CRF forks on an XR???

Ok guys, I need some help: I have a '93 XR600R and I love it, the thing is a beast and it is everything I've every wanted in a bike. That being said I rode a buddy's CR450F this weekend and absolutely LOVED the front suspension, the regidity and direct feel and precision was unbelievable in comparision to my forks which sometimes feel like the front wheel and the handlebars arent' connected. My question is what do I need and how difficult is it to switch to a set of newer inverted style forks? Can I get a set of forks from a CRF from ebay and bolt them right up to my old XR? I've seen pics of XR's with newer forks on here a couple times but have no idea what is invloved, if it is a direct bolt up or whether it requires major modification. PLEASE HELP!!! Thanks in advance.

minimal you'll need new triple clamps to accommodate the fork diameter.....someone will pipe in about what is needed to be done to do such a thing (unless someone mfg's them for this swap)....

Also, you'll probably have to tweak the rear shock as well to match the new front.......

I used 03 CRF 450 marzoochi forks (ebay-200 bucks)with applied racing trees (ebay 75 bucks) and made an adaptor to press am stock 01XR650L stem into the trees and shim the ID play out of the upper bearing.

You have to change the triple to fit the new forks and either machine the stem or Emig Racing makes a conversion stem. Also you need the front wheel, axle and bushing along with forks. Easy to do and worth the expense and effort "IF" you set up the new forks properly. I had the TC Showa's at first and found they (at least to me) were rougher on fire roads and moderate trails but when you get into whoops and such they really shine. I just changed to KYB USD forks from a 2003 CR125 and will take it out this weekend for the first time. Most of my riding is fairly easy but long rides. The stock forks were just fine for what I need, but wanted to update the bike somewhat.

Couldn't you get decent results by re-springing, and re-valving the existing shocks? Or is it that the design of the USD forks is simply so much better that no amount of tuning of the XR forks will make them nearly as nice?

Thanks everybody for the input, it sounds alot more difficult than I had originally thought, but we'll see. As for kawabuggy's question, I noticed in the first 10 seconds of being on the bike the difference between the front suspension on htat bike and mine. It was night and day. Mine, at high speed, has a tendency to really wander, and sometimes feels loose, even though everything is tight as a whistle. Much of this would probably be remedied with a sterring stabalizer of some sort, but in my humble opinion, the inverted forks were just 100x better. They just felt so much more direct and gave me so much more confidence at high speed compared to my bike. Mind you, I'd never trade in my engine, the CRF 250 engine had great power, but only for short spurts. Almost like a two-stroke power band kind of thing. I love my gobs of torque from any rpm's and the insane horsepower I have all the time. In fact after riding a number of different bikes, I'd go with mine 9 out of ten 10 times and 10 out of 10 if I can get those forks swapped out.

The XR forks flex a lot. That is one of the main problems. The whole reason for USD forks is the increased rigidity. Do a few searches on this forum are you will find detailed descriptions of how to do this kind of swap.

If you want a swap on the cheap, get yourself an entire CR500 rolling chassis. They're plentiful as people are taking the motors out for CR500AF projects and the market is saturated with CR500 bits.

I got a complete roller (1995) for $700. It came with new tires (Teraflex, Michelin S12), a fat guy spring, revalved forks, nice bars and good plastic. My original plan was to swap the entire front end and part out the rest and make $200 or so to recoup the cost.

Putting the CR500 fork on the XR600 was pretty easy. I used the entire CR500 front end down to the bars and brake (Mine came with a Moose disc and pads). Aside from getting the stem turned down ($40) the hardest part of the whole swap job was routing the cables. The fat fork didn't jive as well as I'd hoped with my 4 gallon tank.

On the trail the forks are much nicer at speed. They turn better and will turn out of ruts without twisting as much. On the flip side there seems to be much more stiction at low speeds; the fork just isn't happy in the rocks in 1st gear like with the stock forks. The CR500 forks are also around 1.5 inches longer (top to axle) than the XR600 forks which seems to affect steering at low speeds.


Owyhee, your info was very helpful, just one question though: you say you had the stem "turned down"? What does this mean? Are you talking about decreasing the diameter of the center shaft of the triple tree? Is this to accomodate the bearings for the 600? Would appriciate if you could explain that in more detail, ie: where you got it done, what you had them do, how much it cost. Thanks in advance.

Somewhere around here I was reading that many don't recommend the USD fork conversion on these bikes as the added stiffness can cause the frames to crack around the steering stem. IIRC the thread mentioned HRC played around with this swap idea on their Baja bikes and 86'd it after the frame issues showed up. Suffice to say, if you do a lot of high-speed desert running or jump your pig a lot you'd probably be safer getting the stock forks reworked and adding a steering stabilizer and a SRC fork brace.

Personally I've always preferred the plush feel of conventional forks for my type of riding, so not having fancy USD's isn't an issue. :applause:

Finally got around to starting the USD fork swap on my 1998 XR600R. I´ve been reading all of the posts on the conversion, the 650´s aswell. Can somebody tell me how did you press the stems out.

Did you heat the clamp and stem first, or will they just press out?

Thanks in advance

Finally got around to starting the USD fork swap on my 1998 XR600R. I´ve been reading all of the posts on the conversion, the 650´s aswell. Can somebody tell me how did you press the stems out.

Did you heat the clamp and stem first, or will they just press out?

Thanks in advance

I took mine to the same machine shop that machined the stem. I think it was $40 for press out, machining the stem, press in.


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