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best conventional fork

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HI,

I have a old Yamaha TT350 (designed in 86)which am trying to modify to have fairly modern suspension.

I am asking what was the best conventional style fork made that i could adapt? standard are 41mm are way too soft and only have 270mm travel (and alot of sag), I think i should go up to 43mm and source another set of clamps aswell. (where there other yamahas at the time that had the same steering head dimension on the frame, so their clamps would bolt straight on no problems?)

My current thoughts are from a YZ250 from back in the mid 80s???

Anyone with good ideas I'd really appreciate your input, especially if you can come up with a staight up bolt on solution that utilizes my current wheel, axle, brakes etc.

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I rode a tt35o for about 5 years. Recommend race tech emulators and correct springs to suit. The rear shock is okay. A good service and good oil makes a difference.

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Yamah is a good company for recycling things like head bearings - most of their models of that era and even much later use the same bearings. This means the stem from many other models of fork will fit.

Use microfische to determine which models used the same bearings via part number comparison, and you'll at least be closer to adapting a better set of forks off of a later model YZ, for example, onto that bike. ANything that is a cartridge style fork, inverted or not, is going to be night-and-day better than the old school damper rod boingers on there stock

Start shopping eBay...

Emulators and aftermarket springs are a good option and the simplest route, but 41mm tubes still flex a lot regardless of the damping mechanism.

IMHO, the XR350R and TT350 were some of the best motors for all around use ever made.

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Had a buddy that put 88 43mm YZ forks on his. Had to do some machine work to get the stem/bearings to work though. Later changed to a set of 89 KX 46mm conventional forks.

If I were doing a swap I would use the DRZ 400 forks with 96-98 RM clamps.

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thanks fellas,

thillsam i agree the old school 350 engines are great, about 3 years ago i had an xr350, then i bought a 600 and now i'm back on the tt350 (which is a 97 model over here in Oz, but they didn't change anything except colour since 86)

KTM-lew i like the sound of going to something like DRZ400 legs, but i'm trying to do this on a budget, so the older the better. Do you know if your mate had to change much to get the KX forks on? did he find that the geometry was out because of the extra travel?.

one last thing, do you know when the YZ started cartridge forks? the 90s was it?

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one last thing, do you know when the YZ started cartridge forks? the 90s was it?

Peruse the microfische on Yamaha's website: they have every bike since like way way back, and the part's breakdowns of the forks of course tell all - as soon ad you see shims inthe parts breakdowns you are lightyears ahead of your existing fork.

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/parts/home.aspx

Why run the DRZ forks in the 96-98 RM clamps? The 96-98 Showa convention a tiwnchambers were better than the DRX conventional cartridge design right? (I secretly have a set of these waiting to go on an old Husky...)

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Peruse the microfische on Yamaha's website: they have every bike since like way way back, and the part's breakdowns of the forks of course tell all - as soon ad you see shims inthe parts breakdowns you are lightyears ahead of your existing fork.

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/parts/home.aspx

Why run the DRZ forks in the 96-98 RM clamps? The 96-98 Showa convention a tiwnchambers were better than the DRX conventional cartridge design right? (I secretly have a set of these waiting to go on an old Husky...)

The 96-98 forks are getting scarce, springs even scarcer, but they had 20mm offset clamps where the DRZ are 18mm. I think 20 would be closer to duplicating his steering geometry but thats just an educated guess...

For some people, the twin-chamber design is more of a hassle than a benefit, at least from a tooling/building perspective. I'll bet the DRZ fork on a TT would be really sweet. They come with .44 springs, the same spring dimensions as the 03 up KTM"s I might add, valved for a four stroke.

Unfortunately for some they are selling here quite cheap lately...I have two sets I bought to resell. Now the bottom has dropped out on the price!!!

The 88 YZ had 43mm conventional cartridge forks. The KX swap required brakes, wheel, axle & clamps plus some more machining and I think even steering stop mods to the frame?

He had an Ohlins for the rear end so it was OK.

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I ran some showa forks from a 97 rm125 on my aluminum cr500. They worked very well(after a revalve and spring change). I had to machine a new stem but that was,nt too bad. Awesome forks though.

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thanks guys i had heard from other suspension experts that the 96-98 forks are the best forks to ever hit the dirt, but likewise i thought they will be over priced, and sort after.

Like KTM-lew said i think twin chamber really will be more hassle than its worth, i just want something with a smoother action, a little more travel and a bit more adjustability.

At the moment i am going to look for a late 80's yz250 fork, it should be pretty well matched to the weight of my bike for trail riding. and i also assume brakes and tripple clamps are more than likely to bolt straight on so i dont have to outlay more cash on wheels and brakes etc.

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I am certainly no expert, but I loved the 96-98 RM forks. I would love to see a picture of the TT once the new forks are attached.

If I were doing the job, I would hold out for the rm forks. They really were that nice. I would say they were easily as good as my 06 yz forks.

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I just put a '85 YZ250 front end (Triple clamps, forks, wheel, brake) on my TT350, it bolts right up. The bearings are the same, they are 43mm forks. The brake rotor is the onlt thing thats different, I believe it is bigger. I have not ridden the bike yet since the conversion. I may start looking for a '88 YZ front end though or get a cartridge emulator. I also replaced the shock with a white power unit many years ago. I remember when I replaced the stock shock the difference was unbelievable.

Klaus

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A second vote for the DRZ400 forks, these are good offroad forks, when properly set up. Do a check on ebay, I just searched under "DRZ forks" and a whole bunch of cost effective options popped up!

Take Care, John

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I just put a '85 YZ250 front end (Triple clamps, forks, wheel, brake) on my TT350, it bolts right up. The bearings are the same, they are 43mm forks. The brake rotor is the onlt thing thats different, I believe it is bigger. I have not ridden the bike yet since the conversion. I may start looking for a '88 YZ front end though or get a cartridge emulator. I also replaced the shock with a white power unit many years ago. I remember when I replaced the stock shock the difference was unbelievable.

Klaus

Thanks TTKlaus, keep us updated how they feel when you do get to hit the trails again.

I'm currently looking into rear shock options too, a WP would be pretty pricey wouldn't it? Did you get one new, or was it from an old KTm or something?

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It is a White Power Super Adjuster that I bought new from White Brothers in '88 or '89 after my stock shock wore out. I think the only option available these days is an Ohlins shock.

Klaus

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Can anybody tell Me if the 96-98 RM forks are the same Dia. as the DRZ forks?

Thanks

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Can anybody tell Me if the 96-98 RM forks are the same Dia. as the DRZ forks?

Thanks

Yes!:applause:

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