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I am ridding a RMZ 450 Suzuki and I ride single track at average ability and weigh 225 pounds. I would like to know what springs to use for a soft ride. Thank you for any help you can give. Ervin.

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Springs don't make the ride soft. Damping does. You need the CORRECT springs for your bike. Too soft a spring will require too much preload and give a rough ride. Set your sags correctly to pick the correct spring for you and your bike.

I have come up with a formula that I use for setting the suspension up on my bikes. This info was collected the past few years from several different tuners and applied. I have broken this down into a formula using percentages of available travel so this will work on most any bike. (KTM PDS is slightly different but close). I thought I would share this knowledge with you.

Your shock spring preload should be less than 10mm on linkage suspension but not less than 5mm. You don't want to over preload a weak spring as you will just get a harsh ride that still will allow hard bottoming. I usually shoot for about 5mm preload on fork springs. If you have the right spring.

You can figure your correct sag numbers by using percentages. That way you can get the correct springs for you and your bike. Base these percentages on the available travel front and rear with a variance of + - 3 mm.

Front suspension static sag should be 14% ( available travel in mm X .14 = static sag in mm)

Front suspension rider sag should be 25% (X .25 = Rider sag)

Rear suspension static sag should be 11% of available travel (X .11 = static sag)

Rear suspension rider sag should be 34% of available travel (X .34 = rider sag)

Using these principles you can figure the correct sags for any bike and thus the correct springs without guessing and compromising.

Once you get the springs set correct you can get the forks and shock revalved if need be. I usually like to take 20-25% of the high speed compression out with the correct spring rates.

I usually leave rebound stock or change according to the replacement springs. I usually will change rebound one click per .2 kg. on rear shock. If I go up on spring rate say from a 5kg to a 5.8kg , I will go in 4 clicks. That is a good place to start. After setting rebound and spring sags (and getting correct spring rate installed). I find a G out or a ditch that I can jump into and expect to bottom front and rear at same time. I will back off compression till I am bottom softly front and rear. NOT DRIVING FOOTPEGS THROUGH YOUR FEET OR METAL TO METAL BOTTOMING.. Just bottoming softly. Then I go back in about 2 clicks to compensate for heated suspension. I then will ride extensively to see if I need to go in or out slightly to fine tune. Damping I find is a very personal thing it you take the time to dial it in. I like a plush and compliant suspension but not wallowy. Many times lately I find that I have to go down on fork springs and up on shock spring rates. I weigh 180-185lbs and ride a 2011 WR150. It came with .42kg fork springs. That is what my KTM 525 / 530 had in the front forks. For sure there is a big difference in weights. I tried .44kg on my 525 and the bike would not turn. The bike should settle into the corner front and rear when turning. My bike would not settle. The forks were way off static and rider sag. I was on the cusp whether to go to a .38kg or .40kg. If I were 10lbs lighter I could have used a .38kg. But as it stands the .40kg allowed my sag numbers to work perfectly. 40mm static and 75mm rider. I had my suspension tuner take out 20% of my compression on front. I am using 5wt Maxima Racing fluid. I am 10 clicks in from full out. My Husqvarna WR150 came with a 5kg on the rear. When I had the correct rider sag , I had NO STATIC SAG. I kept going up on my spring rate till I was at 6kg. A huge difference. A full Kg or 5 sizes heavier spring. But I had to do this to get the needed 30mm static sag with 101mm rider sag. With the correct sag rates the bike is not nearly as tall feeling. Much easier to throw a leg across. Turns perfectly and is very stable on straights. I had my suspension guy take 25% of my compression out of the rear shock. This will help with a softer feel on the ride. I am very happy with the results. Use the formula and you can get the perfect spring rates for you and your bike. Don't ride the bike till you are satisfied you have the correct spring rates as most shops will exchange unused springs for different rates. If you ride with them they will look used and can't be sold as new. I think you will be very happy with the results if you don't compromise.

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