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Monkey Wrench
105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a '68 CL350 that I'm wrenching on. Most of the riding is in NYC with some highway. My largest concerns are narrowness, lightness, and (in terms of the front end) potholes. I'm taking the bike down to the frame, so I figure I might as well put some nice bits on when I put it back together. To that end, it seems like a lot of improvement can be had by swapping a modern front-end on.

The front runners seem to be front-ends from the EX250/300 and the CBR250R. I considered going with a GSXR front, but my thought was that it would be significantly heavier than the 250 fronts with no appreciable improvement in braking, stability, or comfort. This bike won't see the track, and a good single disc should stop the bike excellently at ~500 pounds (bike and rider). At 37mm, the 250/300 forks are already beefier than the 34mm forks of the CB350, believe it or not. I think it would also be weird to have a front tire (120/70) that was wider than the rear tire (110/90 is about all that will fit the swingarm).

The CBR250R and EX300 are quite new. I'm having trouble finding good specs for these bikes. I need to know steering stem dimensions as well as axle dimensions, as I hope to maintain a spoked wheel to match the rear wheel. Fork length and weight would also be tremendous to know...

I'm also having trouble figuring out if the forks on these new bikes are any better than those on the Ninja 250, or if I should just go with the old faithful. I plan to swap out the internals with Race Tech cartridge emulators either way. I might even upgrade the brakes for the new front-end, so the aftermarket is a consideration. That said, 45-year-old drums up front are pretty crappy to begin with, so...

Can anyone point me to some specs for these modern front-ends? I'm also open to other suggestions for a CL350. I'm open to changing the rear wheel or going to alloys, but I'd like the front wheel to match rear wheel at least somewhat.
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