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CB550 swingarm?

This is a discussion on CB550 swingarm? within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I am as new as one can be to building a cafe racer. One thing I was wondering is, is there a good way to ...

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Thread: CB550 swingarm?

  1. #1
    Junior Member kawiman636's Avatar
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    CB550 swingarm?

    I am as new as one can be to building a cafe racer. One thing I was wondering is, is there a good way to put a newer sportbikes swingarm on a CB550? I was hoping one would be a fairly easy swap so that I could use a wider tire than comes on the CB550.

    Any help would be great

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Um....no.

    The stock swingarm will easily accommodate up to a 140 tire. Why do you want bigger than that? Do you not like riding or something?
    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: What does that mean, "we're not in?"
    Annette: Wild guess? I think it means they're not in.
    Bobby: Boy, it's quite a piece of dialogue when you intellectual masterminds get together! I should be writing this down!

    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: But what does "we" mean?
    Bobby: [impossibly sarcastic] I think it's the plural form, meaning "more than one." Would you like me to conjugate that for you, Pop? Do you know what "conjugate" means, Dad?

  4. #3
    Senior Member Big Bad Bob Dog's Avatar
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    Slabside gixxer swingarm has the correct dimensions to fit in. You then need to make sleeves for the pivot pin/bearings, either convert the frame for a mono shock, or prepare the the swingarm for dual dampers and grind off the mono shock mount, and you want to take 2 inches off the swingarm in order to get the original length back (if you do this you will have to cut out the brace and weld something close to the pivot pin as the tire will hit).

    Get someone who knows what their doing. I had to deal with a lot of fuck ups when doing mine. Keep the stock wheel dimensions. Thank me later. Avon road riders are your friend.
    You don't even know how to stunt/coffee/chopper/moisturize bro.

  5. #4
    Junior Member kawiman636's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Bob Dog View Post
    Slabside gixxer swingarm has the correct dimensions to fit in. You then need to make sleeves for the pivot pin/bearings, either convert the frame for a mono shock, or prepare the the swingarm for dual dampers and grind off the mono shock mount, and you want to take 2 inches off the swingarm in order to get the original length back (if you do this you will have to cut out the brace and weld something close to the pivot pin as the tire will hit).

    Get someone who knows what their doing. I had to deal with a lot of fuck ups when doing mine. Keep the stock wheel dimensions. Thank me later. Avon road riders are your friend.
    Thanks! While waiting for a reply on here I did some digging and it seems a lot of people use the GSXR swingarm. I've also seen a lot of people using the 160 tire and it looks amazing. Is there something wrong with using the 160? Forgive me if thats aa stupid question

  6. #5
    Senior Member Big Bad Bob Dog's Avatar
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    The general consensus here is, "looks are bullshit, change things to make it stop, turn and go better."

    Your main concern shouldn't be how a 160 'looks'. If you plant an 18 inch, 160 tire one the rear, you are going to enter a world of under steer. If you throw in the gixxer wheel, and plod a 160 17", with what I'm assuming means your going to make damn well sure your front end is a comparable 17", which means changing the front end, which means making sure your geometry is correct or not going to kill you, this means your frame will now be the weak point which means bracing is in order. Modern rubber, 17" wheels, a frame that now feels like warm spaghetti and, ba dum, an engine that on it's best day make 50hp at the crank.

    You're better off sticking to the stock seized tires. A narrow tire means you can change direction quicker, not to mention you would be saving yourselves a shitload of work for no reason. Like I said. Avon road riders are your friend.

    My bike isn't perfect. But once she's registered she'll be fun. The box alloy swingarm is not only half the weight of the standard shit, but it doesn't bend with your hands pressing on it like the stock one either.



    Do not do this.



    Read up on geometry.
    You don't even know how to stunt/coffee/chopper/moisturize bro.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    listen to bobdog, he knows his shit because he has years into that 550 of his not counting the time to research. And he probably is still 2 years away from it being perfectly dialed in and daily reliable. that's how much time some of this stuff really takes to make it work as it should. the red "do not do this" bike posted above looks "good" (and I use that term loosely) on the internet but I have seen it in real life and it is literally a death trap - the rear tire alone hits no less than 8 sharp things (most of them bolt heads which are wearing a grove in the tire) in its full range of travel. it can't go around a turn without dragging everything bolted, stapled, or glued to the side of the bike, and pogos because of both bad suspension rates and bad rear geomerty.


    There is absolutley no functional reason to put a 160 rear tire on the back of an old cb550. as bobdog mentioned it kills your turn in and will make the bike understeer. the bike doesn't make enough power to require the larger contact patch either.

    since you are talking about a cb550, I am going to guess you are probably a cheap motherfucker too, or at least you are doing things on a budget. honestly the "easiest" bolt on solution to getting your big fat rear meat is to have someone make you a custom swingarm. It is a throw money at it kind of solution but it will work better, take less time, and the builder won't even need the bike to fab the arm (though he will to test fit it).

    believe it or not, people still race the cb550 in vintage classes. maybe you ought to get out to an AHRMA race and have a look around the pits and see what making old shit go around a bed really requires instead of thinking how poseur chopper cool a 160 tire will make you on your anti-chopper.
    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: What does that mean, "we're not in?"
    Annette: Wild guess? I think it means they're not in.
    Bobby: Boy, it's quite a piece of dialogue when you intellectual masterminds get together! I should be writing this down!

    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: But what does "we" mean?
    Bobby: [impossibly sarcastic] I think it's the plural form, meaning "more than one." Would you like me to conjugate that for you, Pop? Do you know what "conjugate" means, Dad?

  8. #7
    Senior Member crazypj's Avatar
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    You'll have to offset wheel to right or chain will rub on tyre if you try bigger than 140
    Even stock the frame is the weak point, it flexes where 'seat' tubes connect to main 'spar' under rear of tank, the paint will have flaked off if bike has ever been ridden moderately hard.
    When you brace that area, steering head flexes more, you can tell where the problems are by the rust
    591cc conversion and a cam help performance but ignition system is till a limiting factor.
    Head has small valves, it's a lot of work to do it right (but, bike is so much lighter and narrower than 750 I think it was worthwhile)
    Last edited by crazypj; 04-23-2013 at 10:41 AM.
    I dabble in rocket science, when I\'m not picking my nose
    The other night I gave my girlfriend an orgasm, but, she spat it back at me

    'you can take my word for it or argue until you find out I'm right'

  9. #8
    Junior Member kawiman636's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    listen to bobdog, he knows his shit because he has years into that 550 of his not counting the time to research. And he probably is still 2 years away from it being perfectly dialed in and daily reliable. that's how much time some of this stuff really takes to make it work as it should. the red "do not do this" bike posted above looks "good" (and I use that term loosely) on the internet but I have seen it in real life and it is literally a death trap - the rear tire alone hits no less than 8 sharp things (most of them bolt heads which are wearing a grove in the tire) in its full range of travel. it can't go around a turn without dragging everything bolted, stapled, or glued to the side of the bike, and pogos because of both bad suspension rates and bad rear geomerty.


    There is absolutley no functional reason to put a 160 rear tire on the back of an old cb550. as bobdog mentioned it kills your turn in and will make the bike understeer. the bike doesn't make enough power to require the larger contact patch either.

    since you are talking about a cb550, I am going to guess you are probably a cheap motherfucker too, or at least you are doing things on a budget. honestly the "easiest" bolt on solution to getting your big fat rear meat is to have someone make you a custom swingarm. It is a throw money at it kind of solution but it will work better, take less time, and the builder won't even need the bike to fab the arm (though he will to test fit it).

    believe it or not, people still race the cb550 in vintage classes. maybe you ought to get out to an AHRMA race and have a look around the pits and see what making old shit go around a bed really requires instead of thinking how poseur chopper cool a 160 tire will make you on your anti-chopper.
    Wow i didnt sign up for this forum to be made fun of. I chose a CB550 because I heard I was a good bike to start with not because I'm a $^cking cheap ass! Screw this forum! I don't care how much knowledge aosomeone has iif they belittle someone who is just starting out

  10. #9
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    no you signed up to this forum to learn stuff and that is what you are doing.

    you may not be a "cheap ass" but search every 550 post on this thread and you will see an overabundance of people using the word budget, cheap, inexpensive, etc....Since you didn't give a proper introduction and didn't discuss your project or goals and posted a question a lot of those "cheap" dudes always ask....what's left then to make the assumption.

    you bug out now you are only hurting yourself. but then again, if someone guessing whether your are cheap or not when it comes to your project is what causes you to get all butt hurt then maybe you don't have the intestinal fortitude to play with motorcycles in the first place.

    personally I think $500-$1000 is too expensive to spend on a custom swingarm as well. But then again I have moderate experience playing with motorcycles, have access to freinds and family who have way more experience as well as welders, mills, lathes, and other heavy equipment, and kinda have a grasp on the important bits. You don't seem like you have any of that, so if you want easy - you sometimes have to overspend.

    Honestly, if this is your first bike, don't fuck with it - leave it stock and learn to service it and wrench it (provided you were smart enough to buy a running bike and not a pile of shitty disassembled parts with no title as most noobs are want to do). I'm guessing it isn't since your handle is a reference to the 636 ninja. either way - what is it you want to do with this bike? a cb550 is a good bike to start with for some things but not for everything.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 04-23-2013 at 11:13 AM.
    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: What does that mean, "we're not in?"
    Annette: Wild guess? I think it means they're not in.
    Bobby: Boy, it's quite a piece of dialogue when you intellectual masterminds get together! I should be writing this down!

    Frankie, the Big Kahuna: But what does "we" mean?
    Bobby: [impossibly sarcastic] I think it's the plural form, meaning "more than one." Would you like me to conjugate that for you, Pop? Do you know what "conjugate" means, Dad?

  11. #10
    Senior Member Big Bad Bob Dog's Avatar
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    A 636 is much more fun.

    If you grow a thick skin, you can learn a ton from this place.

    And hey. Geets. 1 Year.
    You don't even know how to stunt/coffee/chopper/moisturize bro.

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