Front end washing out.

Have a question about technique?
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Fatherof2
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Front end washing out.

Post by Fatherof2 » 09:41 am Jan 03 2012

Hi Gang,

I am having trouble keeping my front end under control. Often times, I feel like I am going to lose it. I seem to have no ablility to rail a corner. If I am going through loose rocks, I feel like my front tire is an ice skate. There is just no feeling of being planted if you will. My fork was re-sprung and re-valved by FRP, so I asssume my technique is bad. My riding buddy is able to go much faster through the woods than me. He is 70lbs heavier than me, and is pretty out of shape. He is on a 2009 KTM 300. It frustrates me that he is quicker. I can crush him on a mountian bike, snowboard or white water kayak. Not so on the dirt bike. Its just big bites of humble pie for me! What can I do? Do I just need to keep my head over the front fender? Would a fork swap make a big difference?

Thanks for any help,

David
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Post by scheckaet » 10:15 am Jan 03 2012

try riding more on the gas tank.
Also what tire do you have on the front? the stock is literally garbage, anything is better.

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Post by gsa102 » 10:40 am Jan 03 2012

I stumbled into something that was affecting my turning while testing different suspension settings. I made the stock forks stiffer on compression, to Fred. specs, and then softened the rear spring. Worlds of difference. It made the front end feel much more planted, and the bike as a whole gripped like glue.

With the soft front springs, I had the bike geometry way out of whack. By lowering the rear I found where it think it was supposed to be. If you made the front stiffer, you may have to adjust the rear as well.
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Post by Fatherof2 » 11:29 am Jan 03 2012

>|<>QBB<
scheckaet wrote:try riding more on the gas tank.
Also what tire do you have on the front? the stock is literally garbage, anything is better.
Scheckaet,

I am running an MT-16 on the front, so no excuses there. It is not the soft compound tire. Not sure if that matters.

D.
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Post by Fatherof2 » 11:31 am Jan 03 2012

>|<>QBB<
gsa102 wrote:I stumbled into something that was affecting my turning while testing different suspension settings. I made the stock forks stiffer on compression, to Fred. specs, and then softened the rear spring. Worlds of difference. It made the front end feel much more planted, and the bike as a whole gripped like glue.

With the soft front springs, I had the bike geometry way out of whack. By lowering the rear I found where it think it was supposed to be. If you made the front stiffer, you may have to adjust the rear as well.
GSA,

What adjustments did you make to the compression?

Thank you,

D.
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Post by SS109 » 11:46 am Jan 03 2012

There are so many things you can adjust to get a bike dialed in it is sometimes overwhelming. First, make sure your sag on the shock is set correctly. If your sag isn't set right then anything else you try is really a waste of time. Also, compression and rebound settings on the shock can affect how the front feels as well.

Personally, I would set everything to their mid points and start from there, one change at a time. Keep a little notebook so you can log every change you make and the result you got from it.

Things that you can try right off the bat that are free is tire pressure, raising/lowering the forks in the triple clamps, compression on the forks, and compression/rebound on the shock.

As far as technique, get up tight on the tank before you enter a turn, make sure to get your inside foot out by the front wheel through the turn, weight your pegs properly when entering and during the turn, make sure you are in the proper gear for exiting before entering the turn, and smooth throttle control. I know there is more but I can't remember off hand.
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Post by Fatherof2 » 01:40 pm Jan 03 2012

>|<>QBB<
SS109 wrote:There are so many things you can adjust to get a bike dialed in it is sometimes overwhelming. First, make sure your sag on the shock is set correctly. If your sag isn't set right then anything else you try is really a waste of time. Also, compression and rebound settings on the shock can affect how the front feels as well.

Personally, I would set everything to their mid points and start from there, one change at a time. Keep a little notebook so you can log every change you make and the result you got from it.

Things that you can try right off the bat that are free is tire pressure, raising/lowering the forks in the triple clamps, compression on the forks, and compression/rebound on the shock.

As far as technique, get up tight on the tank before you enter a turn, make sure to get your inside foot out by the front wheel through the turn, weight your pegs properly when entering and during the turn, make sure you are in the proper gear for exiting before entering the turn, and smooth throttle control. I know there is more but I can't remember off hand.
SS,

Thanks for the good advice. I will start at the mid-point and go from there.

I have often wondered about lowering the the forks. (Showing more leg above the top clamp.) At present, the top of my fork leg is even with the top of the clamp. How much would I want to lower it to begin with? Any thoughts?

Thank you,

David
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Post by SS109 » 03:18 pm Jan 03 2012

No more than a couple of millimeters at a time. Trust me, a little goes a long way!
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Post by tirebiter » 03:22 pm Jan 03 2012

First, as already posted, get your rear sag set correctly.
Then if you still feel you need to raise the forks, go 1/8" at a time till it feels weird, then lower them back a 1/16th at a a time till you find the sweet spot.
If I can't do it, I'm sure someone else can!

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Post by Fatherof2 » 03:42 pm Jan 03 2012

Thanks for all the great input guys.

I will work on this week.

David
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Post by Fatherof2 » 10:10 am Jan 09 2012

So I made some changes to the front end.

I lowered the clamps on the fork legs. Here is how it looks now.

Image

Image

Image

The geometry is WAY different. The front end is lower for sure. I could feel it right away just pulling out of the garage. It seems to help on the climbs, and the front end does feel better to me. It does not seem to knife in when cornering, but then again, I am no Pro. I need to do some more testing before drawing any final conclusions. I can tell you that this adjustment was less noticeable than the first time I rode the bike with a Scotts damper. I guess there are many variables at work here. I do have a question though. What are the drawbacks of doing this? Im sure there are some, but I have not noticed them as of yet. By the way, the Compression Damping is 8 clicks out from full tight.

Thanks for any input,

David
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Post by gsa102 » 11:04 am Jan 09 2012

>|<>QBB<
Fatherof2 wrote:>|<>QBB<
gsa102 wrote:I stumbled into something that was affecting my turning while testing different suspension settings. I made the stock forks stiffer on compression, to Fred. specs, and then softened the rear spring. Worlds of difference. It made the front end feel much more planted, and the bike as a whole gripped like glue.

With the soft front springs, I had the bike geometry way out of whack. By lowering the rear I found where it think it was supposed to be. If you made the front stiffer, you may have to adjust the rear as well.
GSA,

What adjustments did you make to the compression?

Thank you,

D.
I just went with the Fredette settings from the website. I can't recall what they were, but could look them up for you. That was with the too-soft stock springs.

As you lower the front end, you will start to notice the front feels twitchy at speed on a straight road. If you go too far, it will become unstable without a damper. Go a little at time and test it.
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Post by tirebiter » 03:34 pm Jan 09 2012

Did you set your rear sag prior to raising the forks?
If I can't do it, I'm sure someone else can!

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Post by Fatherof2 » 09:05 am Jan 10 2012

>|<>QBB<
tirebiter wrote:Did you set your rear sag prior to raising the forks?
Tire,

Yes.........the sag is at the proper height.

I need to ride some more, and do some fine tuning I guess.

D.
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Post by KarlP » 10:52 am Jan 12 2012

The geometry is WAY different. The front end is lower for sure. I could feel it right away just pulling out of the garage.
I am always surprised by how such small changes can make a big difference. I have found that I get good results adjusting rear sag on the trail. I'll leave the locking collar loose and go out to a trail loop that is about a mile long and ride it and see how it feels. I'll lay the bike over and by spinning the shock change the preload a full turn one way or the other and see how it feels. I'll keep making small changes until I get the front/back attitude just right....you'll know it when you find it.
Go home, tighten the locking collar and measure your resulting free and race sag.
Funny thing is, it is seldom more than an 1/8" off the recommended settings, anyway.
Maybe it is just in my head..........
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Front end washing out.

Post by csw220 » 04:55 pm Apr 24 2012

David I`m sure you have the problem figured out by now, but one simple thing I have not heard asked was your tire pressure....seems trivial but for me, +/- 2psi of 10psi make a huge difference. I have an 04`220 with kx front end, re sprung (for 195 lbs with gear) and valved....rocky ride = 11 psi , softer conditions - less rocks = 9-10 psi.

03` 200 with stock forks, re sprung and base valve -4 shims = same tire pressures.

Play with it a bit to find your sweet spot...

Chris

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Re: Front end washing out.

Post by rohann » 07:56 am Jul 11 2012

My front end is doing the same in sand going up a climb so I would like to sort that out as well.

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