My second ride on my 2008 450 xcr-w

I posted my first ride on this bike in the forum. In that first post, I said I liked the bike but had a few issues with the front end deflecting over rocks, roots, dirt clods, climbing out of ruts, etc. I liked how the bike was light feeling, but wished it had more stability.

Well, it's freaking awsome now! I took it up to the Sierras and rode tight single track, fire roads, rocks, roots, etc. It handles like a dream and the suspension is very plush.

The things that made the difference where:

1) Set the rear suspension to the Golden Rule of Sag: 40mm static, 115 dynamic. It was around 45mm static. I'm around 180 lbs without gear, so I'm probably still on the border of a stiffer rear spring.

2) lowered the fork tubes to 4mm from the top of the fork tube (it was 6mm).

3) Set all of the suspension settings to comfort mode per the owner's manual(I might stiffen it back up after it breaks in more).

4) Installed a Scotts Steering Stabilizer. I think this made the biggest difference. It made the bike so stable over the rough stuff. I never noticed it working, not even in the tight twisty stuff. It just made the bike feel very planted. I think this is a great combo with this bike, you get the best of both worlds: light responsive steering, and stability over the rough stuff.

The suspension is very plush. It swallows up the rough stuff like no other bike I've ridden accept maybe a crf250x. The only thing I noticed is it would swollow up the bumps, so it wasn't very easy to launch it over anything, like pre-jumping an obsticle. I think that is the benefit to stiffer suspension off-road, but I'll try the plush settings for a while.

I had fun with the clutch. I ran a Rekluse in my previous bike, but I'm not sure if I need it in this bike. The clutch has a relatively light pull, so it was fun clutching it out of corners and not pumping up. It grunted up steep hills without stalling, so I'm not sure this bike needs a Rekluse. Plus with the electric start, it's not such an issue stalling.

I can't wait to ride this bike again, it was so much fun!


do you have, if any, any negative thing you can think about your bike.

my only problems were the quick steering, and tall gearing. but got both of those 'taken care of'

At this point, the only negatives I have are very minor:

1) My boot is getting burned on the exhaust pipe. I'm going to get a guard to fix this.

2) I realized the bars are a little lower than I like. I notice I'm getting pain in my lower bike when I stand up. I'm thinking maybe I should have gotten the under bar steering stabilizer to raise the bars up 1". Again, no big deal.

3) The graphics are peeling away where my legs touch the air box. I might just peel them off.

4) The computer is a pain to set up. I tried to program it per the owner's manual and it just doesn't seem to be working for me. For example, I want to set the tripA, but I can't get to that menu. The manual says to push "O" until you get to that menu, but mine just toggles between the odometer and the hour meter.

5) I'm keeping an eye on my oil level. I put in .6 L when I did my first oil change, but even that was too much (the manual says it should be .7L). I'm thinking is should be .5L. I'll get it dialed in, but until then I'm messing around with a syringe to get the oil level at the 1/2 to 3/4 mark on the window. I'm curious why I the oil level is high after I changed the oil. I replaced the oil, warmed it up, and let it sit over night and it was still too much (.6L) when I checked it. Perhaps I didn't get all of the oil drained out when I changed it, but again, I did what the manual said: warm on the engine and drain it.

Other than that, everything is good. The power is great, and is just getting better as it breaks in. The suspension feels really good, and I love the way it handles now.


Your suspension will feel better over time.It took mine about 3to400 miles to loosing up.Its also a good idea to take a torque wrench and loctite to all the bolts,sometimes they dont do a very good job of preeping bikes.I lost a couple of bolts out of my 200 right off the bat.So that was the first thing i did on my 450.Other than that you should be happy with the bike.

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