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Katana fork swap

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by btrac11, May 29, 2013.

  1. Just picked up a 2002 complete front end. (bars, levers, triples, forks, wheel, brakes) I checked allballs fork conversion chart and both use the exact same size neck bearings. My question, other than the performance upgrade is there any reason that I have to change the bearings to tapered? I've measured both neck tubes and there is maybe a 1/4" difference between them. With a spacer, or old bearing race I can accommodate for this. Anyone see any other obvious reasons why I can't just reuse the original bearings?
  2. Tapered easier to maintenance and better performance. If it were me I would go all out on the front end considering you already are putting a katana one on.
  3. NONclow

    NONclow Confirmed Laquer Breather

    Tapered bearings are better for constant speed, sure they work and feel well (when new:)), but the side to side motion of steering (on roller bearings) wears detents into the races over time, not to mention if you're electrics (switches, lights, instruments) aren't grounded with a wire from the frame to the triple clamp, they ground through the neck bearings causing corrosion and premature wear. IMHO ball bearings tend to rotate more evenly and last longer.

    If I were you, try it with the old bearings/spacer, you can always change it later:thumbsup:
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  4. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    I sure appreciate captive roller bearings, especially when dealing with custom fitting! The contact area on a roller is much greater than the contact area of a ball. Most of the ball races I remove from old jap bikes are dented. Probably true of other country's bikes also but I work on Japanese stuff. No bearing should be used to pass electricity. IIRC the zuke uses captive ball bearings so that part is easy. Sure you can use them.
  5. Ok. So I've got the katana triple tree free from the partial frame, I've got the top triple tree on the xs removed. Man there is a lot of wiring and cable-age. Lol. All that's left is removing the headlight assembly and reinstall the new front end. I'm gonna have to put some thought into remounting it. Any pointers on headlight removal? I don't see any bolts on the outer portion.
  6. Well I got the headlight figured out. Sorry for the question. Hadn't looked close enough
  7. Anybody have any idea how many balls are supposed to be in the lower race? I think I'm one short but don't see it anywhere and didn't hear one drop. I made a point to be sure and catch them all.
  8. May have to just order the tapered after all.
  9. If i remember right its 19 on each
  10. Yea. I'm definitely missing one then. I have 19 and 18. Oh we'll tapered bearings are on their way. My question now is, all the kits I've seen are 15mm thickness however the ones suggested on allballs site said to order 12mm thickness. Any ideas as to why? 79xs and 02 katana 600
  11. I also read somewhere the 15mm sat too high and 12 worked fine. Guess worst case scenario a spacer can be used. I'd rather have a thinner bearing and use a spacer than it be too tall?
  12. Fork swap complete

    Attached Files:

  13. Another pic

    Attached Files:

  14. Ordered tapered bearings from all balls. From the start I could tell that the lower bearing wasnt tall enough to seat in the race and sit flush on the bottom triple tree.. I ended up using an old "bearing cup" from the xs as a spacer and it was a perfect match. My stem was a little short but still able to get the top nut on the triple to thread on. Overall very satisfied. Just need to get my wiring figured out as I am using the katana bar switch for dimmer and signals. Got the dimmer working but having trouble getting the blinkers to flash.
  15. Shorty

    Shorty XS650 Enthusiast

    sorry to be bumping this back up again... Was this a fairly straightforward conversion? My forks are seized up and in bad shape on my 72... been looking at katanas and a couple other small bikes trying to figure out my best bet
  16. How long are those forks i wonder...

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  17. Straight forward as it can be. Propped the bike on some cinder blocks to get the front wheel off the ground, removed the whole assembly and put the new in. Took about 2 hours maybe. The katana and my xs both use the same diameter stem for the triples. Tapered bearings were definitely an upgrade well worth it, the old bearings could have been reused unfortunately I lost a ball during disassembly, but figured they were old and should be replaced any way, so I got new tapered. Also a nice feature the key cylinder for the xs fits in the stock key location on the katana triple with little filing.
  18. I can try and measure the fork length when I get home.
  19. That would be swell man.

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  20. Katana measured 30 3/4 from top of fork to the center of axle. I still have the original xs fork set, it measured 30 1/2. The katana setup is probably a little longer as the measurement was with it installed and likely somewhat compressed. However I did notice/ feel a slight lowered feeling in the front. my side kick stand is now too long for the ride height. I use the center stand now. I believe the katana front wheel/tire diameter is smaller than the original xs front wheel/tire.

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