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Question for those that have done the fork swap

Old 09-24-2008, 01:55 PM
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Question for those that have done the fork swap

For those that have done the fork swap... Ive read many threads about the USD fork swap and still have a few questions that im hoping to get some input on. Im mostly concerned with the steering and handling of the SH after the mod. Im hoping that the USD fork SH will turn quicker/faster than stock.

1. Are you happy with the upgrade?
2. Does this mod leave the Superhawk turning quicker or slower?
3. Which fork tubes are the best to use (1000rr/954/929/RC51)?
4. Which triple clamp combo works out the best?

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by cal2az; 09-24-2008 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cal2az View Post
For those that have done the fork swap, Ive read many threads about the USD fork swap and still have a few questions that im hoping to get some input on.

1. Are you happy with the upgrade?
Yes! I just wished I did it sooner instead of wasting time and money on upgrading the springs and brakes on my stock fork...
2. Does this mod leave the Superhawk turning quicker or slower?
Depends on your choices of fork and how you set it up...
3. Which fork tubes are the best to use (1000rr/954/929/RC51)?
All are good, but have different strengths.

954/929 are basicly the same, only difference is that the stock springs on the 929 are weaker, though both are on the weak side if you are ~200 like me... These are shorter than stock, so they act as a dropped stock fork = quicker steering, and you need to put the clip-ons below the top triple...

1000RR have the same length issues as above, but heavier springs and larger brake discs and radial calipers...

RC51 are the closest to stock in lenght, you can get close to stock geometry, and in some cases get the clip-on above the triple... Usualy more rare with a higher price on all parts included...

4. Which triple clamp combo works out the best?
Forget the 1000RR clamps, they have a ugly top clamp with mounts for a steering damper that you can't use (computer controlled)...
It's also a couple of mm's wider than the others, so no mix n'match...

The 929/954 top triple is necessary with any CBR fork as they have a "gull-wing" top triple that is needed to get the fork to the correct height... Using this with a RC51 fork might get you enough lenght to put the clip-on abobe the triple... not sure on this though...

The RC51 top triple is flat and only works with a RC51 fork...

The lower triple from the RC51 is "gull-winged" (in the "wrong" direction) and if you use that you need to modify your side fairings as it will hit...

RC51 SP1 & 929/954 triples are the same width and can be mixed...

RC51 SP2 and SP1 parts are NOT interchangeable...
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:23 PM
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Thank you very much Tweety for taking the time to reply with such a detailed reply. I appreciate it!

So to recap:

If I want close to stock geometry, go woth RC51 legs, RC51 top clamp and SP1/929/954 lower clamp.

If I want quicker steering, go with 1000/954/929 legs, 929/954 triples.

If im understanding this correctly, I would go for the 1000rr legs setup because I would be gaining quicker steering and radial brakes.

I guess the only questions that I have left are... does it matter what year the 1000rr legs come from?? Will any steering stem work on the SH (i.e. whatever stem comes on whichever lower clamp is used), or will the SH stem need to be pressed into whichever lower clamp is used.

Last edited by cal2az; 09-24-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:36 PM
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That about sums it up, yes... Altough RC51's dont neccesarily mean slow steering, just drop them down a bit and you get the same result... The difference being that with the CBR legs you don't have the choice...

Mine are exactly 14 mm lower in the front at the absolute highest with 1000RR legs and 929/954 triples, compared to stock...

The 04-05 have weaker springs than the newer, stiffer than the 929/954's but still... Also the brake discs from 06 onwards are larger, the difference on the legs are only a spacer, so it's easily interchangeable...

The 08 are different, don't know enough to tell you either way... I'd say 06-07 is ideal, but 04-05 works almost as good...

Trust me, I have 06-07 parts, and the brakes on the smaller discs are overkill... So are these, by far... If I would grab a full handfull of brake the bike would do a front flip... no if's or but's about it...
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:28 PM
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Just to hijack

Any way to use the SH front wheel and rotors with a brake swap, or are you required to go CBR/RC51 wheel?

Trying to figure which parts are required as opposed to optional.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:10 PM
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Well... The axle diameters doesn't match up... nor does the width of the forks or the pattern for the rotor mounts... so nope...
Oh and the SH rotors wouldn't even sit inside the calipers fully on the 1000RR fork...

Basicly your shopping list is:

929/954 triple tree complete with the nuts and locking washers...
SH needle bearings for the triple tree, stock works, but getting new is preferrable... (the bearings are the same on all triple trees...)
Matching forklegs, wheel & axle, rotors & calipers... New set of bearings and dustseals are preferable... + all the bolts for the stuff...
SH SS brake lines are a good choice as they have the length neccesary... I re-used the lines from the 1000RR temporarily...
Either a set of Heli-Bars (as high as possible) or a set of ConvertiBars or similar... Or a supebike bar with mounts... If you go RC51 you might get away with a set of stock something clip-ons above the triple, but it's likely to hit the fairings, and you are on your own testing... All I know ended up with any of the above, some after several failed attempts...

Brake M/C matching the brakes is a good idea, but not neccesary... I made it work with the radial M/C but it's tight... It won't work unless you have an adjustable solution...

If anyone know's something that should be on the list... Chime in...
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:20 PM
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I went with a 954/929 setup, but I would probably go with the 1000RR setup if I had to do it again. The parts are more plentiful, the stock springs are stiffer (probably good enough for me) and it has the radial brakes.
I changed the steering stem bearings and races. The 954 parts are different from the stock SuperHawk.
At 330 mm, the 954 rotors are larger diameter than the 1000RR, but I doubt they work any better since the 1000 has radial calipers. Regardless, the 954 brakes and stiffer forks are a significant improvement over the wimpy stock items.
The switch was more than worthwhile, the braking is way better, the upgrade forks have more adjustability and they are much, much more rigid. The bike just feels more planted and stable.
I mounted risers and superbike mounts to the 954 top triple clamp and used a tubular bar cut to the same width as the stock clipons. The bar is slightly higher and closer to the seat than stock. I like it--it's sporty but not too radical for my 48 year old body, and I can still ride the snot out of it.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by killer5280 View Post
I went with a 954/929 setup, but I would probably go with the 1000RR setup if I had to do it again. The parts are more plentiful, the stock springs are stiffer (probably good enough for me) and it has the radial brakes.
I changed the steering stem bearings and races. The 954 parts are different from the stock SuperHawk.
At 330 mm, the 954 rotors are larger diameter than the 1000RR, but I doubt they work any better since the 1000 has radial calipers. Regardless, the 954 brakes and stiffer forks are a significant improvement over the wimpy stock items.
The switch was more than worthwhile, the braking is way better, the upgrade forks have more adjustability and they are much, much more rigid. The bike just feels more planted and stable.
I mounted risers and superbike mounts to the 954 top triple clamp and used a tubular bar cut to the same width as the stock clipons. The bar is slightly higher and closer to the seat than stock. I like it--it's sporty but not too radical for my 48 year old body, and I can still ride the snot out of it.

Your handling is ok being that the 954 fork legs are shorter than the stock SH forks??
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:46 PM
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The forks are shorter than the stock ones, but the difference when the proper springs are installed is less than a half inch. With the stock forks I had raised the rear and lowered the front more than a combined half inch; you can adjust the rear ride height to get the bike to steer as quickly or as slowly as you desire. It's a matter of preference and, yes, the bike is much better with the USD forks.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by killer5280 View Post
I changed the steering stem bearings and races. The 954 parts are different from the stock SuperHawk.
I have the 929/954 triples. When I bought the bearings from All *****, they said they were the same as the SHawks. Part# 22-1020.

P.S. I'm using the 1000RR forks with the '06-'07 larger rotors. Brembo radial M/C.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:00 PM
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Thanks Killer and thanks again Tweety for all of your help!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregw View Post
I have the 929/954 triples. When I bought the bearings from All *****, they said they were the same as the SHawks. Part# 22-1020.

P.S. I'm using the 1000RR forks with the '06-'07 larger rotors. Brembo radial M/C.

I just checked the All ***** website and they show the same part number for the two bikes, so you're right. However, when I knocked the stock races out of the steering stem on the Hawk they were definitely different than the All ***** pieces. The races and bearing in the All ***** kit were beefier than the stock items. The stock Hawk stuff was ball bearings and the 954 was tapered needles, so I guess this accounts for the difference.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:52 PM
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The tapered needles are the "racing version"... Altough I haven't quite worked out how thay make my bike go faster though...

Even the stock ones are identical... I have the ones of the CBR1000RR steering stem... They are the same as the stock SH's...
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:54 PM
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Our forum administrator did a 1k rr transplant on his Superhawk this last winter. His problem was the final geometry but we got that all worked out. He will maybe post up as to how to dial it all in but I think it worked very well once he got his measurements right. I can't remember the exact thread but it was about a CBR 1000RR transplant. Greg is 200 + and it sounded like it was the best setup to date. Better than the 954 or the 900 - I keep saying this - if you're under 190 and a moderately aggressive rider the stock stuff is good. You just have to gut it and rebuild it for the best ride the bike has to offer. A rear shock is a great compliment to a rebuilt front.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nuhawk View Post
Our forum administrator did a 1k rr transplant on his Superhawk this last winter. His problem was the final geometry but we got that all worked out. He will maybe post up as to how to dial it all in but I think it worked very well once he got his measurements right. I can't remember the exact thread but it was about a CBR 1000RR transplant. Greg is 200 + and it sounded like it was the best setup to date. Better than the 954 or the 900 - I keep saying this - if you're under 190 and a moderately aggressive rider the stock stuff is good. You just have to gut it and rebuild it for the best ride the bike has to offer. A rear shock is a great compliment to a rebuilt front.
Actually mine and Greg's are very similar... We used basicly the same parts including adjustable clip-ons... and around the same weight...

Oh... and about the rear... YES... you are absolutely right... I have the stock rear still... and I'm rather certain that I'd be better off with a 2*4 in there... The adjustment options are similar...
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by nuhawk View Post
I can't remember the exact thread but it was about a CBR 1000RR transplant.
I think this was the one you're thinkin' about Need Some Baseline Suspension Data Please

Then here is his fork swap thread which is pretty much what I did except for the clip-ons.
Yet Another Fork Swap
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:46 AM
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Has anybody on the board done the Showa fork swap using GSXR 750 forks and 954 triples??? Im told that you can get wheel bearings for the SH front wheel that will accept the GSXR axle. Does anybody know if this is true??

Last edited by cal2az; 09-25-2008 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:27 PM
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There was somone that did use GSXR something forks... and someone with a complete frontend from an YSFR-R1... search and see what you find...
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:11 PM
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Whew, this is exhausting

I rebuild vintage bicycles as a hobby, but this moto swappage is beyond me right now. Think I'll keep things simple and go the Racetech springs & valves route. Did 110 miles this morning, am constantly amazed that Honda kept such a sorry suspension setup on such a great bike the entire model run. Forks dive at every move, while my butt was getting airborne on bumps.

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Old 09-28-2008, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sablotny View Post
Did 110 miles this morning, am constantly amazed that Honda kept such a sorry suspension setup on such a great bike the entire model run.
I couldn't agree more. It's laughable, or at least it would be if it weren't so dangerous.
I have a love/hate opinion of Honda and the way the company does things in general.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sablotny View Post
I Did 110 miles this morning, am constantly amazed that Honda kept such a sorry suspension setup on such a great bike the entire model run. Forks dives at every move, while my butt was getting airborne on bumps.
Ya, I totally agree. The stock forks are, for the most part, just way under sprung. The forks are almost livable with the proper spring rate installed. The rear, on the other hand, is atrocious, the worst rear shock ive ever ridden on.
I mean, I know that all of the development money was going to the CBR's and the 51, but come on, the SH is only suspension and brakes away for being a great bike.
I can only imagine what the SH would be like with Ohlins front and rear... just perfect...for me!
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