09 August 2011

FZ1 Mod: Sourcing Parts

I'm getting closer to completing my Dream Mods:  R1 Fork Conversion and The Multiguage.  Earlier this year I posted about getting the spacer and forks for the fork conversion.  So far this year I've been diligently gathering parts, taking advantage of some great deals!

R1 Fork Conversion.  I have become a believer in slow and steady wins the race.  After I got the forks in February, I kept looking for the rest of the parts I needed to do the conversion.  To refresh your memory, here's the parts list to do the R1 Fork Conversion on the Gen 1 (2001-2005) FZ1 using the 2002-03 (5PW) Forks:
  • R1 Forks 
  • R1 Lower Triple
  • R1 Front Fender
  • R1 Front Axle
  • FZ1 Lower Triple (extra so you don't lose riding time)
  • Extension Adapters to retain the FZ1 front end height and use the Gen 1 upper triple
nsrrider's extensions up close
A word about the triple tree selection.  There are various options ranging from full custom to OEM R1 with a stem swap.  After a lot of research and private messages (thanks Devilsyam, tqmx1, nsrrider, and samotlietuvis) I decided not to use the full R1 Triple Trees like I thought I would when I got justy's spacer shroud.  I will keep my upper triple and use samotlietuvis's design for the skinny extension adapters.  This means I will just need to swap the FZ1 stem into the R1 bottom triple.

As I was sourcing parts, this seemed to be the simplest solution because there's some disagreement about mixing R1 generations parts.  I had trouble finding the matching 5PW upper triple and I wasn't sure which aftermarket upper I should get.  It was frustrating!  There's also something about offset between the different years that I didn't understand and didn't want to understand.  Using the extensions as designed by samotlietuvis meant I no longer had to think about any of that.  Instead I just needed to find a machinist to make it!  Devilsyam was kind enough to take care of getting them made for me and he also has some frame plugs that can double as fork caps.  If I hadn't been able to get Devilsyam's assistance, I could have gotten something similar from cycleoneoff.com.

With that decided, I moved on to the other stuff I needed.  I was able to get an axle from ebay with the spacers for a good price.  I don't know if I'll need the spacers or not, but it's nice to have them just in case I do.  Then I traded a K&N Filter for the extra FZ1 Lower Triple.  Within a few months, I had most of the parts in my possession with just the front fender left to find.

Finding the front fender proved to be more difficult than I expected.  Probably the hardest part to find because of what people are asking for used fenders.  You would be surprised to know what people want for heavily stickered, cracked, or damage fenders!  Their asking prices were often very close to what it costs to get a new fender.  I did find one on the R1 Forum with a hole in it for $20 but I thought I could do better with my money so I just waited and kept cruising that forum, cragslist, and searching eBay.

I don't need the front fender until the parts are ready to be swapped anyway so I had no issues leaving these overpriced items on the market.  In fact, I'd all but stopped looking when I got a message from a forum member offering me the extra front fender he had leftover from his front end swap.  SOLD!  It's a black fiberglass one that he says is stronger than the OEM.
And the best part is that he included some of the grommets I'll need.

In addition to the parts on the list, I also acquired an extra FZ1 Upper triple with risers.  I actually only wanted the risers because I suspected that mine were bent from the crash but ended up with the upper and lower triple sans stem.

Extra full FZ1 triple trees with risers
It actually looks better than mine and if it's not a pain to swap the ignition, I might use it instead!

So far, so good.  Now I'm just waiting on Devilsyam to send me the extension adapters and fork caps then I can get the parts to Over Two Customs.  My forks will need new seals and servicing.  I've also decided to upgrade the springs to make up for the extra weight of my bike over the R1.

I haven't even started swapping parts yet and it looks like I have an extra piece:  Justy's adapter.  I won't need it unless I can't wait for Devilsyam to send the adapters and buy an r1 upper just to get it done.  This option is more tempting than you realize because I'm in the process of upgrading the rear shock.

2008 R6 Shock
Rear Shock Upgrade.  This isn't a dream mod but it does make sense because I'm upgrading the front with the fork conversion.  Devilsyam developed a way to upgrade the rear shock on a budget using the r6 shock.  There are specific years that you should use but I don't remember what they are.  I do know you can use the 2008 shock because that's what I bought after consulting with Cruzman to make sure he understood what needed to be done to do this mod.  It was important because I don't have the tools to make the changes to the shock.

To use the R6 shock, you have to make a larger hole for the top mount, shave a bit off of the body for clearance, and get shorter dogbones (shock linkages).  I found a shock with less than 3k miles on it on an R6 Forum and got it for a better price than anything listed on ebay or what might be available with the Kit offered by an FZ1OA forum member.  Since I'd gone out on my own to source the shock I needed to decide about the dogbones.  I could go with that same guy's diy kit that included the dogbones and spacers or get my own.

I ultimately decided on adjustable dogbones because I could make my own for less than the guy's kit and I'd have the ability to lower the bike in the future.  This was a win-win until I discovered you could get custom ones made for $15 or $20 depending on design after I'd ordered the parts for mine.  Win some, lose some.  What I like about the custom ones though is that they're made right down the road from me in Athens, GA!

Oh well, I still have nice dogbones.

At the moment, I'm waiting for the longer bolts to come in so I can get them mounted.  With Cruzman's help, I was able to determine I needed M12 x 130 mm hex bolts that no one carries locally.  I made the mistake of getting the standard equivalent only to find it was a couple of hairs too large.  

There'll be a full post dedicated to this in the next week or so once the bolts come in, the shock is mounted, and I get a test ride.

The Multiguage.  Technically there's nothing to source here because there's only one way to get them.  The Multiguage replaces the gas gauge on the instrument panel and gives you a choice of displaying gear, fuel, water temp, air temp, battery voltage, accurate speed, lap timer, or acceleration over a set distance (like the 1/4 mile).

I'm including it here because I got an email that said:
Hi Patrice,

I've got now complete units. And I guess in the end it's the better solution than fighting with a kit.
The unit will be ready for shipping a few days after payment. By default I send as registered letter.

Best regards,
There's nothing more to add to that good news except I'll pay for it tomorrow.  I'm happy I got on his wait list.  
The Multiguage soon to be in Baby's Instrument Cluster
I contacted him about a kit to make it myself a few months ago but never got a chance to go through with that because of everything else that's been going on.

So to summarize, I'll have my dream mods completed by the end of the year with any luck.

Anodized Frame Plugs
Shoutout to Devilsyam.  Without his extraordinary skills, I wouldn't have the suspension mods at all.  It was his R1 conversion that made me want the USD forks.  Also because he got another Gen1 last year, he got back into making and doing stuff for the Gen1 FZ1, including the frame plugs I got last year and this year's rear shock mod.  Thank you Devilsyam for sharing your knowledge and the wonderful pics of your work!

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

Devilsyam's project bike that inspired me.  USD Forks & Single-sided swing arm really look nice.  I ain't touching that SSA though.  Bike also has big rotors and 6 pot calipers, among many other things.

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