This is a common worth while upgrade over the decades – converting 125 – 150 forks to use the much improved external dampers as fitted to the 175 and 200 models.
When you use the brakes on normal forks the headset violently drops down as the weaker old type springs compress – when you let go, the headset springs back up with no control. This is normal with single rated springs as they came from the factory. Springs compressed over the years go weak so the effect is even worse.
Our MB triple rated springs are much improved over standard springs – offering 3 stages of movement! When you apply the brakes our springs go down at different rates.
Our springs are soft under normal riding going over the bumps to make riding more comfortable. As you slowly apply the brake they get harder until you are really hard on the brakes and the springs get even harder. As you let go of the brake lever the springs come back at a slower rate – these are as close to having a built in damper for the spring only.
When you’re riding a slow 125/150 with drum brakes it’s not much an issue. But add a hydraulic front hub and things get worse, add a single outboard disc and it gets even worse, add a double disc then you really need dampers. And some will need an anti dive set up, BUT most are not set up correctly and cause more problems as the forks are locked using the brake and the springs are not used.
The best set up front brake is a controlled feel as the brakes are applied.
Fitting an external damper slows down the speed the spring and hub go back to their rest position. Today we have a multitude of different dampers that are fixed or adjustable. Some dampers come with a compression adjustment and all come with rebound adjustment. Some are better than others!
The damper bracket conversion requires the forks stripping to do the job right. Some people have welded the brackets on the forks and left the internal plastic fork spring stops in place and they melt and stick to the fork leg and can take some stripping down to do the job right.
We set up our fork jig, so every time we weld the brackets they are both at the same correct height – the same – every time! The times Ive seen brackets at different heights or one higher than the other or welded too far in, making the dampers sit at an angle looking from the front of the bike!
Using our fork jig has totally reduced the setting up time to weld the brackets. We can get to each weld by just rotating the forks into a different position.
This is a job we have been doing for 40 years!
Any questions ask Mark