07 WR450 --New Suspension Ride Report

First off, I'm topping the scale at 230lbs @ 5'11'', and carry all the gear, including 100 oz of H20, spare tube and every tool imaginable.

I had my suspenion re-done by ESP in La Cresenta and yesterday I took it for a first ride. I had my suspension re-done because the bike felt very harsh, especially the rear, which felt very bouncy on whoops, rocks and roots. The front end felt hard as well, giving me a really bad arm pump. I felt the bike was not set up for the hard core and technical trails. Even on the softest settings the bike felt more like an MX bike than a trail bike. I know the suspension "breaks in" as time goes by but, I really wanted the plush ride my brother got on his XC450 after a re-spring/re-valve job.

When I brought my bike to ESP, George (owner of ESP) put me on a scale and than had me sit on the bike. It was determined that I was "sagging" the bike too much, and that I was in need of both rear and front springs. Because the bike was sagging too much, I was riding the suspension in the hard part of the stroke for the shock and the forks. A set of new Eibach springs for the front and rear was in order (.48kg front and 5.8kg rear). In the end, I ended up with all new springs, re-shim and re-valve job with fork oil at 120 mm. I asked to set up the suspension so it is soft on the top and harder progressively in the bottom.

First impression: The bike felt much different on the trail, in a good way. The suspension felt solid -- not too soft, not too hard. After playing around with the clickers, I found the best setting was right smack down the middle. I tried it on the whoops and rocks (no roots this time). No more deflection. The front end just absorbed what ever I through at it. The rear was in sinc with the front. No more bouncing around from left to right. The bike felt like it was gliding over rocky sections and especially the whoops. No more teeter/totter effect on the whoops where the front is diving into a whoop and the rear wants to catapult you off the seat -- Just Perfect Balance. Turning felt the same, good cornering and the bike retained that flickable feeling. I could say that the bike felt lighter on the trail, like it was significantly less effort to handle. When we finally returned to the trucks, I noticed that I didn't have any tingling in my hands and fingers and my wrist did not feel sore anymore!

I'm a true believer now that getting your suspension dialed in to your needs is the most profound improvement one can make on their bike.

I hope you find this informative

ride safely


:applause: :applause: You have learnt the first lesson in suspension.

Set up your sag FIRST by installing the spring rate to match your weight, then start playing with the rebound, dampning etc. On off-road riding you will not beable to set the bike up 100% as the terrain changes so often. By setting the sag properly you will get the bike to start behaving its self and you will start to enjoy your riding more. Thats what I did with my WR450 '07 and it was the best modification I made. Went on Racetechs website, used there spring calculator, put in there recommended springs and the rest is history. Bike handels like a dream.


:p :p :p

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