Suspension mod- recommendation

I just got the suspension on my '03 525 EXC revalved. Jeff Slavens in Colorado Springs did the work. He revalved both ends and also dropped both ends 1 inch (Along with cutting the seat- I can finally touch terra firma). Jeff screwed up in cutting the fork springs, but he got some new ones sent next-day (went out of his way) and got me up and running for the weekend, as he had promised. I was worried I would miss the inch of travel, but the suspension ROCKS! I went to Left Hand Canyon (Colorado) on saturday where it's really rocky. Line? I don't need no stinkin' line- just point it ant twist it- it sucks up everything- it's like cheating! Sunday- I went to Rampart Range- lots of whoops (nothing compared to Michigan where I used to race- but a lot for Colorado). Again I was very impressed- it just sucked them up, even when I screwed up and went in nose-heavy. The front end end is little harder to loft since the whole bike is lower but that's still not much of a problem with a 525.

Bottom line- I'm very happy and would recommend Jeff Slavens to anyone.

Thank you for the feedback regarding your 525 suspension. My 525 EXCG suspension is a big question mark for me now. I'm somewhat vertically challenged (5'9") with a short inseam. 170 lbs in my birthday suit. I mainly ride desert for fun (no racing). I've set up the sag according to the book and have been playing with the clickers. But can't find that comfort zone I had with my Scott's Performance XR400. That bike had plushness, yet still gave good feedback from every nuance of the trail. It would handle G-outs, but I could still ride all day without feeling beat up.

Now, the 525 feels harsh on washboard roads when the suspension is set just firm enough for good feel thru the bumps and whoops. If I set it for plush, the front dives too hard, and the bike just plain can't handle the big stuff.

Question for all the people who know...Can the stock 03 525 EXCG suspension work for me? Am I just not finding the correct clicker positions?....OR

The 03 KTM is awesome, but it still needs an aftermarket suspension rework to be in "nirvana". And who in Southern CA should bless my 525 with their anointed holy water (suspension parts)??

Riding the KTM really is "heaven on earth". Just awesome! Thank you for everyone's input.

Everyone is different. Even though you are in the right weight range for the stock springs, the higher speeds in the dez might still mean you need to move up on springs.

I found the forks to be harsher than my stock 01 400E's even when sprung for my weight. I've since installed the Chuck Waggoner/ebay fork revalve kit and am much happier now.

Jeff said that the stock springs are too soft for most people. At 145, they are just right for me. He kept the same rates for me (even after shortening) and chnaged the damping (too much high speed damping with stock). He was right. You probably need stiffer springs and revalving.

I've got three rides on my new Race Tech suspension now. And man, what a difference. This past week end I did a dual sport ride. Some of the sections were super rocky, nasty, very technical up and down hills. The suspension ate it up. We did a 150 mile loop. Its the first time I have come back not feeling totally trashed. Other things I added which helped. Softer seat foam and Pro-grips. I also use a steering stablizer. For the desert, I am only a few clicks on my settings away from nirvana. Regardless of who does your suspension, I would go to Race Tech's web site. You can put in your information and they will give recommended spring rates, valves, and settings in a printable form. Its free!

Could you please give us the URL of RaceTech's website.



You should call George at ESP Suspension at 818-951-9144. I have a friend that took his 525 to him for work and just loved it. I plan on taking my bike there just as soon as I can. I too have the same problem, it works well on the whoops and G-outs but is not plush at all.

Sorry I don't have his last name or a web address but this should help. BTW, he used to be the KTM guru at Scotts but started his own business.

Another STRONG recommendation for George at ESP. He lowered my WR 400 and two RFS's that I'm familiar with--all excellent results. I have finally decided to lower my 02 540 EXC about 1" and the suspension is going to ESP. :)

Since ESP does great work and its only a 25min drive for me to Georges shop it makes it even easier.



Hey Clark,

It's nice to see you drop in. How trick was the Honda and are you doing the katoom now?


You should call George at ESP Suspension at 818-951-9144.

He did my riding buddy's 300's magic. Highly recommended. :)

Thanks everyone for the lead on George at ESP. He did my XR400 years ago. I kept the bike all this time because the suspension set-up was so sweet (only the hp sucked). I only knew him as the "XR Expert". But he knows KTMs too! My confidence goes to him. Spoke with him on the phone. My bike goes to his shop ASAP.

Thank you, doitonaktm400 and Clark Mason. This board rocks! Ask and ye shall receive.

Another vote for George!!!! Not only is he the best... he's a great guy and will do it usually less expensinve than anyone else I have gone to. Cant say enough about him!

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