B class woods rider needs suspension tips...

I need some help, first what I got..

05 CRF450X, sprung for my weight and re-valved by Pro-Action Suspension. I weigh about 250 lbs, and ride at a B level in hare scrambles in Virginia. I utilize a Scott's steering dampener, and recluse auto clutch.

My problem is simply my bike is kicking my butt about the 20 minute mark and killing my speed and energy. (we race for 1.5 to 2 hours at a time).

The focus of the problem seems to be the front suspension, it seems to kick alot and will make my arms numb and I will loose feeling. I have been free weight training to build more arm endurance, but I am hoping the suspension know-how on this forum can also help.

In the last event I also noticed that when I relax some and try to conserve energy the bike want to move my body forward on the bike until I notice that I am too far forward and adjust back. I am not sure if this is related to my front suspension or just a not balance suspension situation.

It might also help that this is the worst when the tracks are a little faster and the trail alot rougher.

I will be glad to answer anyones questions if you have an idea what might help me.



What is you height?

What type of terrain?

What are your suspension settings front and back?


What type of tires and pressures?

What is the height of the front fork in t clamp?

Give us a little more info and maybe we can help, otherwise I think we would just be guessing and that wont help you very much. :banghead:

Also, strength training is really not good for endurance. Strength training could actually cause some of the symptoms you are having. Endurance training is completely different. I posted a basic outline for endurance training in health and fitness some time back (IMO). Search for a poll about arm pump. We will get repremanded:foul: for discussing it further here. :banghead:

I will answer most of the questions now, some I have to check when I get home. Sorry for omitting so much information, my head is elsewhere today.

What is you height? 6'0"

What type of terrain? Mostly tight woods, some hills, lost of breaking bumps and things of that size. Its the fast rough stuff that gives me the arm pump bad.

What are your suspension settings front and back? This I will have to check.

sag? This too I am going to double check, I had the suspension guy set it before the season started.

What type of tires and pressures? Mich S-12, bewteen 10-12 psi front and rear.

What is the height of the front fork in t clamp? Stock (at the cap line)

Thanks for the heads up, I will do some searching on that other post you talked about as well while I am gathering infomation.


here's a simple test-when you stand and bounce on your bike in your normal riding position do both ends move up and down together or does one end move more than the other? Your comment about the bike moving you forward could be the preload on your back spring being too stiff causing the weight to be on your front end. If your back sag is correct, does your rear spring have some static sag? If the spring is too soft for your weight, you can dial in the right sag and end up with no static sag- it's always topped out.

I will check and reset (if necessary) race and static sag when I get home later this afternoon and let you know. Is there a recommended sag for off road or my skill level? Or should I go with the 100mm/20mm guidelines.


Different bike, but I was having the same problem. I run my compression 3 to 4 clicks from soft (-) and rebound close to middle, front and rear. Also, just had my susp guru take some fluid out of my forks to plush the initial stroke. Talk to the person that did your susp and tell him what the bike is doing and see if lowering the fork oil level could help. I can now blow thru braking bumps and ignore rocks and other trail obstacles when racing and I bet we run the same type of conditions. At least it is a place to start. Oh yeah, I lowered my fork oil by 10 mm.

I'm a mid too slow b rider I race woods on my crf 450.. I have the sag set at 108mm and the front forks set at 6 from soft in the woods, you might need too do some cardio too not just weight tranning

Also think about handlebars. Are they too small (not enough rise??) That could be pulling you forward as well, also could cause arm pump... Just a suggestion..

Im 5'5" and run the tallest and shortest bars I could find. Gives me more room to :banghead:

Your static sag (the difference between the bike on the stand and on the ground) should be about 1 inch. Total sag with the rider should be no more than 4 inches. If you can get the static sag right, but the not the total sag, you need to go up to a stiffer spring. Make sure you calculate in the weight of your riding gear and tools/enduro pack and don't forget to figure in so weight for mud if that is a factor. Once you have the sag right you can start on your rebound settings and then the compression in that order. Good luck!

From the info here the tendency to upright your posture could be caused by to much rebound in the rear. The deflecting of the front could also be caused by to much rebound in the front (given your compression is backed off). There are other possible causes but these are easy to adjust. For offroad you will want a bit more sag than what is listed in the manual, this will help soften, I would go for 105 to 110mm for starters. Does the honda have a linkage? :banghead:

Do you have the same problem when you play ride? Is your steering damper set too stiff? Did you have the problem when the suspension was stock? When you practice, try to focus on riding with your arms relaxed. Use your legs to grip the bike and force yourself to relax your arms. In most situations, you should only be steering and operating the controls with your hands and arms, not hanging on. Practice and it will help you.

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