Keefer Kuestions 10-23-17
Kris Keefer

Lets learn everybody!

Hey Keefer!


I sent you an email on the contact form on the site but hadn’t heard back. You threw out this personal “kris@“ email address in a pod so maybe you don’t get the contact form emails so i’m following up here.


Basically, I was wondering if the feedback and details on the KTM 450SXF in your 18 Shootout could be applied to the 18 KTM 450XCF?  I know suspension is softer, gearing and mapping is probably different, but will the positives of the AER air fork still be the same in the XC? What about handling and chassis? Being a bigger guy (6’3” 195) my first priority is feel and ergos of a bike, then suspension with motor being lowest priority (to me, all 450s make enough power).


Looking to get my first new bike in over 10 years so this is a big decision for me.  My 07 Honda 450 has treated me well but she’s definitely long in the tooth. I do moto, some desert, GPs, and trails so the XC bike is right up my alley.


Thanks bro!



Hey Patrick,


I apologize for the delay as I get tons of emails and sometimes a few get lost in the shuffle. 


To answer your question, yes most of the changes can be applied from the SX-F to the XC-F. The XC-F is one of the best bikes I have ever ridden on trails. The engine is so powerful and the chassis is very light and flickable feeling. If you are 6'3 you might have to go to a taller bend bar like a Henry Pro Taper Bend, but as far as the rider triangle (cockpit) it suits taller riders just fine. 


The AER fork is decent enough and although it does build up pressure (on longer rides) the fork doesn't get too harsh on the trail. The benefit is that you can dial it in for your weight and will not have to re-valve. Try running around 103mm of shock sag and if you feel like you're bottoming out more than not, stiffen your high speed up 1/4 to 1/2 turn. This will hold up the rear a little more on g-outs and hard flat landings.  


I am comfortable saying that if you ride mostly off-road with the occasional moto tracks, this bike is one of THE BEST. For over 10G it better be good right? 


Thanks and have fun... 





Keefer! First off, lemme say your such a great resource of techy info and I'm similar in that regard. Great to listen and learn from you.

Not sure if this is kind of to small a question. But when it comes to rebound/compression on both fork and shock, how far away can I be on the clickers?

Say 10comp 12rebound.

Can you be far away on both?

Say 10 comp 16rebound? I've always wondered this. I've researched the piss out of it can never get an answer. Anyway, if your flooded with emails don't sweat it. Podcast is great by the way!




Good Morning Eric,


It DOES NOT matter how far away your clickers are from each other as long as your happy with setting. However, each click stiffer or softer will affect rebound as well. A good rule a thumb is for every two clicks of compression you do is one click of rebound. So if you go two clicks stiffer on compression on your fork maybe try going one click softer (faster) on rebound (and vice versa). But as far as your question, yes it is ok to be far apart from each other. KTM/WP fork settings are often very far apart on compression rebound damping numbers. 


Have a good week! 





Hello Kris,

I think I will be getting a 18 CRF450R this week, partially due to your shootout, and also may dealer carries Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki. I need to get a muffler system with a spark arrestor because I do trail riding, as well as racing moto. I am a 30 expert in OTHG in Northern California. I was wondering if a full system or a slip on would be better. I am looking more at the FMF or Yoshimura pipes. I appreciate your incite.






Congrats on your purchase! The FMF and Yoshimura systems are very close in performance on the track! If you want a quieter system, the Yosh is a better way to go. Both systems put out similar gains on the track, but I prefer the sound of the Yosh. I have only tried full systems and I like these two because both keep the strong low end power that I like from the stock Honda. 


I am doing a muffler shootout podcast later in the week so be on the lookout for that as well! Hope this helps! 





Hi Kris,
Enjoy all your input on pulp mx and your site. Could you tell me what watch does lap times. I heard you talk about it on pulp mx show last year.
Thanks Pete Jakiel #79 expert vet racer NESC.




I use a Garmin 910XT. It is an older model, but you can find them on Amazon. Almost all Garmin Forerunnner’s have Auto Lap, but make sure it has that feature as this is important for the watch to automatically take your lap times as you're riding. . 


Thanks for listening. 





Hey man, when you got time could you answer this question? Just wondering: I had my forks and shock revalved and all that last July and everything is just super stiff. Haven't played with clickers a whole lot only because idk where to go with them. I'm also not getting travel with the forks sometimes. I will watch you podcast on it, but real quick, so soften forks and a shock would I back off both compression AND rebound, or back off compression and speed up the rebound by going in?

I watched the suspension pod a while ago I just can't remember exactly what u said. I think u said something about like every 2 clicks out on compression, go 1 in on rebound?

It's also a 13 250SX so the suspension will always be shit just trying to get it semi decent lol. Do you have any base settings that worked for u back when it was being tested? I have had it since new and honestly the forks were better before they were revalved and re sprung lol -Eric





Thanks for the email as this is a common question. 


If it feels stiff always back off the compression one or two clicks to see if it helps comfort. After you have tried that and it seems that it is getting better you an go one or two more. When you feel like you're comfortable try stiffening up the rebound on either end one or two clicks. A good rule of thumb is every two clicks or so of compression is one click of rebound (either way). So two softer on compression would mean one stiffer on rebound and two stiffer on compression would mean one softer on rebound. Make sense? 


As far as settings for the 2013 250SX this is difficult. Most of the bikes problem is that it was too fast for that softer feeling chassis. So I can understand why the suspension is so stiff. I had same problem, but the chassis flexes too much under load and it's tough to get it to settle and not deflect. When I did stiffen the suspension enough it just made it harsh feeling. I spent many days with KTM back then trying to get it figured out. We never got it GREAT. Good, but not great! 







Hey KK, I'm wanting to get a new pair of bars and I am wondering what you would recommend. i have a 14 yz 250 2 smoker and I am 6' tall. Should I get the EVO YZ HIGH or SX RACE? Those are the choices. What is more of stock OEM bend. I would be very great full for your opinion. Thanks KK. Love what you do for our sport.





I am 6'0 and run the SX RACE. The YZ HIGH isn't far off from the SX RACE, but I like the fact that the SX bend is flatter and better from me in the corners. Run with that. Thanks for the email.. 





Hey Kris,

Die hard Pulp fan and Keefer after dark fan. Like you, I’m a desert rat. I used to be an expert desert racer but have been out of it for about 14 years and I’m just getting back into it. At 46, 5’ 11” and weight about 185. I’m no spring chicken but I still love the higher speed riding that the desert brings. I grew up on 2 strokes but a buddy coerced me to sling a leg again and I rode a 250F. I was constantly looking for a 7th gear so I opted to step up to a so I just picked up a 2018 YZ450FX.

Here’s my questions: I can’t find much on the “X” in general and nothing on the 2018. Do you have any insight on weaknesses that I might need to address for a rider of my skill and weight? Sprocket changes, clicker settings, etc. Hell, I don’t even know what the sag should be on this thing! Any knowledge you can drop would be much appreciated.

Long live the “Best Dressed!”






Congrats on the new steed. I will be getting an FX soon to test and do some stuff with. 


The gearing is pretty good for high speed stuff, but if you are doing tighter single track you will want to go up a tooth or two in the rear to help the 2nd-3rd gear gap. In the dez it's fine but tighter stuff you feel like you're in between gears. 


Otherwise the suspension might be a little soft once broken in so stiffen gin up the compression (2-3 clicks on both ends and 1/4 turn stiffer on high speed shock) will help on de-cel and high speed g-outs. If this doesn't help a re-valve will be in order.


Otherwise ride the crap out of her and enjoy!