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Suspension Talk - Jimmy Lewis

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I know, I know; What's with Jimmy all the time?   Well, he explains issues in a manner I can absorb.

This is excerpted from a current Yamaha comparison on his Dirt Bike Test page.  Answering the question, do you really want Race Bike suspension. ( No ).


YamComp_1.jpg The FX’s race inspired background shines through with its stiffer suspension settings and lack of electronics at the helm.

So, how do they compare once out on the track or trails? Strikingly similar, but different enough to cater to different riding styles. The FX is a pure bred race bike plain and simple. It’s more closely related to its motocross cousin – the YZ450F. As a result, the suspension is much stiffer and can handle a wider variety of terrain leaning all the way to MX use for those inclined.. If you plan on hitting the motocross tracks from time to time, the FX suspension is much better suited and equipped to handle big braking bumps and hard landings off jumps. The more of-road spec lets the bike use more of the stroke than an MX setting and that has the bike acting different on the impacts. Faster riders find the bike wallowly on jump faces where slower riders get more bottoming out when landing off jumps. And all of these traits are further exemplified on the WR if used on a moto track.


Our younger tester who is accustomed to a stiff race bike feel favored the FX suspension more often than not for its stiff nature and confidence inspiring feel. On fast GP terrain or moto tracks, the FX has the upper hand. However, once things slow down and 1st and 2nd gear come into play, the WR struts its legs. The soft, supple feel of the WR suspension soaks up anything and everything thrown its way. The WR suspenders have a soft initial feel, but maintains a progressive rate as it gets deeper into the stroke and reacts quite well to bottoming – something we find translates across the entire Yamaha lineup. As we ventured off the beaten path or found ourselves in the trees, the WR became more appealing, even for the young whippersnapper looking to race through everything. Here the WR finds traction and adds comfort. For us it is a simple decision. Do you want to go on the motocross track with the stock suspension? If so, pick the FX. If you want to go that far with the WR, you’ll need some valving modifications. Same for the FX. Going into the trees a lot, the components will need a little internal massaging. Riding both of the bike is the best way to see how different setups have advantages and disadvantages.

   😎    So, Are you Eli Tomack or Johnny Weekend

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I relate to Eli Wednesday. I adjust my clickers so that I don't bottom out too much and... oh ya, set my rebound so that the bike doesn't spring back too quickly. 😎 

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