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Suspension and Handling Help!

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HI all,

I am having some handling issues with my 08 CRF450x. I am 6'3 about 190lbs. I have set my sag and what thought to be good suspension set up for stock suspension. I usually do most of my riding on moderate speed trials and hill climbs, but for the first time i took my bike to the track. Very disappointed in the handling. not in the handling jumps issue but the way it handled the non bank turns. it seemed like the bike was very top heavy, hard to throw around, no real control, and everytime i leaned into turns the front wheel wanted to buckle and slide. im no mx person and dont intend to but now the bike feels the same(heavy, hard to throw around) in moderate speed trails and tight hills, which bothers me the most. Im just seeing if anyone has some advice for me, any will be appreciated, thanks.👍

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HI all,

I am having some handling issues with my 08 CRF450x. I am 6'3 about 190lbs. I have set my sag and what thought to be good suspension set up for stock suspension. I usually do most of my riding on moderate speed trials and hill climbs, but for the first time i took my bike to the track. Very disappointed in the handling. not in the handling jumps issue but the way it handled the non bank turns. it seemed like the bike was very top heavy, hard to throw around, no real control, and everytime i leaned into turns the front wheel wanted to buckle and slide. im no mx person and dont intend to but now the bike feels the same(heavy, hard to throw around) in moderate speed trails and tight hills, which bothers me the most. Im just seeing if anyone has some advice for me, any will be appreciated, thanks.👍

Welcome to the Forum.

The X is made specifically not to do it's best on an MX track, therefore it will exhibit most of the traits you experienced. In case you did not know, the X is not an R with electric start. It is a completly different bike, frame and all.

Most of the issues with the bikes handling come from a lack of refinement in the springrate, shock/fork valving, and the stock tires. If you want the bike to really perform at it's best, you should have it resprung and revalved for your weight and riding style. Oh, and change the front tire.......

On the track, bike will also handle better if you stay lower in the rpms and short shift as much as possible. If you ride in the 'meat' of the power, you will work twice as hard, and fight the weight.

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Aside from what krannie wrote, as a former 450X owner myself, I would suggest - and I hope I'm not coming across as Captain Obvious - checking your tire pressure. I say this mainly due to your comment on non-banked turns. Although I found my X to be everything krannie wrote, I got to the point I could anticipate the bike's mass in corners and get it to settle and hook up nicely.

Good luck, and welcome to TT!

HI all,

I am having some handling issues with my 08 CRF450x. I am 6'3 about 190lbs. I have set my sag and what thought to be good suspension set up for stock suspension. I usually do most of my riding on moderate speed trials and hill climbs, but for the first time i took my bike to the track. Very disappointed in the handling. not in the handling jumps issue but the way it handled the non bank turns. it seemed like the bike was very top heavy, hard to throw around, no real control, and everytime i leaned into turns the front wheel wanted to buckle and slide. im no mx person and dont intend to but now the bike feels the same(heavy, hard to throw around) in moderate speed trails and tight hills, which bothers me the most. Im just seeing if anyone has some advice for me, any will be appreciated, thanks.👍

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Are you sliding up and onto the tank when turning? If youre leaning back and sitting towards the back of you seat, you take weight off the front tire and reduce the amount of traction it can hold

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For its weight, the X handles amazing well at the track. As a matter of fact, in more that one magazine review, the X is referred to as the most aggressive and best suited to motocross style riding versus its competitors.

I am pretty pleased with how the bike performs on the track (except for landings) and on flat turns.

If you do the following, you should feel a world of difference:

-get a new front tire. If you can't, run the stocker a high PSI like, 19. Get a 756, Pirelli Scorpion xcmh or Mich.

-ride way up on the tank

-more your forks up 1cm in the triple clamps, or better yet, bet some 22mm offset triples. (just noticed you said '08...so disregard this...sorry)

-run your sag at 100

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I am pretty pleased with how the bike performs on the track (except for landings) and on flat turns.

If you do the following, you should feel a world of difference:

-more your forks up 1cm in the triple clamps, or better yet, bet some 22mm offset triples.

-run your sag at 100

I agree with moving the clamps 10mm up. i did it and it worked. The stock clamp offset is too much, hence why they changed it to 22mm for '08. I'd get new clamps too.

As for sag, at the track. the 100mm makes the rear too loose. Try 90mm but no less. This I've also tried and been successful with.

I'll guarantee you better hookup in the flat turns, straight line stability and better landings.

At 190 lbs, you're not so heavy that you need new springs IMO, but possibly a revalve and/or different weight fork oil.

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Thanks to all for the suggestions i will have to try a few. I still what it to be more trail bc i am about 95:5 favor to trail, but it is an 08 should i still lower the forks 1 cm?

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I was also wondering on the 450x I have a Trail Vapor and wondering what everyone is running for a RPM warning and danger light and Temp warning and danger light?

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Thanks to all for the suggestions i will have to try a few. I still what it to be more trail bc i am about 95:5 favor to trail, but it is an 08 should i still lower the forks 1 cm?

If anything you want to raise the forks in the clamps for better cornering. However, this will also make high speed straights less stable and possibly cause more headshake. I thought the 08's, with the new 22 clamps were supposed to turn better??? I would get a new front tire, play with tire pressures and perhaps change your riding style in flat or off-camber corners, put some weight on that outside peg and get up on the tank.

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I was also wondering on the 450x I have a Trail Vapor and wondering what everyone is running for a RPM warning and danger light and Temp warning and danger light?

I am. IMHO, the RPM warning is useless. You will know when you're getting near the top by the feeling and sound, plus if you're revving out, you won't have time to look down to see if the light is on...

I set the water temp lights at 180 and 220.

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Well like you said i rarely look down and never have the time to look down at RPMs and i do do most of my judging off of sound and feel, but i was just curious, thats why they call me whiskers(harry carey)

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I was also wondering on the 450x I have a Trail Vapor and wondering what everyone is running for a RPM warning and danger light and Temp warning and danger light?

I set my RPM waring at 8,500 and 10,500, but you'll already know your screaming when it hits 10,500 so I don't think the light helps. I think I set the temperature sensor at 220 and 250.

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Well bud, all I got to say is that first test and tune day at the track, i didnt feel near what you were feeling. it did feel top heavy on the hair pin flat turns but other than that I could predict what it was goin to do. I agree with yamalink on the tire pressure. yours was flat compared to mine. also take note to socalmatt with the fork location in the triple clamp. could have been the lowering kit I put on mine that helped as well. well man this sat we will tear it up again. later

Schmitty

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