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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, excited to kick off my first build.

I’m an industrial designer, currently working in footwear design so I’m coming at this project through that lens.

I've got a bit of experience working on cars (Honda Element gang!) but this will be my most in depth project yet.

First question: should i buy CBR929rr forks + triple for $125? I’ve been waffling on whether to do a fork swap and just got a lead on these. Found some threads debating whether it was worth the work vs gsxr forks, but seemed to imply part of that decision was the price. Is $125 cheap enough to outweigh the work?

Second: I’ve searched through a lot of threads about rear shocks and want to make sure I get one that raises the rear end, not lower it. Seems like the R1 is a favorite but lowers the rear ended by about a half inch. Any close to bolt-on solutions that will definitely raise the rear?

Here are a few pictures to start off, thanks! Also selling a few parts, look here and let me know if you’re from these boards, I’ll reduce prices). Craigslist

 

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Hey there. Fellow ID guy, and GL500 hacker. I cannot vouch for the ride quality but I just installed the following based on another thread on this forum. It is about 15-20 mm longer eye to eye, but I think it may have more sag than the stock air oil strut. I paid around $50-60 shipped, eBay listed as:
"2000 Honda CBR600 F4 H576-1. rear mono shock suspension and mounts linkage"
. I did an 85 GSXR front end bc I had it sitting around, the 18" wheel looks similar to the stock rear, and it just took a couple of vernier caliper measurements and an email to all balls to find the right set of bearings (~$80 I think).
$125 is a pretty good deal for USD forks, but you may need to shim the wheel or make an axle if you try to use the stock wheel


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In my career I have worked with numerous Industrial Designers in consumer hard good markets.

I'd strongly suggest to get your bike running in a near stock condition and ride it for a season. THEN begin your mods.

Above all else. You must maintain the discipline to keep function first, then form.

If you start mucking about with the suspension, you could easily create a twitchy, unpredictable death monster machine. A bike that looks cool and is not rideable becomes yard art.

Afterall, it is your choice on the path you follow on your bike.
 

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^^^^ What he said.

Its sort of a zen thing: Get it running and use it for a while and it will tell you what needs to be changed to make it do what you want/need it to do better.
AND something all Industrial Designers need to learn: If form follows function it will look right too but if function follows form it will neither look or work right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey there. Fellow ID guy, and GL500 hacker. I cannot vouch for the ride quality but I just installed the following based on another thread on this forum. It is about 15-20 mm longer eye to eye, but I think it may have more sag than the stock air oil strut. I paid around $50-60 shipped, eBay listed as:
"2000 Honda CBR600 F4 H576-1. rear mono shock suspension and mounts linkage"
. I did an 85 GSXR front end bc I had it sitting around, the 18" wheel looks similar to the stock rear, and it just took a couple of vernier caliper measurements and an email to all balls to find the right set of bearings (~$80 I think).
$125 is a pretty good deal for USD forks, but you may need to shim the wheel or make an axle if you try to use the stock wheel


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Your build is looking great! Is that one of the "universal" tanks?

Thanks for the tips, might look at getting the forks if I'm feeling ambitious.

Will have to look at that shock, might be a good candidate.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In my career I have worked with numerous Industrial Designers in consumer hard good markets.

I'd strongly suggest to get your bike running in a near stock condition and ride it for a season. THEN begin your mods.

Above all else. You must maintain the discipline to keep function first, then form.

If you start mucking about with the suspension, you could easily create a twitchy, unpredictable death monster machine. A bike that looks cool and is not rideable becomes yard art.

Afterall, it is your choice on the path you follow on your bike.
Thanks for reminding me to stay focused. To some extent this project is catharsis for getting through quarantine; I need a project to get my hands into, but I'll try to make sure I don't plow ahead without leaving room for adjustment as I go.

Will definitely be moving fairly slowly, try to avoid making a death machine.
 

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Your build is looking great! Is that one of the "universal" tanks?

Thanks for the tips, might look at getting the forks if I'm feeling ambitious.

Will have to look at that shock, might be a good candidate.
Thanks!
With the triple top tube, you are limited to a wide tunnel tank. I am using a Chinese benneli Mojave copy, still $150 or so...
I'd recommend swapping the rear shock just bc the stock does fail, and maybe do the fork seals on the stock fork (cheap alternative to non stock, and educational/easy project) and then you can play with the height of the clamps if you have risers that clear, or do clip on handlebars and test various ride geometry. I've built several bikes with non stock geometry, and none have been unrideable or remotely dangerous, so don't worry too much about that.



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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks!
With the triple top tube, you are limited to a wide tunnel tank. I am using a Chinese benneli Mojave copy, still $150 or so...
I'd recommend swapping the rear shock just bc the stock does fail, and maybe do the fork seals on the stock fork (cheap alternative to non stock, and educational/easy project) and then you can play with the height of the clamps if you have risers that clear, or do clip on handlebars and test various ride geometry. I've built several bikes with non stock geometry, and none have been unrideable or remotely dangerous, so don't worry too much about that.



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Awesome, thanks for the link. So did you end up needing to modify the tank or frame at all?

Been looking at rear shocks, think I'll go with the CBR 600 like you mentioned. This might be a newbie question but did you end up using the linkages that came with the shock? I see a bunch of listings without them, wondering if I'll end up having to track them down if I buy one that doesn't have linkages already.
 

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Awesome, thanks for the link. So did you end up needing to modify the tank or frame at all?

Been looking at rear shocks, think I'll go with the CBR 600 like you mentioned. This might be a newbie question but did you end up using the linkages that came with the shock? I see a bunch of listings without them, wondering if I'll end up having to track them down if I buy one that doesn't have linkages already.
No, the only problem I'm seeing is that the stock petcock is long and hangs down right towards the left top tube, but I will be adding some subframe under the back side of the tank that will hopefully raise it up enough to clear, or find a different petcock. Not sure how that will turn out, tbh.

Re: the shock, you would re-use the GL linkages, don't even take that section apart unless you plan on replacing bushings. The remote resevoir on the 600 shock is good for clearances. Maybe read it well to make sure you don't get one that is blown up

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Re tank
Note the angle of the tank to the existing frame. I wanted a high seat, which will hopefully allow room for petcock, but I don't think it will fit with stock seat location. Also, tank mounts do not match the frame mounts so some sort of adaptation is needed. Probably a plate that bolts or welds to the frame


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Discussion Starter #11
Re tank
Note the angle of the tank to the existing frame. I wanted a high seat, which will hopefully allow room for petcock, but I don't think it will fit with stock seat location. Also, tank mounts do not match the frame mounts so some sort of adaptation is needed. Probably a plate that bolts or welds to the frame

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Okay thanks for the clarification, wasn't sure if how it was sitting on the bike was representative of the final design.

As far as shocks, I was thinking of going with a VFR800 shock, eye to eye length is a 315mm and the bikes are almost identical in weight (before modifications, in actuality my GL500 will be a bit lighter). Split between that and the CBR600...might just have to bite the bullet and see how it fits up. Neither is crazy expensive, just don't want to waste time/money if I don't have to.

VFR800 Rear Shock

CBR600RR Rear Shock
 

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Okay thanks for the clarification, wasn't sure if how it was sitting on the bike was representative of the final design.

As far as shocks, I was thinking of going with a VFR800 shock, eye to eye length is a 315mm and the bikes are almost identical in weight (before modifications, in actuality my GL500 will be a bit lighter). Split between that and the CBR600...might just have to bite the bullet and see how it fits up. Neither is crazy expensive, just don't want to waste time/money if I don't have to.

VFR800 Rear Shock

CBR600RR Rear Shock
Yea, I have metal fab tools and mig/tig welders, so I will be adding structure under the back of the tank and front tank mounts. It is not a bolt on solution.

The vfr shock might be worth trying, that 600rr probably would not fit due to the rigid resevoir location. This is why I mentioned the remote resevoir, if it has one at all. Many people doing CX do not use resevoir shocks and seem to like the outcome, and I would think the pro-link would just help so resevoir may be overkill.

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Re tank
Note the angle of the tank to the existing frame. I wanted a high seat, which will hopefully allow room for petcock, but I don't think it will fit with stock seat location. Also, tank mounts do not match the frame mounts so some sort of adaptation is needed. Probably a plate that bolts or welds to the frame
I used the same tank. I ended up cutting the mounting ears off the CX custom tank I had and welding them to the eBay tank. I had to make a new rear mount but I had to do that to get the seat where I wanted it anyway.

 

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I used the same tank. I ended up cutting the mounting ears off the CX custom tank I had and welding them to the eBay tank. I had to make a new rear mount but I had to do that to get the seat where I wanted it anyway.

Wild paint
You have a CX tho right? So the triple top tube was not an issue with the petcock

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I think I'm going to have issues with the petcock but I don't think it's going to be because of the frame. I think the petcock is just in a stupid location on the ebay tank. There's a very good chance I'll have to run a barb and an inline ball valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I used the same tank. I ended up cutting the mounting ears off the CX custom tank I had and welding them to the eBay tank. I had to make a new rear mount but I had to do that to get the seat where I wanted it anyway.
Super fun paint job, love seeing some color on these bikes.

Have been going down the tank rabbit hole, really wish the bottom lines of the GL's was flat!

Love 77-78 CB750F tanks, and if I'm not totally mistaken their frames have a triple tree that doesn't look totally dissimilar to GL500s:





Anyone know how easy/hard this swap might be? Or if there are any cheaper Super Sport clone tanks available?
 

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Super fun paint job, love seeing some color on these bikes.

Have been going down the tank rabbit hole, really wish the bottom lines of the GL's was flat!

Love 77-78 CB750F tanks, and if I'm not totally mistaken their frames have a triple tree that doesn't look totally dissimilar to GL500s:





Anyone know how easy/hard this swap might be? Or if there are any cheaper Super Sport clone tanks available?
Very promising! I haven't seen that personally, so you should probably do it and report back

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Discussion Starter #19
Pretty solid looking tank! Gonna keep an eye out for one of the Supersport tanks for a little while longer, see if I can scalp one but otherwise will move on. There are some CB750K tanks that I also don't mind that I think might fit.

Also thought I'd share a Google Drive doc that I'm using to track costs. Trying to keep initial build to $1000 on top of the $450 I spent on the bike. Eventually might tackle new forks, upgraded carbs, etc. but not in this initial budget.

In the doc, black=to be purchased, blue=optional, green=already purchased


Will continue to add links and parts as I go along.
 

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Have been going down the tank rabbit hole, really wish the bottom lines of the GL's was flat!
Have you considered modifying the GL500 tank to get the flat line that you are after?
 
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