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Question for those who have swapped forks

Old 04-09-2010, 12:13 AM
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Question for those who have swapped forks

With all the swaps available, why did you you choose your current setup? Availability of parts, ease of swap or cost?
I'm asking because I would eventually like to go with USD forks and am curious if any one setup is more desireable than another or did the above factors play more of a role in your ultimate decision.
I tried searching but for the most part was just coming up with what forks work with which triples, etc.
As usual, any input would be appreciated.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:01 AM
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I did GSX-R600 Forks because I found a set cheap. Forks, triples, calipers, clip-ons, brake M/C for $250. Did some research about the feasability of the swap.

I haven't posted pics or a write-up (shame on me, i've been riding it) yet. The short and sweet is: 2004 GSXR triples ONLY require a different upper steering stem bearing. The lower is the stock SH. Used all GSXR front parts so that it all fit together, no spacers need for the rim, or anything like that. I went with Superbike bars, but you could do clip-ons with rise and you're ready to ride.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:13 AM
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I initially wanted to go the USD route (not a coincidence that every modern sportbike uses them) but I finally elected to go the conventional route (with 45 mm fully adjustable 1996 CBR900RR forks) for the following reasons:
i) it`s a direct bolt-on (need change only the triple clamps, fork tubes, fender and clip-ons, everything else carries over)
ii) I had a set of PVM cast mag wheels and did not want to have to part with the front one
iii) when asking for advice from Roger Ditchfield of Revolution Racing in the UK, he recommended against the RC51 forks (my choice) saying they were horrible and needed extensive work to get right.
iv) I stumbled across a Gold Valve kit and set of Ohlins springs (rate I needed) on eBay for cheap (for the 900RR forks)

In the end, regardless of what you choose, it will surely be better than comes stock. Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:46 AM
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Good input so far. Keep it coming guys.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:17 AM
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I went with a 954/929 setup because parts were readily available at the time I did it (2006). Looking around on eBay it appears that parts for that front end are pretty scarce now, so I would look into a 1000RR conversion.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:07 AM
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I did the 954 setup because I got the whole front end cheap off CL from a local guy who was swapping 1000RR forks onto his 954.

I initially was going to go with GSXR 1000 forks, but trying to fit those to a 954 triple was a pain.. Had I known about just using a different top bearing with the Suzuki triple, I probably would have gone that route as I could have got all those parts cheap off ebay, but ended up selling the Suzuki parts I had when I found the 954 parts.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:15 AM
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Well I have an SP2 front end on mine. I went that way as the price couldn't be beat and even though Rodger might say they are horrible, after you let Dan Kyle do his magic on them they work pretty good.

I will say that the SP1 triple is much more difficult to use than the 954 lower. Besides that it is a pretty simple swap.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:45 AM
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I swapped early. at that time there wasn't that much out there and for USD swap the RC51 was an early one used so I just followed that. I have had no problems. I would suggest starting on ebay - if you can find a good condition setup with all parts - discs/wheels/brakes/forks - buying as a set is more important than whether is RC vs. 954 etc. And now ther have been more modern front ends like the RR set up available and done. The SP1 steering stem works and the SP2 doesn't so you have to be careful to maintain that if using RC51 stuff - then you have an SP1 triple, SP2 forks/ maybe you forget and get the wrong brakes etc. That doesn't sound like a big deal at first, but then you start wanting to upgrade parts etc. I just found it easier to stick with one format for replacement parts, upgrades and if I ever sold it someone after me wouldn't pull their hair out figuring out what I'd cobbled together. I'd look at it from the perspective of what you want the final to be - thinking what you might do next year etc. and go from there. In general though, staying within a brand, make and model has some benefits.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
after you let Dan Kyle do his magic on them they work pretty good.
I am certain that the "work pretty good" part is a serious understatement, lol
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mikstr View Post
I am certain that the "work pretty good" part is a serious understatement, lol
Well anything (pretty much) will work good if you throw $$ at it....lol

But seriously, if I was starting from scratch, the 900rr stuff would be my first choice for a couple of reasons. Cost and availability would be the main reasons. The 900rr forks, though a conventional set up, work very well. The fact that they are not USD forks keeps the price down and it is the easiest swap to do.

If I had to have USD, I would look at the 954 or Suzuki set ups. Then the RC51 stuff would be my last choice. The reason for this is that the RC51 stuff is starting to get pretty rare. So not only will you be hunting for a while, you will end up paying top dollar for the stuff. As an example, it took me 4 months to find a front wheel. Even then I ended up getting a bent one and had it straightened.

So while this is a very worth while project, do a little homework, read the white paper and like Bill mentioned, try to keep things as much from one model as possible to keep things easier in the long run.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:12 AM
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:39 PM
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I got a previously used 900rr front end from mcleather on here, I went that way because it was the easiest and cheapest option. especially to get the level of front end that this one is.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:40 PM
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I started by looking at the CBR900RR parts, but decided that if I was going to do this, I'd go all the way and get well ahead of the curve... Not that the 900RR is old, but if I was going to swap it was going to be USD...

So I started looking at RC parts and decided they where to darned expensive... That left the never CBR's... The 929/954 is essentially the same except the springs/valves... But then I'd need to swap out the springs & valves the first thing I'd do... The CBR1000RR has heavier springs and was ballpark right to begin with, plus they have radial calipers (which are said by reviewers to be very good on the CBR, so I figured they'd be pure heaven on a VTR)

And since people like to stick full Íhlins cartridge forks on their racebikes there where full setups available at decent prices on eBay, far better price than the RC stuff... And then it snowballed from there...
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:30 PM
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Great info guys! I'm really insistent on the USD setup and I agree with trying to get the entire works from one bike (same model, not exact same bike). This isn't anything that's going to happen to terribly soon so I guess once I figure out which setup I want I can start sourcing parts individually to keep the finances in check (easier to explain to the wife a little at a time than a big amount all at once...).
All this info makes the decision harder but will also keep me from making the decision in haste and regretting it later on and I didn't want cost to be the major factor in this. I'll just keep my eyes out for deals and what's widely available and go from there. All the responses are greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:51 PM
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I went with the CBR1000RR. The bearings are the same from all ***** (tapered rollers) & the parts I got all winter some together some pieces.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:43 AM
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Stupid question:
What is USD forks?
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:40 AM
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:42 AM
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USD forks = Upside down forks
The fork leg slides up inside the outer tube of the fork tube. The outer fork tube is secured to the stearing head by the triple clamps.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Cronin View Post
USD forks = Upside down forks
The fork leg slides up inside the outer tube of the fork tube. The outer fork tube is secured to the stearing head by the triple clamps.
Benefits include less unsprung weight, increased rigidity
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:38 PM
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I did GSXR 1k forks 1st 01 then swapped out for 06 with radial mount brakes which are just freakin awesome! I used 954 triples with a rc51 wheel (which I think is the trick to making it an easy swap) forks and axle are GSXR. I prefered the gsxr forks over the honda just liked the feel better but thats just my opinon.
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