I'm finally getting around upgrading my 77' KZ1000A. I had to take a temp. hiatis from working on the bike but am back. Since I pulled the motor and had it rebuilt, now would be a perfect time to upgrade the suspension.
Front front fork/brake upgrade ? Rear swing arm/shock/brake upgrade?
What's out there without breaking the bank. Trying to get some suspension upgrades that you Guys have used effectively and not having to go into so much laborous machine work.
If you want to change major components, the the sky is the limit. There are a bunch of build threads on this site, and many more in the archives, that use a wide variety of different suspension components, a ZRX swingarm and a front end from a 1994 - 2006 Concours would be a relatively inexpensive way to get much better suspension. It really boils down to how much money, time and fabrication you are willing to dedicate to the project, and what your goals are. Keep in mind, that the more the suspension is improved, the more you will notice how flexible the frame is. Frame bracing can help, but there is another stack of money and time. It can snowball quickly.
I think that setting some clear goals and a budget limit before starting can help prevent this from spiraling out of control and will likely bring you pleasant results.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough
TexasKZ wrote: If you want to change major components, the the sky is the limit. ........................I think that setting some clear goals and a budget limit before starting can help prevent this from spiraling out of control and will likely bring you pleasant results.
Another thing to consider is that it would be much faster, considerably better from a technological standpoint, and less expensive to simply buy a newer bike rather than trying to make a 42 year old bike perform like a newer bike. Ed
Appreciate "all" the solid input as usual ! I want to retain the spoke wheels, wouldn't mind going to an 18" front wheel ( I have the rim 40-spoke ). I have shorter rear shocks ( 12.5" ) and ran the front fork tubes up the fork clamps by 1". I'm short, so helped with foot placement.
Right now the bike is set-up with Dual brake discs up front ( stock drilled LTD's ) with the stock single piston calipers.
A nicer and light brake caliper set-up would great. So maybe the front end off of a "concourse" would be a nice upgrade which I'm assuming has bigger fork tubes and multi piston brake calipers ?
Also, what about the Suzuki GS1100E swing arm ? Is that a big mod or does it pretty much bolt up to the "stock" KZ chassis ?
To be fair it depends on what you want out of the bike when finished, one of the best improvements is frame bracing, my own has this and it's a very worthwhile modification stiffening up the frame no end, i also have TEC adjustable shocks not expensive around $200 US, on the rear, set at around 270mm eye to eye and this speeds up the steering, tapered roller bearings for the head stock and triple trees stock forks with a slightly heavier grade oil than stock, rear arm is stock with a deep brace added needle roller bearings installed, stock wheels, a cut down seat as i have short legs at only 28 inches, with these slight improvements 40 year old bike handles a lot better than a stock zed
Another thing to consider is that it would be much faster, considerably better from a technological standpoint, and less expensive to simply buy a newer bike rather than trying to make a 42 year old bike perform like a newer bike. Ed[/quote]
I'm with Ed on this one, yes there are things that can and should be updated on these bikes like shocks, springs, bearings, tires but from what I see it's not always a good thing to change the geometry and a lot of guys get it wrong and it can be dangerous.
With changing the few things mentioned above your bike will out handle the ability's of most riders and the roads they ride on.
The frame bracing and swing arm bracing was commissioned by the previous owner, it's a common thing over here, it tightens the frame up, kits can be bought on the internet, i put the adjustable TEC shocks on, which i have adjusted to around 370mm in length, around an inch higher than stock they are made in the UK and are fully re-buildable and a good price, the front forks are just standard with a grade higher oil in them, just these simple and not expensive things make for a better handling bike, here is a link for the shocks, and cost me at today's exchange rate $180 usd, also some pictures of the frame mods. P.S i am only around 150lb's wet a year ago i was over 220lb's.
The weakest area of any '73~'80 Kz900/1000 is the steering stem head area and the top frame tubes. You can clamp a stock unbraced Kz frame in a vice, put a 4 foot tube into the steering head, then push on the 4 foot tube, and watch the top frame tubes bow outward!!! All that stock tin plate gussketing below the steering stem is worthless. Cut all that away and replace it with some tubing as in the two photos below. Then toward the rear of the top frame rail make up some triangular bracing that tie those three frame tubes together. You can do it with tubing, or with flat plate welded together to foam that brace. You can see what I am talking about in photo below. All this will keep the steering stem area from flexing. Then you could tie the rear of the main frame hoop together as in the photos enclosed. Then throw away all the stock motor mount plates and bolts, and go with oversized bolts that you have to tap into place on the frame and motor mounting areas. I went with American bolts on my bike, and used an adjustable ream to open up my frame and motor. Make up some thicker motor mount plates as in photo below. This ties the motor to the frame making the motor part of the frame. I have seen many a Kz front motor mount areas where the frame left marks from the frame moving around the motor!!!
Remove all that worthless tin plate gussketiing under steering stem head and replace with tubing.
The triangular brace tying the three top frame tubes together.
This bracing ties the main frame hoop, swing arm pivot area to the steering stem head.
These are the oversize motor mount plates with ream fit motor mount bolts.
1972 H2 750 Cafe Racer built in 1974.
1976 KH400 Production Road Racer.
1979 Kz1000 MK. II Old AMA/WERA Superbike.
1986 RG500G 2 stroke terror.
1986 GSXR750RG The one with the clutch that rattles!
gordone wrote: How big upgrade/improvement is upgrading the forks with emulators?
I went from progressive springs to Race Tech springs and emulators and it was a significant difference. They keep the front tire firmly planted on the ground while doing an amazing job "smoothing" out the road and making the front end far more predictable.