2006 YZ450F soft forks

I am just curious. Do the front forks on the 06 YZ450F's have a reputation for being soft? I just got this bike so I am still trying to get used to it and get the suspension where I want it, but I am having a hard time getting the forks dialed in like I want them to be. They seem to bottom very easily. It's not a harsh bottoming but it's seems like they bottom more than they should. I have checked my spring rates and according to race tech I am where I should be at 175 lbs. but could almost stand to go up one spring size. I have the comp at 9 clicks and the rebound at 7. I started with the factory settings which were 11 comp and 7 rebound, which seem a bit weird but whatever. Rebound seems good but compression sucks. If I can't get this sorted I'm going to change my fork oil and see if that helps.

I am by no means a pro rider, so I tend to make some mistakes from time to time. I guess the biggest place where the bottoming irritates me is if I land a jump with the nose tilted down just a bit too much it will bottom. I'm not talking about panic grab nose down, I'm just talking about landing with the front wheel first.

The '06 fork is not known for being particularly soft, but a couple of things can make them bottom more than they should. Just to start with, you should understand that if the fork or shock NEVER bottoms, you aren't getting the full benefit of the travel available in them.

That said, the first thing you can try is the oil level in the outer chamber of the fork. Start with an oil change, then set the outer chamber oil level at 350cc per side. If it seems too soft or bottoms too easily, add oil, but no more than 10cc per side at a time. If it seems too harsh all of a sudden, reduce the oil level by 10 per side.

If it gets to a point where you've added oil until it feels harsh, and it still bottoms excessively, you can try using a heavier oil in the outer chamber. Use a 7-10wt in place of the 2.5-5wt normally called for. This will not effect any element of the fork damping rates, but it will make the oil locks (hydraulic "brakes" built into the outer chamber to slow the fork in the last inch or so of travel) more effective, and will allow you to run lower oil levels for an overall softer feel without bottoming hard.

When you want to really do something with the fork, contact SMART Performance about their "Dell Taco" upgrade.

Thanks for the advice. Once my parts get here I'll give your recommendations a shot.

So I changed everything out in the forks and that seems to have made a world of difference. The forks feel very nice now. They were very easy to dial in and the excessive bottoming is gone.

Good to hear. I had a problem with my 07 when the seal started leaking, they got extremely stiff. But that's all fixed now.

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