Joe...might want to think about it if it's going to cost you much. It's kind of overkill. A properly setup SA with bushings is fine for just about anything short of a GP bike.
You'd have to have a set of $1000 Ohlins shocks to utilize the friction difference. Course Needles will hold a tighter side to side stiffness than bushings in the long run. But..make sure the setup is made so that there is a thrust surface between the SA and the frame (like flanged bushings have)...cause if it doesn't have something to maintain alignment (direct side to side thrust) in the frame it's kind of pointless.
it'll have needles as the bearings, with an inner race of tool steel. then bronze collars/flanges to act as thrust surfaces between the sa and frame. total material cost is going to be about 65 bucks with most stuff comming from msc. less than the silicon honda sells ya and less than most people can actually machine them for. ive seen ohlins shocks for a vintage bike. (picture someplace on the web of something, i cant remember). the guy wants to do it for me, so im letting him. he does alot of swingarms for modern bikes. he is in talks with yamaha to get pre-release bikes to build aftermarket swning arms. was a vip for yamaha at the gp. so im going to trust he knows what hes doing. i want to buy an ohlins sterring stabilizer. i want to get the works ultralites for it for suspension. bmws all have ball bearing swingarms.
well, the bearnigs are in, they fit nicely. and i machined the inner races last night. so thats done. now ill need to cut them to length and fit up the cups or thrust surfaces onto the ends. it looks very very trick and should work the bomb. this is something anyone can do with a lathe. and for that matter, only the inner races are the part that need to be made up. the bearings were off the shelf items. and it all came to less than 65 bucks from msc. the drixtons have needle sa bearings in them also ive found out. and, we are discussing bearings for the shock mounting points. its pretty cool to have a modern bike guy and machinist/welder around the shop nowadays. ill try and get pics next time im there so you can see the progress.
I have Ohlins on my 350 racebike. They are very cool. I have a braced and lengthened swing arm too. Also very cool. I thought I had SA bushing issues when in fact it was just all the weak stuff flexing. In fact my whole chassis is very cool. Just like me.
Ken (way cool) Essex
ill have an ohlins steering stabilixer and works shox most likely. did you have your shocks built custom?? i already have more into the thing than alot of people put into stockers and i dont even have the motor together yet or paint or wheels built. i do like your swing arm. i decided to leave mine alone other than shaving it. my current ride has an sl swing arm. but im going to just be running the stock deal. i like the way my bike turns in alot. so im going to stick with the same basic geomtry if i can. how much bracing do you have on your frame. ive been riding marshalls frame and its so braced it vibrates alot. my feet and calves are usually asleep from the buzzing in 3 laps. but it does handle nicely. it sits alot lower than my setup, so it doesnt seem to turn in as quick since im lower in the seat. could be the longer swing arm too i guess. plus hes got a marzochi from end. so it might have a little more rake. as soon as i can ill get pics.
chris' tz has sa bearings in the cups on the end of the swing arm skewer. pretty cool.
Framecrafters in IL did my frame and swingarm and got me the shocks. I don't think the shocks were custom since I got them in a couple of weeks. They were about $500. The frame had some tubes added to tie the backbone to the swingarm pivot area. The sideplates that are the rear pegmounts are welded to the frame and the seams are welded. The swingarm is braced acording to the AHRMA rulebook. I haven't noticed an increase in vibration. I have XL350 front forks in reamed out stocktriple clamps with tapered rollers on the steering stem. It handles really well. Plus it is cool in case I hadn't mentioned it.