Suspension Help

Swapping out the stock springs on my '07 WR450 for new Race Tech units.

I'm sure if I looked harder I could find a nice step by step guide with pictures to show me how to do it, but I have had no luck so far.

I'm sure it's not that hard (swapped the rear on a KLX400sr). I'm someone who works best with pictures. Not a complete idiot, only half.

If anyone knows of a Thread that would help, I would appreciate it.


In general, nothing is that hard. As far as the shock goes, it might just be easiest to take the shock to your local shop and have them do the spring swap. Mostly because if the preload on the old spring is high enough you might damage the threads on the shock body trying to loosen the nuts. If they have the right tool, all they do is press in the spring cap until they can pull out the keeper around the shock. Think of it sort of like valve retainers on your engine, like a tapered, cylindrical wedge.

For the fork, look at the manual. If you don't have one, go to your dealer and buy one. All of the instructions for servicing the fork are in there and they are not too bad to follow. You don't necessarily need any special tools to change the springs, common open-end/comination wrenches work well for most everything.

You will probably want to change the oil when you're in there too. I go by oil level not volume but either way works as long as you can measure fairly accurately.

I'd say the biggest piece of advice for working on the forks though, is when you are ready to remove the fork legs from the triple clamps, loosen the upper tripple clamp bolts first and get a fairly thin wrench to loosen the top caps. They can be a b@! to get off on the bench unless you have a clamp block for your vise. If you can't get your wrench on the top cap, lower the forks a little in the TC's and reclamp in the bottom one again. I know the handlebars can be pretty close to the top cap on the forks.

Basically, once the top caps are loose from the fork, you need to separate the cap from the valve rod. It takes a little Jimmy-rigging but it isn't that hard. The springs come off next.

Last piece of advice is to ensure your bench is clean (CLEAN!) before you start taking your forks apart. Have a roll of paper towels available and lay a few out on the bench that are long enough to set the fork legs on. You might also want to get a box of nitrile gloves. Act like a surgeon when your servicing your forks. We're not on the trail here, so dirt is avoidable, and you don't want any inside your forks.

Use the recommended Yamaha suspension fluid for your forks unless you have also changed the valving to Race Tech or someone else. It makes a difference.


Edited by trailhead2004

Nice. Thanks for that.

I "Cowboyed" up in the end and just finished my rear spring.

No where near as difficult as I had imagined.

Do I need to take the forks out of the triple.

I have heard of guys swapping springs with the forks still in place.

Little more research before I start them.

I guess you could theoretically do with the forks in the triples but it sounds like it could be more trouble than it's worth. To do it, you would need to separate the handlebars from the upper TC. I guess you could just unclamp the bars and throw them over the front. When doing this you would need to support the front of the bike before you remove the top caps. Then after the top caps are unthreaded all the way, you would lower the bike down a little to get the caps and springs to pop out of the top of the upper tube.

From there you would just follow the manual as far as removing the top cap from the internals.

Never tried it that so let me know how it goes.


It's easier just to slide each fork leg out of the triples. Setting oil levels and re-doing the rods are very fiddly otherwise.

I ended up pulling the fork legs out.

I did manage to forget to loosen the cap and lose the dampener rod on the first fork so I ended up dumping the oil out. Followed the manual from there and it all worked out really well.

Thanks for your help.

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