Fork Swap/Upgrade ideas?! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 12 Old 03-04-2020, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Fork Swap/Upgrade ideas?!

So after my last tumble i got to thinking how to increase stopping power. My big CTX1300 at 725lbs can damn near stop on a dime with its dual piston/dual rotors. Yeah, its got ABS and abuncha fancy stuff.

So i was thinking, swap the forks for something more up to date. Something with dual rotors. I searched but either im not wording the search right or something.

Anyone seen this or maybe have done this? Or should i just buy the eagle mike kit and be happy?

You may be a King or lowly street sweeper, but sooner or later we all dance with the reaper. - Death
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-04-2020, 02:11 PM
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OK, here goes;

- regarding fork swaps, here's my post on the subject from a previous discussion:

Several things, the biggest is a new front wheel/hub and brake system. As I told you in that other thread, there is no free ride and the USD fork conversion has it's own set of issues to deal with.... Not saying there isn't an allure to it just that there are good reasons more folks don't do it. When I did the math prior to making the decision to stick with the stock forks and go with Cogent's DDC's, my total came to $2,000 - $2,500 for the USD fork conversion vs. about $350.00 and less than an hour for the Cogent stuff.

After the additional expense, fork rebuilding, respringing, revalving, dealing with the rear suspension travel issue, gauge cluster, speedo, turning radius issues......you still have a smaller hub with a smaller axle, smaller bearings and when compared to the SV caliper 320mm rotor mod, a much smaller brake caliper, pad and rotor......all of which are fine for MX use and less fine for dual sport use.

There is no doubt as to the superiority of the modern MX fork.....but unless you have it resprung and revalved properly, it isn't going to work as good as a set of DDC's and springs in the stock forks.......and even if you do those things, the rest of the KLR isn't up to making full use of them anyhow.

I'm just making you aware of all the issues; if you still want to do it after all that, knock yourself out.



As far as the brakes go: the KLR isn't heavy enough to need twin rotors IMO.....yeah, the stock brakes suck but the EM SV caliper adaptor, SV twin piston caliper and EBC 320mm rotors take it from dangerous to downright decent. add the SS line and dime mod and you're golden.

2 cents,
Dave
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-04-2020, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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ok, honestly i wouldnt have thought that much would go into it. I just thought if i found the same diameter and pretty close to length i could make it work.

And, it was all just a thought. I like to try out of the box things.
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You may be a King or lowly street sweeper, but sooner or later we all dance with the reaper. - Death
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-04-2020, 04:58 PM
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Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box; I just want to provide people with some things to think about. :-)

Part of the problem is that VERY few bikes have long travel forks with twin rotors; all, AFAIK, are large, expensive ADV bikes that have larger diameter forks than a KLR......you'd need to try the forks from a KTM ADV bike for example....then you'd have to deal with all the issues around fitment, custom triple clamp setup, steering stops, speedo, etc. etc. If you have the time/tools/skills and/or money to attempt something like this and want to proceed with your eyes open, I applaud your spirit. .....if you're like the rest of us, I'd recommend a set of Cogent DDC's and springs to deal with fork dive/fork action and the SV/320mm rotor swap to increase braking power. I'm very happy with my upgraded front brakes but it's still not my ZX6R....

Cheers,
Dave
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-04-2020, 09:07 PM
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"I'm very happy with my upgraded front brakes but it's still not my ZX6R...."

Never will be with a 3 inch wide front tire.

pdwestman
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
"I'm very happy with my upgraded front brakes but it's still not my ZX6R...."

Never will be with a 3 inch wide front tire.
Nope, nor do I need or expect it to be! :-)

Dave
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-06-2020, 10:02 AM
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I put '08 DRZ400 forks on my KLR. I also added a 320 rotor. The Suzuki's caliper is a two piston jobby. I used a KLR stem and had a guy from the other KLR board weld up a triple clamp. In all, I think I have about $650 into the swap. I like it much better than the stock up.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-06-2020, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickysnickers View Post
I put '08 DRZ400 forks on my KLR. I also added a 320 rotor. The Suzuki's caliper is a two piston jobby. I used a KLR stem and had a guy from the other KLR board weld up a triple clamp. In all, I think I have about $650 into the swap. I like it much better than the stock up.
No doubt; pretty much anything is better than stock. You did VERY well on the price - the rotor alone is $220.00.


Dave
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-11-2020, 07:35 PM
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I swapped a set of Showa 49mm USD’s. Went ahead and upgraded to the 320mm Supermoto rotor while I was there. My donor forks came of a CRF250X so it did have an odometer drive but the cable didn’t match up. I figured I’d do the reasonable thing and add an electric speedometer. So next thing I added was the Ninja 650 engine and bam! Now I have the forks I want and the speedometer is a factory set-up from Kawasaki!

All in all my fork swap with custom re-valving and competition level (ha, KLR and competition in the same sentence!!!) 😂shot peened heavy springs was right under $2k. I had a buddy work me up a set of bushings on the lathe and used my KLR stem in the CRF triples. I made some custom turn limit stops and I was off to ADVing again in no time. The difference was the single best improvement I have made to my bike. It actually goes where you point it now! Doesn’t meander and follow the ruts or asphalt sealant grooves on the road.

My OEM forks had been had. Sliders were shot, seals were shot. I changed the seals but I noticed that if I ever spiked the brakes hard on the OEM forks I could actually see the right fork leg bend backwards from the stress and leverage. I’m sure it was fine as it didn’t fail but that always bothered me. My KLR had marginally better forks than my 71’ CB500, and that’s sad.

Now if I could ever find time outside of work to finish the project I’d be set.

Goodluck with your hunt, the Showas off the DRZ400 would’ve been my preference but I came into these USD forks for a price I couldn’t turn down. The DRZ Showas are one of the few true conventional style cartridge forks. 👍
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-11-2020, 08:59 PM
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Hummmmm, the brake rotor is on the LEFT fork leg.

Just funnin' with ya'!

The brake rotor is actually pulling the LH leg Forward, kinda' equalizing the forces.

Have you ever ridden bikes with a single disc on the RIGHT Hand fork leg? Older Ninja 250's come to my mind. Takes a little bit of getting used to for maximum, panic stop type braking. Maybe because I have become SO Accustomed to the flex of the Gen 1 & '74 Z1 with LH mounted disc.

pdwestman
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