Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

I just purchased an 1983 Honda Urban Express Deluxe which I plan on doing some mods on. I am only moderately skilled, but I’m pretty smart and don’t mind taking on a project. The bike is in pretty good shape and runs well. Because it’s such an old bike there isn’t a ton of info on the web about it so I was hoping some people here could help me with lots of questions.

First, I would like to put on some bigger/wider tires (front and back) and some new front forks/shocks. In both cases I would like something a bit beefier and more aggressive looking.

As far as the front forks/shocks go I have no idea what would be compatible or where to start.

The tires in the front are 16” x 2.25” and the rear are 14” x 2.75”. I think I want to go 16” front and back and maybe twice as wide. Is this doable?

I’ve heard that the hub on the back is specific to this bike so I would have to lace a rim to it.

Has anyone done any of these upgrades on an Urban Express? Any help would be appreciated.

Also, I will do a 70cc bore kit and new exhaust. There seems to be much info on the web for these, but I’m sure I’ll be asking here as well.

Thanks,

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Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Compatible? Nothing. You will be going custom fitment on every single part you want to put on the bike. No, twice as wide will not fit on the rear especially not if you lace a 16" rim on.

Really sounds like you JUST got a pretty sweet bike, and plan on diving head first into the deep end. Possibly to never finish it because of the cost and skill involved, possibly to just end up with a fucked rat bike that was better off as it started. Make it run, make it a bit quicker, put your head into the bike before you plan major things just by standing and admiring it. There is a lot of stuff in there that you can't see.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Captain Janeway /

It's also my understanding that if you have a giant wheel on the front that won't allow for that front fender, it's a safety issue. If I've heard it correctly, that front fender is part of the support to keep the forks aligned.

I'm getting rid of the big effing tire someone put on the bike I just bought to get tires that are less wide.

Listen to Ryan. These are the best little bikes. I have 3 (but I'm crazy).

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

That is a great looking bike, rock it stock, do as Ryan said, small mods at a time, don't ruin it.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Okay, thanks for all the honest feedback, and talking me off the ledge. I appreciate the advice.

I am also considering a 70cc upgrade and a new exhaust. I've read that many have done this. Any opinions on this? Stephen, you said "small mods". What do you suggest? I really purchased this for a tinkering project for myself.

Attached is a photo of an Urban Express that inspired me to consider changing the wheels and forks. Any comments on the example?

I appreciate the feedback.

forkTireMod.jpg

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

The front end and intake setup on that bike alone could buy your urban. You will see how steep of a slope it can be.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Downhill Harvey (OFMC) /

G V1983 Wrote:

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> Attached is a photo of an Urban Express that

> inspired me to consider changing the wheels and

> forks. Any comments on the example?

>

> I appreciate the feedback.

That's no-ped Steve's bike. there's plenty of threads on that bike.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

that is also still a 14" rear.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Why would you want to mod that bike,Such a clean original urban. Just leave it as is and enjoy it.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Agreed, do the belt swap, and tune it really well, will serve you very well.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Anybody have a feeling about a 70cc kit and a performance exhaust?

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

You could get a motorcycle frontend and wheel. Ninja uses 16" wheels and you can get a functional frontend + wheel for probably 200-500 bucks depending how much work it needs. a 110/90 16 is like just over 4 inches wide.

it'll be heavy as fuck and probably take a LOT of work to get it to fit, but would work out for the front. Wider on the back you can maybe do some tricky lacing offcenter to a wide rear rim. being that the engine and shock are same side you can probably push the wheel out. it'll screw up alignment some but should work anyway.

Alternately you can spend a fewq hours trying to research spline counts and sizes and see if you can find other hubs that could possibly work and then go back and make modify or buy wider offset ones. Might be some crossover with other bigger wheeled scooters if you're lucky but highly doubt it. still you could have some cuzzztom shit machined maybe?

Depending what you're trying to do performancewise DR kit is generally top pick, bang for buck, good performance and reliability and relatively easy setup. Then probably the MLM pipe is the only one that lets you keep your centerstand and mounts up directly.

Personally I'd just port it and use a hobbit circuit but that's cheap and less rewarding and you lose the stand.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Benjamin LaPlante /

Like this?

Treats sells the tires, rear shock is off a tomos, any hobbit kit will work. You're gonna lose your front fender and will need to figure out a center stand.

If you want to go off roading with it, I would look towards a different bike. I was very dissapointed with mine. Seating position just isn't that great for bumpy terrain.

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Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Captain Janeway /
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Stephen Keller Wrote:

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> That is a great looking bike, rock it stock, do as

> Ryan said, small mods at a time, don't ruin it.

I'll triple that. It's a gorgeous bike. Don't mutilate it. It looks like my bike's baby brother. Mine does have a weakends pipe and kit on it though. Stock carb and it will do 40 mph.

You can do all kinds of tuning and playing with these. There are tons of threads in here on what to do.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Captain Janeway /

Hmmm.. embed not working again.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

dude, keep this the way it is. its way nicer than mine.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

i know him personally (he sold me a bunch of his old stuff) he said dont do the for mod, it sucked and it took alot of work to make it only " semi solid'

the bikes have weak frames, you dont want to push them so hard that you need a for like this you know? (he still does)

im going for a similar look as well. but just putting knobby tires on it, since it looks super cool :-) and i ride on trails a lot

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Thanks everyone for all your input and advice. I'm going to take most of it. For sure, I'm going to move slowly and only do some slight modifications. I'm going to start just with a new exhaust (which it needs), some engine tuning and see where it goes. I don't need to go 60mph. If I could get to 45ish I would be beyond happy. I will look for some wider tires, just because I like the way it looks, and it's something that is easily changed back to the original. I will start another thread about tires.

Thanks again. This has been very helpful. I'm sure I'll be hearing more from all of you over time.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Wider tires will make you go slower, fact. Just keep it in mind.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Yes, I am aware of this. It's a trade-off I'm willing to make. Is it a significant loss? More than 5mph would you say? I'm currently considering 16x3 front and 14x2.75 in back. That's barely larger.

Would you have an idea what the largest size is that I could go on this bike without any modifications to the bike?

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Depends on the size and tread, and the power you make to begin with. Some bikes do lose 5mph putting heavy tires with blocky tread. Not only does top speed suffer but acceleration as well.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

I lost about 5mph off the top on my cub when I went to knife knobbies. It was surprisingly noticeable but in a variated bike you might not see it much, you're probably limited more at topend by engine rpm, I mean- sharper power curve. It probably won't be much difference for ya

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

dang. so glad i decided against knobby tires on my last purchase! woop!

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

With hobbit and it's cursed stock rear pulley I noticed a massive difference in acceleration particularly in the already miserable lull after the rpm drop and before the cylinder got up. It took a tuck at times to get it to actually gain rpm to hit more power. That was going to 2.75 gp1s. I could feel the resistance everywhere.

The top end actually wasn't as dramatic a change but the places where you were at the majority of the time were agonizing.

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Jason Giragosian /

Hey I dove in head first lol now o need disc brakes and front forks. Can I use tomos forks with some modification or is there a better option like dirtbike forks maybe kx65

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Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

@ OP: If you're going to kit it, try starting with a DR; those will carry you from beginner to advanced (if you want to try your hand at messing with ports). As far as off-the-shelf pipes go, MLM (Peoples or H95) seem to be the best bolt-on's you can buy; that said, a $35 hack-and-weld will also give you a few mph (NU stock pipes are to be desired...).

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Captain Janeway /

I have an equivalent to H95 and DR on one of my bikes and just tuned up everything. Even has a stock carb on it with a bigger jet and it will go about 42. Through town that's plenty fast.

Please tell me that green bike didn't used to be the black on with blue striping. I'll cry. That's actually a harder one to find color-wise. Hardest to find after the Century Brown one (still want to kill the bastard who stole mine 15 yrs ago).

When you're done and have it running well, post up everything you did. Looks like you went all out. I'm not even sure what all you have in that top end.

Good luck

Re: Urban Express 83 Wheel/Forks/Shocks Upgrade Help

Jack Rutherford /
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3.5" tire on the front - you can raise the front fender easily enough to accommodate it. 90mm (3.54") 14" in back is widest you can go - if your wheel isn't true, it will rub.

Ride with impunity. (edited)

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