Independent Race Suspension: CRF450R

As I stood on the sidelines watching the Open Pro race in Mammoth Mountain California, I watched the riders pound the curb-like breaking bumps on the high-speed downhill. Just the thought of hitting those breaking bumps on my stock CRF450 struck enough fear in me to tear the suspension off my Honda, swallow my pride and beg for some help. As I brought my suspension to Matt Wallace and Bryce Rivera from Independent Race Shop (IRS) I realized I was asking them to completely re-valve and rebuild my suspension in one day, which was bad enough, not to mention that they were already pinned wide open helping everyone else out. I felt a little selfish but I was in dire need of some serious help and they were happy to help me. I handed my suspension over to Matt and Bryce and I told them I needed it softened up some in the back, and that the front is harsh yet bottoms on me sometimes. Matt didn't even let me finish my sentence as he blurted out, "butter dude" don't worry we'll will make it good. They seemed confidant and said they could get me dialed so I left it at that. I return to the IRS race suspension shop on Saturday around noon to find that he was finished with my suspension.Right of the bat I felt more confident. The rear end sat lower and the bike was tracking and jumping effortlessly. There were maybe two ruts on the whole track but the bike stuck in those ruts and turned much better than before. The bike also took the flat sweeping turns unbelievably well. In turns it squatted perfectly and no longer pushed the front end. As for the bottoming, I over jumped a big table and cringed as I was aimed for a big hole in the landing. As I hit, a vision of Matt saying "butter dude" came to mind because that's exactly what it was... butter the suspension was super plush and took the big hit with ease because bottoming was no longer an issue. The breaking bumps on the downhill were now less intimidating, I had no headshake and the rear end didn't kick at all. During practice I felt my downhill speed was unmatched, as I began to break for the corner, Andrew Short passed me catching gears however the bike was working perfectly I was just lacking the ability to get my foot off the break. At high speeds the bike didn't head shake or swap. It was much more stable and no longer had that stinkbug feeling.Overall the suspension was exceptionally better and with no adjustments Matt and Bryce had me dialed from the get go. Keep in mind that a lot of people love the CRF suspension stock but that may be because the 2003 CRF450R suspension is designed for bigger riders. Being only 155lb the CRF spring rates are too stiff making it hard to get the bike dialed in.Stock Honda CRF450R suspension is set up on the stiff side for the average rider. The most frequent statement about the stock suspension is that the forks are harsh, the rear end kicks and feels like a sharp spike under acceleration. This bike is unbalanced due to the valving and the stock springs. The forks come with mild valving and heavy springs, generally used with someone within the weight of 190 to 210 lbs. The shock comes with heavy valving and a rear spring used within the weight limit of 170 to 185 lbs.Independent re-valved my CRF450R according to my weight, riding ability and terrain. Front and rear springs were changed to keep me balanced on my bike while the re-valving took care of the handling characteristics. Independent replaced all springs, seals, bushings, and shims with all Honda O.E.M replacements parts. When my suspension was completed and bolted back it was incredibly better. Independent has definitely done their homework and will continue to strive for the best suspension settings possible. Call for estimates, suspension prices or any suspension questions you may have.For more information you can go to there Website at****Rider (6'0" 160lb Intermediate)Bike HONDA CRF450RTest Track Mammoth Mountain California