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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.