Originally Posted by Pantah
You can do the changes, but it may cost you some progress time. Example: #2 son was offered a Pirelli tire deal. He was a Dunlop rider. He tried the Pirelli deal to save on the tire bill. He paid for it in progress.
It was a long slow and frustrating process. He had the Pirelli suspension techs to help, but it was really up to him to give them the right feedback. He figured it out eventually, and after fairly radical changes in geometry and damping, he got fast again and even set new times. But he wrecked a lot of gear in the process. The next season he went back to Dunlop and was instantly on his game. The Pirelli thing cost him a season, but he learned a lot about set-up. More than he ever would have if he just raced Dunlop.
Not saying P or D is better. It's what your set-up knowledge is that makes the difference. Should be a similar dilemma for you. Set-up is everything for most.
Thanks for the input. It's my own fault at this point in the game for not being more in tune with suspension changes and how they alter my riding. All too often I find myself defaulting back to the thought of "I should be able to ride around the bikes issues". While this is good in the fact that I learn creative ways of manipulating myself and the bike to accomplish various tasks, it hampers me in the fact that I instead of having a great baseline, I end up working harder than I really need to.
This also ties into not having a proper "practice" schedule. Something that I want to fix in this next year. Ideally I'd like to have a set .5-1 mile loop with a variety of terrain that I see during races, so I can build that proper baseline of suspension settings. This combined with tracking lap times around a specific set loop would do a lot for me.
Unfortunately snow is just about to hit, and my land options are slim.
There's an indoor MX track that I intend on frequenting this winter. Only downside there is that it doesn't do much for setting up my suspension for woods. It'd do wonders for my endurance and bike feel.
PS - I've found that I've felt very little difference in the dirtbike tires, outside of switching from Soft Terrain, to Hard pack terrain type tires. Michelin S12XC's have hooked up the same for me as the comparable Bridgestone. When it comes to tire pressure, this next season I'm saying screw it & going to foam inserts. I'm not risking another flat ever again. Just not worth it.