Author Topic: How to adappt the front forks.  (Read 1744 times)

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on: April 15, 2024, 05:19:00 am
Hi, I have a 2021 Classic 500. and I want to add a sidecar.
Now, to reduce the trail , I am thinking about fitting offset axle front forks.
Would that reduce the trail enough for sidecar use, or should you do something more drastic ?
I guess the best would be to have a set of Earles forks made up.
Not sure I want to go that far.
Maybe leading links ?
Look for stiffer springs, or dampers ?
Any ideas out there ?



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Reply #1 on: April 16, 2024, 07:47:35 pm
It might be fairly straightforward to adapt a set of forks tube assemblies, or just the lower sections, from the pre-2012 C5, which have the axle offset forward.  I recall reading that this fork design was kept later still on Bullets and/or 350 machines.

I believe, at some point the method of mounting the tubes into the casquette changed to be alert.

One could also reduce wheel diameter to reduce trail.

AzCal Retred

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Reply #2 on: April 17, 2024, 03:37:05 pm
Since you are buying a sidecar, what does the manufacturer suggest? They certainly have set-up guidelines. It's poor form to kill off your customers! ;D  I'm betting this is a well travelled road. Try these folks, they are a known good supplier:
You don't particularly want to become a test pilot for a low-budget "no-name" brand sidecar builder at our age. It's frustrating and we no longer "bounce"... :o
A trifecta of Pre-Unit Bullets: a Red Deluxe 500, a Green Standard 500, and a Black ES 350.


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Reply #3 on: April 19, 2024, 01:41:33 pm
I'd mount and ride the sidecar before worrying about modifying the front fork. Over the years I've owned several rigs and built a few for others. In my experience, a light bike, with a light sidecar normally works just fine with stock geometry. I would recommend installing stiffer fork springs, wider handlebars and a steering damper, and of course lowering the gearing. You may also want to invest in stiffer rear springs.

FWIW my T140 Triumph with it's Watsonian Palma chair would positively smoke my buddy's BMW R60/2 Steib combination. ;D But when another riding buddy bought a factory-built HD hack, he put us both on the trailer. :o


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Reply #4 on: June 25, 2024, 08:24:23 am
Leave the poor thing alone. I've had a sidecar fitted to a Himalayan and that was happy with the standard forks. I've ridden a 500 that was happy with standard forks. I know someone else with a 500 with standard forks.
You don't need fancy forks. If nothing else, just fit the sidecar and see how it goes.
Grandpa Slow

2021 Classic 500

Adrian II

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Reply #5 on: June 27, 2024, 01:53:13 pm
For a while the UK Royal Enfield importers were Watsonian-Squire, the side car manufacturers. The certainly fitted a few Bullets and Electra-X with sidecars without special forks, though this was a few years ago when the leading axle forks were still fitted to all models.

Going back into Royal Enfield history, the UK factory did produce special sidecar forks with the axle even further forward. You could probably find a set, but they won't fit the 2021 models, and you would be back to using front drum brakes instead of ABS disk brakes!

Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


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Reply #6 on: July 01, 2024, 06:33:38 am
It's better to try fitting the sidecar first and see how it handles with the stock setup; many folks find it works just fine with some stiffer springs and a steering damper.