Kawasaki KZ650 cafe-racer. Chassis. Part 2.

Next part of work on chassis adaptation. I used 41mm fully adjustable front fork from Kawasaki ZX6R, however I didn’t install it in ZX6R triples. In my opinion ZX6R triples have too short forks offset, thus I preferred to make a mix of Kawasaki Zephyr 750 top yoke and Kawasaki ZR7 bottom yoke. ZR7 and Zephyr 750 triples are compatible, even as they have different design, and moreover, distance between fork tubes are similar not only for ZR7 and Zephyr 750 but also for ZX6R. This little fact simplifies matter of front wheel axle.

Here are bottom yokes, left is Zephyr 750 and right is ZR7.  However, take into account that I’ve already shortened stem of ZR7 yoke on this photo by 6mm. As you may see, ZR7 has steering stem of bigger diameter, and their upper ends have different design, as top yoke is fixed by bolt on Zephyr 750 and by nut on ZR7.

And here are three variants of steering stem nuts:

Right setup is original setup common for Zephyr 750, ZR7 and many other Kawasaki  motorcycles. Central setup is in fact combination of two upper (locking) nuts from right setup. Left nut  is compatible nut from some Honda. As you may see, right setup is a tallest among three, and as a matter of fact, it wouldn’t work for KZ650, as KZ650 upper steering bearing  slightly protrudes above the steering head:

Thus I figured out that central setup which is much lower  (6mm of difference) than original  and  might work  slightly more secure than classical one-steering-nut setup.  However, I also might use single nut which is for another 1.5mm lower than my setup.

To make steering stem compatible with two left set-ups I ordered to shorten stem for 8 mm on lathe (it might be easily done with ZR7 without stem removing).

ZR7 bottom yoke looked less accurate than Zephyr 750 unit, so I sandpapered it a bit. I also temporarily painted it into black using rattle can. I plan it later to be sand- or glass-blasted and painted in black properly, of course.

With that setup of steering nuts of mine I had to solve an issue of steering head dust protection.

For this purpose I picked steering head cup from Yamaha XJ550 which perfectly fit Kawasaki KZ650 steering head. It sits there like it was made for it:

Later I’ll replace it with new part; however for the moment used part would do perfectly.

And here we came to the end of this part of the story: steering unit is ready for top yoke and fork installation.

To be continued.



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