How to build a ZR-7e(s)

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How to build a ZR-7e(s)

This is a discussion on How to build a ZR-7e(s) within the ZR-7 Performance Upgrades forums, part of the Kawasaki ZR-7 category; It's finally done! I have been dorking around putting a '95+ ZZR600/ZX6e forks on my ZR-7s in a couple of stages and playing with oil ...

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Thread: How to build a ZR-7e(s)

  1. #1
    Site Elder pattonme's Avatar
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    How to build a ZR-7e(s)

    It's finally done! I have been dorking around putting a '95+ ZZR600/ZX6e forks on my ZR-7s in a couple of stages and playing with oil weights, damper rods, Gold Valve Emulators and so forth.

    The swap is really not too hard. You will need a couple things aside from a good set of ZX6e forks and brake calipers.

    1) 5mm worth of shim material (I used 14mm ID washers ground out to ~17mm to slide down the axle) in equal parts to center the wheel between the lowers. Whereas the ZR-7 has a ridge on the inner face of the fork lower, the ZX6e does NOT so you need to get the 5mm back so the ZR-7 axle spacers and speedo drive fit. I tried wavy washers but they can't handle 50+ft/lbs.

    2) 1mm thick axle collars (2) with ID matching OD of ZR-7 axle and OD matching ID of ZX6e axle receiver. The values were 23/25mm. The machine shop did me a pair 30mm long for $25 which I then decided needed to have a slot cut into them longwise so that they would collapse and "spring tight" around their surface. The pinch bolts squeeze the axle thru them so I wanted to make sure the collar, as good as it was fitting, wasn't impeding the squeezing. Have the machine shop cut you said slot as a final step unless you like doing your own Dremeling.

    3) strongly suggested: new brake rotors for ZX6e application. I'm running EBC Road Race rotors model 4008 ($330 pair) and they are rebuildable but you can get some from Braking USA etc. The ONLY difference between ZR-7 and ZX6e rotors is pad sweep. Kawasaki pulled a cheap ******* and didn't finish the extra 5mm worth of rotor surface even though they started with the EXACT same pieces.

    This means that if you say only want to do 1/2 of this upgrade (ie. mate ZX6e fork uppers to ZR-7 fork lowers and retain ZR-7 calipers and not need any extra collars to shim the axle), you most definately can. I ran that setup for several thousand miles. It works great.

    What you MUST NOT do is mix and match the fork upper and the damper rods. Keep those respective model parts together.

    That's pretty much it. You will have to drill the fender mounting holes a little bigger and slightly elongated and you will lose the fork protectors and the little wire-arm thingy that the brake hoses go thru to keep them away from the fender surface. I don't expect my Galfer hoses to abrade the paint, however.

    I have pictures (more coming and soon captions) at http://photos.yahoo.com/pattonme.

    A little bit on setup. I haven't actually ridden it yet but will in about 7 hours but I've ridden a lot during the various intermediate steps.

    Having some actual rebound in the front is absolutely wonderful. However, if you go the GVE route, only drill 4 holes (suggest only 3), not the 6 they typically suggest. If you look at the pics I have a DR with just 2, albeit 12mm instead of the normal 10mm which should be sufficient. I'll update as I learn more.

    Partly because of the RaceTech directions being wrong, rebound suffers more than it should. So I've had to resort to no less than 30w fork oil and am testing 46w. If you don't do GVE's I'd like to know what oil weight you like. I'd suggest 20w for starters since a stock ZX6e doesn't have enough rebound at max settings right out of the crate.

    I'm 175lbs and between the RT .85kg/mm fork springs vs Progressive 1145's I prefer the Progressive. Andrew (zr-7 owner near me in VA) has true 1.0kg/mm springs as well as GVE's installed on ZR-7 dampers and he says they rock. We haven't exchanged bikes yet to compare. At 25mm of preload I get 30mm of static sag and 41mm of rider with 9mm of stiction. I need to measure with the forks at ease (ie. axle not tight) to see if in fact my 5mm of extra spacer is not enough and I'm binding the forks a touch.

    (4/20/04)
    400 miles on the bike now. The bite on the brakes is wow! 2-fingered braking on a ZR? More pad sweep I'm sure helps, and HH pads (I thought I had ordered the Green/Kevlar) do as well. I chirped the tire rather easily this morning not meaning to... The forks are doing right well. I'm stopping this whole thicker oil thing and instead blocking up the rebound holes and drilling new, tiny holes for rebound. With the right holes, I should be able to get back down to ~30w.

    (8/7/04)
    More developments:
    Compression leg running 12w oil, Racetech GVE w/ 3 pairs of holes, 60in/lb spring at 2 turns.
    Rebound leg running 30w oil, no GVE.
    Both legs have significantly smaller rebound orifices now curtesy of JB Weld and ultra small drill bits (ie 0.007") using a pin-vice.

    Ride feel is now nicely firm but a touch too hard. Rebound appears to be too slow. Tonight swapping to 10W in compression leg, 15W in rebound leg to see if my hunch is right.

    (8/9/04)
    It's now a ZR-7SR!
    That is I put the ZX6R F2/F3 (1995-97) forks on the puppy. Took longer than I planned on but the results are quite impressive. A couple things:

    1) the speedo drive side (left) doesn't have a flange though the right one does just like the -7S forks. So you'll need a 4mm spacer. For the ZX6e application you shim both sides about 2mm. Most likely a ZX6R speedo drive will solve the spacing issue. Have a line on one.

    2) said spacer locates the speedo drive too far toward the wheel for it to get grabbed by the anti-spin tangs. Doesn't seem to make muchdifference though. My speedo drive sat quite still even though it was only friction and the cable holding it in place.

    3) the forks are 7mm shorter than ZX6e units. The ZR-7F model had forks shorter by like 1/2 inch vs the -7S so I don't see any reason to be concerned.

    4) I filled with 250ml of 10w and 130ml of 15w oil. straight 10w might have been a better choice.

    5) the handlebars interfere with the preload adjusters in so much as it makes adjustment a bit difficult. they don't interfere from a clearance standpoint though.

    6) Put my Racetech .85kg/mm fork springs in. Had to cut a 50mm PVC
    spacer to compensate for the shorter RT spring vs the stock unit.

    7) the pad sweep with the ZX6e/6R calipers is just a tiny bit
    different. Gets about another 2mm more pad/rotor contact with the 6R
    forks.

    8) the stock -7S fender works fine. It'll use the same 6mm bolts that are stock (6e uses 10mm bolts so needs much bigger holes). You'll have to drill 1 set of holes for the rearward set of mounts.
    The fender shape is not precisely the same as the 6R so it'll spreadthe fender a little bit at the rear. About 3-4mm on each side. Or simply get yourself a few nylon 6mm washers. Two to a side and it should be perfect. I only had 4 washers and I used them against the bolt heads...

    Watch the yahoo picture space for new photo's.
    Last edited by pattonme; 01-11-08 at 10:36 PM.

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    Site Elder pattonme's Avatar
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  3. #3
    wineguy
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    Good work, pattonme. Keep us posted.
    I've often contemplated replacing the forks on my S; I've already acquired a '92 ZX11 front-end to put on my Z1A rebuild.

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    Maintenance Overlord graeme gould's Avatar
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    Hey pattonme,

    This is very professional and a great contribution to the forum. Lets have your test results after you have given them a run.

    gg@bb, ava good day
    Graeme Gould at Byron Bay the most Easterly part of Australia

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    Site Elder pattonme's Avatar
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    updated (see date in 1st post)

    apparently 'edits' don't move a thread into the top of the pile...

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    Site Elder pattonme's Avatar
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    It's now a ZR-7SR

    read the 1st post.

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    Up-And Comer DEcosse's Avatar
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    I know this is 30 months old but it's still a useful reference thread.

    A couple of errors however for anyone following on is in the dimensions listed in the opening post re the axle diameters at the fork bosses: the ZX6 is actually 25mm vs 23mm on the Z7 (not 28/26); also actual axle diameters are 20 & 17 respectively, therefor the speedo drives are not interchangable either.

  9. #8
    Site Elder pattonme's Avatar
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    also actual axle diameters are 20 & 17 respectively, therefor the speedo drives are not interchangable either.
    I'll have to check axle boss dimensions again. but yes, you can use the speedo drive from a 20mm axle bike on a ZR7s. It'll float. would recommend, however, that you source a shim/collar to change the ID down to size.

    I have a lathe at my disposal so if anyone wants adapters made, just hollar.

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    Silver Member shuo's Avatar
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    Hi pattonme,
    I'm doing ZX6F forks conversion now. I have a question on oil weight. You mentioned you used a mix of 10w and 15w in a total volume of 380ml. What are the stock weight and volume for ZX6F, do you know? What would you recommend for a street riding for a guy 5'11" 180lbs? The springs in forks I presume are stock.
    I understand you were able to use ZR-7 speedo drive, right?
    Alex

  11. #10
    Up-And Comer DEcosse's Avatar
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    hi Alex
    I'm actually just down the road in Pleasanton.
    We just completed the fork retro on DarrellB's ZR7 a couple of weeks ago (nothing material was delaying, just time to get it scheduled)

    I'll refer him to this thread & he can relay his own experience with the fork settings - he is a bit lighter however!

    Do you have everything? We have an extra set of 6 piston calipers we can give up at good price!

    Also, I got the caliper shoulder bolts at the local Fastenal store in Pleasanton - it's real close to the Home Depot.

    If you plan to use the speedo drive I would surely recommend a sleeve for it.

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    Silver Member shuo's Avatar
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    I still don't have brake rotors, trying to get them cheap off ebay or somewhere else. I was under impression that I can use ZR-7 speedo drive, perhaps with a spacer.
    Alex

  13. #12
    Up-And Comer DEcosse's Avatar
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    Rotors should be fine off the ZR7 - we didn't see any difference in requirement, at least on the bike we fitted. The rotors didn't seem to have that 5mm area as a delineation.
    Speedo drive - My bad - Ignore my comment on that - brain fade - I was mixing my applications, sorry - the axle you will be using is the original ZR7 one so speedo drive will be just fine.
    You will need the 23/25 sleeves for the axle/ collar where they fit in the forks however. (item #2 in pattonme's initial post - they are 25/23 not 28/26 however) We made them a snug fit (bare clearance) and no slot was necessary - when clamped in the fork leg they would not move. You could also make interference fit & if necessary heat the sleeves to fit them. However they clamped up really tight even when clearance.
    The forks we used were zx6f so these numbers for the spacers apply to that:
    We used a single piece left spacer which was 38mm in place of the speedo - speedo is 34 so I would suggest you need 4mm spacer on the left side (x17.05 ID & 32mm OD) to add between the speedo & the fork leg; the OEM spacer was used for the right side. No offset was necessary to recenter the wheel.
    (Pattonme suggests 5mm & splitting that between each side - that was not what we found)
    Finally you also need some M10 washers to space the calipers from the fork legs in order to center the calipers on the rotors.

  14. #13
    Silver Member shuo's Avatar
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    Great info, thanks!
    I'm tentantively doing it during next weekend, I'll see if I can use my current rotors. One more question, do you need to get ZX6R master cylinder too since we have bigger caliper volume, or it's possible to get away with stock ZR-7 master cylinder?
    Alex

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    Up-And Comer DEcosse's Avatar
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    Used the stock ZR7 M/C and seems fine

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    Up-And Comer colsan1's Avatar
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    I've been directed to this thread by 2 people after asking about caliper upgrades.
    i dont want to do a front end swap. i just want to replace the stock calipers with some four pots. does anyone know if there are any direct bolt on replacements from another model that will go on the zr7.

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