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TOPIC: Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help!

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 10 Jan 2019 19:22 #796505

  • nixon
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So I am doing a swing arm swap on my 81 KZ750. I am actually using a CBR F4i swing arm, which will require cutting, welding and machining but I think it can be done! I also used the front forks from the F4i.
I have spent time searching the threads and have not come up with exactly the info I'm after. Sorry if I overlooked some threads.

My questions are:
- What length shocks are you using for your swing arm swaps? Just the stock length?
- How are you aligning the front and rear sprocket and are there any suggestions for which front sprocket to get?

Thanks for all your help!

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 10 Jan 2019 19:50 #796507

  • Nebr_Rex
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:woohoo:
2002 ZRX1200R
81 GPz1100
79 KZ1000st daily ride
79 KZ1000mk2 prodject
78 KZ650sr
78 KZ650b
81 KZ750e
80 KZ750ltd
77 KZ400/440 cafe project
76 KZ400/440 Fuel Injected

www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=39120.0


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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 11 Jan 2019 09:29 #796529

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A totally different bike but I shaved a few mm of the sprocket carrier to have the chainline clear the frame and tyre and I used an offset front sprocket to line things up nicely.
I used stock length shocks,though my wheel/tyre size changed. Im not sure about the angle of the shocks,I dont remember calculating anything,I think I just eyeballed it.
One thing to think about with wheel/tyre size is the line between the front sprocket,swingarm pivot bolt and rear sprocket. You dont want too much of a peak at the pivot bolt or you can have the chain scraping across the top of the swingarm (by the pivot bolt).
Another thing to watch out for with a rear end swap, is the chain hitting the inside of the shock.
Hope this helps.

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Last edit: by davido.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 11 Jan 2019 14:56 #796547

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Thanks a lot for the reply and the tips.

So the swing arm is officially on and bolted up for a test fit. I ended up having to cut the swingarm pivot on each side but that is ok, I'll make some plates and tig them in.

The main issue is the sprocket alignment. It seems that the front and rear sprockets are around 1" out of alignment. I was thinking of just getting an offset sprocket but that seems like a large difference.
Has anyone sorted through the sprocket issue before? if so, which one did you use?

It looks like I'll have to cut and notch the frame as well for chain clearance...

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Last edit: by nixon.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 12 Jan 2019 02:14 #796565

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There are photos around of the AC Sanctuary boys notching frames for chain clearance. Im not skilled enough with a welder for that,so I went the other way.
I went through a few wheels before I settled on a Bandit 600,with a 160 tyre. Then with straightedges I measured the distance between the edge of the tyre and the inside of the frame downtube. This gave me my maximum space to play with. I then subtracted the thickness of the chain which gave me the measurement of clearance I would have either side of the chain. I think I had about 9mm in total. I then was able to shave the rear sprocket carrier down to center the chain line which gave me 4to5mm clearance either side. Turned out to be enough. Offset front sprocket and that was it.
Another thing I thought about ,which might affect you if youve trimmed the swingarm by the pivot, I fitted a GSXR600 swingarm on mine (had shock mounts made up and welded on). It was a very close fit and I only needed a couple of washers to get it snug but as it was such a bulky arm,especially by the pivot,the up and down movement was limited. The sides of the arm would jam in the frame when the arm moved up ( if the shocks were compressed on the road). I had to grind/sand some of the alu off the arm until it moved upwards freely.

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 12 Jan 2019 03:57 #796567

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nixon wrote: .

The main issue is the sprocket alignment. It seems that the front and rear sprockets are around 1" out of alignment. I was thinking of just getting an offset sprocket but that seems like a large difference.
Has anyone sorted through the sprocket issue before? if so, which one did you use?

It looks like I'll have to cut and notch the frame as well for chain clearance...


Every wheel /swingarm swap is different but once you have done one or two it's pretty much the same procedure and with a correctly centralised wheel rim up to 5.5" wide it's usually fit a 1/2 " - 3/8" or 5/8" ths offset front sprocket and then machine some material off the sprocket carrier face to bring the chain in line.
You can buy the sprockets from EBAY, APE, TALON, etc and most motorcycle drag race and performance shops like PITSTOP, SCHNITZ RACING etc etc and the spline pattern is pretty much the same small diameter "Z13" on all early kwaks and many Suzukis so it's worth looking at OEM sprockets first as these will be cheaper..
JT'S sprocket catalogue lists all OEM sprockets with diagrams and dimensions and is great for this purpose as there are many stock sprockets with various offsets and you may also find one in the F4i's 525 pitch which will save finding or making a rear in 530 that will fit the wheel.
With the z900/z1000 for example using the earlier ZX7/ZX9 5.5" rim it's a 5/8 th offset front and 8mm off the sprocket carrier and the chain just slips past the tyre and frame by a couple of mill
( Going to a 6" rim 190 tyre means notching the frame by 5mm and using a 7/8 ths offset front. )
The 650/750 frame is pretty much the same width as the 900/1000 at the pivot so you shouldn't have to notch the frame up to a 5.5" rim.
Last 650/750 frame i did used Suzuki RF600 (teapot) running gear with 160 tyre if i remember correctly and there was no frame clearance issues.

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Last edit: by zed1015.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 14 Jan 2019 20:14 #796786

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Thank you very much for the thorough reply. That was super helpful for me to begin figuring out the sprocket issue.
I will be checking around to try to find a 5/8" 525 sprocket. These don't seem all that easy to find so far!

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 15 Jan 2019 09:38 #796821

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nixon wrote: I will be checking around to try to find a 5/8" 525 sprocket. These don't seem all that easy to find so far!

Yes! most of the aftermarket offset sprockets are 530 or 630 to fit Kawasaki and Suzuki as these are the most popular choice of bikes for drag racing and modification.
Shops like Talon or JT etc will make one off sprockets in any size but it will be expensive for 1 item.
Personally i would go 530 pitch front as these are readily available and then find a 530 to fit the rear or buy a piloted blank and make my own.
Maybe an earlier honda model in 530 used the same stud pattern but having to have a one off rear made in 530 should be cheaper ( by 50% or more ) than having a 525 offset front because of the less maching operations involved.

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 19 Jan 2019 13:21 #797099

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I wanted to share a site that has been super helpful in finding a sprocket that will fit.

Check out www.motomike.eu

You can plug in all the sprocket info that you need and it will find one that will fit with a JT Sprockets part number.

For me, turns out that a 530 sprocket from a VTR or CBR1000RR will fit the F4i wheel.

This is the one that I am thinking of getting, likely in 42 Tooth :
VTR Sprocket

And this is the stock F4i rear sprocket:
F4i Sprocket

The dimensions seem to all be the same, minus the 525 or 530 pitch, so it looks like it should work to me!

Now to find a 530 5/8 offset front!

I am considering the PBI Sprocket or the D&G Sprocket .

Any experience with either of these, or know of any other options? The PBI is quite a bit cheaper, so that one is tempting obviously.

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Last edit: by nixon.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 19 Jan 2019 15:06 #797109

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nixon wrote: I wanted to share a site that has been super helpful in finding a sprocket that will fit.
Check out www.motomike.eu
You can plug in all the sprocket info that you need and it will find one that will fit with a JT Sprockets part number.
Now to find a 530 5/8 offset front!
I am considering the PBI Sprocket or the D&G Sprocket .
Any experience with either of these, or know of any other options? The PBI is quite a bit cheaper, so that one is tempting obviously.


Same info on motomike as I have in my JT catalogue just not as much page flicking to do.
Those sprocket suppliers are well known so either will do.

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 19 Jan 2019 16:38 #797114

  • z1kzonly
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No matter what, you need some fabrication work. PBI has great sprockets. Anyone who makes the flat plates, will do.
This is a 5/8" offset. Had to weld to the frame, (KZ900)
Wow 6 yrs ago. The Caged Heat AA/Gasser was still being built! (10 yrs.)
Common sense and money!!!
Good Luck!
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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Last edit: by z1kzonly.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 19 Jan 2019 16:56 #797117

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You know far more than I do about Kz's....but is that not a bit over kill for a street bike? I could see going to that extend for a drag bike, but it seems as though a lot of people are using the 5/8's offset without too much additional work...?

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 20 Jan 2019 02:10 #797128

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nixon wrote: You know far more than I do about Kz's....but is that not a bit over kill for a street bike? I could see going to that extend for a drag bike, but it seems as though a lot of people are using the 5/8's offset without too much additional work...?

A 5/8ths just bolts on .
No real need for the outrigger unless you are producing lots of power and pulling hard on launches etc.
It's to stop premature failure of the output bearing as i'm sure you already know.
All my road going Zeds are running 5/8 ths with and without outriggers no problem but i wouldn't go any wider without.
My next one with 6" rim and 7/8ths will but it's having a turbo also.

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Last edit: by zed1015.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 20 Jan 2019 12:51 #797152

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Yeah, I could totally see doing that for a turbo bike but I'll be just bolting it on for this one.

You've been super helpful zed1015, really appreciate it.
One question for you is what have you been doing for the rear brake caliper bracket? Obviously it gets in the way of the rear shock mount so will need to be tweaked a lot. I cut in half and was planning on welding in a pie shape to rotate it out of the way.

What're your thoughts and do you have any pictures of how you've been solving this issue?

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 20 Jan 2019 13:16 #797154

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nixon wrote: Yeah, I could totally see doing that for a turbo bike but I'll be just bolting it on for this one.

You've been super helpful zed1015, really appreciate it.
One question for you is what have you been doing for the rear brake caliper bracket? Obviously it gets in the way of the rear shock mount so will need to be tweaked a lot. I cut in half and was planning on welding in a pie shape to rotate it out of the way.
What're your thoughts and do you have any pictures of how you've been solving this issue?


I always undersling the caliper using zxr , gixxer or one off alloy plate mounts.
I mostly just do 900 and 1000's and am currently favouring he XJR 1300SP swingers with ZXR7or 9 wheels although the turbo is using ZX12 ones.

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Last edit: by zed1015.

Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 20 Jan 2019 14:06 #797157

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zed1015 wrote:
............ I always undersling the caliper using zxr , gixxer or one off alloy plate mounts...........


I notice that it's done that way on many race bikes such as the KZ1000-S1. Other than lowering the center of gravity some by lowering the weight of the bracket and caliper are there other advantages to underslinging the caliper? Thanks. Ed
1977 KZ650-C1 Original Owner - Stock (with additional invisible FIAMM horn)

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 22 Jan 2019 22:20 #797344

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I did a little looking around and can't really find any other benefit to undersling the caliper but it does look like a pretty easy solution instead of cutting apart the bracket and welding in a pie shape to rotate the caliper up and out of the way of the shock.

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Swing Arm Swap Pro's- Help! 27 Jan 2019 14:36 #797722

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Well, my swing arm is at my buddies place getting all welded up. I'm pretty pumped to get it back and test fit everything, hopefully it works as planned!

I got the 5/8" offset 530 sprocket (16 tooth) from PBI and it is super nice. I was really impressed.

Waiting on ordering the rear 530 41 tooth sprocket until I determine the chain length. I would like to get on ordering all this, including the chain, so I was wondering what length chain you guys have been going with for the 530 conversion with a swing arm swap?

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