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Old 02-02-2013, 05:46 AM   #1
FakeName OP
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Ride height S, R Standard?

Mine's a standard, and when I bought it I knew I'd likely change it higher. But how high?

I'm attractive, 6'2" and about 230lbs. Probably add 50-60 lbs for gear and soft bags. I ride dirt, with stretches of street to facilitate the dirt- I'm unconcerned about suspension performance on the street- I'm sure if it it works off road, it will do just fine to get me there.

I've put a few thousand on the bike since I bought it in October, and it's clear the suspension needs help- I'm thrashing it. It too hard when it needs to be compliant and too compliant when it needs to be firm. Landing jumps bottoms out the front- I have witness marks on the front fenders from the brake lines.

So. I have to decide my path for ride height. Going full S spec seems an obvious choice, but it's damn expensive. And while I'm probably tall enough to ride it at that height,(my exc is still higher) I can see an advantage in keeping a 500+ lb bitch lower to the ground in tighter trails and single track. If all I rode was open dirt roads and desert, the S spec would win easily.

I also see the late model R is something of a compromise in between. Are the internals yet different from the S, but still the same $?

Is the extra 2" (cue size/girth jokes) worth the money, or is a stock (or R?) height but properly-tuned and sprung suspension going to do the job nearly as well, with the advantage of maneuverability?

If I choose the standard height option and wish later to go higher, will I need to replace the springs again?

Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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Take this with a grain of salt, because I'm a hair under 5'10", and I ride an S (one of the shorter ones). So I wouldn't want my bike any taller (and I've tried the taller S models as well as non-S).
I'd say 90% of the improvement in suspension will come from springs and valving appropriate to what you weigh/ride. Extra travel is great (as long as it's set up correctly), but it plays second fiddle to suspension quality, and it's a compromise with the bike being too tall for you to feel comfortable riding it .

Anyway, my 2 cents would be to redo the suspension at it's current height (either yourself or a good shop, preferably local), and make adjustments to get it working really well for you, if possible. I.E., I don't think getting the valving perfect for you on the first try is a sure thing. The hard part is identifying what could be better.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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Thanks, Zak!
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #4
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I disagree with the former opinion .
the 950 was intended and designed to be an S height
marketing pressure caused the design change to the R height as an afterthought patch in order to sell more units

sag height does affect geometry
With no changes to valving , the ride height changes the behavior significantly
in order to be lowered properly , the mounting point of the swingarm pivot would be changed , not just put a spacer in the shock to shorten the travel

for example : if the fulcrum of the lowered rear has the axle past the point of 90 degrees, it is changing the rake of the forks.because the entire frame is now dropping instead of just the swingarm,
when the rear wheel is traveling up , the swingarm pivot is pushing forward until it reaches the hafway point at which it starts forcing the swingarm pivot down( along with the rear of the frame

IMO, the 950 handles 100% better when at designed sag height (S suspension)
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
Dustodust
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S is for Superb
R is for Retarded

Basically what is required to raise to S is
any RFS open cartridges (complete fork internals)
longer fork springs

longer shock spring
remove thicker spacer inside shock that limits travel and install smaller spacer
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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I know I've seen the different years and models broken down in a chart in the HOW, but for the life of me, I can no longer find it.......

Anyone, Buehler.......



Please.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zgfiredude View Post
I know I've seen the different years and models broken down in a chart in the HOW, but for the life of me, I can no longer find it.......

Anyone, Buehler.......



Please.

http://www.ktm950.info/how/wotf/wotf.html





..........
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:50 PM   #8
etingelefunts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustodust View Post
I disagree with the former opinion ....

IMO, the 950 handles 100% better when at designed sag height (S suspension)
100% implies the bike is un-ridable in any other configuration, ignoring that some physical limitations or particular riding styles are better suited to alternative suspension setups.
100% is achieved when the end user is at one with their own 950.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:56 PM   #9
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I would go with taller suspension, I had a standard converted to S (265 mm).

With more suspension travel you can run softer pre-load which makes for a smoother ride because you still have enough left to soak up the hits, with less travel you need the suspension to stiffen up quickly so you don't bottom out.

I also feel more ground clearance is a benefit with these heavy beasts because when you go over logs, etc you don't want to hit your bottom and upset your balance, also ruts are also a problem.

On the road I have no problems, in fact it is better because I don't scrape my pegs.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:49 AM   #10
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Hit your pegs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desperate View Post
I would go with taller suspension, I had a standard converted to S (265 mm).

With more suspension travel you can run softer pre-load which makes for a smoother ride because you still have enough left to soak up the hits, with less travel you need the suspension to stiffen up quickly so you don't bottom out.

I also feel more ground clearance is a benefit with these heavy beasts because when you go over logs, etc you don't want to hit your bottom and upset your balance, also ruts are also a problem.

On the road I have no problems, in fact it is better because I don't scrape my pegs.
My SW motech alloy cases would hit before my pegs

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by FakeName View Post
I'm attractive
are you on dating sites a lot?

The first thing you need to do is get the correct springs (this includes the rear shock) in your bike to create the proper static & rider sag measurements. Until then you're just working around a problem.

Loads of info on suspension spring rates and even valve-stacks here on OC but you have to get those springs set up.

I'd talk to James at SuperPlush Suspension in San Francisco- he knows our forks. He can sell you springs & valving if you want to do it yourself. His goal has always been to get full use from the stroke our bikes came with.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:55 AM   #12
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OK, so here’s my story...

After a lot of deliberation - during which time my heart (or maybe it was my balls) was telling me to go all-out, as be as tall as can be (i.e. 265mm true 'S' spec) – in the end I went from 210mm (current Standard) to 245mm (let's call this current 'R' spec). And I'm glad I did.

I need a lot out of this bike: asking it to be quick, nimble and planted for solo blasts on the pavement; stable and comfortable at highway speeds, carrying a week or two's worth of gear and often the missus; not get too upset over unpaved roads with said cargo on the bike; but also take a beating, going as fast as I dare, over the rougher stuff and not be too harsh over the technical stuff.

After speaking in-depth with James at SPS, he told me 245mm, revalved, stiffer springs up front, would definitely be up to pretty much anything I could throw at it, without the need to go higher and replace the rear shock spring (which would have earned him more money).

To help with the many different duties this bike will be carrying out, James set the assembled preload to 10mm (3-4mm higher than usual), so I can adjust out to 20mm (as opposed to the usual 16-17mm) if needed. James reckons these bikes ride solo over most terrains best in the middle of the adjustment range (10-12mm) and usually sends them out the door with 4mm on the handle off a 6mm assembled preload. So, I doubt I'll miss those lower 3mm.

Like you say, if this bike was only to be used for fast off-roading, I'd probably have gone to 265mm with the usual assembled preload, but the 990 is my sturdy pack mule that can kick up its heels when it needs to, not a thorough-bred race horse.

In terms of ergonomics; I'm 6' 2" with long legs (36" if you measure to the flat of my foot) and with longer pegs (which do affect where you can position your feet on the ground) on the bike and chunky soles on my boots, I'm pretty much on the balls of my feet, rather than flat-footed at a standstill. Which is just right, as far as I'm concerned.

My two-cents is; listen to the pros. They've done it a thousand times before, have a few little tricks up their sleeves and are usually right. If you think it through and give them enough info, they'll hand you what you need. Or just tell ‘em what to do and figure it out yourself from there!
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by amanlikemike View Post
in the end I went from 210mm (current Standard) to 245mm (let's call this current 'R' spec). And I'm glad I did.
Yeah- I was considering that, and thanks for chiming in. Need to get the right parts for this- I'm tempted to send the whole kit to SF, but would prefer to work with someone local. I don't know if SuperPlush would be willing to help gather parts if they're not doing the work- and I completely understand that.

The HOW has a parts list for the full 265mm lift, but not the 245.

While clearly the 265 is superior in theory, I like to easily avoid tipping over in tighter stuff, and am willing to make a compromise to do so.

Thanks again. Oh, let me try it in British:

I'm chuffed to read you answer, and believe Bob will be my uncle if I follow your suggestion.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:46 PM   #14
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I'm attractive, 6'2" and about 230lbs. Probably add 50-60 lbs for gear and soft bags. I ride dirt...

Thanks.

Most importantly, you're attractive.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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Most importantly, you're attractive.
Damn right.
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