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In need of detailed info on stacks - 02 CRF450R

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I have another topic going here , but i am not seeming to get any answers lately , so i figured i would try a new topic , to hopefully get some answers i need , as i am still not happy with my forks , and need to correct the issue

Here is the issue , i am very new to valving , and dont really know what i am looking at when i do what people here have suggested i try , to help me with my harshness issues by removing or adding shims , so here is what i need to know and here is what i am specifically looking for my suspension to feel like , but i need to know what does what and how to make it do something i want it to when i want it to do it *if that makes any sense*

I tried a suggested stack , and i changed springs , neither gave me the results i desired , but it was better , but by no means a solution to my issues

What i want to know ( i will give 2 stack examples , 1 that i currently am using , and one in my Race Tech Instructions , what i want/need to know is if i remove or add a shim in the larger numbers , what does it do as far as what the forks do when you are riding (taking sharp edged hits for example since that is my main issue) , and the same goes for the smaller shims , like a 10x19 or 10x17 , versus a 10x13 or 10x10

In my stack i was told to remove the 10x10 and 10x13 , as well as remove 3*leaving 2* 15x20 , and replacing a 15x20 with a 10x20 , now this is all fine and good if i know exactly what those changes did like affecting the sharp edged hits , or to make the entire stroke feel softer , or only make it soft in the first 1/2 of travel , or whatever , that is where i am at a loss and obviously am not resolving my issue

So below are my 2 stacks (the first one is what i currently have , and the second is just one that claims to be softer *next in the list towards the softer side* , than the original stack that was in it , done by the Race Tech installer, that i felt was way too stiff , so this is where i came here and am trying to do this myself, with help from these forums) , but i dont know where it is softer , like overall softer , or only softer at the initial movement or really soft to where jumping on MX track would be bad , this is where i need a detailed explanation of what the stack is changing in what part of the travel , and to get it altered to achieve what i want , and what actually would give me what i am looking for , now when i say plush i dont mean i want it so soft it bottoms out , i want it so you dont feel anything *the breaking bumps and sharp edge stuff that is on every track that beats the crap out of you, so it floats over the rough stuff , going slow and at speed , but will still allow me to jump easily without having to preload or force the bike in the air* , this is my goal and this is where i need guidance and info so i can get what i want without going to the track and finding it was little if any change and still not what i was looking for , if i keep going at this rate , my bike will be wore out by the time i get it right

Stack #1: (currently in my bike , and i am still getting beat by the sharp edge stuff)

Low Speed:

(2) 15x20

10x12

Hi Speed:

10x20

10x19

10x17

10x14

10x13

10x11

10x9

Below is the stack in my instructions that is supposed to be softer than what i started with which was a variation on the stack above (removing the 3 15x20"s etc , that i mentioned earlier)

Stack # 2:

Low Speed: (same as above)

Hi Speed:

10x20

10x17

10x14

10x12

10x11

10x10

10x9

Where is this second stack softer ?? everywhere ?? only in the beginning of travel ??? this is what i need to know so i can get what i am looking for , in other words , without another long winded paragraph , if i remove smaller shims(10x13-10x10) what does that do to the forks when they hit obstacles like holes , breaking bumps , sharp edged holes (what is really beating me) , and if i remove a 10x19 or change a 15x20 to a 10x20 what does that do in reference to how the fork reacts to breaking bumps ??, to overall stiffness ?/, and to how it jumps ?? , or am i backwards and the smaller shims control jumping and the larger shims control breaking bumps and sharp edged hits , or both large and small control it And how much the taper from large to small is what effects the overall stiffness of the forks ?? , i have no clue , this is what i am trying to learn and what i need to know to try to get my bike where i want it ,as this is holding me back in my confidence and speed

or what other stack do i need to change to to achieve what i need kept and removed , i need to jump without the bike bottoming , i need to jump without the bars getting ripped out of my hands when i land , if i short jump something small and it beats me to almost ripping my hands off the bars i need the bike to float over it and absorb the impact instead of me absorbing it all , but i need it to absorb all the little hits that jar my teeth out and hurt my wrists (it slams that hard sometimes) like breaking bumps and sharp edged holes

and what would changing the low speed to something like(1) 15x20

10x12 do ?? or (1) 10x20 and (1) 10x10 do ?? , does this effect the low speed hits ?? the low speed initial travel , the low speed no matter how far the forks move ?? , this is the stuff i have no clue on !!

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This looks like a race tech set up ????

Looks fairly light .

Is the mid valve in the bike stock or has it been converted to a check plate ???

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Mid-Valve converted , and yes it is a Race Tech Gold Valve kit

I originally had a Tech do it , but the bike just beat me to death to where i could hardly ride it , it was so harsh (i have a lot of injuries that make most everything hurt so i need the bike to be plush , if soft and plush have to go together , then that is what i need , but as it is , its not plush enough , its soft enough , almost too soft , but its still harsh on the sharp edged stuff and slamming anything , it just makes me want to pull off the track as it takes everything out of me when i hit that stuff , otherwise i could ride till i ran out of gas) , it wasnt much different than the stack listed above (it was cL11 and cH5 on the Gold Valve instruction sheet) , but the tech is in New York and i am in Washington state so shipping it back and forth was not worth it , so it was easier to try to adjust it myself , but i am a complete noob to valving (this adventure has been my first attempt , but i am slowly learning)

I am happy with the shock , but the forks have been a nightmare for me

I had another topic on this going (What is better or worse in valving ?) but it was getting hard to get replies lately , i think because there were too many posts to sort thru to follow what was going on

and yes it is light as i wanted a plush ride , but its better , but not like my friends KTM after his was re-valved , but i dont have $2500 to dish out for a re-valve like he does , so getting what he has is out , unless i can figure out how to get it close by myself

as it was , my friend paid for mine to be done (plus the guy doing it was his close friend so it was basically parts and shipping , he did the labor for free)

I know my way around a bike , just never attempted valving until now , so i dont know all the terms and i dont know what i am looking at when i am looking at it !

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I don't like the idea of a check plate mid on a big heavy bike , I would remove one of tge 20.15 and test , I'd that's no good I would refit the mid and start over

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I don't like the idea of a check plate mid on a big heavy bike , I would remove one of tge 20.15 and test , I'd that's no good I would refit the mid and start over

OK , but that still didn't answer any of my questions and actually gave me more , since i dont know what doing as you suggest will actually do , and your suggestion did not give any indication as to what it will do to the actual "feeling" of the bike , i dont really want to , "try this try that" , i want to know what the shims do , and what shims do what , when and how , basically , so i can actually make a change that is close to ( i dont expect perfection) what i am trying to achieve without expensive testing , as it costs $25 to practice from 10am to 4pm , and yesterday it was only till 3pm because they were having a race today and had to close early to prep the track for the race , so i couldn't go today either and lost a hour of time yesterday so about 30 minutes of actual riding on the track) , AND in that time frame you only get 15 - 20 minutes on the track in sessions , so when its your turn you better be ready or you just missed the chance to ride because it averages 2 times in 1 hour to ride IF there are not a lot of people , if there are they break the groups up more and you only get 15 minutes on the track per hour , its not practical for me to "test" this way , i need to get it right or as close as possible the first time

and what do you mean Start Over , you mean go back to stock ?? i could hardly ride the bike stock it was so stiff , then after the Pro Re-Valve , it was even stiffer , i specifically asked for plush , so this is why i am doing it myself , with no knowledge of what i am actually doing or why , this is where this forum comes in , i need answers to my questions , not try this , i have already "Tried This and That" , and it so far is not what i am looking for , its better , but its not right , and re-doing and re-doing is just not the answer i need , i am tired of guessing , i need to get it right and move on to my other issues , this is seriously holding me back in my riding progression and has for several months now , i need to get it right

My forks are apart and on the bench as i type , i need to know what shim sizes do what, where , and when , so i know which ones to change or add (suggestions welcome but i need info on what the suggestions will actually accomplish) or what in the stacks i listed here are going to , or not do, in what i am looking for as far as PLUSH so i dont feel the hard/sharp hits , as far as the rest of riding goes , i can ride the bike , just not comfortably to allow me to ride to my potential , the forks are holding me back , as i can get on my friends bike , and ride it faster and with more comfort than my own bike and he weighs 260 and i only weigh 204 , and his bike is like a Cadillac compared to mine

to make it simple i NEED my bike to float over everything so i can just ride with confidence and comfort , i know its completely feasible , i am just not achieving it with what i have done so far

Edited by 450XJimDirt

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to make it simple i NEED my bike to float over everything so i can just ride with confidence and comfort

Isn't that what everyone wants?

If you plan on doing this yourself you may want to prepare yourself for a decent amount of time to get it right. If you don't want to spend the money to send it out, it's going to take time to get it right. It could take you multiple revalves. No one is going to have a magic answer for you as everyone has different likes and dislikes. The only thing they have IS suggestions to try this or try that.

as i can get on my friends bike , and ride it faster and with more comfort than my own bike and he weighs 260 and i only weigh 204 , and his bike is like a Cadillac compared to mine

Well, if he rides a 4t showa fork then buy a used set of his gen off ebay and copy his valving.

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Isn't that what everyone wants?

If you plan on doing this yourself you may want to prepare yourself for a decent amount of time to get it right. If you don't want to spend the money to send it out, it's going to take time to get it right. It could take you multiple revalves. No one is going to have a magic answer for you as everyone has different likes and dislikes. The only thing they have IS suggestions to try this or try that.

The issue is , what i have been told to try is not doing what i am asking help with , it made the bike softer , but not necessarily plusher (which is completely different from soft) , though i did want it softer , i also really needed the plushness more , i dont think that is asking too much !

Well, if he rides a 4t showa fork then buy a used set of his gen off ebay and copy his valving.

No , he rides a 2011 KTM 450SXF that has about $2500 in suspension mods and 1 off parts in it (NOST Suspension did his) http://www.nostsuspension.com/ , i simply can not afford anything close to what he had done , but i know i have ridden bikes that are plush *Honda's* so i know its doable , i just dont know what does what , that is why i asked these questions , all i want is the answers to my questions so i know what part of the stack to change and why , and what with(shim size wise) , if someone has suggestions as to a the shims needed , thats fine as long as they tell me what those shims will do to the bike as far as jumping , hard hits and plushness

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OK -- Lets start with the basics. What is your weight , skill level and the type of terrain you are going to be rding it on (MX, Woods , desert etc)

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OK -- Lets start with the basics. What is your weight , skill level and the type of terrain you are going to be rding it on (MX, Woods , desert etc)

Weight:204 *approx*

Skill: If i can ride to my potential on my bike = Bottom B/Intermediate level (i can ride other people's bikes faster than my own , it sucks)

Terrain: MX , some woods/offroad , but my only issues pertain to the track , i had no issues with the bike off-road with the stock suspension , on the track the stock suspension was too harsh , with the re-valve (i will list below the exact stack used) that was too harsh for me as well , with the stack i listed above as current , it was decent , but the hard/sharp edge hits , hurt , and that is what i need to "float" over , i want the initial hits to go away , and if i slam , i want the hit to be softer (the bike has not bottomed out as far as i know , and when my friend watches me he says the bike is up in the stroke and looks good everywhere on the track its just that i feel it to the point where i have to pull of it hurts my wrists from the impacts ,even the braking bumps)

Fork springs currently are 0.49 , but i liked the 0.47's better , it was not as harsh with the lighter springs in , the only springs i have are 0.47's and 0.49's , the rear suspension i am happy with and will not be altering it , rear spring is a 5.4

I have had several severe injuries to my spine and neck , i have plates and pins and 3 vertebra fused in my neck , my back has been broken 3 times , i have permanent nerve damage , , arthritis , bursitis , and i feel everything , i cant even jump off a pickup tailgate as it feels like i jumped off a roof top , so this is why the need for plushness , if i am to continue riding i need my bike to not beat me to death , and i am not 20 any more

The Race Tech setup that was originally valved was:

FORKS:

low-speed compression valving

*cL 11*

(5) 15x20

10x12

High Speed Compression

*cH 5*

15x20

10x19

10x17

10x14

10x13

10x12

10x11

10x10

10x9

This is a Gold Valve kit (shock and forks) , i was happy with the shock from the first day it was valved

FORKS as they are now , as also listed a few posts up:

low-speed compression valving

(2) 15x20

10x12

High Speed Compression

10x20

10x19

10x17

10x14

10x13

10x11

10x9

Edited by 450XJimDirt

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smaller hs shims will give less hs but you also loose low speed damping which isn't desirable ,I can't say it this will work as you can't easy establish if this is a problem of too much hs without you testing , however the lack of mid valve is putting your fork back to 1994 and there is a good reason every bike uses one , what you need is a proven woods stack for a showa but few people on here have that much knowledge of the early showa fork with the small base valve , and it's very vey hard to get a fork to work well in woods and mx

we need your front and rear sag readings and clicker settings as well and when you make it stiffer on the clickers does it get worse or better ?

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I would put the .49 back in . The springs set the ride height and if too soft of a spring is used your valving is stressed ore and put into a higher deflection area and you get a spike when all the forces start to compound in the forks

(springs, air spring and damping forces from the valving)

I will dig up the spec I run in my 01 cr 250. Same fork.

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smaller hs shims will give less hs but you also loose low speed damping which isn't desirable ,I can't say it this will work as you can't easy establish if this is a problem of too much hs without you testing , however the lack of mid valve is putting your fork back to 1994 and there is a good reason every bike uses one , what you need is a proven woods stack for a showa but few people on here have that much knowledge of the early showa fork with the small base valve , and it's very vey hard to get a fork to work well in woods and mx

we need your front and rear sag readings and clicker settings as well and when you make it stiffer on the clickers does it get worse or better ?

Rear Sag is 100mm , 20 static (have not checked the forks)

Fork:

Comp-9 (from full in)

Reb-12

Oil-350cc-5wt

Shock:

Hi Speed-1 3/4 (from full in)

Lo Speed-12

Reb-10

As far as setting for woods or track , i could ride the bike stock in the woods so track is what my main concern is , i can adapt in the woods with clicker settings

When i go softer on comp it feels like its hitting harder/harsher(stiffer towards the bottom of stroke , but does not seem to be bottoming) , everyone watching me says its staying up in the stroke and almost looks like its hardly moving even when jumping , they say it looks very stable and not wollowy at all , of course i cant see this while i am riding so i have to trust my friends judgement , which i do

When i go stiffer on the comp clickers , it beats me to death , at times on some hits almost ripping my hands off the bars , feels like 2x4's for forks instead of springs (this does not matter if the track is sand or hard pack , the harsh hits feel the same , they hurt), it is the same with 0.47 or 0.49 springs , seems more sensitive to it with the 0.49 that is why i was going to swap back to the softer springs , overall the bike feels planted and good , its just the harsh hits that completely screw with me and slow me down , if there are little pot holes before a jump i feel every one and it slows me down because its like i hit blocks its so harsh , if it didnt do that i can go much faster

On a side note , my friends 11 KTM 450SXF was done in a way that ANY rider of just about any weight can just get on it and ride it (not adjusting anything at all) , i am 60 lbs lighter than my friend (he is 260 i am 204) and the bike feels perfect for me , another guy rode it and he is 160 (40 lbs lighter than me) and said the same thing , it has 0.54 fork springs and 6.4 shock , it is like your floating on air , so far , every skill level , different weight rider that has ridden it has said it feels perfect for them (including myself) so i know my suspension can be that way , but i dont have a clue what it needs to make it feel that way . and i cant afford what it costs for the guy that did his to do mine , its completely out of my budget

But it has the feel i want , plush , not soft , just cushy everywhere no matter what you hit , it does not feel harsh and gives tons of confidence riding it , i am not expecting perfection here , i am wanting it close as i can with what i have to work with , , as i am being realistic about what i want and what i can afford and the compromise that it wont be like my friends bike , but i would like to get as close as i can with what i have , but the necessity for plush is a must !

Question: is the Mid-Valve the part that has the little pyramid spring with it and some shims and a small collar ?? (i have all the old parts as far as i know , he gave me everything he removed back)

Watch this , this is the sand track i was referring to , i was not going real fast as the bike was beating me and my wrists were sore , at about 2:38 I go across some whoop kind of bumps and its like i am jumping into a wall , its a harsh slam (my friends bike floats over it at the same speed) ,then watch when i get on the back high speed section ,at about the 3:08 minute mark i go across some breaking bumps before the corner at the end and it beats me so bad the helmet cam gets blurry , then there are some holes before a jump at about the 3:29 mark, i have to slow down because it beats me so hard i cant clear the jump , that is what i am talking about that i want to stop , if you watch the video till the end , right after the lap i am giving timing events , i go a little faster , and the beating is worse the faster i go !

http://vimeo.com/30722277

Edited by 450XJimDirt

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I know you are trying to give as much info as possible but it becomes hard to work out what the questions are in such a lengthy reply and that's why you get so few responses , the fact it gets worse as you add compression says its still too stiff , have you tried full soft ? again I would remove one of the 20.15 on the base and retest it , you need to do something other than a mm smaller shim here and there to prove you are going in the right direction

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Sorry for the detail , i am anal that way , i want to make sure what i am saying is informative and so i dont leave out anything . oh well !

If you mean full soft on Compression , when i had it valved as per what the tech did i had to have it all the way soft then 3 clicks in or i could not even ride it , it was so stiff , if i went to 4 from all the way out it would start beating me again , that is why the switch to the valving where it is now , where i am at 9 from full in , but now i am almost out of clicks the opposite way , so i thought it might be off still

Did the video help in any way where i pointed out the slamming/harshness ?

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New issue , i altered the stack and was putting the forks back together when i noticed a issue , on one of the fork cap assembly's , it was bleeding off , i would add fluid then put the assembly in the dampener tube and push the rod in and out to get rid of the excess fluid when i pushed the assembly in , and as i pump i can hear bubbling and the rod starts to not extend all the way , i drained off the excess fluid from the hole in the side , and after it was done dripping , i did the pumping as the manual recommends , and that is when i heard the bubbling like the fluid is going past the seals , and the rod is extending less and less with each pump , so what seal is it that is leaking ?? one of the lower or upper outside ones , or is there one inside the bushings that would allow fluid back up the cap assembly ?? , i have some OEM seals for the fork cap assembly , but i am not sure if i have them all

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when you compress the fork you should see the oil coming out of either the top of the fork or the bottom where the rod seal is , try new o rings on the floating piston first if it's the cap that leaks , if it's not them it's the inner seal on the piston , these are harder to replace

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