The Final Word on 950 wheels

Discussion in 'KTM 950/990' started by Paul Clipper, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. KTMax

    KTMax Ninth of the Nazgul

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    Not entirely but I agree on what you mean. To find out if I was dealing with (mainly) a tire thing or a tire/wheelsize issue, I've fitted a Tourance on the front in 90/90-21. This was a clear improvement over the Scorpion on tar. Less flexing from the knobbies, more stability, more grip and more feedback (and almost 100mm wide when fitted).

    But the improvement is knowhere near as huge as with 19/17" wheels (with Dunlop D607 radials in my case). As written here and in other threads, a complete transformation turning a 950 into an almost SM-like handling hooligan. Awesome.

    For me, KTM's desire to stay 'true' to their die-hard off road heritage/image was taken one step to far with the ADV compromising the bikes qualities too much for 90% or it's owners (and potential buyers). The S bike on 21/18" skinnies and the regular bike on 19/17" would have been a much wiser choice IMO
    .
    #21
  2. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Been here awhile

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    Back on 4/4 I ordered a 17"/19" pair of wheels from Woody's.

    Link here.

    I got a call yesterday. First, there had been a delay getting the 17" rear Sun rim in gold (which I have my heart set on). Second, they send the rims out to have them drilled for the larger spokes - they said they were drilled "too deep" and so had strength concerns and had a new set of rims re-drilled.

    Anyway, I'm about a week away from getting the wheels (I hope) and I'll report back on my impressions then.
    #22
  3. Greg Minor

    Greg Minor The Trespasser

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    I have a set of 17/19 excels rim wheels currently mounted with brand newTKC's. I never got to try the TKC's as I had my accident just before I was going to use them for DV Days in Jan. 05 I have a set of Anakees also. I agree that the on road improvement is high but I found the Anakees to seriously limited the off road ability, even on smooth dirt roads. It always seemed like I would discover a bitchen new dirt road on the days I had my 17/19 combo mounted. I decided the TKC might be the solution but it is still untested. If anyone wants to confirm this setup I will sell my wheels with both sets of tires Contact me off line
    #23
  4. wsmc99

    wsmc99 Been here awhile

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    Okay as a fellow road racer and 950 owner, Did you end up raising/dropping the forks for the 19/17 setup?
    #24
  5. chasfactor

    chasfactor Been here awhile

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    Guys... i have the 17/19 woodys wheels and the Emig kit. I feel the bike turns in too quickly. Is the 20 degree offset the Emig kit provides causing this perhaps?

    Any advise much apprecaited..

    Chas
    #25
  6. wsmc99

    wsmc99 Been here awhile

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    Compared to what?
    Try adding some front preload or dropping your front forks in the triples about 3mm at a time.
    #26
  7. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

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    When I rode the first 1000 miles completely stock I felt the front really lacked feel and tended to push in corners. I dropped the front about 5mm (raised the fork tubes) and that made a big difference - the front had bite. This even applied to dirt as back to back riding of another 950 showed.

    So when I put the 17/19 combo on I didn't change it so I could see what it did knowing it would increase the rake a little and decrease the trail a little - both things that would quicken the steering. Since I like it so much right now I'm not inclined to raise the fork tubes.

    The caveat though would be that I like a bike that falls easily into corners as I spent my road racing on 125 and 250 GP bikes. I've always found Ducatis to be a bit heavy steering and require a lot of push but trade that for stability of a freight train in the corner. I don't feel the bike is nervous at all though and I have my damper turned off and it's never exhibited any head shake at all.

    Chas, you may want to raise the forks (drop the tubes) as this will give you some more trail which is more resistance to falling into a corner. I don't know what the Emig setup does but since it's off road oriented I'm guessing it increases trail - then again since it's part of a damper it may reduce it and let the damper deal with the stability. Try turning your damper up first and see what that does. It goes without saying that your tires are at the right pressure etc.

    Gregor
    #27
  8. KTMax

    KTMax Ninth of the Nazgul

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    Last week at the Dutch KTM Orange day I had an interesting talk with a technical guy from WP Suspension who turned out to be involved with the development of the 950 setup back in 01-02 (WP is a Dutch company owned by KTM).

    I asked him about fitting heavier springs and/or reducing the air chamber to stiff'n things up a bit after fitting 19/17" wheels. He told me that KTM wanted to give the 950 the same calm & steady 'fly-by wire' feel in the bars as the GS. For this the 950 forks are lightly damped smoothing out as much ripples and jerks as possible. To avoid GS riders being put off by rattling and shaking handlebars. The 950 forks are the only WP forks with two bypass/damping holes (not sure what he said).

    He said not to start mess'n with the springrates and air chamber right away. "Try these 4 steps first"; put the fork legs flush with the top yoke (already did that), wind up the spring preload to max (already did that too), add 4 or 5 clicks of compression damping (dang, did that too) and last but not least, close the rebound adjusters all the way up to max or one click before max, effectively close one of the two holes mentioned. "This will calm down the front end big time and give a much better feel & feedback". "You'll probably don't need to change anything else"...

    Back home click-click-click-click-click-click... Wow, that is a big step forward! Well worth a try! :thumb
    #28
  9. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

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    Hmm, that sounds like something to try. I was going to move to a heavier spring (I was bottoming over whoops and jumps) but then I decided that I'm an idiot to be riding this bike like that and behavior modification seemed a better way to deal with that problem. The new wheels keep me from doing really stupid things that the bike is capable of - more or less.

    I'll try those settings and see what happens before I send the suspension out for a revalve. Thanks for the tip.

    Gregor
    #29
  10. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

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    Quick question:

    When swapping from 21/18 to 19/17 what gearing changes have you guys make on the sprocket and countersprocket, and were you able to keep the stock chain length?

    I had a DRZ400 w/ dirt and SM wheels, but had to replace the chain when I swapped over and that made it a real pain in the a$$ to do.


    Thanks Dan
    #30
  11. jsrider

    jsrider Long timer

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    I'm not a road racer by any stretch of the imagination, but I have ridden sport bikes, including Ducatis. I switched my front tire from the Scorpion to the Karoo T and find it better on pavement, including being significantly quicker and lighter to turn. And it loves to turn on the brakes. With a Karoo T front and a Scorpion rear I haven't been able to overwhelm the tires on asphalt. When I commute to work, my office driveway has a tight lefthand hairpin followed by a tight righthand hairpin. I bevel my boot soles in 2nd gear every time, even in the morning when it's cold out.

    Of course the Karoo is also a billion times better in the dirt than the Scorp. I have my suspension set on standard front and rear, and have no complaints. Perhaps I am a freak. Or else just not a good enough rider to know the difference. :D

    I for one am fine with the 21/18 wheels on and off the street. My only complaint is the lack of choice for rear tires.
    #31
  12. kingrj

    kingrj Been here awhile

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    I completely agree..I had Woody's make me up an Excel 17" rear, 19" front and with Diatanzias mounted it is the most wonderful twisty road bike I have even ridden..I will stay up with almost anything out there. However..I had to increase the preload on the front and go to zero preload on the back to get it not to be "twitchy"..It is very sensitive to rear ride height..With this set-up I don't care how many water pumps it eats! I love this freaking thing! It does ok on gravel and fire roads too...With this set-up it really is more of a sport bike than a dual-sport...Try it if you think I am kidding..

    RJK
    #32
  13. fingerlake

    fingerlake n00b

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    Has anyone tried the 19"front/18"rear wheel combo. I'd like to keep the 21" front wheel fitted with a decent knobby and just switch to the 19" front wheel for faster road riding or road tours. This would cut down on the new wheel expense.
    #33
  14. Big__AL

    Big__AL Been here awhile

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    The change in diameter of the rear tire is not that significant........no changes needed.
    #34
  15. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    This is something I've been wondering as well-- glad I did some searching to see if it was asked; but unfortunately it doesn't look like anyone responded.

    So I'll ask it-- has anyone tried running a 19/18 combination? Other than probably not being able to get as many road type tires in 18" as 17", it would seem to be a reasonable (and relatively economical) alternative.

    And a related question-- has anyone done 19/17 (or 19/18) on an SE?

    Get past they "why would you want to....." part: I'm just looking to see if anyone's done it and how it's worked: not for imagined or perceptional reasons not to do it.

    thanks,
    #35
  16. Kolossos

    Kolossos Adventurer

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    :clap very interesting thread
    #36
  17. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    Answered here for the A.

    I asked a follow-up about the SE in that thread.
    #37
  18. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    ....I just mounted the 17/19 combo with Avon D's....seems to me offroad the suspension feels alot less supple and the handling not as crisp.
    I may try TKC's...or just throw the 18/21's on to do dirt.
    #38
  19. jak

    jak Been here awhile

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    Ive been wondering about the wheel size change as well. Ive done the fork springs and valving already with a huge improvement. My 990ADV is mainly being used as a 2 up touring bike 95% of the time so Im really struggling with the wheel change and the investment. Any thoughts?
    #39
  20. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    If your doing mostly road work and want the bike a bit lower then I'd say absolutely, otherwise if your satisfied with the bike why bother. I personally think the 18/21 works just fine in the turns, the 17/19 just ads some thrill. I really do like the ability to have some bend at the knees when I stop. The bike isn't a tippy when doing a U-ie and such.
    #40