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Thread: '94 CB250 forks

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    '94 CB250 forks

    Started on the project to rebuild the bike after a guardrail incident. Now I', in need of forks. The options I see:

    1) Replace the forks with a non-US version (disc brakes) and actually have the bike stop well
    2) Install the entire head of a CMX250 complete with disc brakes
    3) Just find replacement stock-ish forks.

    Any advice here?

    Also, since I have two of these bikes, where might I find replacement fork tubes? Or even the whole fork assembly? I checked ebay, but it seems either I spend $400 for something that is used and 'might' work, or I spend $200 on tubes and hope they're 31mm.

    Thanks for any help.

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    Administrator LongDistanceRider's Avatar
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    Your fork tubes are 18 year fitment for the 1991 thru 2008 CB250 Nighthawk but no other models. The entire fork ass'y. is 1991-94.
    I'm pretty sure the CMX Rebel is 33mm forks but can't confirm that.
    Might be worth some phone call to salvage yards like Bob's Used Motorcycle Parts in Phoenix (602) 437-3148
    Jim O'Brien
    1979 CM400T aka the Roadbike, 1978 CB400T1 semi restored, 1972 CL350K4 restoration and the 1971 SL350K1 disaster zone.
    Plus 2 SL350K0's , 2 SL350K1's, 1 CL350K0 and 1 CL350K1 waiting for space and time
    Contact: 408-239-9580 or [email protected]

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    Senior Member Alan F.'s Avatar
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    Is it only fork tubes that you need, or do you need the lowers too?

    I'm 117 miles away, I've got 2 sets of bent forks with ok lowers that you can have free of cost. I get out that way for work now & then and could meet somewhere.

    If you can measure the fork tube length and diameter I might be able to cross reference some tubes from a different bike.
    Free Fork Swap & Upgrade info parked at: http://sites.google.com/site/alansdocuments/
    '65 CB160 https://tinyurl.com/Black-Friday-a-red-65-CB160
    CB250 Nighthawks 92,93,92
    SOHC CB750K 73, 78
    Boston,MA USA

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    I will confirm the Rebel CMX250 fork tubes are 33mm O.D. although I don't know the length of the forks.
    I think they're longer than the stock CB250 Nighthawk forks & that can change your steering geometry.
    The Rebel 250 triples have 'quick steering'/less trail,compared to the CB250 Nighthawk because the CMX250 Rebel frame with it's 'chopper styling' rakes the forks out a bit more than the CB250.

    I imagine you wouldn't want to install the front forks and cable operated front disc brake wheel from a CB200T? Those forks are 31mm.

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    Senior Member Alan F.'s Avatar
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    Rebel forks are actually shorter than Nighthawk forks. Someone on the Rebel forum owned by "you know who" bolted a Nighthawk front end onto a Rebel partsbike and boom, instant bobber/chopper. Also there was someone there and on HT that had bolted a Rebel front end onto a Twinstar successfully. I don't recall who that was, hopefully he's a VHT member now and can lend some advice.
    Free Fork Swap & Upgrade info parked at: http://sites.google.com/site/alansdocuments/
    '65 CB160 https://tinyurl.com/Black-Friday-a-red-65-CB160
    CB250 Nighthawks 92,93,92
    SOHC CB750K 73, 78
    Boston,MA USA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan F. View Post
    Rebel forks are actually shorter than Nighthawk forks. Someone on the Rebel forum owned by "you know who" bolted a Nighthawk front end onto a Rebel partsbike and boom, instant bobber/chopper. Also there was someone there and on HT that had bolted a Rebel front end onto a Twinstar successfully. I don't recall who that was, hopefully he's a VHT member now and can lend some advice.

    Ohh Ok Al. I stand corrected
    I never measured them but I would think it was the opposite.
    Good to know. Do you know what the full front fork leg length is on a Rebel ?

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    Senior Member Alan F.'s Avatar
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    Sorry, I've never had access to a Rebel.
    Free Fork Swap & Upgrade info parked at: http://sites.google.com/site/alansdocuments/
    '65 CB160 https://tinyurl.com/Black-Friday-a-red-65-CB160
    CB250 Nighthawks 92,93,92
    SOHC CB750K 73, 78
    Boston,MA USA

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    Not sure if this is relevant to the discussion, but here in the UK we had the CD250U, which had a disk brake front end and spoked wheels. Fork tubes were 31mm diameter, same as the CB/CD/SL 175 and CB200. Fork tubes from the CD250U are longer than the 175/200 parts. 175 wheel spindle fits these forks, must be used with 175K7 or CB200 yokes ( triple tree ).

    1972 CL175K7
    1970 CB174K4, 'upgraded' to a K6 alike
    1971 SL175, with a few non standard parts !
    1998 CB600 Hornet

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    Thank you for this information - this get me closer to a disc brake solution. I don't mind some added length as long as it doesn't throw off the handling too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pitman View Post
    Not sure if this is relevant to the discussion, but here in the UK we had the CD250U, which had a disk brake front end and spoked wheels. Fork tubes were 31mm diameter, same as the CB/CD/SL 175 and CB200. Fork tubes from the CD250U are longer than the 175/200 parts. 175 wheel spindle fits these forks, must be used with 175K7 or CB200 yokes ( triple tree ).


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    Alan, I saw a video on ye ol' YouTube where someone did that rebel/nighthawk swap. That's what gave me the idea to look at the possibility.

    So up in VT, about 45 minutes away from me, someone has a Rebel for sale for $400. They took it apart for painting and never finished. No papers on it though, and a lost key, so it's strictly parts. The listing says it's a 450 engine, but from the pictures it looks like a 250. Either way I think it's worth the cash to buy it and try swapping the rebel front end on this nighthawk.

    I hear the forks are 1/2" longer. Probably never notice it. And I really like the idea of disc brakes over drum. Disc brakes are so much better. I'm going to look at the CM100 and see what is available to make that work. I gotta believe any disc brake will out-perform these drum brakes.

    As for the damaged forks, the lowers are fine. All the damaged happened at the top. My 21 year old daughter was.is learning how to ride, and for lack of a better term she f-ed up. Went over a guardrail. Broken arm, banged up a bit, but she's all healed up now, and itching to ride. Almost took the second one out today to go to work, but the snowstorm stopped her (that God she has SOME common sense).

    Edit: Just took a close look at the listing for the Rebel in VT. It says is a 1990, BUT has a CMX450 frame and what appears to be a 450 engine. Anyone know if the front end swap willstill work?
    Last edited by ancientdad; 11.18.22 at 8:58 AM. Reason: additional info

  11. #11
    Senior Member Alan F.'s Avatar
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    I don't think the 450 front end will bolt onto your frame.

    This is a good source of easy swaps, but steering stem length may vary so measure before buying any parts:
    https://www.allballsracing.com/forkconversion/


    Or you can look at grinding the weld from the bottom of your bottom triple tree and pressing out your NH steering stem, find a suitable yet affordable front end and swap your steering stem into that lower triple, then bolt it on to your frame with stock bearings. If you know a machinist and a welder it's even easier. The beauty of these swaps is to use the entire front end, brakes, wheel and all the way it left the factory on whatever bike it was on. Plus spoked wheels pretty much look the same, but I'd go with a 36 spoke front to better match your rear wheel. You don't even have to limit yourself to Honda parts....
    You'll have to figure out steering stops so handlebars don't touch the tank at full lock, but that's not all that tough either.

    But, you may not your daughter riding such an unpredictable, mongrel of a bike and I'd feel the same. There are many sets of new 31mm fork tubes on ebay, they come from China and are in the $200 neighborhood, but they're there listed as 31mm fork tubes, there are different length available to better fit different bikes. I don't have a clue what the fork tube length is on a 250 Nighthawk, if you measure them please post that here somewhere. Most on eBay are 22-24" with many steps in between, all listed in millimeters not inches.
    Last edited by Alan F.; 11.18.22 at 1:23 AM. Reason: More info
    Free Fork Swap & Upgrade info parked at: http://sites.google.com/site/alansdocuments/
    '65 CB160 https://tinyurl.com/Black-Friday-a-red-65-CB160
    CB250 Nighthawks 92,93,92
    SOHC CB750K 73, 78
    Boston,MA USA

  12. #12
    Senior Member ballbearian's Avatar
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    I've heard some good things about a guy in Cali, 'Forks by Frank' might have a good, cost effective option.

    He moved to MS. Nice chart too.

    ABOUT FRANKS FORKS

    If you have twin leading shoe drum brakes that stink then they are probably not set up right.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ballbearian's Avatar
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    I know folks who want those 450 Rebels. If it's complete and decent that's a doable price, worth a couple C notes if the PO can re-paper it.

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    Regarding the CD250U forks, you may well find that they are actually the same length as your '94 CB250 forks.

    And of course, depending on the design of your top yoke, it is often possible to slide the fork tubes up through the yokes to adjust the length, or to quicken the steering. For example, when I swapped the stock 16" wheel on my Hornet for a later 17" item, I raised the forks up through the yokes a few mm to keep the steering response (twitchy!) same as the 16" wheel.

    When I fitted CD250U forks to my SL175, I used CB200 yokes, and slid the fork tubes up, as in this photo.

    1972 CL175K7
    1970 CB174K4, 'upgraded' to a K6 alike
    1971 SL175, with a few non standard parts !
    1998 CB600 Hornet

  15. #15
    Benevolent Dictator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Frank's Forks (or, Forking by Frank as his business was originally called) has been around for decades and has a good reputation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballbearian View Post
    If you have twin leading shoe drum brakes that stink then they are probably not set up right.
    Absolutely, the DLS front brake on my 450 stops every bit as well as any single-piston caliper disc of that era. Unless you're road racing and plan to go brake deep into corners lap after lap repeatedly, DLS drum brakes are plenty for street riding when properly set up as ballbearian mentioned.
    (move along, nothing to see here)

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