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geddyt

Doing things the hard but awesome way...

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JanM
Nice - looks like a good result, congrats!

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pgeldz
I applaud you for your efforts! Great info!
 
:)
 
- Paulie
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Beemer
Not a project that everyone is up to but a damn nice job! Sounds like it's going to work alright and it looks sharp! Are you a mechanic?

Beemer

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geddyt
Not a project that everyone is up to but a damn nice job! Sounds like it's going to work alright and it looks sharp! Are you a mechanic?
Sort of.  I was a vehicular design student for a few years in college, but I didn't really put a lot of effort into it at the time due to other distractions, so I'm 99% self-taught.  I did take a few machining courses, CAD/CAM courses, etc. at the time that at least taught me what's possible, but most of this project was all YouTube University and Google graduate school...  I mostly just started doing my own wrenching to make dirt and track riding (and owning a Ford...) more affordable.  Done several engine rebuilds (see: Ford...), built a handful of track bikes, etc. 
None of that really mattered for this build, though.  If you've got some accurate measuring tools and patience with research, this front end swap is doable for even a novice mechanic.  The most important part is deciding what donor front end you want to use, as fork leg length, offset, and steering bearing sizes are important--maybe even color/look of the wheel, if you're into that sort of thing.  I spent a bit of time at the local dealership with a tape measure, comparing various bikes and considering donor parts.  Since we used a GSX-R front end, the SV650 guys are a wealth of knowledge as far as dimensions and geometry goes.  Not sure what's out there if you want to use Yamaha parts.
 
As to getting down to actually making the parts fit, again, it's all about measuring things accurately, designing hybrid parts to adapt the new front end to the bike, and sending it off to a machine shop to be made.  I turned the steering stem for this project, but I believe there are companies that will make you a custom steering stem for a few hundred bucks.  And make no mistake about it: I doubt there is an off-the-shelf steering stem that will work on this bike due to the weird top nut arrangement in the stock setup.  Not sure how C. Dolan got around that, as I don't remember reading that he made one.
 
I used eMachineshop.com for the top triple clamp, as it's pretty affordable for custom CNC machining.  You do NOT have to be a CAD expert to use their software.  The downside to this is that, in an effort to make the software user friendly, it's extremely limited, not parametric at all, and pretty much horrible in general.  But you can learn it very quickly, and it got the job done.
 
With parts made, the rest was pretty straightforward.  If you can install your own rearsets and clip-ons and bleed brakes and whatnot, you can do this build.  Should you?  I don't know.  I haven't ridden this bike with cartridge emulators installed, so not sure how this setup compares.  The front end swap route is definitely the more expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming way to go if you don't have access to machine tools and are having to buy all of the parts to make it work.
 
Anyway, thanks for the kind words, guys!  My brother's loving the bike, so it must be working well.
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Beemer
You make it sound easy.  :-S

Beemer

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motomeek
You make it sound easy.  :-S
I agree  8-)  
 
 

Instagram: @meekmade | You don't need to flat foot a bike to ride it.

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gregjet
Beautiful and elegant job.
Makes me think of designing a set of triples for the std forks with steeper angle and more trail to help load the front a bit more. Kill 2 birds with one stone. USD forks are always nicer though.

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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geddyt
Beautiful and elegant job. Makes me think of designing a set of triples for the std forks with steeper angle and more trail to help load the front a bit more. Kill 2 birds with one stone. USD forks are always nicer though.
Thanks! 
I'm not sure you'd want to design a triple clamp to steepen the fork.  It's possible and sometimes done (mostly in the chopper world), but usually rake is established with frame geometry (angle of the steering tube, etc.), and triple clamps are bored straight.  Your specialized triple clamp would get the job done, sure, but it seems a lot more difficult than just lifting the rear end up, which this bike really needs anyway.  You get increased ride height and cornering clearance and a steeper rake in one fell swoop.  The trail, though, you're right that this is something that needs addressed once you steepen the front end, which is where your custom triple clamp would do the trick with a different offset.
 
I had an '03 CBR600RR track bike with an amazing front end, so think the USD vs. standard fork debate is picking nits at the level of something like an FZ-07, particularly one that's ridden on the street.  With proper adjustable cartridges, a standard fork can be quite good, making the main advantage of the USD setup the ability to mount much better brakes.  And even that may be a bit overkill.
 
With your custom complete triple clamp, though, the sky's the limit as to what you could bolt on there, so you might as well go nuts.  It's my understanding that there's a guy in SoCal that's already making complete triple clamps to adapt a modern R6 front end onto these bikes.  I've heard that he's only making them available, though, as part of a complete kit for race conversion, but take that with a grain of salt.
 
Like I wrote above, the main reason we went with a Gixxer USD front end is because we already had one on hand.  If I could have popped, say, a pair of pre-2005 stock R6 fork legs right into the FZ-07 triple clamp and made it work, I'd have been all over that route.  Probably could have bought an old R6 fork for less than we spent to have the upper triple clamp machined.  But I couldn't find donor fork legs that would fit, and projects are always fun anyway.  Ideally, the top triple clamp that I designed would taper down to drop the fork legs lower (raise the front end), allowing for shorter forks and geometry tweaks, but once you get into machining parts that are three-dimensional like that, the price skyrockets.  My dream is to one day own a 3-axis VMC, and on that day I'll be able to start doing things right and machining real custom triple clamps (and any other part I want) like you're thinking of doing.

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gregjet
I already have the rear raised 25mm, but, as Pattonme has pointed out, these things have not a lot of trail std. so dropping the Triple clamps down the forks will give me a steeper front end but the trail will be even shorter.
If you make a set of clamps that have less offset you can increase the trail with the legs in the stock height position. If you then drop the clamps down the forks will be steeper and now have more acceptable trail. It will also bring the axle back towards the CoG and load the front a bit more , which in my opinion, these bikes need. It would allow both things I want, steeper forks with same trail and front tucked back a bit for more surefooted front.
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Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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drewnabobber
Would you be willing to share your cad files at all? Totally understand if not, you put a lot of great work into this. I just also have a GSXR front-end sitting around I'd like to put on my FZ.

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hugson2wheels
Awesome stuff!!!

If god created us in his image, does that mean god is an egomaniac as well?

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geddyt
Would you be willing to share your cad files at all? Totally understand if not, you put a lot of great work into this. I just also have a GSXR front-end sitting around I'd like to put on my FZ.
Sorry, I don't hang out here a lot, so I'm just seeing this.  Unfortunately, I don't have the CAD files anymore, otherwise I'd totally give them to you.  The file is in emachineshop.com's proprietary software format, so they're not all that useful, anyway.  Plus there are a few mistakes in the final design that I'd want changed before sticking somebody else with it.  I think I still have all the dimensions, though, so feel free to send me a PM if you want all of that.  Like I said, I don't hang out around here much, so probably won't see a post here. 
In other news, my brother is still loving the bike.  After breaking the shock in, it's even better than it was before.  He rode the hell out of it all summer long, but it's parked in the garage for the winter now.

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rowdy
I somehow missed this thread when it was originally posted, but I have to commend you on some awesome work! It is really nice to have so many talented people contributing to this forum!

Why can't left turners see us?

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fzar
Outstanding work, staring with my mouth wide open.
 

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