looking for options


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Walla Walla, WA
i recently bought my 82 yamaha heritage special off of a friend with a lot of little things wrong with it here and there but i was curious. what forks are compatable and what all would i need to change out. i want to run a meatier front tire and thicker forks. in the process of turning it into a cafe style bike so along the lines of that look. help me out guise. Please and thank you,

Define compatible.
Every fork swap that has been posted involves an assortment of parts to make things compatible, and/or a fair amount of grinding, drilling, machining, etc.
Some very good looking swaps have been done and documented by members in past threads. They all had to do significant research to compare compatible measurements.
I've seen people put gsxr forks on their xs, so, if you put some effort in, you can probably put any forks on you want.
im kind of a newbie and still trying to figure my way around the forum lol i was thinking like along the lines of one of the more simple ways to put a wider set of forks on. i guess i should look a bit harder for fork swap threads lol
It depends on how much of what type of work you want or can do.
For someone adept at machining it might be simpler to machine a readily available set of forks into the stock triple tree. No additional parts or research required beyond getting the new forks.


Find a set of triple trees and forks that fit together and fit into the stock frame. The problem here is that there will never be a perfect fit so you'll have to find bearings that aren't stock to either bike to make up the difference or machine bushings to make up the difference, but that goes back to machining.
Lots of research required instead of machining.

I think both options have been documented on the board. Ill see if I can track them down when I'm on a PC.

Pretty beefy tires can be installed on the stock forks when the fenders are removed. You might not have to do much work to get the look you want.
thanks for your help. i will be looking forward to seeing those links when you do post em. and if it does come down to machining im working on my bike in a warehouse that my friends rent (they all own drift cars and have built them inside and out) 3 of them are machinists so if it came down to it i wouldnt be in too much trouble. and finding bearing that will close the gap sounds like an easier deal. but i also have no idea where to start looking for forks or what will closely fit. lol i have a long ways to go.
does anyone on here happen to know what fork kits i can use to rebuild the stock ones and replaces seals/pinch rings/dirt cover. i cant figure out what im supposed to look for. lol
So this thread documents Norman's installation of GSXR forks on his XS360: http://www.xs400.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12819&page=2
He did a damn good job of it but as you'll see there was a fair bit of work designing and milling custom spacers to match up with his bike. I'm sure a lot of different forks could be made to fit by making the necessary hardware like he did.
Check out the whole build thread. Lots of cool stuff. He did the PMA mod too.

A few members have had luck with Aprilia RS125 forks. There are a few configurations possible and the work involved varies depending on which parts are used. Looks like it might just be a bearing swap if you use the RS125 forks, triples, wheel, brakes, etc.
The issue with the RS125 forks is that the bike was not sold in North America. It means getting everything shipped from europe. Not sure if all years of 125 forks fit either.
1 http://www.xs400.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9499
2 http://www.xs400.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4481&page=8
3 http://www.xs400.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8553

bentwrench does a good job of explaining the issues with fork swaps here: http://www.xs400.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8232
Also in that thread Nuno also mentions getting ducati forks to fit.

So fork swaps are quite possible, it just depends on how much work and money you want to throw at it.

As for for fork seals, they're one of the few things still readily available for our bikes. :)
Ebay has quite a few: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=XS400+fork+seals
Hey by any chance does anyone know the recommended amount of oil to put back into these forks? The stock ones with all internals the same. 82 xs400 heritage special. And also what oil to use? Ive looked and couldnt find the amount or type for mine. Or is it universal for bike size and shock type on these?
Anyone got any tips on getting the seals down into the lower part of the forks. Tried working it around and down in with plenty lube and a decent sized sockets to tap the outer ring in. Its being a bitch lol
Anyone got any tips on getting the seals down into the lower part of the forks. Tried working it around and down in with plenty lube and a decent sized sockets to tap the outer ring in. Its being a bitch lol

use a plastic 1 1/4" drain tube and whack the seal down. helps to soften it first with boiling water and lube
I have done this on all four of my bikes and it never took more than a few taps with a hammer and same size socket to get into place. Make sure the seals are for a 33mm fork tube.
shit i think they were 34. i ordered from bike bandit and mikexs the ones that said they were for my bike but i guess i have 33mm. nice. that could be the problem lol where did you order your sets from? :banghead:
On the fork oil level, most front fork tuners use the 6 inch method. With the fork springs out, completely collapse the forks. dump in about 8 ounces of what ever oil you like, most use 10w or 15 w fork oil.
I use a Miti Vac tool, On a piece of clear hose put a zip tie on the hose, snug it down and set it to 6 inches from the end. Slide this down into the fork. Pump the tool, this draws out the oil above 6 inches down in the fork.
This extra oil decreases the amount of air above the oil. This smaller air capacity acts like an air shock. This won't effect the fork action, but decreases the fork dive while braking.
Don't go less than 6 inches down, it can cause seal leaks.