*newb alert - suspension settings & others



Bought a new '07 XR650L a few weeks ago and have now read through the manual....

IF anyone remembers another post of mine, I'm mechanically challenged and hesitant to turn a wrench on my new bike. However, I REALLY want to do my own maintenance...both for cost and "peace" of mind issues.

That said, I suspect the dial-suspension factory settings are in the middle area when you buy a new bike. Since I weigh a stocky 260lbs....it seems it would benefit me to crank up ALL the settings to max on front and rear. The manual mentioned a simple clockwise turn of a few screws and adding 6psi to the front shocks with bike pump. The rear rebound dampening looks to be the hardest...what parts must come off to reach the bottom adjustment? Am relatively safe making these max adjustments myself? Can I damage anything?

Also, the manual mentioned ONLY using a torque wrench when putting the oil drain-plugs and filter bolts back on...do most here use a torque wrench or just feel? I've only put 20 "hard" break-in road miles on her, and will probably change the oil after the 1st tank of gas. But don't own a torque wrench.

Finally, I can't get my head around the idea of chain maintenance. How does one measure slack in the chain? by hand w/ruler? And too tighten slack? do you simply undo the rear axle bolt and dial the adjustment down?

I bought the bike in Phx, Az...probably around 2K alt. But I live in Flagstaff, Az at 6500ft elevation. Stock jetting seems to be ok, but I will eventually do the Carb Mods and exhaust change.

Thanks in advance for all your replies....

Sorry to be a dweeb...but I guess the only way to learn is to ask...

Okay, first the rear shock rebound you can reach without removing anything. And at 260 you really need a 12kg rear spring. On the forks you can stiffen them up with air, and adjust the damping by removing the rubber plugs in the fork leg bottoms and keep the adjustments the same on each leg. A fork brace will really help out too. You could also play with fork oil weight and quantity to stiffen them, new stiffer springs are also available. The bike comes set up for a 150-175lb rider so you have some work to do with the suspension to get it right for you. I do the drain plugs by feel, but reccomend that you get an inch pound torque wrench, it will give you some confidence, especially a good one not the $13 model found at Auto zone, or similar. The threads especially in the the cases can be stripped easily(cast aluminum).

The chain adjustment you can eyeball its better that it be a little on the loose side, because when you compress the suspension it gets tighter, and at 260lbs you compress it pretty good (stock). At rest unloaded you wnt to be able to move the chain up a 1/2" and down a 1/2" this would be roughly halfway between the two sprockets, at your weight I would not tighten until you can move it about 3/4" in each direction.But to adjust it just back the 24mm axle nut off a few turns and rotate the adjusters they will click into each setting as long as you have not backed the axle nut off too far, just make sure they are both on the same number, then tighten the axle nut back down and sit on the bike make sure the chain is not tight (no up and down movement) at this point, a chain that is too tight will wear prematurely.

Good luck, I hope I have helped.

Thanks for the reply....

I think me chain needs some help...

Sheesh, I only got 30 miles on the rascal...and I may have probs.

With the bike on the kick stand there is a significant SAG in the top loop of the chain; I can lift the chain up and touch the bottom of the guide above the back sproket...I would say there is more than a couple of inches of total play, up and down. The whole top of the chain rests entirely on the piece of plastic on top of the swingarm near front sproket.

Is this normal for a brand new bike?

Also...here is a another silly noob question. I crawled underneath my bike and looked at the VERY bottom of the engine....correct me if I'm wrong, but the left side (shifting side) of the engine case looks like a different metal...it's very course and there looks like cracks, but I think they maybe seems....that side of the bottom of the engine seems like its melted...is this normal?

Ok, I'm done smokin' crack.

I would say your chain is on the loose side of adjustment, but it will rest on the upper chain guide ( plastic on top of swing arm).

The cases are cast aluminum and there are always some distortion its cast in a sand mold and this is normal. You should see inside you would swear it would leak oil.

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