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Old 03-26-2017, 03:55 AM
clammyhydra clammyhydra is offline
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Has anyone replaced the entire front end with something beefier?

I've been thinking about some options for the front end of my xj1100 82. I've been trying to research replacing the entire front end with something like a Yamaha R1 front end. Is this a very stupid idea?
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:14 AM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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Nope. You can do whatever your imagination allows with some fab & machining skills. Phil put an FJ front-end on his.
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:44 AM
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jetmechmarty jetmechmarty is offline
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If you're clueless about what you're doing, then it is a very bad idea. For example, the R1 forks are shorter than the XS1100. What will that do to the handling? Look at the neck of the R1 frame. It is very long for a reason. The XS11 is short by comparison. Fixing the spindly forks will just exacerbate the next shortcoming. Unless you're a skilled fabricator and understand what makes a motorcycle tick, like Mathh on this forum, you may spend a lot of money and end up with junk.

On the other hand, you can improve the stock front end. Change the oil! Raise the level as it will stiffen the last 30% of travel. You can buy straight rate springs designed for your weight, rather than one size fits all progressive springs. P&D valves and a fork brace will bring it almost to the finish line. Light weight rotors will really bring it home. (Stock front brakes weigh 20 lbs ) Don't forget decent shocks!
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:43 AM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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It really depends how sentimental the bike is to you. I don't think I could ever sell mine. Money does not talk, when it comes to my XS11.

The reason I say that, is if you're looking for a modern front-end, you should not stop there- go for a more modern bike period. If your bike has no sentimental value, sell it and buy something newer. I bought my first XS11 in running condition, for $1500? I've put at-least another $3-4k in it since. If ur not willing to spend the rest of that bikes life putting money into it, get rid of it, and buy something that may not need as much "improvements".

Then again, I bought my GSX-R brand-new, and did not put much into it. I bought ny Daytona used for $3500, and have put another $3k into it, in two years.
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1979 XS1100F
2H9 Mod, Truck-Lite LED Headlight, TECHNA-FIT S/S Brake Lines, Rear Air Shocks, TKAT Fork Brace, Dyna DC-I Coils, TC Fuse Block, Barnett HD Clutch Springs, Superbike Handlebars, V-Star 650 ACCT, NGK Irridium Plugs, OEM Exhaust. CNC-Cut 2nd Gear Dogs; Ported/Milled Head; Modded Airbox: 8x8 Wix Panel Filter; #137.5 Main Jet, Viper Yellow Paint, Michelin Pilot Activ F/R, Interstate AGM Battery, 14MM MC, Maier Fairing, Cree LED Fog Lights.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:21 AM
clammyhydra clammyhydra is offline
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I'm feeling like the best idea is upgrading the suspension I have now. Is there any source for new springs and lighter rotors or is it all unobtanium like most of the other parts?
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:56 PM
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Outlaw4shrt Outlaw4shrt is offline
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take this for what it is worth, but grab any modern Yamaha front end (fz1, r6, R1, etc.) up to year 2008 (I can't vouch for anything after that but I would guess they are also about the same if not identical), take the oem xs1100 lower stem bearing (I'm trying to find some pictures), mount it directly on top of the oem modern forks stem bearing (all the stems I have seen are the same diameter), and then bolt it up. It's that simple. The newer forks have a longer steering stem, so I just stacked the bearings on top of each other and that was it.

IMHO, it doesn't matter what you do to the oem XS1100 forks, they will never out perform modern stuff, in particular the ability to mount a 17" rim and modern rubber, never mind the front brakes you'll get too.

In my limited experience a few years ago before I tore my bike down again (about 1000 miles), with a modern front end on this bike (based on your riding ability) can run with most anything on the street, even in the twisties until you get to fully committed knee dragging which you shouldn't be doing anyway regardless of what you're on (take it to the track).

If you look really close in this picture you can see the exposed lower bearing. This is a 2001-2005 FZ1 front end on my bike which I choose so that it would still "look" old by not being inverted, but still perform as well as anything else. They have a traxxion dynamics cartridge replacement kit in them and are awesome.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmechmarty View Post
If you're clueless about what you're doing, then it is a very bad idea. For example, the R1 forks are shorter than the XS1100. What will that do to the handling? Look at the neck of the R1 frame. It is very long for a reason. The XS11 is short by comparison. Fixing the spindly forks will just exacerbate the next shortcoming. Unless you're a skilled fabricator and understand what makes a motorcycle tick, like Mathh on this forum, you may spend a lot of money and end up with junk.

On the other hand, you can improve the stock front end. Change the oil! Raise the level as it will stiffen the last 30% of travel. You can buy straight rate springs designed for your weight, rather than one size fits all progressive springs. P&D valves and a fork brace will bring it almost to the finish line. Light weight rotors will really bring it home. (Stock front brakes weigh 20 lbs ) Don't forget decent shocks!
I just want to add that I totally agree with jetmechmarty when he said that you could spend a lot of money and end up with junk... upgrading the front end is easy and can be very cheap, I bet you could get an entire older R1 front end for less than $300 nowadays, but if you get a hair up your @$$ and decide to upgrade the rear end (chain drive, etc.) prepare to spend a couple grand at least and probably a lot more if you want to do it right. if I had to do it all over again... haha, I'd probably still do the chain drive, but I know my wife in particular and honestly probably me too would have been happier if I just upgraded the front end only and rode the heck out of it. Just my .02.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:24 PM
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bikerphil bikerphil is offline
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Here is my 79F with 85 FJ forks. They are still the old style damper rod forks, but the increased size 41MM stanchions do make a difference in handling/stability. I did this mod 6 yrs. ago and 50K miles later, I am still glad I did the mod.

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Last edited by bikerphil; 03-26-2017 at 06:29 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2017, 07:26 PM
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jetmechmarty jetmechmarty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clammyhydra View Post
I'm feeling like the best idea is upgrading the suspension I have now. Is there any source for new springs and lighter rotors or is it all unobtanium like most of the other parts?
Nope. Upgrade is easy. Traxxion Dynamics in Woodstock, GA, or RaceTech in CA can fix you up. I got my springs from Traxxion at about $120, because they had to be custom wound. Maybe that's all you need. You can have them converted to cartridge forks, but that will cost over $1K. P&D valves are much cheaper if they are for you. It depends a lot on what kind of rider you are.
BikerPhil used FJ forks because he gained a millimeter or two and maintained the length. A well thought out mod.

For light weight rotors, contact Michael Mercury Morse at 650Central.com He can fit you with 2 lb rotors.
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2017, 01:21 PM
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Mathh Mathh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw4shrt View Post
take this for what it is worth, but grab any modern Yamaha front end (fz1, r6, R1, etc.) up to year 2008 (I can't vouch for anything after that but I would guess they are also about the same if not identical), take the oem xs1100 lower stem bearing (I'm trying to find some pictures), mount it directly on top of the oem modern forks stem bearing (all the stems I have seen are the same diameter), and then bolt it up. It's that simple. The newer forks have a longer steering stem, so I just stacked the bearings on top of each other and that was it.

IMHO, it doesn't matter what you do to the oem XS1100 forks, they will never out perform modern stuff, in particular the ability to mount a 17" rim and modern rubber, never mind the front brakes you'll get too.

In my limited experience a few years ago before I tore my bike down again (about 1000 miles), with a modern front end on this bike (based on your riding ability) can run with most anything on the street, even in the twisties until you get to fully committed knee dragging which you shouldn't be doing anyway regardless of what you're on (take it to the track).

If you look really close in this picture you can see the exposed lower bearing. This is a 2001-2005 FZ1 front end on my bike which I choose so that it would still "look" old by not being inverted, but still perform as well as anything else. They have a traxxion dynamics cartridge replacement kit in them and are awesome.
That looks bitching!
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2017, 02:19 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Mathh, nice to see you still posting here on occasion! As you know, I would normally ask you my usual question, but won't THIS time.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2017, 03:07 PM
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Outlaw4shrt Outlaw4shrt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathh View Post
That looks bitching!
Thanks! I've been working on it for a while, but I am nearing the finish line. I started I build thread for getting it AHRMA ready in this forum if you're interested.
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