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 Go Race Suspension

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PostSubject: Go Race Suspension   Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:46 pm

I recently spent a few days at Go Race Suspension in Christiansburg Virginia and thought I would share a few thoughts about my experience.

I decided to take a week or so of vacation from work and the north east and go on a little road trip. During my mini vacation I also wanted to spend some time working on my bikes, something I normally dont have time for. I had been wanting to do some chassis work and also get my suspension done on both bikes; WR250R & YZ250F. My bright idea was to call up Travis at Go Race. I summed up for Travis my vacation idea and he was not only was onboard with helping me out with my bikes, he also offered me some space in his shop at his home to work on my bikes and a promise to take me on a dual sport ride. So I packed everything up and drove from Boston, MA to Christiansburg, VA to start my well deserved mini vacation, doing exactly what I wanted to do. What could be better than a little one on one time with the bike, some fresh mountain air, and maybe even some black berry picking (inside joke).

I arrived in Christiansburg late Sunday night and I met up with Travis at the Go Race shop first thing Monday morning. We then headed out to the shop at this house where he gave me some space in his barn to work on my bikes. He wanted to take the WR out for a ride before I removed the stock suspension so he took the bike out and rode around his property for a while. After the test ride, and some direction from Travis, I removed the front and rear suspension from both bikes and started preparing to do the chassis work. His kid showed up later that day after school and started working on his bike and helping me with mine. Apparently I am not smarter than a 5th grader when it comes to motorcycle mechanics. Great kid.

So, on Tuesday I started putting the bikes back together and by lunch time on Wednesday, we were getting ready to head out for a dual sport ride.

What an amazing difference the new suspension makes on the WR. In my opinion the bike is tons more fun to ride with the new suspension. The ride started out in the woods / mountains, some single track .. tight in some spots .. then we were back on the pavement, heading UP a winding twisty wet road (wet leaves and some gravel in some of the turns) until my ears started popping (not sure what elevation we reached), then we started going back down, but on a different road, a gravel road. Then we turned off on a washed out trail which was a true test for the bike. At some point we turned around and came back UP the same way we went down, which was a blast. So much fun, and the WR was awesome. Just gave it throttle and it went, no questions, no feathering the clutch, just went. I have D606's and some heavy duty tubes in there which were really put to the test (the rocks in some places were pretty ruff). The suspension sucked up everything and was an amazing riding experience. That for sure would have been a ruff ride with the stock suspension.

I have to say the entire experience exceeded my expectations and then some. It was cool to see all the stock parts he replaced and the parts he replaced them with, and the explanations of how everything works. I spent several days there and I did notice he is a very busy guy. It was very cool of him to juggle me around everything else he has going on. I learned tons from Travis and also the country out there is amazing. I cant write for crap so I hope I am able to give you all an idea about my experience there with what I have written here.

There are a couple of things I would like to mention. First, I went to Virginia with the impression Travis is a suspension expert and obviously knows a lot about motorcycle mechanics. That is true, he is a suspension expert, they are doing lots of cool stuff at Go Race, research and development, but what really impressed me the most is his skill and passion for riding dirtbikes. After spending time around Go Race I realized that those guys are no joke. Check out the 24 hour race they did a couple of years back http://goracegasgas.com/ pretty amazing stuff. There is some cool video on there. Its pretty cool to have someone with his experience interested in our bike and researching ways to make it better (he has some cool ideas I hope develop). The other thing is he mentioned briefly he organizes an annual dual sport ride, but for expert riders. I could only imagine how difficult a ride that would be, but in any case, I told him it would be great if he would also organize a dual sport ride with various levels of difficulty. I would sign up for sure.

Thats about it. I wish I had a bunch of pictures to show but Im not one for taking pictures. I did not mention much about the YZF but he did an amazing job on it. I took it out as soon as I got back from Virginia and I am sooo glad I had him do the suspension on that bike as well. He replaced the rear steel spring (which Yamaha decided to use in 2009 to cut cost) with a softer titanium spring and also softened up the front springs, basically overhauled both front and rear suspension and it is performing great.

There was one possible issue with the WRR suspension that I would like to note. When I originally purchased my bike, the dealer installed a moose racing suspension link to lower my bike. Travis felt the link is causing a leverage problem with the rear suspension and said it would be good to put a stock link back on and test it out. So, I am in the process of doing that now (I lost my stock link and thanks to zestymac - who found me one on ebay - I bought a used one and in the process of getting it ready to install). Here are some pictures of the moose racing link (black) and the stock link (silver).

I will report back after I test out the stock link with the new suspension.

Last edited by cryptomundo on Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:05 am

Sounds like a fun week off. :)

It is very easy to overlook the quality of suspension, or lack of it.
When you feel the difference it makes, it's quite an eye-opener.
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:23 am

So what is the biggest change you've noticed with the new suspension ? Did you notice any difference on gravel roads and/or sandy trails ?
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:00 pm

Keep in mind, these comments are coming from a complete newbie (me) ..

One thing I did not mention before was that I replaced the stock springs (front & rear) with softer springs (I am under 150lbs).

The biggest change is everything. Its a different bike. First thing I noticed was how much more balanced the bike feels .. the front end feels much lighter and handling is much better. The most noticeable thing on my ride in Virginia was a small jump I went over on a trail. In comparison, before it felt like I did not even have a suspension system on my bike. With the new suspension I was completely surprised after going over that first jump, I dont know how to explain other than the bike seemed to jump by itself .. it came off the jump and landed perfect .. I could not believe it, so different than the ping pong feeling before ... the back end would kick up before and front end would hit hard, now its probably picture pefect what a bikes suspension should do.

Unfortunately I have not been able to ride since I returned from my vacation so I dont have much more feedback. Im hoping to get out this weekend (I need to get the new link installed on the bike first). Eventually I will take some video of the bike going over some whoops or something for a visual.

Gravel .. I wont be any help there .. if I hit gravel, Im riding like I have ice skates on in a hockey arena. Sand, hopefully in the next week or so I will be able to let you know. My gut feeling is it will probably do great and wont need to adjust a thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:40 pm

I used to work with Travis at the local Honda dealership. He's a good guy. Has been racing hare scrambles for god knows how long. Next time you talk to him tell him Ross said hi.

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PostSubject: Go Race!   Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:22 pm

The work Travis did on my rear shock was awesome! Now I just need to get the front done too! Words can not explain how much better the bike works with the magic Travis performed on that rear shock. One of the best bangs for the buck out there for sure!
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:48 am

Update on my suspension setup - when Travis originally did my front forks I asked him to lower them (he put some spacers inside the forks) and I have since then had him remove them and so now I am back to original height. I also played around with putting the stock link back on the bike but then decided to put the moose racing link back on to lower the rear (I also lowered it more by adjusting the nut on the shock). After setting the race sag (close to 90) the bike feels more balanced when braking and turning, on and off road. I have also taken the bike to a friend of mine who has a small shop (and is working on his pro motocross license) to give it a test ride and see what he thinks, and it feels pretty good to him (even though its not Factory Connection he says lol). Since this bike is so tall in the rear I think lowering the front too much is not a good thing on this bike (at least for mine). When the front was too low, I had no traction when stopping, there was no weight transfer and no traction. With the adjustments I made, the weight transfer feels much more balanced and the bike stops and turns much better.

One other adjustment I want to make is a new seat. I had a custom seat done for this bike and what I had thought would be good (lower as much as possible and widen) actually did not turn out good for me. The custom work itself was great (Sargent Cycle), however the lowered seat makes me slide forward and the wider seat messes me up when standing (pushes my legs outward and I loose grip on the bike with my legs). Once I have a new seat on the bike, I will make sure I have the front forks height adjusted properly so I feel everything is in balance, and I think I will have my perfect setup.

Gotta say, one thing I like about this bike is I love all the mods that can be done, its so easy and fun to work on, Im learning tons, and I never worry about the bike not starting up. Gas up and Go!
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:02 pm

I feel like an 7 year old on Christmas eve - I'm in Christiansburg, VA with my WR250X, and tomorrow Travis will work his suspension magic on the suspension. Can't wait to ride it in 79 F sunny weather Wednesday in Florida (this morning my driveway in Canada was thick solid white ice!)
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PostSubject: Re: Go Race Suspension   Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:56 pm

deerHater wrote:
I feel like an 7 year old on Christmas eve - I'm in Christiansburg, VA with my WR250X, and tomorrow Travis will work his suspension magic on the suspension. Can't wait to ride it in 79 F sunny weather Wednesday in Florida (this morning my driveway in Canada was thick solid white ice!)

You lucky thing,
its 0 degrees celcius here in the UK,
Roll on spring
Enjoy your new suspenders


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