TTR 125 LE suspension too stiff

For some reason there are a couple more responses in my email that are showing on this board.

Anyway, I picked up my bike from the shop yesterday. They have the forks as soft as they will go, and every adjustment possible, inc. preload, and two other things on the rear as soft as it will go. Took it for a ride and it beat me up and handled poorly. I've decided that even though the LE is more my size, I'd be better off to get another E, with the much softer suspension. My son's bike is MUCH softer ride, and I took a look and noticed his is adjusted midway. It could actually get softer.

Thanks for all your help.

Have you adjusted the sag for your weight? That can make a huge difference. Also, I don't know what that shop was thinking to adjust the forks as soft as they will go... the bikes suspension should be the same on the front and the back or it WILL seem WAY more bumpy than normal and will handle terrible. Lastly, we are the exact same size (I'm a lady as well)... though I may be ever so slightly shorter. I have ridden a few TTR125's and have found the suspension to be extremely soft... after all, it is made for smaller riders and for trail riding. The fact that you have more leg room on the larger bike and have more clearance could honestly make it feel that much softer. That, or the suspension on the TTR you bought wasn't actually too stiff, it was just shot from having previous riders that were too heavy. The fact that you stress the bad handling makes me think it's actually too soft. If it were too firm it would still handle well... it would just be quite bumpy.

The bikes are the same exact year, so unless aftermarket suspension was put on your sons, there should be absolutely no difference in the actual suspension bike to bike...

Have you adjusted the sag for your weight? That can make a huge difference. Also, I don't know what that shop was thinking to adjust the forks as soft as they will go... the bikes suspension should be the same on the front and the back or it WILL seem WAY more bumpy than normal and will handle terrible. This could explain why my last ride, after I got it back from the shop was the WORST! Made me not want to ride in again. Lastly, we are the exact same size (I'm a lady as well)... though I may be ever so slightly shorter. I have ridden a few TTR125's and have found the suspension to be extremely soft... after all, it is made for smaller riders and for trail riding. The fact that you have more leg room on the larger bike and have more clearance could honestly make it feel that much softer. That, or the suspension on the TTR you bought wasn't actually too stiff, it was just shot from having previous riders that were too heavy. The fact that you stress the bad handling makes me think it's actually too soft. If it were too firm it would still handle well... it would just be quite bumpy.

The bikes are the same exact year, so unless aftermarket suspension was put on your sons, there should be absolutely no difference in the actual suspension bike to bike...

I really appreciate all the help everyone is trying to give me. The specs for the 125 E vs. the 125 LE say that the LE has a stiffer suspension, it's not the same. Shocks are very different. Forks on E have zero adjustability, and on the LE are adjustable and bigger. I am going to put the forks back to where it was when I bought it, which was a bit stiffer, rather than all the say soft. I have considered the possibility that there is just something wrong with the shock on the LE. I think I may take a trip to Motor world, where they were trying to fix this for me, and just bounce around on some of the other bikes. I know they had a used LE sitting there for sale, and I don't know why it didn't cross my mind to compare it while I was there. I went out to my garage and bounced again on both the E and the LE. The E is like a sponge. The LE is not. When you guys ask about adjusting the 'sag', what exactly is that?

On the shock there is what looks like a huge nut and you can see the threads, and it's adjusted so the spring is as uncompressed as possible. On the bottom of the shock is some other thing that can be turned, the shop said it's as soft as possible. I know they mentioned the preload was as backed off as possible. The LE shock also has a canister off of it, I really don't know what that is, but the E doesn't have that. The E doesn't have the adjustment and the bottom of the shock either. If the shock was well used, wouldn't that tend to make it be mushy? The bike does not show that kind of wear, and the man said it had been his sons, who outgrew it and it was sitting in his garage a while. The registration sticker he had last put on it was 2008, though it was actually current. The bike is an'05. Would seem they had not taken it anywhere for at least a couple of years.

I'm curious, how big are most of you who ride this bike? The shop said these were made for the 'average' size ride, of about 160-200#. I think the bike is rather small for someone that size. However, I know the manager of the shop, he used to work at a KTM/Polaris in my town, and he's been doing this 30 years, so I don't have a reason to doubt what he' telling me.

I really appreciate all the help everyone is trying to give me. The specs for the 125 E vs. the 125 LE say that the LE has a stiffer suspension, it's not the same. Shocks are very different. Forks on E have zero adjustability, and on the LE are adjustable and bigger. I am going to put the forks back to where it was when I bought it, which was a bit stiffer, rather than all the say soft. I have considered the possibility that there is just something wrong with the shock on the LE. I think I may take a trip to Motor world, where they were trying to fix this for me, and just bounce around on some of the other bikes. I know they had a used LE sitting there for sale, and I don't know why it didn't cross my mind to compare it while I was there. I went out to my garage and bounced again on both the E and the LE. The E is like a sponge. The LE is not. When you guys ask about adjusting the 'sag', what exactly is that?

On the shock there is what looks like a huge nut and you can see the threads, and it's adjusted so the spring is as uncompressed as possible. On the bottom of the shock is some other thing that can be turned, the shop said it's as soft as possible. I know they mentioned the preload was as backed off as possible. The LE shock also has a canister off of it, I really don't know what that is, but the E doesn't have that. The E doesn't have the adjustment and the bottom of the shock either. If the shock was well used, wouldn't that tend to make it be mushy? The bike does not show that kind of wear, and the man said it had been his sons, who outgrew it and it was sitting in his garage a while. The registration sticker he had last put on it was 2008, though it was actually current. The bike is an'05. Would seem they had not taken it anywhere for at least a couple of years.

I'm curious, how big are most of you who ride this bike? The shop said these were made for the 'average' size ride, of about 160-200#. I think the bike is rather small for someone that size. However, I know the manager of the shop, he used to work at a KTM/Polaris in my town, and he's been doing this 30 years, so I don't have a reason to doubt what he' telling me.

If you go to Transworld Motocross website and "how to" they have some great videos on setting sag... basically it's setting the rear suspension for your weight, although it seems like your problems are past that helping much. The TTR (in my opinion) is a bike for small riders. Thinking of that engine hauling someone of 160-200lbs is laughable.

This picture says it all:

muskie-ttr125-020.jpg

From what you've said about the shop, no offense, but they sound extremely ignorant. Do you have a different shop in your area? It's very rare when there's "nothing" a shop can do about a small problem like this. It's not like you're asking them to lower a YZ125 to a 32" seat height... you're just asking for softer suspension. It's a bummer such a small issue has turned into a pain in the :smirk:.

I think going to the dealer and test bounce the same bike is a great idea. It is possible your shock is bent or damaged. However, as you stated you do not have the same bike as your son. If I understand you correctly, you have the larger 125. It should also have a larger front and rear tire. 19 and 16 inch as opposed to 17 and 14 inch. The larger of the two bike was designed for the more aggressive or larger rider. It does have stiffer springs. I would measure the shocks on both bikes at their mounting points(eye to eye). They should be the same so you can get a used shock from Ebay or somewhere ($40.00) and swap springs or shocks, whichever costs you less.

You mentioned you could see the threads by the large adjusting nuts on the shock. If it is unloaded(soft) you should see very few or none above the nuts.

I have the same bike which I bought used, and it was set unloaded. I could give a good push with one hand and push it down 6-7 inches. It is hard to believe your total weight only sags it two inches if it is working and set correctly.

We are all determined to help you with your problem. I wish I lived nearby.

I forgot to mention my weight--210#s.. Yes I need stiffer springs and these are great bike to slide around on.

Edited by dansvs
If you go to Transworld Motocross website and "how to" they have some great videos on setting sag... basically it's setting the rear suspension for your weight, although it seems like your problems are past that helping much. The TTR (in my opinion) is a bike for small riders. Thinking of that engine hauling someone of 160-200lbs is laughable.

Thanks, I will check out that website. My husband is 5'10 and about 185#. He can ride the TTR 125 LE and it takes him around our trials with no problem, but that is basically flat hard ground. I can readily see it woudl dog out if he were to try any hill climb. And he looks too big for it.

This picture says it all:

muskie-ttr125-020.jpg

From what you've said about the shop, no offense, but they sound extremely ignorant. Do you have a different shop in your area? It's very rare when there's "nothing" a shop can do about a small problem like this. It's not like you're asking them to lower a YZ125 to a 32" seat height... you're just asking for softer suspension. It's a bummer such a small issue has turned into a pain in the :prof:.

Well, they didn't say there was nothing they could do. They said the only solution was to change the shock. They tried to find a new spring for it, but were unsuccessful. The question would be should it be a new stock shock, or, their suggestion was a different shock that was highly adjustable.

I think going to the dealer and test bounce the same bike is a great idea. It is possible your shock is bent or damaged. WOW! You just made me think of something. When I bought the bike, I asked the seller if there was anything I should know. He showed me on the rim of the back tire a spot where it had been cracked and welded. He said a buggy ran into the back of it and hit hard enough to crack the rim. Though it was a small crack, I still think it would have had to hit fairly hard. I could see no other damage to the bike anywhere. Not even scratched. But, if it got hit hard directly from behind, I'll bet it could have damaged the shock. What do you think? OMG! Maybe this is the reason! However, as you stated you do not have the same bike as your son. If I understand you correctly, you have the larger 125. Yes It should also have a larger front and rear tire. 19 and 16 inch as opposed to 17 and 14 inch. Yes The larger of the two bike was designed for the more aggressive or larger rider. It does have stiffer springs. I would measure the shocks on both bikes at their mounting points(eye to eye). They are not the same. They are off by about .5". Just enough to make them not interchangeable. That was my first idea. They should be the same so you can get a used shock from Ebay or somewhere ($40.00) and swap springs or shocks, whichever costs you less.

You mentioned you could see the threads by the large adjusting nuts on the shock. If it is unloaded(soft) you should see very few or none above the nuts. Correct

I have the same bike which I bought used, and it was set unloaded. I could give a good push with one hand and push it down 6-7 inches. Not even close. I weigh 130# and when I sit on it it goes down 1-2"It is hard to believe your total weight only sags it two inches if it is working and set correctly. Something must be wrong. I admit, I like the 'sponge' ride, but after everything others have said, something must be wrong. I think I will make a point to go to a Yamaha dealer and bounce on some bikes!! And I think I will call the guy that has been working on mine and tell him about the buggy crashing into it and see what he thinks, and I'll bet he concurs. :smirk:

We are all determined to help you with your problem. I wish I lived nearby. I wish you did too! :smirk:

I forgot to mention mt weight--210#s.. Yes I need stiffer springs and these are great bike to slide around on.

I have a stiff spring you can have! LOL

When you measured the shocks for length, did you pull up on the rear of both bikes to make sure the shocks were fully extended. A correctly set shock should have about a half inch of static sag.

You mentioned a 185 pound husband in your last post. How much does the bike sag when he sits on it?

When you measured the shocks for length, did you pull up on the rear of both bikes to make sure the shocks were fully extended. A correctly set shock should have about a half inch of static sag.

You mentioned a 185 pound husband in your last post. How much does the bike sag when he sits on it?

I actually didn't measure them. According to Yamaha's specs, the E has 6.3" travel, and the LE has 6.6" travel. The shop said they are not interchangable.

Do you think otherwise?

I just watched a video on how to set sag. Someone that responded to this thread said when I sit on it it should sink down 4-5". If I understand correctly, you are saying it should sink down 1/2". I sat on both bikes last night with a yard stick, and both sank down around 1". When I bounce on the seat, the E is really spongy and goes down farther and comes back up slower. The LE snaps back rather quickly by comparison.

I haven't checked to see how far either goes down when my husband sits on them, but I will when he gets home from work.

If shock rebounds to quickly then perhaps either the shock is worn out or there might be a rebound adjuster that is set to loose I would bet its worn out though .

I actually didn't measure them. According to Yamaha's specs, the E has 6.3" travel, and the LE has 6.6" travel. The shop said they are not interchangable.

Do you think otherwise?

I just watched a video on how to set sag. Someone that responded to this thread said when I sit on it it should sink down 4-5". If I understand correctly, you are saying it should sink down 1/2". I sat on both bikes last night with a yard stick, and both sank down around 1". When I bounce on the seat, the E is really spongy and goes down farther and comes back up slower. The LE snaps back rather quickly by comparison.

I haven't checked to see how far either goes down when my husband sits on them, but I will when he gets home from work.

If you pull up on the rear of the bike it should settle only one half inch with no one on it. 4-5 inches with you on it. The screw on the shock remote reservior adjusts how fast the shock compresses and the knob on the bottom of the shock adjusts how fast it comes back up.

More tips below.

http://www.dirt-bike-tips-and-pics.com/sag-and-spring.html

If you pull up on the rear of the bike it should settle only one half inch with no one on it. 4-5 inches with you on it. The screw on the shock remote reservior adjusts how fast the shock compresses and the knob on the bottom of the shock adjusts how fast it comes back up.

More tips below.

http://www.dirt-bike-tips-and-pics.com/sag-and-spring.html

If shock rebounds to quickly then perhaps either the shock is worn out or there might be a rebound adjuster that is set to loose I would bet its worn out though .

Sure wish I had you guys around here! It's a lot to take in, but I'm getting the idea about shocks, I think. Neither bike, E or LE goes down anywhere near 4-5" when I sit on it. I'm going to get out the yard stick and have someone measure this for me to be sure. On the video I watched on adjusting sag, http://motocross.transworld.net/1000100119/features/how-to-presented-by-bikebanditcom-setting-sag/

the bike went down less than an inch when the rider sat on it, and this is what they said is correct. Maybe that is for an aggressive rider?

So if I want a soft spongy ride, should the shock be set to compress slowly and come back up slowly?

I'm in a quandary about what to do. I paid $1000 for the bike. I could just sell it again and get a different one. I'm just concerned something else might be tweaked I'm not aware of. The handlebars are just slightly off. The mechanic said he thought it as just the handlebars, and not anything else wrong. But I do know the bike was hit from behind with a buggy hard enough to crack the rim a little, which was welded. Someone mentioned that the shock might be damaged, but if it was hit hard enough to damaged a shock, something else might be out of whack too. What do you guys think?

I was riding my son's E all over the place, and really expected the LE to be very much the same, but it's just not. Does not handle the same. I realized it's slightly taller due to larger tires, about an inch longer, different forks/shocks, and now I'm not sure if it's that stuff that's making such a difference to me or if it's more than that.

I'm very in tune with 'stuff', and pick up little things that most people would not even notice, even if mechanically I don't know what it is, I can tell something isn't right.

i would worry if it was hit hard enough to crack the rim, as others have said the bike should compress 1/3 of the total travel for the sag, on that bike i would guess it would have 10inches of travel so should compress 3 inches with you on it, they are designed for smaller riders and for a soft ride, so if it wont compress its either the spring is way too stiff(possible as you say it springs back up very fast, this would happen with a very stiff spring) or the swingarm and linkage bearings are siezed, thats also common but then it would not be springy.It would be very dead and slow feeling, so it looks to me like someone has fitted a very stiff spring so they could jump it and not bottom out so much.

I measured how much it sagged with me, 130# and my son, 100#, and both of us made both bikes sag about 2". This was measured at the rear wheel nut. The spring and the thing on the bottom of my LE shock are adjusted out as far as they will go. the reservoir thing was right in the middle. I'm about to go try it with a screwdriver in tow so I can adjust it and see if it makes any difference. I talked to the manager of the shop today, and thold him about the bike having been hit hard enough to crack the rim. He did not know this before, and said yes, the shaft in the shock could be bent. On a visual, you can't see any sign of any sort of damange/bend anywhere to the bike. My husband got home late last night so I didn't get a chance to check sag with him on it.

Okay, so I took both bikes for a comparison ride. The LE I tried adjusting that clicker on the reservoir each direction, and found no difference detectable.

I'm curious about something; everyone says the TTR 125 as very soft suspension, and I don't doubt that. My question is, what would you say the smoothest riding trail bike is?

a kx 500 or an old yz 490 just kidding . seriously that should be a good bike that you have just have someone competent look at the shock take it to a suspension specialist in your area and if the shock is bad search Ebay .

If both bikes sag 2" then I would say you have the same spring setting so your problem must be in the stroke of the shock , not the spring. Get a larger person to bounce on your bike, If it moves very little, your shock is damaged or clogged, worn out, etc. Lots of them on Ebay.

Did you ever go to the dealer and test bounce?

If both bikes sag 2" then I would say you have the same spring setting so your problem must be in the stroke of the shock , not the spring. Get a larger person to bounce on your bike, If it moves very little, your shock is damaged or clogged, worn out, etc. Lots of them on Ebay.

Did you ever go to the dealer and test bounce?

Yes, I did go to the dealer to test bounce, and if you can believe this, the used LE that was on the floor they had put on on a trailer in a display between two other bikes and I had no access to it.

I did test a new LE, I dunno, seemed similar, but the shock on it was set in the middle, not all the way out, and with that, seemed similar. I had my 180# husband sit on mine yesterday, and it sagged an easy 4", and if he bounced at all, it bottomed out. He even remarked that the way I had it set now he could not ride it because it was bottoming out.

So I took the LE and my son's E for a comparison ride, aiming for all the washboards and bumps I could find, and I actually was thinking that my son's bike was not as smooth a ride as I remembered before getting mine. I think part of this could be that I'm riding faster than I was previously. I used to ride motorcycles in my teens, and have not been on one in many years. My bike was a Suzuki 185, and I am certain the suspension on it was nothing like today's bikes, and it was a nice riding bike.

So I talked to a rep and the shop yesterday, and he said he felt that the Honda CRFs had much better suspension than the Yamaha. I bounced on three of them. 1st was the 150R. That felt really nice. Then the 150RB, that was stiffer, then the 150F, and that one felt really stiff, and a lot like the TTR. He said that the F was VERY similar to the TTR. The problem with the 150R was that they said it had a full out race motor that would not do well as a trail bike, even though the suspension felt great.

Quite honestly, I'm weary with all this. It's like the bikes today are built for an aggressive and/or bigger rider. Most of them I can't even reach the ground. I'm wondering if I should look at a different class of bike, like maybe a dual purpose, which my Suzuki was.

Just wanted to say thank for all your help.

You know that knob at the bottom of the shock? Is that supposed to be turnable by hand? I messed with that, and seems to me all that is is a sort of bumper, that you set for how far down the shock will go. Is that correct? My husband at 185# bottoms out on it now when he rides it. I think the shock is probably working okay, I think it's just me.

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