Showa 49mm conventional forks on an 88' CR250R?

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6/29/2016 10:09 PM

Hi Guys. I am doing restorations on a couple of 1988 Honda CR250Rs. Bike #1 is going to be very stock and original looking. My plans for bike #2 are to have it a little more tricked out. I am sticking to the 43mm conventional forks on bike #1 and am using the best parts from both sets to build up a nice set of forks. I want to put a set of something different on the second bike. I thought of some USD showas from a later Honda but kind of want to stick with conventionals. I plan on riding my bike off road on trails. I used to do some cross country and hare scrambles in my younger days but I am more a trail rider now. I had a line on a set of 46mm KYBs off of a XR650r. The deal did not work out but I am sort of glad that I didn't get them as I am really more interested in the 49mm Showa forks from a 96' to 98' RM or from a DRZ. I think these forks would work great with the 1988 CR250 geometry and still give me the trick look I would like. They should make for an awesome hard core trail machine. I have a set in mind already along with a front wheel, axle and clamps. Anyone have any info to help me along with this idea? I know many will say to stick with the original 43mm showas but both these bikes were basket cases in boxes. The forks are beat bad but like I say I believe that I will end up with a reasonably nice set out of the pair. I can buy a set of the 49s for pretty reasonable. Let me know what you think. Thanks
Greg.

P.S.
I will collect up some pictures and start a build thread here soon.

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6/30/2016 2:42 AM

Greg you wouldn't happen to have an extra set of OEM red Honda fork boots from an 88 CR250 that you'd be willing to part with would you??

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6/30/2016 3:24 AM

You have a couple of options to make it work. I would first just try to fit a set of Suzuki 49mm triple clamps in the frame, all balls has a cross reference chart that should show you what bearings you would need to make it work. If you're lucky all you may need is a spacer at the top to get the proper preload on the bearings. Option 2 is stick with USD triple clamps and have a set of split collars made to fit them in the Honda clamps, I did this when I ran 98 conventionals on my 03 KTM. That said you may have to make new wheel spacers to get everything to line up. Last but not the cheapest is contract any one of the current triple clamp makers and they can make a set custom for you but you are looking at around $600 for the set.

Good luck!

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6/30/2016 6:09 AM

I look forward to this build. I have a set of 49mm conventionals on my '05 yz125. I haven't had time to ride the bike but I understand they are some of the best forks out there.

I'm curious, are the DRZ400 forks the same as the RM125/250 forks?

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6/30/2016 8:49 AM

swatdoc wrote:

Greg you wouldn't happen to have an extra set of OEM red Honda fork boots from an 88 CR250 that you'd be willing to part with would you??

I wish I did have a set of fork boots. I don't even have a set for myself. There is a new set with bike #1 that I am building stock looking but they are not OEM. They look OK but not near as nice as the OEM. Sorry.

As for fitting the forks. If I can't use Suzuki clamps then I will have to pass as there is no money in the budget for custom clamps. All balls lists the bearings to fit the Suzuki clamps. Making spacers is no big deal as I have a lathe at home. I plan to use the Suzuki wheel and axle. I am just hoping I can use my Honda calliper and calliper bracket or at least the calliper.

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6/30/2016 10:37 AM

RyanLester761 wrote:

I look forward to this build. I have a set of 49mm conventionals on my '05 yz125. I haven't had time to ride the bike but I understand they are some of the best forks out there.

I'm curious, are the DRZ400 forks the same as the RM125/250 forks?

They are not. 96-98 RM are twin chamber forks and drz are open chamber. Open chambers are better for woods and TCs are better for moto.

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6/30/2016 10:58 AM

Another good conventional fork is the WP 50mm forks found on the 250/360 KTMs in 98-99. I also like to swap out 84-85 43mm showa forks with late model 43mm XR 650 forks which are basically the Honda CR 43mm forks from 86-87.

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6/30/2016 11:20 AM




I used the All Balls kit to put this '97 RM front end on my '84 CR250.




[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]
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6/30/2016 2:00 PM

Cool. Those look like beefy forks on the old bike. How do the All Balls kits work for ordering. All I see is two bearing part numbers to order. Is this a kit? Seems like some guys have ordered it as a kit of some sort.
Greg

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6/30/2016 2:52 PM

RyanLester761 wrote:

I look forward to this build. I have a set of 49mm conventionals on my '05 yz125. I haven't had time to ride the bike but I understand they are some of the best forks out there.

I'm curious, are the DRZ400 forks the same as the RM125/250 forks?

450exc115 wrote:

They are not. 96-98 RM are twin chamber forks and drz are open chamber. Open chambers are better for woods and TCs are better for moto.

Interesting. You know your forks! Thanks for the info.

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6/30/2016 3:15 PM

450exc - I'm with you on the late model XL/XR 650 forks. They are almost identical to the coveted 87-88 CR250 forks, and you can always cut off the caliper mounts and weld on a lug to interface with a drum brake if you want. Add in a Race Tech gold valve kit and you have pretty nice modern forks for your vintage bike, and they fit the usual 43mm triple clamps. I made up two sets of them. One going on my 79 CR250, and the other will go on my twin shock CR480

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6/30/2016 4:53 PM

avmechanic wrote:

Cool. Those look like beefy forks on the old bike. How do the All Balls kits work for ordering. All I see is two bearing part numbers to order. Is this a kit? Seems like some guys have ordered it as a kit of some sort.
Greg

You'll need 2 kits (top and bottom) The kit comes with the bearing, race, seal and spacer washers.

http://www.allballsracing.com/99-3540-5.html


The hard part is getting the correct spacing with the bearings and races to match the triple clamps to the steering tube. That's what the spacer washers are for. You may need to assemble and remove the bearings/races several time to get it correct.

If I remember correctly, the CR steering tube is longer than the RM, so the challenge was to get the RM clamp sucked up into the steering tube far enough so I had enough threads at the top for the nut.

That's the hard part, the rest is cake. Even the steering stops matched up. I would plan on getting the correct caliper though, I don't know if the Honda caliper will match up.

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6/30/2016 6:36 PM

On my KX i was able to use my stock stem in the RM clamps. The stem was super close to fitting and only had to be tweaked the slightest amount.
I removed the gold anodizing from my forks. It was a bitch to do

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7/2/2016 12:30 PM

avmechanic wrote:

Cool. Those look like beefy forks on the old bike. How do the All Balls kits work for ordering. All I see is two bearing part numbers to order. Is this a kit? Seems like some guys have ordered it as a kit of some sort.
Greg

quicken wrote:

You'll need 2 kits (top and bottom) The kit comes with the bearing, race, seal and spacer washers.

http://www.allballsracing.com/99-3540-5.html


The hard part is getting the correct spacing with the bearings and races to match the triple clamps to the steering tube. That's what the spacer washers are for. You may need to assemble and remove the bearings/races several time to get it correct.

If I remember correctly, the CR steering tube is longer than the RM, so the challenge was to get the RM clamp sucked up into the steering tube far enough so I had enough threads at the top for the nut.

That's the hard part, the rest is cake. Even the steering stops matched up. I would plan on getting the correct caliper though, I don't know if the Honda caliper will match up.

Great. Thanks for explaining that.

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7/10/2016 2:12 PM

I found a set of 96' RM 125 Forks with triple clamps, bars, axle and complete front brake for a great price. I see in a few threads that guys recommend the 98' Forks as being a bunch better than the 96' 97'. The 96' have the most underhand but they are still like 2" shorter than the stock Honda forks. 98' Forks seem hard to come by. I am thinking of just giving the 96' ones a try. They price can't be beat. Any opinions?
Greg

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7/10/2016 4:44 PM

Unless you are an expert or pro I doubt you'll know the difference. smile

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7/10/2016 9:44 PM

450exc115 wrote:

Unless you are an expert or pro I doubt you'll know the difference. smile

That is what I am thinking. My racing days are over and I have my new bike if I really wanted to do that again in some over 40 class. I am just going to be riding it as my second bike on some gnarly single track. I need plush for rocky and rooted terrain and I need something that can handle some high speed whoops. I think the stock 96' forks will work. They are in Way better shape than my original 43mm forks.
Greg

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7/27/2016 12:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2016 12:14 PM

I ended up with a nice set of forks. They look to be 97' forks even though they were listed as 96'. They only have about 3/4" underhang on the lower fork like the later forks. They came with the complete front brake as well as axle and tripples. Just need a front wheel now. They look to be in great shape with no leaks or damage. I think I will start by installing them as is at first. Now I need to find some good rear shocks.
Greg

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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6/25/2019 2:19 PM

Greg, were you ever able to get the RM conventional forks fit to your CR250? I have a set of '98 conventional Showas that I'm considering using on a project. I wonder how they turned out for you..
Thanks! Brian

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6/26/2019 4:37 AM

RyanLester761 wrote:

I look forward to this build. I have a set of 49mm conventionals on my '05 yz125. I haven't had time to ride the bike but I understand they are some of the best forks out there.

I'm curious, are the DRZ400 forks the same as the RM125/250 forks?

450exc115 wrote:

They are not. 96-98 RM are twin chamber forks and drz are open chamber. Open chambers are better for woods and TCs are better for moto.

What?

The RM forks are probably the sweetest woods fork out there. Being twin chamber has zero to do with what terrain you are on.

When I had my 76 KX125 I looked into fitting MTB cartriges into the stock tubes. The old KXs forks were just too small diameter but I bet it could be done on a larger 80s fork.

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

6/26/2019 6:53 AM

RyanLester761 wrote:

I look forward to this build. I have a set of 49mm conventionals on my '05 yz125. I haven't had time to ride the bike but I understand they are some of the best forks out there.

I'm curious, are the DRZ400 forks the same as the RM125/250 forks?

450exc115 wrote:

They are not. 96-98 RM are twin chamber forks and drz are open chamber. Open chambers are better for woods and TCs are better for moto.

Kidkawie wrote:

What?

The RM forks are probably the sweetest woods fork out there. Being twin chamber has zero to do with what terrain you are on.

When I had my 76 KX125 I looked into fitting MTB cartriges into the stock tubes. The old KXs forks were just too small diameter but I bet it could be done on a larger 80s fork.

I'll disagree. The cartridge forks tend to be more plush than TC forks for the woods. Least the woods we ride which is littered with rocks and roots. TC forks tend to be firmer and favor the more aggressive rider. When I was racing the local HS series and got serious about it I spent a lot of time getting my bikes set up including tuning a bunch of different kind of forks. The short list is 99 WP50mm, 98 RM TC 49mm, 08 TC KYB SSS, WP48mm OC, WP48mm TC, Showa 47mm TC, 45mm Showa TCs, and lately in my semi retirement from serious racing playing with all the old school damper rod forks on my vintage bikes including using RT cartridge emulators.

No matter what fork you pick the most important thing you can do is pick the right spring for your weight! That is 70-80% of getting a fork or even shock to work the best.

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6/26/2019 9:43 AM

I bought a complete 97 front end few years ago for 100.00, going to see if I can mount them up to a 90”s CR125 this winter.

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6/26/2019 4:10 PM

BBQkidd wrote:

Greg, were you ever able to get the RM conventional forks fit to your CR250? I have a set of '98 conventional Showas that I'm considering using on a project. I wonder how they turned out for you..
Thanks! Brian

Hey Brian.
I never did get these installed. They are for my next bike project and I have not really got into the build yet. I used 2001 USD Showa TC from a 2001 on the bike I just finished building. Should be no big deal to fit these forks. I just need to get the All Balls Bearings then they should bolt right on like the last set. I think they will be great.
Greg

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6/26/2019 4:50 PM

Thanks Greg, appreciate the reply. I think they'll be sweet also. I'm just trying to decide which project to use mine on. I'm kinda like a kid in a candy store 🤣

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6/26/2019 4:51 PM

I'd love to hear how yours turn out also Sandman768!

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6/27/2019 4:44 AM

I seen in the UK where they use WP USD forks from the 89 KTM

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6/27/2019 5:02 AM

I have a buddy that loves the wp 4054 USD forks and puts them on everything he races. IT200, XR350, and XR600. I'd prefer to run the WP50mm if I had a choice. Plushest forks I've ever riden!

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7/24/2019 5:46 AM

I installed the Rm forks on an 89 removed the gold anodizing . very few even noticed. Photo
Photo

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7/24/2019 8:00 AM

mxracer515 wrote:

I installed the Rm forks on an 89 removed the gold anodizing . very few even noticed. Photo
Photo

Wow. That looks good! And very hard to notice unless you point it out. I bet it rides well, too.

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7/24/2019 11:24 PM

I am on the process of putting a pair of 50mm wp conventional s onto a 95 cr 250
I am having a set of clamps made

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