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Old 01-26-2013, 06:04 AM   #1
captainjohn OP
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Location: great white north
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R80 ST 19" to 21" front wheel question

I have a 1984 ST and wanted to poll the members as to what effect on handling a change to a 21" wheel will have assuming I kept the original forks. Regards John
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
mark1305
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Location: Merritt Island, FL
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I can't speak from direct experience on the move to a 21" wheel. But having ridden a lot of stuff since 1968, I think you would feel any differences/improvements more off pavement than on. Hopefully Hardwaregrrll and maybe a few others will chime in.

One issue that comes to mind based on my ST (and F 650) is fork travel vs fender vs where the fender ends up at full compression of the forks. On the ST you will obviously need to raise the fender appropriately. If you have basically stock forks with their inherent tendency to dive nearly to the bottom of travel under hard braking or rough riding offroad, raising the fender could result in interference withe the horn or some other hard object. Stiffer front suspension will reduce that concern. Its just one of those minor details that you will want to measure and make sure you won't discover later with a big CLUNK.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:20 AM   #3
Rob Farmer
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The front end would sit much higher of course so you may want to fit a g/s rear shock and then obviously a g/s main stand.
Your bike will also not handle as well as it does as an ST. I always find the 21 inch wheel tends to run wider on bends.

Why not just keep it as an ST?
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
captainjohn OP
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Thanks for the responses, I will keep the bike with the standard 19" front end. I just don't understand why the 21" gives much advantage in the dirt since the diameter of the tire is only changed about 1 1/4" which will bring up the front end approx .5/8" . Is that really noticeable? Thanks again John
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
DiabloADV
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The 21 rolls over bumps a *little* easier. But it pushes (understeers) more than a 19.

Tradeoffs...
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:35 AM   #6
hardwaregrrl
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My ST is a completly differnt animal on the street with the 21". It took the joy away from riding my beloved N GA mountain paved roads.....but it helped tremendously in the dirt. It isn't as responsive, and tight in the twisties, but no scary either. It just isn't as fun. If you're a street rider and occasional dirt, leave it be.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
captainjohn OP
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Thanks for the feedback Jenna, my usage will be gravel and asphalt so the 19" front will stay on the bike based on what everyone has said. Best Regards John
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