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bartman5impson

Only getting 50% travel on front forks - normal?

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bartman5impson

In the picture below I have marked which portion of the front forks are being used. The area marked in red is completely clean, but above that, dirty and rusting. This is surprising because I always feel the front end dive hard whenever I brake with moderate force. When I come to a stop on the front brakes the bike also bounces back as the forks decompress. Even letting off the throttle is enough to have the front end dive. Is it normal to only be getting about 50% of travel from the forks? I have been looking into installing the Race Tech Gold Valve Emulators.

fork.thumb.jpg.42080a140a1cb33272fbc2ed8b7f3146.jpg

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elmo

Best to establish your current baseline bike/rider sag and hard brake numbers with a zip tie before making any changes. However, this is more for spring and preload, and does not provide and rebound info which mostly visual and feel. Not familiar with the Race Tech Gold Valve Emulators, but rebound damping control is desperately needed on the stock forks.

1386346548_ziptieelevations.thumb.jpg.2f85dc4705b3efc92702325dae49d4a0.jpg

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Beemer

Just off the top of my head if you had only 5.1 inches of travel to begin with and you subtract around 40 mm of rider sag from that you aren't going to have a whole lot of travel left.


Beemer

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elmo
Posted (edited)

Agree, 40mm is soft but I am 220# with gear, it's an old photo and not a recommendation. My point was to know your sag numbers whatever they may be, before making changes. Currently running 30mm rider sag but mostly ride at the track. Pic Sonoma raceway Yamaha only day, on Monday after the MotoAmerica weekend a few weeks ago, with my new Alpine stars race tech vest.

FYI- The use of zip ties is a great way to learn about your fork travel range. On a downhill slope hit the front brake hard at 20 mph and try to lift the rear up, do you top out?

799641879_Sonoma-Yamahaonlyday.thumb.jpg.693f80d7d9f433885ee9d8ca634341cc.jpg

1925144758_yamaha_20191.thumb.jpg.9c0fe87b902c2e41984c03187ba8f830.jpg

 

Edited by elmo
zip tie

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kylerhsm
19 hours ago, bartman5impson said:

In the picture below I have marked which portion of the front forks are being used. The area marked in red is completely clean, but above that, dirty and rusting. This is surprising because I always feel the front end dive hard whenever I brake with moderate force. When I come to a stop on the front brakes the bike also bounces back as the forks decompress. Even letting off the throttle is enough to have the front end dive. Is it normal to only be getting about 50% of travel from the forks? I have been looking into installing the Race Tech Gold Valve Emulators.

If you're a lightweight like me (160 pound) then the stock springs are a little too stiff so you'll struggle to get optimum travel out of them. The diving is weak damping (front and rear) which people can mistake for thinking they have too soft springs. With the stock springs in the front I get 15mm static sag with an additional 13mm rider which is only 28mm all up. Either that or you just don't brake hard.

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Zupatun

Zip tie dont lie...

Spirited street riding I only use 2/3 of travel at most (.95 front springs, Matris inserts for my 245lb butt)...on the track, if it is all the way to the stops...I'm bottomed out and overwhelming the suspension, but there's usually at least 10-15mm left on trackdays.

 

On the street, I just dont ever brake hard...usually.  

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gregjet

Might be worth checking the forks weren't overfilled just in case.

GVE's are a BIG improvement over stock "valving" if you do them properly. I had them before I went to Pattonme's internals. Decent rate springs will help.

You should NEVER get full travel. That is the same as hitting your frame with a sledge hammer. 1mm less fine. 20-30% of available travel ( 130mm >26-39mm ) drop travel bike and rider, depending on how you want the bike to feel, with minium preload on a correct rate spring.

NOTE: The stock soft rear spring will make the front end "feel" firmer and reduce fork action. The bike sits down into the rear and also increases static trail which "increases" the apparent spring rate. On some bikes with this problem the front can sometimes hardly move on road ( non dirt) surfaces. The Suzuki DRZ400SM suffered from this very badly.


Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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