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Progressive vs Single Rate Fork Springs

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I have a 96 XR250R. The previous owner had .42 kg springs installed. This seems in line with Race Tech's spring selection chart for my weight (180 lbs) and riding style (off-road / enduro) but there is no factor for age (I'm going to be 64). I no longer compete except for impromptu duels while trail riding. I want a softer initial action, but no bottoming.

Years ago I installed Progressive Suspension standard replacement springs in my 90 Suzuki DR350S. Stock, the front end would skate out if rocks or roots occured mid-turn. PS springs took care of this. They were a definite overall improvement. Front end action was significantly improved over rocks and roots and it would still take the big hits well (no bottoming).

This is what I want from my XR now. Does anyone have experience with progressively wound fork springs on XRs for trail riding? If so, which ones? It seems that racers prefer straight wound springs.

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Use correct straight rate springs for your weight so you have correct ride height and adjust the oil height if you can't get it to stop bottoming. That's my 2 cents anyway.

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I have a 96 XR250R. The previous owner had .42 kg springs installed. This seems in line with Race Tech's spring selection chart for my weight (180 lbs) and riding style (off-road / enduro) but there is no factor for age (I'm going to be 64). I no longer compete except for impromptu duels while trail riding. I want a softer initial action, but no bottoming.

Years ago I installed Progressive Suspension standard replacement springs in my 90 Suzuki DR350S. Stock, the front end would skate out if rocks or roots occured mid-turn. PS springs took care of this. They were a definite overall improvement. Front end action was significantly improved over rocks and roots and it would still take the big hits well (no bottoming).

This is what I want from my XR now. Does anyone have experience with progressively wound fork springs on XRs for trail riding? If so, which ones? It seems that racers prefer straight wound springs.

Progressive Springs is the only company I know of that made progressive springs for XR's. But I've never seen fork springs, only the rears.

I just bought a NOS Progressive spring for my 85 XR350 last summer from ebay. ($45)

Rate is 9.0-12.0 which works very well for my 240lbs. (11.0 straight rate)

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I have a 96 XR250R.

Sorry, for some reason they only make them for 86-89! If you had an "L" model (they make them for 91-97) then I could help you...

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96+ have a new cartridge fork so probably use different springs than earlier damper rod forks.

Most of the "progressive" springs that I've encountered were not, they were two rate springs. Honda even used some in various XRs overs over the years. Check out http://www.worksperformance.com/html/multirate_desc.html

I have two problems with these springs: With two rate springs is I can feel the transition to the higher rate and find it disconcerting and annoying. Another problem with any progressive or multi rate spring is setting static and rider sag will indicate too low a spring rate because of the soft beginnig or primary rate.

I've also found the RaceTech recommended spring rates are way too high for recreational trail riding by at least 10%. My preference is straight rate springs and then adding bottoming resistance via increased oil levels.

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You dont want progressive springs,they blow past the soft part than harsh ride.Im old like you,my job is riding dirt bikes.They may have helped your Dr350 but they are so bad stock anything woild help.The xr250 forks,we could never get them to ride easy going slow or fast.We put xr400 forks on with mods,they ride super plush.They make the old guys last for 4-5 days riding.Even makes them look like they still know how to ride.

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Ok ... so you all like straight wound springs. Give me some help then, please. Race Tech's chart indicates .43kg. 10% less would be .39kg which is stock according to Race Tech. I like my buddy's 95 XR250R which has stock springs (RT says stock is .37kg). I also like my 92 Suzuki DR350 (RT says stock is.37kg). I was an A (Expert) Hare Scrambles rider and MXer 30 years ago. My mind continues to make promises that my body can"t fill. I'm going on 64, weigh 180, and ride East coast single track (rocks and roots) as fast as I can for as long as I can. I think that I can still finish (not on time...just finish) an ECCA Enduro if I pace myself and treat it like I'm still riding the Black Water 100 (4 finishes out of 5 attempts).

Please give me your personal spring selections along with your age, weight and type or riding, if you are anyhwere near my specs. I know how to tune out bottoming by adjusting the oil level.

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^^^^^ .40 to .42 springs. If you want better forks, get on ebay and buy some XR400 forks with triples. Should swap right over ( someone correct me if I'm wrong) as they use the same bearings in the steering. Then you get 43mm Showas instead of the stock 41mm Kayabas. The 400 forks come with .40 springs after 98, .38 pre 98.

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the xr 250 -400 steering stem bearings are the same. On making 250 forks work or to try to. .42-43 springs. 2-1/2 wt golden spectro oil.I wont tell you my age but I use to ride Rickman Triumphs 820cc.Our bikes are set up for single track,rocks roots ,deep square edge.170 pounds(riders up to 220 said its good)Problem with xr250 forks the bottom out cones are short,no rebound adj,41mm forks.I did ride one xr250 with .43 springs,2-1/2wt oil-fork brace.They did work ok in forest in Calif,but you can bring a bike that works perfect everywhere.In Baja its not working anymore.

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