KH500 frame bracing: necessary?
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KH500 frame bracing: necessary?

This is a discussion on KH500 frame bracing: necessary? within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I've finished the dry-build, including handling upgrades (tapered rollers in steering head,new shocks,rebuilt forks,fork brace,18" wheel on front).Now the frame is sitting bare with all ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member koob's Avatar
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    KH500 frame bracing: necessary?

    I've finished the dry-build, including handling upgrades (tapered rollers in steering head,new shocks,rebuilt forks,fork brace,18" wheel on front).Now the frame is sitting bare with all unused lugs& center-stand removed and it's decision time on whether or not to weld in some frame braces.From what I can find out, the KH500 has bracing/gussets that earlier models didn't have, but I can't find any information on how effective it is. I found a copy of Denco's suggested bracing, and I've read Tony Foale's articles on frame bracing, including specific recommendations for the Kawa H2 750 (agrees with Denco's ,a little more complex), but both of these are dealing with the earlier frames. Anybody here have KH500 experience,would extra bracing be worth the effort for a street bike (stock engine with improved intake & Wirges chambers, no racing ,just fast riding once in a while).Any other mod.'s that work to suggest?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    I drag raced a kh500 for a while, denco ports and chambers, big carbs, but otherwise a street bike.

    the KH500 frame is braced in a very heavy way. Were I to do it over and had unlimited time and energy to weld everything in I would use an early h1 frame and brace it the way Tony Foale and Tony (Nicosa - Denco's Drag-on Fly) would have done it instead.

    However if you are starting from a bare KH500 frame it is an excellent starting point - it is just a heavy frame.

    What frame are you using right now? There is a difference between the 1969-1972 and the 1973-1975 frames as well with the later frames needing less bracing. Also how much hp are you making and what is your riding style? an H1 loves a point and shoot style, and if you are looking to be more gran prix than stoplight hero I would brace the frame anyway.

    Though to be honest, if I was going to build another triple it would probably be an h1 in an s3 frame - which is about as badass as you can get short of an h2 in an s3 frame.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    scrambler 73 used a kh500 frame on his crazy kh750 bike:

    http://thekneeslider.com/archives/20...le-cafe-racer/

    http://www.hotrodhomepage.com/hrhp/2...00-wh2-engine/

    If I recall correctly he didn't brace the frame, just stabbed a 750 motor in, cut crap off, and let her fly.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    One final thing though - when I went to a rear slick on my kh500, I did brace the stock swingarm (this was long before I told the world on the triples board about fzr400 swinger conversions)heavily. Under hard launches the swingarm had a tendency to wrap and send the bike off in one direction or another. After bracing that wet noodle, it worked awesomer.


    BTW: this is what a road racing 1971 h1 frame looks like, bracing is done by Todd Schuster of BMW racing R90S fame:




    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    i think i know that guy!



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  7. #6
    Senior Member JPellegrino's Avatar
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    Wow Geeto! you lost a lot of weight[:X].
    "Its amazing what can be done when you don't know you can't do it" Bill Anderson

  8. #7
    Junior Member koob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info & links Geeto. Between what you say & Scrambler73's comments, I'm inclined to see how it works without the X-members in the downtubes for & aft of the engine, the biggest part of what I was considering. I'll put some gussets aft/below swingarm pivot tube, and a cross-member on the top rails aft of the shock mounts for now. Welded a 16 ga. plate under rear of gas tank to mount electrics on/ brace. You're right about it being a heavy frame, feels about double a Triumph oil-type frame; putting the bathroom scale under one wheel at a time,looks like the finished bike(dry)will come in under 350 lb. This is the only frame I have, and haven't rode the bike yet,it came home as a pretty rusty/dusty mix of mostly '76 KH500 parts with '73 parts, including a '73 engine as a spare/parts. I'm mounting the '73 carbs on the '76 engine w/ stock jetting for that year except the main jets, have a set of 100's & set of 102.5's to go in, (depending what's required when it finally runs)so I'm hoping for close to the stock 60 HP,maybe a tad more if the chambers help as claimed by Mr. Wirges. As for riding style,I like to try to cut a fast curve,but out here on the prairies there ain't many of those to practice on, so I make no claims as a GP rider,maybe an inspired wannabe?

  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    wirges chambers are shit. not all as the 1969 hand built ones hanging from my ceiling are excellent, but 95% of them are not those and thus shit. The reason a wirges chamber is shit is that it has a large internal baffle that streaches almost all the way to the front of the pipe. It gets caked up with 2 stroke gunk, chokes down the exhaust, and all of a sudden you lose power. If you are going to run wirges pipes I suggest you cut it open, remove said internal baffle, and weld it back up. If not you should at least have it boiled out so it isn't caked with crusty-ness.

    I strongly urge you to brace the stock swingarm, just a piece of sheet over the pivot and stock brace to box it all up. Works wonders.

    your finished bike will weigh over 400lbs. if the bike isn't level when you are weighing it you aren't getting an accurate reading. The only way to scale a bike is to use certified scales and have both tires on the scales at the same time. in a pinch you can do it one at a time but you have to pick the opposite end up at its furthest point so the bike is level when you weigh it.

    If you have a strong beam you can hang stuff from go get some industrial or sportsman hanging scales and weigh the bike like that - cheaper than real car/bike scales and will be more accurate than bathroom scales. A good sportsman scale for weighing a 300lb or less deer costs $45.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member OC Steve's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

    in a pinch you can do it one at a time but you have to pick the opposite end up at its furthest point so the bike is level when you weigh it.
    Geets, why would you need to lift the other end to get an accurate reading? I know, I should have been paying attention in geometry class. Or maybe physics class? I don't even know what subject I'm ignorant in here.

  11. #10
    Junior Member koob's Avatar
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    Yeah , I've seen mention of the clogging baffles in Wirges chambers; I've got a buddy w/ a hot caustic tank @ work, so was planning to get a cleanout before the paint & install. If a guy didn't want to cut& remove the baffles, I wonder if a yearly caustic-clean& paint would keep ahead of the crap build-up? With the boxing in of the swingarm, do you think 16 ga. would be OK, or go to 1/8" plate? Weighing the thing, I wondered if 350lb. was too good to be true, have to line up something a little more sophisticated and see what I get.Thanks for the info.

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