First order of business was to swap out the front end for a used set of CRF-450 USD forks. I found a set off fleabay, and bought an Emig Racing triple tree adapter specifically made for the XR650R. It was a bolt on affair made in heaven.
Now some may have heard that the USD forks aren't a proper fit for the XRRs. And that might be the case. Heck they didn't need USD forks on these bikes in Baja when they raced them, so they are probably good enough for me. That's the purists thought process. For me though it's a matter of available spring sizes. I'm 6'8" and 300lbs, so using the modern USD forks with a larger diameter offers a much better variety of spring sizes (larger).
With my CRF-450, wheel, brake caliper installed, I modified (read cut up) my stock XR front fender to make the necessary clearance between the new mounting holes on the triple tree and the radiator.
Time for a test ride. I was hosting this years Minnesota North Shore Shindig
in a week's time, no better way to test out the bike than have the previous owner (and good friend) take it for a ride. A test mule of sorts...
All weekend long, Eric beat up on the XR's front end like it owned him money. No ill effects, success! Notice the make-due headlight/flashlight combo we have on the fender. Big-zig in the background lent us his backyard engineering skills to keep us street legal.
The forks guards and a myriad of other things were still on order, but all in all it was a successful weekend for the XR and the Shindig Rally.
Then I got to thinking, the XRR would make a great bike for an overseas trip to South America, Scandinavia or Russia. So maybe I should put more into this thing than suspension and a larger tank. Maybe I should forget about riding it this fall, tear it down and do it right!