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Project KZ500

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  • Project KZ500

    Here is my starting point for a hopeful Cafe Racer 1980 Kawa KZ500.

    Not running but cheap. Budget is tight but should scrub up OK
    Any advice on front end swaps to get rid of that goofy offset front axle would be appreciated - What would fit ?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    great project! keep the piccy's comming!:grin:
    I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN

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    • #3
      The easiest way to get a better front end is to have your stem pressed into another complete front end. Sometimes it can be done with bearing swaps, or get a stem machined to the same size as yours to fit in the replacement.

      could end up costing more than you paid for the bike.

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      • #4
        What size are your fork legs diameter? I can measure up the ones on my E1 Z750 and see if they are similar would be a good swap it's an 81 model
        :awesome:

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redbeard View Post
          Not running but cheap. Budget is tight but should scrub up OK
          Any advice on front end swaps to get rid of that goofy offset front axle would be appreciated - What would fit ?
          Best way to find out is to take it off and measure up the steering stem length, the bearing sizes, and go from there. Top of fork to centre of axle is also useful when hunting.

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          • #6
            98 on ZX6/ZX9 front end is a good place to start if you want a conventional look fork and they are longer than USD's. 30/28mm bearings from memory too so they go without too much drama...... maybe just machining the bottom bearing mount on the shaft to 28mm. They have a good range of adjustment too...... I have a 99 ZX6 front end going on an 81 Z750, the ZX9 triple has more offset but same deal to fit.

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            • #7
              I've got an '84 KZ550 wreck sitting in the shed if you need any parts.

              Conversely, if those fork boots/sliders are in good nick I might be interested in them if you do a front end swap.

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              • #8
                front end

                Originally posted by Weapon_X View Post
                What size are your fork legs diameter? I can measure up the ones on my E1 Z750 and see if they are similar would be a good swap it's an 81 model
                Have not picked it up yet , but think they are 35 mm - I will need to change triples also to ones with more offset to make up the difference in geometry

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                • #9
                  bits

                  Originally posted by Jonchilds View Post
                  I've got an '84 KZ550 wreck sitting in the shed if you need any parts.

                  Conversely, if those fork boots/sliders are in good nick I might be interested in them if you do a front end swap.
                  Thanks -be good to see what bits you have - can you email me photo of what you still have on wreck? [email protected]

                  Other wise give me a shout on 0412 477 054 sometime?

                  Slider look pretty good on mine if they suit you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GD Engineering (Gavin) View Post
                    98 on ZX6/ZX9 front end is a good place to start if you want a conventional look fork and they are longer than USD's. 30/28mm bearings from memory too so they go without too much drama...... maybe just machining the bottom bearing mount on the shaft to 28mm. They have a good range of adjustment too...... I have a 99 ZX6 front end going on an 81 Z750, the ZX9 triple has more offset but same deal to fit.
                    Sounds good and machining is not a issue as I can do a bit myself. Want to stick with non USD forks. Could I pester you to measuse the offset on your triple? Also what wheel sizes do the ZX6/ZX9 use?

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                    • #11
                      It's pretty much a full wreck minus the headlight glass and throttle cables at the moment. Engine has starter clutch issues. Few bits have been taken off and are laying around the shed, so a photo probably wouldn't do it justice.

                      Have a few things off it I want to keep, but easiest to ask.

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                      • #12
                        rake of forks is sadly in the frame headstem, so you are up for a bit of a project.
                        longer forks will affect the look and balance of your bike.
                        Measure what it is or look it up what it is new with forks in top nick (stattic sag) and then go from there.
                        I think that the offset front axle is cool as ice and I would leave it as is.
                        Not many other bikes do have this feature!
                        Last edited by Jamathi; 23-12-2009, 03:26 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Forks are 755mm centre-to-top on the 6 and 9, 46mm diameter. They will be shorter than the leading axle front end anyway which will, in part be negated by the reduction if offset......... the ZX6 has 31mm offset triples and the 9 has 34mm offset..... at a guess on bikes of that vintage, will yield about a 10mm reduction in offset depending on which one you use. It will be a win-win outcome in my opinion...... standard rake will be in the order of 28-29 degrees with around 120mm trail. The ZX front end won't alter rake, obviously, but will offer a substantial reduction in trail due to loss of leading link/offset reduction and a slight reduction in fork length. Increased fork rigidity will be a nice addition too.... they run a 17" wheel standard but no speedo drive, you can use an earlier ZX6 or ZXR/ZX7 wheel which does have one, of course you lose around 25mm of height up front going from 19" to 17", also accountable for in other ways. You can also lengthen the forks internally to recover some of this, dead easy and can be done when the forks are serviced. These bikes will benefit no end from more weight over the front wheel and a quicker steering package up to a point, which this mod will give it. The front end doesn't look too "Ricky-racer" either.

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                          • #14
                            Bike looks good Dave - looking forward to seeing what direction it takes - it is quite similar to my GPZ550 in some regards...
                            Good to see that you are tackling it one thing at a time too - it is easy to get overwhelmed if you look at the bike as one huge project.

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                            • #15
                              Gavin

                              Thanks heaps for advise- what model year ZX6/9 are you refering too? I had also thought about early SV650 of FZR600 foront ends as bearing sizes are close

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