Welcome to Downhill. I'm trying to get more of the BMXers down at the trails up onto our trails and it's working pretty well. Anyway, I'd say start with the front end and the cockpit in particular. The previous owner obviously worked at a powder coating company and had some interesting views on set up. Make it your own. I would recommend replacing the stem with a direct mount model which bolts directly to the upper triple clamp with four bolts. If your top clamp doesn't have bolt holes, you may be able to replace it with one that does. Check with your local bike shop. If not then something lower and slightly longer will help you get more weight over the front wheel. A nice wide bar would be the next thing. Feel them out and find a good sweep and rise. Most modern bars are the "Bulge" standard of 31.8mm, but Easton and a few others make 35mm if you want to go fat. Make sure the replacements are the same standard. Finally, going a bit beyond the cockpit, those HFX 9 brakes were never very highly regarded and never really intended for heavy downhill use.
Thanks for all the info! What brakes is everyone running? Also, ill have to look into swapping the stem/neck out for a 4 bolt. Ive already been looking at different bars. Also i should probably try to work with my susp alittle. Rear def needs a heavier spring. I bottomed it out a few weeks back and burnt a hole in my sdg seat!
Big B is on point. You'd be pretty dialed with a 50mm direct mount stem (and crown if needed), 750mm or wider bars, new brakes, and properly tuned suspension. That thing is a classic! Looks like the previous owner kept it in pretty good shape.
Would be worth checking your pivot bearings to see if they're in good shape. Just remove the shock like you did in photo two and pick up on the swing arm. If it feels notchy at all, consider replacing the bearings.
Anyone in calinfornia know of a shop thats good with susp? Central coast area? Thanks for the info bturman!