Originally Posted by Bungholio
Hypothetical question of a real situation: I am looking at getting a 2008 530EXC for $7299 +T&L along with the R2R kit. Is the 2009 model improved enough to fork over the extra cash to get it instead of the 2008? My use will be for casual fun riding, no racing except against myself. Inquiring minds want to know. Know that your answer will greatly influence my purchase decision.
IMO, the 2008 suspension was not great out of the box, but the components are essentially the same as the 2009 (there are some refinements to coatings and wall thicknesses, etc, but these are subtle in their effects). So, a competent tuner can make an 08 work basically as well as an 09 for the price of a revalve.
The other substantial update I'm aware of is piston rings, I believe the 2009 has updated parts in that department. Again, this is not a particularly costly thing to address should it become necessary.
I would say, go for the 08, and when you're ready, send the suspension to superplush or whatever vendor your research leads you to, and you won't be sorry!