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Thread: bit the bullet on Showas.... (New project..)

  1. #1
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk newgensti's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Scranton area


    Well, After spending wayy too much on my suspension after sending it across the nation to Race Tech, After new bushings, Gold valves, "super slick oil" and the works...
    after topping off the cake with some icing in the form of sub tanks...

    I read Jedds post on the swap, and made the mistake of throwing a leg over my buddies 04 crf as well as my other buddies 08 kxf 450...

    After returning to my ride, one thing was apparent. My suspension is like a Cadillac compared to a modern MXer.. What else did I notice? My bike turns not even half as good as those bikes, and thuds off every stinking square edge I manage to not carve around on the trails..

    I adjusted my sub tanks to full open hoping to lose the harsh thud and it did help a bit, but the turning still does not feel anywhere near the honda. That thing just bites when I push it around a turn.

    So, I had been trying to talk myself out of the new Husaburg for at least a few more years because frankly, I don't have that much "extra" money laying around when I already have a bike that I like fairly well...

    Log onto ebay and notice a set of 07 showas set up by factory connection for my weight in good condition. $200, no reserve, great shape.. Not to mention $15 shipping.. Wow! I thought to myself, I am about to steal a set of forks!

    Got to be about 20 minutes before the auction ends and I am impatiently waiting to click the bid now button and snipe away someone elses chances at a nice set of cheap forks. Suddenly the girlfriend says lets go get a movie. sheesh... Now, I had to keep the forks on the down low so I couldn't say after this auction is over babe..

    so i pick up my trusty I-phone, place a high bid and head out the door. we are browsing around blockbuster.. me almost walking into the shelves of movies with my phone in front of my face. and its down to ~ 5 minutes.. I am still the high bid of a measly $200.. weeew I thought as the excitement started to build (you all know that feeling of bidding on something at the last minute..)

    1 minute left. the price has jumped
    I thought great.. my sneaky bid of 326.01 is sure to throw off this guy bidding up $5 at a time. heh..

    325 at a few seconds left

    I got nervous, went for the 330 (still a good deal for these forks) and bammm

    Some high roller comes in and steals these away for $385. Argh maybe next time I think to myself

    at this point I am dead set on the conversion.. I had envisioned myself winning the auction (like a lottery dream) I found myself already going through the process of the swap in my head, and it was too late. No turning back now. I had to find a set....

    Get to browsing a tad bit more and I came across a set of low hour 06 forks. Perfect I though... they are the shorter forks, good shape, come with the Honda lower guards already and they are $350 buy it now.. ok so they are one year older and $20 more than I wanted to spend on the newer ones, but whats this.. It is the full suspension, also including the rear shock which has been re sprung by the looks of the non factory blue spring!



    Bam, Proud owner of a new set of forks and a shock I have no use for.. Well, the shock should re-sell for $100-150 meaning I got my great deal for $200 on a set of new Showa forks.

    Now the fun begins. Lucky me I am an engineer in a machine shop that is somewhat slow and the guys are just dying to get their hands on some raw material to machine into dreams.

    I had thought about doing this quickly to get out and try these forks out. I think I am going to take this opportunity to do things right though. Probably going to draw up a set of triples based off the ktm 18-20 clamps, but with the correct dia holes bored to fit the new showa forks.

    That and I believe I will be making a custom machined caliper bracket to mount the brake caliper where it should be on the rotor as well as some wheel spacers.

    new fun winter project.

    Jedd, if your reading this, I hope that these are as good as you say!!


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  3. #2
    KTMTalk Member woodsracer's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Huntington Beach


    I will be watching ! popcorn.gif
    Good luck... please keep sharing details.
    2008 250sx
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  4. #3
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk Wild Turkey's Avatar
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    Jul 2002


    I bet you could sell those tripple clamps if you design a set to fit KTM bikes for Showa forks.

  5. #4
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk newgensti's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Scranton area


    QUOTE (KYMIKE @ Jul 29 2009, 09:09 AM)
    I bet you could sell those tripple clamps if you design a set to fit KTM bikes for Showa forks.

    yeah, well it is going to come down to cost of production / materials..

    Of coarse I can sneak a set out no problem, but when the boss sees quantity of parts coming out then I need to start purchasing.

    Either way I will come up with a price of production and see if its worth while

  6. #5


    QUOTE (KYMIKE @ Jul 29 2009, 10:09 AM)
    I bet you could sell those tripple clamps if you design a set to fit KTM bikes for Showa forks.

    I'm sure Emig Racing could whip up a set no problem in any offset you desire.

    Emig Racing
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    81 250 Enduro...Beautiful bike...White plastics, red orange frames with the blue, white and red/orange decals. Blue oval KTM logo
    81 400 Enduro...Beautiful bike also and same as above
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    78 250...White fiberglass with red/orange frame...very pretty. Think Russian MX team
    76 175 Penton Jackpiner...Orange fiberglass body work, high breather frame and my first REAL bike. Loved it!!

  7. #6


    What chassis are you putting these on?? Reason I'm asking is I personally don't know how much these Showas are gonna help your turning issues. I don't want to discourage you b/c I'm not that type of person. Now on the suspension action aspect of it I'm sure there are big gains to be had with the Showas vs. your stock(assuming you have 04's).

    Have you had any shock work done to this bike yet??
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  8. #7
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk MikeS300's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    San Ramon


    i think i would have tried another tuner before going that route, but what the heck, let us know how it turns out, I just dont see a different fork making your bike handle like the Honda, unless it was so far off to begin with. and dont forget shock setup has a lot to do with fork performance and handleing as well.

    2014 Husqvarna TE 300 (full Ohlins setup)
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  9. #8
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk
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    You should make three things

    Inserts for the KTM clamps, adapters for the axle and brake caliper. I think those are the three things that are needed to make the switch without purchasing the whole front end. IF you could SELL those things for less $100 I think you would make some coin.

    Mike is right though, poor shock set up can make the forks feel like crap and ruin the handling at the same time.

  10. #9
    KTMTalk Member
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    Feb 2004


    My year experience in this area shows that a good shock -read it MX style valved, works much better with the Showa as a suspension package.
    No need to make/buy triples,neither to put those thin made inserts-I machined nice stainless steel spacers and following the proper torque values, I never had a problem with the fork legs/triples
    As for the brake calliper-I do believe this is a good option-since the "modified upper whole setup" still misses 5mm of the brake pads which I don't like
    Axle adapters are not an issue

    In either way the fork still needs revalving, however the general case is that it gives visible and better results than WP blahblah.gif
    2018 KTM 300 6Days TPI, Black Spheres -removed: (No longer fan of DalSoggio !!! )

  11. #10
    Lifetime Team KTMTalk newgensti's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Scranton area


    Thanks for the feedback guys...

    Heres the thing. The bike feels good now, but it is def lacking the plushness of every jap bike I ever rode.

    My chassis and current forks are 04 as well as my rear shock

    My shock was also sent to RaceTech and has their bladder and gold valve in it... I did not go with the telescoping needle, only because I didn't have the coin for it. After doing more research I think I would have rather had gone with trail tricks, or a local tuner. Sending my stuff across the country to get re tuned is simply not a practical option because of the amount of downtime involved.

    I am pretty certain that the stock Honda forks will need to be re valved, or they may have been already. I will most likely use them as is for a mock up to fit everything and get dimensions on the custom brake bracket.

    The idea for a whole new triple comes from my ability to make one for myself for nothing more than the cost of material and some time. Again, these probably wont get mounted indefinitely until the winter for next year.

    I have been running at 20mm offset since I bought the bike, I am going to switch that to 18mm for this weekends ride and see how much that helps with the turning, but I hardly feel as though that will cure my problems with the sharp edge hits that really get me out of line.

    It wasn't a problem before, but now as my skill has progressed, my suspension seems to hold me back because I am afraid to push it any harder... Actually the last time I tried to push it harder I lost the front end and all I remember is seeing stars.

    I will probably go with the shim route to start and if I feel that more is needed I will go with a custom triple.. Considering that the shim has worked so well for so many, I think that it might be wise to not look any further.

    The brake caliper mount is a definite. I will be modeling this up in CAD as soon as the forks come in and that will be my first project to tackle.

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