1980 cb750 front end swap
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1980 cb750 front end swap

This is a discussion on 1980 cb750 front end swap within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; So the bike is running and I've had a chance to take it up some canyons, and I have to say the brakes and suspension ...

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  1. #1
    Member generalyen's Avatar
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    1980 cb750 front end swap

    So the bike is running and I've had a chance to take it up some canyons, and I have to say the brakes and suspension in the front are terrible. I know that when I first started building this bike that there were a lot of members on here that advised that I should change the front end for performance sake. So a front end of a zx7r fell into my lap. 200 bucks and it's mine. The question is other than obviously better braking and new technology, will I actually see better handling out of this? The reason I ask, in my head it seems like those will end up lowering the front end which I would think would throw all the steering geometry out of wack. And I don't want to lower the bike. Does anyone have first hand experience with zx7 swap? Or should I be on the lookout for a 900f or 1100 f front end?

  2. #2
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    You can get custom triples made up to hold the forks lower down and "lengthen" them, but it is what it is and you will lose ride height with the stock trees.

    Whether it drops the front too much is something you probably just have to try and see.

    On the other hand, a front end off a Bandit 1200 will have slightly longer forks and comparable braking / handling to a ZX7.

  3. #3
    Member generalyen's Avatar
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    I was actually wondering about the bandit forks. Now if only I could find one for a good price.

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    Senior Member J-Rod10's Avatar
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    Set of CBR600F2 (the 94 model) or F3's would be a major improvement.
    www.slipstreamcycle.com

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    Member generalyen's Avatar
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    Is there a difference in length from the cbr to the zx7 forks? From what I have researched it sounds like the length of the zx7 is 28.5'', I measured out my forks not loaded and they are at 34". Plus losing another inch from the 17 inch wheel and God damn that's a big difference.I'd imagine that would drop my rake and trail considerably.

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    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    So this is why it pays to do research and buy parts conservatively rather than just grab any old thing lying around because you think it is cheap.

    First off, what model CB750 do you have? F model supersport? K? or C bike? Why does that make a difference? because each has their own rake and trail differences (due mostly to suspension differences) and if you are starting from a K bike you also want to figure out how to get the bike to F model specs while doing the swap.

    It also pays to research what is already being done with these bikes. For instance, most people who want to swap to a modern front end use the CBR F1 forks from the 1980's because the overall free standing length is 31" from fork cap to axle center (how you measure forks, if you are using the bottom cap and not the axle center as your datum you are cheating yourself as any length below the axle doesn't affect the height). You need to check the bearings and stem height but I think the cbr trees may bolt on to the cb750 neck with little to no modification. Most people swapping to this front end usually upgrade to later cbr brakes and a cbr 600 F2 wheel. Since these are really old sportbike parts you usually can get them for less than the $200 you have paid for the zx7 front end.

    You need to swap the rear to a 17" if you are swapping to a 17" front. This eliminates the problem of the extra drop you are seeing by switching to a 17" from a 19". European cb750s used an 18" front so there is some wiggle room. The hot swap for this bike is to use the cbr600 F2 rear wheel. It uses the same axle diameter as the cb750 and the sprocket carrier I think is also in the same place. You can make it a bolt on deal by swapping the sprocket and mixing and matching the 600 and 750 rear wheel spacers. It's a really easy swap.

    If you are dead set on wasting your time with this zx7 front end, you need to set the bike upright on it's wheels and start taking measurements as to rake trail, etc....and then do the math to figure out your rake and trail to make sure you aren't getting into dangerous numbers.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
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    Member generalyen's Avatar
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    I kind of thought this was research, thus the reason I asked. I haven't bought the ZX front end I was just asking if it would be a waste of time and money, I've already done enough of that with this project. The bike is a 750c ( I know what a shitty platform to start with). Anyways I do have a 17 inch comstar rear already. I didn't know that the f1 and f2 were 31 inches, I will probably go that route. Right now I have 14 " shocks, do you think I'll need to drop the rear a bit? I guess I'll just have to measure after the swap. Thanks for the help

  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    The C model can use all the help it csn get. I would put the shocks up to 14.5", but make sure you have a 17" front and rear. I know you said you have a 17" already but check that again to make sure it is not a 16". Your bike will look ghetto with the mismatched wheels, but the more important reason to switch to the modern rear is the width. With a cbr front wheel your front tire will be as wide as your rear which isn't great. It's going to change the dynamics of you bikes handling when leaned over (ken can correct me on this but I think the wider front may cause your bike to run wider in the turn than it should).

    its very limited to ask will this part fit. It's better research to approach the problem from the goals side of the equation and see what parts will get you there. One way is very closed minded because you are searching for a particular set of parameters, the other way is more open minded because you are searching for all the parameters that get you to the end goal. It's always better to take measurement and then figure out what parts you need to get there than it is to have parts and figure out how to get to your measurements.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 10-31-2015 at 07:32 AM.
    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

  10. #9
    Member generalyen's Avatar
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    Yeah the rear wheel is off a hondamatic that's why it's a 17inch. I know what you mean about switching the rear wheel but I have a problem, the frame is already powder coated so I'm stuck with drum rear. Or I can try to do a spoked wheel combo but that shit is expensive. But I think that is going to be my only option to rock a wider rear.

  11. #10
    Senior Member J-Rod10's Avatar
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    Or, you could have the frame re coated to get a properly set up bike.
    www.slipstreamcycle.com

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