Technical Touch USA 2014 Honda CRF450R Shock Shaft Update for 16 CRF450R
Company: Technical Touch USA
- Wider range of adjustability allows for more sensitive and finer tuning.
- You can fine tune on one part of the track without upsetting the bike on other sections.
- Helps balance the front end and eliminate some of the harsh hit.
- It would have been less hassle and less money to put it on at the factory.
- $196.99 plus service costs.
What it is
In a nutshell the newer Honda CRF450R's do not come with a lower rebound adjuster and rebound tuning is located in upper shock body adjuster. The part from Technical touch is pretty much the part that came stock on production 2014 CRF450Rs. The updated parts offers more oil flow at the shock shaft and not just the reservoir. Honda made some changes over the years to this shock and relocated the rebound adjuster that is normally placed at the bottom of the shock clevis to the upper reservoir. Honda went from having just two adjustments on the top of the shock body to three--a high speed compression, a low speed compression and a rebound (tension) adjuster.
How it works
Many riders, myself included, feel the 2016 generation CRF450R shock didn’t offer the same adjustability of previous CRFs. External rebound adjustments are very limited to fine tuning and the updated shaft gives the rider more adjustment range without having to send the shock in for further service.
Switching a shock shaft is a pretty hefty job, so I left the swapping to my suspension tech. Before the swap I got use to the fee and played with the clickers to get a greater feel of how they reacted to adjustments. Then I went out and rode the same tracks and kept track of my settings. The tension (rebound) adjuster on the 2014 shock shaft has 49 individual clicks and controls the speed of the rebound but also seems to overlap onto the compression plus the ride height (sag), acting as a fine tuner to the actual collar above the spring. The high speed comes in at 50 total clicks and adjusts the higher to mid part of the stroke. The low speed is in control of the mid to lower part of the stroke with a total of 50 clicks. The new bottom rebound adjuster has 30 total clicks. The additional rebound adjustability allowed me to get closer to a freely moving, properly tuned shock. In testing the further I closed the bottom rebound adjuster the less the shock has to offer as it restricts the flow of oil making it act closer to the way it felt with the stock 2016 shaft. Alos if the lower rebound clicker is closed too much, or turned in too far, the back end gets a dead feeling as it would pack too far into the stroke. This would make the bike start sliding if accelerated while leaned over.
Then with the upper rebound adjuster, the click to adjustment ratio gets smaller as the lower one gets opened. If both are opened too much you will just have a springy mess. Playing with the top rebound adjuster before and after the shock shaft swap, I realized the bottom rebound adjuster may not have been the only benefit to this upgrade. Since the bigger hole at the bottom of the shaft allows more oil flow the shock works far more freely while adding a much greater clicker adjustment range. As I started making larger adjustments I noticed a pattern of using each of the clickers to fine tune the others. For example, the effects of high speed adjustments can affect the rebound which now can be tuned appropriately with the rebound adjuster.
Now I am able to fine tune my rebound tension up top after making the more normal adjustment of the rebound on the lower shock shaft. From that point I could tune the compression to where I wanted with high speed and low speed. Before installing the ‘14 shock shaft some testers came to the conclusion that they didn’t feel complete comfort in certain situations no matter what they did in settings. Now with more adjustability and a more familiar feeling from those adjustments, we have a more balanced bike. Leaps and bounds closer to complete comfort.
The 2014 CRF450R shock shaft was the little extra edge to feel 10/10 instead of 8/10 throughout the different tracks and changing conditions. In all instances the addition of the bottom rebound adjuster become vital to getting the setup I wanted. It was really a breakthrough moment that I had been searching for on the 2016 CRF450R.
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