IS SUSPENSION REVALVING WORTH THE MONEY?

I asked myself and others the same question. Is it worth it and what can I expect? Well I did get mine done this past winter, and I am truly satisfied, I’ve noticed a difference, it cleaned up the harshness on the small and medium terrain, but still remains firm on the bigger landings. Sand whoops, holes and coming up short have proved the suspensions worth.

The revalving of the front fork was $265 and the rear shock was $225 with shipping the total was just over $500. For me, that’s a lot of money but give my riding level, and time on the 2018 KTM 250 XC it was time. This bike had right at 80 hrs and was time for servicing the fork and the shock that was going to cost around $200. So I did my research and figure for $300 more I could have it revaled during the servicing, I am glad I did.

What is suspension revaluing?

When suspension comes on a dirt bike the manufacturer does not know the specific needs, or skill set of the end user. Because of this they put in a setting that will work “OK” in most situations trying to cover all levels of rider that could potentially ride that bike. Revalving is the setting and in turn, the action of the suspension is specific to the riders needs, skill set, and riding style. Simply put, it is setting the valves that control the flow of oil based on your specific needs.

Suspension revalving, is it worth the money?

Keep this in mind, most suspension tuners want your weight and your riding ability and they want to know what kind of riding you do. (MX, Harescrambles etc…) This gives them a baseline to work with and for the most part is somewhat effective. If your bike is doing something such as packing over high-speed bumps or bottoming off flat landings you need to convey that information to the suspension tuner. The better you can target what you feel is wrong with the bike as you ride and what you don’t like about your current suspension, the better the tuner can achieve results you can feel.

There can be two riders making the same lap times around a given track. The two riders are taking turns using the same bike. Both weigh about the same. One is picking all the smooth lines and landing off jumps with grace. The next rider is picking all the wrong lines and coming up short and looking like he is using brute strength to control the bike. 

These two riders are going to be complaining about different things since they have different riding styles. The old method of baseline valving is not accurate nor should you use it. Suspension tuners that really know their stuff can valve your forks and shock by targeting the problem and most will tell you those expensive little pistons are a waste of your hard earned money.

When not to spending $500.00 for valving?

  • If you have a new dirt bike.
  • If you are new to riding.
  • If you have not set up the rider Sag to your weight.
  • If you have less than 50 hours on your bike.
  • If you have no idea what the problem is. (Try and fine tune using your clickers).

If you are just getting started riding you don’t need to revalve your bike. If you have a new dirt bike you don’t need to revalue. There may be those that try and sell you on the idea of a revalue, trust me, you don’t need it nor are you ready to have that done to your bike. Remember 90% rider 10% bike; meaning, 90% percent of the problems you experience are because of the rider, not the bike.

First thing first, get your rider Sag set right. Most newer dirt bikes have a base spring package for a rider 150 to 180 pounds. If you’re like me, I weight in at 215 lbs and need to change the fork springs and the shock springs just to get the rider SAG corrected. Getting the right springs put on your bike will cost you around $350. If you have not done that upgrade to your suspension, then there is no need in revalving.

With the right spring and rider Sag you can take advantage of the stock valving, then work on dialing in your suspension using the compress and rebound clickers.

How To Dial In Your Suspension Using Your Clickers

Fork Compress Clicker: The fork compression adjustment will have an effect on how the forks compress on impacts. The compressions primary effect has to do with the low-speed treavle of the fork. Specifically, this has to do with larger, slower impacts like heavy braking and jump landings. The external adjuster will have minimal effect on high-speed square edges and sharp hits.

Turning the adjuster clockwise will stiffen the compression. Alternatively, turning the clicker counter-clockwise softens the compression. I recommend increments of 1-3 clicks at a time when making adjustments.

Characteristics that may require stiffening fork comp.:

  • The forks bottom on impacts.
  • Front end dives too low under braking or in corners.
  • Forks are harsh under braking from riding too low in the stroke.

Characteristics that may require softening fork comp.:

  • The front end rides high and deflects.
  • Forks don’t dive enough when cornering; need to track better.

Fork Rebound Clicker: The fork rebound adjustment will have an effect on how the forks recover from impacts. Adjusting the rebound can help the forks stay up and recover faster over sharp chop. Likewise, it can keep the forks from bouncing up too quickly after absorbing an impact.

Turning the adjuster clockwise will stiffen the rebound, slowing it down. Alternatively, turning the clicker counter-clockwise softens, or speeds up the rebound. We recommend increments of 1-3 clicks at a time when making adjustments.

Characteristics that may require stiffening (slowing) fork rebound:

  • The forks dance under acceleration.
  • Front end bounces up after jump impact.
  • The forks bounce up out of ruts.

Characteristics that may require softening (speeding up) fork rebound:

  • Forks pack under braking; ride too low.
  • The front end feels dead.
  • The forks are harsh when braking over bumps.
  • Front end is harsh at high speeds.

If after some time you still feel like things are not right, then you should consider a revaluing. Just know the problems you want to be fixed during the revalving process. In other words, is the suspension packing(not rebounding to adsorb the next obstacle), is it too harsh on rough terrain, or maybe the rear is not staying planted. Have a reason you can identify before you go out and spend $500 on a revalving.

Full disclosureThe links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you buy anything, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps me keep the site going.

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