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  1. #1
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    Default 35mm Kayaba/Showa Compatibility

    Here's the deal guys.....I've got a 1980 FXWG and I'm looking to replace the wide glide front end with a 35mm narrow glide front end I picked up a while back. After doing some research, I'm pretty sure I've got a Kayaba from 1973 or '74 although I've not yet disassembled the legs. They came with a single disk banana caliper and single axle clamp. The weird thing is that the lower triple tree has a 1" stem instead of 7/8", so I'm thinking the lower triple tree is not original to the forks.

    Regardless, I'm looking to go to 6" over stock on the fork tubes. But I'm having some trouble finding +6" Kayabas but plenty of options for +6" Showas. The question is, will Showa tubes work with my Kayaba sliders?

    Side question.....anyone have any good recommendations on front calipers that will fit the Kayaba sliders and aren't as fucking ugly as that banana brake?

    Much Thanks!

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    I have a 35mm Front end with the Banana Caliper, Ive been trying to figure that out as well. Fab Kevin has a kit, however its for Wideglides.

    I have tried a couple of small calipers I had laying around, but its pretty tight, everything I used ended up hitting the spokes.

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    I'm running +10 Forking by franks showa legs. 73-75 there was a Kayaba front end on an FX, which would explain the 1" stem.

    In any event, I've mixed them up with luck. Though i stuck with the banana caliper.

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    The banana caliper 35mm was 73 only then they went to pie slice caliper 74-77. 1" stem was fx big twins of this era as mentioned.Fab Kevin and Still Kicking Moto have brake kits but not for those years. Not enough meat they both told me. They have kits for later years. GMA has a caliper kit for 74-77 and PM used to but not sure if they still do.

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    Thanks for the info everyone. Not quite sure what I'm going to do at this point. Maybe just keep the WG front on for now.

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    To answer the OP's original question. The bottom of the tubes, dampers and sliders are muy different.
    So no, you cannot fit showa sliders on kayaba tubes.

    Many calipers can be made to work with a custom bracket. Might have to machine the inside of the caliper to get spoke clearance. Dont cut too deep!.
    PM and GMA make bolt on kits...

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    Trying to save the trees and sliders (which is what you'd really be doing) off a front end that has zero advantages over many better options is IMO a waste of money for zero gain. If you are going to get rid of a (presumably functioning) Wide Glide downgrading to that 35mm junk then trying to make it not junk by applying time and money is highly questionable unless you hate yourself.

    Buying new parts is throwing money down the shitter. Think about it. New brakes and new tubes but you'd still only have a single disc on a Shovel...

    Finding a good later dual disc 39mm narrow glide (including the later smooth aluminum triple clamps which look much better then the old shit) is less hassle. You don't need perfect fork tubes since you'd be replacing those.

    Don't forget wheel and axle differences. Simplest route is accumulate a complete replacement front end and wheel assembly.

    Unless you hate Wide Glides you've many easier upgrade options for them.

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