Project Yamaha TTR230 Riding with New Forks

We installed the new forks, and now we try them out on a good desert ride.

Jan. 07, 2008 By Rick Sieman

We finally got a chance to sling a leg over the Yamaha TTR230 with the new generation YZF250 forks installed.  When sitting on the bike, you still sit level.  The longer front end doesn’t give the bike a “chopper” feel.  With a wide range of adjustments, the forks were pushed up a substantial amount in the triple clamps. 

dirt bike mod

The larger forks and triple clamps did not interfere with the steering in any way.  That’s right, there was plenty of clearance between the gas tank and the forks, even at full lock.  No modifications were needed.  The stock TTR230 fender bolted right on the YZF250 triple clamps;  the mounting holes were identical.  Tire clearance was fine;  nothing rubbed or got in the way.

When riding the bike, it felt much more stable.  Small ripples and undulations in the terrain were virtually ignored,  where the stock TTR230 front end wavered and shimmied over the same stuff.  Big plus.  In soft sand, the bike went straight and true, with no head shake or hunting. Another big plus. 


The first real test of the front end was a section of small to mid-sized bumps on a fast straight section.  Here, the front end shined!  Power on, the bike literally sailed through the bumps.  Pure magic.

Later on, the bike hit some big dips and the forks sucked them up nicely.  We arrived to a rough section of the course and here the forks were harsh at the mid-stroke.  It was as though the springs were too stiff and the compression damping  was too much.  A stop and a looksee inspection showed that the forks were not traveling much more than half way through their stroke.  The dust on the fork tubes told the tale.


Well, this calls for a trip to Keith Lynas’ place for a fork dial in.  Also, the left fork was weeping a bit, which indicated a seal needing replacement.  That’s the price you pay when you buy forks on ebay.  Still, seals are relatively cheap.

In the interim, we’ll get the rear suspension dialed in and see just how much the action at the rear affects the front suspension.  Many times in the past, once the rear end was working OK, the forks then felt fine.  Time will tell, as we investigate the suspension.

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