So this project had an interesting start. I was originally going to do a Ninja 650 offroader like here
All cool builds but I wanted better rear suspension, so I bought a KTM 950 rear suspension and wheel from Frank Wheelbarrow on the forum.
I then bought a wrecked Ninja 650 in NYC in February. Long story short, the Ninja was stolen, I had to turn it over to the police and lost my $1000. Live and learn I guess. So with my Ninja without a master, I thought the legend of Ronin was an appropriate title.
I tried finding another Ninja and started to think about going to auctions, but a 2004 Yamaha FZ1 appeared in the flea market. I never gave it a moments thought but the wheels started turning and I thought I could make it work. I contacted Damifino but it was already sold.:wink: He called me a couple weeks later and said there were a few problems with the other buyer and lets make a deal.
I met Steve today in Hagerstown MD and we did the deal. His bike has a little history so I'll try and do my best to make his memory a good one. The bike had a tweaked frame and some minor damage, but the good thing is that most of the bike is mint, and the parts I want are perfect. Oh and he had a spare frame with title:deal
I just started taking it apart, there's a lot of stuff on these bikes!!! But with that lot of stuff comes a lot of power. 140 hp, basically a detuned R1 motor, super reliable guys have easily hit 100k, and 26k valve adjustments!!!
Here's the recipe:
Stock FZ1 frame, motor and all associated electronics
KTM 950 rear swingarm, shock, wheel and rear brake
KTM 950 front WP48 forks, dual discs, front wheel (still looking for wheel BTW:1drink:ear)
I plan on redoing the subframe to lean it down like a HP2
That will call for relocating a bunch of electronics under the seat. The airbox takes up a lot of room there, not sure how that will all work out.
Exhaust will remain the same for header, make keep the EXUP valve, may not, probably will. Can will be a carbon Arrow I picked up on ebay.
I'll weld on bag mounts when I do the subframe.
I am going to try and do a fiberglass ralley fairing like the kenaroo style. Maybe a KTM 950 headlight
So you are probably asking why go through all the trouble to just make a 950, why not buy one? Had one, loved it. I wanted a project. I also wanted something not as maintenance intensive as the 950. I was really good with that bike but basic chores seemed to take hours.
Plus no one else will have one and I can pretty much roll any bike out there:deal I'm trying to keep the cost under $5000, I think that will be easy based on what I have spent and what I am budgeting for the final parts. Of course there will be stuff I hadn't anticipated but I'll work it out.
I have been practicing with tubing and TIG welding, both important to projects like thus where you are altering what is there. Here's a CBR 600 fighter I am working on. Bending tubing with the JD2 is really nice.
*******Steering bearings are going to require some thinking. here's my current thought. Run the YZ450 triples and conversion bearings along with the KTm 950 forks. I have done some measurements and it seems like it will work, The YZ forks and KTM forks are the same diameter, same distance center to center, and top triple to bottom triple.
******Swingarm is not centered. It fits between the frame and has 20mm of side play. After looking closely at the swingarm I thought I would need 10 mm spacers on each side, but then the countershaft and sprocket were way out. Damn. But then I shifted the swingarm all the way over to the left, so the 20mm space was on the right. Countershaft lines up perfectly and the wheel appears centered.:huh It was late and I'm tired so I'll look harder and do some measurements tomorrow but it looks like it will work perfectly. Oh and the swingarm pivot bolts are the same from KTM and Yamaha!!! So I can use factory Yamaha pivot and KTM bearings. That was a big relief.
*******I was going to redo the subframe completely but I may just modify the existing one and the amount of crap that has to index off the molded underseat thingy is crazy. I will need to redo the shock mount as the 950 has a non linkage setup
******Radiator is pretty exposed
*******Need to come up with case protection but that should be easy.
Here's the teaser pics after about 8 hours of work.
I gotta say, I think it looks pretty damn good so far. I can't wait to get the frame swapped over to the new one and get to work with the fun parts. Def. going to be ready for this summer.
It's REALLY tall:lol3 Course I just have it in mockup at this point and nothing has any weight on it. Plus the Yamaha YZ forks are taller than the KTMs.
Wow that thing is gonna be a handful, Great work so far
I'll follow this with interest...
that bike surely tempted me from the FM. It looks like you have a good plan for it and you did not waste any time plunging into the deep end with it.
how much does a fz1 weigh? Is the motor the same as the wr250r times four?:lol3
I think a stock FZ weighs about 500 wet. This bike has already gone on a diet. I also plan on ditching the stock exhaust with cast iron EXUP valve as long as it won't set off a code. That along must weigh 10 lbs. The subframe is getting lightened.
All in all it will probably be about 475ish??:norton
No idea on motor, but heard these put down about 140.
Alright made some good progress.
Swapped the frames out so I now have a straight frame with title. The previous frame had some fairly extensive damage.
Motor out, these bastards are heavy
I decided to integrate some crash protection as there is no doubt this will take a dirt nap at some point. The stator and clutch covers are pretty vulnerable as evidenced by the old stator cover.
I drilled out the frame for a few bosses. I was trying to find some good material and saw the swingarm bolt from the KTM 950. Chopped it up and bored the frame.
Tacked in place
Bent up the crash bars and welded them together. I was at a buddies rooting through his scrap bin for the plates that attach to the frame. Grabbed a big pice of stainless and was wondering why it wouldn't weld:lol3 So it's just held in place now.
Worked on getting the subframe figured out. The big unknown is the shock. I have one on the way but don't want to do anything until in hand. I also want to keep the stock airbox and filter. It looks like I can get away with just trimming the airbox slightly and sealing it to clearance the shock. The FZ1 stocker is just for mockup
The battery will rotate 90 degrees and I'll make up an alum box for it.
I originally was going to scrap the subframe. Then I decided there was too much going on back there to get rid of it. After seeing the shock problem and the amount of subframe reinforcements that will be required, I'm ditching the whole thing.
It is 1.125" tubing and it will be replaced with 1.25" tubing with a few key reinforcements to help transfer the loads from the shock back to the main frame.
The fancy plastic box that all the crap mounts to will be replaced by an aluminum version. I want to narrow up the entire subframe substantially. No passenger seat or pegs.
Made some more progress.
I wanted to keep the airbox stock and same location. It has these nubs on the back that would take up valuable shock space so I cut them off and epoxied a piece of aluminum to seal it back up.
I finally decided to whack off the subframe. I'm convinced that what I will make will be stronger and better suited for the bags, exhaust and shock mounting. The problem with the original is that it has too much crap going on, plus with the KTM shock needing a custom mount, the battery needs to be moved and nothing will line up anyways using the factory plastic tray. I tell you its a leap of faith cutting off a perfectly good frame that is factory, works perfectly, aligns with everything. A plunge into the unknown....
I started building it back up. The lower tubes I made slightly shorter than the FZ1 and a little less steep. I'm trying to get a little less seat hight in what will be a very tall bike. I also wanted to slim the seat down a lot. I used 1.25" 0.065" wall DOM tubing for the lowers.
The uppers I bent up from 1" 0.065" wall DOM. I moved the bend point back from the stock to allow a crossbar at the bend. That crossbar will be where I will make up the shock mount. I don't have the shock yet so am holding off on burning that in.
I am taping up what I think I will do for reinforcements to the frame. Since the shock mount has moved back, I want to try and transfer as much load back to the frame as possible. Not sure how shock angle has an effect on the ride. Just looking at a 950, it is def angled more towards the center of the bike.
I can certainly do that, but the stock air box would need to get chopped up.
I could cut the left side of the airbox and glass it back together to get a steeper shock angle but not sure if this is necessary???:ear
Thoughts and comments are appreciated
Got some more work done on the subframe and airbox. I finished the crash bars, waiting on a couple bolts for the frame. I'll grind down the mounting plates to make them more aesthically pleasing and reduce sharp corners.
Cut the airbox to allow more shock angle
I'll fiberglass the airbox to seal. Also reversed the intake so it now faces forward.
Going to cut up the exhaust next to eliminate the EXUP cast iron valve. Also want to tuck the exhaust closer to the bike as it sticks out pretty far. Will be my first stainless welding.
Anyone know if there's an EXUP eliminator for the 04 FZ1? I know the later ones are available. I just want to get rid of the servo motor.
What a project!
You have cojones! (no pix required, thanks)
If you remove the EXUP, just be aware you'll lose low and mid-range power, and you're in for some carburation setup work.
The FZ1 with EXUP + "Ivanization" has superb power characteristics which would enhance dirt road ability
Maybe just talk to him to get his advice... could be real value added to your project.
Looking forward to the next installments:lurk
In regards to bearing diameter, I called CBR Bearing and they pointed me in the right direction. It took some clever machining but she fits perfectly now.
I am concerned about your shock angle. The way it looks now, swingarm movement won't actuate the shock very much and therefore you won't have very good damping. What is the ratio between wheel travel and shock travel? Is there any way you can connect the lower end of the shock to the swingarm in a more rearward location?
you maybe able to run twin side mounted shocks with the appropriate subframe reinforcement.
I am basically trying to keep the airbox factory which is why I went only as far as I did. I don't have the 950 shock in hand yet so I can actually do any measurements. Going to a friends house tonight to measure his 950.
I plan on taking off the spring and doing the calcs you suggested with a tack mount so that I can have James help get the ratios right.
If it means scrapping the airbox, so be it. That's a lot easier to make than fabbing up a swingarm attachement point.
I have read about his jetting magic, seems the guy to go to. For the EXUP, since I would be ditching about 10 lbs between the valve and servo motor plus a lot cleaner look, do you think the tradeoff is justified? Are we talking 5 HP or 30 HP?:deal
If I lose a little, that's fine, I'd rather have the weight savings and I also need to clean up the exhaust. Since I am doing all this mods to exhaust and airbox above, I may weld in a AFR bung and get a wideband tuner to help with jetting. If it runs fine from the go, I'll leave it.
No nut shots coming, have no fear.:D
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