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Effects of rear wheel position on handling?

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I have a excr 450 and presently have my rear wheel nearly touching the mud flap. Bike handles well in the tight stuff but has some head shake when powering out of whooped turns.

What will be the effect if I move the wheel towards the end of the swinging arm? Will I get more weight on the front and have better rear suspension compliance, more stable on long straights?

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Yes it will do as you say at the end of your post. It is generally good to have the axle as far back as possible for better handling. Also the rear spring will have more weight on it and will be softer for you. The front will have less weight on it. The SAG setting on the rear has a big play on getting the front end weighted correctly too. Do you have the right springs for your weight?

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Thanks for the reply

I am 180lbs in street clothing and I've got the sag set at 35/110 with about 9mm spring preload. I've got the standard 7.2 spring.

If I move the axle back I think I will have to crank up the spring over 10mm to get proper sag settings so I think the 7.2 spring will be too soft. I also have a 71-90 progressive I can try on the back.

What is your opinion?

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I would use the other spring you have so you wont have so much preload, I also tried a progressive spring as well as the correct one for my weight with gear. I "THINK" I like the straight one better. The KTM shock is designed to work with a straight spring. What year bike is it?

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Actually, when I first got my bike off the previous owner, he had the progressive spring on the shock and I set sag with minimal preload on spring (I think around 5 or 6mm) and bike would go over high speed whoops better than with the standard spring.

I think I can set the sag and general geometry of the bike by raising the fork tubes a little to counterbalance the extra sag when I move wheel back while still keeping the standard spring.

Thanks

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I got a 96 KX 250 and do mainly single track/tight woods.

should i have the rear wheel closer to the mud flap, or further to the end or the arm.

i'm a light rider, so i do want as muchsag/softness as possible, but i'm just curious because i have to tighten my chain and i'm wondering whether to take out a link and bring it up, or just push it back for longer wheel base/softer suspension.

I can have a little over a fist from the black swingarm rubber piece to the chain(slackwise) and my adjuster is at the very middle.

out a link?

or move to end of arm?

thanks for any help

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well you are trying to get two things at once, a softer ride and better turning. The rear end high puts more weight on the front so it sticks and geometry is better for turning. Rear end low is better for straight line and will soften the susp just a little. Maybe you should get the right spring for your weight and move the wheel where you want it to get performance you want.

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ok, i'm more worried about which way to cut my chain slack tho.. should i move it to the rear or take out a link.. mind how much slack i have (in last post)

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Well I put a 116 link chain and kept my previous gearing @ 13/50 and rear axle is way back, just like those drag bikes! O.K. bike is very stable on the straights but its like I am towing the rear wheel. I just cant get the bike to turn as it used to.

Before I could turn on a dime, power wheelie in third and forth , power slide and drift rear wheel before a turn, now I really have to clutch it to loft the front wheel and sit way back. Rear wheel just tracks with no wheelspin. I have rolled handlebar back, since bike turns better when I am sitting on the back wheel. I have played with the rear sag and fork position, but just cannot get it right. Should I re-gear to 14/52 to get rear axle closer to the mudflap? HSC is set at 1 1/2 out, should I increase it?

Any help will be appreciated.

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Yeap! Somewhere in the middle usually works best as a comprise between good cornering, and good rear wheel traction and bump compliance. Go figure! :thumbsup:

Keep playing with it until you like it! :)

Although to the KX comment, my old KX 250's always seemed to work better the further back the rear wheel was? They already turned so badly it didn't hurt it anymore either, but made it hook-up better on the moto starts and rear suspension was way better to... You already have to 'drive/steer' those things like a school-bus anyhow! :lol:

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