Well as seems to be the case with this project. It’s been two steps forward one step backwards. I’m losing the will with it at the moment.
When last I did an update I was awaiting tools so that I could remove the front axle and therefore the front forks. I managed to do this in the end and took them into the garage to have the seals redone. However after discussing it with them, they noticed some rather bad pitting on the inside of the forks hidden from view. They recommended that they would need to be rechromed sometime soon. As a short term solution to get me on the road I asked them to replace the seals anyway and I would look at more long term solutions.
However they simply couldn’t get the forks to come apart, they tried everything they could including using a blow torch to heat them up. So we had to abandon them. I have to give the garage thumbs up as they must of spent hours on them, but didn’t charge me a single penny.
That gave me a big headache, I saw little point in spending a fortune on similar ZXR400 forks as they would also be nearly 20years old and need work soon. I headed to the web to see if I could find a suitable alternative option.
What I was hoping for was some forks of the same diameter as the ZXR400’s but newer and more modern. This proved to be fruitless. I could just do a whole front end swap, but I wanted to not spend a small fortune on this! Eventually I settled on some forks that I think will work, I had to do a ton of research and all kinds of bikes to find out what would be best. I even had to use a spreadsheet :sick:
The ZXR400 forks are the following dimensions
Top Yoke Diameter 50mm
Bottom Yoke Diameter 52mm
The closest match I could find we GSXR 600 K6 forks, they match for everything apart from the brakes, bottom yoke, mudguard and axle….. Groan :sick:
Next I have to get the old forks back of the bike as I put them back on so I could use the ladder!
I then set about removing the yokes as well. I thought it would be a nightmare, but it wasn’t too bad
Next week I will be taking the axle in to be machined and a spacer created. As it’s a pretty close match. The yokes will be machined out from 52mm to 53mm. The light brackets will also need to be changed, but I’ve already sorted them out with some small rubber pieces to act as spacers.
I also had to find a new mudguard which was particular annoying as I’ve only just had this one made for me! I wanted something more similar to this bikes one
I managed to find a small triumph mudguard. I will need to make a custom mount for it
So there we go, another depressing update, but I can see some blue sky in the future at least now.
So an update on progress which has been up and down.
I didn’t fancy trying to fit the shock and new linkage myself so I booked it in at the local motorbike shop 100m away. They fitted it and it went well apart from the top linkage bolt size. The bolt is too small for the shock and due to the way the frame is braced they couldn’t just make a bigger hole. It looks ace in place though!
I went to an amazing local engineering shop to get them to make up a reducer for me. It was pure old school engineering no cnc stuff that I could see.
I then put the bike through another MOT which is failed again. ARRRGH! This time it was the front shocks which were misting slightly before are now leaking badly. Also the rear lights were an issue as the number plate light was too bright and caused problems.
So I started taking the front end apart to remove the shocks
Which is where I got stuck as I don’t have the correct tool to remove the front axle. I’ve got one side but not the other. I’ve ordered the tool which should be here this week.
I decided this was a good opportunity to move the key location so that I can tidy up the speedo area. I created a bracket to mount the key under the tank. Which I thought came out nice in the end.
Next I wanted to remove the old key hole to allow me to make a new speedo bracket.
It all is much tidier now and closer to my face.
Next up on the jobs I could do before tools arrive was to clean up the front brakes. As fork oil had leaked onto the pads and discs. I thought about cleaning the pads off, but decided it was far safer to replace them.
Finally I realised that the number plate light is not a legal requirement in the uk so it could go. This meant I could redo the rear bracket and make it simpler.
So I’m stuck waiting for tools before I can finally get it on the road. Fingers crossed the forks will be sorted this week.