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Front fork set up??

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Here is my dilemma.

I have not had much time up until recently to ride my DRZ-E, so i had not really got involved in getting the handling right but after a recent ride and swapping rides with my Mates XR650r I realised how bad my front end is.

The difference was astounding, his front was plush, stable and precise, very confidence inspiring.

Mine on the other hand is upset very easily and hard to keep on a chosen line, pretty scary when your trying to negotiate erosion ruts running parallel to the track at speed.

Loose gravel feels like your riding on marbles with very little feedback in most situations.

I have not had a front end lose/washout as such but I know I have more speed in me than I'm willing to ride the bike due to the lack of confidence in the front end.

It seems to lack the the ability to self centre and easily provoked in to a weave on the road, it was worse before i changed the springs.

The story so far, rear shock runs 5.7 rear spring with a gold valve, sag @ 100mm.

Front runs .52 springs, oil height 120mm @ 7.5wt, standard valving with a Michelin AC 10. Forks set at the standard height in the triple clamps.

All wheel bearing's, head stock bearing's and swing arm bearing's are fine, recently disassembled and greased.

I am replacing the tyres soon with a pair of XCMH's and I will be installing Gold Valves in the forks.

I thinking of going to 5wt oil and drop the height to 110mm.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated and comments on what I should expect from the DRZ's front end handling from your own experience.

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I didn't have any direct experience with setting them up so I can't give you the technical details but I sent my forks off to SSW for some of Eddies magic. I weigh 185 with gear and he installed .46 springs plus his usual magic on the stock valves. I asked him to set it up for the tight single track here in the NW and the difference was very pronounced. It soaked up the bumps much better and didn't deflect on rocks and roots growing at angles to the trail.

I had a D606 on the front (didn't like it at all offroad) and changed to a D MX 51. The better tire and fork work had the front acting like it was on rails compared to before.

.52 springs in front must mean you're a pretty big guy? Also have you got the rear sag set properly? That can have a lot of influence in how the front feels.

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Forks set at the standard height in the triple clamps.

Have you tried lowering the forks in the triple clamps to 5mm below the top surface of the clamp ?

That will slow down your steering, increase stability.

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i would set the rear sag to 90 ~ 95 mm

how much do you weigh with gear

what surface do you mosly ride on

the fork springs are too stiff for the standard valving

you need to revalve the front end .. urgently , this is your issue

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i would set the rear sag to 90 ~ 95 mm

how much do you weigh with gear

what surface do you mosly ride on

the fork springs are too stiff for the standard valving

you need to revalve the front end .. urgently , this is your issue

Yeah, I sort of was getting that feeling about the valving, thats why i purchased the gold valves.

Whats your feeling as to oil weight and height?

Where we ride is mainly hard pack and rock, with fire trails and black top transports.

I don't know what I weigh kitted up but I always wear the full kit with a back pack carrying 3 litres of water and a change of clothes for an overnight stay.

In the buff I come in at 95 KG depending on much beer I have drank to balance out the beer intake, so you could add at least 10KG.

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.52 springs in front must mean you're a pretty big guy? Also have you got the rear sag set properly? That can have a lot of influence in how the front feels.

I think it works out to about 220 pounds, .52's are a little on the stiff side but I run a larger tank the racetech calculator recommends even stiffer springs than that.

I hear what your saying about rear sag but it's @ 100mm seated and closer to 90mm standing, which is how I usually ride.

I will be double checking when I get the time, it's just hard to get the missus to read the tape, even more challenging than a road map:smirk:

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go to a lighter spring rate , i weigh the same and ride the same terrain .

5.7 rear and .48 front

5 wt oil at the standard height

yeah .. i know what race tech recommends

yah , my cheese and kisses kicks up every time i ask her to do the tape thing

when you get the forks revalved use terms like plush and compliant to the susp tech .

set the clickers in the middle of the range at first and go from there , beware too much rebound will push the front on hard pack ground

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I agree with the chooken man....:lol:

BTW...Instead of the tape , place a Zip Tie (cable tie) around your fork leg to check the fork travel...I leave one on all the time to see how much travel I am using when riding...

146_0402_10_z+suspension_setup_guide+fork_tube.jpg

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I agree with the chooken man....:lol:

BTW...Instead of the tape , place a Zip Tie (cable tie) around your fork leg to check the fork travel...I leave one on all the time to see how much travel I am using when riding...

146_0402_10_z+suspension_setup_guide+fork_tube.jpg

Yeah I run a zip tie on my road bike too, bit of a pain in the ass with fork garters:banghead:

To save the expense of buying a new pair of springs, whats the consensus on one OEM spring which is a .44 and a .52, that would give me a balance of .48????????????

Or would it be too lope sided??? I'm sure I have heard of it being done before.

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yeah ... i've heard of it being done too , i cant remember the exact increments

try it .. the cost to you is $ 0.00 .. cant get cheaper than that

BTW if the fit the .52 in the right fork leg and it keeps spitting you off on the left side , you know what the issue is :lol:

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Yeah I run a zip tie on my road bike too, bit of a pain in the ass with fork garters:banghead:

To save the expense of buying a new pair of springs, whats the consensus on one OEM spring which is a .44 and a .52, that would give me a balance of .48????????????

Or would it be too lope sided??? I'm sure I have heard of it being done before.

I have done that on many of my bikes and it does work...Go for it..:lol:

It's all tied together by your triple trees and axle...It doesn't matter which side you run the different spring rates..

FYI....mountain bikes(MTB) that run springs in their forks, only have the spring on one side and the dampening on the other.....and mostly air springs are used in bicycles nowdays...

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I

It's all tied together by your triple trees and axle...It doesn't matter which side you run the different spring rates..

I was thinking:thinking:

Put the heavier spring in the left side as this is the braking side and would be under the most load and if it was going to have any influence at all that would be the way to go.

But then I might have no idea what I'm talking about:bonk:

Got a couple of big weeks at work before Xmas but I will right on to it over the break.

When you get well Craig, we will organise a ride, been doing some exploring around Kilkiven and Wongi State forest, found some very good and largely unused tracks.

Not overly technical but very isolated and overgrown with the occasional surprise:eek:

I going to have a go at revalving the forks myself, purchased them from the thumper talk shop:thumbsup: the compression stack can be removed without disassembly and loosing the oil, so I should be able to experiment with different combinations until I'm happy.

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Thanks chooken, I will post up how it all goes.

What tyres are you and Craig running, I'm curious as to what others are using, I'm pretty sure the AC 10 is adding too the problem.

I have been thru 2 sets of Dunlop 606 on the real E...I find they wear well and provide good on and off road grip...getting around 2000 km with 50/50 usage..

recently put on some Pirelli Scorpian as I have been doing more on road lately...The on road grip is really good but only just adequate off road...

If we hook up for a ride I will probably just leave the scorpians on and take it easy....

The stock suspension works reasonably well for me...I am only about 85kg with gear and don't push too hard off road....If I was more serious I would definitely re valve...

tyre pressures will also effect your grip level...experimenting with air pressures may help...

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as for tyres ...my DRZ has a michelin Desert on the front @ 12 psi

my CRF has a Dunlop D 742FA on the front @ 12 psi .

once you get the front susp dialled in the AC 10 will work just fine .

the front tyre on my CRF is 50 % worn , the grip level is still there . its all about susp set up , once you get it right it makes the bike work very well .

i ride in rock infested areas with NO front end push at all

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tyre pressures will also effect your grip level...experimenting with air pressures may help...

I hear what your saying about tyre pressures but I cant even feel what the front end is doing it's that vague.

I run my pressures pretty high 18-20 psi to avoid pinch flats, especially when I'm a long way from home.

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I hear what your saying about tyre pressures but I cant even feel what the front end is doing it's that vague.

I run my pressures pretty high 18-20 psi to avoid pinch flats, especially when I'm a long way from home.

Could try running thicker tubes

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no wonder the front feels very harsh

tire pressure too high , fork springs too stiff , fork valving too harsh

remedy the above and come back and tell us the result :lol:

It's not harsh as such and like I said I have never lost the front end due to lack of grip, keeping in mind it's @ 18psi and riding accordingly.

It just steers like shite, if I didn't know better I would say the back is to high an the front too low, like a chronic understeer.

I will start by changing the spring and oil then progress to changing the valves.

The back is perfect at this stage but it's hard to concentrate on the back when the front is trying to spit you into a tree:banghead:

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