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can anyone who has a CB/CL450 confirm that these fork lowers are from a 73 or 74 CL? I'm upgrading the front suspension on my 1970 CL450 to 1974 CL450 and I want to make sure these 74 lowers I got on eBay are actually from a 74 CL. I've had different opinions from the forums on what I would need...some people say the entire front end, some say just the forks. Some say I'll need a new top triple. I have my 1970 hub cleaned and ready to go to Buchanon's for an 18" hoop to be laced on and want to make sure the wheel will work with the 1974 forks. The picture attached shows the 70 and 74 forks next to each other. the 74 ones are definitely different than the 70s however on the internet parts schematics they are drawn identical. Can anyone confirm exactly what I'll need? I'm assuming after my research just the fender (even though the schematics look identical) and gauge bracket ('74 was angled towards rider). I don't think I need triples, wheel, fork ears or anything else...

Thanks

DW
 

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If it's any help, the lower fork cases (R&L) for the 74 CL450 are the same part number as the 72-74 CB450 and the 71-73 CB500. The 1970 forks you show in your picture are not for a disc brake front end so they would not work on a CB450 or CB500. They would work on a CL450 with a Drum Brake. The fork tube diameter is the same on the 70 and 74 CL450 but the top of the tubes are different and you will need to change the upper bridge.
 

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I've done something similar, which is to use a CB/CL450 drum brake on disc-brake forks from a pre-1977 CB450/550/750.

1970 CL450 forks - Drum brake, external fork spring, forks CANNOT pass through the triple tree top clamp.
1974 CL450 forks - Drum brake, internal fork spring, forks CAN pass through the top clamp. These are the same fork lowers as the pre-1977 CB450/550/750 with disc brake, which is why they have the disc brake mounting point. However, the triple tree for the CL450 has a different offset and fork spacing than the disc brake models.

To use the 1974 lowers you have, you need the triple tree (both stem and top clamp) from a 1972 or later CL450, which is nearly impossible to find, and fork tubes + internals from a 72-76 CB450/500T/500F/550. You can also use 750 forks but the tubes are slightly longer.

If you can't find the CL450 front end, I used the front end from a pre-1977 CB450/550/750 with disc brake. There are different offsets and fork spacing between different model years so it's important to get the entire triple tree (steering stem and top clamp) from the same disc brake model. I believe you can use the front axle from any pre-1977 disc brake model (these are longer than the drum brake models but necessary for the wider fork spacing), but to be safe, try to get one that matches your triple tree. You CAN use the drum brake with these forks, but you'll have to get the front axle spacer shortened ~4.5mm because the drum brake hub is ~4.5mm wider than the disc brake hub, which means the stock spacer will push the forks ~4.5mm wider than the axle, making it impossible to clamp the fork lowers to the axle. Of course, you'll also need the matching front fender for these forks since the CL450 fender, I believe, is narrower than disc-brake fenders.

Here's a high-res pic of a 1974 CL450 for reference:

201708151517350.cl 450 fall 08 (16) (1).jpg
 
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