Since I had previously determined that the aftermarket bearing cups I purchased could not accommodate a steering stem diameter larger than 26mm, I picked up a set of Honda XR200R triple clamps. The ’84-’02 XR200R steering clamps are plentiful and cheap and one of few bikes that use 26mm ID bearings top and bottom. Since the XR used 36mm fork tubes, I bought a decent set of Kawasaki EL250 Eliminator forks, which are 36mm and — strictly as a guess — about the length and spring rates this bike would need.

Unfortunately, once I got the forks and clamps assembled, it was apparent that the Virago 5-spoke cast wheel I had been considering was too wide to use with these steering clamps. Well, that made the choice I had been considering easy enough to make: I’d chuck the Virago wheel and go with a narrower drum brake hub instead.

I was doing all of this to simplify adapting the front end to my Benelli frame, but a little measuring revealed that the XR200 steering stem is much too short to fit the 30mm longer Benelli steering tube. So, I’m back to having to fabricate a new steering stem, but at least now I have a sample to take specific measurements from, and I know when I’m done it will fit up to the EPM Engineering V50 bearing cups.

Leave a Reply