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imchrisf

Fork Conversion 83 XL600

12 posts in this topic

I have seen an 85 XL600 with CR250 inverted front forks. They looked awsome. I am new to Dirt Bikes so I am curious whether this is common. The bike had lost its headlight and now has a numberplate only, I would want to keep my headlight assembly. Used forks go for about 100 on ebay so it would seem a pretty nice upgrade for not to much cash. Am I crazy?

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I have seen an 85 XL600 with CR250 inverted front forks. They looked awsome. I am new to Dirt Bikes so I am curious whether this is common. The bike had lost its headlight and now has a numberplate only, I would want to keep my headlight assembly. Used forks go for about 100 on ebay so it would seem a pretty nice upgrade for not to much cash. Am I crazy?

I'm guessing that the 1980's XL600 frames have the same stem size on the frame as later XR600s. A swap is pretty easy. You need:

1) CR forks and triple clamps, including the stem.

2) Have the CR stem pressed out of the clamp and turned on a lathe to accept an XR600 bottom bearing (the top and bottom bearings are the same).

3) Have the stem pressed back in and the bottom bearing pressed back in too.

4) Bolt up.

It is much easier to have the CR wheel axle and brakes too. For me it was worth the money to just buy the whole front end and eliminate trying to use my old axle/brake with the new forks.

One problem you may run into is the CR stuff is about 1.5 inches taller than the late-model XR600 forks. If memory serves the XL forks had less travel?

Regardless, you'd have to come up with a way to level the bike out with a longer shock.

If you live in south Idaho there's a good junkyard in Boise and if you live in north Idaho there's a good junkyard in Hayden. They have fork sets... a complete front end will cost about $350.

"O"

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Would it be a huge performance increase? I ride intermediate to agressive trails and backroads mostly not much jumping or racing. Can I still keep my Headlight assembly? Thanks a ton.

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Is the rear shock (stock I am sure) adjustable? It seems to sit very low as it is. I am 6-4 and my Yamoto 200cc was much taller in the seat.

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I just did a similar mod for my son yesterday. Now I wish I had taken pictures to show just how easy the process was.

My 13 yo son is going from a quad to his first full size bike ('82 XR250R beater) The 250 had 36 mm forks and a drum front brake, and maybe 10.5" of travel. I traded a rifle a couple years ago for a heavilly modded but seriously abused '83 XR500R and it's just been sitting in my backyard, so I decided to switch front ends between the bikes.

The whole switch took maybe an hour and a half, and best of all, everything bolted up nicely and now my son has a disc front brake and a much stouter set of 43mm forks with at least 12" of travel.

The steering stem measured the same length on both bikes, so my next step was to call the local Honda shop and ask for part numbers for a set of steering stem bearings for both bikes, and low and behold they shared the same numbers, so I knew they'd be a direct switch.

I just adjusted the fork height to match the same ride height as the old forks and bam, we're good to go!

I'd say it's worth the effort to look into it.

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thanks a lot that is great to hear. The big question I still have is can I keep my headlight assembly? I ride to work 10 miled each way every day and need to stay road legal. I know the bike would look a ton better with Inverts on it that is for sure.

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Switching from XR to CR forks is more complicated (not much but more) than the swap mentioned above. There is machining to be done when switching to the CR forks.

If you want to keep your headlight and your old one does not fit you have several options. One way is to bolt up a 7" light from a sport/cruiser bike with universal mounting hardware. The other is to buy a universal headlight that straps on with rubber.

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You are going to want to upgrade the rear suspension too. It sucks just as much as the front. You will end up with an unbalanced setup if the rear is left stock.

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If you're not totally set on upside down forks, XR650L forks wil bolt right on.

No need to change a thing except how the gauges mount to the tripple clamp.

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If you're not totally set on upside down forks, XR650L forks wil bolt right on.

No need to change a thing except how the gauges mount to the tripple clamp.

I think that you can also go with XR600 forks as well. Go with 91 or later XR600 forks. They are cartridge forks. The 90 and earlier forks are damper rod units just like what is already on your XL. The 91 and on XR600 forks are just about identical to the XR650L forks.

I'm not sure, but an early XR600 rear end may swap in too.

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You are going to want to upgrade the rear suspension too. It sucks just as much as the front. You will end up with an unbalanced setup if the rear is left stock.

If I want to do the rear end, Is that a big cost/effort? I would like to have something much taller. I am 6-4 and this bike is really low for me. It does not adjust as far as I can tell.

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I heard that the XR shock will bolt on up. Is there any benefit to using an XR swinger? Disc brakes maybe? Lighter, stronger?

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