Disc to Drum Conversion

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zookster
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Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by zookster » Thu May 07, 2020 2:21 pm

I have a 2013 Gear Up. I am interested in converting it from the current 1 disc/2 drum brake to a 3 drum setup. I searched the forum and while there were some results for others who have done so, details of what was required and how they went about it were a bit thin. Any advice from members who have done such a conversion or are planning to do so? Obviously I will need a drum hub/rim, brake plate/shoes, some type of brake stay and a cable/lever arrangement.

I have owned (and currently still do own) bikes equipped with drum brakes only. I know in general the disc provides superior braking, but a properly setup drum brake system can get very close. I really like the look and simplicity of drums, and having all 3 wheels interchangeable is a real plus in my book.
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Tomcatfixer
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by Tomcatfixer » Thu May 07, 2020 2:45 pm

I can't help you with conversion details and I doubt I could convince you that this isn't the best idea, but as the owner of both disc and drum equipped Urals, I'd like to ensure that you're thinking this through thoroughly. My perspective:

Pros of Drum Brake Front Wheel Conversion:
- Subjectively cool look
- All-wheel interchangeability
- Never need to bleed brakes

Cons of Drum Brake Front Wheel Conversion:
- Inferior brake power modulation
- Significantly more brake fade with heat than disc
- Not self-adjusting, like a hydraulic disc
- More work to set up (arcing shoes and drum)
- Additional unsprung mass
- Lower resale value
- Potential vehicle safety inspection failure (if your state performs them)
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", Mid-Nineties Ural Tourist "The Heap", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

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Lokiboy
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by Lokiboy » Thu May 07, 2020 4:09 pm

Use the search function. Someone actually did the conversion a few years back.

As Tomcatfixer said, seriously think about it. 80% of the rig’s stopping power is from the front brake.
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jaybird
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by jaybird » Thu May 07, 2020 4:58 pm

Sorry Zook, I’ll try to post some photos later tonight.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
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1974 BMW R 75/6
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windmill
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by windmill » Thu May 07, 2020 6:04 pm

I did it........and changed it back to disc. :feelsgood:

Not worth the effort. Even with better cable, shoe material, and linkage it's not as good as the disc, and requires a lot more attention to keep it working optimally.

My advice is......Don't do it. :!:

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zookster
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by zookster » Fri May 08, 2020 4:02 pm

Chad, Lokiboy and Barry, thanks for the input, all valid points and mostly what I have already considered. I will try a search again, but my previous search did not produce results that showed the details, just mentioned it had been done. Even if I do go forward with this idea it will be a while before its actually done.

Barry, if you don't mind, could you post how you went about converting yours, what parts you used, pictures of the parts required etc? Thanks!
2013 Forest Fog Gear Up 2009 Versys 650 2007 DR 650 2002 Moto Guzzi California Stone 2001 Bullet 500

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windmill
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by windmill » Fri May 08, 2020 4:30 pm

zookster wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:02 pm
Chad, Lokiboy and Barry, thanks for the input, all valid points and mostly what I have already considered. I will try a search again, but my previous search did not produce results that showed the details, just mentioned it had been done. Even if I do go forward with this idea it will be a while before its actually done.

Barry, if you don't mind, could you post how you went about converting yours, what parts you used, pictures of the parts required etc? Thanks!
I would say your best bet is to find a complete used front end, otherwise it will be expensive to do piece meal, and require fabricating and welding a mount on the left fork let for the reaction link.
If you try to hook it up to the disc reaction link mount, applying the brake will cause the suspension to compress violently, and go into a tank slapper.

I advise you think it over really carefully, I considered it an expensive, time consuming mistake.
Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

2007 Patrol 100k km and counting,
2018/20 M70

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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by jaybird » Thu May 21, 2020 12:08 pm

I plan to convert my 2005 GearUp woods beater to drum front brake when the current front knobby tire wears out.
I haven’t installed the parts yet, but it appears to be a pretty straight forward conversion and I found the parts to do so rather inexpensive.
Plus I already have extra drum wheels, (don’t you?), and I keep extra brake shoes and springs on hand (don’t you?).
That leaves a backing plate and spacer, a reaction link, a cable, and a handlebar perch/brake lever.
It’s all 650 era parts, they’re not terribly expensive. I bought a wrecked 2002/03 Patrol so I was able to harvest most of the parts from that, everything but the cable.
If you’re worried about resale value , carefully remove all the disc brake parts, clean them up, put them in a nice little box labeled “Disc brake parts for xxxx Ural” and store them in a safe place. Then if you ever sell your rig, you can either put them back on, or offer them in addition to the nice drum brake setup. Personally, I’d pay extra for a rig with both setups included, but that’s me.
I will point out that Ural’s once came with drum brakes, and they were DOT approved. There was also a time when all motorcycles came with front drum brakes and in some cases, no front brake at all. I’m sure there are forum members who have antique motorcycles or are old enough to have owned some of the more modern antiques when they were new.
I bet they would probably all remind you that you need to drive within the limitations of the machine, or suffer the consequences. (Or possibly win the race :D )
Modern spot bikes have some of the best brakes ever and we know no one ever gets hurt on one of them :sarcasm:
Getting back to the OP’s question;
On my 2005 GearUp this appears to be a direct bolt on swap, but My rig has the early Brembo disc so the reaction link mount on the forks is the same as the drum brake. The later reaction link mount may be different, so there may be some modification or fabrication required to overcome that. One other difference may be the diameter of the handlebar, so you would need to check that as well.
Here are some photos of the parts required;
4CB5267D-7CC6-4AC3-BE29-1CCBD1634E32.jpeg
BDCEFC94-95DA-429C-A99F-13D62A905031.jpeg
FED518C5-081A-440B-A7FC-3176A830DE65.jpeg
EA77075E-D36F-40C3-8A40-38A5988D7107.jpeg
8704D692-8277-4A70-8DDC-A111CE9354A6.jpeg
8BFBB9D3-EA09-4441-B610-E15B83D8622B.jpeg
823D7BF0-E82C-4A12-AB1B-FEBCB79ADAFB.jpeg
Since my GearUp is primarily used off road, I often need to use the front brake in reverse travel situations, so I plan to either make a new heavy duty reaction link or reinforce the existing one.
I’m looking forward to this modificationA and having all my wheels the same.

This is what I plan to do, you need to decide what is right for you.
If this modification might be dangerous or illegal where you operate, or beyond your skill level,or you’re just too feeble minded or careless to handle the results, I would suggest that you keep your disc brake and/or stay on your couch and watch videos of other people riding and doing things so that you don’t hurt yourself or others.
Otherwise, go out and get dirty! :D :cheers:

Happy trails,
Jaybird
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2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
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1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

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zookster
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by zookster » Thu May 21, 2020 3:02 pm

Excellent, thanks for the info and pictures Jaybird. Best option would be to buy a second older all-drum Ural and keep my 2013 as is, but I don't have room for 2 of them. Should that change I may go that route. In the meantime I will start looking for parts to do the conversion on my 2013.
2013 Forest Fog Gear Up 2009 Versys 650 2007 DR 650 2002 Moto Guzzi California Stone 2001 Bullet 500

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jaybird
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by jaybird » Thu May 21, 2020 3:30 pm

zookster wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:02 pm
Excellent, thanks for the info and pictures Jaybird. Best option would be to buy a second older all-drum Ural and keep my 2013 as is, but I don't have room for 2 of them. Should that change I may go that route. In the meantime I will start looking for parts to do the conversion on my 2013.
Can you post some photos and maybe some measurements of the reaction link mount on the fork of your 2013? I don’t have anything with leading link forks any newer than 2005.
I’m curious what the difference is between the mounts.
At some point, they changed the lower rocker bushings to bearings so you would need to either change both fork legs or weld a different mount on the newer fork leg.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
2008 Enfield Bullet 500
1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

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windmill
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by windmill » Fri May 22, 2020 9:56 am

jaybird wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:30 pm
zookster wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:02 pm
Excellent, thanks for the info and pictures Jaybird. Best option would be to buy a second older all-drum Ural and keep my 2013 as is, but I don't have room for 2 of them. Should that change I may go that route. In the meantime I will start looking for parts to do the conversion on my 2013.
Can you post some photos and maybe some measurements of the reaction link mount on the fork of your 2013? I don’t have anything with leading link forks any newer than 2005.
I’m curious what the difference is between the mounts.
At some point, they changed the lower rocker bushings to bearings so you would need to either change both fork legs or weld a different mount on the newer fork leg.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
The 2006/7? and later disc reaction link mounting point on the fork is approximately 3.75" too high for the drum. The reaction link needs to be parallel to the swing arm or it works like a lever.

Upper mount for disc, lower mount for drum.
IMG_3288.JPG
The OE cable and cam link aren't very good, an aftermarket cable and a stainless turnbuckle are an improvement.
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Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

2007 Patrol 100k km and counting,
2018/20 M70

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zookster
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by zookster » Fri May 22, 2020 10:35 pm

jaybird wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:30 pm
Can you post some photos and maybe some measurements of the reaction link mount on the fork of your 2013? I don’t have anything with leading link forks any newer than 2005.
I’m curious what the difference is between the mounts.
At some point, they changed the lower rocker bushings to bearings so you would need to either change both fork legs or weld a different mount on the newer fork leg.
2013 forks

Image

Image

Image

More pictures here:
https://zookster.smugmug.com/Motorcycle ... Conversion
2013 Forest Fog Gear Up 2009 Versys 650 2007 DR 650 2002 Moto Guzzi California Stone 2001 Bullet 500

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windmill
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by windmill » Sat May 23, 2020 12:02 am

Here's my setup that shows the stainless turnbuckle link that improves performance and allows fine tuning, and Barnett heavy duty Triumph clutch cable.

The bottom reaction link is the 2007 OE link, the middle is a OE drum brake link I used with the conversion, the top link is one I made to try to use the disc brake mount point that was an epic failure.

The OE drum brake link I have is light duty, and is indeed very prone to bending if used in reverse.
IMG_3290.JPG
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Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

2007 Patrol 100k km and counting,
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by jaybird » Sun May 24, 2020 7:56 pm

Hey, that’s great fellas :cheers:
I’ll try to get some photos and measurements later of the drum brake reaction link mount To help complete the thread.
Funny thing, I was looking through a Chang Jiang Facebook group today and there was a lot of chat about Ural drum brakes being an upgrade to a Chang, you can draw your own conclusions about that.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
2008 Enfield Bullet 500
1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

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windmill
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Re: Disc to Drum Conversion

Post by windmill » Mon May 25, 2020 12:09 am

I threw it on so you can see what I did.
IMG_3295.JPG
IMG_3296.JPG
IMG_3293.JPG
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Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

2007 Patrol 100k km and counting,
2018/20 M70

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