XR650R Suspension Settings

I have a uncorked uni filter equipped stock suspended 2002 XR650R in almost new condition. I purchased a few months ago and the suspension on this bike is the most confusing I have ever owned. Previously I have had XR250, XR400.......YZ426 (I strayed for more power) and now a XR650R. The other bikes were easy to dial in. The 250 needed fork spacers,thicker fork oil and perfect landings. The 400 heavier fork springs to control headshake and balance it to the rear (best all round bike I had) and the 426 was light years ahead of the 400 so I worked with what I had. The 650 felt great the first few times I rode it, high speed smoothness on smaller jumps and rollers was excellent........now the kinks are showing badly. The forks hate braking bumps and sharp holes. The mid stroke harshness acts like the forks do not move at all, yet they blow through on harder landings. The rear shock kicks up on short faced jumps or whoops. . I have set the sag at 3.75 inches and compression at 10 clicks out compression and 13 out on rebound. I have been reading other forums and they suggest replacing the whale snot fork oil so I am going to do that......any recommendations on what kind or brand. I will also raise the level to help with the bottoming so harshly. The rear seems to be more complexing. The shock is very stiff on bumps in mid turn and over roots, at the same time it seems to be missing the progressive raising rate when jumping, almost a linear rate. I weight 175 lbs. ready to ride so I feel like the spring rates are in the ball park. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Just changing the fluid to 2.5wt or 3wt fluid will help tons. They use a fluid that has animal byprducts in it (whale snot) in the stock forks.

Here are few other things on this site on XR650R suspension: www.xr650r.borynack.com

the bike can get air and ride super smooth at the same time.


Yes suspension wise the xr is a mess stock and as you say it was the hardest bike for me to set up as well,but it is the most rewarding bike once you are on the right track.Once you start to get it going in the right direction the bike can feel much better from just a small set up change.

Yes and whale snot is old school the latest stuff i have heard of is mule piss it's supposed to work a lot better.

I still can't agree with you guys on the softening up the front forks thing. I changed my oil out, just because it had been 3 years. But I like the Honda Pro 5w oil.

In fact, I added 10ml of extra oil to each fork. I have both front & rear set one click stiffer on both compression and rebound. Other than that, my suspension is 100% stock.

Maybe it's my weight, 175lbs. Or maybe it's where I ride, in the Rocky Mountains. I think my suspension is setup as well as stock components can be setup. Soft & comfortable in the first 50%, but stiff enought in the bottom 50% that I never bottom out.

P.S. I'm not a flyer. I like my motorcycles to stick to the ground. you cannot accellerate in the air.

There's nothing wrong with not being a flyer. But if you like flying it sure is fun when you don't kill yourself doing it.

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