2018 Raw 120 kit trenching bad!

Dec 14, 2020
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So I'm on a 2018 yz450F with a 2018 raw 120. This is my 5th ride and I'm getting a lot better but today was wet fairly deep powder and man I can barely climb up anything without getting stuck! My buddy's ARO3 was getting around no problem. I had to go wide open throttle in slightly downhill to get momentum before I could turn and even begin to think about going up anything. I try to find tracks to ride in for extra traction. The bike runs well, it just cannot handle the deeper powder without trenching. And to add insult, I'm like 230lbs. I'm rowing every day to try and lose weight for this sport because I know the bikes are underpowered. Man it was work getting unstuck when the trenches were 3-4 feet high!

So the conclusion I came to was to try and install the 137" rails. I could also go 129 but being heavier I was thinking longer the better.

My question is, ice age has rail kits but the years only go to 2017 and my raw is a 2018. Will their 17 rail kits work?

Also I have a TSS and was wondering if going to a fixed strut would help? That way more power is out onto the track vs the suspension.

Any help is appreciated!
 
Dec 19, 2007
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The raw is basically a 17 hold over design so the rails will work. Pump the tss to max and see if it helps. If it does don't leave it that way forever when the snow gets a base you can turn it down
 

CATSLEDMAN1

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Nov 27, 2007
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possible number of issues:
1. you don't have as good a track as the ARO, thats a given.
2. If you haven't stiffened the stock springs, soft shocks suck for going through deep snow. Overall soft suspension will not go through the snow on bike or sled or dogsled.
3. as mentioned TSS, I worked hard to make them work when they hit the seen years back, never could make them go through the snow, WHY, if they have movement your track attack angle is constantly changing for the worse.
4. After stiff shock springs, need to adjust your strut so slightly more bias on the tail of the track system, might no be as good on a trail but will go through snow better.
5. longer track without these adjustments will just be harder to get unstuck.
 
Jan 14, 2004
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Maybe a 129 but the old TS as a 137 is awful to ride, awful, all it wants to do is go straight and will wear you out in nothing flat. Best thing I did for snow biking was sell my 137 TS kit. My buddy put a 137 CMX track on his old TS kit but it really didn't help all that much and he is your weight. This season he is on an Aro 3 which is WAY better. Your bike is great, your kit not so much, it's just an old design, don't throw any more money at it. Have you got a tune on your bike? You can alter the power delivery on the YZ and move your power band down a little bit which may help a little.

JMO

M5
 
Apr 25, 2019
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Only reason I bought my RAW in 2019 as a first kit is that it was lengthened to 129, CMX track and Exit shocks. I wouldn't have touched it otherwise. It gets around pretty good though. I would go ARO 3 or at least a 129 LE if I were to upgrade for where and how we ride. I agree it might not be money well spent to upgrade a RAW right now.
 
Dec 14, 2020
47
4
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possible number of issues:
1. you don't have as good a track as the ARO, thats a given.
2. If you haven't stiffened the stock springs, soft shocks suck for going through deep snow. Overall soft suspension will not go through the snow on bike or sled or dogsled.
3. as mentioned TSS, I worked hard to make them work when they hit the seen years back, never could make them go through the snow, WHY, if they have movement your track attack angle is constantly changing for the worse.
4. After stiff shock springs, need to adjust your strut so slightly more bias on the tail of the track system, might no be as good on a trail but will go through snow better.
5. longer track without these adjustments will just be harder to get unstuck.
Dude awesome response thanks a ton!

2: will stiffen them up today. Q: how much preload can you do without spring binding? Is there a manual somewhere that tells you max preload?

3: understood. I'm gonna look for a fixed strut and try and sell the tss. Q: can you buy a fixed strut only because from what I've seen they come with a bunch of other parts for the ski and bushings I don't need?

4: so lengthen the TSS/fixed strut to add downward bias on back end of track?

5: copy
 
Dec 14, 2020
47
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Maybe a 129 but the old TS as a 137 is awful to ride, awful, all it wants to do is go straight and will wear you out in nothing flat. Best thing I did for snow biking was sell my 137 TS kit. My buddy put a 137 CMX track on his old TS kit but it really didn't help all that much and he is your weight. This season he is on an Aro 3 which is WAY better. Your bike is great, your kit not so much, it's just an old design, don't throw any more money at it. Have you got a tune on your bike? You can alter the power delivery on the YZ and move your power band down a little bit which may help a little.

JMO

M5
I did tune my power. See pic. Screenshot_20210125-110148.png

The power feels real good but it's just a track issue with trenching bad and me being a heavier guy I was thinking a longer track for less psi on the snow would float it better.

Yeah I'm sure having the 137 has some significant down sides but in the powder I really am struggling on the 120. Thing is I might be able to get a 137 track for cheap and if so I just gotta buy rails. Then I can go back and forth. The ARO3 is what I want now after riding one so I'm gonna keep looking in the used market.
 
Dec 19, 2007
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I have been riding a raptor 700 Snowbike all season in the worst base-less snow I've ever seen in 25 years. The raptor is heavy as hell and floating is tough. I just switched from an aro 137 to a 12.5 wide ts 137. The paddles on the old track don't provide as much thrust but the extra inch of width is an improvement. I will probably get a cmx for it and be fine for normal deep snow it's just this year it gets less dense the deeper you dig. My reverse gear is a life saver right now. If I trench out I just back up 10 feet and go again. I also found the wider 137 turns better because it just doesn't sink as deep in it's trench. So if price is right the 137 will help. Also if you can drill 2 holes in a peice of metal it's easy to build a solid strut. Your heavy and your bike is heavy so pick easier lines and just be happy with what you got. The power to weight and track surface area will never be as good as a lighter dude on a yeti and with no base it is what it is.... Rocks don't float.
 

teal_210

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Feb 26, 2009
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There is something with the 2018+ yz's that causes trenching. I spent a whole season trying to get one to work. My buddy with a 2018 ktm and the same kit could go double the places that I could. Finally gave up and went with a KTM.

Sorry not much help unless you want to get a different bike, or a longer track definitely hides the issue.
 

CATSLEDMAN1

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Nov 27, 2007
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Dude awesome response thanks a ton!

2: will stiffen them up today. Q: how much preload can you do without spring binding? Is there a manual somewhere that tells you max preload?

3: understood. I'm gonna look for a fixed strut and try and sell the tss. Q: can you buy a fixed strut only because from what I've seen they come with a bunch of other parts for the ski and bushings I don't need?

4: so lengthen the TSS/fixed strut to add downward bias on back end of track?

5: copy
Tighten the springs all you want it helps, but really new stiffer springs is what you need, get them 1/78 id x 8" 250lb for you at Southwest Speed of E bay for $50 each. If you are in West MT stop by I have some sitting around that work as well.
 
Dec 19, 2007
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Seriously about the yz never floating as good as ktm comment it will probably hurt a lot of peoples feelings but I would like to add that the yz is at least 10 to 15 pounds heavier so that's probably the answer. I've been running short skinny track 2 stroke and even riot setups that float better than the yzx\camso kits which are super heavy. I also ride weekly with a Buddy who weighs 140lbs on a 2 stroke short skinny track and I swear he is some how cheating when the snow gets deep I think he has a jet pack hidden under his backpack! Weight really matters more than you think when floating, climbing, or drag racing.
 
Mar 9, 2017
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I set tss up with 400 plus psi then compensate for uphill by adding a little more rear bias as

[B]CATSLEDMAN1[/B] said to do. Get the rails flat to ground then add a turn or 2 2 tss length. I have never had a problem setting a bike up this way. If solid strut i dont add the 1-2 turns to strut rod length. You should compensate for tss travel. 400 psi is key for me as it dont move more then 3/4 of inch at most and only big bumps or jumps or slight uphill pulls. My 121 129 137 all work good this way. Yes the 121 handles the best and i see no need for 137s. 129 happy place but a good rider on a 121 will have a blast. i have not played with stiffer springs, I add 1/2 inch preload to both shocks then fine tune from there with fork height and a turn or 2 on springs. I weigh 200 and run stiffer fork springs with a air pro. Good luck. Nothing wrong with what you have and the track, just need a little tuning. I have tried every track out there except the aro 3 and i think bike setup is more important then any of the 2.5 track difference.


MOST IMPORTANT!! STOP BURNING IT IN!! If you know you cant make it turn out or stop early before you dig to china.

Oh and i run a yz, no problems vs my ktm. I like the yz better actually.
 
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Jan 14, 2004
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I'm with Raleigh, I gotta pluck on the YZ comments, I've owned both and have ridden all different combos Yamaha and KTM. I also prefer the YZ. Its not YZ, sorry but its just not, its the old kit design and the old track design plain and simple.. That geometry was designed in 2010, a lot has changed.

M5
 
Dec 14, 2020
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So with the 120 raw I cannot adjust preload. I will have to get stiffer springs if anything. No idea what the spring rate currently is though. Ill start looking tomorrow
 
Jan 14, 2004
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For sure go ahead and properly re-spring the kit but don't spend a ton of other money on that kit. You probably will never able to follow a guy who's on a newer kit so better to spend your money on fuel and learning how to pick lines you can make. I added the Raptor triple rate springs to my TS and I liked the ride improvement not sure it did anything for climbing.

M5
 
Dec 19, 2007
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I forgot the raw shocks are like the back end of a 1970s trail bike. If the 137 upgrade is cheap, do that first and skip the springs. Then get some better shocks next year if you don't feel the need for a newer kit. Personally I feel for soft snow the shocks aren't that important but if you ride spring snow the riot kit is worth the upgrade but that won't help your current problem. I own both and about mid March the riot starts it's active duty.
 
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