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2001 250 exc suspension worries

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Hey guys I recently posted up about picking up a 2001 ktm exc for hare scrambles. Got the carb all cleaned and have a few new things coming in the mail for it...tires, chain sprockets etc.

So far I really like the bike, but I am wondering if the suspension on this bike is going to be way behind the times for racing. I will obviously have it re-valved and sprung for my weight and riding style, but I am worried that the 10 year old design and the 43mm fork tubes are never going be up to the task of rough northeast hare scrambles.

Currently I am running a 2005 rm250 completely outfitted for the woods with re-valved and re-sprung suspension for off road racing and I am very happy with the handling and suspension performance.

what do you guys think? I race the c-250 class fyi.

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I have a 01 300exc.

A basic re-valve and springs will help with the forks....but they are still going to be harsh compared to the newer stuff.(might be worth looking for,later W forks,clamps)

The shock is not very good and i would not suggest spending any money on it. The 06-07 xc/xc-w shock will bolt on and can be found fairly cheap. 08-09 are even better(has to be shortened). The late shock makes a drastic improvement.

I lived with valved/sprung fork and shock for 2 years. Then....went to adjustable clamps,twin chambers 09 shock(valving and springs) Night and day better. Unless you plan on keeping the bike for a long time (I,do) probably not worth the investment.

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I have a 01 300exc.

A basic re-valve and springs will help with the forks....but they are still going to be harsh compared to the newer stuff.(might be worth looking for,later W forks,clamps)

The shock is not very good and i would not suggest spending any money on it. The 06-07 xc/xc-w shock will bolt on and can be found fairly cheap. 08-09 are even better(has to be shortened). The late shock makes a drastic improvement.

I lived with valved/sprung fork and shock for 2 years. Then....went to adjustable clamps,twin chambers 09 shock(valving and springs) Night and day better. Unless you plan on keeping the bike for a long time (I,do) probably not worth the investment.

I do plan on keeping this bike for at least 2-3 years so I don't mind putting some money into it....especially suspension. I have a few questions for you:

1. How would you go about shortening an 08-09 shock?

2. If I find some 06+ forks, I assume I also need the matching triple clamps because they are a larger diameter?

3. Is there an aftermarket triple that would work with later model forks for my 2001?

Thanks a lot for the response...exactly what I was looking for!

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Any suspension tuner can shorten the shock,easy/cheap. The sx,xc shock is what you want (has high speed compression adjustment)

The later oem 48mm clamps will bolt right on. The cast (fixed) clamps can be found cheap. Even better is the oem billet adjustable off set (18-20) clamps.

The 48's have a larger 26 mm axle. (43's are 20mm) KTM has a axle reduction kit (25 bucks) to use the small axle. (what i did) or you can use the big axle with 04 up front wheel.

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Any suspension tuner can shorten the shock,easy/cheap. The sx,xc shock is what you want (has high speed compression adjustment)

The later oem 48mm clamps will bolt right on. The cast (fixed) clamps can be found cheap. Even better is the oem billet adjustable off set (18-20) clamps.

The 48's have a larger 26 mm axle. (43's are 20mm) KTM has a axle reduction kit (25 bucks) to use the small axle. (what i did) or you can use the big axle with 04 up front wheel.

John, thanks for the help, you have answered so many questions for me!!!:smashpc: Do you think its an issue to go with SX forks if I am going to have it re valved for off road anyway? I would only go with the SX forks if they were all I can find.

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You could also do the Showa/Honda front end swap if you are going to ditch the old style forks. You will just need some shim stock, which I have, to use at the fork clamps.

Otherwise, proper TC's will run $50-150 depending on whether you get cast or machined clamps, forks will run $200-400 depending on whether you get OC or TC forks. My OC forks worked very well in my 05, revalved by my tuner. A shock will also run a couple hun.

worthwhile improvements if you are going to run it awhile.

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why do you need to shim the honda forks? Are the fork tubes smaller diameter? I seem to be finding 06-09 KTM forks for around 400 and about the same for the shock...does that sound too expensive? Also what is TC or OC?

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John, thanks for the help, you have answered so many questions for me!!!:smashpc: Do you think its an issue to go with SX forks if I am going to have it re valved for off road anyway? I would only go with the SX forks if they were all I can find.

Happy to help out. SX forks are fine,my twin chambers are from a 08,450SX-F. I took one ride on them before getting them set up....bone jarring brutal for Jersey pines. Some shims,springs and a few other changes and they are the nicest forks i have ever used,supple planted and all most no deflection.

1-1-10136.jpg

Adjustable,oem clamps,twin chambers.

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what did you end up doing in rear? I just talked to my suspension guy and he seems to think that the 07 shock is a better choice because I guess in 08-09 they added length to the shock like you said and they re-positioned some how i guess.

do you agree that I should shoot for an 06-07 shock...or is it better to just get the 08-09 and have him shorten it?

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08 shock on my bike.

I understand why your tuner would suggest the 07 shock. The shock length,angle,spring rates and valving that works,is well established.

With the new shock on the old chassis,you are using a much heavier spring rate. That throws a monkey wrench in to the valving. It took 2 tries to get the rebound right. I think it was worth the effort.

My suspension guy tells me the innards on the 08 up shock is a big step forward from the previous generation. What the internal differences are i don't know.....my 07 xc-w,now has a 09 xc shock on it.

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what did you end up doing in rear? I just talked to my suspension guy and he seems to think that the 07 shock is a better choice because I guess in 08-09 they added length to the shock like you said and they re-positioned some how i guess.

do you agree that I should shoot for an 06-07 shock...or is it better to just get the 08-09 and have him shorten it?

all the tuner has to do is shim the shock about 5mm. It is very simple for them, or should be. Shouldn't add a lot of cost. If you aren't going to revalve immediately, the older style will be designed better for your application, in regards to valving.

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all the tuner has to do is shim the shock about 5mm. It is very simple for them, or should be. Shouldn't add a lot of cost. If you aren't going to revalve immediately, the older style will be designed better for your application, in regards to valving.

I am going to find all these parts within next week or so and then I will have it re-valved once I get everything and make sure it all fits on the bike (except the rear shock i guess).

So you guys think the 08 shock is the ticket huh?

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The general rule of thumb is the newer the better, but i will say my 05 stuff worked very well, better than my current stuff with FC susp on it.

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Ok one more question here.....will a 2009 rear shock fit the bike? I know its a few mm too large and when I have it re-valved I will have it shortened, but can I install it on the bike and ride if for a few weeks with a 2009 shock?

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John, I ended up getting the same front set up you have.....2008 twin chambers from a 450xcf though...so they should be valved a little different from the factory. I also got the adjustable triple from a 2008 450sxf.

SOOO pumped about this front end! I will pick up the axle reducers from KTM this week. And now I need to decide if I want to do 07 rear shock or 08-09 shock...not sure.

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