89' CR125 Suspension Upgrade

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9/22/2018 12:19 PM

I have been looking for an 89' CR125 for a reasonable price for months now and I finally found one! I'm going to do a full restoration on it plus get some modernish suspension on it. Does anyone have recommendations? Or experience with what works? I really don't know where to start. I'm not against machining custom triple clamps or hardware.

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9/22/2018 5:58 PM

I just finished setting up some 2016 CRF250R forks on my 89 cr250.
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Im swapping the original conventional forks from my 89 cr125 with the 89 cr250 forks.

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9/22/2018 6:35 PM

JMX247 wrote:

I just finished setting up some 2016 CRF250R forks on my 89 cr250.
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Im swapping the original conventional forks from my 89 ...more

So sick! What clamps did you use?

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9/22/2018 8:09 PM

They are 2010 CRF pro circuit clamps. The original steering stop doesn’t work with these clamps so I had to drill into the clamps to make new stops.

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9/23/2018 10:51 PM

If you want modern performance, then the 02-08 CR/CRF twin chambers would be a nice upgrade and they are pretty easy to find. The first gen 97-01 would be a second choice. Keep in mind that if you are planning to do vintage racing with the bike, modern forks are most likely not allowed.

But honestly, the biggest problem with the stock forks (and shock) on those is just the spring rate. I race an 86 CR 500, they are the same forks, and I went to .44 (stock is .38). Upgrade to modern spring rates and you may be surprised with just how good they can be!

Race Tech's spring calculator is a big help in figuring out the right rate, BTW.

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9/24/2018 8:24 AM

I did a complete 03 CR250 front end on my 89 CR500. Used allballs custom headset bearings and it worked great. Everyone that rode the bike commented on how surprisingly well the bike felt (and how much faster it was than their thumpers).

The steering stops worked, but if I had kept the bike I would have had some minor welding and grinding done to raise up the aluminum stops on the lower clamp.

I also swapped a 97 CR shock so that I could have high and low speed compression adjustment. Over The Top Motorsports did the valving (on the forks too) and used the shock piston off a late-model YZ250, along with shortening the shock to match the original 89 length.

The custom suspension was pulled from the 500 before I sold it, so if you want a easy way to upgrade your 125, shoot me a PM. I can have it all sprung and valved for you too.

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10/1/2018 3:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/1/2018 3:31 AM

Just as mark_swart commented above me to i found it's mostly just the stock spring rates that are way too soft for todays tracks and jumps.

I personally don't understand guys that put modern suspension on vintage bikes. You either want a vintage bike and ride it like it was otherwise why not get a more modern bike instead? For me riding my vintage bike is just enjoying the bikes of the past with its good and bad traits. But me to i tried to get the best possible out of them but i'm still using parts of the era. No modern gimmicks. That said i have '89 Mugen upsidedown forks on my '89s...hard to find but they are out there and really give you that modern feel. But before that i also raced using the stock, conventional forks. A capable suspension specialist can get them to work really good as well.

In the end why not just put old plastics on modern bikes to get that "old look" ? wink

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10/5/2018 6:12 PM

luckynino wrote:

Just as mark_swart commented above me to i found it's mostly just the stock spring rates that are way too soft for todays ...more

Good points! Although I always feel the suspension can help you from getting hurt in a fairly risk sport.

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11/9/2018 1:59 PM

luckynino wrote:

Just as mark_swart commented above me to i found it's mostly just the stock spring rates that are way too soft for todays ...more

I have to admit, I'm putting 1997 CR 250 twin chamber forks on a 1993 CR 125 I am building. I feel like it is a 'period appropriate' mod, since that's what the factory guys would have been running at the time. But I'm definitely not throwing a set of 2018 forks on there!

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