Designer & bike rider in British Columbia, Canada

R80 18 The DR is in

The Boss found a big piece of the puzzle at a specialty wrecker out in Langley last week: the fork off a Suzuki DR650. With calliper! And in dirty but good (great?) condition. We’ll see about that.

Turns out this is a somewhat popular fork to put on an old airhead, not because it’s an outstanding front end but because it swaps over with only a few adapters and uses the same tapered bearings. You can even use your original wheels. Crowe up in Whistler took care of the adapters—front axle spacers, steering spacers—while we hunt around to make a custom adapter to fit a new rotor that will work on the old wheel.

Spent the afternoon cleaning and polishing it up, the usual elbow grease and ultrasonic and more scrubbin’. It’s definitely…big. And surprisingly lighter. I learned callipers alone can have plastic pistons—these Nissin dual ones must be half, maybe more than half the weight of the original ATE single piston on the airheads. Did a ride height test and…well we’ll see. There’s apparently an easy way to lower the forks internally, as well as ride them up in the triple clamp a bit. Hard to say with the preload and springs in there what a much heavier bike than the original enduro DR650 will do to the sag. Later steps.

This Ikea sink we got is the perfect size for fork preening.

Neato, kind of like a Bakelite hardened plastic, with metal caps for the pistons. So light.
D’oh, broke one of the boot clamps trying to remove it. Good uh, thing, we don’t want to use boots on this fork.
So fresh, so clean.
Crowe Metal works custom parts: headlight ears, lowering spacers, front axle spacers, and headset cap and spacer—what do you call the bearing steering on a motorbike anyway?
More cleaning out powder coating overspray. Races look good.

Test hang.
One of the small creative tasks for me: design a functional and nice new steering stop that won’t mar the fork tabs.
HUGE upgrade for dinner tonight: Vanassa brought me poke. Writing this post a few weeks later and I’m still thinking about it.







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