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XS650 with R6 front/rear conversion

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bfd119, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    Greetings all,

    I know this question has been asked numerous time, and honestly I am exhausted clicking the back and forth and multi-tabs to get the correct information. I have seen a lot of different information as well.:banghead:

    Here is what I am looking to do.

    78 XS650 cafe racer style (not planning to race, just like the style)

    Yamaha R6 or FZ6 Front Tubes with triple trees
    - What is needed for the conversion, besides the obvious forks and trees. Looking for more of what I would need to do for the stem to fit, or is it more to it than that?

    - Would a different stem work without modification, different forks?

    - Front tubes: What year model is the best for the conversion?

    - Front brakes: I know the R6/FZ6 comes with double caliper/brake system, and I want to do the two brake setup, what all is needed for that?

    Swingarm: I want to do the rear brake conversion from drum to disk, and I have been eye balling a R6/FZ6 swingarm for that.

    What is needed to do the swingarm/monoshock conversion? Where do I need to modify the frame, or do I even need to modify the frame to attach the top of the monoshock?

    I saw a little while ago about the offset sprockets are needed, will these work for that with the swingarm setup? http://www.xs650widetire.webs.com/

    Anything else that I need to look at or consider?

    Thanks in advance, Sorry if this is a duplicate post or similar post, hope you all understand!:thumbsup:

  2. blagave

    blagave XS650 Enthusiast

    I just got done doing what you are asking about and I found a lot of the information here in the forum and the rest surfing the web. Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark any of the links.
    I used 2007 R6 front end.
    I found two ways to approach the R6 stem. You can grind out the bottom of the original xs650 stem and press it out and use it in the R6 lower tree, once you press it out.. You need to make a sleeve to fit the OD of the xs650 stem and the ID of the R6 tree....both ID & OD need to press fit. You will also need to make a bushing for the R6 top tree, where the stem goes through.
    The second option, which I took.....I used the R6 triple crown and stem. I purchased two lower (conversion) bearings from All Balls bearing. The bottom bearing fit both stem and neck, once you knock out the race. The top of the neck, you will have to either machine or dremel out slightly to fit bearing. I made a new upper Aluminum crown to fit.
    As far as the brakes go, I bought a complete front end that had everything on it off ebay. You can buy the parts individually on ebay as well.

    The R6 swing arm will not fit on the xs650 frame without a ton of modifications. There are a few options for almost direct bolt on twin shock swing arms....look in the threads. If you go mono shock, there are a few ways to approach this as well here in forum. I used a FZR 400 aluminum swing arm, which needed some machining/grinding of the frame plus off setting the counter shaft sprocket and rear, not to mention the fabrication to mount everything. The positive side to the FRZ swing arm is the pivot bolt is the same size as the xs650 and it is a fairly straight forward process. The back bone mono shock looks to have a lot more geometry involved.
    Using the FZR swing arm, the widest tire that will fit and clear is a 140/80

    Good luck
  3. nicmcs

    nicmcs XS650 Enthusiast

    hey mate,

    you never mentioned what year R6 your planning on swapping for??

    I'm stockpiling parts to do an R1 09 10 year swap and have already run into some issues.
    the stock xs triples wont fit the larger R1 forks so forget that.
    I went and bought an 09 lower triple and the stem is way too short, about 3mm of the final threads project up through the head stock,
    My guess is that you like me will need to reuse the stock stem on the new lower triple.

    As for the rear I'm waiting for my kawasaki zrx swingarm to arrive from england.
    the zrx swingarm is originally a twin shock but can be modded to single shock.
    It takes a 180 tires as standard so any R1 or R6 rim should fit,
    bit again the pivot bolt dimension is hugely difference and something will need alot of machining to fit.
    hope this helps.
  4. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    OK, so just to get my head around the front end... You swapped the stem from the XS into the R1 triples? I understand you have to grind the weld off the bottom of the XS to get the stem out.

    After you got the stems out and placed the XS stem in the R1 triples, there was that -.10mm gap on the outer diameter that had to be addressed (this is where I need help getting my head wrapped around); You heated the XS stem and it didn't have a gap to worry with, so you then machined a +.10mm daimeter slug that went into the bottom of the lower triple, froze the +.10mm slug, placed it into the lower and warmed it to fit?

    Did you connect the stem to it? or does the stem just sit on the slug? I guess that is what im scratching my head with for that.

    I am sure ill have more questions.. but for now I think that is all I have, thanks Paul!
  5. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    Yeah, I know the triples wont fit the R1/R6 tubes for the front end. I think the XS is a 32mm tube and the R1/R6 are 43mm. My plan was to do the stem swap and use the donated upper and lower triple. Thats where Paul's thread is going to come in handy.

    I definitely want to do the monoshock swing arm and I am definitely going to put a larger tire on the rear, more than likely a 180.

  6. nicmcs

    nicmcs XS650 Enthusiast

    As for the rear swingarm, the FZ6r is a good big swingarm which has about a 160 tire, maybe an option,
    I too hope to go for a 180 tire but the offset sprocket and chain/ frame alignment concerns until i can start mocking up the whole lot.
  7. blagave

    blagave XS650 Enthusiast

    I can't see how you can get a 180 tire in a FZR swing arm and get the chain alignment/cleanace. The tire will hit the chain towards the front of the swing arm. I have maybe 3/8 clearance with a 140 tire....make sure and do your measurements before going to far down the road.
  8. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    Thanks, hence why I am on here asking for expert opinions before I start dumping money in parts that aren't needed.
  9. So, on the triples I did exactly as you confirm. The XS stem was then a tight knock in fit to the lower R1 yoke. One thing I didn't detail on there is when the stem was in I went round the mating line between the stem and the yoke, pock marking around so that the stem can't pull up through the yoke. Airwolfies description is also very good. Be prepared, you will need maching work done and parts spun up on a lathe. My advice is to decid in what style if forks you want / afford, get them and then work out your requirements, as each bike / forks will be slightly different. Also consider wheel choice. If you are going with the associated wheels with the forks, fine. If you want to keep the spoked look, like I did, there's a bit more work involved with machining spacers and changing out bearing. Any questions, just post or PM me. Happy to help
  10. JustinB

    JustinB XS650 Enthusiast

    I've got an EASIER solution than all of these. Don't use R1/R6, use Suzuki GSXR-600 Front end (get from wrecker like I did fo $600), and then go to www.cognitomoto.com and order their CNC'd front hub bolt on ready, just have it laced up at Buchannans in LA and start rolling. Allballs will have the bearings, and from what I hear (haven't actually installed yet), there is enough room in the triples to do it seamlessly!

    Where are you located?
  11. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    I am located in Bedford, VA. Thanks for the info, however I would like to stick to Yamaha parts. I know there are probably easier ways of doing it, but I'd like to keep everything as yamaha as possible.
  12. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    Does anyone know another "new age" yamaha's that would make this task easier, at least for the rear. I've got a good understanding of the front (I think). I definitely want to do mono shock, but which yamaha swing arm would be the best to do it with?
  13. JustinB

    JustinB XS650 Enthusiast

    Don't get your head wrapped around Yamaha too much. With the GSXR conversion, you can get new triples and then you don't have anything GSXR, you just have fully adjustable SHOWA forks- a fantastic and custom setup.
  14. Shorty

    Shorty XS650 Enthusiast

    Im using a 09 Ninja 500 setup on mine... Should have pics as soon as I find a shop to help me with them stem swap. Been talking to LC Fabrication up north of Staunton. Thats not a horrible trip for you, They've started doing some nice XS work
  15. ninja 500, that's like marginally better than well set up 35mm xs650 forks. I looked at swapping those onto my kz650 as it is a direct swap. then I rode a ninja 500 and realized the stock forks were almost no better.
  16. Shorty

    Shorty XS650 Enthusiast

    Well compared to my seized 34mm forks with no brakes...a complete 37mm setup with modern tires, drilled rotor complete with master cylinder and triples for $100 worked for me :thumbsup: plus the added fact that I just found out a stem swap was not needed... It was win win
  17. bfd119

    bfd119 XS650 Newbie

    bump it up, haven't been on in a while, anyone else have advice?
  18. Max Midnight

    Max Midnight XS650 Addict

    How about using a Ducati fork?

    I have some 916 Showa forks that I'm about to use. The good thing about the bottom yokes is that the steering stem is hollow and screws in thus (relatively) easy to remove.
    You would just use the threaded part and use this to take the XS650 stem which will be be welded in so that there is the same length as OE. That bit should be relatively easy.
    The top yokes don't have provision for bars so I need to do some machining and a bit of welding so they will accept risers.
    Also want to retain the Ducati method of adjusting bearing pre-load so will need to sleeve and thread the Duke top nut.
    Last job will be to extend the steering stop plate on the frame.

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