I have noticed that people frequently choose the GSX-R front end for a front end conversion on old bikes to improve handling and comfort. The GSX-R was produced from 1985 through the present, and I'm assuming front ends went through major changes as technology improved. I have found various pieces of information scattered all over, but I can't find what changed on which year, and what those improvements would mean for someone choosing a front end. Can someone list which changes were done in which year, to assist modifiers in selecting an improvement that is appropriate?
1985 - 1987
All GSXR Models have the 'standard' forks with an anti-dive unit mounted on the slider. The anti-dive unit was actually an adjuster for compression dampening, closing off oil orifices in order to give the front end a 'stiffer' This concept first showed up on the 1985 GS 1150 models.
1988 - 1989
The slider loses the adjustable compression dampening on the bottom of the fork and migrated to the top of the fork and adjusted by a flat head screw.
1990 - 2002
The first generation upside down fork with the slider in the triple clamps. These forks were interchangeable with TL1000 series of Suzuki's as well. They have rebound and compression damping.
2003 GSXR 1000
The 2003 GSXR 1000 had the first front end in the GSXR series to have the newly designed fork that supported radial brakes. The 750 still had the standard upside down forks from the previous generation. As well as the mounting for radial brakes the coating on the inner tube had DLC (diamond like coating) and appeared black. Notice the Radial Brakes
2004 - Current
All models were converted to the 2003 1000cc style front end in the US. This is first year of the GSXR 600 having upside down forks. The design has remained relatively unchanged since this time although Suzuki has added monoblock calipers with the same mounting system on the bottom of the upside down forks.