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Inverted forks?

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So I do a lot of woods, trail, bumpy hilly riding, and I like to hit the jumps, if I get my front wheel more then 3 feet in the air it bottoms out, and is just wimpy, oh this is on an xl600

From reading on here I've found all these bikes use the same triple tree which is good, I can worry about axles and brakes later, but I am curious as to what triple trees can be used for inverted forks, right now I'm looking at front and rear suspension off a 90's cr500 for $100, my goal is hopefully that triple tree is the same, because its still Honda

I also have the option to get a 2003 yz450 fork, with triple tree for $120, but I doubt that triple will work

Mainly just curious what other people have use for inverted forks, I read and read and couldn't find specifics, maybe if someone could point me in the right direction?

I'll worry about the rear suspension later

Part of me is hesitant to upgrade just because I read things about how cheap my frame is, after a lot of jumping the head tube will start to bend out, I don't race, but I am young and risky, would I be better off selling this for something else? I'd like not to

Maybe I could reinforce...??

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To do a lot of air, I think you'd be better served by a CRF450X or a WR 450F (made street legal) than trying to make a pig fly.  A 350lb bike was designed to stay on two wheels, IMHO.

Edited by DrFeelGood

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Well I'm defiantly not doing huge air, but if I'm running off some big rocks or Hills I'd like to get a few feet of air, is that so bad for these bikes? I'm thinkin since I've already got so much stuff into this one, I probably wouldn't let it go, but I could defiantly sell my other one in the future for something better, maybe a 2 stroke

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I guess the more I've read, it should work half decently, but how well does cr500 triple tree line up, or is there somewhere I can compare the two, mainly to see what bearings I need

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I used a 93 cr500 front end on the one bike. I was able to use the xr600 bearings on the 500 tree with just turning down the neck bolt to fit the lower bearing. The steering stops work as is and gives good tank clearance. Tom

Edited by Perrymachine

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Cool do like it? The more I'm reading about these, looks like 89-2001 suspension is about the same all the way through but its nothing special, some are saying to go with the cr250 forks that they're much better, I've heard some say the yz125 forks are really good too.. how would that work though? A 125 will weigh a lot less then a 600

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You have XL600 forks, which were designed for the street and are damper rod style.  The easiest upgrade is to XR650L forks and triples, which will bolt on and give all the mounts for the headlight and key (with very slight mod to get the instrument cluster bolt to line up).  Anything else requires making new mounts for all of the street legal parts.  Your existing brakes and all will bolt on.  The front wheel will be for the larger 17mm diameter axle; you can convert the bearings in your existing wheel, or more easily just get a 1992 or later XR front wheel.

 

1989 CR250 or CR500 forks will bolt on.  But don't bother with the effort of converting any other 1990s era forks; they're dated by today's standards and have too soft spring rates and too stiff valving.  Get 2003+ CRF or CR forks, preferably from a CRF450X.  Then you'll need an Emig conversion stem or custom triples.  The conversion isn't cheap or easy.  All USD forks will be too long, so they'll need to be shortened internally; if not, they'll give your bike a chopper stance and terrible handling.

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You have XL600 forks, which were designed for the street and are damper rod style.  The easiest upgrade is to XR650L forks and triples, which will bolt on and give all the mounts for the headlight and key (with very slight mod to get the instrument cluster bolt to line up).  Anything else requires making new mounts for all of the street legal parts.  Your existing brakes and all will bolt on.  The front wheel will be for the larger 17mm diameter axle; you can convert the bearings in your existing wheel, or more easily just get a 1992 or later XR front wheel.

 

1989 CR250 or CR500 forks will bolt on.  But don't bother with the effort of converting any other 1990s era forks; they're dated by today's standards and have too soft spring rates and too stiff valving.  Get 2003+ CRF or CR forks, preferably from a CRF450X.  Then you'll need an Emig conversion stem or custom triples.  The conversion isn't cheap or easy.  All USD forks will be too long, so they'll need to be shortened internally; if not, they'll give your bike a chopper stance and terrible handling.

 

You have XL600 forks, which were designed for the street and are damper rod style.  The easiest upgrade is to XR650L forks and triples, which will bolt on and give all the mounts for the headlight and key (with very slight mod to get the instrument cluster bolt to line up).  Anything else requires making new mounts for all of the street legal parts.  Your existing brakes and all will bolt on.  The front wheel will be for the larger 17mm diameter axle; you can convert the bearings in your existing wheel, or more easily just get a 1992 or later XR front wheel.

 

1989 CR250 or CR500 forks will bolt on.  But don't bother with the effort of converting any other 1990s era forks; they're dated by today's standards and have too soft spring rates and too stiff valving.  Get 2003+ CRF or CR forks, preferably from a CRF450X.  Then you'll need an Emig conversion stem or custom triples.  The conversion isn't cheap or easy.  All USD forks will be too long, so they'll need to be shortened internally; if not, they'll give your bike a chopper stance and terrible handling.

   USD's on a dual sport bike used on the street are killer good. The rake slows the steering down and fork just works.  It's a win/win ON road.  Don't love it off road as much, but it would still be a HUGE improvement over stock XL. 

Edited by MindBlower

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So, I have one that's already street legal, I'm not worried about keeping the other one street legal, so the cluster isn't a big deal if I loose it.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought if I got the triple tree off something like the cr500, which already uses upside down forks, then I'd be able to fit different inverted forks right?

As far as balancing it I'm still looking into different rear shocks to raise it, or getting an xr swingarm to extend the rear wheel giving me more height

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Fork tubes are fork tubes. Yamaha, Honda, does't matter.   .XX triples fit whatever brand of .XX tubes you want to use.  There are guys running Yamaha forks on Honda bikes. No big deal. But probably have to use Yamaha wheel and brake setup for things to fit right. 

Matching the steering stems is the harder part. 

 

How tall are you? Do you really need a taller bike, or just stiffer rear spring so it doesn't sag down so much?  My 350 was too tall for me, but my 250lbs (before this year) sagged the back end down enough for me to touch ok. When I got a proper spring for my weight (12.0) and it didn't sag excessively, it WAS too tall. LOL  

Edited by MindBlower

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I'm 5'11, I guess I don't need it any taller cuz then I couldn't reach.. how hard is it to shorten springs? The rear shock in this bike is pretty tough, I don't think I've ever bottomed it out, but I know I have the front forks... I guess that would be the best option, just get stronger front forks and cut them to the right length, so for now, I'm just looking for an appropriate triple tree, glad to know I'm not stuck to specific forks

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So, I have one that's already street legal, I'm not worried about keeping the other one street legal, so the cluster isn't a big deal if I loose it.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought if I got the triple tree off something like the cr500, which already uses upside down forks, then I'd be able to fit different inverted forks right?

As far as balancing it I'm still looking into different rear shocks to raise it, or getting an xr swingarm to extend the rear wheel giving me more height

 

USD forks are not all the same diameter; usually you can't swap between forks in the same triples.  Even most XR conventional forks won't swap between triples.  You'll need to get triples to match the forks you use, and the conversion is usually done through the bearings or steering stem.  Or you can buy expensive custom triples to match any forks.

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Not actually correct though.

 Correct as to diameters not being the same. But other than that, you can mix and match brands as you like. And all XR tubes will work in any XR triples of the same diameter and fork type (USD versus conventional)

Forks do not need to matched to the triples other than size. 

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Ok, that makes more sense, guess ill keep my options open, maybe ill jut pick up the cr500 triple clamp and take it around to local sellers and see if anything just happens to bolt in? Couldn't hurt

So by that reasoning with all the xr triples working together, then I could potentially just get the xr 650l forks and they'll fit into my xl triple tree? Are do the xl and xr triple not match up other then the steering tube

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It's not that simple.  There's a huge range in the diameters, both at the top and at the bottom triple, between forks.  There are also differences in how far apart far above one triple is from another.  And there are differences in axle offset, triple clamp offset, fork overall length, etc.  XL forks were different diameters than early XR6 forks, and different than late model XR6 forks, and different than XR250 forks, etc.

 

XRL forks will not bolt into your XL triples.  But, XRL triples and forks will bolt onto your frame.  Late model XR600 forks will also not fit XL triples, and I don't think early XR600 forks will either.

 

CR500 triples are not all the same; they changed over the years too.  And any one year of triples won't fit all USD forks, or even very many USD forks.  The one prized year is 1989, because those forks and triples will bolt into an XR frame without mods.

Edited by heart_of_darkness

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Just get a complete front end off whatever you want. Buy a rod of chromoly. Have it lathed to match your xr stem. Cut some threads on it. Press or weld it into the triple you have. Put them bearings on. Simple. Ive put together some wild frankenbikes before. If you want it to perform as good as it looks. Research things like rake and trail so you keep a good if not improve steering geometry.

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