R6 Fork Mod Instructions Revived
UPDATE: There is currently no shims available for this mod so if you plan to do this mod, then do not do so until someone else decides to get involved in making them.
This is the best I can do at explaining what is involved in doing the R6 fork and brake mod. If I don't do a very good job, forgive me. Writing is not my stongest asset. Keep in mind that my mod incorporates forks from a 2003-2004 R6 and will not work with forks from previous years. I elected to go with the newer '03-'04 forks because I know that those years R6's use the same wheels and rotors as mine and felt that my wheels and rotors stood a much better chance of working hand in hand with the forks that are already matched with them on another bike. The unknown variable was the axle which IS difference from mine. I really only expected the difference to be related to the differences in the axle mounting holes in the forks and to not really matter in any other way and that turned out to be an accurate assumption.
The only real surprise that I faced was that the FZ6 forks are spaced 5 mm further apart and didn't find that out until I was able to physically measure the triple clamp on the forks that I ordered and compare that to the measurements taken from my triple clamp. My initial response was that of doom and gloom because I knew that meant that the calipers were also going to be out of sync with the rotors and shimming, though possible, would be a difficult task and require custom fabricated shims. At that point, I almost gave up on this project as many of you will remember from my work-in-progress posts. Had it not been for the encouragement of other members and re-affirment from others that shimming should be a viable option, I probably would have quit. Instead, I became even more obsessed with making this work and in the end it did. Here is how I did it.
First, what is needed. Below is a list of the parts which I recommend buying for this project. I have place "optional" braided stainless brake lines because it is possible, though unrecommended to do this without them. I purchased all parts used from ebay because of the availability and affordability of such and have listed the prices that I paid for your reference. I might could have gotten better deals had I been patient, but patience is not in my personality. Even still, I got through this mod for $300 and when you consider that the retail of these parts new would cost around $1500, I feel like it was a bargain. I know of another member who bought an entire front end for $200.
What is required:
- 2003/2004 set of R6 forks with calipers.
- 2003/2004 R6 front axle and end bolt.
- Braided stainless brake lines for the FZ6 (optional)
- 19mm Hex Head Axle Removal tool
- 6mm & 8mm Allen head tools for the fork clamp bolts
- adapter kit to shim the axle, calipers and to be able to fit the stock fender back to the new forks. THERE IS NOT A SOURCE FOR THESE AS OF NOW.
The process: This mod can be done without removing the front fairing, so do not do so.
1. You will first need to get the font end off of the ground. I achieved this with nothing more than my center stand and two 55 pound bags of fertilizer placed on the rear passenger seat. Make sure to put the bike in 1st gear and roll the wheel as far forward as possible so that it will not have a chance to roll off of the center stand. You must also be working on a hard surface such as cement or asphalt.
2. Remove the front fender and brake line mounting blocks
3. Remove the front brake calipers by removing the two bolts that attach each one to the forks and pulling the up and away from the rotors. You could detatch them from the brake lines at this time or later. I waited until later because I didn't want fluid dripping while I was working. If you do it later, you can use a piece of wire or string to tie the back out of your way.
4. Use the 19 mm axle removal tool to take out the axle. Mine was torqued very tight and required a rubbler mallet to hit on the ratchet to get it started. It threads in and out in a normal direction for bolts. Counter clockwise to remove.
5. Remove the front wheel and set it aside. Pay attention to the fact that the tire has a directional arrow so that you put it back on in the right direction.
6. Loosen the top triple clamp bolts on both sides, and then loosen the lower triple clamp bolts one at a time. Make certain that you have one hand on a fork when loosening the lower clamps so that it doesn't slip out and fall to the ground.
7. Slide the new R6 forks into the clamps from the bottom, one at a time. The forks are only meant to go on a specific side and the clue to look for is this....the caliper mounting tabs always go towards the rear and the numbers that are stamped on them always are to the inside facing the wheel. The smooth side of the forks are to the outside where they are seen. Push the forks up until the top is flush with the top of the upper clam. The blue adjuster and the silver cap will both be showing above the clamp. Tighten either the upper or lower clamp bolt to keep the fork from falling out. Install the other fork the same way and tighten all clamp bolts very tightly. You can refer to the manual for torque numbers if you have a torque wrench, but get them as tight as you can with an allen wrench and that should be fine.
8. Begin to push the R6 axle through the fork on your right side as you are facing the front of the bike. It will only fit one way. When you see it pop throught the fork, slide a .090" shim (I have made some of them for you guys) onto the axle and then position the wheel with the wheel spacers already in place, into the forks, aligned so that the axle will shove through it. Once the axle pushes through the wheel and spacer on the other side, you will need to slip the other shim in between the wheel spacer and the fork and push the axle the rest of the way through the fork on your left. Screw in the bolt that fits in the end of the axle. It will go throught the fork on your left and thread into the axle which is inside the hole of that fork. Tighten this bolt very snugg. You can now tighten the pinch bolts at the bottom of the fork to lock the axle in place. The end of the axle on the right side should be flush with the outside edge of the fork and there be NO side to side movement of the wheel. If there is any movement side to side, then loosen the pinch bolts on the right side, lightly snugg one of them, and then tap in on the right fork with a rubber mallet to push everything tight. Then tighten the pinch bolts fully.
9. The new calipers will need to be installed next using a shim between the caliper and forks. There will need to be a shim for each mounting point (two per caliper). Again, I have made some of those which I can supply you. the calipers will only fit one way so getting it right shouldnt be too tough. The left only fits the left and right fits the right. Tighten the mounting bolts very tight.
10. At this point, you are ready to attach the brake lines and bleed the brakes using the proper method that is stated in the service manual. If you are fitting new lines, be very careful not to get fluid on any of your painted surfaces. One other thing is important. If using your stock brake lines, you will need to disconnect the line from the master cylinder and turn it around so that the fitting takes a better angle away from the reservoir. I highly recomend new duel braided lines because the stock lines will be a much tighter fit as the distance from the mastercylinder to the calipers is about an inch longer than before. Besides, if upgrading the brake calipers to R6 specs, why would you want to use a single line rubbler brake line? It dosn't really make practical sense.
Last edited by FAZR6; 02-24-2008 at 11:11 AM.