Should I put a fork brace on?

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Should I put a fork brace on?

Post  river on Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:07 pm

Been reading up on CRF fork swaps. Seems like another religious war, with the loyal xrr fork fans saying the CRF forks are not flexy enough, the other side saying stiffer gives precise turn in.

So, a fork brace is supposed to decrease flexiness right? So it is a bad thing to reduce flex in desert riding?

Can anyone say what a fork brace will get?

Thanks.
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river
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no, no and no

Post  Bump on Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:42 pm

They only real racer I know of who used a fork brace was Scott Summers and he sold them so he doesn't count. All that flex or lack of flex is engineered into the bike. The amount of flex solves problems. If you are riding this beast in stuff that is so slow and technical that a fork brace will improve your riding then do like AtomicXR and I have done and buy a KDX200 for that sort of riding. You can get a well sorted out KDX200 for a just a little more than this for swap will cost. But know that compromises like these reduce what this bike does better than any motorcycle ever made.

The CR(F)/XR fork swap is a very bad idea. It's already on this site and it's also a current and past discussion on TT. It was all started by Dirt Bike magazine immediately after the big XR came out. No less than Bruce Ogilvie took DB to the wood shed over this and they actually printed a retraction. Do people still do this? Yes. Is it smart? No. Will it solve any problems you re having? No.
Here's the current TT thread: http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=854521
And another: http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-114432.html
So if you want to risk frame failure (Bruce's own words), and have a better idea of what engineering went into that frame and fork combination than the man who spent 8 years dreaming up and building the XR650R, then more power to ya!
The big XR is a race bike detuned for sales. hence, contrary to waht a lot of racers think, is why it never sold well anywhere. When you are looking for mods to make on this bike, particularly mods that solve problems that don't exist (in other words, solutions looking for problems), then look to what Team Honda did NOT do to the bike during the six or so years they raced it. No pumper carb, no allow bash plates anywhere, no race piston, and so forth.
generally, IMHO, this mod come out of a time when the transition to big four-strokes was meeting resistance to decades of 2-stroke riding. So the magazines tried to make these big 4-strokes act more like what they knew; twitchy 2-strokes.


Been reading up on CRF fork swaps. Seems like another religious war, with the loyal xrr fork fans saying the CRF forks are not flexy enough, the other side saying stiffer gives precise turn in.
Just ride the bike friend. Gene regularly races stock XR650Rs in CA, Baja and NV and does VERY well.

So, a fork brace is supposed to decrease flexiness right? So it is a bad thing to reduce flex in desert riding?
Again, this bike is the result of an organic engineering project over several years. All the pieces are chosen to work together to produce a specific level of performance. This isn't like buying a 1960s or 1970s American muscle car (that was basically a powerful engine stuff into a passenger car) and then setting out to finish the job American car manufacturers didn't see any profit in doing.

Can anyone say what a fork brace will get?
How about some photos of your bike?

Thanks.
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Re: Should I put a fork brace on?

Post  modette on Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:56 am

I can respond from the street aspect, I always believed they were BS products. Most people do not ride a motorcycle on the street or off the street to the degree that they would even notice a difference other then what their brain is trying to justify for the money that was spent. Did I have one on my FZ1, YES only because I was a nice guy and wanted to support the small guy making them on a CNC in his garage...otherwise I would of never bought it for $220. There was zero improvement felt.

So like "bump" said go with what Honda used, and raced with. Even if they did use one, I would say a typical rider would not notice a thing. If it makes one feel good and fuzzy inside then I guess it is money well spent.
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Re: Should I put a fork brace on?

Post  river on Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:06 am

Thanks Bump, no, I would not presume to out engineer Honda engineers. Thanks for telling me about their approach, haven't found that before. But one reason it's hard to judge which person's mod is a good idea is because nobody talks about what the mods actually DO. What I really need is to understand what the XRR suspension DOES, explained in riding experience terms, or what happens on the trail.......so:

Bump wrote: All that flex or lack of flex is engineered into the bike. The amount of flex solves problems.
Could you say what problems?

But know that compromises like these reduce what this bike does better than any motorcycle ever made.
Can you say what this is?

Would appreciate very much some enlightenment about what the XRR suspension does so well in action.

Have a few pics. Bringing it home from purchasing it in Phoenix, and taking it out to the desert to ride.





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XRR Suspension

Post  Bump on Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:03 pm

Bump wrote:
All that flex or lack of flex is engineered into the bike. The amount of flex solves problems.
Could you say what problems?
So it's best to look at the bike as an organic whole. Bikes absorb energy with hits. That energy has to go somewhere. Aluminum frames are very rigid. I wasn't in any design or engineering meetings but you can extrapolate from here what it is all designed to do. That is to work together. Those forks were chosen specifically for their performance characteristics. Hence the idea that the XR650R frame needs those forks. I really doubt there are many people who can really discern an improvement in a lot of mods that aren't power related. That said, the power of positive thinking can easily will something untrue to become true. So if you believe you are a better faster rider with the wrong forks. You very likely will be... Same with guys still wearing mullets I suppose.

But know that compromises like these reduce what this bike does better than any motorcycle ever made.
Can you say what this is?
Haul ass with great stability across deserts of Baja, So Cal, and Nevada without breaking down. That's it. When they ramped up the power of the old XR600 to be competitive with Kawi those 600s blew at almost the same mile every time There's a great story about it on the Honda web site somewhere.

Would appreciate very much some enlightenment about what the XRR suspension does so well in action.
[i]Buy Dust to Glory.

There are a lot of mods that solve problems. The question is what problem are they solving. For example, the OEM carb can be very tricky to jet properly. That is made worse because of oddball combinations of engine mods. It is because the bike is a race bike severely detuned and chocked down for sale to the public. Personally I doubt the bike was ever intended to be a big seller. Can't jet your carb? Can't find a local bike shop who doesn't seem to make it even worse? Buy an Edelbrock. You get the idea..

Then there are mods that create problems. Like that huge Acerbis gas tank. What problem does it solve? None unless you ride in sub-Saharan Africa to work, or take epic long rides across Australia. But it's a look a lot of people seem to like to create with the bike. They armor it all up and add huge tanks and what not. Kills the bike really. It's that ethic you see on Advrider all the time. And it speaks to how some people see the bike. They turn it into some sort of urban assault bike. It's just a matter of time until someone installs a Rat Patrol .45 Cal Thompson on the back...

Congrats on getting the bike!
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Re: Should I put a fork brace on?

Post  modette on Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:41 am

Good site with some good stories on the XR650R being raced, and ridden.
http://motorcycle.motorcycle-usa.com/motorcycle/Honda%20Xr650r

http://www.mcnews.com.au/testing/hondaxr650test.htm
He thought the suspension to be much improved over the XR600. The action is more progressive with much more adjustment available to those riders who genuinely know how to set up a bike. I thought the 46mm cartridge forks worked great on the bumps.

The rear suspension has 308mm of travel and works well with a CR derived linkage ratio that is much improved over the XR600 set-up. Really serious guys will probably want to firm up both ends for racing but the fast guys we had along only managed to bottom the XR on a couple of occasions.

I never bottomed it out and had the sag at around 30mm. I did experience quite a bit of front wheel deflection over the rocky stuff however. This is probably due to geometry rather than fork action and really fast guys probably won’t notice it at all. Riders who like to dig the front end in hard will probably drop the forks 10mm through the clamps.
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GOOD STUFF!

Post  Bump on Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:56 am

It's also worth mentioning that in a long multi-rider race like the 1000 the bike is usually setup for whoever is sort of the premier guy on the team. In the past the Honda bike has been setup for Campbell. The rest just ride his setup. That's where the Ti spring came in. Campbell has broken one of his wrists twice and like a cush ride. This year the Honda was setup for Norman. The Kawi was setup for Bell. So while setup is important it still, IMHO, bios down to the rider's skills.

I think Photography is a good analogy here. It's been 90 years since Ansel Adams first exhibited his photography. Now one has improved ion his stuff yet and all he had was some wood, leather and glass.

I think I mentioned it on here before but one of my favorite stories was being at Shell Reef at Ocotillo. There were some magazine guys there on matching YZs and new gear. And the rest of us rats. We were all feeling pretty good and that place usually attracts some talent. Some guy on a completely tapped out XR400 in gear that was several sizes too small (his belly was dangling out underneath his jersey) and a decade or two old (I think it was old JT Leather stuff.) This guy schooled everyone. He skyed that bike and wheelied whoops and so forth. He humiliated those magazine guys. he watch them take 10 minutes to prepare for a jump. Then come in right after them and put on a show.
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Re: Should I put a fork brace on?

Post  AURORA on Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:15 am

Bump wrote: It's just a matter of time until someone installs a Rat Patrol .45 Cal Thompson on the back...
![/i]

Where can I find this sweet mod? 2 thumbs

PS: I have a Superbrace fork brace.
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