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June 10th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #1
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I Ride: 2016 Beta 500RS, 2006 FE550e
'06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

Hello - I have a relatively new to me '06 FE550. The suspension was done by RPS Suspension in NorCal who so far as I can tell is out of business. My understanding is it was setup for desert and 230 lb rider (which I am). I rode it a few times on single-track, the desert, and fireroads. The suspension seemed a little on the harsh side but was great at soaking up big whoops at speed. It seemed to be acting as expected but it was a complete nightmare on endless sharp-edged braking bumps (Hollister if you know it) at relatively slow speed. Maybe also expected but I was hoping for something better there.

I finally checked my sag and clickers. Front comp/Rebound was at 20/12. Rear comp was at 27 out. Rebound 10 out. RPS called for 14/10 front and 22/10 rear. My sag was initially at 120mm when I did most of the riding. I set it to 107mm and not much seemed to change other than the rear seemed to get a little harsher on small stuff. RPS calls for 100mm sag so I may stiffen that up a little more too. It already handled great but the forks are high up in the tripleclamps so maybe if I get the sag right I can put them back in the middle.

So here is where I need advice. The settings as I received the bike are sooo far off what RPS specced AND seemly out of whack that I'm not sure where to go to get a little more plush. 6 clicks more compression damping to get back to RPS spec I don't think will get me a more plush ride, but I am wondering if 20 clicks out is so far out of the RPS spec that the suspension has become unbalanced or something?

I was literally pogo'ing on some of the braking bumps so maybe more comp is what was needed to stay up in the stroke and perhaps more rebound to pogo less? Other than being a little harsh the suspension seems good. If I have to live with it or revalve since it was setup for desert I'm ok with that too. Just not sure where to start.

Thanks!

EDIT: I know the manual calls for 21/20 front and 22/15 rear but since it has been revalved are those numbers out the window?
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June 11th, 2013, 12:46 AM   #2
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Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

all the numbers on the clickers are now irrelevant since matey played with it.

however, you don't mention your spring codes and you don't mention the sag on the front. so we need them. also the forks are high in the clamps means absolutely nothing! how long is a piece of string goddammit!

how much of the fork travel are you using? do you have a zip-tie on the leg?

regards

Taffy
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June 11th, 2013, 08:14 AM   #3
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I Ride: 2016 Beta 500RS, 2006 FE550e
Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

Rear spring is WP 71-90/260, front I have no idea what spring. I'll try to measure front sag when I can get some help. Static sag is 30mm.

Top of forks are 5mm from flush, so the first line down from flush is a few mm above the triple clamp. I guess I don't actually know if that is high or not. The bike is very stable and still seems to want to turn inside my brother's '06 WR450.

The last place I rode didn't have any real big hits and I compressed within 70mm of the bottom of the leg (wiper mark). At some point I have compressed within 30mm looking at older wiper marks that I am certain are mine. No zip tie though.

Thanks!
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June 11th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

well on the rear someone has been pulling your pisser!

the 71/90 is the standard Husaberg spring of the 2001-2005 era. it is good for about 11 stones maybe 12 max so 154 to 168LB. so there is your FIRST problem!

you need the heaviest they did just about. the genuine WPs stop at 95/111 i believe and it is great for my 200LB racing and is on the even to firm side. unless you stuff the early shocks up with shims get a new secondary piston as the OEM is too 'open' then you haven't done anything.

as for the front. the 14mm rods needed masses and masses of work to make them even barely functional and forget all the cack about WP being good. they were bad then and not a lot better now. probably just 3-5 years behind showa and 10 behind ohlins.

if you have as soft a spring on the front as you do on the rear you should be bottoming out really easily - but you aren't which means that the bottoming cones have never been drilled (as per the doc) so all in all I'd say nothing has ever been done to the front either.

sorry to have to tell you all this.

I spent 3 hard years getting the forks right and two years on the rear. in the end I died of old age first....

regards

Taffy
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June 11th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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I Ride: 2016 Beta 500RS, 2006 FE550e
Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

So are you saying you think it was not re-valved at all? Or just that is has stock springs front and rear? It has stickers with settings from the suspension place on both the forks and shock so I gotta believe it was revalved. Unless they are stupid enough to just recommend a lot more compression for desert lol!

the 71/90 is the standard Husaberg spring of the 2001-2005 era.
It is an '06 (manufactured 12-19-2005) does that change things at all?

EDIT: Just measured preload and it is at 5mm (260mm - measured length).
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June 11th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

10TH DIGIT ON THE FRAME....IS IT A 5 OR A 6?

I should think they stuck a few hims in without knowing WTF they were doing. you have bottoming cups in there that any numpty knows should be drilled as a modification. I think it is in the doc...the doc that I wrote sir.

regards

Taffy
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June 11th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

6

I've been reading through the Doc and learning a ton. So basically I need to find someone who knows what they are doing and get the right springs (or lose 40+ pounds)!

I cleaned up the sticker on the fork and under Rate it looks like it says "STK" so I guess that answers that!

Thanks!
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June 12th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #8
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Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

it does!

you should have had the 12mm cartridge rod forks in 2006 which was a way better fork.

regards

Taffy
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June 13th, 2013, 09:42 AM   #9
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Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

I'm your size and ride Hollister all the time.
For springs on my '07 I run 48's in the forks, Factory connection FCW-H (9~11.5) in the rear.
Pretty well balanced for my weight.
As far as clicker settings- if it's been revalved, you'll just have to play with it.
Post up next time you head to Hollister, let ya ride mine & see if the set-up I run suits ya.
BTW, riding Foresthill this Sat, should be at Sugarpine staging area by 7:30am..

Cheers,
Dan
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June 14th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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I Ride: 2016 Beta 500RS, 2006 FE550e
Re: '06 FE550 - new to me trying to sort out suspension

Wow thanks for the offer! Sooooooo tempted to meet you Sat. but wife has obligations and I have the kid. Damn!
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