Jim, a WR250R rider asks....
May I ask an expert about suspension tuning on my 2011 WR250R after installation of my YamaLink? I am less concerned with lowering than I am improving the handling. I'm 5'10" 165 lbs. Stock, the rear end seems way too stiff with too much compression dampening.
I intend to back off the pre-set tension and also back off the compression dampening and increasing the rebound dampening on the rear.
On the front my thoughts are to increase the suspension dampening to stiffen them up and back off the rebound dampening quite a bit so the forks will return to their full extension as quickly as possible.
Any thoughts other than the obvious trial and error? Should I plan on lowering the forks anyway, due to installing the YamaLink? What are your recommendations regarding the fork height with only the YamaLink, as compared to the YamaLink with the other adjustments I just described?
You're seeking a little more plushness and "predictable" handling without making it lower. I'm your height and weight so this should be an apples-to-apples recommendation.
Option 1: I would not lower it 1" via the factory shock block adjustment. I would put the YamaLink on. But what was the sag before the YamaLink came along? Let's say it was the 1/3 sag of total travel. If the YamaLink goes on I would actually DECREASE sag (tighten the spring a bit) to let the shock ride higher in its travel. The rear suspension would not ride lower in the progression and would give a ride that wasn't so rude. But with the WR250R/X it's a case of valving and internals; the aforementioned setup works perfectly on a WRF or YZF though. But since you're in the trial-error mode I'd take some race sag OUT and see how the rear feels. You can take 25mm out with a YamaLink and still retain stock seat height.
Option 2: Increasing the rebound (making the rear rebound QUICKER) is a good idea. You are thinking it will get the bike back to full extension where the linkage and travel stroke aren't as deep. Just make sure it doesn't kick you off the bike after landing and make sure it doesn't skip and lose traction/contact with the ground.
I'd work on the rear suspension before even touching the front. And I'd NOT raise them up in the clamps if you do not plan to lower the rear with a YamaLink. Oh, on a sidenote, this is what many do with a CRF230F; the stock suspension is rude but when they put a Kouba Link (even if the rider is not short) on the suspension acts like it should - plush, controlled, feels like it has twice as much. The same applies to your Yamaha WR.
Try that and let me know your thoughts & findings.