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CR125 Fork Conversion - First Ride Video

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I recently put some 1990 CR125 forks on my CRF230.  It's got a Hagon on the back, but apart from that is pretty much standard.  A few of us went out on a super hot humid day and found some mud to play in.  The forks make it feel like a new bike - precise streering, better riding position and no diving under heavy breaking.  At first I thought the limited turning circle would be a problem but, once you get used to it, it's ok even in the woods.

 

I put together this video of the outing which shows that, amongst other things, the forks can't be used to roll logs out of the way.

 

http://youtu.be/VyxtxL1anAU

 

Apologies if you don't like the music but the GoPro had some sound issues and Probot seemed to fit the mood.

 

Tim

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Cool. I have to wonder of all the forks to use why 1990 CR 125 forks? The suspension was horrendous on the 1990 CR. The 43mm conventional cartridge forks on the 87 CR were much much better. Here's a review on the 1990 CR125.

 

http://www.pulpmx.com/stories/look-back-old-moto-mags/gps-classic-steel/gps-classic-steel-vol21-1990-cr125

 

c.steel21%235.jpg

MXA compared these forks to a Roman catapult and they were not far off. These first generation Showa USD forks were just a mess. As delivered, they were badly undersprung with harsh damping. The phrase “mid-stroke harshness” entered the lexicon because of these jackhammers. In addition to their abysmal performance, they also suffered from severe particulate contamination that demanded constant cleaning and disassembly.

 

Tech23

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Great info and edit timotheus, and the music is great, appropriate! Give us your info: did u use stock springs? How much do you weigh? Oil height? Fork tube extension (mm) over upper clamp? Did u revalve? Are yours KYB or Showa forks and how many mm lower legs? I'm gonna do that conversion too, once I figure out the forks I want.

Here's the Cr125 info I have:

1993 – Showa 43 mm fork tubes

1994 – KYB 43 mm fork tubes

1995 - KYB 43 mm fork tubes

1996 – KYB 43 mm fork tubes

'97 to 06 - KYB 45 mm fork tubes

I did the 37 mm Showa cr85 swap on our 150f, with all the benefits you mentioned, but want to go bigger, 43, on my 230f. I've heard somewhere along line there was a 41 mm fork too. Just want to minimize steering lock reduction but still get a good mannered USD fork. Thnx in advance.... Ride ON!!

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Whoa!  Questions and a bit of stick!  Brace yourselves for a rather non-technical justification of the mod...

 

I used the CR125 forks as I bought the forks / clamps / spacers and caliper bracket as a set from a chap who had them on his CRF230 for a year but prefered the spring and bounce of the originals.  It was a cheap enough deal to buy the lot and simple enough to fit them even with my limited technical abilities.  They are KYB and not the Sh1te Showas of similar vintage.

 

The mod uses the original front brake caliper, disk, front wheel and axle (with a spacer on either side).  New seals were needed and each leg took 0.55L of oil.  The triple clamps use the same bearings as the 230 but the distance between them is greater and requires a spacer below the top triple clamp.

 

I was able to ditch the bar risers used on the original forks as the standing position is ideal without them.  I'm about 5'9" and 160 pounds in my riding gear.

 

I also needed to ditch my Honda headlight and fitted an Acerbis DHH, which had the unexpected benefit of actually throwing out a light beam.

 

I really couldn't say if the springs have been tampered with in any way, but they certainly feel right.

 

The only draw back as far as I can tell is the reduction in turning circle.  The wheel base seems to be slightly extended with the CR125 forks and also the clamp bolts adust from the rear rather than the front.  This means that the heads of the bolts will hit the tank.  To get round this I had to relocate the CDI unit under the tanks and use the lugs that the CDI holding bracket screws to to hold my fabricated fork stopper.  This has been a bit hit and miss as my metal working skills are limited and production facilities minimal.  I'm on my third bracket now and hoping this one won't fold like sliced cheese on impact.

 

Finally, I had to ditch the ignition switch as there is no slot for it on the CR125 triple clamp.  I've replaced it with a kill switch and hidden it under the tank.

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