USD Forks

The Mechanic

Has anyone fitted USD forks from say an Aprilia or Suzuki to their 1100/1150 GS, Ohlins even. Just thought I ask.
The Mechanic

If you’re talking about removing the telelever and replacing it with conventional forks then it has been done. HPN built BMW’s Dakar competing oilheads in the late 90’s and in order to make the bikes competitive completely re-designed the bike using an almost conventional frame and conventional WP forks. Unfortunately the bike was never available to the public – but then even if it was it would have cost a small fortune. Nico Baker (I think) has recently been working an a kit to allow the fitment of a normal front end to the oilhead BMW’s. The Advrider list have been ranting on about it for a while. Details
here and here

If you mean replacing the fork tubes with fork tubes from a sportsbike and keeping the telelever, and presumably binning the fork internals, well, that’s a new one on me and sounds rather tricky but kind of cool!


what would the point of fitting usd forks be ?

USD was originally developed for long travel moto-x bikes back in the 80's to help stop fork flex. Imagine the wheel disc and a pair of sliders boing-ing about at the bottom of 10" of fork travel.

BMW have effectively come up with a far better solution ( IMO ) by transfering fore - aft flex via the wishbone into the engine - effectively cancelling it out.
Any flex can only really happen in the outer tubes below this point. Unlikely on the road, anyway.

Thats why they handle,stop and feel so 'planted' on the road.


Thanks for the info, it was a question posed by my partner, she has a thing about USD's...don't ask me but thats women for you.
At least she can see the up/down action on an USD set-up..perhaps that it. I'll have to wait until she gets in from work and let her see your comments.

Nico Bakker now theres a name from the past! A genuine man of 'frame'.

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