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WHAT FORKS FOR MY XL500 CAFE ?

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Im converting my 1979 xl500 into a street tracker / café racer and one of my main hold ups is the front end... for one it has a 23'' front tire and two it is drum brake. My most obvious option is to do a fork swap so im just wondering if anyone knows any street oriented front ends to make this easier for me... if found this fork conversion page http://www.allballsracing.com/index.php/forkconversion which is great, but most of the front end assemblies on there will require me relacing the rim to get the desired 17'' - 19'' front rim im looking for..im on somewhat of a budget so keep your suggestions in the $400 range... im wondering if something like a cm400 or cb360 front end with disc brakewould work...maybe an old nx250 front end if someone has one kickng around??

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How much are you dropping the rear? Most street bikes use much shorter forks since they only use a little suspension travel. And then those forks are ancient and didn't work very well when NEW. So if you drop the front a bunch you're gonna have to drop the rear too. Gonna be hard to find a wheel like that for much less than your budget unless you can lace it yourself. I had a 19" front built this spring, excel rim, Honda hub, Buchanon Spokes and they did the work and I have more than $400 in it. 2.5" wide.

I love cafes. :) Thinking about buying a Brit twin or old Ducati or something original and of value now and keeping it as a riding/investment.

Was heading that direction with this bike 6 months ago, looking at seat pans and bars and such. But the long travel suspension and geometry for that just don't make total sense unless you just gotta have something different. It IS going to look "perched up in the air" and even lowering isnt' going to rid all of that. And I love the use it anywhere of dual sport.

But I think I'm gonna have to have one. ;) Old Triumph or old school modified (Dresda or similar), something that will keep it's value at a minimum, and should appreciate.

Edited by MindBlower

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I'll be lowering the rear end with something similar to these http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kay-13-5-340mm-Air-Nitrogen-Shock-Absorber-Clevis-Suspension-For-Suzuki-Yamaha-/161056184897?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item257fb25a41&vxp=mtr That should even the stance out... I'm going to take a trip to the junk yard and see if I can score a front end for cheap...if that doesn't work I'll end up buying a cr front end cheap and lacing a 18 or 19'' up front. This should be well worth the hassle though, I might end up buying my build partner out of this bike when its all said and done.

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I'll be lowering the rear end with something similar to these http://www.ebay.com/...fb25a41&vxp=mtr That should even the stance out... I'm going to take a trip to the junk yard and see if I can score a front end for cheap...if that doesn't work I'll end up buying a cr front end cheap and lacing a 18 or 19'' up front. This should be well worth the hassle though, I might end up buying my build partner out of this bike when its all said and done.

Local Craigs List has a fiberglass cafe seat pan for $75, this bike is lowered about 2" in back with lowering link and shorter 650L shock. CR forks pulled up through the triples.

Nothing cafe/street to see, but this is my bike I was heading in that direction with. WP_000005_zps2f9d7b9b.jpg

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Combine those two bikes with a norton style tank and a sleek cafe tail and that's what I'm going for...

Sliding the forks through the triples paired with clip ons on the protruding forks and I've got my look.

Love where your going with your bike mindblower, if you could send me a link when you come across those pans it would be much appreciated.

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kind of like this?photo58_zps2bb6b813.jpgphoto57_zps1da70bc7.jpg

What front end did you go with and did you have to do any modifications to the stem or neck?

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Scored a good complete 85 cr500 front end along with a 70 something rd350 for 500 today, I'll lace that cr hub to a 2.15 36 hole 18" rim I grabbed off fleebay.

Just wondering if I can safely put a 130 or 140 rear street tire on the 3.00 17" rear

Edited by FIVEWIDE

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If you keep the drum brakes you can just shorten the stock forks they have the old damping rod forks so all you have to do is make spacer how ever much you want to drop front and put it above the top out spring then it should have a long fork spring spacer just cut it off the same as spacer you made. Then all you need to do is lace new rim to stock hub. That would be the cheapest way

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Hey five wide, If your interested, I have a '99' R6  43mm front end that will fit newer xr triple clamps. I have the front calipers too. All you need to do is buy a 17" R6 front wheel off of Ebay . All for the low low price of 150.00 +shipping to you. I was going to use them on my streettracker ,but wanted 19" wheel on the front.

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I already have a cr500 complete front suspension that I'll be lacing a 18" wheel up to.

Got 30 years worth of grit and grime off the motor.

IMG_20130903_225231_167.jpg

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I saw those, fell in love with them, then wrote them off the moment i saw the price. The fiberglass ones where over $1000.

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I wrote them off the moment i saw the price. The fiberglass ones where over $1000.

yer but $2,500 for an alloy tank and seat (1 off hand made) isnt too bad

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nice project dirttracker,i built something similar a couple of years back from a nx650

http://019-1.jpg

 

before cutting it up again to build it into a twin shock scrambler

http://IMGP1131_zpsaecb4349.jpg

Edited by paint it black

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All your rear tires look like there 120's, can i fit a 130 street tire on xl5 rear?

Btw also have an 85 xl600r that will be getting the street treatment a well once i finish the xl5 and sell it

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(Potentially) dumb question: Is that a stock NX tank? I have a 2004 XR650L and am hating on the swoopy (small) tank and integrated seat. I love just about everything about this bike but especially the tank/seat/side covers. Could you help me out and let me know where I could get these? Thanks!

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(Potentially) dumb question: Is that a stock NX tank? I have a 2004 XR650L and am hating on the swoopy (small) tank and integrated seat. I love just about everything about this bike but especially the tank/seat/side covers. Could you help me out and let me know where I could get these? Thanks!

 

hi dennis, not sure if those questions are meant for me , but as I have the only nx650 in the thread i'll assume they are :)

tank is off a little Honda cg125 http://cdn.bikechatforums.com/files/img_1428.jpg

sidepanels were made up from these blanks http://www.hickieracing.com/product.php?id_product=182

seat is home made,

bit more of a write up here http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/1013338-nx650-scrambler/

  • Like 1

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Hi Nick!

 

Yes, I meant those questions for you and thanks so much for your reply! I'm gathering up parts to give my XR650L a more scrambler-like look and will definitely be using your NX as a blueprint. 

 

Happy holidays to you and yours!

 

Dennis

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