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Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by trailrider383, Sep 11, 2014.
Thanks for the replies on the plastic cleaners, folks! Love this community.
Okay folks. I've been thinking about upgrading my front suspension. On the 17 these explorer forks are ok but I definitely feel that something is missing in the performance of them.
What's my options with out breaking the bank?
First off get the correct spring rates for your weight with gear. Start at the stock settings and play with the clickers. Properly sprung the explorer's are not too bad.
That's what I keep being told about them. But.. okay spring rates,,,,, what's the stock? I've been told that the stock is set up for someone 175#, I'm 170# without gear so thinking I should be pretty close. Now I feel that there are a bit stiff which is giving me a harsh right. And to add to the weight thing, I'm running a 4.5 gal IMS tank which adds something to the equation at least when over half full.
So I guess I should ask,. What is the true stock spring rate and are the rates with or without gear?
It depends on what function you want improved. What is the target terrain and speed? Will you be racing? Play riding? What is your current rider weight? This includes everything you put on your body and bike that is not stock. I was amazed to discover my rider weight is 45 lbs more than just me. Gear up, add your fender bag, hand guards, pipe guard, etc, and climb on a scale. Remember your lunch, liquids, and gasoline. Weigh your bike fully fueled. My 2019 TE 300i weighs 253 lbs! There are many competent suspension shops around. A typical respring/ revalve of your Xplor 48 fork may cost $700-$1000. Consider buying an AER fork like @Dan950ser did if you are a fast guy.
The Xplor48 fork is made for slower, more technical terrain to suit the typical buyer: a 30-50 year old recreational rider. Mr. Typical Buyer wants to be able to ride all day without getting all beat up. Somehow he also weights 165 lbs rider weight..All the racers I know have their suspension custom modified to suit. The stock suspension attempts to please everyone.
There's a good section in the owner's manual on this. (At least there was in the manual for my 2015 FE350s.) They list the stock spring rates, the intended weight of the rider (with gear), and a couple of rates up and down from stock. That turned out to be pretty accurate when I re-sprung my 350.
Another resource is www.racetech.com, they have a spring rate calculator on the website. The website says they want you to enter your weight without gear, but I've found it works better if you enter your weight with riding gear.
1) Sag. Are you able to get the sag adjusted properly fully loaded (bike a, rider and gear)? If not then you need a different rear spring rate.
Once this is set what is the complaint regarding the forks? This will steer you in the proper direction on what to do to them. I believe stock was 4.6 spring rate for the forks. I went to 5.0s and I like where they currently are. Still supple on slow speed trail junk but rarely bottom on the high speed stuff. Front end feels solid up to 80 mph without a stabilizer. If you need more stiffness don't forget the Huskys come with the adjustable preload on the top of the forks.
For what it's worth, I was very happy with the performance of the suspension on my 2015 FE350s once I got the right springs, set the sag, and played a bit with the clickers. It transformed the bike and gave me a lot more confidence to ride fast through the trail trash. It is absolutely the best bang for your buck of any mod you can do to your bike.
Yes I know there's a lot of veritable's that comes into play here.
I'm just an middle aged old man that mostly dual sport rides with some fast gravel/dirt involved. Not much if any single track unless it's something stupid I got myself into or to get to a oportun out of the way campsite. As far as gear I wear that changes from day to day. And most if not all other gear is put on the rear suspension, which by the way seem good for me and the gear.
So back to the front. Just I'll just try new springs and get the rate advised from Racetech which if I remember correctly is .042 or .42. Something like that. But I'd really like to know the stock spring rate first. Maybe the springs are marked somehow, I'll have to pull out one and check if it's not in the book.
This made a huge difference for me... but I am heavier than your average guy. I think the stock springs are set for a 145-165 pound rider, or somewhere near that range. If you are in that range and can't make the stockers work for you, contact Alex at Konflict Motorsports. I haven't heard a bad review of Konflict yet. I recently read an article claiming that a popular FE suspension mod is to go with cone valve forks with a Trax rear shock. (Link) Not sure if anyone on this thread is running that combo, though.
I gotta say, I am pretty happy with the stock suspension (sprung for my weight). I just rode my FE in the Shendandoah 500, a dual sport ride with everything from long technical, rocky uphills to fast forest service roads with jumps (rain cuts that acted like jumps). The bike was awesome. You may ride far more aggressively than me, though.
Believe it or not the sag was almost dead on from the shop. All I did was okay around with the comp and rebound and not much of that until I started loading up camping gear. So I believe that the rear spring rate is pretty good
No I'm not aggressive rider, but in personality I've been told I was at times
I don't think there are any marks, any way of measuring the wire diameter or counting coils to determine the spring rate on stock Xplor springs. Unlike the older WP forks, hope I'm wrong.
Stock spring rate should be in the owner's manual.
The only thing in the manual is it gives me three rider weights and the spring rate for each.
I'd fall into the the rate of 4.4 according to the manual and Racetech calculator. So Racetech gives the price of $129, is that each? And RM springs are $110, and says 1 in the quantity blocks which leads me to believe that for a pair. But that doesn't sound right. Any help would be appreciated on the quantity. And is Racetech the extra money?
Here are screen shots from my TE300 and FE501 owners manuals. Neither say which spring came in the bike.
That's pretty much what I found
Hmm OK, well USUALLY it's sprung for a rider in the 75-85KG range. But why do you need to know the stock rate? Can't you just extrapolate based on the info there to get the spring rate you need? (Go up or down 0.2NM/mm per 10kg rider weight)
Both fork and shock springs specs on the same page. Hope this helps.
View attachment 1937257
I swear my screenshot looks clear as day, I dont know why after the upload it looks so fuzzy