Going from 245 to 265 suspension. Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by Whodatschrome, May 15, 2019.

  1. rinho

    rinho Rinho Féroce

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    Nice story Whodatschrome,
    I'm curious about your fork... is that the oem one ?
    Bottom parts and fender do not look like mine.
    I know Ktm built these '06 950 with parts used on the Euro '06 990 but I wonder if they made some change during production.
    Same question about the rear brake pedal, is the stopper a mod you did (as I did on mine) ?
    #41
  2. GezwindeSpoed

    GezwindeSpoed Long timer

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    Great you are happy now with your suspension. It is indeed amazing what more travel can mean, I went to 300mm in the front and 280mm in the back. I used to brace for impact when i met unexpected potholes, now I just laugh and give it more gas. Also during my last rally in Algeria I enjoyed it some much more, I could even jump small dunes and cross wash outs like they did not exist.
    #42
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  3. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    Hi Rinho,
    The bike is the standard US market 2006 950 S model, so the forks are also the standard 950 items as well. I swapped over to a 990 low fender, so it looks a lot different than the 950 version. I did the the stopper mod to the rear brake pedal a couple years ago. I haven’t seen anyone else do the mod, but it seemed like a good idea to me. I saw that the 990’s, 950SE’s, and 640A’s had them, so why not install one on my 950A as well?
    #43
  4. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures Supporter

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    Glad you finally got it sorted! It's amazing what these big bikes can do once the suspension works right, and sounds like yours is finally doing what it should. I didn't make it to LAB2V this year but the snow and such looked pretty nuts. Seemed like Palmdale had a good 3-4 inches of the stuff. Hopefully we will cross paths on the big bikes again sometime; I didn't see you out at the KTM rally this year.

    The brake stopper mod is a good one; I've done mine as well after ripping the retainer clip out of the master in a crash. That was a good exercise in measure twice, drill once for me... ah well, the extra hole is just weight reduction. :lol3

    EDIT: knew I was forgetting something. Bogging in the whoops. Can't remember if we talked about jetting or not but dropping float height down to 4mm and running on the lean side with the pilots and needles mostly fixed it on mine. It doesn't stall out now, though you can feel it get a bit rich if you chop the throttle trying to roll through really really deep whoops. Downside is you can end up with a fair bit of exhaust popping, but the fuel mileage is great. Not much is scarier on a 950 than nosing into a gap at speed because the bike cut out...but at least now you have the suspension to at least have some hope of saving it. :beer
    #44
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  5. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    side question what is the brake stopper mod?
    #45
  6. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures Supporter

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    See the little round bolt above the rear brake lever/foot peg? It's a little eccentric cam that acts as a positive upward stop for the brake lever. 990s had these stock, but the 950 had a circlip inside the rear brake master that prevented the piston from pulling out. If you crashed or snagged the brake on something, it was pretty easy to pull the pushrod and circlip out of the master. Pretty easy to add, just drilling and tapping the frame. This is an old pic but the only one I have that shows it. The rear lever is up really high so I had to drill another, lower hole to get the lever to be in the right resting position.

    [​IMG]
    #46
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  7. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    @gearheadE30 thank you ......................I ride an SE so I have it I think.....
    #47
  8. Camel ADV

    Camel ADV Long timer Supporter

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    Always a pleasure riding with you John. I didn't get any action shots of you as you were going too fast... except in that last snow section of day 2 ;)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #48
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  9. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    A huge shout out to @Camel ADV for recommending me to Suspension 101, and for getting my suspension hand delivered from the suspension shop (near San Diego), to my cold little hands up in Palmdale! I was at my wits end for the past couple years with having to deal with crap suspension work from a different suspension company. Thank you big time Cory!!!
    #49
  10. Camel ADV

    Camel ADV Long timer Supporter

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    @Torque @ Suspension 101 has been hitting home runs with my suspension so I'm happy to recommend his shop. I am happy you were able to get your 950 dialed in for LAB2V... However, I'm not looking forward to competing against you at the Desert 100 and Virginia City Grand Prix this spring :bow
    #50
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  11. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    well, don't get your hopes down just yet. Now that i can ride faster, my carbs are now loading up with too much fuel through the whoops, which then cause my bike to sputter and die. It happens after about 4 or 5 whoops in a row. And then the bike won't restart again until after it finally rolls to a stop. So if i calculate this correctly, said bike stalls out on every 5th large whoop. It takes about 3 seconds to restart it after it dies. Probably total time lost from the engine blubbering, coasting to a stop, restarting it, and then getting my momentum back, i'm probably loosing about 5 seconds total on average (at every 5th whoop). Multiply that by the 1000 whoops that are out in the Desert 100, and that's around 16:40 minutes lost.

    And we have to remember that the most difficult competitor at the D100 IS the course itself. Finishing at that race IS winning!
    #51
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  12. rinho

    rinho Rinho Féroce

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    So we have the same 950!
    I did the Brake mode few years ago but don't remember when nor where's the idea came from... maybe from you, but for sure a must do (and cheap) mod.
    #52
  13. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures Supporter

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    With its being the 50th, I've been pondering driving out to that one to check it off the list for now. Desert isn't my forte, so I need practice anyhow. Worth driving a couple days for?
    #53
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  14. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    Good question! Two days is a LOT of driving...then another two days to get back home! So the Desert 100 course is two 50 mile loops. The adventure bikes only do one loop (along with quite a few other classes as well, only doing a single loop). Race day is on Sunday, but for Saturday, there are all sorts of poker rides. Saturday is also a good day to get some preriding in to dial in your suspension. The race is Sunday and course is pretty much non stop relentless. There are VERY few places to sit down and relax (i think i got to sit down for about a total of 5 minutes last year). Lots and lots and lots of rocks. Even more lots and lots and lot and lots of whoops. Lots of rocky hill climbs too. If it's dry out, the course is SUPER dusty. If it's wet out, it's SUPER slippery and muddy. When it's just right out, it's epic! Even though it's "only" a single 50 mile loop, a great finishing time would be around 3 hours (give or take 15 to 30 minutes). Imagine the LAB2V course with LOTS of sharp rocks everywhere, tons more whoops, no silt roads, lots of hill climbs, way more single track, and wet muddy slippery conditions. I's something like a full 1/3 of the racers don't finish for whatever reasons (mechanical, exhaustion, out of fuel, injury, ect..) It's pretty epic. I'll be planning on doing the event for years to come. Sometime in the future, i might try doing the full 100 mile race on my 950...dunno yet though. It would be a butt kicker for sure.

    here's a video that i found on youtube that kinda sums it up.
    #54
  15. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    The snow was pretty nuts this year! I left Oregon a full day early to get down to Cali before the snow closed down the pass. I think i beat the snow by only a few hours! I was hoping that you would make it out again this year, but i figured that wasn't going to happen, especially with all the crazy weather. But i will say this, the last half of day one, and all of day two, there was super awesome riding conditions at LAB2V this year! I'm so glad i brought my big bike.

    I was REALLY hoping to be at the KTM rally this year, but the tickets for the ultimate race sold out much earlier this year than last year. There were still tickets available for the rally itself, but i also wanted to do the race! Hopefully all the 50 people who bought a ticket entry for the race showed up, but i keep getting a suspicion that there were guys showing up on their ktm 1290's with aluminum panniers still attached. The only reason i could see this happening is if a relative "unknown" rider placed first at a ktm rally in a previous year, then did a whole bunch of awesome write ups and blogs on it, making it look like the average rider could easily compete in it. Any ideas who that could be Jordan? Yeah, i thought so...

    We never talked about jetting at all. So bringing the floats down to 4mm then? What does ktm normally recommend them to be at? Any particular pilots and needles that you recommend as well? I have no idea what my current jetting is. Though i'm terrible at figuring out jetting, changing out jets is not a problem for me.
    #55
  16. Camel ADV

    Camel ADV Long timer Supporter

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    It's a crazy race, you'd love it. We'll have a big ADV showing for the 50th. Worth a 2000mile drive each way... maybe not but we'll be in Moab for Dirt Circus the week before D100 so you could loop them together and make it worthwhile. Or... stay west for a couple weeks after D100 and race the Virginia City Grand Prix too.
    #56
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  17. GezwindeSpoed

    GezwindeSpoed Long timer

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    I also had flooding issues in the past and lowered the floats to 4mm (from the recommended 3mm). It did help a bit, but not enough. To counter the leaning out, I increased the screws with half turn out and the needle half a step higher. Finally I found that my non OEM fuel pump was the cruel pit, it gave a too high pressure combined with whoops it flooded the carbs. Went back to OEM fuel pump (with dr Beans electrics) and all flooding was gone.
    #57
  18. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures Supporter

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    Sounds like fun, and that video is just an insane amount of bikes. I think the most I've had in my start row before was 50, and that's nothing compared to a full shotgun start like that. I guess I'll have to start narrowing down my race list for the year and figure out what I actually have vacation for. That is definitely a bit of driving.

    I did manage to get a ride in while I was out there, borrowing a 950 SE for a bit. The desert is awesome after rain! Maybe I'll make it to LAB2V next year or something. I guess I just need to start keeping a second bike out in California...

    There were only 40 entries available this year, and now that I've helped with the event, even that is a bit like herding cats. Most of those did show up, though there were (and always will be) some people who are much more adventurers than racers. Hopefully I didn't give too many people false hopes. :lol3 Of course we had a few people out of their element, but overall I think the capability at the pointy end in the second day's 10 riders was really, really strong and even the average of the whole group was a step above 2018. Which is good, because it made riding sweep quite a lot easier.

    KTM recommends 3mm. I dropped mine to 4-4.5mm and it mostly stopped the flooding issue. I still use the stock 42 pilots and stock needles. I think they are still on the second clip, even. I do have a different air cutoff jet (I think I went from 50 to 70, but memory is fuzzy) and my mains are like 162/165 or something like that. My setup is definitely on the lean side because I like it working well at altitude and I don't like the flood stalling I was getting before. Fuel mileage is decent enough now that I usually don't run the rear tank anymore. There is probably more power on the table, but I wouldn't know what to do with it most of the time.

    Hmm... I doubt I could stretch to Virginia City, but I might be able to lump in with Dirt Circus. I will have to run that past my boss when it gets a bit closer. While I've got a bit of leeway, working from the road long enough to make all that happen might be a stretch. But it's worth a try. Would be great to see all you guys out there.

    I wonder how many people have exactly this problem with the Facet and other pumps, and then chase their tails because they assume the new pump is fine. I still have my original fuel pump in the bike, also with the Dr. Bean setup...works great.
    #58
  19. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    +1 Dr. Beans pump Zero issues with the pump or flooding carbs etc. even slightly better economy
    #59
  20. Torque

    Torque Been here awhile

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    Regarding 245 - 265mm travel.
    I made an attempt to talk whodatschrome out of going to the long travel set up. I knew he would be a happy camper either way and it was cheaper.
    We build a 245mm set up that will out run 95% of the 265mm bikes in the field. I am 5 foot 10 inches and run 245mm. I can jump, pound, and all around hammer the bike without issue and only bottom out in a deep high speed type of hit. High speed being the key word here but still ride through it without going down. It is plush on top and has more bottoming resistance than it should.
    Now John's bike is now long travel and he wanted to go lighter springs. The only reason I agreed to that was because of the extra travel and I did beef up the damping due to that fact.
    So John's bike has light pre-load on his fork springs, lots of damping, so with the extra travel it is a bit softer overall but has bottoming resistance necessary to keep him safe in desperate high speed situations. If John bottoms it is because he is at race speed in an aggressive hit.
    The open bath wp fork on the 990-1090-790 and many more can be built to have as much bottoming resistance with more plushness than the infamous KYB SSS forks.
    Just need to re-design the valving package.
    It is more than a shim stack shuffle by far, but the results John can attest to.
    I am glad you are satisfied with your suspension and from what I hear you are pretty fast. So in hindsight maybe you did make the right call going to the longer travel.
    I do thank you John for posting up your results.
    So the bottom line.
    Longer travel I can make softer and still have the bottoming resistance for hard hits.
    Shorter travel I have to firm things up a bit across the board. But even with this unless I had to set it up for racing at a pro level you would find the forks to be very plush.
    Not mush, plush. In other words easy on the wrists, no deflection, but still able to take the hit for fun and safety.
    #60
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