2003 Yz450 Handling woes

My bike runs like a bat out of hell on the straights, but it turns like a brick :bonk:

I'm 190lbs. My sag is set at 100mm and my front clickers are: 13 comp / 10 rebound.

Do these bikes respond better with the forks moved up to the bottom line? Will it significantly hurt my straight line stability?

I love the bike otherwise, but I could probably get off and push it through the turns easier :excuseme:

thanks for any tips

I'm the same weight, and I have a 2004 model.....

What I've found out that helps turning:

1) Use a Dunlop 756 up front, instead of the stock 739G

2) Keep your body weight/position up front (near the tank), otherwise your body weight will be too far rearward, resulting in the bike's c.g. (center of gravity) being too far rearward, resulting in poorer turning and a looser, "disconnected" feel of the bike.

3) When turning, keep your weight on the footpeg of the OUTER side of the turn...i.e. if your turning right, put your weight on the left footpeg, while also pushing your left knee into the side of the bike....it does make a difference.

4) I think I'm running the forks at the first line....

5) The most effective thing I did was to get a Stormlink, to replace the stock linkage. It changes the head angle, and makes the bike turn better...it definately worked for me. I've only had the link on for two visits to the MX track, but I felt it working pretty soon after hitting the track.


click on "suspension linkage"

I'm a storm link fan as well. I also think a step gripper seat helps me stay forward and makes the bike turn better.


I'm thinking of going with a stepper/grip seat also. I find that when I get tired, I tend to start moving back on the seat, and then my riding gets sloppy due to the changed genter of gravity. These 2003-2005 models tend to require more weight placed more forward, than other bikes. I believe the 2006 isn't as critical, but I'm not positive.


I don't think SDG makes a step seat for the YZF. I couldn't find it on their site.

I have a standard gripper on the way, from Ebay. Hopefully that will help keep me planted against the tank. Nothing like shear horsepower to suck you off the back of the bike!! :bonk:

I think the Storm link is out for the moment.The boss here at home says I need to stop putting money into this bike. I bought somewhat of a basket case and have already put about $900 into it just to make it rideable. The previous owner beat the living snot out of it :excuseme:

I think I'm going to raise my forks and see what happens. I ride mostly at tight tracks with relatively short straights. If it's uncomfortable I'll change them back. No big deal

im a big believer in the storm linkage, but i also bought a set of Tag T2 triple clamps with a diffrent offset. im not sure what rake they are, but Tag doesnt make them anymore. when i sell my bike, and if it goes for the right price (lower than requested) i will take the clamps off and sell them! but look around, the problem with the 03 is that the forks are diffrent in diameter than the later models

I bought my Stormlink used from a guy here on TT for $75.....

I could be wrong, but I think someone on this forum said don't run the Stormlink along with a different triple clamp offset......either use the offset clamp alone or use the Stormlink. My memory is a little fuzzy on that, but I think it was posted not to use both together.

Regarding the forks: the 03' models used 46mm forks and the 04' models used 48mm.

well, to tell ya the truth, i ran the link w/ stock clamps for about 6 months, then put the Tags on, and my yz turns like a champ. i pull through ruts on rails and my handling problems are taken care of. if thats the case, im not one to say if the clamps work better with the stock linkage, seeing how i havent used it yet, but i might try it tommorow afternoon. but the same goes with the clamps like everything else. the company stops selling something that actually works! OHH THE LAND OF THE FREE!

The link works great and offset triple clamps work great to. Applied Racing made them for Yamaha 2003-2005 450's/

I have heard do not use both at the same time - but I have not tried it to see if the headshake is out of hand or not....

I use the link - and it is a great product - get your sag set right - and test with 101-105mm for the right sag for you....

having had an 03 and I weigh 175lbs, you will need stiffer fork springs. I ran with the stockers once and the bike did absolutely nothing that I wanted it to. I swapped to stiffer forks springs and it handled like it should. You being 190lbs will definately need them. The stock springs probably sag to much giving it way to much preload


I haven't had my Stormlink on long enought to really evaluate it, but based on other's who did mess with it quite a bit...They recommended 105mm- 107mm sag rather than stock. I just set mine at 106mm, and I've only had two rides on it, but it definately made the bike turn easier, and reduced the "top-heavy" feel. Maybe I'll try less sag, and see what happens.


I've heard any number of recommendations for the stock springs..... I think racetech shows the stock springs being fine for a rider up to 195 pounds or so, but other people say the stock springs are only good for a 180 pound rider??? I don't know since I've heard others say the bike is setup at the factory for an approximately 180 pound rider (2003-2005 Yz450f), I guess it depends on how hard of a rider the person is. Maybe I should look into slightly heavier springs....

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