XT350 suspension too soft

Does anyone know of the best way to stiffen the suspension (front & rear)? If aftermarket parts are suggested, which ones? Thanks.

Good luck finding suitable springs.

When I was wanting to stiffen my 2000 XT-350M, I saw that Progressive Suspension offered something for the similar 1984 XT-250L, but passed on them thinking they would still suck.

What I did was install a complete front fork and steering stem/triple clamp assembly from a 1986 IT-200S, a bike that had 43mm forks with 10.6 inches of travel.

With a 43mm fork, you have a good selection of springs to choose from.

I removed the rear shock and had a Works Performance unit made.

When done, it was a very well suspended XT-350M. :thumbsup:

Edited by YZEtc
Corrected model year info :)

Had two of these a few years back. Scotts suspension in Pasadena revalved and resprung one. The other had just variable fork spring from yamaha 650 maxim and the rear shock spring cut down to stiffen spring. Definite improvement on both. Could not detect difference between the two. Mine was set for 175 lbs-wife's bike setting still unknown to this date.

A quick way to stiffen the front is to add a PVC spacer on top of or in lieu of the the metal spacer on top of the fork spring. Just remove the fork top cap, and you'll see a metal spacer about 2 inches long. If this spacer is longer, it will be like adding pre-load to the fork spring. For the shock, there is a circlip that you can remove and put the spring seat further down the shaft. Again, it works like adding pre-load to the spring. I haven't done the shock, but have done the forks, and it makes it a little less "divey". I also changed to 15 wt fork oil. If these almost free changes aren't enough, then you have to get into complete suspension swaps which require much modification and money. In which case, you'd likely be better off with a different bike (DRZ, 450EXC, etc).

Hope this helps,

Psycho

A quick way to stiffen the front is to add a PVC spacer on top of or in lieu of the the metal spacer on top of the fork spring. Just remove the fork top cap, and you'll see a metal spacer about 2 inches long. If this spacer is longer, it will be like adding pre-load to the fork spring. For the shock, there is a circlip that you can remove and put the spring seat further down the shaft. Again, it works like adding pre-load to the spring. I haven't done the shock, but have done the forks, and it makes it a little less "divey". I also changed to 15 wt fork oil. If these almost free changes aren't enough, then you have to get into complete suspension swaps which require much modification and money. In which case, you'd likely be better off with a different bike (DRZ, 450EXC, etc).

Hope this helps,

Psycho

Sounds like a good start to fix the problem. I weigh quite a bit (200) but the front end is just SOOO soft. I was going to run the bike up a pretty steep hill today with pretty soft dirt at the base of it and the front end literally bottomed out like a was hitting a wall. It almost threw me over the handlebars. The bike is a 98 with only 4000 miles so I'm pretty sure it's not worn out yet. My main concern is the the forks so I'll give this a try. Thanks.

Sounds like a good start to fix the problem. I weigh quite a bit (200) but the front end is just SOOO soft. I was going to run the bike up a pretty steep hill today with pretty soft dirt at the base of it and the front end literally bottomed out like a was hitting a wall. It almost threw me over the handlebars. The bike is a 98 with only 4000 miles so I'm pretty sure it's not worn out yet. My main concern is the the forks so I'll give this a try. Thanks.

My current XT is a '98 as well. The older ones, you could put some air pressure in the forks,which helped a little bit. Someone over on ADVrider has a set of progressive fork springs for sale here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12281069&postcount=1008

I haven't tried them, but a few folks have used them.

Psycho

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