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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend has a '90's Kawasaki ZX6 that I'd like to take off the forks, wheel etc. and put on my 78 CX500

Has anyone had experience with this? This project may be too large but I hope not as it would solve my soft forks (despite buying Progressive springs) and it would solve my horrible braking issue.

Thanks.
 

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My friend has a '90's Kawasaki ZX6 that I'd like to take off the forks, wheel etc. and put on my 78 CX500

Has anyone had experience with this? This project may be too large but I hope not as it would solve my soft forks (despite buying Progressive springs) and it would solve my horrible braking issue.

Thanks.


Do it. Take pictures and document it all. I'm planning a '95 Kitana front end swap soon. Check Charles' new project. Good info there.
 

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My friend has a '90's Kawasaki ZX6 that I'd like to take off the forks, wheel etc. and put on my 78 CX500

Has anyone had experience with this? This project may be too large but I hope not as it would solve my soft forks (despite buying Progressive springs) and it would solve my horrible braking issue.

Thanks.


It's not going to be a bolt-on, it's going to require a bunch of custom work. I have a set of GSX-R750 forks on my 78 CX500 now. I was lucky, it mostly bolted right on. I needed to source a different top bearing, but the length of the triple tree and everything was just about the same. Well, I also had to weld steering stops that work with the stops on the gsxr forks. And i had to get GSXR calipers and master cylinder and fender.... so it wasn't cheap, but it wasn't super difficult. I've never done a ZX6 though... you might have much more trouble with that... and it might be easier. You won't know until you try.



Charles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Charles. That doesn't sound too bad as long as the ZX6 parts are somewhat the same size.



So did you use clamp on, sportbike style bars? Not sure if I want to be leaning over that far!
 

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Thanks Charles. That doesn't sound too bad as long as the ZX6 parts are somewhat the same size.



So did you use clamp on, sportbike style bars? Not sure if I want to be leaning over that far!


No, I drilled holes in the triple tree and mounted some risers so I could use regular bars.



Charles.
 

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Funny how timely, I'm knee deep in such a project right now. I'm putting 2007 GSX-R 750/600 forks on my 78 CX500. It's a ton of work the way I'm doing it. When it's finished it (shortly) will drasticly update and elminate many of the Cx's shortcommings. Charles what year forks did you use? are they inverted or conventional. Are the brakes conventional or radial? Did you use the GSX-R wheel/rotors or the Comstar? Anything can be done if you have the money and vision. One thing the very latest triple clamps have very little offset especially when compared to the antique CX you'll find the new forks tubes hit the gas tank a lot. The bike will steer much quicker with he new set up because of the small offset and shorter wheelbase. The front end will be loaded more because of the wheelbase reduction in the front, about .875" for my set up. The braking should be as good as it gets. I have radial calipers radial master cylinder, Galfer Superbike S/S lines. The Superbike lines do not use a banjo bolt on the caliper end it goes into the caliper directly. this gives much better feel and response. I'd post a picture if I knew how. When I hit the "INSERT IMAGE" I get a retangle window and a smaller retangle but no {ImgImg} or browse. I have a few photos posted in Photobucket. BTW I have a set of 2004 ZX6/636 inverted & radial brake forks and calipers for sale. Very nice condition too.

Cheers, 50gary
 

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I bought a set of 95 CBR600 forks for my 78 CX500. I never finished putting it together before I sold the bike, but here is what I had gathered.

  • - the steering tube was the exact same size on the CBR as the CX. I assumed a new set of tapered steering bearings from All Balls would suffice as the steering tube dimensions were identical, as well as update the old ball bearings
  • - the stops on the frame were too wide. I ground them off completely, but I don't know how streetable that is. You could, with a little finesse just shorten them up a bit, or weld new ones on.
  • - I didn't want to use a CBR wheel, so I cross referenced some bearing sizes and I was going locate bearings with the proper axle inner diameter for the CBR axle (17mm I think it was) and the correct outer diameter for the CX wheel. There was no bearing that would fit the Comstars, but there was for a CX500 Turbo (or CX500E) wheel. I do still have a gold Turbo front wheel, but didn't get as far as checking clearences with rotors, calipers and width requirements. I had the feeling there would be a need for spacers tough.

A lot of thought was dedicated to trying to preserve a CX wheel set, but if you are swapping a whole front end, it won't be as involved. Just consider that a modern sport bike front end is going to change a lot of the dynamics of the bike, you might have to shorten the rear shocks to even out the stance, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am wondering about the stance. If my bike is higher or lower in the front or back, is that going to make it act funny in corners I wonder? I do plan on just keeping the ZX6 wheel and brakes. In my case it may not matter that the rear is higher because I have two mermite cans back there and once my 220 lbs. jumps on there, I bet it will even out.
 

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I am wondering about the stance. If my bike is higher or lower in the front or back, is that going to make it act funny in corners I wonder? I do plan on just keeping the ZX6 wheel and brakes. In my case it may not matter that the rear is higher because I have two mermite cans back there and once my 220 lbs. jumps on there, I bet it will even out.
If the front end is lower the new geometry will make the bike turn in slightly quicker because of the steeper rake (caster)and greater loading of the front tire. The new tire I believe would be a 17" and probably low profile (70 series vs... the CX tire which is 90 series) as well? This will have a great effect on the geometry and also on the SAG of the front end. The 17" tire would likely be a radial tire If the rear in lower the opposite will be true a more slack rake angle will cause the bike to steer slower. The modern tire is likely to be a radial tire I would not mix a radial with a bias belted tire front or rear. This is the reason I chose 18" front and rear, I can buy correct tires. If the rear is lower and you want to maintain the same geometry simply slide the fork tubes upwards in the triple clamps until the rake is back to stock. On my set-up I'm hoping to have a quicker steering bike. I would like to end up with 25 degrees rake.

Cheers, 50gary
 

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I used 95 GSXR750 forks, which are USD (inverted) forks. I'm using a 95 wheel as well, but my calipers are 6-pot calipers from a 97-up GSXR750, along with the matching master cylinder.



Tank had to be relocated rearward about 3/4". I was able to do this by welding in new tangs for the rubber bumpers to sit on, and by drilling a hole in the rear tank bracket closer to the seam, and discarding the rubber isolators under the rear tank mount. The seat is a super tight fit this way. I had to play with the seat mounting brackets, egging the holes and finessing everything (aka: file and bend) to get the seat to still mount with the two latches.



Charles.
 

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Yes as Charles said the new style forks will contact the gas tank. They call that an interferance fit. I kept the tank in the original position and modified the tank with fork relief indentations. It may sound crude but it worked a treat. I carefully marked the contact area of the fork tube with masking tape same angle and direction as the forks. Then I found a very heavy walled short piece of steel tubing about the same diameter as the fork tubes. Then I held it against the masking taped spot and hit the tubing with my biggest hammer using the tubing as a forming drift. It worked fine, the next trick was to get the other side the same depth.

Cheers, 50gary
 
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