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Author Topic: DR650 - USD forks conversion  (Read 367 times)

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Offline jdvisagie

DR650 - USD forks conversion
« on: January 13, 2020, 10:51:28 am »
Quick feedback on my DR650 fork conversion. I fitted a set of 46mm Kayaba forks from a YZ426 unto my DR. For it's age, the forks were in really nice condition. Previous owner added heavier springs and new fork seals not long ago he said. I'm unsure of the spring rate however.

Mods included:
Complete front-end of the YZ426. Made-up bracket for ignition switch and trailtech vapor speedo. I kept the YZ triple clamps standard, so had to add spacers above top headset bearing. The DR brake bolted straight onto the USD forks. I used the headlight brackets from a DR-Z400SM to secure my headlight to - worked real nice. I raised the USD forks about 2cm up in the triples to "shorten" them a bit to give the bike a similar geometry as per original.

All and all, not a very difficult job.. 2-3 evenings and a few beers.

First impressions:
Much plusher and more "connected" front tyre with the road. Bike does not dive under hard breaking. If I really jumped on the breaks, I could just about bottom the forks out on the original setup. The front-end is a bit "higher" then original, making the head angle slightly slacker. I noticed that in tight corners but feels good at high speeds - I think of it as my Dakar setup  :lol8: . Bike feels very stable and I won't try to shorten the forks even more.

I still need to take the bike out for a decent off-road session, but so far so good. The rear shock is standard, and feels quite balanced to me. I might drop in a stiffer spring at some stage later.

Some cons
Smaller front brake rotor does mean weaker breaking. I still feel pretty safe on the smaller rotor and slow the bike down really quick. I will however look into setting up larger front rotor soon. No steering lock which is also another consideration..

The cons I can live with for now. Bike does feels more class and I always wanted to change the front-end, happy with the results so far..

Let me know if you have any questions  :thumleft:

« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 10:54:13 am by jdvisagie »

Offline Ri

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Re: DR650 - USD forks conversion
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 01:48:57 pm »
Looks great! Looking forward to your report after off road ride.

A non-diving front wheel is a huge improvement, often means the difference between dropping and catching the bike on sharp breaking.

Offline frankmac

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Re: DR650 - USD forks conversion
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 03:05:52 pm »
Looks really nice. Mine has WR forks on the front.

Could you perhaps post some pics of your vapor and dash setup as well as the headlight mounts.  :thumleft:

Offline Alphat

Re: DR650 - USD forks conversion
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2020, 10:14:02 am »
Nice work  :thumleft:
My single biggest complaint about the DR650 are the stock forks, with the shock a close second. I did quite a bit of fiddling with the stock suspension on my bike to try improve matters, but upgrading, like you have done, seems the way to go.
Ride, Crash, Fix, Repeat

Offline DRme

Re: DR650 - USD forks conversion
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 08:34:31 pm »
I like your wind shield. More on that please.

Offline sidetrack

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Re: DR650 - USD forks conversion
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2020, 04:54:11 pm »
All the gains on the front forks are cancelled out with that big top box on the back  :biggrin: Soft luggage that sits low  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline jdvisagie

Re: DR650 - USD forks conversion
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2020, 12:13:30 pm »
All the gains on the front forks are cancelled out with that big top box on the back

Oi, leave my d@@s alone.  ;D That box can take allot of stuffs, quick and easy to access and locks as well. I got it with a different bike and have always kept it. I have a set of Wolfman Saddle bags for longer trips that work well with that box. I do "mini-adventures" about every other weekend and for the most part that box is all I need. Pics for attention.  :thumleft:

Other mods planned is lowered upgraded/wider footpegs, case savers (which I have somewhere), sheep skin seat cover. I'll do a little write up once I'm done with my DR..
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 03:39:17 pm by jdvisagie »