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xc-w suspension settings


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i have an '08 300 xcw. at 165 lbs, sag was perfect when i got it but it now needs to be stiffened up a little probably due to teh fact that i'm now more comfortable and faster than i was at first.

can i just run the compression in or should i make a corresponding changes on the rebound too, to make it stiffer all over? i am referring to the fork and the shock, not just one end.

OR does it take a revalve, spring change, or oil change to bring them up to a stiffness CLOSER to (not totally as stiff) that of the exc?

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There are three recommended settings in the book I use for a baseline and I think my suspension is dialed in decently for now. I spent a day and a half working on clicker settings, preload, and sag adjustments and I can tell you I'm amazed at how sensitive the suspension is to seemingly minor adjustments. I re-sprung for my weight front and rear, set the race sag at 105mm, then put all the settings at "standard" from the book. It felt very weird to me so I set all the clickers at the "sport" settings in the book and went from there. I'm pretty close to those right now and it's about perfect except mid-stroke on the forks is a bit harsh and has more deflection than I would like. I'm hoping some of that mid-stroke harshness will fade in time or with minor adjustments to air gap or oil viscosity. Time will tell. What I really need to do is quit fiddling with it and learn to ride it. It has a few traits that I don't believe need anything more than time for me to get used to. HTH

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Sag is the first thing to dial-in when setting up the suspension. If your sag (both static & rider) are correct, you do not need to change the springs.

Sag simply allows the shock and front forks to work in the "ideal" range of their respective travel.

Compression and rebound clicks are what you need to adjust to change how the suspension acts with-in that range i.e. stiff or soft.

So....it now becomes a matter of turning the clickers in a few at a time until you acheive the desired ride quality. If the front end feels too soft say when hitting a big whoop, stiffening up on the compression will correct that. If once the fork is compressed in that whoop, and the front rebounds too fast, stiffening up on the rebound will slow that motion down.

stiffening up the compression does not always require you to do the same with rebound, but you might go say in 4-clicks on compression, with just 2 for rebound.

I would first dial it in the best you can with the OEM stuff and if it does not suit your needs then look at aftermarket revalving. But....it is a KTM and certainly not junk components.

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Correct at 165# the springs should be good. Whatever you do make sure you have a baseline of settings so you know where you started from and where you need to go:thumbsup: Forgot to mention adjustable fork preload settings can make a HUGE difference in the way your forks behave so don't forget to tinker with those too to find optimum for you and the conditions you ride.

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MOST excellent! Thank you!๐Ÿ‘

I concur, I'm having issues with bumps at slow speed on tight single track after putting in springs for my weight. I had the high speed and low speed compression idea backwards, until I watched that video. I'm glad I watched it before I started mucking with my clickers!!!!! I would have ended up frustrated.

THanks YZ2strokin!!!!๐Ÿคฃ

I did catch the little jab at Trail tricks, when he said there was no "Magic Carpet ride", hmmmm, he did say he was a Race tech franchise at the beginning of the video.๐Ÿ™‚:applause:

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Before I watched this I kept softening the rebound, I put the clickers back to stock and softened the compression a few clicks and it was like a whole new ride.

Yeah he's a racetech guy but he knows his stuff! I rode his bike for a day during the Shane watts school and it was pretty much a magic carpet ride haha. If you want an expert and ex-pro rider(ISDE) to fix you up, look up SMS Racing

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I ended-up going to the standard recommended rebound settings and out (softer) a couple clicks on compression from standard. Seems to work perfect on a variety of terrain we rode today. Never felt like the suspension was anything but right over choppy hardpack mogul, G-outs, wide roller whoops, sand, rocks, and climbs, whatever was thrown at it. I'm impressed! One thing I did was set the rear spring preload correctly instead of race sag. I couldn't get them both right. I think the heavier springs are radically better!

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I ended-up going to the standard recommended rebound settings and out (softer) a couple clicks on compression from standard. Seems to work perfect on a variety of terrain we rode today. Never felt like the suspension was anything but right over choppy hardpack mogul, G-outs, wide roller whoops, sand, rocks, and climbs, whatever was thrown at it. I'm impressed! One thing I did was set the rear spring preload correctly instead of race sag. I couldn't get them both right. I think the heavier springs are radically better!

Hey Coob, all I saw was smooth trail today. ๐Ÿ‘

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Hey Coob, all I saw was smooth trail today. ๐Ÿ‘

:jawdrop:๐Ÿคฃ:cheers::applause: I was thinking the same thing when the rear end came over the front end while trying to walk the bike down that hill. Was that a stoppie gone wild or what?...:crazy:๐Ÿคฃ:crazy:....or the first nice digger I took trying to follow you over that hill which turned out to be a little steeper than it looked then no momentum because of the minature canyon at the base of it:lol::blah:๐Ÿคฃ I trenched it, looped it, and cartwheeled it all in one crash:banghead: Yessir....I was thinking XR4DEZ has gone soft taking me on the easy stuff:worthy: I seriously could not be more impressed (blows me away) with bike and for sure it'll open a whole new world of riding for me and make me a better rider. Thank you for your patience and another EPIC ride in the dez:thumbsup:๐Ÿ™‚ Let's do it again before boil over season and come on over here to Yuma and we'll do a "Cadillac" ride:lol:๐Ÿคฃ

Forgot to mention the fuel range seemed pretty good considering the bike was upside down a couple of times and we rode a few miles on the dune sand. 54 miles and didn't hit reserve. I was worried about it the whole time.

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Guess you could fill your camelback with premix, I think that extra fuel with the IMS tank helps out quite a bit. Good ride, thanx for going. We still need to hit the rox but not literally. :applause:

I'm really scratching my head this morning (Happy Easter BTW:)) Trying to figure this suspension deal out. I didn't push it very hard yesterday but it seemed the bike's manners were most excellent everywhere. I've never been able to get true "all terrain" satisfaction from suspension before. It's always been a rob Peter to pay Paul scenario for me even with very expensive suspension work. Dial for sand and suffer on hard pack. Not so on the 3 hunny. It seemed rock steady in the washes, various whoops and sqaure edges (anyone who's ridden out there knows how bad the whoops are), no packing, swapping, bad deflection, washing, or diving. The bike is ultra sensitive to rider input and gives great feedback yet is not harsh or overly demanding. I'm really kind of freaked out about it.๐Ÿคฃ

I'm interested in the mapping switch and think that might be a good thing for technical stuff. The motor makes great usable power but I have to learn to ride it by feel more than sound because I can't hear it. Definately needs a little slack the the throttle cable:smirk: I whiskey throttled it a couple of times and was lucky enough to have a finger on the clutch...speaking of clutches:lol:๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคฃ (unreal). KTM hit it out of the park with this bike. A bigger tank might be on the horizon but first I need a new pack (with a bottle of premix in it). Tore the strap off my trusty pack yesterday.๐Ÿ‘

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There are three recommended settings in the book I use for a baseline and I think my suspension is dialed in decently for now. I spent a day and a half working on clicker settings, preload, and sag adjustments and I can tell you I'm amazed at how sensitive the suspension is to seemingly minor adjustments. I re-sprung for my weight front and rear, set the race sag at 105mm, then put all the settings at "standard" from the book. It felt very weird to me so I set all the clickers at the "sport" settings in the book and went from there. I'm pretty close to those right now and it's about perfect except mid-stroke on the forks is a bit harsh and has more deflection than I would like. I'm hoping some of that mid-stroke harshness will fade in time or with minor adjustments to air gap or oil viscosity. Time will tell. What I really need to do is quit fiddling with it and learn to ride it. It has a few traits that I don't believe need anything more than time for me to get used to. HTH

what book are you talking about? mine deflects really well but what are the sport settings? its balanced perfectly, i just want to stiffen up front and rear equally

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I'm really scratching my head this morning (Happy Easter BTW:)) Trying to figure this suspension deal out. I didn't push it very hard yesterday but it seemed the bike's manners were most excellent everywhere. I've never been able to get true "all terrain" satisfaction from suspension before. It's always been a rob Peter to pay Paul scenario for me even with very expensive suspension work. Dial for sand and suffer on hard pack. Not so on the 3 hunny. It seemed rock steady in the washes, various whoops and sqaure edges (anyone who's ridden out there knows how bad the whoops are), no packing, swapping, bad deflection, washing, or diving. The bike is ultra sensitive to rider input and gives great feedback yet is not harsh or overly demanding. I'm really kind of freaked out about it.๐Ÿคฃ

I'm interested in the mapping switch and think that might be a good thing for technical stuff. The motor makes great usable power but I have to learn to ride it by feel more than sound because I can't hear it. Definately needs a little slack the the throttle cable:smirk: I whiskey throttled it a couple of times and was lucky enough to have a finger on the clutch...speaking of clutches:lol:๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคฃ (unreal). KTM hit it out of the park with this bike. A bigger tank might be on the horizon but first I need a new pack (with a bottle of premix in it). Tore the strap off my trusty pack yesterday.๐Ÿ‘

i have the map switch and the only time i have ever appreciated it was in the mountains in the 4or so inches of snow. if you want to soften it, put in the green spring and it rides like a tractor (or a 4 stroke) almost to the point of being boring.

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what book are you talking about? mine deflects really well but what are the sport settings? its balanced perfectly, i just want to stiffen up front and rear equally

What I did after installing heavier springs was set the race sag at 105mm and all the clickers to "standard" from the book. I spent a whole day working the clickers and got it pretty good but still had some deflection issues and it felt a little stink bugged. I decided to set the static sag correctly and forget about race sag and it made a huge improvement. It's a little "springy" up front for slow speed rocky technical I found out yesterday:bonk: I think that's an easy fix with a preload adjustment on the forks but if I do that it won't be right in sand and silt. I think perfection can be had with the rebound clickers front and rear set at standard then just tinker with compression and spring preload until you get it where you like it. I serioulsy doubt there is any such thing as suspension that requires no adjustments for terrain changes but I'm trying to get as close to "set it and forget it" as possible for varied terrain.๐Ÿ‘

I'm going to try the map switch out. XR4DEZ sold me on the map switch. He's an expert with an addiction to technical riding so if he thinks it's good then it must be. Of course, his idea of "technical" translates in my mind to "that's not ridable". I'm trying to learn the art of bike dragging technical better so I can keep riding with my friends who've just about all turned into mountain goats:ride:. These guys do the "undoable" and make it look easy.๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™‚

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I'm just going from the book that came with the bike. It calls for 8mm of shock spring preload with a static sag of 30mm and a race sag of 105mm. I couldn't get both right and with the rider sag set at 105 there's too much preload on the spring. It set the static sag at 30mm and that put the race sag at about 112mm. Bike seems perfectly balanced now the only slight issue being the steering damper chinks from deflection a little more than I would like on rocks. I might play with preload a little more and see what happens.

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  • 2 months later...
I ended-up going to the standard recommended rebound settings and out (softer) a couple clicks on compression from standard. Seems to work perfect on a variety of terrain we rode today. Never felt like the suspension was anything but right over choppy hardpack mogul, G-outs, wide roller whoops, sand, rocks, and climbs, whatever was thrown at it. I'm impressed! One thing I did was set the rear spring preload correctly instead of race sag. I couldn't get them both right. I think the heavier springs are radically better!

The rear spring is wrong on my 08 300xcw there to soft and the front is correct So i put a Factory Connection progressive FC-2 rear and it balanced

now it will take what ever can throw at it

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I ended-up going to the standard recommended rebound settings and out (softer) a couple clicks on compression from standard. Seems to work perfect on a variety of terrain we rode today. Never felt like the suspension was anything but right over choppy hardpack mogul, G-outs, wide roller whoops, sand, rocks, and climbs, whatever was thrown at it. I'm impressed! One thing I did was set the rear spring preload correctly instead of race sag. I couldn't get them both right. I think the heavier springs are radically better!

I've been testing for a couple of months, and this was also the best setting for my 2009 250 XC-W. In my experience you can royally screw up a bikes handling by messing around with rebound too much, and per that video I think that once you get it set moving your compression around for the conditions is your best bet (and easy to remember (2-4 clicks stiffer than standard for dunes and light MX, 2 softer for trails and rough off road racing, etc.) I also always do it uniformly in front and back to keep it balanced.

My biggest problem now is understeer and the bike wanting to stand up in flat turns. Anyone have any suggestions? Raise the forks in the triple clamps a bit to put more weight on the front end?

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