I am 13 years old and have been riding ever since I was four years old and have loved it! But that’s not why I wrote in: I own a 2008 Yamaha YZ250F and would like to make it suit me better. All the suspension is stock and it does have a couple of engine mods. I race in the 250F beginner and the Schoolboy class. I weigh about 150 pounds, and am 5’7″. The main problem I have with my bike is the suspension is quite a bit harder than I like it and it doesn’t absorb braking bumps and hard hits very good either. I plan to buy a linkage kit for it and am considering the Ride-Engineering, the Devol, or the Pro Circuit. Which one do you think I would be happiest with? And are there any other things I can do to fix this problem?
Elk City, Oklahoma
Your YZ-F has excellent suspension. It should be your favorite thing about that bike. Has it been serviced recently? Regularly? Ever? Yamaha saw your happy face in the future when they sent that bike out into the world, and since you’re not smiling I am guessing your oil and several of the internal wear bushings are worn. If this is the case, your suspension will not work like it’s designed to. You need to pick a good suspension shop and have your fork and shock serviced. Just bring them back to stock. When you get them back they will work so much better, and the clickers will actually have an effect on how the suspension functions. Once you’re there, try a few different sag settings (start at 102mm and go up or down a few millimeters from there). Once your sag is set, play with the clickers. Once you find your best setting, I’m guessing you will be thrilled. If not (and good advice for other readers out there riding bikes with troubled suspension), you’re now educated on what you’re looking for when you send the set back to the suspension shop for a re-valve. If all this sounds like too much trouble… just slow down. —Pete Peterson