Friday, October 24, 2008

WR lowering yamalink feedback

yamaha lowering link rider feedback...

So, here's my long overdue review of the Yamalink on my '06 WR250F...

Shortly before the link arrived, I had a very hard crash racing a hare
scrambles race and tried to tear my thumbs off. Although I was willing to
just suffer and see what happened, about the time I got the link installed
the boss dragged me to the doctor's and I spent the rest of the summer in
splints, casts, etc...

Anyway, some stats:

Me: 5'8", 160 lbs + gear
Bike: 2006 Yamaha WR250F, stock suspension

I originally set the race sag carefully on the bike when I bought it in the
Spring of 2007. I also shaved the seat so that I could get one foot down
reliably. As the suspension has worn in, I knew the bike was beginning to
run excessive sag, but I could get my feet down better when needed, and as a
novice rider (and too lazy to reset the sag when I could be riding), the
confidence factor seemed important.

After my Summer hiatus, I finally got around to setting up the bike.
Measuring the race sag, I discovered that after adding the link I had 8
inches of sag; no wonder I could suddenly touch the ground! I reset the
race sag to 4 inches, more than recommended by Yamalink, but I wanted to
retain some lowering effect and I was running out of threads on the shock
body anyway. Given that I had added so much preload and that the bike had
been working pretty well as set, I added 4 clicks of rebound damping instead
of the recommended 2 and the 1/8 turn of high speed compression as
recommended. The shock was still topping out audibly when I compressed the
seat and let it go while standing by the bike, but you've gotta start
somewhere. Rode it and added 1 additional click of rebound damping.

As for suspension action, the difference is dramatic. I had the bike
working pretty well before the swap, I thought, but how the bike works now
is another experience all together. I rode 60 miles on it on Wednesday of
this week; it's now Friday and I'm still trying to get my head around the
difference. The route was well known to me and consisted of fast, fast
logging roads with some very rocky sections, ruts and washouts, waterbars
and some serious ledges, surfaces from hardpack to loose large rocks and
sand in hairpins; no slow speed technical riding on this ride. The
difference is so dramatic that it feels like another bike entirely. The
jackhammer sections are simply gone; the faster I ride, the smoother it
gets. The bike hooks up on the throttle noticeably better, both in a
straight line and in the sandy flat hairpins, yet still jumps predictably
off the water bars. Hard braking is stable and straight. I did no big
jumps (not my thing) but I experienced no noticeable bottoming whereas I was
before (probably due to excessive race sag setting). Steering is improved;
before I added the additional click of rebound damping I was climbing all
over the front of the bike to get the front to hook up in the fast flat
hairpins, but just that one extra click of rebound in the back pretty much
fixed that issue. I feel no "chopper effect", but again, that may be due to
the fact that I was running too much sag before the swap. The bike is much
more planted and holds pretty much any line I choose with much more
precision than it ever had before. I'm left thinking that I need to adjust
the forks some in order to really optimize the handling, but as it is it's
still better than anything I've ridden to date. I find that due to the
better handling, I'm needing to put my feet down far less, which of course
makes the seat height issue pretty much go away. I can hear it top out in
the air but it's working so well that I see no reason to make further


Highly recommended. Can't say enough good things about it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just how good is the WR lowering link?

WR/YZ lowering link customer feedback of the day:

"If you're serious in the woods, you have to get it, and I do mean have to. The yamalink greatly increases the traction during braking (less skidding in the choppy roots and rocks) also adds traction climing, more travel is achieved quicker, it will eat up and make smaller choppy bumps invisible, you will corner better, be able to spin the bike around quicker.......the list goes on....."