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RMZ 450 front end on a 1995 DR 650 RSE

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Hi ! 

I just got my 1995 DR 650 RSE in a pretty good condition and I'm aware the more recent ones are much better but also much more expensive around here (I'm in France).

One thing that I want to sort though is the suspensions. I don't mind the engine being a bit more rough or the bike being a little heavy but the suspensions are waaay too soft and I'm not a heavy rider (160lbs).

After some research I've seen a few posts and even some videos about swapping the DR 650 forks and triple trees from a RMZ 450. All of these are about the DR from after 1996, which if I'm not mistaken, has a very different frame.

I was wondering if any of you guys knew how hard it would be to swap it on an older bike? I don't really mind machining the stem or changing the bearings but I have no idea where to find the info on what's to change. I managed to find an entire front end from an RMZ 450 for sale and was thinking about getting the whole setup with wheel and brake included.

Also, anyone knows of a good candidate for a shock replacement?

Thanks a lot.

 

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The only thing that you really have to worry about is the bearings in the frame, research what size the DR has and the RMZ, then you'll have your answer.

As for the shock, there's an endless number of forums that talk about different shocks and solutions.  Some totally replace the shock others replace just the shaft and valving, a few have just rebuilt the shock with a different shim stack.  This is where the problem starts, everyone "loves" what they did even if it's not that much better - but because it was their idea and they paid for it...

Being in France it's hard to say what's right for "you", so what do yo plan on doing with your DR?  Are you wanting MX suspension or just something better than stock so you can go off-road like an Adventure bike?  I do recommend caution when your doing something that no one else has done, because it's very possible that your valving will be wrong and then you'll have to rebuild it a few times to get it the way the way you want.  That's why it's best to do what someone else has already done.

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You can theoretically put most front ends on most bikes with bearings and spacers like so:

Top bearing: ID from the RMZ (exact), OD from the DR (exact), height from DR (if not exact, go smaller and then add spacer)

Bottom bearing: ID from the RMZ (exact), OD from the DR (exact), height from DR (if not exact, go smaller and then add spacer)

If the neck on the dr is too short such that you cant tighten the steering head bearing properly -> add spacers

If the neck on the dr is too long such that the RMZ triple clamps dont poke all the way through you have a bigger issue and will most likely require some machining

 

I did 09 RMZ250 front end on my 93 dr350.  Bearings were hard to find, and I had to use shorter ones and machine some spacers.  I also had to machine all new axle parts to make my Dr350 front wheel and speedometer work on the RMZ forks.  Biggest issue is you lose all your factory mounting points for the headlight and instruments etc that come with the factory clamps.

Edited by CSmithers

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