Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

TM fork swap

Recommended Posts

I have been trying to do some research lately about doing a fork swap on my 98 TM 300e. It has the RSU paioli forks, and it seems like parts and valving experience is almost non existent on these. After riding a few bikes with modern inverted forks it seems like this would really transform the bike. I have been thinking about a few options.

1 get a set of twin chamber showas 49mm RSU from a late model DRZ 400. I could use the stock triples and have them bored a couple mm's bigger to accept them.

2 get late model USD forks and triple clamps from Ebay and swap the whole thing

I realize I will have to deal with wheel and brake issues, and have a 2nd bike to ride. My real question is about the triples and geometry. I figure I will have to pull the triples and take some measurments, get bearing numbers/dimentions and try to see what might work. Does anyone have any info about the triples, as far as offset or bearing numbers/crossover? I understand this is quite possibly un charted territory, but I like a challenge. Any advise or info is appreciated.

thought I would include a pic, don't see to many of IMG_1787.jpgthese around

Edited by jeepspd1234
including a pic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been trying to do some research lately about doing a fork swap on my 98 TM 300e. It has the RSU paioli forks, and it seems like parts and valving experience is almost non existent on these. After riding a few bikes with modern inverted forks it seems like this would really transform the bike. I have been thinking about a few options.

1 get a set of twin chamber showas 49mm RSU from a late model DRZ 400. I could use the stock triples and have them bored a couple mm's bigger to accept them.

2 get late model USD forks and triple clamps from Ebay and swap the whole thing

I realize I will have to deal with wheel and brake issues, and have a 2nd bike to ride. My real question is about the triples and geometry. I figure I will have to pull the triples and take some measurments, get bearing numbers/dimentions and try to see what might work. Does anyone have any info about the triples, as far as offset or bearing numbers/crossover? I understand this is quite possibly un charted territory, but I like a challenge. Any advise or info is appreciated.

thought I would include a pic, don't see to many of IMG_1787.jpgthese around

I think you are going in the wrong direction here. The Paioli is basically the same as a 46mm KYB fork. Anybody that can valve the older KX RSU fork can tune this fork too. The 46mm Paioli RSU is probably my favorite fork of all time (note that I had the higher spec "Blue Steel" version, but basically the same fork).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I understand these forks use a 7mm ID shim that is not common. If I remember right someone here had sent them to a place on the east coast to have them machined to accept the 6mm common shims. I live in the same town as Smart Performance, I was told they could probably make them better, put them on their dyno and get a baseline and then go from there. They make a kit for the 2002 wr250f 46mm kayabas I got on ebay (70$) that apparently make them as good as the 06 and up 48's. I have ridden newer bikes with USD's that were set up and there is no comparison to how the paioli's work. I am not saying that they can not be made to work, given the right amount of time and money, but I am willing to bet the modern USD 46's will be much better out of the box, and not even in the same league when set up right. Then again I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time.:banana:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you are going in the wrong direction here. The Paioli is basically the same as a 46mm KYB fork. Anybody that can valve the older KX RSU fork can tune this fork too. The 46mm Paioli RSU is probably my favorite fork of all time (note that I had the higher spec "Blue Steel" version, but basically the same fork).

His fork should be the Blue Steel... at least mine is. I have his bike's twin.

I'm pretty sure I talked to Dan at Motoxotica in Vacaville about tuning these... or was it Dave at motoxerotica... can't remember now.

That said I've blown two right seals in a year and at $30 a pop, I've thought about going another route myself. I'm going to try KYB seals this time around. Much cheaper.

When the forks work, they are great. Compared to modern bikes, my whole bike feels dated, but that's part of the appeal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I replaced the seals in mine I believe I used some off the shelf 46mm kyb's. I like the bike and have put a lot into it to get it sorted, and resale is basicly nothing (had it posted for awhile for 1500 and did not get 1 serious reply) so I figure I will try to update the part that I feel like has always held it back. The UPS lady is scheduled to drop off the new forks today, will probably order triples next week and start trying to piece it together. I will let you all know how it works out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

big thumbs down on inverted forks :banana:

I hate them, too stiff, or they have harsh spots in the stroke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have a 89 ktm500 with usd wp forks. They sucked when I got it. Someone on another website gave me their shim stack combo, oil level and spring preload recipe and the are great now, plush, don't bottom easy and stay up in the whoops. Maybe your experience has been on bikes set up for moto, or not set up well at all. If you think RSU's are all plush you should take a ride on my TM, harsh, vauge feeling steering, and I can still bottom them out almost at will. If USD's did not have any advantages you would not see them on nearly every bike made race, or being used by nearly everyone who races.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from what i hear, conventional forks are better offroad. There is a reason trials bikes use them. The added flex does something. For MX USD is the way to go. Everyone then wants the USD because that's the new cool thing. So all the development money goes into the USD.

All things being equal the conventional fork will be better. However, because demand and everything the USD is now set up better from the factory and what people want so that's what goes on the bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ktm with USD's is a 1989. They started using them in 85, so not exactly new, but point taken. I am not anti conventional fork, just anti what I have now. If it was a common fork with good parts availability I would work with it. It is'nt so I am moving on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya. Last time I bought TM spec seals for my Paioli I was out $60. $60 for a couple little rubbe discs? I'd hate to see how much it would cost if I really damage these forks. Now one of the seals is blown again! Gonna try the KYB seal this time (much cheaper.)

I have a pair of CRF forks sitting in my garage. May consider making the swap myself if the kyb seals don't work.

Hey Jeepspd, did you ever sell your paioli forks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2002 VOR 450 EN with the Paioli Kayaba USD 46mm inverted forks and I LOVE THEM! :banana:

I just did a Fork Rebuild, literally finished yesterday night at 9 P.M.. I was doing some tuning on them after with the compression and rebound and it is amazing how much you can change the fork with a couple clicks on each, plus they are very accessible for tuning.

Also you where saying $30 a seal, that is retarded expensive. They wanted $150 for a Fork rebuild kit for a VOR from Vor-racing.com so I did a little research and found that Pivot Works fork rebuild kit for a 2002 YZ250 is a perfect fit, and only $80. Just check around, you can probably find a cheaper kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
from what i hear, conventional forks are better offroad. There is a reason trials bikes use them. The added flex does something. For MX USD is the way to go. Everyone then wants the USD because that's the new cool thing. So all the development money goes into the USD.

All things being equal the conventional fork will be better. However, because demand and everything the USD is now set up better from the factory and what people want so that's what goes on the bike.

Just like the performance 4t hype...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hear ya. Last time I bought TM spec seals for my Paioli I was out $60. $60 for a couple little rubbe discs? I'd hate to see how much it would cost if I really damage these forks. Now one of the seals is blown again! Gonna try the KYB seal this time (much cheaper.)

I have a pair of CRF forks sitting in my garage. May consider making the swap myself if the kyb seals don't work.

Hey Jeepspd, did you ever sell your paioli forks?

No, don't want to be without a bike untill I collect all the parts I need. I have triple clamps on the way, probably going to need a new wheel and definately a new caliper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 2002 VOR 450 EN with the Paioli Kayaba USD 46mm inverted forks and I LOVE THEM! :lol:

I just did a Fork Rebuild, literally finished yesterday night at 9 P.M.. I was doing some tuning on them after with the compression and rebound and it is amazing how much you can change the fork with a couple clicks on each, plus they are very accessible for tuning.

Also you where saying $30 a seal, that is retarded expensive. They wanted $150 for a Fork rebuild kit for a VOR from Vor-racing.com so I did a little research and found that Pivot Works fork rebuild kit for a 2002 YZ250 is a perfect fit, and only $80. Just check around, you can probably find a cheaper kit.

Great, so the extra seals I have will work on the forks I am swapping on. The ones I paid less than 80$ for.:banana:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 2002 VOR 450 EN with the Paioli Kayaba USD 46mm inverted forks and I LOVE THEM! :lol:

I just did a Fork Rebuild, literally finished yesterday night at 9 P.M.. I was doing some tuning on them after with the compression and rebound and it is amazing how much you can change the fork with a couple clicks on each, plus they are very accessible for tuning.

Also you where saying $30 a seal, that is retarded expensive. They wanted $150 for a Fork rebuild kit for a VOR from Vor-racing.com so I did a little research and found that Pivot Works fork rebuild kit for a 2002 YZ250 is a perfect fit, and only $80. Just check around, you can probably find a cheaper kit.

Also, the forks you have on your VOR are USD's, very similar to what I am putting on.:banana:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, just in case ayone cares (I think 2 or 3 other people on here have pre 99 tm's), here is what I found. I am swapping on 46mm kayaba usd's from a 2002 wr250f. The TM steering stem and bearings were larger than the yamaha, but overall length was very close. The bottom bearings were both 30mm, but the od of the TM was bigger, so it is just a swap, TM to wr stem. The top yamaha bearing is a 28mm od, TM is a 30mm like the bottom. I had a machinist make a stainless bushing and press it into the top TM bearing. 60$, forks are bolted on. Everything else except the fender also has to swap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an 01 VOR with the 50mm conventional Marzochi fork. Best fork I have ever ridden in the woods and the that includes the Ohlins I had on my TM 300en. Much better than the WP USD on my 300 KTM or the USd zokes on my Huskeys and that is after much tweeking. Just sayin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had an 01 VOR with the 50mm conventional Marzochi fork. Best fork I have ever ridden in the woods and the that includes the Ohlins I had on my TM 300en. Much better than the WP USD on my 300 KTM or the USd zokes on my Huskeys and that is after much tweeking. Just sayin.

I would concur that the 50mm conventional Zoke was a primo fork.

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  

×