Some questions on 2 topics here. Trying to get comfortable on my stock 2017 KTM 250sxf before throwing money at aftermarket stuff that I THINK would help me get comfortable aka faster. For the record I am a 24yr old 6’2” 190lbs intermediate level Motocross track guy. First topic is handle bars. I’ve always been curious on the reason why I don’t see many Flex bars out on the Motocross track. I understand a lot of the factory guys are under contract with the big companies but I’d expect some guys to. I currently run them and I’m considering switching back to the standard bars to try a different bend. What’s your opinion on the flex bar along with a general background on the other options out there.
2nd topic would be suspension set up. I’m currently running the stock suspension on my 2017 KTM 250sxf. Rather than immediately giving up on it and relying on the aftermarket stuff I’d like to try and find a comfortable setting on the stock stuff. Problem is I don’t know what to look for when I’m messing with the clickers and air pressure. For starters I looked up the Motocross Action mag suggested settings and started there clickers, sag and air pressure wise. From there I don’t know where to start when it comes to experimenting with different settings to find my own personal happy place. Don’t know if I should start with compression, rebound, front, rear and what to look for when adjusting these things. If you have like your own ordered process and what to look for at each step let me know! -Kelson
I don’t like the Flexx bars because they are bulky and heavy. It’s more of a visual thing for me. I prefer a crossbar-less handlebar like a Pro Taper EVO “SX RACE” bend. Windham bend might be good for your height! Always try to get height for your bar mounts first and then go with a flatter bend. This helps for corner posture.
Try starting with compression first and get that feeling first. Experiment with softer and harder. Go four clicks each way and see what you feel. Which way did you prefer? Go that direction. Have you listened to my “How To Test” podcast? If not that is a great one for you! One you got the direction for compression dialed you should be able to just slow the rebound down a click or two and be good! Your air pressure settings should be anymore than .01-.02 bars more than stock setting for your weight! More than that and that forks gets super harsh! -HAVE FUN! -KK
Long time listener, love what you’re doing for us average guys who cant test everything we would like to! I am looking for a little guidance.
5’10” 185lb 25y/o cop and semi full time intermediate desert/HH racer currently trying to find more time to ride my 17 CRF450RX. I race desert here in new mexico/southwest colorado and utah. Pretty balanced terrain wise. Not flat out straight line super fast baja, but I get flat out in 5th occasionaly. Not super tight technical but we always run into a few miles of 1st/2nd gear rocky narrow stuff. The majority of our stuff out here is 3rd/4th gear BIG whoops. Whoops and g-outs everywhere…even in the corners. Some choppy stuff in between.
The issue im running into is suspension/chassis related on this RX. Its rigid, i get it, but im looking for performance not comfort. I run my forks flush, 107 sag, ride engineering pull rods. Stock valving front and rear.
After speaking with factory connection and race tech i went up to the R rear spring (5.5 vs the 5.3). This was a great improvement everywhere, especially big whoops and g outs. After servicing my forks (the outer chambers were noticeabley low on oil level from the factory) and filling to 350cc I was initially pretty happy. FC and race tech told me the springs are good to go for my setup. They conveyed the issue is valving. I wasnt convinced, as it still feels soft on big hits, but ill take their word for it.
Its comfortable on small chop and performs well, but i feel it blows through the majority of the stroke in whoops and g outs…before coming into what feels like good bottoming resistance at the very very end stroke. Im getting a somewhat inconsistent front end low/rear kick on unevenly spaced and sized desert whoops.
My other issue with the front, which i feel is somewhat chassis related, is in deep sand. Im running stock rebound in the forks currently as i find it to be the happy medium for the wide variety of conditions i encounter (from sand washes to hard pack chop). Ive gone as far as 4-5 stiffer on compression. Its better, but in deep sand the front just wants to grab and tuck.
Even flat out in 4th on the pegs hanging my ass off the back around a sweeping turn in a wash the front will hunt, peck, and is grabby in the sand. Im also running a scotts stabilizer, which was a huge improvement, but the issue is still here. Its livable, but less than ideal.
This brings me to another point which is likely contributing to my front low rear kick issue in whoops. Keep in mind this issue seems to be inconsistent. I am finding myself having to slow down and prepare to enter whoops rather than charging into them.
After changing my rear spring I reset damping settings to factory. When i first bought the bike i slowed down the rear rebound 1 click (or so i thought). The “click” was soft and almost non existent…i thought nothing of it.
Fast forward to now, while trying to reset the rebound my adjustment screw turned, and turned, and turned some more…to no end with no clicks. After some research ive found information from several different guys having this issue. Apparently the detent ball was not installed from the factory, allowing the rod inside the shock shaft to wedge into the rebound adjustment and break the tip of the rod. I cant help but think this couls cause inconsistent rebound damping in the shock. Bummer is, Honda wont own it. The shaft and clevis assembly runs $250.
So, im in a bit of a pickle. Repair the shock, and likely still need to revalve the front. Money well spent, problems solved, right? Well, maybe….
This is a loaded email, i know, im trying my best to articulate this and give good info. I apologize for this and I honestly wouldnt blame you for deleting it now, blocking my email, and going riding!
So, lets say i drop the dough, fix the suspension, and its all titties and beer. I feel some of my issues with this bike are rigidity based chassis geometry related. Again, im after performance here, not comfort. But i get some quick/reactive chassis and front end grabby feelings from this bike EVERYWHERE. This makes me cautious when i feel i should be able to charge. Im looking for a more planted stable feel. This bike TURNS. Its amazing, but too much. I would rather fight a tight corner a bit in comparison in exchange for stability.
This brings me to Yamaha. Keep in mind, ive always been a die hard Honda rider. But im becoming wiser, and dont care what color i ride as long as its bitchin in performance.
I rode a buddies 2017 YZ450F recently. Now, hes heavy, like 270…big burly brick shithouse MOFO. Same skill, age, and about 6’3″. The bars were like ape hangers, and i felt like i was on Weston Piecks supercross suspension, BUT… i feel i was still able to discern a little bit of chassis character from this bike regardless of setup. It was stable and felt much more forgiving. I think i would get along with it well.
Bobby Js Yamaha is working well with me on a potential trade. My last question, 2018 vs 2017. Ive listened, read, and re-listened to your tests and podcasts on the F and FX. I tried to get everything i could from them before having to email you personally.
Not really interested in the FX as i feel the transmission wont agree with the majority of our stuff out here. I understand your feelings on the differences between the 17 YZ-F and RX.
How does the rigidity/planted feel of the 2018 YZ-F compare to the reactive RX? Ive heard you say the 18 YZ is a little more rigid and quicker turning than the 17 YZ. But im assuming it is still more planted and stable vs the RX?
And thats it, the torture is over. Im still kicking around the idea of fixing and trying to REALLY love the RX…but am leaning toward a YZ. The 18 YZ has my heart if its noticeably more planted and stable vs the RX. I only would wish they had a 2.9gal tank for the 18 like they do the 17. 2gal max from IMS for the 18 YZ…
Also, i think ive tried everything else on this RX. Scotts, ride engineering linkage, flush forks, 107 sag, pivot bolt torque, drilled engine hangers…its definitly way better than stock form. But im not 100% confident on it.
Thanks for reading, even if you didnt make it this far! I really appreciate your input.
Dude! I thought I was doing a homework assignment right there! You cut 15 minutes out of my riding time today! HAHA! JK, all good man. Happy to help!
Going to be straight up and to the point with this. Not as long as your email though ok?
Get the 2018 YZ450F and be a happy man! You have no idea ho much better that Yamaha is over your RX. Your rigidity issues will be gone and it will probably make you a better rider. THAT IS NOT A JOKE! Serious! The Yamaha will be more stable and give you confidence to corner maybe even better because everything your hitting before the corner will be more comfortable. The engine is insane, yet smooth and manageable one you install the “TP map”. I can pass that along to you…Get the deal on the Yamaha and be happy with the stock life! The suspension should be great for you stock. Slightly soft, but so much better! Trust me. Email me back when you get it and thank me. I will just nod and type back “I told you”.
Good luck and have fun ripping the new steed!
KEEFER. Jonesy from down here in AUS land. Loving the podcast mate. Hey. I know it’s a long shot but I thought I would test your memory. Just wanted to hit you up for any tips you might rememeber about 2012 crf450 mainly suspension. I’m 30 6 ft and approx 95kg. I’m a c rider. And pretty broken terrible knees but still love riding. Here in aus most tracks are pretty dry. I used to think I had my compression to hard but listening to your setup pod I think may be to soft. Just wanting to see if you can recommend any suspension settings for my weight and pretty bad riding. Manly wanting comfort so I can last longer on the track. Thabks bro. -Matt
Try this bro! -KK
Spring rate: 0.49 kg/mm
Compression: 10 clicks out
Rebound: 10 clicks out
Fork leg height: Flush-2mm up in clamps
Spring rate: 5.4 kg/mm
Race sag: 105mm
Hi-compression: 1 1/8 turn out
Lo-compression: 11 clicks out
Rebound: 11 clicks out
Being from northern Ontario Canada, we have our first race of the season this weekend. I’m pumped to go racing. I put in a lot of time in the gym, endurance training, cardio, leg and core work, cardio, cardio.
I just turned 30 and I just started racing moto a couple years ago. I grew up racing snowmobiles and quads so I’m not stranger to gate drops of some sort. My main issue with moto is that I blow my self out early into a 10+1 moto. I can run 15 minute motos all day on a practice day.
Obviously racing is different than practice, the nerves, the pace, etc. I am looking for some tips on race day warm ups. Should I hop on a stationary bike at the hotel in the morning for a couple minutes? What can I do right before my moto to make sure I’m not going to spike my heart rate and not be able to recover once the gate drops.
Thanks in advance. -Jamie
You need to warm up on something for 10-15 minutes 30-45 minutes before your moto. Second moto you may not have to do as much maybe half, but should still be done.
Another good thing to do is 5 minutes before you race try and hold your breathe as long as you can. Holding your breathe for long periods of time and then exhaling releases red blood cells into your system and that is a good thing for us moto dudes! Good luck!
I Came across your pod casts a month ago and i am hammering through them bud, gotta say that you bang on point with your advise, shoot outs and taking care of the fam 1st! Stoked to start Monday’s with the hope of a fresh episode of keefer testing!
I got a a couple of questions on the bikes I’m running this summer,
But to give you some clue on what the F I am doing,….
A bit about me,
Around 175lbs, ride 3 to 4 times a week , i live in BC Canada. I mostly ride a 08 gas gas trials bike, if not the GG im on my love the 14 350 excf, With that im running through some tight an twisty Bc trails,blast a few forest roads, a few hill climbs, some trialsy stuff etc. And then i did my 1st HH scramble a month ago on it, it was amazing but it was tiring.. so i just picked up a 02 Cr125R in the hope it will be less taxing and easier to throw around.. and dont care if i drop it hard..
I work out 3 times a week, and ride mtbs a few times too…… soo .
Im out alone alot but have zero clue when it comes to set up. Can ya help?
2001 cr125R, that i picked up for some local hare scrambles . Man theres nooooooo bottom end, wtf , Any ideas? and clickers for the suspension, Got a start point?
2014 Ktm 350excf.
I had the same issues with no bottom end, so i installed the Jt tuning/jetting card for it, made a huge difference. So really if you have any pointers on the shitty 4cs fork for the rebound an compression settings?
So thats all i got, Hope it was enough info to get some pointers.
Keep rocking buddy!
The 125 is going to have zero bottom. That model/year was a bad spot for bottom end. Only thing you might be able to do is find a reed cage for it like a V-Force reed cage system.
As far as the suspension settings, I hate to tell you this, but I don’t have anything that goes that far back. My notebook only goes as far back as 2003 and only a few 2002 bikes.
The 2014 KTM EXC is a very fun bike and great for what you’re doing in BC. The 4CS is a fairly horrendous fork and there are few shops in the U.S. that offer replacement cartridge kits that work. As far as stock settings try stiffening that sucker up because they are way under sprung. You may even want to try and go up a spring rate and that might help some of the diving the KTM has. Make sure your sag numbers are correct 104-105mm on the shock so at least your bike is balanced. No clicker in the world is going to save you from that fork! You need some springs and possibly a re-valve.
Have fun shredding around BC and thanks fro listening to the pod. More stuff to come!
Hello! My name is Mike Mercer. I’m 37 Years Old, Old privateer that can still get after it. I grew up with Wey & Valade etc racing all my life. Been back at the last 3 summers with LL, mini o’s etc.
Long story short i have some questions on these triple clamps. Bike is 2017 Kawasaki 450. I recently just bought a set from Josh Woods off their GPF race bikes. I also have a set of Nicks’s old Showa A-Kit Forks. I am currently running an applied 22m triple clamp. I have been experiencing a big time rigid sensation which i feel like is resulting in more forearm fatigue than i should for as much as i ride and train.
These xtrig clamps are 21/23m offset.
My question is: with my starting base should i initially set up with the 21 or 23 and what kind of changes (if any) do you anticipate i will feel with the bike just from clamps alone? I’m normally a run what you brung type of rider but now spending money seems to be a hobby since there’s no wife no kids to just make my ride better and give a little more edge!
Thanks for your time! -Mike
The Applied clamps are pretty rigid and stiff so this may attribute to your arm issues.
The X-Trig has more flex built into it and should help alleviate some of that harshness. I assume you have the PDHS mounts that go with it so that should help as well.
Depending on what types of tracks you ride I would stick with the 23 offset for outdoor and run your fork up 5mm in clamp. If you’re riding super tight tracks go with the 21 and run your fork at flush-2mm up. As far as performance gains there is not a huge difference, but you will get a more positive feeling front end with the X-Trigs and going to a 23mm offset will help balance the bike out on fast, choppy straights. To me the Kawasaki settled into corners better with the 23 offset for tracks around here. However, if your tracks are tight with massive ruts look into the 21 offset for better lean in coming into corners!
Love the podcast and this new website! you’ve made it so easy to find honest reviews and input for all weekend warriors! Anyways, on to my question. I took a 10 year hiatus from riding and got back into it last year. I went out and purchased a 2017 Husqvarna FC 350. I love the ergos and engine of the bike, cut some holes in the air box and went one tooth down in the front sproket and it has all the power I need. The only thing is I can’t dial my suspension in. I’m at the top line on the forks for stability and I feel like my bike still has deflection. Thats the biggest issue, is it doesn’t feel subtle at all, and I feel it dances and I can’t get planted in my corners or push the bike to speed. I also over jumped a table top, landed flat, and felt like it was going to rip my hands off the bars. I’m 6’0″ and 235 with gear. I’d say I’m a fast C slow B as of now (loosing some lbs and getting my conditioning back.) I went up to a 5.2spring in the rear for my weight. I don’t know if you have some magic settings or not, but I’m at lose ends hahaha. I’m about to either send it to someone for a revalve or buy some Neken SFS triple clamps to see if either of those would mitigate my issue. If you could give me any advice it would be greatly appreciated! Weather its settings or a recommendation for where to send it to get work done, or if you have any experience with those triple clamps? Thanks in advance! And keep up the amazing work!!!!
Congrats on your new Husqvarna purchase! Yes, the AER fork is decent, but still has some negative effect on the trail/track. The harsh feeling you’re getting is not from the clamp, but the fork itself. I would recommend a re-valve, but first try these these settings below to see if it helps the fork some. I would recommend going to Race Tech for the re-valve because they have some quality WP guys that work internally there that know that fork well! They have some really plush settings for that fork and tell them Keefer sent you. Might cut you a deal, couldn’t hurt to try. Anyway try this setting and see if it helps some:
Spring rate: 152-155 psi (Start out with 152 and if it feels soft go up one pound increments)
Compression: 18 clicks out
Rebound: 14 clicks out
Fork-leg height: Second line (Go back up with your forks, it will actually feel a little more stable)