Originally Posted by ZappBranigan
How do you do the fronts, though? Seems like the backs are relatively easy - just fit a longer shock or do like you did and move the mounts lower.
I'm not much of a mechanic, and I've never taken forks apart. However, my fork seals are leaking and my fork boots are cracked so I'll need to have it apart soon anyway - might as well do some other work while I'm in there. Is it as simple as just putting in longer springs or is there some other work that has to be done?
front fork set up changes are very easy and if you need too also purchase a manual and it will give you step by step instructions on rebuilding the front forks, rplacing seals and fluid. getting longer tubes made up is not a big deal at all. doing this will drastically change how the bike handles as will jacking up the rear end. what ever changes you make you should make on both ends so it has a balance. i would think that if it was only mild off of road riding you were doing then ground clearance probably wont be an issue and the bikes balance would be more important.
measure with a caliper the inside diameter of your forks. if you can find some abs plastic pipe that will fit in to it with some clearance. find washers that easily cover both ends and fit in the fork tubes as well. make nice square cuts and start at about 2 inches and add them to the tops of the springs. the plastic pipe sanwiched by the washers. it will add some rigidity to front end. thi smay be all you need. keep increasing the length of the pipe until you have the desired effect. even if you get lengthened tubes you will still need to do this as you will be swapping over the internals of your forks. progressive suspension( and others) have lots of rear shock replacements available. i wonder if you got to know your local bike scrap guy if he would let you try to find a replacement wheel that is 17 inches? that would fit? stock rear shocks on most bikes of the 80's were pretty poor from day one so i would replace them. lifting the bike could be a bad decision as bikes from the 80's were notoriously top heavy so raising them up would make this condition worse and may make the bike difficult to ride with any control which is way more important than any ground clearance issue. just a thought.