I installed a fork brace on my V-Strom last night. It’s a flat piece of metal with two holes on either side that attaches to the front forks just below the boundary between the inner and outer bars. It provides stability and keeps the forks from flexing in or out during turns or when riding in windy conditions.
Although I didn’t notice a difference when riding to work this morning, it’s supposed to improve turning and cornering performance and stability. The biggest benefit I hope to gain from it is stability when riding with heavy cross winds. From everything I read the improvement is dramatic.
I purchased my brace from “Richland Rick” (Google it), a guy in Richland, Washington that makes them himself. Cost was $80 plus $7 shipping. I received it the next day after placing my order (via PayPal, ick).
After giving my bike a thorough work-out riding 160 miles to Detroit and back via twisty (but well-paved) forest service roads, I can say the fork brace makes the bike seem tighter and more solid in curves. It’s not like going from a Harley to a sport bike in improvement, but it is definitely noticeable. What’s even more noticeable, however, is the bike has become quite a bit more stable in windy conditions. Although I didn’t experience a strong crosswind, I did follow other vehicles and the back blast is far less dramatic and head winds almost feel non-existent. The fork brace is definitely a worthwhile upgrade and should be standard equipment from the factory.