Kawasaki KFX450 Forum - KFX450Central banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wanting to help a friend set up his suspension on his 450. I understand and am fairly good at setting up suspension on bikes. My friend feels he needs someone to revalve it and set it up, however, I feel that the factory valving should be sufficient and that we will be fine just adjusting it for his riding. I am looking for feedback on whether he really needs revalving or upgrade on his suspension. He is @ 230lbs and is looking to start racing. He is an intermediate rider and is not very aggresive. I have riden the kfx and feel that the suspension is fine, but needs alittle adjusting. However, I am not a racer, but can set up suspension faily well. Thanks for anyones input on this.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
My name is Douggie Swanson.
I just bought a KFX450R 3 weeks ago, and then took a quick trip to Ogilby (southern Glamis Dunes), then proceded to a WORCS race in Arizona.

My bike was 100% stock. In the dunes is the first time I rode it. It felt great! I didn't even goof around with tire pressure.

I am 5'10" and 285 pounds. I have monkey arms and long hands. I have extensive trail riding experience, few races otherwise. I am from Alaska.

In the dunes, the suspension felt perfect for me. Ofcourse, you have the desert and sand cushioning your ride. I like to dig my heels into the heel guards behind the pegs, and pull back on the bars. That moves the weight bias rear-ward.

Even in whoops at the dunes and in the desert, it was perfect for me. I guess I could've asked for less compression..... but I was high-speeding the whoops, leaned way back. It worked... but probably could've been plusher.

The sand was fun... but at the dunes we talked about me racing WORCS which is a Grand Prix style race with a course 6.5 miles long, approximately 4.5 miles desert, and the rest light duty MX course.

I had one night to practice the MX course in Surprise, AZ. I went out all stock and actually, before I rode, cranked up the stock tire pressure to 10 lbs front and rear. This was WAY too much.

The course was ragged and rough. Lotta small chop.

Each lap I pulled in and dropped pressure. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what I was running for pressure. I think I was a little stiffer than stock though when it was all said and done.

I began pulling over after a lap and backing off one click of compression each time all around. (front and rear)

Then again. (two clicks compression)

Then the third time I backed off a third click as well as one click of rebound.

It felt better.

I ended up flipping sideways in a dirtbike rut during night practice. I went home.

Next riding was during the race. Hung over, made it to the registration 40 minutes before the starting flag. I didn't do anything. I was just happy to be awake.

The course ended up being rougher than I ever could imagine. It was mini-moguls the entire desert/XC section. I never even entertained the idea of jumping the MX part... I'm not skilled or familiar enough.

After the race, I took home the 30+ C class crown. I also got 4th over all. I raced this race in 2005 and actually expected about a 6 lap race. I was pacing myself. A brisk pace though (for us old, off the couch racers). I was surprised to see the checkered when I thought there was two laps to go.

Anyway.... I raced fast, rough cross-country type terrain, and even at 285 pounds, I backed off 3 clicks compression and 1 click rebound... the compression was a click or two too stiff in the front. The rear saved me.... it was perfect... it was dreamy.

If I was skilled enough to take all the tables on the MX portion.... the rear would still be perfect.

So... bottom line... with stock suspension... at 285 pounds.... XC.... I needed to basically back off 3 click compression in the rear, and 4 OR 5 click compression in the front. I backed off 1 click rebound front and rear.... and that worked for me.

Strange as it seems... the stock suspension is WAY more progressive than anything I've ever encountered. For general riding the stock settings are decent until you start to push the envelope.... OR, YOUR envelope.
Damned thing has a fantastic 2-3 inches of initial travel stock. But you'll want to adjust it once you ride it harder.

In my fat-ass case... I still had to go softer.

Good Luck, Peace.

Eski
 

· Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
QUOTE (Eski @ Feb 9 2008, 11:37 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=6282
...Each lap I pulled in and dropped pressure. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what I was running for pressure. I think I was a little stiffer than stock though when it was all said and done.

I began pulling over after a lap and backing off one click of compression each time all around. (front and rear)

Then again. (two clicks compression)

Then the third time I backed off a third click as well as one click of rebound.

It felt better. ...

Great feedback, Eski! I'm about 225, and I took my '08 out for the first time yesterday to California City--a lot of rough woops, rocky climbs, etc. I, too, found the compresion a bit much and the suspension had an over-all feeling of "stiffness" to it. I'm heading to Glamis this weekend and will follow your advice and knock a few clicks off the compression and maybe a couple off the rebound.

One thing I did note as we were riding as that my friend's LTR450R felt great with it's wider suspension--more stable sliding the rear end, and it was easier to dive intot he corners hot. +2 A-arms are definitely in my near future, though I will probably keep the stock shocks and just have them redone.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
With the suspension get the correct free sag should be 1 inch and rider sag at 3 inches in the rear (Free sag is no rider with suspension pulled up to full extention. And rider sag is with rider on bike) The rear compression I think I softened 2-3 clicks and rebound softened 2 clicks. The High spped compression I think is still in stock position. The Front is compression is 2 clicks in from full out so it is really soft but the rebound is 2 clicks from full in so the rebound is really quick. Also set your free sag and rider sag too on the front. I am 6-00 at 250lbs and this works really good for me. running across plowwed fields is a great way to find this out. About the only thing I can say with this set up is the rear end likes to buck sometimes, but angain thats me and my riding.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I just had my suspension re-valved.And got dual rate springs for the front shocks.Have only ridden it a little around the house since itd been done.Feels quite a bit better though.I was not to happy with the stock suspension in the dunes.It would not soak up any of the small little stutter tracks.Was hard to keep it in a straight line.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top