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Old 05-22-2015, 03:59 AM   #1
SoyBoySigh OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Lazy-Boy Recliner
Oddometer: 12
Wheel bearing advice for side-hack w 4LS drum???

So I'm building a "KZ440LOL" for my kid here, it's an '80 KZ440LTD for which I've got all NOS belt-drive, sticking a CB900F 39mm fork onto it, tank from an H1 triple (though I'm still open to other tanks, H2 would mean I don't have to cut out & weld in a new tunnel!) going with very low bars and wire wheels.

What's INTERESTING about it is I've got the GT750J 4LS drum hub for it, and just received my wheel with that laced into a 3.00x16" Borrani shouldered deep-drop-center alloy rim. Even got a spare wheel for front tire changes, that's how committed I am to this ridiculous idea.

What's MORE odd though, is the choice of tires will be MAXI-SCOOTER low-profile 110/70-16 & 140/70-16, same rim all 'round, and I've got a T500 Suzuki Titan 2LS drum, which of course is the matching 2LS to the GT 4LS hub - should've been a Zucchini but fell in love with the belt-drive idea) AND spare rims for the same 3.00x16" (though also looking at 2.50x16" from Mike's XS650 for a lighter rim) originally for tire changes, but the kid she sez "SIDE-CAR!!!" and well what do you say to THAT???

Of course I'm shying away from the idea of the square-shouldered side-hack tires even though it would be very vintage to do so - the low-profile Maxi-Scooter stuff is available in RADIALS - dual-compound rear was offered by Michelin up until a couple years back (should look for an old set collecting dust just for the halibut) that's basically a scaled-down PILOT POWER crotch-rocket tire. They make 'em in 15" and I've found a decent 3.00x15" Akront rim perfect for one of the two hubs KZ400 had (both 40 & 36-spoke rear hubs on these bikes, so pretty much an ideal project for swapping out to USED or 2nd-hand rims, being that much easier to find a rear rim - of course, getting this 4LS laced into the 3.00x16" was like pulling teeth, still pulling the rest of those teeth to get wheels on the rest of the KZ and also my "CB900K0 Bol Bomber".....


What to do about WHEEL BEARINGS??? If I went to a leaning side-hack bucket, it wouldn't matter so much, right? Though I gather it still creates side-loading forces, just not as extreme.

It's really only gonna be a DAWG HAULER - picture something between the classic upright road-going side-car, and a low and lean RACING side-car. But most probably using a compact SCOOTER type bucket, something intended for a Vespa. The DAWG's a black lab but a very small skinny mixed-breed one at that, nowhere near as big as my yellow lab. The GRRRRL meanwhile is barely 100-120lbs, tall & slim ideal bike Jockey proportions - in a word, the bike's hauling a LIGHTWEIGHT cargo.

I'm only worried about the wheel bearings because in the GT750J 4LS drum, and likely a lot of other 4LS drums besides, the spindle is only 15mm

(((ONLY 15mm, albeit the same 15mm front axle as the CB900F so no improvement with THAT fork, which is why I'm gonna stick the 2nd CB900F 39mm fork, which is on my '82 CB900F Bol D'Or right now, onto a light-weight CB750C/CB750K single-seat build at some point, ideally with a Fontana 250mm 4LS drum! - and I wanna replace THAT fork with the GL1500 Goldwing item which is 41mm, 20mm axle, TRAC anti-dive, integrated fork-brace, and would be a wonderful basis for a CBX550F style faux drum brake based on the PC800 Pacific Coast front "hub" using totally DIY shrouds etc - the main thing being that the GL1500 fork very closely resembles the 41mm TRAC fork on the '82 Daytona Superbike Champion Freddie Spencer's 1032cc "CB750F" - the GL1500 was from '88, so that's not ENTIRELY "period-correct" however it would make for a perfect replica. Of the chassis or suspension at least. While the rest of the bike is all wire-wheels and polished CB1100R "Toaster Tank" in homage to the '65 CB450K0 Black Bomber etc....)))

But yeah the bearing pocket "spool" through the center of the 4LS drum is so small there's really not much of a bearing in there. As compared to other front hubs, like the HONDA front wheel bearings, or even other drums - the T500 Titan 2LS version even seems like a slightly larger diameter ... I should go and check, except that I'll get side-tracked. Honestly though - look it up if you don't believe me. The bearings remind me of the little things for the C70 Passport I had, 10mm front axle and 12mm rear axle. KZ440 is like ... 15mm front and 17mm rear axles. CB900F is 20mm axle and where I had always THOUGHT that it was a 17mm axle it's only 15mm. IMHO the bigger front axle is a bigger deal, rather than the front - and this bears out if you look at a lot of the modern sport-bikes etc. 25mm front axles and 17mm rear axles.

Heck I've got a Cal-Fab swing-arm on the Honda, but yanno if I'd gone with a swinger from a later model of some sort, I could've gone to a 17mm axle and used a rear disc hub from something like Yamaha TDR250 (with axle converted to 17mm using bigger bearings etc) and THEN I wouldn't have had such a dilemma over what rear hub to use. Like I'm building this rear wheel based around Akront 4.25x18" rim and I've got TWO of 'em (plus another set in 2.50x18 & 3.50x18") and a 3.00x18" front - I almost feel like I should make a 3.00x16" front wheel to go with the other 4.25x18" Akront, and I've got some 4.25x17"-40hole & 5.00x17"-40hole rims and a spare 2.50x18" so I could make even MORE pairs with a 3x16" & 5x17" pair, and 2.50x18" & 4.25x17" pair as well - so how many wheels is THAT???? That's like FIVE pairs of rims for the DOHC four alone. Gotta stock up on HUBS!!!! Obviously I'll need to build a GL1000 for the 250x18 & 4.25x17 pair, a CB750SC Nighthawk-S for the 16 front 17 rear pair - and a tubular frame chain-drive converted VF1100S-based homage to the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix racer the CZ type 860 for some 16"front 18" rear FAT wheels - at which point I'd need to build yet one more bike with a WM3 2.15x16" front and 3.00x18" rear pair to match the original Boomerang Comstar rims on a VF750F - a 500cc VF could get away with a wire-spoke converted CBX550F fake drum hub. Meanwhile ONE of these 16" front wheels has to be built with a SPOOL hub, chopper style, with perimeter disc brakes screwed directly onto the flanges of the Borrani shouldered rim! How cool would THAT be???

Anyway yeah the damn rear hub I've got the SOHC CB750F rear hub, which ONE Akront 4.25x18" rim will fit, but the other one's drilled for HARLEY so I'd put the "Front Hub Trick" into that one, with a bolt-up cush-drive. Probably heavier than you'd think, 'cause of all the steel bolts involved. I guess if the rear rotor and cush-drive fit using the same original front hub through-bolts, rather than using several stages of bolts like an adapted rotor with a carrier using yet more bolts, a cush-drive with bolts in yet another circle - it could be simple or complicated the question is whether it's lighter or heavier or what....

See the 20mm rear axle WITH a cush-drive, WITH a disc-brake, there's really not that many hubs for this. 36-spoke stuff is even harder to find and more expensive. I guess that's not a problem now that I've found 40-hole Supermoto sized rear rims. Less reason to seek out a 36-hole rear hub.

Whereas a 17mm axle well there are all sorts of other options for a rear disc hub. Stuff that's both stronger than the "Front Hub Trick" and at the same time lighter than the SOHC CB750F Super-Sport rear disc hub. A MIDDLE solution.

I've got the conical KZ1000A/KZ750B rear disc hub but that doesn't work for EITHER of these two rims. And there's some weird stuff about IT as well. The chromed-steel flange which is stuck on with EPOXY. It's got through-bolts for the rotor and the spokes obviously hold it into place, so I suppose that's gotta stop the thing from pulling apart or spinning etc. It's probably COLLECTIVELY just as strong as a normal wheel. But each individual part of that connection seems weak in and of itself. Of course, there are TRIUMPH and NORTON hubs which operated on the same principle.

WHATEVER - enough about my damn Honda! The KZ's a heck of a lot more interesting, I'd LIKE to think so anyway.

Now I realize there are conical bearings - I suspect that if I got conical bearings in these small sizes, there'd be a lot quicker maintenance and replacement intervals. So too with the axle nut tension. If they're at all up to the load bearing and speed and side loading specs for this application, down in that size range, they'd probably just have a shorter life-span, higher wear etc. So I'd be popping bearings out as regular as drum-brake shoes. Right? Makes sense to ME anyhow. And that's IF I could find bearings in that specification.

And then there are the needle-roller or cylindrical roller bearings - I picture something like the rollers in the Harley steel hubs, the Juice-Drum type hubs - THEY'VE got some very interesting wheel bearings, which I suspect find their own engineering roots in the side-car and trike "servi-car" applications which those hubs found themselves Shanghaied into as often as not. There's a lot of fuss in setting 'em up, they've got the thrust washers and shit like that. Sounds like a massive hassle to tell the truth. And I doubt I'd get anything like 'em to fit inside of these hubs. More like a cross between that, and the needle-roller bearings specified for swing-arm pivots, replacing sintered-bronze bushings etc. And again with the whole question of whether I'd find anything rated for 'em.

THEN there are the parallel roller-ball bearings. I was even thinking of having the hubs milled with deeper pockets so as to fit two rows of bearings per side. But then I wonder whether such a hub would be weakened thereby!

The Suzuki 4LS is a pretty beefy item, for what you get. I don't worry about any other area of the thing except for the bearing pockets themselves. The fact is, they could have made a much thicker "spool" around the axle, hollowed out if one were worried about the weight. Would've worked with some Honda sized bearings for 15mm or 17mm axles (as are standard on the larger 4LS drums) or even 20mm possibly, for the beefy Superbike forks if one wanted. Okay, not so much for a big beefy fork, but a spindly fork is improved by a thicker axle probably as much as the addition of a fork-brace.

I'd love to set up experiments for that, taking the three otherwise identical Honda DOHC forks in 35mm 37mm and 39mm, testing whether a braced 35mm with a beefier axle is superior to the bone-stock 39mm set-up. Versus the weights of such forks of course. I realize you could put a beefier axle and fork brace on any of 'em, but it would help the DOHC-4 750 crowd figure out how best to spend on suspension. So too, it would be good to find the upmost limits of stresses put on the fork by a 750 when racing single-seated, touring two-up - how the two differ - and similar forces on the 900 and 1100 versions of these bikes. I think it would be a good model for one thing 'cause the three bikes are so very similar and same deal with the forks. The question of course being not when you need to upgrade your front suspension, but at what point it's OVERKILL.

Obviously this KZ440LOL is a situation where I've over-done it a bit. The bone-stock KZ440LTD is a "chopper-ette" and "lady-bike" extraordinaire - so hardly a good place to evaluate the OEM 33mm fork. Which is pretty damn heavy by the way, considering it's specification. But yeah the KZ400S café would be a far better set-up to test. Better still if it's all tricked out to race against a bunch of other 400cc twins.

I hope to get my hands on a 37mm or even 35mm DOHC Honda fork soon enough. I've modified the forks on the KZ for the 4LS drum, filed half of the caliper mounting lugs clean off. So THAT fork is only gonna be suitable for drum brakes from now on - which suits me fine, as the next Honda 750 I work on, I wanna do it really really simple and with drum brakes front and rear. Preferably either a DOHC CB750K/C or a CB500T twin. Even if it's a 750 SOHC, or 650, or CB550 even, I'd wanna run that with a 250mm 4LS drum or 230mm at the smallest.

Of course, by such time I'll be DYING of the scurvy I'm coming down with, eating noodles to save up for all these damn bikes & bike parts..... Will probably just wind up helping the kid's friends set up a few bikes, that way I don't have to own every single one of these bikes, or part with my CB900K0 Bol Bomber to make room for one.

As I said, a VF would be an acceptable project. Or a CB550F, CB550SC, CX650C/E, GL1000/GL1100/GL1200 as well. All of the above, should I live so long. But yeah - it would have to be something small enough for the 4LS drum and 39mm fork Something which would donate either a 35mm or 37mm fork for the KZ to use, and which would be improved with a swap to the 39mm.

'Cause like I say - it's obvious over-kill. I just happened to have the fork kicking around. Was planning to purchase a 750 and collected parts for such, but wound up buying a 900 instead. Against my better judgement.

For me it's not about showing off at stop-lights, pissing contests and shit like that. I wanna TOUR on my bike. And so the fuel economy is of paramount importance. Somewhere down the line, I'd even like to swap out the Duck Bevel-Bubble half fairing, for a full fairing or more to the point a DUST-BIN fairing, so as to slip-stream the bike for best fuel economy. So as to lower the RPMs at 110kph kind of thing. If a dust-bin can add to the top end speed, it would probably significantly aid fuel economy at highway speeds. Not so much at lower inner-city commuting speeds, as it's added weight. But constant "mid" speeds (can't call the speed limit "high speed" not after owning three '82 DOHC Hondas! Well - five if you count the C70 Passport ha-ha!) where the majority of all power produced is about pushing the wind out of the way, a dust-bin fairing would be about the best equipment one could BUY - I should think so, anyhow. Inter-city commuting type of stuff.

Gotta wonder whether there would be room for some type of TRUNK up there too. Probably not a whole LOT of room, but possibly enough for some rain-gear and sundries, the type of stuff which would normally wind up in a top-case or one saddle-bag. Looking at the slip-stream stuff they fit on the ASS end of a land-speed-record bike, I'd be interested in building a trunk/top-case saddle-bag type of job kinda like the PC800 & GL1500/GL1800 had - only a LOT smaller. Again, glove-box type of stuff.

Dunno how much ROOM you'd find in that kind of fiberglass, but I'm sure it would be comparable to saddle-bags and a top-case as big as I could stand 'em - ie small enough they don't create massive drag.

I built some DIY saddle-bags for my '82 CB750F back in the day, basically some heavy-duty duffle-bags with panels attached to the bike in three points. But yeah they REALLY dragged the bike down a lot. They were HORRIBLE to ride with. TEN times more drag than carrying a passenger. Like - literally akin to hauling ten passengers in a row. Ha-ha.

So ever since that experience I've thought to myself - before I ever stick saddle-bags and a top-case onto my Honda, I'd look into the trailer hitch they made for the GL1000/GL1100/GL1200 'Wings, and try to find one of those single-wheel trailers - like they used back in the '60s you mostly see 'em on a JAWA 600 etc. A real SLIP-STREAM type of trailer, ideally big enough to make a sort of side-car seat for my Yellow Lab, Charlie Dawg.

Okay well I'd settle for a decent piece of luggage.

Picture the whole deal as being something akin to the big assed motor boat type stuff Craig fuck-you-very-much Vetter bastardized the original svelte nekkid sport-bike GL1000 into, and a land-speed-record slip-streamer type of deal. Dust-Bin style.

Tough to say how comfortable that would be for long long hours - suffice to say with MY back problems, the usual standard straight up & down or laid back lazy-boy/cruiser ergonomics certainly won't work. Not unless there's an actual lazy-boy chair with full support from the back of the head down to the backs of calves & ankles (cankles?) A Tony Foale QL type of deal. Would actually be pretty cool. Or the Peraves Monotracer, a cabin cruiser type of deal. Now THAT would be one ultimate adventure bike - set up as a single-seater, you could use a seat that folded down into a canvas cot - true ultra-lightweight that way, extra storage space, so a canvas seat on tubular alloy frame all the way. You get where you're going, lean over onto the one wheel, tip the seat back, and go to sleep. No need to pack a tent! Seriously - them things could be a truly awesome bike for such purposes, IF they could shed their "luxury toy for the uber-rich" stigma. Give 'em some sharper steering or a shorter wheel-base and I'd love to see 'em run in the endurance races.

I really dig the idea of a light-weight version of such bikes, like a cross between a scooter engine and one of those fully-faired recumbent bicycle type "human powered vehicle" type of things. The recumbent bikes are banned from bicycle races 'cause any old schlub could out-race the pure-bred "Triplets De Belleville" type of bicycle freaks. Which SHOULD mean that a 250cc motor could run at par with a 500cc standard upright bike. Or at least, in the lightest versions of bicycle-spec components, a 50cc putt-putt engine could run like a horse all day long and the rider wouldn't break a sweat. Now THAT could make for a really great adventure bike. Maybe not so practical OFF-ROAD, but as soon as they've bridged the Bering sea, folks are gonna be touring the whole planet on crisp black asphalt.

Of course, we'll all be riding ELECTRIC bikes by then. Part of the reason I wanna use the big fat 4LS front drum hubs, is at some point we'll need to swap 'em out for electro-magnetic regenerative brakes, to conserve the charge on our batteries. REAR hubs will connect directly to the drive motor via toothed belt-drive, so rear braking will be something akin to engine braking.

Pretty exciting stuff really. Ride out into the wilderness until you run out of juice - run up a kite on a line, which has a light-weight wind-generator aboard it, plus a lightning rod with a massive capacitor protecting your electronics so when the kite's struck by lightning it squeezes all that juice into a beer-can sized Leyden Jar. Between the two of 'em, you're stuck out in the wilderness just long enough to do some fishing, whittling, poisoning yourself with misidentified "Bush-Tucker" plants or wild-mushrooms - THEN when you check out the bike again the whole thing is fully re-fueled. What's not to like about THAT???

Well in the MEAN-time I'll settle for the low-tech retro-fried stuff just 'cause it's so damn cool!

Sorry for the tangent! Ha-ha.

So wtf do you all suggest about the wheel-bearings thing, for a side-hacked KZ440LOL?

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Old 05-22-2015, 04:06 AM   #2
SoyBoySigh OP
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For the observant, my AVATAR is of the 4LS hub and 16" rim - I'll update it later today or tomorrow, as I've just received the loose-laced WHEEL from just such a hub and rim. That first avatar, over the wooden deck planks, was a GT550J drum and NOS 3.00x16" Borrani, which I lost in a house-fire in 2013, along with both entire bike projects which were near completion. It's taken me more than two years to get back on track, being that the bikes weren't insured, and my other house-hold belongings amounted to very little bike project seed funds, and I'm on a fixed disability income nowadays. Even so, I feel optimistic that things should progress relatively quickly, and that wheels will ROLL by the end of the summer, and bikes will find final form within a year or two at the most. The KZ gets priority on all funding from here on in, while the Honda has a mountain of parts just needing to be fitted perhaps with a few more small purchases yet. SLOW GOING though, gawd damn....

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Old 05-22-2015, 05:46 AM   #3
Carl Childers
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Tolstoy ain't got nuttin' on you!

It sounds like you have the parts and fabricating resources so go with a substantial axle and hefty bearings to go with it if you choose, don't let the wrong parts dictate your design and possibly put a loved one human or canine in jeopardy. Think structure and load first and what will make that happen in the way of parts second. My humble suggestion anyway.

I had an engineer friend calculate my sidecar axle load and stress factors for grins when I was doing that part of my build the numbers were a real eye opener!
New Mexico, not really new, not really Mexico.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:52 AM   #4
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I have a 72 H2 tank (nice but "custom 70' paint) and a 74 (ugly!).
Are you sure the 440 can pull a sidecar AND a 4LS (assuming here it is the uber heavy Suzuki!).?

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Old 05-22-2015, 09:20 AM   #5
Strong Bad
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My advice is to back down on some of the meds, slow down, take a deep breath, and try to get to the frigg'n point in as few words as possible.
"I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:26 AM   #6
bk brkr baker
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Never seen anyone get this worked up over a KZ440 or drum brakes .
RR's Catnip Hill to Peoria ___Loopin' Seattle to WestFest
It started with some beers __1500 miles to the Dentist
Skeedaddle to Seattle______ A 30 year old on a Three Flags Run
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