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I am not pleased with the designed of the forks on the cross country. I am considering replacing with boot forks. Has anyone did this? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What would I give up?

Thanks for your help.

DBarnes
 

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I am not pleased with the designed of the forks on the cross country. I am considering replacing with boot forks. Has anyone did this? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What would I give up?

Thanks for your help.

DBarnes
Are you saying you'd like to add rubber boots to protect the sliders?

What don't you like about the OEM forks? They are often referred to as "upside down forks." They lower the unsprung weight of the front wheel, making it easier on the suspension components which in turn they can then make lighter, making the bike lighter, quicker, easier to steer etc. This is the first I've heard someone complain about them.
 

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I am not pleased with the designed of the forks on the cross country. I am considering replacing with boot forks. Has anyone did this? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What would I give up?

Thanks for your help.

DBarnes
I haven't done this, but I've been thinking about it. The pros of fork gaiters are:

- They look old-school cool (IMO).
- They won't break, like those silly OEM plastic protectors (which I haven't broken yet, but a lot of owners have).
- I think they do a better job of protecting the tubes, than just having something in front.

The disadvantage is:

- You won't be able to see at a glance if a fork seal is leaking and needs replacement.

Now, you'll need to have the front wheel (or the forks) off to put these on, unless you get something like these split boots: http://www.retrocycle.com/CustomChromeSku/682761/39mm_EazyOn_Fork_Boot_Covers__BLACK___Split_for_easy_assembly_.html . The problem is finding the right size, because the Cross forks -- the upper supports of the tubes -- are not uniformly narrow, i.e., not built for gaiters. And I've done some looking and some measuring, but feel free to do this yourself.

If you come up with something, please report back, because I really like the looks of boots. The Triumph Scrambler still uses these (although it doesn't have inverted forks), some Urals, and I think a few others still do.
 

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Looks to me like you are fixing something that ain't broke, but replacing it with an inferior repair. If the plastic fork protectors are what's bothering you, that's a much cheaper fix by replacing them with metal ones. I replaced mine with ones for the King Pin. If your dealer can't get them, Kate at Honda East Toledo can help you. Or there are aftermarket designy ones. I could never figure why Vic went to plastic when they had metal ones for the KP on the shelf. It wouldn't be to save money as the mold cost $$$$ to make and the KP ones were already there.
 

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Un-less your a dirt road rider you should have nothing to worry about.
Leave it a lone and ride for a few thousand miles and see what you think. Victory is not the only bike running this style of forks
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for responding. I am sure they are designed well. I just don't like the design. I want to go the the design in the picture attached. Would I give up comfort and a smooth ride by going this route?

1.jpg
 

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Un-less your a dirt road rider you should have nothing to worry about.
Leave it a lone and ride for a few thousand miles and see what you think. Victory is not the only bike running this style of forks
VJ: you're absolutely correct on both fronts -- not necessary, and not the only manufacturer. In fact, on my Valkyrie (2000-2007), I had similar fork guards (and, like the Kingpin, I gather, they were made of metal).

However, what got me interested -- and I don't know whether this is part of DBarnes' motivation -- was simply the old-school charm of rubber boots, ala the current Scrambler. Dunno why more manufacturers don't go with them. I know I've certainly added some farkles over the years that didn't make a whole lot of sense, from a practical standpoint. You?
 

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Thanks for responding. I am sure they are designed well. I just don't like the design. I want to go the the design in the picture attached. Would I give up comfort and a smooth ride by going this route?

View attachment 9851
They look like after-market, non-inverted, forks. But I agree, I really like the looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They look like after-market, non-inverted, forks. But I agree, I really like the looks.
They are. Would they change the ride, handling and comfort of the bike?
 

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They are. Would they change the ride, handling and comfort of the bike?
That isn't a question that has a yes or no answer. It requires a lot more information. For instance,

1) Are they cartridge forks or damping rod units?

2) Is the spring rate commensurate with the weight of you standard loading?

3) How aggressively do you ride?

4) How beat up are the roads you ride on?

If you take it easy, don't carry much weight, ride on good roads, chances are you'll never know the difference.
 

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They are. Would they change the ride, handling and comfort of the bike?
Probably, but I have no idea how much.

With non-inverted (older-style, and often referred to in motorcycle magazines as "rightside-up" -- as opposed to "upside-down" or inverted) forks, as noted, you have more unsprung mass. That's the weight that is directly effected by bumps, as opposed to "sprung" mass, which is the weight above, i.e., the weight that's cushioned by the fork springs or shocks. The more unsprung weight you have -- lots of other factors being equal -- the more jarring a ride will occur.

Also, rightside-up forks are typically less rigid than inverted forks, because their larger outside tube holders can't be clamped by both sets of triple-tree clamps. That's why -- for older Gold Wings and suchlike -- there are after-market companies supplying fork braces (which add rigidity, typically right over the fender).

Next, we don't know the suspension travel of the forks in the picture. It's likely less than the 5" or so of the stock forks.

Last(?), that's not a stock wheel. It's probably larger, and probably heavier, too.

So, there are gobs of variables involved here, making it -- for me, certainly -- too hard to tell anything about the change in ride quality, handling, and so forth.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you take it easy, don't carry much weight, ride on good roads, chances are you'll never know the difference.
Exactly. The change would simple be for the looks as long as I don't change the way it handles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Probably, but I have no idea how much.

With non-inverted (older-style, and often referred to in motorcycle magazines as "rightside-up" -- as opposed to "upside-down" or inverted) forks, as noted, you have more unsprung mass. That's the weight that is directly effected by bumps, as opposed to "sprung" mass, which is the weight above, i.e., the weight that's cushioned by the fork springs or shocks. The more unsprung weight you have -- lots of other factors being equal -- the more jarring a ride will occur.

Also, rightside-up forks are typically less rigid than inverted forks, because their larger outside tube holders can't be clamped by both sets of triple-tree clamps. That's why -- for older Gold Wings and suchlike -- there are after-market companies supplying fork braces (which add rigidity, typically right over the fender).

Next, we don't know the suspension travel of the forks in the picture. It's likely less than the 5" or so of the stock forks.

Last(?), that's not a stock wheel. It's probably larger, and probably heavier, too.

So, there are gobs of variables involved here, making it -- for me, certainly -- too hard to tell anything about the change in ride quality, handling, and so forth.

Thanks for your input on this matter. Sounds like I should leave well enough alone.
 

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They look like after-market, non-inverted, forks. But I agree, I really like the looks.
If you ask me, those arent gaiters. They are billet aluminum covers that go over the forks and are just for looks (well, I suppose they function as a cover for the sliders as well, but as others have pointed out, there is no easy seeing if your fork seals are leaking or not...)

Looks just like the ones I see on the shelf at the Arlen Ness dealership. Similar to the "fat fork" kits selling online. It should not affect handling or the ride at all - its purely a bolt on cosmetic piece.

And, for others, it is not called a "non-inverted fork." It is called a CONVENTIONAL fork...as in "usual and/or established".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you ask me, those arent gaiters. They are billet aluminum covers that go over the forks and are just for looks (well, I suppose they function as a cover for the sliders as well, but as others have pointed out, there is no easy seeing if your fork seals are leaking or not...)

Looks just like the ones I see on the shelf at the Arlen Ness dealership. Similar to the "fat fork" kits selling online. It should not affect handling or the ride at all - its purely a bolt on cosmetic piece.

And, for others, it is not called a "non-inverted fork." It is called a CONVENTIONAL fork...as in "usual and/or established".
Thanks. I'll search to see where I can find them.
 

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If you ask me, those arent gaiters. They are billet aluminum covers that go over the forks and are just for looks (well, I suppose they function as a cover for the sliders as well, but as others have pointed out, there is no easy seeing if your fork seals are leaking or not...)

Looks just like the ones I see on the shelf at the Arlen Ness dealership. Similar to the "fat fork" kits selling online. It should not affect handling or the ride at all - its purely a bolt on cosmetic piece.

And, for others, it is not called a "non-inverted fork." It is called a CONVENTIONAL fork...as in "usual and/or established".
Hey, the picture fooled me. I went to the link you provided, and "CNC-machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum" certainly doesn't sound like rubber, all right. I stand corrected. I think my comments regarding possible effects of having other than stock forks and wheel are still reasonably valid, wouldn't you say?

And, yep, "conventional" was the word that escaped me. It's what happens to me, occasionally, now that I've reached Medicare age.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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YES!!!! This is it. Now we are cooking with grrease!

http://www.jpcycles.com/product/231-633
http://www.jpcycles.com/product/231-347

Providing that I purchase the correct items, would this change the ride and handling of the bike?
Getcha one of these dandy Progressive Cartridge Innards for your shiny tubes and you'll have the best of both worlds (provided it all fits).

http://www.jpcycles.com/product/231-476?source=mybuys&green=6B37B681-E88E-5507-04BA-4E479741CA1C
 

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YES!!!! This is it. Now we are cooking with grrease!

http://www.jpcycles.com/product/231-633
http://www.jpcycles.com/product/231-347

Providing that I purchase the correct items, would this change the ride and handling of the bike?
Again - its a bolt on cosmetic piece. Cosmetic bolt-ons do not affect the way the bike rides or handles - it only affects the way the bike LOOKS.

Of course, adding 1-2lbs of billet aluminum is going to add a little unsprung weight to the front end - but a negligible amount that you will not feel. It will not affecting handling.

To answer WP's question, I think that the non-stock wheel on that bike in the pic would definitely change the ride/handling characteristics. But these bolt on fork covers wont change anything that you notice...

Oh yeah - and youre welcome :) (Im just giving you s**t!)
 
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