finally! and suspension question
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Thread: finally! and suspension question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    9

    Default finally! and suspension question

    hey everyone. Long time lurker - and first time SM owner now. I got a clean and well maintained 2008 KX450F that's been converted to street legal (just lights in CO). I've had several sportbikes - most recently an R1 which I sold when I got a new truck last year. I went with a 450 vs a DRZ as I think I'll like the power/weight of the MX coming from a liter bike & deal w/ the maintenance. I'll use it for around town hooliganism and a 9 mile commute to work sometimes and perhaps some local canyon carving and occasional dirt touring (Moab, Telluride/Durango 4WD roads)

    I want to get the suspension close to my weight (220 lbs) so I think I will need to swap out the rear shock spring and fork springs and then have someone who knows something about suspension set-up help me get the bike dialed. Some youtube searches look like the spring & seals replacement not too difficult to do on one's own as suspension shops charge around $350 for a fork rebuild.

    I guess I'm looking for confirmation that I want to get the bike sprung to my weight and this is a worthy investment - and I wanted to say 'hi' to this community.

    Carl [from Denver]

    FWIW - I didn't post this on the newbie forum as that appears to get little feedback


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sunshine Coast. QLD. OZ
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Hey Carl

    Looks good, I bet it's a hoot to ride!

    My take on Suspension:

    I've enjoyed riding my dirt bike with the off road set up,( just the wheels/brake changed) on the street with no adjustments. Fabulous, especially over any road bumps. And road riding it pays to be smooth on the brakes anyway. This was an off road bike, softer than your MX. Considering you are over the target weight for the KX, it might end up towards what I'm describing.

    At the other end, I've had the suspension on another bike completely set up for Sumo.
    Shortened slightly, stiffer springs and valving to suit. The best compliment I can pay is that I've never thought about the suspension when I'm racing, it just works. I haven't tried it on the street but suspect it would be firm, nice but less comfortable.

    Personally, I'd ride it a bit and see how you like it, for what you describe, I wouldn't be surprised if it's great.
    If you go for heavier springs, I'd recommend you get it revalved to suit the springs, and usage. If you can find someone that knows what they are doing, it could be worth it. (It would probably be worse for the "Dirt Touring" you mention - horses for courses.)
    "Illegitimi non carborundum "
    KTMs- '08 690Enduro (SM conversion) '06 450EXC '04 SX525 - Motard (Yee Ha)
    '96 Suzuki Bandit1200S - ATS (All The Sh*t)
    '08 YZ250F -MX raced so slowly, it's a sin
    '73 Honda Z50 minitrail - Road legal, Vintage, Cool

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback Sky. Yes, it makes sense to not dump a bunch of money on it before I've ridden it some. There are several Moto shops around that appear to know what theyre doing and mentioned revalving which is north of $400. It certainly sags when I get on it, but seems manageable for ripping around. I will definitely play on it before I drop a grand on suspension. It's stupid fun. I've wanted a SM for well over a decade, I'm glad reality is finally here.. Although I'm going to be dealing with four months of CO winter now.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sunshine Coast. QLD. OZ
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Also riding it a bit will give you a base line, and maybe a direction to head with revalveing/respringing.

    I'm no expert, but if possible some more spring and low speed compression damping to counter diving under heavy braking, while less high speed compression damping to deal with the smaller bumps encountered on the road, would seem a good direction.
    I have no idea what I'm talking about, but imagine larger diameter, but thinner "clamp" shims, maybe. (Or a stack design along those lines.)
    The rebound damping designed to suit the bigger spring.

    Similar at the rear to deal with squat. (You now have almost 100% traction)

    Most shops will give you a good setup, and free adjustments if you aren't happy. (Ask before choosing a suspension shop. Usually you don't need fancy parts, just the correct springs and shims.)
    E.g. It's better as far as "dive" goes, but ends up too firm for comfort or "skips" over road rash. Take it back, they change the valving specs. Usually part of the service.

    Let us know what you think of it stock when you have had a few rides.
    "Illegitimi non carborundum "
    KTMs- '08 690Enduro (SM conversion) '06 450EXC '04 SX525 - Motard (Yee Ha)
    '96 Suzuki Bandit1200S - ATS (All The Sh*t)
    '08 YZ250F -MX raced so slowly, it's a sin
    '73 Honda Z50 minitrail - Road legal, Vintage, Cool

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Keep in mind that the bike in mx trim was set up for a 165 lb Japanese test rider, so its going to be soft regardless for a 220 lb man.

    For a dedicated supermoto setup, the nature of the dampening is different between the street and offload; the street stuff you generally want to work a little slower as you're not hammering through whoops or rutted out creek beds often, so the bike is a bit more planted and stable and less "pogo sticky". Then you can let it all hang out a little more in the corners in hooligan mode. This can be done by revalving the forks and shocks and you'll prob need stiffer springs regardless for your weight. Since the bike is used, you should put in new seals, and an appropriate weight fork oil and this will single handedly make you way more confident through the corners or riding at the limits as the bike will just be planted and confidence inspiring.

    Then set up your sag so you're riding in that ideal middle third of the travel front and rear and ride off into the sunset.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    146

    Default

    First off - welcome to the forum! We are glad you found your way here.

    I agree with Skypig - ride it for a while to see if you like the setup and provide yourself some kind of baseline. Then if you decide to tweak the suspension you will at least have something to compare it to.

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