Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

XR 400 and Fork brace

Recommended Posts

I was thinking about getting a fork brace in order to better control the nervous front end. I am a semi agressive rider, rarely over 40 mph and just trail riding. I have heard that a brace will make the front end more stiff and less prone to turning when you hit ruts or whoops. I have also heard that by stiffening the front, it makes the front more prone to turning and wears you out even more. I am looking at a Superbrace since they utilize the stock fork covers. What are your experiences?

Thanks in advance,

Justin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the SRC brace and wouldn't want to go back to stock. As for making me more tired, I don't crash any more from the front end deflecting off stuff and end up having to pick myself and the bike up, that's what makes me tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the SRC brace and wouldn't want to go back to stock. As for making me more tired, I don't crash any more from the front end deflecting off stuff and end up having to pick myself and the bike up, that's what makes me tired.

Amen to that. I have an SRC brace as well on my bike. Right after I installed it I noticed a huge difference in how the front end reacted. I was able to go up muddy ruts and turn my front tire into the wall of the rut and still keep the bike going forward, before I would have found myself picking up the bike after I had fallen over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I raced XRs for 16 year with many championships. I never used one. If you feel fork flex in your new type XR, you a better man than me. I have seen several that had mud packing problems and seal problems with usage of a clamp on fork brace.

IMHO,

Dwight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave serious thoughts to a brace for a "nervous front end", then I decided to lower the forks in the clamps first. Mine had about 1" of fork above the top tripples. I ran them down flush, and WOW, what a difference it made in handeling. I haven't noticed any loss of manuverability in tight stuff (at least no tighter than we ride), but the overall handeling is much improved. I also kinda wondered what would be the downside of the brace. The mud packing and seal problems, as well as the old addage "that which does not flex, breaks" Kinda makes you go HUMMMMM. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FLASH: Fork braces won't make you go faster. :devil:

Stock Showa XR forks are some of the best in the business. What are you doing to your bike that makes you think you need to brace them - especially at less than 40 mph?

Unless you're blasting across Baja at 90+ mph, I've never heard a good argument as to why you need them. :thumbsup:

I do everything with mine; from play riding, to hare scrambles, even MX; and I have never been in a position where I thought my front was out of control.

JMHO. :awww:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FLASH: A fork brace on a XR400 "will" make you go faster. Especially in the rocks. I think it's funny how you guys that haven't experienced a brace on an XR4 feel like you can give objective advice to someone asking for info on them. No offense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried braces on several bikes over the years because it was the 'in' thing to do and I somehow talked myself into it; and, other than one set of 35mm long-travel Betor forks (probably before your time) that were prone to flexing, personally saw zero benefit. (I ultimately switched clamps on the Betors and removed the brace for better performance.)

If you think it works for you - go for it. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the great first hand information. Maybe I will try to borrow someones bike who has the fork brace in place before I make my decision. I will put the money towards a Mikuni pumper for it. Anyone know were the best deal is? XR's Only?

Thanks again for the info,

Justin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the great first hand information. I will put the money towards a Mikuni pumper for it. Anyone know were the best deal is? XR's Only?

Thanks again for the info,

Justin

Put your money on an Edlebrock carb from Barnum's Racing. You won't be sorry.

Cher'o,

Dwight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had purchased a fork brace for my 400 and sold it before I even installed it. I thought that if I needed to chop the heck out of my fender just to get this to work safely it is not worth its claims. I found that when the front end get a little wierd its because my position on the bike is off. I ride heavy woods, hills and sand and have no problem that is consistant enough to lead me to a fork issue. Dwight is all the confirmation I need. :thumbsup::devil:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may not have as much experience as most, but I have been riding for over 18 years. I have had my XR400 for 3 years now. I dont know about you, but my forks had tons of flex. To prove this all you have to do is pinch your front wheel between you knees and twist the handle bars........it moves quite a bit. With a fork brace it hardly moves when doing this. I have ridden another XR400 with a Super Brace fork brace and it had the same outcome..........no flex. I can say this riding with "my" fork brace was night and day difference. My forks were working together on bumps vs not. I was actually able to ride fast than before, due to the front end being more predictable.

What it boils down to is people either like them or they don't. People have different riding styles, this product might not be for some, but it is for some others.

I dont think telling people they need one or not is probably not the way to go about it. Giving people facts so they can make their own opinion is the way to go about it.

I can see some of the negatives that Dwight speaks of about seals going bad due to clamping of the brace. I have had my fork brace on for 2 years and have yet to see any of these problems. Not saying that I won't ever have these problems, but as of right now they are fine.

If anyone ever wants to test a XR400 with a fork brace and lots of mods, I'd be more than happy to swap bikes out on a ride sometime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amen ThumperTDC, very well said. I am a fan of the SRC XR400 brace, with no seal trouble at all. I also used a brace on a XR650L (lots of fork flex with a 324# bike on spindly forks). It just is an issue of personal preference. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote

Put your money on an Edlebrock carb from Barnum's Racing. You won't be sorry.

Cher'o,

Dwight

Dwight,

I took your advice and called Rob at Barnum. What a nice guy! The carb will not be available until late October, but it is a good deal at $350. I spent about 2 hours researching the past posts that talked about the Edelbrock and Mikuni pumpers, and the Edelbrock won out in my opinion. Rob also discussed suspension with me. I think that I will have to have my suspension gone over and then revisit the fork brace question. Thanks to everyone for the great information.

Justin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FLASH: A fork brace on a XR400 "will" make you go faster. Especially in the rocks. I think it's funny how you guys that haven't experienced a brace on an XR4 feel like you can give objective advice to someone asking for info on them. No offense!

Flash: I had one, hated it. All it did for my XR was make it climb out of ruts instead of follow them. My fender broke in less than 2 months. Can I feel my forks flex? Yes! So what! I don't ride MX. Sold it to a TT member, hope he likes it better than me. I DO really like the outer dust seals and mud skins, and still use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I used a Superbrace and a Scott's stabilizer for the first time on Sat.

We ran in the California City GP#1 2006. I would have to say that both worked as advertised. The Superbrace assisted in steering me out of ruts and the stabilizer steadied me in the sand, rocks and whoops. My usual 'arm pump' was non-existent, even after 75 miles of racing.

Yes, I can use the stock fork boots with the brace, but they are now clamped about 2" higher than the stock position. So now they are compressing much farther and I can hear the air being pushed out and sucked in as the suspension travels. I am now thinking about getting some forks skins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×