2011 Handeling Issues

Took my 2011crf450 for its first ride last week. At first, I was loving it. Smooth power good cornering etc.

But after about 30 minutes, I started going a little faster. This is when things got scary. The harder I pushed the bike the worse it got. I ended up crashing at the entrance to a corner, the front end washed out before I could even think to react. Broke my pro bends, pulled the bolts out of the triple clamps, bent the bars....

Went back to the truck, fixed it up, increased sag, increased the comperssion on the forks and went back out. Bike seemed to handle better, but still not good, and now I have no confidence in it.

So, I've decided I need to upgrade to stiffer fork springs. Who else has done this? Does it negatively affect the cornering of this bike?

I only weigh 160lbs. Used to race professionally, now I just ride for fun. Any ideas to help fix the handeling? I don't need to hear the "my bike is perfect for me stock" stories. For my riding style this bike handles so bad its dangerous.

Thanks for you're help!

Darvo,

I am 160lb guy who was an A rider 10 years ago when I quite riding. I just rides for fun and to go fast now. I have had my 2011 for about 10 weeks. I think if you are fast & aggressive or heavy, the forks just don't cut it. They have a tendency to blow through the first portion of the travel on low/mid speed hits. The best way I can describe it is that they feel "dead". At 160lbs it shouldn't be a spring rate issue, but a valving issue. Are you having issues with hard bottoming? Right now I am happy with the bottoming resistance for the most part. I have ordered a revalve kit from Smart Performance and expect it in shortly. I am hoping stiffening up the stack early and the del taco kit will make the first 1/3 of the travel a little more lively.

In the interim I have been cranking preload out of the shock spring until it feels good in the turns. I am at 4 clicks out on compression on the forks and 16 whopping clicks out on the rebound to get the forks to kinda behave. I haven't checked the sag, but I am sure I am well beyond 105mm.

I'll let you know what the revalve does once I install it.

Darvo, I'm about 165 pounds Vet A. I didn't ride my 2011 stock, but I did have an 09 and know exactly what you're talking about. For the 11, I installed Merge Racing rising rate pressure springs in the forks. It's simple to do and farely cheap ($60). They stiffin up the initial part of the stroke and help a TON entering choppy corners. Also, I think you MUST get the rear end down some. I'm not a fan of the linkage arms because they seem to screw up the stroke of the shock, so I went with the merge knuckle. You could also have someone install lowering spacers. The merge knuckle lowers the rear of the bike without affecting the stroke of the shock. If you have any questions about the Merge stuff just give them a call. They're great to talk to, and they seem to know how to make the Honda's handle.

If you still have expert + speed you will have to stiffen the forks, you may choose to do springs, valving or a combination of both. I have the FC .50KG with a RG3 MX pro setting and 370cc in the forks. I am also running a size softer (ALS-0053) on the shock with most of the HSC and LSC backed out. I think this is the best handling bike I have ridden. I am 170 and run the 25+A class. Good luck sorting out the front end.

E.

Took my 2011crf450 for its first ride last week. At first, I was loving it. Smooth power good cornering etc.

But after about 30 minutes, I started going a little faster. This is when things got scary. The harder I pushed the bike the worse it got. I ended up crashing at the entrance to a corner, the front end washed out before I could even think to react. Broke my pro bends, pulled the bolts out of the triple clamps, bent the bars....

Went back to the truck, fixed it up, increased sag, increased the comperssion on the forks and went back out. Bike seemed to handle better, but still not good, and now I have no confidence in it.

So, I've decided I need to upgrade to stiffer fork springs. Who else has done this? Does it negatively affect the cornering of this bike?

I only weigh 160lbs. Used to race professionally, now I just ride for fun. Any ideas to help fix the handeling? I don't need to hear the "my bike is perfect for me stock" stories. For my riding style this bike handles so bad its dangerous.

Thanks for you're help!

Stiffer fork springs are recommended by virtually everyone for fast aggressive riders, even though the stock springs are said to be right in your weight range. As a wannabe suspension guru (early phases of studying), you should def add more fork oil 380+cc's or even a bit more and see how that feels. Adding oil will reduce the volume of air from the forks in effect stiffing up the spring rate and keeping the forks from diving through the initial and mid part of the stroke. Reducing air acts as a progressive form of compression dampening and can be more effective than increasing a spring rate, as stiffer springs provide more resistance to bottoming (you still may need that as well). Good luck, look forward to hearing any updates

If you still have expert + speed you will have to stiffen the forks, you may choose to do springs, valving or a combination of both. I have the FC .50KG with a RG3 MX pro setting and 370cc in the forks. I am also running a size softer (ALS-0053) on the shock with most of the HSC and LSC backed out. I think this is the best handling bike I have ridden. I am 170 and run the 25+A class. Good luck sorting out the front end.

E.

Thanks for the input.

Did you ride your bike stock? How does your modified suspension compare cornering wise to the stock suspension. I love the way it corners once it's in the corner, and don't want to ruin that trait by raising the front end.

I'm leaning towards stiffer springs to start with a an easy (cheap) fix. I'm a little worried that I may end up revalving it only to find out I still need stiffer springs, and possibly having to revalve again to accommodate the stiffer springs... Maybe that's not the case, I don't know much about doing this myself.

I put the merge nuckle in the rear and stiffened up the front with .48 springs. Now its rideable. I rode my buddys 09 with .50 front springs and it seemed way better. I couldnt believe how much more grunt the 09 had than my 2011.

It must be the larger throttle body and less restrictive exaust.

It must be the larger throttle body and less restrictive exaust.

tb helps low to mid and part throttle snap...usually making it feel faster

exhaust is the primary reason it sucks compared to 09

dont focus on the forks until you fix the rear, at your weight you need a 5.2 or 5.3 spring and shorten the shaft 2mm or so. Until you address the rear you are going to chase your tail with the forks.

160lb A rider. Merge Knuckle on the rear, RRs springs with 5.0 springs in the front. Handles awesome. 105mm sag.

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