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First post and of course it's an SOS for help! Sorry about that..

Bearing in mind that my mechanical skills are just enough that I can safely take the front wheel off and put another one on without breaking anything, is this a simple in-out swap or more complicated?
I've been searching Google for any guides on how it's done but while there are references to people changing the front wheel on the XL, specific details are scant.

Can I just take a wheel from a later model and drop it straight in there, or are there complications? The 23" wheel on my 1980 XL250 SA seems kind of pointless since I hardly take it off-road anyway, so I rather like the idea of changing it to the more conventional 21" wheel.
 

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Re: Swapping the 23" wheel for a 21" wheel on a 1980 XL 250? How is it done?

I am no expert, but changing the front wheel to a smaller one will change the geometry of the bike. The front will be 1 inch shorter. I believe that you will need to get longer forks.

I have just bought 23 inch tyres for my XL (see XL Rebuild - Finished) as it was too complicated and expensive to change the from wheel.
 

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Re: Swapping the 23" wheel for a 21" wheel on a 1980 XL 250? How is it done?

Don't think there's a direct fit on that bike. Pretty sure it's a buy and build up a 21" rim.
 

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Re: Swapping the 23" wheel for a 21" wheel on a 1980 XL 250? How is it done?

You could try a wheel off an XL500, XT250 or XT500, but there's no guarantee they'll fit - there are potential issues with axle diameters (easy to work around) and brake plate fixings (possibly more tricky), but where there's a will and a few £££'s there's a way.

Don't worry about the change in ride height, unless you're Rossi you won't notice any difference, but you will need to sort out some new numbers for your speedo (or buy a digital cycle one - under a fiver on ebay) - your original speedo will tell you you're going faster than you really are.

Is it worth the hassle
 

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Re: Swapping the 23" wheel for a 21" wheel on a 1980 XL 250? How is it done?

please tell us where ye got the 23" front tyre.. as im looking fur one an so is another frum memeber... cheers

I am no expert, but changing the front wheel to a smaller one will change the geometry of the bike. The front will be 1 inch shorter. I believe that you will need to get longer forks.

I have just bought 23 inch tyres for my XL (see XL Rebuild - Finished) as it was too complicated and expensive to change the from wheel.
 
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