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  • Big Red Mark


One of my recent projects is fitting a 200M front end on a 1984 200ES BIG RED. Working on this project spiked my interest. I really like how the BIG REDS were designed but like almost everything it has some flaws. In my opinion the early BIG REDS had a terrible front fork design. The non-rebuildable damper that can be exposed to water and mud for extended periods of time is a bad idea. It must have been a cost thing because Honda had access to fully rebuildable hydraulic fork designs. The front end swap so far has been straight forward. I changed the ball and race steering stem bearings to a tapered bearing design. The ball and race design works well but it is hard to keep track of all those balls during disassembly. The 200M front end does not have the same provisions to mount the front rack so I had to fab up some simple brackets. I am not done yet but I think it will not look that much different than the stock front end. I am also curious to find out if this is all worth it. The 200M front forks do not have that much travel so it may not make much of a difference. In my opinion the BIG REDS that are all over 30 years old could use some improvements integrating some modern technology. I have worked with the headlights and the front forks but I do not want to stop there. Improvements to the cargo racks, brakes, and rear shock (85-87) would be good projects to dig into someday. Someday makes me think of that Mighty Mighty Bosstones song with that line. One day, one day who knows, someday, someday I suppose.


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