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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I ran into madmaxx on another board and was helping answer some questions for him. So as a sign of good will I have decided to post the info he wante here so we have something productive (ain't I just a nice guy)

ok so here are some pics of my now dormant 1974 h1/ fzr bike. These are the only pics I have and the bike is in the back of pop's garage and not easy to get to:

















Ok, this is probably the slowest project I have ever worked on. I have been building this bike since 2002 and haven't worked on it yet in 2007. That being said here is all the info I can muster:

Rear end:
The rear is a stock 1988-89 fzr400 swingarm I found in a junkyard. The pivot bolt is the same size as the h1 as is the swingarm width. I removed a set of washers from the end caps and the swinger bolted in with the stock h1 mount. For the shocks I took the arm to a friend of mine who tig welded (the arm is aluminum) the dual shock mounts. In retorspect I should have monoshocked it but I wanted the look of dual shocks. If I were to monoshock it I would have cut the mid brace top shock mount out of an fzr600 and welded it into the h1 frame (the fzr600 subframe is steel). The fzr600s have a very similar swingarm but it is steel which makes adding the dual shock mounts easier if you want to go that way. Howvever you are going to need the fzr400 rear wheel and brake as it is narrower and the chain line is almost spot on for an h1 (it is spot on for an h2 - between 1/4 and 1/8 inch off for an h1). Instead of the 160 rear the fzr400 runs you want a 150 and either deck the sprocket carrier or use an custom motor sprocket to make up the diff (sprocket specalists). I used 2002 r6 rear sets because the rear master is the same and the rearset brackets have the mounts for the master built on to them. Easy as pie. All of this should work for an early h1 and early h2 as well. The fzr400 arm is too short for a later h2 and makes the bike look funny. You will have middle pipe clearance issues with this setup so be prepared to run custom chambers or hack existing aftermarket ones. Stock exhaust is too heavy and valuable to waste time modifying it to work. If you can used wirges pipes are junk and cheap (worse performes than stock pipes) - therefore you can hack them if you are a DIY. If you want to pay someone tomcat on the kawi board will make you a set for around $700 or so (don't quote me on that) and the bike will scream.

Front end:
I did it the hard way. I had a machinist grind and press out the h1 stem and then I put it in the fzr600 lower clamp. I got the whole front end from a wrecking yard for $100 so I didn't mind the expirmentation. The 1994 FZR600 front end has a steel lower clamp so my h1 stem was welded in after it was installed in the clamp. After that I bored the top of the clamp to slip over the larger h1 stem and bolted her on. The end result looks like kawasaki did it from the factory. Since then someone else has figured out how to adapt a gsxr front end using only a spacer for the top (the bottom bearing surface of the fzr600 and the h1 take the same bearings, that is why I chose it - the gsxr front end swap is common on fzrs). Search kawasakitriplesworldwide.com and you'll find the post on it.

Maxx - there is a guy in sweeden with a really trick 1970 h1 with h2 motor and GSXR upsidedown forks and monoshock rear - looks badass. You can e-mail me any time with questions and trouble shooting, I am pretty helpful when it come to this end of things.

hope the air is clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
quote:
geeto,

did you steal that front wheel off of the artist formerly known as prince?

texy
The 94 FZR600 I got the front end from was green with purple wheels - If you watched the first batman movie this was the joker's colors. Ugly as anything.

If I had it to do all over again I would seriously just put the entire h1 motor into the fzr600 frame. The original FZR 600s have steel frames (the 400s are all alumiumn except the subframe) which makes it easier to mount. I know of three guys who have done this with 1986 600 ninja's for the same reason (steel frame) and a guy in the netherlands with one in a zxr400 frame. This would make it closer to being a street replica of the two stroke MOTOGP machines I grew up watching. I figured it out and it is actually less work putting the engine in and fitting the oil tank and motor CDI in the fzr600 frame than it is bracing the h1 frame and adapting the suspension components - it is just more welding work.

The differences between the fzr400 and 600 rears are the swingarm is steel, the brakes are different, and the 600 wheel is slightly wider without the chain line changing. The first year fzr600 (1988?) should have a rim that is the same as the fzr400s. If you wanted to keep your rear wheel, scrambler 73 on the kawi triples board used just the arm with a stock drum brake rear and was ablet to get it all to work together fine with little mods. His bike is badass and weighs in at 313lbs with an h2 750 motor.

I happen to like the kawi stock controls which is why I kept them. The wiring is pretty easy on an h1 as long as you leave the engine harness alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
quote:
geeto,

did you steal that front wheel off of the artist formerly known as prince?

texy
The 94 FZR600 I got the front end from was green with purple wheels - If you watched the first batman movie this was the joker's colors. Ugly as anything.

If I had it to do all over again I would seriously just put the entire h1 motor into the fzr600 frame. The original FZR 600s have steel frames (the 400s are all alumiumn except the subframe) which makes it easier to mount. I know of three guys who have done this with 1986 600 ninja's for the same reason (steel frame) and a guy in the netherlands with one in a zxr400 frame. This would make it closer to being a street replica of the two stroke MOTOGP machines I grew up watching. I figured it out and it is actually less work putting the engine in and fitting the oil tank and motor CDI in the fzr600 frame than it is bracing the h1 frame and adapting the suspension components - it is just more welding work.

The differences between the fzr400 and 600 rears are the swingarm is steel, the brakes are different, and the 600 wheel is slightly wider without the chain line changing. The first year fzr600 (1988?) should have a rim that is the same as the fzr400s. If you wanted to keep your rear wheel, scrambler 73 on the kawi triples board used just the arm with a stock drum brake rear and was ablet to get it all to work together fine with little mods. His bike is badass and weighs in at 313lbs with an h2 750 motor.

I happen to like the kawi stock controls which is why I kept them. The wiring is pretty easy on an h1 as long as you leave the engine harness alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
quote:
Hey geeto, where can I find a site that does stuff like this all day long?
There are a LOT of people who do it on that triple site.... but is there a site JUST for "streetfighter" stuff.
Ya know....
Old style engine and frame with new style suspension?


I dragged the H1 home. It is COOOOOL!
I love the H1a's. They are beautiful. This one will have more tricks than a magician!!!!
I haven't even tried sliding the swingarm in the frame.... I am in the process of rebuilding a KZ650 and don't want parts everywhere.....
Maybe next week!

_______________
The Madmaxxy pad, now comes with a months supply of mytol.
As far as I have found there isn't a site dedicated to old bikes with new suspensions. Technically they are not streetfighters because streetfighters are modern race replicas (GSXR, CBR, ZX, YZF) that have all the plastic taken off and a lot a speed parts put on and setup to go as fast as possible stop light to stop light. These old bikes with modern suspensions really don't have a classification although I have heard of people call them modernized cafe racers or "specials" (british term for hopped up bike). I find there are actually quite a few on this site that are doing what we are doing but they don't chime in usually because there is so much (sooooooooooo much) cb350 chatter and not enough talk about stuff like this. I have to find it but somewhere I have pics of my buddy's bike when we put a ducati 916 front end on a 1975 kz900 (he was also running a gsxr swingarm with a large by huge 200 marchensei (sp?) wheel we got from when confederate closed the first time) so I know there are others out there doing it, just getting in touch with them is the hard part.

The one thing I didn't like about tomcats site is most of them are focused on restorations, although cody (scrambler 73) does great work and his cafe kh500/h2 is one of the most badass bikes I have seen.

Early h1s are one of the coolest bikes in my opinion. I have a 1971 frame that I am thinking of using as a basis for "the ultimate triple", A bike that looks semi stock but is so trick you don't notice it at first. The specs I have so far are:
1971 h1 frame (braced),
1970 peacock gray bodywork (best looking triple I think),
1973-1976 500 swingarm (longer) with s2-s3 rear hub (lightest rear drum - I may also use an early gs rear wheel with vintage disc brake instead),
1973-76 500 disc brake front (with ex500 caliper conversion) in 1972 disc brake triple trees.
Black anodized excel rims,
1972 H2 750 engine (ported of course with a backcut transmission), tomcat pipes,
1973 h1 cdi system,
and that is about it. I am still not sure if I want to go full period cafe and do clip ons, rear sets, and a bubble back seat or do superbike low bars, stock pegs and a stock seat and rear fender. I am leaning to the period cafe thing but it would be cool to have another Q-ship style sleeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
for some reason the japanese love doing this kind of stuff (building balls to the wall customs out of old bikes).MY cousin who works for nintendo and lived in tokyo for 5 years used to send me all sorts of groovy stuff. It's like amreicans and muscle cars, a big part of thier heritage.

The bozokou are badass btw, there is a great book on them out there, not to get off the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
are you going to mono-shock it? personally I would. Go find a wrecked fzr600 frame and cut the subframe and shock mounts out of it (they are steel) and weld them into the frame. also when you get the engine check the chain line - you may have to have one of the drag racers fab you a motor sprocket.

looks like a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I used the FZR400 swingarm on the H1 frame because I used to have both an FZR400 and an FZR600 when they were just throw away used bikes. Being plugged into the yahoo FZR400 group allowed me to score an entire fzr400 rear setup wheel to pivot, and having the fzr400 bke around allowed me to measure stuff before I bought anything. I knew I wanted the 400 because alloy.

The fzr600 arm is easier to work with because...steel. I personally kept it twin shock because I really didn't want to reinvent the wheel with this and I really wanted an otherwise stock looking bike and even wanted to retain the side covers. At one point this was the first h1 with the fzr swingarm swap (I knew of one other h2 and that guy gave me advice), but looking at it now some of the plans I had for it seem dated and cafe cliches (CEV speedo headlight bucket off an italian bike? so 2005).

To be honest this project taught me a lot more about what not to do than what to do and be successful. The h1 I bought was even missing it's title. The only good thing I did was get the junkyard h1 running before I tore the whole thing apart (literally all apart) to do the suspension. Every Newbie mistake that you could possibly make with a bike I have made it and learned the hard lesson. It was a doomed project from the start and as such I have reduced the bikes to a pile of parts in a storage locker and reformulated a plan...which I will get to in a minute.

If I had to do this all over again, there is a GSXR front end the kawi 2 stroke guys use that is a direct bolt on with bearings. the FZR stem used the same lower diameter as the h1 but the stem was much longer and tapered and I couldn't find a top bearing in the odd size it was which is why I did the stem swap. I wouldn't do it again, I would just chase down that GSXR front end.

so my new plan is a 1971 frame, 1969 bodywork, 1974 h2 engine, and the FZR suspension parts. I am going to have to build the harness from scratch but I am going to try to use stock h2 CDI components. The biggest issue I am dealing with now is that it may require offset shocks because the mounts on the shock mounts on the 74 frame are wider spaced than on the 71 frame. I could just redo the shock mounts but that was a lot more work and besides I think there is a harley sportster that used offset mount shocks in the amount of offset I need (about 1/4"). All this is moot because the projects I want to get to in front of it are: the dunstall norton, the rickman cr750, and my old drag bike kh500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
A couple of things that just bubbled up to the surface of my brain while thinking about this.

At the time I used the 1989 FZR400 rear wheel also because it was 3.50 wide (fzr600s except for 1989 which also had a 3.50) and an 18" rear and in my stupid head this wouldn't upset the h1 chassis too much since the rear on the h1 was an 18" and the 140 tire I wanted to run wasn't that big a jump from the 120 stock tire. Did I mention I did this all when I was horribly green? I also thought the 17" front was a great idea because that's what the stock fzr used and how else do you mimic handling by using the same parts. Rake, trail, and wheelbase didn't even occur to me at the time, fortunately since revisiting it worked out that rake and trail are ok, but the wheel base inflated by a couple of inches which for the intended purpose of the bike as a street only GT roadster, rather than a race replica, seemed to make sense in that it might help eliminate some of the h1's inherent short wheelbase twitchy-ness. I am not saying I made smart choices with this by the way, but in some cases I am stuck with what I am stuck with.

Now about the sprockets and chain line. On the h1 engine there was a Triumph TT600 engine sprocket I lucked into discovering was an offset perfect for the FZR rear sprocket carrier. I couldn't tell you the year now but the spline count and offset was perfect. The FZR400 I think used a weird chain size (468?), but my goal was to go to a 520 with custom sprockets till I saw what custom sprockets cost. I discovered this right around 2003 so I don't think it is the 2003-2004 TT600 models. Oddly enough one TT600 forum has told me 96~98 ZX6R and 01~03 GSXR600 are interchangeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
1) Well first off it's unsprung weight so any little bit makes a huge difference. IIRC, and it has been years since I weighed them, there is approx a 20lb difference between them.

2) I can't answer that. The "hinge" in the frame is in the frame itself, not in the suspension bits. So without bracing in the frame it is still going to be the same old flexy flier h1, a bike kenny roberts once described as winding up like a spring in the corner entry to allow it to spring forward upon exit. Don't get me wrong, good suspension bits will absolutely be felt as decades of kawasaki racing experimentation has shown, but if you are doing this all on a stock, unmodified frame then it is the same as building a tubbed 9 second drag car without a rollcage. There is a reason why all the triple road racer frames look radically different than the street bike stuff and every frame builder like rickman and dresda tried to make this engine work in other chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I do not have an objection to the three spoke rims:

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but some of the Japanese guys have figured out how to do VFR single sided arm swaps. I think it was a Swedish or dutch guy who figured it out first.

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But the japanese guys love their monoshocks.

not that the english don't have their share of love for these bikes:
Land vehicle Vehicle Motor vehicle Motorcycle Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Wow 20lbs?!? Out of a swingarm. Crazy. I need to weigh mine tonight and see how much it weighs. I wasn't expecting that much difference.
I said roughly or approx. Actual weight may vary. I do remember the 400 arm being shockingly light and the 600 arm being shockingly and unnecessarily heavy. Also be advised the 88-89 400 arm is different than the 90 arm (for US bikes) and I think the earlier arm is lighter. It is an extremely noticeable difference that is for sure.


Let me ask this, can I assume sice you are going twin shocker you don't feel the monoshock is enough of an advantage to be worth the time?
When I started this project I was a single student working in a one car garage I shared with a car without access to a welder, a shop, or even a lift, and only hand tools. everything I needed to weld or machine I had to take somewhere and pay for someone to do. I was lucky in that I had good friends in the New Orleans bike community (pre-katrina) and was able to get the work done I needed done for less than $200. I didn't want to have to figure out how to relocate a battery, or create more custom stuff that required welding or fabrication. It wasn't a matter of effort or improvement this was a "budget" project for me and I needed to be smart about my logistics and economics. I would have loved to throw buckets of money at this bike but I just didn't have it. Did I mention I made every newbie mistake?

If i had this to do over I probably would have mono-shocked it since I had a wrecked FZR600 at my disposal (and the 600 subframe is steel and could have just been cut out and welded in). I thought about it a lot but in the end it was ability and finances that dictated the direction and I was already in over my head.

Like all the newbs say I already have a fast bike so this one just needs to look pretty blah blah blah. I have several other bikes and Im not racing so I want to be able to ride it and have fun but Im not chasing gixxers or going for a trophy. With that said it isn't about looks I want it to handle better than stock but I'm not trying to make it into an R6.
kawasaki triples are one of those bikes where you are just trying to bring them up to par. Dead stock they are no more or less than most 70's jap stuff, but the moment you start to make more power with it the bike's flaws all bubble up to the surface at once and it ends up just being a poor handling savage animal. I don't think anyone will fault you for what you are trying to do here, if there was ever a bike that needed real mods it is this one.

I do plan on bracing the frame once I get all of the planning worked out on suspension, thats why I didnt really mention it. I could use an H2 frame I have but the 500 seems to be a better frame after some bracing and tweaking.
The 73-75 h1 frames are better than the h2, they still don't handle worth a shit but they don't flex as much. the KH500 is the best stock frame and it doesn't flex (and also doesn't handle) so at least it is predictable. The real flexy fliers are the 69-72 h1 and 72-73 h2s - even the grab rails are structural on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
BTW, you don't have to go crazy - history has proven that if you take the lotus approach to these bikes as well they tend to handle better also. Scrambler73 on the kawi board built that beautiful kh500/750 that used mostly stock parts but was 360 lbs wet. KH500 frame, alloy tank and oil tank, fiberglass seat, s1 rear hub, stock forks, ex500 brake conversion, fzr400 swingarm, works shocks, mini headlight, led signals and tail:

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the whole bike was a study in lightness and how far one could take it with a street bike that still handled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Still not feeling any of those 3 spokes, yuck. The mismatched wheel are even worse. The single sided swinger is pretty cool though.

You still have this project bike don't you? Is the direction still budget minded?
Yes and no. Now that I am married with a kid and saving for a house there is very little disposable income for this nonsense. However there are some things I am not going to be able to cheap out on and will have to redo. I don't mind spending for the right parts if they are best solution for the issue, but I also don't want to spend for unnecessary work that will prolong anything. All this is moot because like I said, the project is jammed into a closet and not going anywhere. It is so far from running I would like to get some of my other projects that are much closer out of the way. I have a street racer 1976 cb750F that just needs me to throw parts and money at it and it's a fully functioning motorcycle which I can sell and fund other things....but I need the bike to be in ohio first.

I just finished a couple months ago welding certifications and feel confident with plenty of parts and enough understanding to do it but if the advantages aren't big enough then its more of a risk for me than a reward. If I do it and fail it may never get done whereas if I just stick with a twin shock steel 600 swingarm it can move a lot faster. I may have just answered my own questions. I think I was asking really to make sure someone didnt speak up and say im an idiot and it has to be mono or the bike will never work. Will it be perfect a little heavier and twin shocked, no but it will probably get done.
the h series bikes are really so screwed with the world over that every configuration has been tried. I seem to remember 10 years ago there was a Japanese ex-pat in hawaii who was making swingarm setups with eccentric axle adjusters and in either mono or dual shock flavor. MotoCarrera and trac dynamics make off the shelf bolt on parts that honestly if they had existed at the time I was first doing this I would have just spent the money and bought one (hence another noob mistake - throwing jewelry at junk for the sake of look and lack of understanding). If I had it to do over I am not sure the tact I would take. Knowing what I know now I might do an h series in an S series frame instead and just kept it light.


I'll weigh my swingarm tongiht and see what it weighs, I also have another one on the shelf that I got in some H2 parts that isnt stock but I dont know what it came off of. I'll weigh it too and see if I can figure out what it is. I also need to weigh the wheels to see how much of a weight savings I am getting and if I have room to clear the chain.
I think when I weighed stuff back in 2002 I weighed the whole assemblies (wheel, brake, arm, etc) and that is where the 20lb difference came from. It was a 1989 fzr400 setup with a 3.50 wheel and a 1994 FZR600 setup with a 4.00 wheel. But then again there is a reason guys jam 600 motors into the little fzr400 - done right there is actually a 600 powered street going one that is 298lbs wet, but that is an extreme diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
BTW Geeto, you are dead wrong about Kawasaki twins. I really like the A1Ra and the replica frame with an S series triple is more gooder. So to speak.
i meant the 4stroke kz twins with four spinning chains inside. Of course two stroke Kawi twins are excused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
that was a joke for all of those who are typing responses right now
Trust me, nobody is taking you seriously on anything. Now Shhh!!! The grown up are talking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I'm torn on where to go with it, I feel like the modern framed specials are too played out and the h1r replicas are cool but still not to my liking.
Do you see a lot of either in real life? see that's the real bad part about the Internet, it makes you think there are more of them then there actually are in this world. I feel like this is the Internet fashion getting the better of you, tune it out and decided what you really want.

I just want something that doesn't look insane but that's handles well enough to throw it around in the mountains. I think in going to stick with fz600 swinger, braced h1 frame, mild h2 engine and some light wheels, either aluminum laced or dymag. Depending on the outcome of weighing the components I have right now I may go inverted forks. Should be a decent little ripper. If there was something that jumped out as obviously a million times better I would do it but unless an fz400 swinger comes up for sale I'll stick with what I have.

One thing is for sure it won't be getting knobby tires
i think there are a lot of ways to answer the parts selection question. Given your size I would almost say the h series engine in an s series frame might be the better way to go. Jeff G from PA built one a while back that was just an h1 in an s3 frame and the bike was a little rocket ship. Plus it follows the old adage of "want to get an h series bike to handle? Chang the frame". I know it isn't in the parts pile of h stuff you currently have, but still the s3 is generally regarded as one of the best handling triples. Here is the tutorial from the resource site if you are considering it:
400 Conversion
 
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