1. eNewsletter Sign Up

An Unholy Union V: DRZ forks on an Airhead

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Ras Thurlo, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Udo

    Udo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    Continental Divide
    That's some beautiful work by Prutser. I wish I had that talent. Not trying to hijack the thread, but want to share a similar project. Mine is much rougher using an old milling machine. Here is the first check for fit and alignment. The next step will involve milling all of the rounded parts.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=976054

    Attached Files:

    #21
  2. infinityedge

    infinityedge Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,086
    Location:
    Tuolumne County

    What front wheel are you using? Do you need spacers?
    #22
  3. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,048
    Location:
    The Dutch swamp
    Thanks Udo,

    Your not hijacking the thread. It should be full of info all about the DRZ forks. To get as much usefull info for everyone who is thinking about this mod..

    Your triples are looking great allready. I wish I would have the tools and time to make them my self.
    Do remember that the bottom triple would be best if it was wingshaped.
    #23
  4. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,048
    Location:
    The Dutch swamp
    You could use almost any wheel.
    The drz wheel would be very simple with 5mm washers between the caliper and the fork and a 5 mm longer wheel spacer.
    I'm using G650Xc wheels and Dmaster uses WR450 wheel for his off road set-up and a R1200C hub with a 320mm disc for his super Motard set-up.
    #24
  5. Udo

    Udo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    Continental Divide
    The Suzuki RM125 front wheel and brake rotor will work with the DRZ forks, axle, and brake caliper. They seem to be plentiful and affordable on Ebay.
    #25
  6. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,048
    Location:
    The Dutch swamp
    But be careful with the DRZ axles. Often the new ones are not straight from the factory.

    I also use the G650Xc axle which is cheaper than the DRZ and are straight.
    The G650 axle will not work with all KTM wheels because the fat part of the axle is to long.
    For those KTM wheels an F800 axle will work too.
    #26
  7. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,504
    Location:
    Netherlands
    So, for the sake of argument, let's say I'd want to put one of these puppies in an otherwise bog standard PD... What would that all involve?

    Triples 630 euro
    Forks, probably spensive with you hoarding them. :evil Overhaul plus probably need to be shortened as well for a stock para rear end.
    Brake caliper of some sort plus brake line I guess
    Some sort of wheel + let's say a 320mm disc (Would the stock wheel + caliper work?)
    Probably misc spacers and bearings and whatnot...
    Anything else?

    Does this monster even fit inside the PD fairing? :1drink
    #27
  8. jellycow

    jellycow NX NX NX NX NX NX NX NX NX

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    South side of the Netherlands
    You'll need a new rear shock as well, when the front end is upgraded the rear will feel o so bad :D
    #28
  9. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,504
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Yeah well ideally I suppose you'd want to graft on an 1100 swing, which also sort of implies doing something to the frame, both of which imply a pile of cash the size of which would make sure none of it will happen. :rofl

    Besides, I've already got a Hyperpro on the back. Nice bit of kit, which is making the stock front end look a bit crap. Will be even better once it's been rebuilt in a few weeks time. (Hi, Bas)
    #29
  10. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,048
    Location:
    The Dutch swamp
    If someone likes to change the forks already its the price of the triples that makes it more expensive.
    The fork prices can be very different. I have never paid more than 80 pounds. But I was not in a hurry.
    The forks on the picture are not mine. Some are RM 250 or 125 forks the rest DRZ400.
    The wheel,brake caliper and rotor is something people have to decide them self. But this isn't different from other fork swaps. Except the 5mm longer wheel spacer and spacers between the caliper.
    If you would like to use the stock DRZ triples you need to change the head bearings too.

    if people order a set of the triples I don't mind to make them some wheel spacers and spacers to shorten the fork to the length they prefer. Even the washers to put between the caliper wouldn't be a problem.

    With these kind of projects it's really useful( and cheaper) if you have the right tools and skills your self.
    It should not be harder to mount this fork than a KTM up-side down or WP50.

    We didn't try a set of our triples in a PD yet. But I think you might know where to find us :D than we will try them in your bike :rofl
    #30
  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,773
    Location:
    alabama
    mmm, BMW snobs making my cheap bike parts expensive... grrrrr
















    but really that's pretty cool. :thumbup:
    #31
  12. RJB (holland)

    RJB (holland) AIRHEAD

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    383
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    I'm one of the airhead idiots in Holland, Prutser and Dmaster and a few other ADV posters are also well know around here. Some of them contribute to the 2V section on the Dutch GS forum. There you can read about experiences with the DRZ fork. The fork, combined with a better rearshock, should make the bike handle more stable and precise, on and off the road, and the GS is capable to do things that weren't possible (or wise) to do with stock parts.

    After offroading / hiking in the Belgian Ardennes with my R80GS Basic in the beginning of this year, I decided to built an allroad bike (not gonna sacrifice the Basic) with very good suspension and a bit more travel but without stretching the rear swingarm. I wanted to keep the G/S look so needed a right-side-up fork which works fine. Because a few experienced (travellers a/o mechanics) people were very enthousiastic about it, I decided to go for the DRZ forks.

    If you want to do it right (my opinion) go for the special triples. The advantages Prutser lists above convinced me right away. He and Dmaster helped and adviced me on other bikes and I've never been dissapointed. You may spent some money on the triples but the forks aren't expensive so the complete set is still reasonable priced. And I like the fact that the stock headlight unit and fender can be mounted exactly how it was before. No need to machine braces and so on. The fork, triples and wheel you see here are mine. I'm looking forward trying it.

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,504
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Yeah, therein lies the problem. I can do basic work on these bikes allright, taking the gearbox out is a piece of cake, but not necessarily something to do on a public sidewalk if you're not sure you can have it sort-of together again by nightfall. Leaving a half-disassembled bike out for the local kids & assholes to nose around in is probably not such a hot idea. :D So tearing the front end off and then figuring out how to bodge a different one on gets complicated quickly.

    I do want to have a chat sometime about options for how to polish up the front end a bit, find some compromise between "harsh" and "dive". But this one's probably not for me at this time. Oh well. Misschien later als ik groot ben. :rofl

    RJB, I am following your and others progress on the various bikes with interest. (Where's the drool smiley... :rofl)
    #33
  14. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,269
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    Do you have a photo of the stem and bearing preload adjustment. I'd like to see how you did that.:ear
    #34
  15. RJB (holland)

    RJB (holland) AIRHEAD

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    383
    Location:
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Modifying bikes can be expensive, I have some experiences with it. But when looking at a DRZ fork with triples and a Suzuki wheel, I believe you can get an extreme improvement to your bike for less than 1000€. Sounds a lot but you'll have a very different (better handling) machine. It's quite a revolution, especially considering the euro's you put in it. There aren't that many parts that do the same.

    The stem isn't ready yet, but will be soon and then the holy union with the rest of the bike can be done. I'm running the TAG-Moto PD tank with the built in room/saving at the front so steering angle will be huge.

    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. Prutser

    Prutser Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,048
    Location:
    The Dutch swamp
    The adjustment is the same as the first paralever GS.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #36
  17. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,849
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Depending on the height of the top triple you may have to trim some of the lower part of the fairing below the speedo/tacho as I did on conversion I did a few years back
    [​IMG]
    #37
  18. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7,067
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    It takes few hours to change out a standard front end to a DRZ front end using stock DRZ triples you can get anywhere, and it's relatively cheap by BMW standards. The only hard part is re routing the cables and brakes for new bars. A YZ kayaba fork takes more work, but it's still a piece of cake unless you need to shorten it. If you can pull a transmission you could easily change to these forks, it's simple wrenching and not brain surgery.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Just curious but on the larger topic what are the differences between these custom triples and stock? Slightly wider? Different offset? I don't see strength as an issue, certainly the new bolting setup is an improvement but stock is workable. I'm just curious to the cost benefit.

    My DRZ40SM forks were $450 US with the triples, the DRZ400E forks were $125 US with triples, and the YZ450F forks were under $160 with the triples brakes and new or almost new wheel, and both the YZ an DRZ400SM forks were like new. I'd love to own these because they are just so damn pretty but curious as to how much of an improvement they are over the stock DRZ components.
    #38
  19. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,504
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Nice pic Phil. The stock DRZ triples with the spacer on top probably won't work then. The Prutser ones just might with a bit of fairing trimming.

    Jim, sure bolting the fork in is easy but that's only half the job. I'm trying to get a feel for what the other half involves, and whether there's any more halves after that second one. :rofl
    #39
  20. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,849
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    The main problem with the stock clamps is the amount or lack of steering lock. I've not heard of the reduced offset causing handling issues.
    #40