How To: Install The XS650 Fork Brace

27-1070 fork brace 02

The MikesXS Fork Brace ( 27-1070 ) is designed to stiffen the front end and improves handling on the Yamaha XS650. It is made of precision steel construction with a chrome-plated finish. You will be able to retain the stock front set-up, as this brace bolts on over the top of the fender.

Fitment: Yamaha XS650 with 35mm fork tubes ( 1977 – 1984 ) 

Please read through the following instructions, as they make the installation of the XS Fork Brace easier.





1. Before you start to disassemble the front end, hold the fork brace beside the fork and notice closely how it mounts. If your fork brace has loops of noticeably different heights, the taller loop goes in front. If your fork brace has loops of identical height, it makes no difference which way the brace is mounted.


2. With the bike standing on its wheels ( not on the center stand ), apply the front brakes and work the forks up and down. Note any sticking or binding which may be present in the fork action ( there should not be any ). You will do this again with the fork brace mounted to check for proper fit.


3. Remove all weight from the bike’s front end. Pulling the bike up onto its center stand will sometimes suffice, but it is usually helpful to raise the front end a bit higher than the center stand facilitates. Our favorite approach is to place a small scissors jack or screw jack under the engine and jack up the front of the bike. Another workable approach is to slide a crate or large wood blocks under the engine. Ensure that the bike is stable enough to work on with its front wheel off the ground. We suggest you have a helper steady the handlebars while you work.


4. Remove the front wheel. If you are unsure about how to do this, refer to the tire changing section of your bike’s owners manual. Dismount the disc brake calipers from the fork leg ( do not disconnect the hydraulic brake hose ) and secure the caliper out of the way. Avoid squeezing the front brake lever while the caliper is dismounted.


5. Remove the fender mounting bolts and slide the fender out from between the forks. Take care not to scratch the fender or lose the bolts and washers.


6. Position the fender inside the fork brace. As a rule, the easiest approach is to invert the fork brace, squeeze the fender bracket together slightly, and “slide” the fender into the brace. Thus, you will place the rear of the fender into the brace first. If your fork brace has loops of different height, remember which loop goes where. Align the bolt holes on the fork brace side plates with the holes in the fender bracket.


7. Holding the fork brace and tender together, slide them between the fork legs from the bottom and up to the proper mounting location. Note that the individual fork legs turn easily. In some cases, it may be helpful to turn one or both fork legs by up to 90 degrees in order to gain additional clearance while positioning the fork brace and fender between the fork legs. Due to the precise fit required, for the final locating process, you must position the fork legs in their normal orientation. Even a few degrees error here can prevent the fork brace and fender from sliding into place. The holes in the fender and fork brace have a very close tolerance to the mount bolts so it is essential to line up the holes exactly.


8. Carefully insert the bolts and washers, which you removed in Step 5, through the fork brace and fender bracket (and the hydraulic hose retaining bracket if you had one) and into the fork legs. Caution! Be careful to not cross-thread the bolts as they go into the fork sliders as they will strip easily. This is the hardest part of the installation because of the necessary tight tolerances. Thread in all four bolts but do not tighten.


9. Remount the brake caliper and wheel. If you have difficulty getting the brake discs back in between the brake pads, try to pry the pads apart with a soft, blunt instrument. When tightening the wheel/axle nuts and bolts, observe that the fork leg with the split retainer on the leg bottom has a gap that goes to the rear of the leg. Make sure the speedometer drive is properly seated before you torque the axle nutReplace the axle cotter pin.


10. Lower the motorcycle back onto its wheels. With the fender/fork brace bolts still loose, apply the front brake and work the fork brace up and down several times. This procedure ensures that the fork brace is correctly seated. Now, tighten the fender/fork brace mounting bolts. Gradually tighten the bolts, being careful not to over-torque them as the slider threads will easily strip.


11. With the fender/fork brace bolts tight and the brake locked, again work the forks up and down. The forks should function properly as in Step 2. In the unlikely event that the fork seems to stick or bind, there may be a fit problem and you should not ride the bike with the brace until the problem is resolved.


If you have leaking fork seals/low fork oil etc., these problems should be fixed before mounting the brace. After 100 miles, recheck all nuts & bolts for proper tightness.



You have now installed your XS650 Fork Brace.

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