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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The fork swap is finally done! I haven’t been able to ride it yet as I finished it up late last night and the next couple days are stormy. I can’t freakin’ wait though. :D

0730142240a_resized.jpg 0730142242_resized.jpg

I’ll try to make a list of major parts here, why I picked them, and note things that I ran into for others that may venture into this.

First gen Z1000 Upper and Lower Triple Trees – These are kind of a rare part and finding them available along with a desire for functional suspension is what kicked off the whole project for me. They’re needed if you want to run standard 7/8” bars. The bars are now rubber mounted which should cut down on vibes. You could go with other triples if you’re okay with clip-ons or clip-on risers. The lower triple has steering stops the same as the 650’s. I didn’t have to fabricate or modify my own. The upper locates the ignition switch in the same place as the 650’s so my steering lock still works. Sanding and stripping the old flaking paint off these was such a pain! Wish I had a sand blaster. The lower triple was noticeably lighter than the 650’s despite being much beefier.

Donor z1000 ignition switch – There’s a plastic cover that slips over the main body of the switch. It’s a little smaller in diameter than the 650’s. Without it the 650 switch won’t fill the hole in the upper triple. I removed the 650’s cover and ground off a small rib from the switch body and the z1000’s cover fit right on. It’s plain plastic and the 650’s similar piece has the printing on it for ON, OFF, LOCK, PARK or whatever they are so I lost that printing. No biggie.

2006 636 forks – Any year should fit so long as they’re upside down and not the Big Piston Fork design. Pay attention to rotor diameter though as you may need different spacers and mounting bolts. These got fresh seals and oil. I painted the upper tubes to hide blemishes in the gold anodize. Any work to USD forks requires compressing the springs which is not my favorite thing. You’ll need to make or buy a tool for this. You’ll need a 32mm socket to remove the fork cap also. HF to the rescue.

2005 636 wheel – Necessary as a larger diameter axle is used (which is a nice lightweight aluminum one also). edit: not specifically this year is necessary

2011 zx14 Brakes – The same Nissin brakes get used on lots of models. Tokico is what came stock on these forks but I’ve read the Nissins are better.

636 Fender – This is just a fiberglass race fender I painted. I went with black as I didn’t want to attempt matching the red.

Handlebars – I initially planned to reuse the 650’s bars but they’re too narrow in the clamp area to fit the z1000’s riser clamps. These in particular are Protaper Trials Mid Rise part 02-5307. They’re aluminum but not any lighter than stock due to the increased wall thickness and the cross brace. They came with a pad for the cross brace but it looked kinda silly so I removed it. I used the rubber hose trick to secure the bar ends as described by McRider in another thread.

Brake rotors – The 650’s swap right over.

Brake hoses – I already had Galfer SS intended for the 650. They still fit with no slack concerns.

You'll need a way to support the front end other than a triple tree stand. I used an A frame ladder and after removing the tank had good access to the frame rails for strapping to. No mods were needed to the rest of the bike besides slightly shimming the coolant reservoir. The lower triple would bump into it before hitting full lock.

My main goal in doing this was to improve front suspension and I think I’ll be very happy with it. I like to be different too and there aren’t TOO many 650’s running around with these. These are .90 springs. I’m right in between .90 and .95 but only ride street so lighter should be good. It’s been a lot of work procuring and refinishing parts though. Had I known it would be this extensive, I may have just went with springs and emulators for my stock forks. These are externally adjustable for preload, rebound damping, and compression damping. I got a brake upgrade also. I never had a complaint with the 650’s brakes but these won’t hurt.

If anyone needs some stock parts, let me know.
http://www.riderforums.com/ninja-650r-sale-trade/82637-2007-650r-nearly-complete-front-end.html

That’s all I got. Let me know if you have any questions.
 

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Adventurous my friend. I'm a little jealous, but this is a little beyond my skill level for now, maybe as my understanding of suspension and experience increases. I do understand the benefit, but I'm still learning about suspension adjustments and such. Also don't know if I would run into problems with my ABS.

Looks good congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Probably the only challenge with an ABS bike would be mounting the sensor on the fork. You'd probably have to make a little bracket. I'm not sure if using different calipers would affect the system's mechanical function or not.
 

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Definately nice work. I think the fender and forks look nice black. I am hoping to get black 636 forks. The rest of the bike will be attached to them though.
 

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We'll done indeed, the triple tree upper and lower clamp are the key piece for this mod as I'm discovering.

I'll tune back in for your findings.
 

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Very nice. I've considered doing this myself, but as lean it said, I'm not 100% sure I could do it. So i'll probably stick with new springs and emulators. Don't forget to let us know how she rides now, I'm sure theres more than a few of us interested to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again. I've got a few miles on it now and have some ride impressions.

- It's definitely better mannered and smooths out the bumps. I think it turns easier and is more willing to hold a line instead of going wide. I find myself going a bit faster than I used to, maybe because the ride is less jarring now. I appreciate the changes but they're not as night and day as I expected.... maybe once I get a new shock also. That said, I haven't set the sag or tweaked any settings yet. They're all set at the factory numbers. That should at least put me in the ball park being about 175 lb.

- There's not as much drag in the steering now. This is likely just due to fresh grease but may be the additional leverage provided by the wider bars.

- Bar vibrations seem about the same. I don't really feel it in the grips but can still feel the bar ends vibrating. I'm not convinced the rubber mounting really does anything.

- Brakes. HO.LY.CRAP brakes. Those things will slow you down in a hurry. I'm using EBC HH pads which are not even bedded in yet. They're very effective with just a little bit of lever pull. I'm sure if I really grabbed them I would go over the bars. Time to practice panic stops.
 

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Nice work! I assume the brakes are radial mount calipers? You must also have used the 650 master cylinder. I always hear that the stock front brakes on the 650 are not good, but I guess I have got used to them. I do feel that the stock single rotor brake on my KLX 250 is better, as is the suspension with long travel USD forks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I used the 650 master cylinder. I have one that came with the new brakes but it has a broken reservoir that needs replacing. I wanted to try this one first and swap it out if necessary. It doesn't seem so but I wonder how the feel will be with a radial MC. I don't know a lot about brake system design so will have to read into it.

I liked the stock brakes just fine and never felt they were too weak. SS lines made them even better. The new brakes feel like they have more initial bite and come on stronger with less lever pull.
 

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The fork swap is finally done! I haven’t been able to ride it yet as I finished it up late last night and the next couple days are stormy. I can’t freakin’ wait though. :D

View attachment 79786 View attachment 79787

I’ll try to make a list of major parts here, why I picked them, and note things that I ran into for others that may venture into this.

First gen Z1000 Upper and Lower Triple Trees – These are kind of a rare part and finding them available along with a desire for functional suspension is what kicked off the whole project for me. They’re needed if you want to run standard 7/8” bars. The bars are now rubber mounted which should cut down on vibes. You could go with other triples if you’re okay with clip-ons or clip-on risers. The lower triple has steering stops the same as the 650’s. I didn’t have to fabricate or modify my own. The upper locates the ignition switch in the same place as the 650’s so my steering lock still works. Sanding and stripping the old flaking paint off these was such a pain! Wish I had a sand blaster. The lower triple was noticeably lighter than the 650’s despite being much beefier.

Donor z1000 ignition switch – There’s a plastic cover that slips over the main body of the switch. It’s a little smaller in diameter than the 650’s. Without it the 650 switch won’t fill the hole in the upper triple. I removed the 650’s cover and ground off a small rib from the switch body and the z1000’s cover fit right on. It’s plain plastic and the 650’s similar piece has the printing on it for ON, OFF, LOCK, PARK or whatever they are so I lost that printing. No biggie.

2006 636 forks – Any year should fit so long as they’re upside down and not the Big Piston Fork design. Pay attention to rotor diameter though as you may need different spacers and mounting bolts. These got fresh seals and oil. I painted the upper tubes to hide blemishes in the gold anodize. Any work to USD forks requires compressing the springs which is not my favorite thing. You’ll need to make or buy a tool for this. You’ll need a 32mm socket to remove the fork cap also. HF to the rescue.

2005 636 wheel – Necessary as a larger diameter axle is used (which is a nice lightweight aluminum one also). edit: not specifically this year is necessary

2011 zx14 Brakes – The same Nissin brakes get used on lots of models. Tokico is what came stock on these forks but I’ve read the Nissins are better.

636 Fender – This is just a fiberglass race fender I painted. I went with black as I didn’t want to attempt matching the red.

Handlebars – I initially planned to reuse the 650’s bars but they’re too narrow in the clamp area to fit the z1000’s riser clamps. These in particular are Protaper Trials Mid Rise part 02-5307. They’re aluminum but not any lighter than stock due to the increased wall thickness and the cross brace. They came with a pad for the cross brace but it looked kinda silly so I removed it. I used the rubber hose trick to secure the bar ends as described by McRider in another thread.

Brake rotors – The 650’s swap right over.

Brake hoses – I already had Galfer SS intended for the 650. They still fit with no slack concerns.

You'll need a way to support the front end other than a triple tree stand. I used an A frame ladder and after removing the tank had good access to the frame rails for strapping to. No mods were needed to the rest of the bike besides slightly shimming the coolant reservoir. The lower triple would bump into it before hitting full lock.

My main goal in doing this was to improve front suspension and I think I’ll be very happy with it. I like to be different too and there aren’t TOO many 650’s running around with these. These are .90 springs. I’m right in between .90 and .95 but only ride street so lighter should be good. It’s been a lot of work procuring and refinishing parts though. Had I known it would be this extensive, I may have just went with springs and emulators for my stock forks. These are externally adjustable for preload, rebound damping, and compression damping. I got a brake upgrade also. I never had a complaint with the 650’s brakes but these won’t hurt.

If anyone needs some stock parts, let me know.
http://www.riderforums.com/ninja-650r-sale-trade/82637-2007-650r-nearly-complete-front-end.html

That’s all I got. Let me know if you have any questions.
-What year specifically are the triples?

-Why did you need an ignition switch? I am on a 2013 so the ignition is built in front of the tank.

- Did you mean the stock springs for that particular 636 fork is sprung .90?

-Do you mind measuring the 4 bolts of the handlebar clamp? I specifically need to know how far across the top 2 bolts are, how far across the bottom 2 are, and how far across top to bottom are, so I can figure out of these clamps have the same measurements as a 2013 650 (which will tell me if I can or cant use sport bars).

I am tryign to dig up the old thread I read where someone mentioned a 10r fork swap instead which saved him/her from buying a new wheel since the bearings were the same size between the 650 and 10r(or was it a z1000?)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
-What year specifically are the triples?
I can't say exactly what year these are but are from the 2003-2006 range. 2007-2009 may be the same also but I'm not sure.

-Why did you need an ignition switch? I am on a 2013 so the ignition is built in front of the tank.
With your switch built into the tank, it shouldn't be an issue for you. I assumed my 650's switch would bolt in right where the z1000's did. Nope. They're a little different as mentioned. If I removed the plastic cover from my switch, it wouldn't look as nice and would be more weather vulnerable I believe. Being able to steal the part from the z1000 switch made it much cleaner. It came free with the triple (yay!).

- Did you mean the stock springs for that particular 636 fork is sprung .90?
Correct. Stock springs on this year are .90. The forks appeared to have never been worked on so I assume they're stock. They're definitely softer than the 1.2's in the 650.

-Do you mind measuring the 4 bolts of the handlebar clamp? I specifically need to know how far across the top 2 bolts are, how far across the bottom 2 are, and how far across top to bottom are, so I can figure out of these clamps have the same measurements as a 2013 650 (which will tell me if I can or cant use sport bars).
Yup, I can measure. Will follow up with that later.
They do make sport bars for these just so you know.
Kawasaki Z-Store Online Store

I am tryign to dig up the old thread I read where someone mentioned a 10r fork swap instead which saved him/her from buying a new wheel since the bearings were the same size between the 650 and 10r(or was it a z1000?)
There are of course a couple ways to accomplish this sort of thing. I did a price breakdown of a couple of them, one including 04-05 zx-10 forks. I did not include a new wheel so believe my research told me it was the same as the 650's. I did however include purchasing a versys lower triple and having it machined. They're apparently really beefy so allow some machining. I believe the fork tube at the lower triple was too large of a diameter to fit the z1000 or versys. It would fit the zx-10 triple of course but then you need to make steering stops and the stem may or may not be long enough.
The zx-10 forks are also less common and more expensive. Financially it worked out better to use 636 forks even if it meant getting a new wheel.
 

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Thanks for all the answers to my questions! I actually read all those threads a few months ago lol. Am revisiting them. Its soooo much to read.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Happy to help!

Handlebar clamp bolts measured center to center:
Top 3.90 inches
Bottom 4.62 inches
Right or left side 1.375 inches
 

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Happy to help!

Handlebar clamp bolts measured center to center:
Top 3.90 inches
Bottom 4.62 inches
Right or left side 1.375 inches
Thanks again! Was also wondering, you mentioned the rotors swap right over, but I though the calipers for the ZX6R were different?
EDIT: The caliper spacing for the ZX6R is what I menat was different.

Wouldnt that affect clearance between your new calipers and the old 300mm rotors?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Rotor diameter and hence caliper spacing is the same between the two bikes at 300mm. If you get forks designed for 290mm and want to use 300mm you'll need to make spacers to shim out the calipers and get longer mounting bolts.
 

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Ah ok. I thought that model you got the forks from were a smaller (280) rotor. I think if I carry on with this I will end up with 2005 zx6r forks and a versys triple. The 2005 forks are sprung very close to my current springs (0.85)
 

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Dj, Thanks again for being so helpful. Tried digging for a service manual to find the answer to my next question but the place where I normally get manuals isnt working at the moment. Do you know (or are you able to get the front tire off the ground and measure) the length of the forks end to end? I and still researching on possible clearance issues if I go with this route and considered clip ons as an option, so a slightly longer fork would be desireably to get above triple clip ons.
 
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