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DIY suspension good and bad

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Was thinking about trying to do my own suspension over the winter (budget cuts...). Anyways, I am starting to research it now and see a few have used the Smart Performance DYI kits but didn't find any threads actually talking about how the the process of rebuilding/valving their own suspension went or if they were a first timer at this task. I know how to turn a wrench and have rebuilt motors but seem to have always balked at going any farther than setting the sag and turning some clickers.

Basically I am looking for some ideas of what to really expect when I go down this road. I have never had a suspension set up for me just tuned what I got, so for the most part any change should be good, but I don't want to risk my safety to save a buck.

any advice would be appreciated.

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if you are mechanically inclined, then you should go for it. there are plenty of threads on the topics of disassembly/reassembly of the components. get a service manual for the bike, if you don't already have one. you can get an online manuals as well. you can make some of the tools, and the rest you'll have to buy. but, it's worth the investment if you will now do your own servicing of the components.

now, as far as tuning the components, i would stay with your stock stuff. if you post your shimstacks here, you'll get help from many. that way you can establish a baseline, and see if the changes you made were right for you. that showa suspension is one of the most common out there. there is much support for parts and valving schemes. i would advise against using a system supplied by another company. you'll learn more with working with the stockers. troubleshooting will be easier here as well. there is a sticky thread at the top of the crf450r section by the dogger. go there first. it's a very basic layout of suspension tuning. good luck.

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I was a first timer and I did the Smart Performance kit. The kit was very well organized with very good instructions. I also did a lot of research on TT before hand and once I dove in I had no problems doing the rebuild.

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if you are mechanically inclined, then you should go for it. there are plenty of threads on the topics of disassembly/reassembly of the components. get a service manual for the bike, if you don't already have one. you can get an online manuals as well. you can make some of the tools, and the rest you'll have to buy. but, it's worth the investment if you will now do your own servicing of the components.

now, as far as tuning the components, i would stay with your stock stuff. if you post your shimstacks here, you'll get help from many. that way you can establish a baseline, and see if the changes you made were right for you. that showa suspension is one of the most common out there. there is much support for parts and valving schemes. i would advise against using a system supplied by another company. you'll learn more with working with the stockers. troubleshooting will be easier here as well. there is a sticky thread at the top of the crf450r section by the dogger. go there first. it's a very basic layout of suspension tuning. good luck.

I read the dogger sticky thread, bought dvd how to videos for showa fork and shock, bought some shims and got advice on TT. Best money and time I have ever spent on my two bikes.

Did not save alot of money but gained valuable knowledge of suspension tuning. I now have two bikes that are safer and more fun to ride.

You wont go wrong learning how to revalve your own suspension.

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you will be amazed at how simple it really is.. a motor is far more complicated

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If you are going to DIY then do your research and find a tuner/builder with first hand experience for your specific make/model. Once you get into the forks, its pretty straight forward. Remember to take pics of each stage and you won't go wrong.

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what video dvd did you get!!

there's a bunch of vids on ebay. if you look up showa forks it'll probably come up. otherwise, there's the old racetech vid that showcases paul thede's love of the mullet! it's still a cool vid. the bench he made was cool. but, it just deals with cartridge forks. 👍

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It is a job that requires the patience to thoroughly read, understand and then follow instructions, for one thing. Get ahead of yourself and you'll be in trouble. You also need to examine and understand the assembly and how it works as you open it up and lay it out. And, it requires that you have a bit better than average manual/mechanical skills and a good amount of common sense. Be patient and let your brain run things. Being organized helps a great deal, too as does a work space that is clean and can remain undisturbed by kids and other animals for the duration of the work.

The most technically difficult part is the removal of the original peening on the ends of the valve stems. The object is to remove as little of the stem as you can while still allowing the removal of the retaining nut without twisting the stem off. Otherwise, it's just a matter of patient work with small parts and careful attention to detail.

There are lots of little pieces involved, but the job is surprisingly simple overall.

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Being organized helps a great deal, too as does a work space that is clean and can remain undisturbed by kids and other animals for the duration of the work.....

I'm not sure if you meant it like this, but sure is funny.....👍

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