Rookie question about wheels.
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Rookie question about wheels.

This is a discussion on Rookie question about wheels. within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I am in process of building my first bike. I picked up a 1978 Kawasaki 650 today for $400. I am excited about the build ...

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  1. #1
    TheBusiness's Avatar
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    Rookie question about wheels.

    I am in process of building my first bike. I picked up a 1978 Kawasaki 650 today for $400. I am excited about the build and seeing all of the bikes you guys have on here just makes me want to get started even faster. The set of wheels that are on this bike are less than appealing. It has the tacky black and silver mag looking wheels the rear being a dainty 16 inch. I want to go to chrome spoke wheels like a lot of the bikes I have seen on here have. I was wondering if wheels are interchangeable from year and make? I dont have another bike or another set to see if they work so I was going to try and ebay some. I just want to see if they would fit if they were from say a 73 Honda or something. Thanks a lot guys. Cheers.

  2. #2
    FR
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    Senior Member FR's Avatar
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    Welcome. Generally speaking, yes and no, maybe. There are plenty of serendipitous wheel matches out there but it takes lots of research, trial and error to put 'em together. The common things like axle size and length may tempt you, but each bike can have a specific width for spacers, hubs etc.
    In most cases if you stay with the same brand but go up or back a few years, or over to similar models, you may be able to switch from mags to steel/spoke wheels. Anyway you go at it, you'll need to do some research and probably be ready to make new spacers etc.
    One thing that may help is to research the wheel bearing kits for various bikes, at least you'll find out if they have the same axle size...


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    sounds like you bought the chopper version of the kz650 (kz650-c2, I forget the name, LTD? Custom?). There is a standard version of the kz650 that came with spoke wheels. Don't know if you have to swap the whole front end or just the wheels but you might find more info about it here:

    http://www.kz650.info/
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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    TheBusiness's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Upon research I indeed bought the "chopper" version. I actually just traded it for a 76' CB750-four in equally good shape straight across. I'll post up pictures tomorrow of the beginning of the build. Thanks guys.

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    Senior Member parks61's Avatar
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    at this point, sounds like water under the bridge. but my process of dealing with wheel/ hub issues is tdo as accurate a drawing as possible...measuring the thickness of all spacers etc with relation to chain line and/or disk offsets. while wheel diameter can change relatively, tire diameter ultimately will affect the handling of your bike. so don't go too far adrift of original spec. some trial and error is possible (and maybr fun/educational) but be prepared to spend some time. and study trail, head angle, and wheel base of as many other bikes so you know the range of possibilities within you should aim. tricky business.
    -parks
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  7. #6
    Senior Member HackAsaw's Avatar
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    I am kinda partial to the shoulderless spoked alloys found CSR models

    which incidentally

    will pretty much just bolt right on your bike


    I hoard them and you can't have any of mine but if you get a spare WM3 or WM4 18" rear with a drum hub

    It should be mine as well

    heck I suppose I wouldn't be too mad if it was a disc brake hub

    here is a pair that jumped onto my red cafe racer

    and really, I swear it's a cafe racer

    Accidental inventor of the worlds fastest wearing rocker arms and other edible engine parts! Try my yummy blue cheese camshafts!

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    Senior Member HackAsaw's Avatar
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    oh now I see you got rid of it

    I sure hope you got him to throw in my 18' CSR wheel
    Accidental inventor of the worlds fastest wearing rocker arms and other edible engine parts! Try my yummy blue cheese camshafts!

  9. #8
    Senior Member UngaWunga's Avatar
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    If you have any spoked rear hubs with a disk brake, they should find their way to me....




  10. #9
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by TheBusiness

    Thanks guys. Upon research I indeed bought the "chopper" version. I actually just traded it for a 76' CB750-four in equally good shape straight across. I'll post up pictures tomorrow of the beginning of the build. Thanks guys.
    I'm not really sure who got the better deal in that trade...kz650s are wikked quick bikes, and more nimble than a cb750. About the only difference between the "chopper" version and the standard were the wheels and the handlebars.

    I hate to say it but cb750s are getting a little tired as cafe bikes. Seems like everyone and his brother wants or has one, would have been nice to see something different
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  11. #10
    Senior Member HackAsaw's Avatar
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    ok, let me know when you have what I am looking for in exchange

    I have several rears with discs

    quote:Originally posted by UngaWunga

    If you have any spoked rear hubs with a disk brake, they should find their way to me....
    Accidental inventor of the worlds fastest wearing rocker arms and other edible engine parts! Try my yummy blue cheese camshafts!

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