Forks, these aren’t for your salad

Welcome to the second installment of Bike Talk.  Well you probably didn’t know it was called bike talk, now did you?  Well this is my second upgrade to my 2006 Suzuki SV650.  First I upgraded the brakes with Vesrah pads, but that didn’t seem good enough.  Why you say?  Because I got into a fender bender with a truck!

A few months ago, the traffic lights in downtown San Francisco were broken (see, completely off).  I was splitting lanes on my way to work and noticed I couldn’t see the lights.  I figured that it was the sun in my eyes (we don’t get much of that here) and followed the car in front of me into the intersection.  I saw the truck coming, but I couldn’t brake as hard or as fast as I needed.  This ended up bending my forks and putting a soft ball size dent in the truck’s door.

I took this as an opportunity to improve the bike, with GSXR parts!  At first I bought some 2002 GSXR 600 forks with brakes.  This would be an awesome upgrade in itself.  The forks are a bigger diameter and the brakes actually stop the bike.  The only thing that it didn’t have was inverted forks.

There isn’t anything wrong with standard forks, but if I’m upgrading, I might as well go all out!  What is bigger than 600 forks you say?  Well, 2002 GSXR 1000 forks that is!

As you see, not only are these forks inverted, but they’re also GOLD!  GOLD!  Everyone loves gold.  Not to mention it also has six piston GOLD brakes!

Lets just be clear, this is a lot of pistons.  Just one of those calipers has more pistons than my whole 2008 Honda Fit!  And now, I have two of those!  Talk about serious stopping power.

Well I had all the good intentions of writing a seriously detailed DIY, but unfortunately, I got into the groove of the swap and forgot to take too many pictures, so this will be more of an overview.  You’re going to need a lot of tools!  Just off the top of my head you’ll need:

First, you’ll want to put your bike up on it’s stands.  Next, you’re going to want to support the front of the bike, but obviously you can’t use the front stand.  What I did was use jack stands.  Unfortunately, my jack stands were not high enough, so I had to get creative.

As you can see, I had to put some wheels under the jack stands to get them high enough.  Pretty cool huh?  You should now take off your front tire.  This will require you to take off your calipers first, these should be 14 mm bolts.  After that, loosen the 10 mm bolt that holds your axle in place.  Insert the 20 mm hex socket into the axle and you should be able to turn it until you can pull it out.

Once you’ve removed the wheel, you’ll just need your wrenches to take off the clip ons and the triple tree bolts.  Don’t forget the SV650 speed sensor!  That clip is on the right side of the bike.  Once everything is loose, you should be able to pull the forks out from the bottom.  Mine weren’t cooperating so I ended up tapping the top of the forks with my palm.

The next step is to take the steering stem nut off. This is a 32 mm nut and doesn’t take much force to take off.  There are some security torx screws under the ignition so make sure you get some.  They are like standard torx bits but with a hole in the middle.  After pulling the top triple off, you’ll see some steering stem locks.


They look like the adjustment rings for coil over suspension.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything to remove these, so I ended up using a tap and brass hammer to spin them off.  I’m not sure if that’s the right way to do it!  Try at your own risk!

The bottom triple should come right off after that.

Next part is just putting everything back together, which is pretty easy.  Please note that the 2002 GSXR 1000 triples fit perfectly into the SV650, even the ignition is in the right place.  I can’t be sure about the other years, but you can find a reference here.  Please note that you’ll have to use the GSXR clip ons as the forks are now substantially larger.

Also, you’ll need to use the SV650 clutch lever because it has a sensor in it.  You won’t be able to start your bike without this sensor.  The SV handle doesn’t go in all the way, I had to force it on the GSXR clip ons.

I ended up forcing my light and gauge clamp, but you really shouldn’t.  Here is want it looks like now:


What a beauty!  This was amazingly simple if you have some mechanical know how and I would definitely suggest that you do it.  The SV rides way better than it ever has and actually stops now.  The last thing that I need to do is setup the speed sensor.

But that’s for another time!

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