Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
4-piston calipers, USD forks, and ABS ... finally
Can you still install a fork brace on the upside down forks? I like the new look, but the mud guard (i.e. "beak") could be shorter and less intrusive.
USD forks do not need a fork brace. In my experience the front end on the old V-Strom (650 and 1000) was weak from a braking and fork flex standpoint. Congrats to Suzuki for the USD forks AND 4-piston calipers with ABS.
I've never heard of anyone using a fork brace on an USD fork. From what I know, the fork braces began to be popular, in the after market accessory market, in conventional forks in the late 1970s and 1980s to improve handling and overcome basic design flaws in the suspension. V-max owners often outfitted these. V-Strom owners have generally praised the fork brace. In the dirt realm, some peopel have found mixed success with fork braces on air cooled XR series bikes.
I had a fork brace on an XR400R and it was insufficient. The front end would still follow a rut or slide on a log when crossing at a 45 degree angle, though not as bad as without the brace. The solution was two-fold: 1) improve my skills, 2) buy a more modern bike with USD forks. My KTM 300XC with USD forks can cross ruts and downed trees at angles that would have slid out my old XR400R even with the fork brace. The modern forked bike on the same trail with same rider made a nice difference in the subjective feel of the front end. It did NOT make me any faster however.
As far as braking, the old 2-piston calipers were so damn anemic on the V-Strom for emergency braking on the road IMO. Try riding a BMW R1200GS, Multistrada, or even a new generation V-Max (6-piston calipers) and you will immediately see how confidence inspiring properly outfitted motorcycle brakes can be on a truly modern bike.
current: '12 DL650 Russell seat & Akra CF; '16 FZ-09 blue w/Ohlins; '13 WR250R; '05 TTR 250 Sold: KTM 990A, KLX400, '07 Wee, '09 Sherco 2.9 trials and well over a dozen others
Last edited by KevinP; 12-28-2012 at 12:40 PM.