Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I bought a used YZ250 (coming off of an ’04 XR250) and ride off-road. Our area is rocky and rooty, and my old XR may have been slow but was super smooth on the trail. This YZ barks hard, but the suspension feels like there’s something wrong inside, as it doesn’t seem to move in the rocks. I could use any guidance here. I realize that it is a motocross bike, but this thing is beating me up!
via [email protected]

Todd, I can tell without rancor that the single-most important setup tip for riding in rocks is suspension. Any serious Colorado rider will have their machines both sprung and valved on the light side. Rocks, stones, roots and hack will blow your fillings out if you’re running stock motocross suspension. You can try backing out the compression settings in the fork and shock. Too, softer springs would most likely be advantageous, but my sage advice is partnering up with a proper suspension tuner who is savvy about your riding zone and the variance in terrain. They will get your vital statistics (e.g., height, weight, ability) and can set the suspension spec to work in harmony with the landscape.
One final note: tires and air pressure also make a huge difference in both feel and traction. My Colorado brethren run gummy rear tires with a plush foam insert and either a Tubliss front system (where you can lower the air pressure without fear of pinch-flatting) or a plush front bib mousse.

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Valencia, CA 91380-9057

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