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Thread: Fair price for an Earles?

  1. #1
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Fair price for an Earles?

    I've seen them all over the board... $275 was the cheapest.

    Of course, everything is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but what would be an average/fair price (if there is such a thing)?

    Alternatives, and their respective prices ... ?
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  2. #2
    angysdad
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    A modern leading link (new) will sell for $2000+ (ebay has Ural LL foraround $900 in Ohio)
    A good used earl's fork could sell $500 or more...$275 (complete) would be an excellent price.
    They are fairly rare, and if you need one and one is avaible buy it.
    just my opinion.

  3. #3
    John D'oh
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    Second those prices. I have been keeping an eye out for an Earls swing-arm to convert my hack to dual disc. Most of the fork sets I've seen with a swing-arm have sold for at least 450.00 - 500.00 in the past few years. This is with no shocks, headlight ears or top plate. There are two sizes too - one for the R26 / R27 and one for the R50 - 69S. Sometimes sellers and buyers are confused by that.

  4. #4
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    Bear in mind that the genuine Earles leading link fork as installed on the pre-'78 "slash two" models were designed for the modest power output of the R50 and R60 motors. The tubes are relatively thin walled, and not really up to the task of the side loads generated by more powerful machines. (I'd call the R90 and R100 "more powerful" by the standards of the 1970s.

    My point is, if you're thinking about swapping to a leading link for say, an R50 with an R100 motor, I would suggest there are definite advantages to more contemporary leading links (Unit, EZS, DMC, etc.) with thicker walled tubing.

    On the other hand, if you're restoring an older R50 or R60, and only want to drag around a lightweight sidecar, the Earles will look right and perform acceptably. I would suggest checkng over any Earles fork for dents/cracks/corrosion. Any damage to the tubes should disqualify it for anything other than museum duty.

    IMHO, of course.

    pmdave

  5. #5
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Interest points Dave.

    I ask because this rig is being offered on eBay right now for $999; converted to Koni shocks, and Brembo brake. It's been listed twice with no takers...

    I was thinking in terms of a converting a spare /5 frame that I have; i.e. beefing it up for sidecar use. Obviously a bunch of hardware would be required ... wheel hub, rim, rotor, master cylinder/control, hoses, etc.

    Now that I look at it, it does look a bit "light".

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  6. #6
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    I know a sidecar guy who has done several conversions, including one or two using the Earles fork. He told me that they are much more flexible than they look, and he actually bent one.

    The relatively thin tube walls also lead to some other concerns. First, any welds--especially repairs or modifications--will have weakened material at the sides of the welds. I have heard of one fatality involving an Earles fork that had reputedly been modified or repaired by welding. The fork tubes apparently snapped.

    Second, I don't believe the inside of the tubes were primed or painted. Years of rust can eat away at the metal from the inside. $2000 looks pretty cheap compared to even a short ride to the ER, not counting surgery, hospital costs, and/or physical therapy.

    For a serious road-worthy outfit, I'd suggest springing a few more bucks loose for a stronger leading link. I'm running a Unit fork on my R100. See what DMC has to offer.

    pmdave

  7. #7
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    BTW, Lew, I have a "project" 1978 R100s frame with reinforcing brackets added around the swing arm pivots and some additional bracing at the steering head. It's got the double cross tubes in front, and the brackets allow the addition of diagonal braces between swing arm and horn brackets. It was going to be my "reinforced" sidecar frame. I've got a title for it. I believe I have a LWB swing arm, LWB seat frame, and a box of other airhead frame parts. I seem to recall a steering stem and triple clamps, a battery box, turn signals, etc. etc.
    I also have a short block for an '83 R100RT engine, a pair of '83 jugs/pistons, rods, studs, and probably enough valve parts for two sides. I've got a few wheels, several final drives, and I think a pair of heads somewhere, plus front and rear fenders, a saddle or two, and I can't remember what else. No leading link, though.

    My thought a decade ago was to collect enough spare parts to keep my R100/Ural running forever. Well, it's now "forever" and I'm thinking of selling that rig. It's got a reinforced Unit leading link with ATE calipers, high front fender, the Omega charging system, new oriental starter upgrade, 11/37 final drive, and offroad wheels with Sun rims and Knobbies, plus a pair of Lesters with street tires--and a bunch of other details. It's rock solid and ready to ride.

    I'm at the point where I need to at least slim down the spares. Where do I start?

    pmdave

  8. #8
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmdave View Post
    I'm at the point where I need to at least slim down the spares. Where do I start?

    pmdave
    By naming your price(s).
    "Stupidity, if left untreated, is self-correcting."

  9. #9
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    I'm thinking maybe $2,500 per pickup truck load. Back it up to my shop door and we could start yarding out all the airhead bits and pieces (except for the complete R100/Ural rig.)

    I'm resisting starting an inventory and attaching a price to every bit. That would double the prices, but my intent is to clean out the garage, not become a used part salesman/shipper.

    pmdave

  10. #10
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    we could start yarding out all the airhead bits and pieces
    So, when you say "yarding" it out are we talkin' ...



    Or

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  11. #11
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    Somewhere between yard and the big mutha.

    pmdave

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