, it's worth looking at.

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I raised my forks up into the clamps by one line, and found it helped the bike turn a little, it may be imaginary but it worked. I would like to try out the triple clamps. what clamps offer the 22-23mm.?

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A bike that is noticeably top heavy like the YZF and WRF (pre-06) makes it extremely hard for a shorter rider to be comfortable pushing it. the bike isnt predictable when its leaned over.

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I raised my forks up into the clamps by one line, and found it helped the bike turn a little, it may be imaginary but it worked. I would like to try out the triple clamps. what clamps offer the 22-23mm.?
It's not imaginary, but the clamps work a little better overall. Emig Racing had some for the '03 last I heard.
A bike that is noticeably top heavy like the YZF and WRF (pre-06) makes it extremely hard for a shorter rider to be comfortable pushing it. the bike isnt predictable when its leaned over.
The trouble is, the YZF isn't actually top heavy, it just feels top heavy because it doesn't feel "flickable". I've never felt the bike was the least bit unpredictable, leaned over or not. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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I know this is an old thread, but it poped up during my searching, so for the moment, it gets revived.

I've been riding my 04 YZF 250 for a year and a half now and have been very happy with it, until I jumped on a 06 CRF 250 this weekend. I was so much faster on the CRF because it carved through the turns almost effortlessly compared to my YZF.

With my YZF, it seems like I have to fight the bars to keep it tracking and not pushing out or sliding out. And, making it turn sharp seems like it takes a lot of effort too. It just doesn't like to be leaned over and railed.

On the CRF I rode, I could just point the front wheel in the direction I wanted and hit the throttle and that thing would just go there, without having to fight it at all. Also, on the CRF, the rear end didn't have a tendency to slide out from under me when I gave it the gas through a turn. The CRF seemed to deliver the power to the turn and the power helped rail the bike through the turn, whereas with my YZF, I have to be real careful when I add power in the turn to keep my rear from spinning or sliding out.

So I started searching and what I have found so far is that the best change I can make to make my YZF handle more like that CRF I tested is the 23mm offset tripple clamp.

I realize that the 04 YZF can't compare in general to the 06 CRF due to steel versus aluminum frame, and much better forks on the CRF, among other things, but I'll settle for a litte better turning since I can't aford another bike right now.

Any additional comments from you all would be greatly appreciated.

Oh and one more thing, in the air the CRF felt much easier to control than my YZF, but there is probably nothing I can do about that.

- Noel

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Just on a side note then, what is the standard offset of a WR? Is it the same as the YZF?

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