89 CR500 with 03 front end; 2 questions

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1/30/2018 10:19 PM

So I picked up an 89 CR500 and have a complete 2003 CR250 front end to swap on there. I've been doing the research and only have a couple questions.

Looks like the All Balls bearings are all I need to get the 03 triple clamp stem to fit the 89. There seems to be some confusion as to whether the 03 stem is too long, needing a spacer. Is that the case? If so, will pressing the stem out of the 89 lower clamp and into the 03 clamp fix that? I assume the OD is the same on both of them...

Next, some folks report that the forks hit the radiators since the steering stops are different between the steel and aluminum frames. Instead of welding on the frame, I'm thinking of drilling and tapping the stops on the 03 clamp, then dropping some bolts in there. Has anyone tried this and is there any reason why it wouldn't work?

Thanks for the replies.


1/30/2018 10:24 PM

Stem is longer on 03, OD is different on stems. The steering stops will need modified as the 2003 stock configuration won’t allow it to turn far enough. You’ll need to remove material from either the stops on the clamps or the stop on the frame. All balls bearings will get you there.


1/31/2018 6:55 AM

Might be easier to have your 89 clamps bored to fit the newer forks...


1/31/2018 6:30 PM

If you can get a later model CR500 set of clamps, that came with Kayaba’s, those Showa’s will fit right in. Did that on my 99. No idea of the steer stem is the proper length.


2/1/2018 6:37 PM


I just mounted up a set of 2001 forks on my 88' CR250. I am guessing it is similar. I used the all balls conversion bearings and I had to use the included washers as the stem was too tall. I put one under the bearing at the bottom clamp and one up top. The stops seem to be fine to me. The forks don't hit the tank or rad shrouds. I have not mounted up the radiators yet so I was going to check once they are mounted but seems fine to me. The forks are too long so I had to slip them up into the clamps. I took a measurement from the top of the frame stem to the axle with my original forks and set the forks up in the clamp as close as I could to replicate the axle position. I may adjust once the bike is ridable but I will see how it handles. Good luck with it and show us the bike when it comes together.

2/2/2018 11:43 AM


You might try Emig Racing if you're having trouble.

Although the 2014 YZ250F forks that I put on my '03 KX500 fit with a little bit of honing on the lower clamp, I decided to have Gary build me a set of clamps.

Here's his site: http://www.emigracing.com/

Good luck!

Do It In The Dirt!