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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My good friend went down on his R3 about a month ago and bent up his forks pretty bad. The tail fairings, left frame slider, inner fork tubes and axle were damaged. Not bad considering he hit a gravel patch in the twisties. I already ordered the tail and it's coming later this week. I own a couple ninja 650Rs and when I crashed one of them I wanted to upgrade the forks instead of replacing with OEM so I installed the inner tubes and internals from a 98ZX6. It worked because both ninjas are 41mm. Having done that I wanted to upgrade the suspension on my friends R3 because he's a big guy and that's his only complaint with the bike.

So... I also have a couple SV650 parts bikes which also happen to be 41mm. I wasn't sure if the R3 triple tree was damaged so I thought about taking the entire front end and sticking it on there, if it fits. I also knew I had the option of using the SV inner tubes on the R3 lowers this retaining the stock wheel. Turns out his Triple was still straight and the old tubes (one of them was ripped in half) slid out easily. I took the top clamp from the SV and lined it up with the top of the R3 triple clamps and they appeared to hold the forks at the same distance (by sight) so I decided to try to fit the stock SV forks in the R3 clamp. Long story short it worked and the axles are the same length and the SV wheel fits along with the SV fender, rotor(s) and caliper(s). I used a ninja 650 master cylinder to pump the duallys. Now the R3 has SV forks, dual front brakes and a ninja 650 master cylinder. If you are considering doing this mod any ninja 650 master cylider will work but I prefer the 09+, I feel like they pump harder. Also, the SV front wheel is 3.5 inch and I think the R3 is 2.75. I mounted the R3 110 tire that my friend had on his stock wheel onto the SV rim no problem but now he can run 120/60 or 120/70 and has more options.

The SV forks are shorter than R3 by about the length of the clip ons. Right now I have it setup stock but a customer came in for a service on his R3 a while ago and he had his clip ons mounted under his triple leaving the forks to stick out a bit (I took a pic of this to show my friend before he crashed). I am thinking about doing this but lowering the leftover tube to compensate for the difference in SV fork height. That will work and the forks will still be held at the original height...
SV parts are surely not the only option but it's what I have to play with and it works without any modification or spacers or special tools. They are easy to come by and cheap. A ninja 650 front setup would probably work but i don't know for sure. Lots of bikes run 41mm and probably the same axle length. You could also do what I did with my ninja and buy some $70 1998 ZX6 forks and use the inner tubes and internals in the stock R3 lowers for a fully adjustable front end cheap. You'll retain the R3 wheel and single caliper.


As for the rear, I came across a video that I'm sure you guys are familiar with that shows a R3 with a ninja 650 rear shock. I happened to have one of those as well but before I go installing it I was wondering if anyone knows of anyone installing a R1 shock on the R3. I wonder because I installed an R1 shock on my 650R (and had it resprung) and if someone made the 650R shock fit on the R3 I don't see why the R1 won't work other than the clearance for the reservoir. The R1 shock would be more desirable because it is fully adjustable and the ninja shock just has preload. The R1 shock had to be from a specific year to be the same length as the stock 650 shock, I believe it was 09 but can easily look it up and I have pics of that too.

If anyone here has the 650R shock on their R3 could you please send a pic of the spacers needed?

Can somebody tell me the length of the forks from axle to cap?

I ordered new fork seals and oil and will be swapping everything out on Wednesday. The SV lower tubes are silver and have a lot of oxidization so we will sand them down and paint them black to look more stock. Any suggestions on paint other than engine or BBQ grill paint? Just something cheap, thick and durable.

****I forgot to mention I'm using 1st gen SV parts. I think the newer ones are 43mm and won't work. 1st gen is 1999-2002. My friend's bike is a 2015 (I think).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
In these shots I used a rim that doesn't hold air. I was still testing to see if the triple was damaged. This was before the 650R master cylinder, I just put the calipers on to see if they'd line up with the rotors. Ended up cutting the speedo wire and use the SV speedo as a wheel specer.





 

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So I guess some of the questions are.
1. Going wider on the front with an SV setup. and a bit more weight. will it change the geometry, and flick a bility of the bike?

2. Does the bike really need 2 front brakes?

Definitely gonna turn some heads when people who are used to look at the R3, see the 2nd brake rotor on the bike.

Cool stuff!
 

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Oaklandish from rider forums?

/wave

I was on that forum a bit, not sure if you remember. I did a fork swap as well but with UsD zx6r forks. Good info you brought here!
 

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Oaklandish from rider forums?

/wave

I was on that forum a bit, not sure if you remember. I did a fork swap as well but with UsD zx6r forks. Good info you brought here!
better value or utility than the current options for the r3?
or on another bike?
 

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better value or utility than the current options for the r3?
or on another bike?
The zx6r fork swap went into my 650r. I spent about the same as what I did on my ohlins Nix 22 on the R3. But I ended up with UsD forks and some amazing dual Nissin 4 pots for brakes. Those things are awesome. For the R3, I am doing just fine with the single rotor, and I want to lessen the weight of my bike, I am not sure if I would want USD forks and dual calipers, along with a bigger front tire and rim, making the bike heavier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I guess some of the questions are.
1. Going wider on the front with an SV setup. and a bit more weight. will it change the geometry, and flick a bility of the bike?

2. Does the bike really need 2 front brakes?

Definitely gonna turn some heads when people who are used to look at the R3, see the 2nd brake rotor on the bike.

Cool stuff!
The bike geometry is the same. Flick is the same. I'm running a wider wheel with stock tire size. feels the same. To me, YES this bike NEEDS two calipers. My friend and I are on the heavier side and like to ride these bikes almost topped out. The suspension and brakes need an upgrade and this was perfect.

better value or utility than the current options for the r3?
or on another bike?
Yes. This mod costs around $150 around here for the SV parts. The standard (non USD) ZX6 forks I modded only cost $70 and I've bought them twice at that price. Using those will give you full adjustability but you'll use the stock wheel and single caliper.

The zx6r fork swap went into my 650r. I spent about the same as what I did on my ohlins Nix 22 on the R3. But I ended up with UsD forks and some amazing dual Nissin 4 pots for brakes. Those things are awesome. For the R3, I am doing just fine with the single rotor, and I want to lessen the weight of my bike, I am not see if I would want USD forks and dual calipers, along with a bigger front tire and rim, making the bike heavier.
The forks are the same size. We're only talking about 10 more lbs, I am not using USD forks.

I think eventually we're gonna run 120/150 or 160 (I have a lot of 160's) and that might hinder the flickability. We'll see...
 

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The bike geometry is the same. Flick is the same. I'm running a wider wheel with stock tire size. feels the same. To me, YES this bike NEEDS two calipers. My friend and I are on the heavier side and like to ride these bikes almost topped out. The suspension and brakes need an upgrade and this was perfect.


Yes. This mod costs around $150 around here for the SV parts. The standard (non USD) ZX6 forks I modded only cost $70 and I've bought them twice at that price. Using those will give you full adjustability but you'll use the stock wheel and single caliper.


The forks are the same size. We're only talking about 10 more lbs, I am not using USD forks.

I think eventually we're gonna run 120/150 or 160 (I have a lot of 160's) and that might hinder the flickability. We'll see...
I should have clarified, I used 06 zx6r forks, so yeah, usd and definitely heavier.

There are already a few posts regarding the bigger tires on front and back. Some people are using certain combos that have a 160 rear and are racing with that. I personally really like the 110/140 as is except when I need to change my tires. I really hate 110 fronts. It's so **** hard to install.
 

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Ebay prices arent bad for zx6r donor parts...

I should have clarified, I used 06 zx6r forks, so yeah, usd and definitely heavier.

There are already a few posts regarding the bigger tires on front and back. Some people are using certain combos that have a 160 rear and are racing with that. I personally really like the 110/140 as is except when I need to change my tires. I really hate 110 fronts. It's so **** hard to install.
I am thinking about pulling the trigger on 98 zx6r forks...
so use the top tubes and the internals and keep the lower parts
if I want to stay single brake and same wheels?
 

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I am thinking about pulling the trigger on 98 zx6r forks...
so use the top tubes and the internals and keep the lower parts
if I want to stay single brake and same wheels?
Yes. There is a how to in the 650 section of riderforums.com. I can't remember where it is. Oaklandish might know, or you can google it.
 

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for $100 ish in terms of cost...

Yes. There is a how to in the 650 section of riderforums.com. I can't remember where it is. Oaklandish might know, or you can google it.
for $100 ish in terms of cost... maybe $150 with new oil, seals, etc...

How good is this upgrade?

the internals on a 98 zx6r. Great? wow?
Or should I just save up and for the Traxxion emulators that are going to run $300+ with everything
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is a really interesting thread. Can we get some updates, please?
Sorry for the delay. We've been waiting for the crossover brake line to come in to match the old R3 red steel braid.

In the meantime we decided to swap out the seals in the SV forks. They weren't leaking but they were old and I want my friend to not have to deal with it any time soon. Seals are $25..


We used Rust-O-Leum automovite enamel. Doesn't require priming and we used 5 coats. No clear.


Sanded everything down first




Installed the new fork seals and tire.


The paint match very well. Thinking about powder coating the front rim so the bike looks a little more stock.



The bars are now routed under the triple clamp. We have a master cylinder from a 2009 ninja 650R to pump the new dual caliper setup. The forks are flush but the bike has not been raised, SV forks are slightly shorter than R3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am thinking about pulling the trigger on 98 zx6r forks...
so use the top tubes and the internals and keep the lower parts
if I want to stay single brake and same wheels?
Here is a thread with pics where I do exactly that to a 650R. It's the same process for the R3
Fork upgrade with ZX6 parts

In that thread I link the ad where I bought the for on ebay (expired). I've bought them twice on ebay at $70.
 

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Hey thanks for sharing this with us! I've never done anything like this on a bike (and this is my first bike) so forgive me for asking but how hard is this to do? From what I can see to replace just the internals and retain stock wheel etc, it's pretty straight forward.

A how to with pics on the R3 would be nice as I like to see what I'm actually dealing with vs. seeing it on another bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey thanks for sharing this with us! I've never done anything like this on a bike (and this is my first bike) so forgive me for asking but how hard is this to do? From what I can see to replace just the internals and retain stock wheel etc, it's pretty straight forward.

A how to with pics on the R3 would be nice as I like to see what I'm actually dealing with vs. seeing it on another bike.
It wasn't hard for me and it's pretty straight forward. I wasn't planning on doing the zx6 upgrade on the R3 so I won't be able to make a tutorial but I swear it's exactly the same as the link I posted. If you want to send me a set of R3 and proper ZX6 forks I will do the swap and post pics for $100...

I guess the best of both worlds would be doing the ZX6 upgrade to the SV forks leaving you with a fully adjustable front end with dual calipers. Maybe in the future.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I might look at something like this in the future. Or, hopefully someone else will take up the challenge first and do the upgrade!
It's already been done though, just follow the guides on the N650 forum, or find other ones on the SV650 forum. There are lots of threads on this.
 
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