XS650 Front End

Having replaced the rear shocks – much better – it was time to address the front. I decided on new springs and cartridge emulators from Race Tech for suspension and a completely new brake system along with my rebuilt caliper.

Front forks from my XS650 cleaned and ready for assembly.

Front forks from my XS650 cleaned and ready for assembly.

First I took the front forks off and disassembled them completely. Cleaned everything.

I replaced the old springs with new ones and installed a set of cartridge emulators from Race Tech. I added 7 ounces of 10wt fork oil to start. Changing fluid is pretty easy. There is about 2 inches of preload with no spacers. We’ll see.

New springs and cartridge emulators, fresh oil and back on the bike

New springs and cartridge emulators, fresh oil and back on the bike

With the forks back on the bike it was time to think about the brakes. I removed the rotor, master cylinder and the original rubber brake lines. Then I bolted on a new and much lighter rotor and reinstalled the front wheel. Then I rebuilt the front caliper, installed it along with a new master cylinder and steel braided brake line.

New brake rotor, rebuilt caliper and steel brake line

New brake rotor, rebuilt caliper and steel brake line

The last step was to add new fluid and bleed the system. We are still working on that part. The brakes work but there is still too much lever movement. And I may change the cable ends around to make a better fit. One of these days I am going to have to address those ugly spokes!

Bleeding the master cylinder. These take a bit to get right.

Bleeding the master cylinder. These take a bit to get right.

I stuffed some rags underneath everything in case of any leaks. With any luck it will be ready for a Saturday morning ride for coffee.