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?

  • Are you looking for information that can't be found on the wikipedia page?
    – Bob Cross
    Feb 20, 2014 at 13:33
  • That article only refers to suspensions as "continually upgraded to deal with the increased power and traction of the improving tires of the era", but that doesn't give a builder any real information about what they did, and it doesn't give a comprehensive list of changes by model year. I'm asking for a breakdown of what changed when, because I can not find that information anywhere in a single place, and that kind of info suits the purpose of SE.
    – Bob
    Feb 21, 2014 at 13:55
  • 1
    It sounds like you've taken the lead to collect some of that information already. Maybe you should write it up yourself as a wiki article. You're right that it would probably serve as a resource for others.
    – Bob Cross
    Feb 21, 2014 at 21:49

2 Answers 2


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. The slider came in black and silver

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. enter image description here

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. enter image description here

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. enter image description here Notice the Radial Brakes enter image description here

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.


Upside down forks where added to the GSXR11 and 750 on the L model in 1990. There are lots of subtle differences and changes since then, and modern stuff is significantly more advanced. Suggest you try and Google part numbers.

  • It was a pretty general question so i gave a pretty general answer. Depending upon the project in mind various forks may or may not be suitable. And if you're looking to upgrade to something modern, who cares what make/model/year the donor bike is? What dimensions do you need? Length? Diameter? Travel? Spring rate? Are forks from a R1/Fireblade no good? The ops question is close to asking: "What Dunlop tyres are the right ones for a project i might have in the future but cant describe.?" Jan 29, 2015 at 7:35

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