My KDX handles like a pile

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#1
I've had my KDX for a year now and it has been the best bike I have ever had. Then I rode my brother's KLX for a few hours tonight. I have ridden his bike many times before but never long enough to grow accustom to it. Tonight was different. After I got used to the 4 stroke power I really dug the bike. It soaked up bumps way better than my KDX. Traction was always present and the bike's front end remained planted and never tried to wash out. The bike simply responded to everything I tried to do and didn't fight me, I can't say the same thing about my KDX.

Now the question is, what's wrong with my KDX and how can I get it to handle as good as his? My bike is 100% stock. I was thinking of buying the stiffer fork springs and maybe even some lowering links so I can touch the ground better. I'm not a tall guy - 5'5", so being able to easily tough the ground on the KLX was a comforting experience. Will lowering links kick the front end out and make it handle worse? To me it seems like that would be the case. Any suggestions?
 

fishhead

die you sycophant !
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#2
You want it to Handle?
Re-spring and re-valve for your weight and type of terrain you ride and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. Race Tech has a site as does Mx-Tech and Moto-Pro and there are tons of others. You can probably find someone local who can help you out.
 

Sage

dirtbike riding roadracer
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#3
send out your suspension or buy a klx??? which way do you want to go?
 
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#4
<<Will lowering links kick the front end out and make it handle worse? >>

This will take away it's cornering ability, you put more weight bias on the rear of the bike, vs the front. I have a KLX and found the best way to make my KLX turn better, is to pull the forks up through the triple clamps 5 to 7 mm. The only problem with doing this, is throwing off the balance of the bike, but I'd trade off some balance for some more turning ability (Preference).

You may want to consider doing both (pulling forks up through the triples and putting on lowering links (dog bones), to lower the bike. I'd still be inclined to pull the forks up through the triples even more.

BTW - You could put more preload on the rear spring to put more weight on the front end, but then you get into rear sag, it also raises the rear of the bike etc. and that's a whole new set of issues to resolve.

Hope this helps !!! -MC-
 

Canadian Dave

Super Power AssClown
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#5
The KLX is one of the best handling bike out there so don't feel bad if your stock KDX doesn't quite stack up. There are a number of things you could do to make you KDX handle better, depending on your needs and pocket book. For most the best place to start is to properly balancing the suspension. The fork's spring rate is good for riders in the 130lb range while the shock spring is better for those in the 170+ lb range. The rear end over powers the front causing the forks to blow through their travel and unweight the rear end.

You might also consider raising the forks in the triple clamps to change the geometry of the bike. I'd suggest investing in appropriate fork and or shock springs first however. Altering the geometry isn't going to improve the balance any.

David
 

dirt bike dave

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#6
After you get your suspension set up, get a steering damper! I am a big proponent of dampers - doesn't matter what brand, just get one. With the damper, you can set the bike up for quick steering but still have stability. Yeah, they are expensive, but think of it as a safety device - you WILL crash less often.

The KLX is a sweet handling bike, but so is the KDX when it is perfectly set up.
 

Bill Hibbs

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#7
My guess is you have your compression dampening set up too stiff to compensate for the weak stock springs. This will cause the front end to push and feel harsher on the sharp bumps. I would say an unbalanced suspension is the main cause of your handeling problems.

The KLX is a sweet bike though.
 
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#8
I checked out the JustKDX homepage and set my clickers to what was specified. It helped the rear end out a bunch. The front was set a 9 clicks out stock, so I set them to eight as recommended. This seemed to help a little. I'm in the process of ordering stiffer springs from FRP. The stock bike's lack of balence front to rear makes a lot of sense.

I was afraid that the lowering links would change things for the worse. It really amazes be but the slightly lower seat and pegs on the KLX do wonders for my self-confidence when cornering hard.

I'm glad I rode my brother's bike because I had no idea what I was putting up with. I always assumed it was me but wow! What an eye opening experience to ride something that didn't fight me. Now I know what to shoot for.
 

Bill Hibbs

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#9
Yea, now ride a bike that's had $700.00 worth of suspension work done. Actually, you'd be better off NOT riding one. ;) Why torture yourself. It's amazing the difference it makes. It's hard justifying the money for something you can't touch but can only "Feel". At least to the Wife! Those springs will make a dramatic difference though.
 
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#10
Yeah, I can imagine what you mean! I had a buddy who had the suspension revalved on his YZ and he constantly told me I had to do it. I never could bring myself to spend that much on one modification. Up here I can only ride dirt bikes half the year. The other half I ride and race snowmachines. It always seems like the snowmachines suck up all my spending money. :(
 
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#11
I would recommend logging into racetech.com and filling out the spring settings form. It will tell you exactly what fork springs you need for your weight and riding style. I just bought the springs 79 bucks and my bike rails now. Racetech rules...:cool: