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xl600 forks on xl500

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I have an 82 xl500. I want to upgrade the forks to something better. The front end is soft and the brakes suck (or maybe I am just used to my wr450!)

Can I fit the 84 xl600 forks, tires, disk brake on the front to give me a little more stopping power?

Has anyone changed the forks on these. Are there any other options for upgrading the forks?

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I dont know if they would fit or not, but I had an 83XL 600 and the fork was nothing to write home about...I could plow the thing into a gas station driveway and feel the fork flex at 15 mph. It'd be worth your while to figure out how to mount a later model MX fork. I bet a 43mm showa off a cr250, 500 would fit too. Thats a great fork, and has a pretty good brake setup too. The same fork was on the XR's but didnt have a rubber mounted bar setup.

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I've grafted mid-'80s (1987, actually) CR250/500 forks onto my old '79 XR, mostly to address the flex issue ShawnMac mentioned. The 43mm Showas are way more rigid that the 36mm or 38mm forks my XR had...

I had to go to some sorta "lengths" to be able to use tapered steering head bearings, & to be able to use the stock CR steeing stem/triple clamp setup, as well as to use a drum brake. I don't think you'd have the bearing issues I had to deal with; doesn't your XL already have taprered bearing? If not, All Balls Racing Products has 'em; that's where I got mine. Drum brakes are required for the races I compete in, so I had the issue of grafting a drum brake onto later forks, which you wouldn't need to worry about. The only thing I'd think that might require some thought & "engineering" would be gettin a speedo drive, for the road. If your XR wheel would fit into the later model 43mm forks, that would be fairly easy to work around.

I'm with ShawnMac; go for the 43mm Showas, if ya can! :thumbsup:

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I've got a set of late model XR650L forks/wheel/brakes on my '84 XL600R.

Bolts right on with no mods.

The gauges have different mounting points, but that's no biggie.

Huge difference.

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I've got a set of late model XR650L forks/wheel/brakes on my '84 XL600R.

Bolts right on with no mods.

The gauges have different mounting points, but that's no biggie.

Huge difference.

cool. that's what I was hoping to hear. What year are the xr650l forks that you are using?

What modifications, if any, did you have to do to the triple clamps and/or steering head bearings?

Thanks

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Yes Ihave done it no problems but you must change triple trees to acomodate the larger diameter tubes. I had both bikes and did that exact swap(weird) the disk brakes do work much better.

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I have an 82 XR500R that I swapped the forks off an 87 XL600R onto,bolts right up.

Don.

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The only thing I'd think that might require some thought & "engineering" would be gettin a speedo drive, for the road.

If the speedometer gives you trouble, the easiest solution is to install a Sigma Sport bicycle cyclocomputer. It is cheap (~$20) and provides a multi-function digital display, and the ones made by Sigma Sport can easily handle motorcycle speeds. Instead of the magnet provided by Sigma Sport, get the tiny rare-earth magnets sold by Radio Shack and epoxy one on using JB Weld. The only drawback is the lack of a backlight, but, for another $9, you can get a Sigma Sport green LED light that shines down on the display. Granted, it's not going to help you win any "concours d'elegance," but what do you expect from someone named frankenduro?

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My Question is Why ? You can dial in the stock forks much better with 5 wt fork oil and oil level. You can never make a vintage bike a modern bike so why ruin it ? If it made it this long you would be better served to restore it to its former glory and making it all it can be without altering the actual machine.

Just my opinion,

Dwight

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My Question is Why ? You can dial in the stock forks much better with 5 wt fork oil and oil level. You can never make a vintage bike a modern bike so why ruin it ? If it made it this long you would be better served to restore it to its former glory and making it all it can be without altering the actual machine.

Just my opinion,

Dwight

Dwight, you are probably right. But this is my first 'vintage' bike and it feels like crap after riding my wr450. Maybe I should temper my expectations.

The suspension is pretty soft in my opinion, I was thinking of a way to make it a little stiffer. But then again, maybe I can't take this on the same trails that I normally ride the wr on.

Dialing in the existing suspension I guess would make it the "best it could be". Maybe I will try that first.

Would you at least recommend a slightly stiffer spring for 90% dirt riding? I usually trailer it to the riding spots and don't ride the xl500 on the street.

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I would start with raising the oil level to the maximum and go with 10 to 15wt. fork oil. Not sure you want stiffer. Maybe you just want it to bottom less. You also can adjust fork spring preload with 1/2" sections of PVC pipe.

Put Progressive suspension shocks on the back or better yet put Works Performance shocks. Tell them you weigh 20-30 lbs more than you really do and then back off the preload. You will be much happier.

Cher'o,

Dwight

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I understand exactly what you are talking about and "been there done that" already. I recommend going with the 83 cr480/250 43 mm forks complete. They are much better that the stk xr forks, still retain the originality of the drum brake and are very "Tunable". Race teck makes a tripple rate spring and a emulator kit for it also, 23 oz of 20wt fork oil and you'll be amazed on how good they will actually work. I have that set up an my 83 480 and I do stadium thripples with it! (no lie).

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i originally wanted to change to disc brakes after the first season of riding my 82 off road until we took apart the brakes and there were none left!!!! so new pads and set them up and then changed the oil in the forks and added the air and now on knobbies I can lift the rear of the bike off the ground coming to a stop light and altho they are not disc they are not bad and the suspension is pretty OK off road... no i do not be 60 footers and a heel clicker but she see a lot of rock and stuff yet is still nice on road..

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