450exc issues front brake and shocks - moved to suspension forum, thanks.


been riding this bike for ~20 hours and the front shocks are pretty much horrible,

even after doing a maintenance job on them, they got better though they still take rocks at fast speed pretty stiff, it gives hefty bumps to you'r hands when the terrain is sharp, even when going over a side walk at a relatively slow speed.

i asked the mechanic and he says KTM's shocks at these years (06) maybe till 08 are awful,

is there anything to do except from replacing them totally?

i've already considered doing that with a used CRF450's if they'll fit,

riding at high speed is pretty much dangerous and can get pretty scary at times,

in rocky tracks it's the same, it castrates the riding, even though the bike is already equipped with a steering stabilizer.

2nd is the front brake,

the lever is about a cm from the handlebars when pushing it all the way to the end, it's pretty much soft and you lose sensitivity when using it,

i've taken out the front wheel, pumped the lever and let the pistons get out, lubed them a little with WD40 and it seems better than before, yet still it's not there, i've seen other bikes and it is not like that with them.

must say i've taken every little bit of air out of the system, both watching the brambo box where the lever is while pumping and also loosened the bottom screw to take every bit left,

it's not enough :/,

any idea's?


apparently the front brake lever pin can be screwed inward and outward, so can be adjusted, this one is fixed :thumbsup:.


Edited by mazungo

The forks and shock need to be taken to a good suspension guy to dial them in they don't need to be replaced. Someone who knows WP. Setup is key on a KTM. Sag height, spring rate. Since there is no linkage things have to be right. As far as the brake you have something wrong if you can't adjust the screw. To get the mush out I turn it in as far as I can with my fingers then a couple of clicks more with plyers. To bleed them right you need to back the adjuster out first bleed then turn it back in to get all the air out.


the front brake thing is fixed, the pin on the lever apparently can be adjusted,

air is out of the system, currently it works perfect.

as for the shocks, is there some paper or guide i can refer the mechanic to?

he's pretty much professional with forks and shocks, worked in the U.S and been dealing with it for quite some time,

he says it's a manufacturing issue that isn't there with other forks makers, the way the oil is being directed through the fork inner systems,

i tried playing with the dumping, changing it from 20 clicks to 10 and back again,

there doesn't seem to be any critical difference,

i'll try playing with the rebound the next day, i actually am quite surprised KTM has released these forks the way they are cause pushing the bike not even that far you immediately feel they're inabilities.

there is nothing inherently wrong with those model years ktm forks. mine work perfectly.

p.s - rayhcribbs, i think it's a relatively known issue with these years (don't know about before 06) 08-2010 made the forks better, 2010 itself the forks should be somewhat different to a point they work well enough people don't usually complain (afaik),

it also depends on you'r riding, they get quite hefty bumps even at 80.., i think every rider would feel that from time to time, but for some it gets unbearable,

not everyone seem to complain about it, yet maybe some work has been done to you'r forks as well.

bottom line, they definitely don't work well enough, actually quite bad,

i don't know what is going on with you'r forks but maybe you'r lucky :thumbsup:.

There is nothing a good suspension guy cann't fix. I had an 06 300 it was fine once my suspension guy set it up for me. I have all my bikes done I don't ride them stock. Front end pushing is sag height or soft spring. Deflecting is springs and valveing. All can be fixed. The guy you are talking to is not a suspension guy or just has a thing about WP. No bike comes setup period and to say the WP is crap is quite a statement. I say Bull Crap. Sounds like you need to learn a little more about how to setup a KTM and talk to the right people. If you are over 200 lbs its springs for sure. When was the suspension serviced? Whos been messing with it? Its very easy just to blame the product.

meh, i'm sorry fred, i have nothing against WP,

it's just even the most serious guys you find here are not necessarily true pro's.. and it's not necessarily they're fault, it's just the prices here are so high and the field is not that advanced that they're probably not used to do an A+ job, but rather something less which the customers finds enough.

i don't like it, but can't currently do anything alone, so that's the best i have :thumbsup:.

i'm pretty sure in the U.S you can find many professionals which can set you up with an excellent suspension,

i've seen how people maintain they're bike there, seen the workshops, kits, working tools etc.

it's nothing like here, you don't have the market to support it either currently and sending the forks to the U.S would probably cost a fortune,

that's why i asked for a guide which this guy/friend might find useful,

i think he can do a good job with the right guidance and i'll be willing to invest in something that will really pay off.

I didn't know you were not in the US so i guess the inernet is going to be your best source. Here and ktmtalk have suspension forums with plenty of info. I think maybe the nut that holds your shim stack together has backed out or the oil is so bad it cann't flow through the stack. Bottom line they need to come apart. Something is screwed up.

they just been fixed, oil replaced, oil and dust seals, the nut itself was screwed up and got a rebuild though they still don't feel like the DRZ400 one's, at least on a bumpy/rocky terrain.

i thought there is some after market fix for these like replacing the valves, a shim set or whatever, though now it seems to be that a professional touch/voodoo craft is needed.

people offered opening the compression all the way to the end and reducing the oil level to 150mm, that's the best i got, i'll just give it a shot.

if it won't i'll just shoot the first person i see :confused: (or maybe try some other thing :thumbsup:).

thanks though.

Your compression is not soft enough. Back it out all the way. Yes its the valveing that needs to be changed and softened up thats the problem

fred, you have any idea what should be done there?

i've heard you remove a spacer and the suspension can drop all the way down,

is there a standard setup? any special shims or kits you can buy and try?

would it be o.k to hole a 0.005 feeler gauge or so to insert or these can come boxed from an after market company?


Its not a spacer its the shim stack in the bottom of the fork. Race Tech Gold Valve sells a valve kit thats what you need to be installed to flow more fluid. Its comes with instrutions and a decent wrench can install it. Do the same to the shock and it will transform the bike. Go online to Race Tech for more info.

did you try it?

that is exactly what i was looking for and i'm about to test it, hopefully it really would make it much better.

thanks man :thumbsup:.

Its not a spacer its the shim stack in the bottom of the fork. Race Tech Gold Valve sells a valve kit thats what you need to be installed to flow more fluid. Its comes with instrutions and a decent wrench can install it. Do the same to the shock and it will transform the bike. Go online to Race Tech for more info.

Race tech valve kit will help. When you get the kit you go on their digital valving section of the web site. Your kit will come with a pass code to enter in. You tell them some stuff about you, your bike, and your riding style, and it will spit out a print out exactly how to stack the shims. It is really straight forward. I suggest watching the whole video and spending some time on ktm talk asking a few questions. Do not loose the orientation of the stock valving just in case something goes wrong. Also racetech will provide the correct spring rate, oil, and rebound and compression settings. You should order springs at the same time from racetech. Good luck. There is nothing wrong with your suspension. Those of us who want it perfect all re spring and re valve.

thank you.


re-spring is rather more recommended,


part 1-4. Edited by mazungo

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