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Making the best of too stiff suspention


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So, I have a 2009 KTM 250xc and the forks feel too stiff. The problem is that I'm only 130lbs. I'm pretty sure it says in the manual that the stock springs are meant for someone around 170lbs.

I`m not really in the market for buying lighter springs (at least not right now), so what do you guys think about lowering the compression clickers all the way down? Is this a good idea? I just want to make the best of my suspension until one day when I buy some lighter springs.

Thanks alot,

Nathan

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Get on craigslist and say you want to straight trade springs with someone who has a 200XCW (0.38 kg/mm).

Might take a while since you probably don't have really popular springs, but someone out there wants stiffer springs for their 200 for free, and you just have to find them. Your's are probably 0.40 kg/mm.

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The clickers only affect the speed that the suspension moves through the stroke. Your problem is that, with too-stiff springs at your weight, the suspension won't even come close to using all of it's stroke, effectively reducing the available suspension travel. And speeding up (softening) the clickers will most likely make your situation worse, because the forks will just drop down into the stiffer part of the travel even quicker. The only effective fix is going to be replacing the springs to suit your weight.

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^He could get springs for that haha

I'm 120lbs w/o gear and my 125 has the stock setup. There's a huge difference between full hard and several clicks from full soft. I was able to find clicker settings to work for me on the track.

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^He could get springs for that haha

I'm 120lbs w/o gear and my 125 has the stock setup. There's a huge difference between full hard and several clicks from full soft. I was able to find clicker settings to work for me on the track.

But then he wouldnt have 6.5 gallons off gas!

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You can adjust the clickers softer for now, but as Chokey wrote, you won't be using the full stroke of the suspension at your body weight. My concern for you is that if you turn them to the point that the suspension feels better, the forks will pack in the woops. The proper solution is to save-up and replace the fork and shock springs with the correct rate springs.

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Alright thanks for all the advice, I am deffinitaly leaning more toward buying softer springs.

Oh and if I could ask another question... I went on Racetech.com and used their spring rate calculator. I entered 2009 250XC, desert/enduro/trail, and 130 lbs. But the results told me I should buy stiffer springs!😏 It said the stock springs were .400kg/mm and recommended were .408kg/mm. This I do not understand. Any thoughts?

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If you have done any front end maintenance lately, it's possible that your forks may be binding. Forgive me to presume you might have made a mistake, but binding forks will keep them high in the stroke and will create all the awful feelings you describe.

If it is indeed a stiff-spring issue, you can try running a lower oil height. It's not the proper way to go, just like any of the other ad-hoc fixes mentioned, but it will let you use more of the stroke, and the air bubble won't build up so much pressure so fast. The book should recommend a high and low limit for the oil level. You should be able to run at the lowest level if you're that light for the bike.

Make sure your forks are parallel first. I wouldn't sweat the difference of a .408 and a .400. The amount of error in the rating of the springs can be that much. I believe RT is using some kind of algorithm for their calculator (it literally just does some calculation); that's why you'll sometimes get fork rates that they don't sell. They also have the caveat of "use the closest available" or something like that.

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If you have done any front end maintenance lately, it's possible that your forks may be binding. Forgive me to presume you might have made a mistake, but binding forks will keep them high in the stroke and will create all the awful feelings you describe.

If it is indeed a stiff-spring issue, you can try running a lower oil height. It's not the proper way to go, just like any of the other ad-hoc fixes mentioned, but it will let you use more of the stroke, and the air bubble won't build up so much pressure so fast. The book should recommend a high and low limit for the oil level. You should be able to run at the lowest level if you're that light for the bike.

Make sure your forks are parallel first. I wouldn't sweat the difference of a .408 and a .400. The amount of error in the rating of the springs can be that much. I believe RT is using some kind of algorithm for their calculator (it literally just does some calculation); that's why you'll sometimes get fork rates that they don't sell. They also have the caveat of "use the closest available" or something like that.

Yes I've suspected that the forks were binding, especially because my forks didn't seem to bother me so much before. I loosened the front axel then compressed the fork down a couple times to try to get the forks seated better on the axel. But this didn't make any difference. What else can I do to make sure they aren't binding?

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Did you also loosen the pinch nuts/bolts? Those also determine how the wheel and axle will sit in the stubs.

I generally start w/ everything (upper clamp, axle, pinch nuts/bolts) but the lower triple tree loose. Assuming everything is not actually bent, the fork assemblies should kinda straighten out at that point. Re-torque your upper clamp, re-torque your axle, bounce your forks, and then re-torque your pinch nuts/bolts....whichever they may be.

That's my ritual anyway, and it's proven reliable so far.

Some bikes use a higher torque than others for the upper stem nut and some also have pinch bolt there too. If so, loosening those items will also ensure there is no twist stored anywhere; I think KTMs all have this. If you do loosen them, be sure you set your bearing play and tighten them up *before* tightening your upper clamp hardware that secures the forks themselves.

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Did you also loosen the pinch nuts/bolts? Those also determine how the wheel and axle will sit in the stubs.

I generally start w/ everything (upper clamp, axle, pinch nuts/bolts) but the lower triple tree loose. Assuming everything is not actually bent, the fork assemblies should kinda straighten out at that point. Re-torque your upper clamp, re-torque your axle, bounce your forks, and then re-torque your pinch nuts/bolts....whichever they may be.

That's my ritual anyway, and it's proven reliable so far.

Some bikes use a higher torque than others for the upper stem nut and some also have pinch bolt there too. If so, loosening those items will also ensure there is no twist stored anywhere; I think KTMs all have this. If you do loosen them, be sure you set your bearing play and tighten them up *before* tightening your upper clamp hardware that secures the forks themselves.

Yes I did loosen the pinch bolts on the axel. But I didn't do anything to the upper triple clamp. Later today I will try loosening everything but the lower triple clamp, push down on the suspension a few times, then tighten everything back up to the proper torque. I should bleed the air out of the forks too, just to make sure. Thanks alot for the input, I hope it works!😏

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