riot fixed strut length

Feb 4, 2011
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vt
Does anyone know the correct length for fix strut on ktm 500 xcw 2016?
Just went for a quick blast after i got it together. feels super nose heavy.
longer = more nose pressure? shorter less?
thanks
 

hankohlson

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Dec 2, 2007
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I adjusted mine to the recommended length and it looked way too long. The rear hit about an inch before the front.

I put mine on a car jack and adjusted it so the ski and rails all hit the ground about evenly when lowered.

Fork height in the triples would also affect strut length when setting it up this way. I've got about a half-inch above the triples on my 17sxf.

I haven't gotten out on the snow yet but it seems more right than the recommended length.
 

cbc76am

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You want to try to have the rear lugs just starting to lift off the floor... like the last 2 or 3 rows. slight bias towards the front of the skid works best in my experience - this is pre-RIOT - I've yet to ride mine new kit.
 
Dec 20, 2007
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I'm running my riot with the front of track touching first. It is super light on the ski, wheelies like a mad hatter and still goes through bottomless fluff as good as anything. No down side to wheelie mode that I can tell. Gotta Try it. don't use the chart.
 

needpowder

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My experience so far: Not the same obviously because I have the clicker shocks but I am running the recommended strut length from the manual and it has my track pretty much completely flat. In Wheelie mode which is the front track shock stiffest and the rear softest, it’s worthless in deep fluffy powder on flat or uphill. just wheelies it’sself stuck. Go completely opposite and it is much better in the fluff but downhill it pushes the ski down super hard which is scary in current conditions (4’ fluff on 1’ sugar with lots of down trees). Switched both shocks to the middle clicker and it rode pretty well everywhere. Found a super hollow meadow though and instantly got stuck. Switched the rear shock to the stiffer setting after I dug it out and it climbed right out. Going up a bumpy road with the rear still in the stiffest position was terrible! Still experimenting obviously. Conditions will change dramatically as the season goes on and we get more of a base. Hard to tell from current conditions what will be best. Kit is super fun though!
 
My experience so far: Not the same obviously because I have the clicker shocks but I am running the recommended strut length from the manual and it has my track pretty much completely flat. In Wheelie mode which is the front track shock stiffest and the rear softest, it’s worthless in deep fluffy powder on flat or uphill. just wheelies it’sself stuck. Go completely opposite and it is much better in the fluff but downhill it pushes the ski down super hard which is scary in current conditions (4’ fluff on 1’ sugar with lots of down trees). Switched both shocks to the middle clicker and it rode pretty well everywhere. Found a super hollow meadow though and instantly got stuck. Switched the rear shock to the stiffer setting after I dug it out and it climbed right out. Going up a bumpy road with the rear still in the stiffest position was terrible! Still experimenting obviously. Conditions will change dramatically as the season goes on and we get more of a base. Hard to tell from current conditions what will be best. Kit is super fun though!
Needpowder, I also have the le... did you mess with the shock spring length on the track at all? Trying to figure out if I need to stiffen up the front spring or loosen it to get it to wheelie better. I've loosened the rear spring but don't want to go too much... Track and ski seem to sit pretty flat on the floor with strut rod at recommended length so I think strut rod is pretty close. Trying to get it dialed in. Had it out on about 2 feet of fresh...What a blast tho!
 

needpowder

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Needpowder, I also have the le... did you mess with the shock spring length on the track at all? Trying to figure out if I need to stiffen up the front spring or loosen it to get it to wheelie better. I've loosened the rear spring but don't want to go too much... Track and ski seem to sit pretty flat on the floor with strut rod at recommended length so I think strut rod is pretty close. Trying to get it dialed in. Had it out on about 2 feet of fresh...What a blast tho!
You’re talking about the preload right? The way I understand it if you were to stiffen the front track spring and loosen the back, you would magnify the effect of the clickers( and make it wheelie more ). When we demoed them that was how they made them wheelie the most. Front spring clicker all the way clockwise rear clicker all the way counterclockwise. I’m thinking I want to go the other direction a little bit. I am going to try softening up the spring preload on the front and stiffening the preload on the rear. I would like to be able to run them in the middle clicker because with the rear clicker all the way clockwise it basically locks out the shock and makes the suspension rough on any bumps. I don’t know. Need some more time on it. I think we will be able to find a combination of adjusting the preload along with fixed strut length where we can run the clickers in one position for most conditions. Then, when we want to play around on hardpack or climb a steep hill in deep powder we can make a clicker adjustment.
 

cbc76am

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You’re talking about the preload right? The way I understand it if you were to stiffen the front track spring and loosen the back, you would magnify the effect of the clickers( and make it wheelie more ). When we demoed them that was how they made them wheelie the most. Front spring clicker all the way clockwise rear clicker all the way counterclockwise. I’m thinking I want to go the other direction a little bit. I am going to try softening up the spring preload on the front and stiffening the preload on the rear. I would like to be able to run them in the middle clicker because with the rear clicker all the way clockwise it basically locks out the shock and makes the suspension rough on any bumps. I don’t know. Need some more time on it. I think we will be able to find a combination of adjusting the preload along with fixed strut length where we can run the clickers in one position for most conditions. Then, when we want to play around on hardpack or climb a steep hill in deep powder we can make a clicker adjustment.
as always solid experienced feedback needpowder. Looking forward to getting some more feedback once you've got some time on the mtn. I've yet to even assemble my RIOT and bike here in Seattle... likely a month before we get enough snow here.
 

needpowder

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as always solid experienced feedback needpowder. Looking forward to getting some more feedback once you've got some time on the mtn. I've yet to even assemble my RIOT and bike here in Seattle... likely a month before we get enough snow here.
Hope you guys get some snow soon. I will let you know if I figure anything out. Also thinking the front fork set up might be a bit different with the riot. Like I said in a ditthread, when going downhill with the rear track shock locked out it tended to really push the ski down. Wondering if moving the forks up a little in the triple clamp or softening up the compression might help? I don’t know. The riot is definitely a different animal.
 

cbc76am

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Hope you guys get some snow soon. I will let you know if I figure anything out. Also thinking the front fork set up might be a bit different with the riot. Like I said, when going downhill with the rear track shock locked out it tended to really push the ski down. Wondering if moving the forks up a little in the triple clamp or softening up the compression might help? I don’t know. The riot is definitely a different animal.
Have you measured your sag on the forks? If the ski pressure we all have adjusted to with previous kits is now different... We would need to change the spring rate back to something more moto as a result of far less ski pressure potentially?
 
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SteepNdeep450

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Hope you guys get some snow soon. I will let you know if I figure anything out. Also thinking the front fork set up might be a bit different with the riot. Like I said in a ditthread, when going downhill with the rear track shock locked out it tended to really push the ski down. Wondering if moving the forks up a little in the triple clamp or softening up the compression might help? I don’t know. The riot is definitely a different animal.

Maybe it could be compounded with the Riot as its more apt to rider input with the skid being able to pivot. You naturally put that weight on your bars when you go down hill. I won't be able to compare as much with you guys as I got the FOX IFP shocks, but should have similar feelings when you guys are in the middle setting on both. I haven't been able to get out on mine yet. Hoping to this Sunday!
 

needpowder

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Have you measured your sag on the forks? If the ski pressure we all have adjusted to with previous kits is now different... We would need to change the spring rate back to something more moto as a result of far less ski pressure potentially?
I have not yet but that is kind of what I’m thinking. Might end up switching back to stock springs. Wilsee. Need to try a bunch of other things before I go that route.
 

needpowder

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Maybe it could be compounded with the Riot as its more apt to rider input with the skid being able to pivot. You naturally put that weight on your bars when you go down hill. I won't be able to compare as much with you guys as I got the FOX IFP shocks, but should have similar feelings when you guys are in the middle setting on both. I haven't been able to get out on mine yet. Hoping to this Sunday!
Yes. It will be interesting to see where everybody ends up. The clickers are kind of weird. when you close them, that is, put them all the way clockwise it basically locks out the shock. It will be handy for going up steep technical lines, but everywhere else it seems to want to push the front end down and make the ride too harsh. Im talking about the rear shock spring. Keeping in mind I only have a couple hours in very limited early-season conditions.
 
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Dec 20, 2007
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My experience so far: Not the same obviously because I have the clicker shocks but I am running the recommended strut length from the manual and it has my track pretty much completely flat. In Wheelie mode which is the front track shock stiffest and the rear softest, it’s worthless in deep fluffy powder on flat or uphill. just wheelies it’sself stuck. Go completely opposite and it is much better in the fluff but downhill it pushes the ski down super hard which is scary in current conditions (4’ fluff on 1’ sugar with lots of down trees). Switched both shocks to the middle clicker and it rode pretty well everywhere. Found a super hollow meadow though and instantly got stuck. Switched the rear shock to the stiffer setting after I dug it out and it climbed right out. Going up a bumpy road with the rear still in the stiffest position was terrible! Still experimenting obviously. Conditions will change dramatically as the season goes on and we get more of a base. Hard to tell from current conditions what will be best. Kit is super fun though!
Sounds like you need to get the spring preloads and strut length dialed in before even trying to lock or adjust the shock damping. There are no bumps to absorb right now and its too dangerous to jump so running with clickers on soft it should perform as good as anything previous for climbing and descending. If it doesn't then you must have something out of balance. Once preload is dialed you should be good for average stuff then save the clickers for the crazy stuff.
The lock out could make it a crazy chute climber but I can't image any one wanting to leave it locked all the time. none of us had that feature before the riot and we could still motor in the deep pretty dang well with 50hp. Of course I'm the guy with the cheap shocks so I might have to eat crow some day and upgrade the rear shock but for now I have a spare bike with a long track so I'm not seeing a need.
 

needpowder

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Eric j hear ya. but it’s pretty interesting to see what the clickers do. They make a huge difference. Shocks are definitely way different than the non le.
 
Dec 20, 2007
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I did some testing today with preload on my rear coil. I left the jam nut loose and the spring is so wimpy I can turn it up or down easily with a gloved hand. The jam nut isn't needed. The adjuster didn't move at all in a 25 mile ride.
I was riding with a 19yz450 aro 129 TSS and trio. Conditions were 3 to 4 feet no base except a slightly denser layer about a foot down but couldn't walk on it. The snow on top of it fell Thursday.
The 129 was faster climbing and seemed to float better until we got into the north facing 1st gear trees (where we usually ride) Then the speed advantage didn't matter anymore. His ski wouldn't float down hill and it was catching on everything. The day was almost ruined because of it. On My riot I'm running the old 10" ski and wimpy stock xcw forks on a 2stroke. It was un stopable but not as fast in the meadows.
I then turned my rear coil 3 turns tighter for a test. It got me from 2nd into 3rd in the Meadows because it could now float on the mid layer! But going down hill was scary the ski would not stay on top and once it poked through the mid layer I was in the danger zone of land mines. What surprised me was the first gear north facing tree riding started trenching Worse NOT better. I could definately notice ski dragging more even up hill. It was like riding with my finger lightly on the brake.And of coarse it was harder to wheelie over logs and no longer a riot to ride=not as fun. I switched it back after we got to some shallow south facing stuff so I didn't have to worry about ripping the ski off.
The lesson I learned is if you can get on top of it and ride mostly 3rd gear and up then set it up for climbing mode. If not then wheelie mode seems better.

I have not ridden one yet with a clicker lockout but in theory it should be similar to a stiffer spring preload it just won't move much (or at all) when you hit bumps. My guess is it must move some and it only locks compression so if it moves at all it will rebound quickly back to climbing position. So the valving acts kind of like a ratchet to keep the rear shock fully extended most of the time.
 
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I'm running a 16 xcf450 with riot le and book called for strut rod length of 12 1/8. Had to lengthen to about 12 1/4 and raised fok tubes in the triple clamps to get it to set flat. I have about 3/8 of fork above triples now... Before doing those adjustments it looked really high in front and low in back with recommended strut length and forks about 1/8 above triples. Didn't make it out this past weekend to try it out but hoping this puts it close to good. Then try messing with preload on springs. Thank you all for posting your experiences. Looking forward to hearing more of what's working and not working for everybody!
 
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