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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the interest of sharing, I decided to do another “how to” write up. As I did in my Electrical conversion thread, and my DIY carbon fiber thread, I will give you the disclaimer that I am no expert...in pretty much anything. I will do my best to answer any questions you guys may throw at me. That being said, let’s begin......

First off, let me say that there is some machining that has has to be done, along with some welding of aluminum. It would be cost prohibitive to attempt this is you didn’t have access to machining and welding easily. As for me, I sold the set of supermoto wheels (with tires, brake rotor and bracket) that I had on the YZ previously, I used the proceeds to buy a set of SM wheels for my KTM, and I used the rest to buy a 3 in 1 milling, drilling, lathe machine from Harbor Freight. ($499, with a 20% off coupon) I got a buddy that can weld aluminum, and I already had the Katana wheels laying around, so the actual money I have tied up in this is minimal.

I’m fitting a set of Suzuki Katana GS750F (99) wheels onto my 99 YZ400F.
The front wheel was the easiest, so lets start there.

First thing I did before I started was to measure the relationship between the front rotor and the brake caliper. I measured through the hole in caliper mounting bracket before I took off the previous wheel. (I forgot to take a pic when I started, but I took some after to illustrate my point)



It was 34.47mm to the face of the rotor, so all I concerned myself with was making sure that rotor ended up in the same spot. I took off the old wheel and used a long 3/8 drive socket extension as a temporary axle and threw the Katana wheel on, along with one of the stock 30 mm spacers on the brake side. The rotor ended up being about 5mm further away from the bracket. So I used my lathe to turn down the stock spacer to the right dimension. After that, I measured the total width of the old setup, (1) 34mm spacer, (1) 30 mm spacer, and a total hub with 87 mm (measured at the inner races of the bearings.

Next, I looked at the stock bearings of the Katana wheel. 6204 bearings were in there, which are 15 id x 42 od x 13 w. So I did a little research to find bearings that had the ID I wanted for my 20mm axle. 6004 bearings turned out to be what I got (20x42x12). Paid about $7 for them on ebay. Make sure you get SEALED bearings. Don’t get shielded (yes, there is a HUGE difference!)

Next up, you need to make a spacer to go in between the two bearings, inside the hub. As where the bearing bottoms out in the bore won’t change, you can take the spacer that came out of your new wheel and measure the width of that. Make your new spacer to that width, and with the ID of your axle. I used a piece of 3/4” schedule 40 pipe. Turned down the ends with the lathe, and then slathered it with grease (to prevent it from rusting) and installed it along with the bearings.

After putting those in, I measured my hub with, at the bearings. added in my 25 mm spacer I had made for the brake side, and came up with a 20mm spacer for the non brake side.

The stock rotor on the Katana wheel is 290mm. I have to make a bracket to relocate my caliper, but I have a milling machine,so that won’t be a problem (evil laugh). I’ll get into that later.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Rear Wheel

Now lets move to the rear wheel.

Again, before I unbolted the previous wheel, I took every measurement I could think of.

Being that the brake caliper bracket is partially held by the axle, I took the wheel off and laid it on the workbench. Using a straight edge across the outboard face of the rotor, I measured down to the inner race of the bearing. The only thing I concerned myself with at this point was making sure that brake relationship remained constant between the two wheels.

Finding the right bearing for the rear wheel was hard. The stock Katana bearing OD was 47 mm, and having a 22mm axle on the back of my YZ, made the bearing I needed one of those hard to find, odd jobs. Turns out, after about 20 mins of searching on the internet, that the crank bearing off a 2006 Honda CRF250 was the exact size I needed, 22x42x14. Ordered two of them (Honda pn 91004-KSC-671) $15 in total. I got lucky in that there was a seal on one side of the bearing, I packed the backside with grease, and installed them with the seals out. Again, measure the spacer that came out from between the bearings on the wheels your putting on, and make a new spacer to fit in between the bearings.

After I got the new bearings in, I measured the relationship between the rotor and bearing as I had with the YZ wheels, and made a spacer to put the rotor in the same spot it was in.

Back stepping a bit, I had also measured the distance from the rotor to the inside of the sprocket on the YZ wheels. I put the cush drive on and measured the same dimension on the Katana wheels to figure out how much I’d have to machine off the cush drive to bring my sprocket into place.


Onto the lathe it went, and amidst a pile fo aluminum shavings, the proper sized cush drive emerged.

BEFORE

AFTER


In it’s past life, the sprocket was held to the cush drive with bolts. after removing the bolts, I was left with a 10mm id hole. I used 3/8 helicoil thread repair kit to put the threads into the cush drive. I have done this on all my aluminum block snowblower engines. Once you get the little steel coils in the aluminum, you can crank up the bolts pretty good and not worry about stripping the threads.

Now the sprocket was another one of those pain in the ass things to find. The stock sprocket on the Katana was for 530 chain. After doing some research, I found that you can get a 520 conversion kit for the Katana. So it was a matter of finding a part number for the rear sprocket in that kit. Yes, it was a pain in the ass, but still alot easier than trying to drill a new bolt pattern, or make a YZ sprocket go on the Katana wheel.

Again, as with the front wheel, make sure you measure the total width of the old rear wheel (both spacers + hub width at the bearings). Measure your hub with on the new wheel, add the brake side spacer width, and the difference is what you should make your sprocket side spacer at.

I lucked out with the stock brake rotor on the Katana wheel, as it was the same size as the stock YZ rotor.

Going to be taking the rear wheel to get the cush drive welded up this week, I’ll be sure to post up the rest of the project as it goes along.

So far so good....
 

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Nice shop!
 

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Hey if you want some more rims to put together and hawk maybe I can find some for you reasonable like...lololol. Then you can make a little on the side and buy more swag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey if you want some more rims to put together and hawk maybe I can find some for you reasonable like...lololol. Then you can make a little on the side and buy more swag.
Actually, I AM looking for another set of 17" wheels. A friend of mine left his DR350 with me for the winter. He wants me to do the same thing to his, been cruising feebay, but there aren't too many matching wheel sets on there. Was thinking about just going after them separately, but if you do have a set of wheels laying around let me know!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nice build. what's the black bike up on the bench in the backround?
That's a 1999 Yamaha R6. My official winter project. Got into a wreck. Picked it up for $500 (and yes, it runs!!). All the body work was toast. Stripped it down and painted the frame flat black. In the process of putting humpty dumpty back together again. Think I'm gonna go with the anniversary paint scheme..

 

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Great job!

What do you think the weight differences are?

Where are you getting the custom sprocket made? Or does a 520 chain fit on a 530 sprocket since it is the same pitch but slightly wider?


.
 

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Thats so cool man, heck of a shop! What could be more fun than that, not to mention the rewards! Redoing an R6... an R6 for $500 and a boat load of labor? I'd do it! Super cool stuff, I want a shop and skills just like yours, which one day - I should have. For now its back to school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great job!

What do you think the weight differences are?

Where are you getting the custom sprocket made? Or does a 520 chain fit on a 530 sprocket since it is the same pitch but slightly wider?


.
Not a custom sprocket, I did a whole bunch of cross referencing of part numbers. Found that JT sprockets makes a 520 conversion kit for the Katana, so did some hunting and found the right 520 sprocket (Parts unlimited #JTR823-39) Unfortunately, 39 tooth was my ONLY choice. I have previously been running 14/42 gearing. So I ordered a new 15 t countersprocket, making the new gearing 15/39. Should be in about the same neighborhood...I hope.

As far as the weight goes, the cast wheels are heavier. But if I was worried about weight, I'd stop super sizing my meals at the drive through. Basically relegating the YZ to street use only, gonna be taking the KTM to the track from now on.
 

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If you want to keep the same gearing as 14/42, you need a 13 tooth c/s sprocket to go with your 39 tooth rear sprocket. That would give you the exact same 3:1 ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you want to keep the same gearing as 14/42, you need a 13 tooth c/s sprocket to go with your 39 tooth rear sprocket. That would give you the exact same 3:1 ratio.
Touche... Yeah, now that you mention, I was pretty far off the mark on that one. Good thing I have an array of different counter sprockets, 13, 14 (and now 15). I guess since it's the only one I can change out, it's a good thing I have a few.

Thanks for pointing out my faults....you an my wife would get along great!!
:laughingr:laughingr
J/K, thanks for the heads up!
 

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I have a 1977 XS650 Yamaha with a GS500 rear wheel on it. The XS used a 34 tooth spocket and the GS used a 43 or something. I called Sprocket Specialists and told them what I needed and got it about 3 weeks later.
 

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Actually, I AM looking for another set of 17" wheels. A friend of mine left his DR350 with me for the winter. He wants me to do the same thing to his, been cruising feebay, but there aren't too many matching wheel sets on there. Was thinking about just going after them separately, but if you do have a set of wheels laying around let me know!!
No I don't have a set but I know someone who might. I only have a set, maybe 2, of FZR 600 rims but I can't see anyone wanting a 18" rear :headshake I'll check with my bud tomorrow and see what he has and what he wants for them.
 

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Save the Cush

Is there no way to save the cush drive? The reason I ask is that I'm about to undertake a similar endeavor and would rather save the cush for all of it's original cush driving benefits and if I tweak a wheel I don't have to start over again.

Also, can you include your yz wheel measurements? It's always nice to have a second set before you start cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is there no way to save the cush drive? The reason I ask is that I'm about to undertake a similar endeavor and would rather save the cush for all of it's original cush driving benefits and if I tweak a wheel I don't have to start over again.

Also, can you include your yz wheel measurements? It's always nice to have a second set before you start cutting.
Like I tell my wife, ANYTHING can can be done with enough time, effort, and money. It would be possible for me to use the cush. After machining it down, I machined a 2.25" dia recess into the end of the cush drive to accept a dust seal.


I supposed I could have made that recess 56 mm in dia, and gone a little deeper to accept a 63/32 bearing (Industry number, actual dimensions are 22 mm ID x 56 mm OD x 16 mm). and then made a spacer to go in between the outboard bearing on the hub, to the inside of the cush. Then another to go between the cush bearing and the swingarm. That special weird bearing would run me in the neighborhood of $55!!

(on a side note, looking for bearings? go HERE. You can quickly find out what bearing you need. Once you have the bearing number, shop around to see who has the best price!)

I had thought about saving the cush, but considering I'm working with a Harbor Freight lathe/mill, I wasn't going to push it. While it was reasonably easy to get the cush drive in the lathe chuck perpendicular to the axis, I worried that it might not be spinning on dead center. The dust seal I'm installing has a rubber lip, that can take up for small variations. I worried about putting an awkward load on the cush bearing if the bore wasn't completely dead center. That being said, if you have access to a high quality machine, I'd say go for it. As for me, welding it is going to be far cheaper (12 pack of beer will get that done).

I don't remember all the measurements of the spacers and such, I'll slip out to the "Garagemahal" tonight and get them for ya.
 

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Whaler and I have been talking about this build for awhile. On the cush drive of my gs500 rims I lucked up. There is a little bushing that goes into the bearing on the cush that takes up the slack bettween the bearing (25mm) and the axle (20mm) on my dr 350. The bushing on the gs500 was 17mm but I pulled that bushin out and used the dr350 one. It was a perfect fit I was superlucky. and I kept the cush drive intact. didn't have to weld it.
 

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Whaler,

This thread is great and I really appreciate your time on the project and the measurement info!

Same goes to anyone else contributing!

Josh
 

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Whaler,

This thread is great and I really appreciate your time on the project and the measurement info!

Same goes to anyone else contributing!

Josh
Whaler is doing the real stuff. I just used a grinder and a heat gun. And some bearings. His is definately good stuff. I think him and kubiak and the other guys that have learned the machining and welding are the soul of this niche industry segment. I think we should have an innovation award for stuff like this and other cool ideas every so often. Maybe a poll section for coolness. Jsut speaking out loud with my cold medicine kicking in. This is WAY more interesting than american chopper/superbikes ever thought about being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also, can you include your yz wheel measurements? It's always nice to have a second set before you start cutting.
OK, let's see here...
Stock YZ front wheel..

Measuring through the hole in the caliper bracket, it was 38.47mm to the outboard face of the rotor
Brake side spacer 30mm
Hub width (at inner races of bearings) 68mm
Non brake side spacer 34mm
For a total width of 132mm (spacers & hub)

Katana wheel
Brake side spacer 25mm
Hub width 87mm
non brake side spacer 20mm
For a total width of 132mm

Rear Stock yz wheel

Brake side spacer 20mm
Hub width 133mm
non brake side spacer 20mm
I had also been using a 5mm washer next to the non brake side spacer, so let's say a 25 mm spacer for that side.
Distance from the outboard side of the brake rotor, to the outboard side of the sprocket 168mm (I had used a 5mm spacing ring on the sprocket in the old set up to help the chain clear the rear tire, see pics below)

Katana Rear wheel
Brake side spacer 22.5mm
Hub width (with no cush) 114mm
Cush side spacer 41mm
I ended up having to turn 18 mm off of the cush drive from the plane where the sprocket bolts on.

Here is what I was talking about with the spacers on the old sprocket set up. Transfered the same dimensions over to the Katana wheel (apples for apples I guess)

 
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