Need to upgrade my forks..'83 XL600R

Does anyone know off the tops of their heads what forks I might be able to swap-onto my old XL600 to get me some much-needed travel upgrade? I'm talking about bolt-on, swap staright-across installation, as I am not really gifted when it comes to improvising mechanically! :thumbsup:

I don't want to raise the ride height, so if the forks are longer I will have to cheat them up in the triple clamps to keep the height the same...

I'm pretty sure the only thing I can do for the rear end is get the shock re-built for my weight, as I truly do not want a taller bike....

I'm thinking it's hard to do this:

to get me some much-needed travel upgrade?

Without doing this:

I don't want to raise the ride height,

Any XR600R fork is going to give you more travel but also more ride height. The newer (1991+) XR600R fork is also a cartridge fork and world's better than the XL fork. As XR600R forks are often replaced with USD forks an entire set (wheel+fork+clamps+bar+dodads) may only set you back $150 or so.

The bearings and stem length are the same so the new forks/clamps should just slide on.

If memory serves, the XL forks had 8.7" of travel and the XR forks had 11.6" of travel. Without changing the shock too the bike would be choppered out, and with the longer shock the bike will be quite a bit taller.

Hope that helps a bit.


Timmerz, I bolted on a '93 XR650L front end to my '84 XL600R. I do mean "bolted on". No mods required.:thumbsup: Bruce

Upgrading the XL's forks is not a 'parts swap' affair. It requires travel reduction on the new forks. And, it is pointless to upgrade the front without upgrading the back. In addition, the bike is just not designed to go faster over rought terrain: the steel frame flexes too much.

You can improve the function of the front forks by adding air tanks, lowering the oil height, drilling out the holes in the damping rods by two drill sizes, and getting the right springs for your weight (very, very, important). You do similar mods to the rear.

The stock XL works very well when set up right, if you don't try and make it do things it was never intended to do.

If that is what you want.......... your money, and get a better bike.

You guys all make some very good points....thanks for the info!


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