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Lowering forks

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Lowering forks

PostAuthor: twinnut67 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:25 pm

I have an 81 750. Can I lower the stock forks ? .
Thnx,
JC

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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:57 am

Yes..
Externally (as in sliding stanchions in the trees)...slightly and higher degree of being off. (besides look'n kinda weird) But doable.
Internally..much more drop by manipulating the springs..but it'll cost.

Not the only place, but an example--> https://www.powersportsplace.com/parts/ ... 750-virago
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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: twinnut67 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Thanks Flying Dog. I checked out the Progressives and it looks like they fit only a 1988 to 1997.
Mine is a 81. Bummer.

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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:34 pm

That's one area I'm not so sure bout, what the difference would be. Could call, maybe they'd have more info.
Nother route---> http://vintage-and-classic-honda-s.4567 ... 42465.html
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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: chrismalm » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:28 am

:yup: Like the link says.
You can lower and stiffen the forks by installing PVC spacers on the rebound side of the springs. I use 1-1/2" spacers and I don't cut the springs. If your forks haven't been rebuilt yet, your fork oil is probably like mud. R&R the seals, dust caps & fork oil while you have them torn down. Lots of info in the archives.
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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: Newbie82 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:19 am

I have an 83 Virago and they do make springs for it. I can not speak to the amount they alone will lower your front end due to the fact I swapped a rear rim on my front but at first I cut 2" PVC spacers hence lowering it 1". That was far too low. Long story short, depending on what your doing with your bike mod wise you may want to leave the PVC alone but the springs are definitely available. I can snag the part number for you if you'd like.

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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: dogeared dave » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:33 pm

Made mine longer on an 83 xv500 got into a world of pain re trail, see my posts. Shorter may be easier but the diference in angles between the headset and the stantions at the yoke is what will throw your calculation newbie82 has a handle on it.

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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: twinnut67 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:57 pm

Thanks guys. Problem solved.

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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: Supercub » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:23 am

I would like to lower mine 2 inches for s sleeker look, how would that affect handling?

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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:50 pm

Simply put you're changing the rake and trail. Quickening steering. Depending on how radical one goes, high speed stability can be compromised. The exact figures, I have no idea. Some say anywhere between 1" - 1 1/2" drop being the absolute limit and still be reasonably stable. Still..have no idea as I've never looked that deeply into the subject. Other than a stock bike is set for neutral stability at the factory. So doing so your stepping outside the range. It would only take "one" high speed wobble experience, to clean out your colon.
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Re: Lowering forks

PostAuthor: faffi » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:42 am

Without changing the fork itself, you have several options, some already mentioned.

1: Drop the triple clamps lower down the fork legs. To make it look more attractive, you can fit clip-on handlebars on the upper exposed section.

2: Reduce travel by adding spacers between the damper and stanchion. This will give you a lesser ability to cope with bumps before bottoming. You can counter this with stiffer springs and sacrifice ride comfort instead.

3: Reduce travel by modifying existing or fitting shorter damper rods. Same result as above.

4: Shorten the stanchions in a lathe and have them modified internally to accept the spring retainers on top. This will retain stock wheel travel as well as keep the fork level with the steering crown as with the stock fork.

5: Fit softer springs and/or reduce preload. This will let the fork settle lower when you are riding without actually shortening the fork in any way. There will be less travel to counter bumps, though, since more is used as static sag, and less resistance to bottoming.

6: Fit shorter springs with suitable rate. However, this may be difficult to match with sufficient sag to obtain the lowering you want without going to negative preload, which I personally would avoid. Negative preload means the fork will and must travel a certain amount before the spring meets the spring retainer; there will be a gap between the two.

Option (7): You could fit the front end from an XJ650 Seca. It is shorter, but is also a center axle design, meaning you will increase trail to roughly where the stock XV750 is at.


Whenever you are dropping the front only, rake and trail will be reduced. Rake drops about 1 degree per inch lost in height, give or take. From the starting point of the XV750, I personally does not consider a drop of up to 3 inches to be of any risk when it comes to stability, since it has a lot of rake and trail to start with. With the 650 Seca front, you can drop even more due to the increased rake. However, there is no guarantee that the handling will not feel weird, only that you are unlikely to experience a headshake with normal riding.

Note also that alternative 2, 3, 5 and 6 does not alter the absolute numbers of rake and trail when the fork is bottomed, only during normal riding. Alternative 1, 4 and 7 will make the front end sit lower at all times.

Alternative 5 and 6 will allow the fork to extend to its normal height during acceleration.

You can also lower the rear an equal amount to that of the front to retain the stock geometry. Any lowering of the bike, be that in the front, back or both, will also lower the center of gravity, which can be either good or bad, depending upon the intended use and preferences. My personal experience suggest that lowering a cruiser makes it handle worse, reducing stability as well as agility. YMMV.
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