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bike wont settle in in the turns

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I have a 99 yz400f that I play around on. In my riding area there are some places where you can practice turning, both flat and bermed turns.

The dirt is kind of loose, with hard pack underneath, except for one set of berms where the soil is really loose...almost sandy.

In all cases, it feels like my bike is on the razor's edge, like if I lay it over anymore its just going to lowside. It is really tough getting my confidence up to really commit to turns when the bike always feels like its just going to slip out from underneath me.

Years ago I rode a cr125 out there and I had no problems getting into the groove. I could jsut flat track it around hard flat turns and the bike didn't feel so loose in bermed turns.

I dunno, maybe I'm just older and now not as much of a risk taker, but it sure feels like my bike just won't grab. Maybe the dirt is just too loose and washed out now, but I'm for any suggestions you might have.

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The real problem is this.

Your frame of reference of the CR125 is quite possibly one of the best handling MX bikes ever made.

Your 99" YZ400F is one of the worst...

Getting that 99 400 to turn is like looking for a super model at a Jenny Craig store. It may happen but its going to be a lot of work.

Id start by making sure the sag is set correctly and the suspension isn't worn out (fresh fluids etc)

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The YZ400 wasn't that bad. It can be made to work very well. What tires do you have on the bike? How old are they? How much tire pressure are you using? How much do you weigh? What suspension adjustments have you tried so far? Is the YZ400 stock as far as spring rates? When was the last time the fluids have been changed.

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the tires are brand new...two 4 hour rides. They are bridgestone mx 404/403's, and I am running them at 10 psi.

I should admit that it is probably premature for me to be asking tuning questions because I have only had the bike for a short time and I haven't had a chance to go through it properly.

At some point soon I will rebuild the bike and go through the suspsension as well. This weekend I'll have some time to play with the adjusters, so Ill try to get a baseline at least.

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the tires are brand new...two 4 hour rides. They are bridgestone mx 404/403's, and I am running them at 10 psi.

I should admit that it is probably premature for me to be asking tuning questions because I have only had the bike for a short time and I haven't had a chance to go through it properly.

At some point soon I will rebuild the bike and go through the suspension as well. This weekend I'll have some time to play with the adjusters, so Ill try to get a baseline at least.

Right out of the gate, you're going to want about 13 in those bridgestones. They dont have that much sidewall to them and at 10 PSI they're probably rolling over too far and letting go.

3 PSI doesnt sound like much, but trust me...you'll notice.

Change the fork oil, make sure the sag is correct and have the shock serviced as I bet it probably never has been. At that point you can start on your journey. Bring a lunch :bonk:

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MrN2O, have you read any of the freely available tuning guides on the net? Extremely useful if you are new to it. Eg. MX-Tech, Ride Concepts Inc or Too Tech.

IMO, the heavier and more powerful the bike, the more important is correct setup. Assuming the rider cares about lap times.

eg. I searched in google and near the top of the list I find this http://www.rideconceptsinc.com/#/chassis-setup/4530964208

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you have to have your sags set right front and rear with correct spring rates for your weight. Too heavy a front fork spring and it won't turn and too much preload in rear also won't allow the bike to settle into turns. Most MXers these days run too heavy a fork spring and too light a rear IMO.

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Thanks for the input guys. I'm going to try to set my sag this weekend and pay with the clickers some. I hope I can make the time to at least set the sag.

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Forget the clickers for now, they just fine tune for conditions. You need to get the bike set up with the correct spring rates and sag settings first. Then deal with tires ( proper tires for the right conditions and right tire pressure), then you can play with the clickers. In addition to what the previous poster states, if the front is too soft it will try to jackknife if you hit bumps in the corner as the trail changes. Good luck, I know your pain, it took me forever to find my sweet spot and to actually trust it enough to commit to a corner. It is a beautiful thing when it finally happens. You can play with the forks in the triple clamps in the mean time to get some semblance of balance.

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Forget the clickers for now, ...

I'm with you 100% on the beautiful thing - when you can lean the bike over of corner entry and charge into the meat of a turn knowing that nothing too wild is going to happen.

But I don't think clickers can totally be ignored on any large race bike with good working suspension. IMO, it all matters - springs, sag, fork height, tires, bar position and the clickers, all need to be at least reasonably close, and it can require quite a few iterations to dial it in, unless you get lucky.

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The clickers need to be in the middle of the ranges. Otherwise you end up with weird rebound issues or needless harshness.

Getting the sag and the proper springs rates is the most important right out of the gate. Then you can play with the clickers and see if there is something you want more or less of in the valving. But trying to tune worn out stuff is pointless.

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The clickers need to be in the middle of the ranges. Otherwise you end up with weird rebound issues or needless harshness.

Getting the sag and the proper springs rates is the most important right out of the gate. Then you can play with the clickers and see if there is something you want more or less of in the valving. But trying to tune worn out stuff is pointless.

I tend to disagree. I like to run my compression clickers nearly all the way open. The shock tends to me more responsive to small bumps and sharp edge holes that way. Works Performance used to totally remove the adjustable compression for this very reason. I may have to go in one or two clicks on rebound to compensate but I don't tend to have weird rebound issues at all.

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Dwight, I agree that the correct clicker settings are important, but it is pointless if you are setting the wrong springs and sags.

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I don't think clickers can totally be ignored on any large race bike with good working suspension. IMO, it all matters - springs, sag, fork height, tires, bar position and the clickers, all need to be at least reasonably close, Again, i agree, but there is an order of operations. Setting the wrong element in the wrong order is counter productive.

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I tend to disagree. I like to run my compression clickers nearly all the way open. The shock tends to me more responsive to small bumps and sharp edge holes that way. Works Performance used to totally remove the adjustable compression for this very reason. I may have to go in one or two clicks on rebound to compensate but I don't tend to have weird rebound issues at all.

My comment was more towards all the way closed, rather than open. If you've got enough damping in the stack to run the clickers wide open, that's fine. Its when you're trying to slow the thing down with the clickers to the point where the clickers end up closed down to 3 or 4 or clear shut even..that's when you end up with weird rebound issues. There is oil flow through the shaft in both directions to a point.

The flow through the shock shaft is what you need to maintain. That bleed circuit makes a huge difference over the little shit that's just uncomfortable, but nothing more. Its its also about maintaining traction too. When the clickers are clear closed and you're forcing everything past the stack, you can end up packing the suspension up or ricocheting off everything on the trail or both! But with the clickers wide open...that's not a problem....unless its too stiff! Then where do ya go?

I like the clickers in the middle of the range as much as possible so that I can adjust and actually feel the change.

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I like to run my compression clickers nearly all the way open. The shock tends to me more responsive to small bumps and sharp edge holes that way.
Very interesting to hear that. Not at all thinking that's wrong. Just very different to my experiences, but I never ride trails, so I don't smack into tree roots or rocks. I ride MX tracks, but not groomed. Tracks with wooped out sections and with sharp edges in places, sometimes bad enough to dent my rims.

I do change my shock low speed comp clicker a lot for the track conditions. Also the high speed. They have sweet spots but it's not super sensitive.

Using nicely valved KYB forks (originally 2010 KX450) I find that there is a narrow range on the compression clickers where I get the smoothest ride. Too far soft/out or firm/in and either way I get much more beat up. For good control, I try keep the comp as firm/slow as I find comfortable.

My fork rebound is even more sensitive. Often I'll adjust one leg just one reb click to get the front tire feeling real nice and planted. For best traction I try keep the fork reb as fast as possible.

Edited by numroe

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Dwight, I agree that the correct clicker settings are important, but it is pointless if you are setting the wrong springs and sags.

THAT I FULLY AGREE WITH. You must have the correct springs and sags. Otherwise you are just making do and that is just a compromise. Set the sags with the correct springs and the bike will be much easier to ride.

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