Cheney Sonic Weld street tracker (father son tribute build).

Glad you are happy with it so far. Like I said it seems very solid. Let me know otherwise. That white paint is tougher than chit.
Aw, no it's not. Nope, not at all ....

that shit's harder than the hubs of hell!

Dood ... wow. Between my brother and I we've already put several hours of 150 grit hand sanding into it and we've only knocked out about 1/3rd of it so far. It's as hard to remove as powdercoating is. We even tried some super caustic paint stripper stuff we have around here that requires a special EPA permit to posses and use. And even THAT shit didn't even touch that white paint.

So we'll just keep pushing the rock up the hill. We'll get it there eventually. I don't need it 100% stripped, I would if I wanted to polish it but this tank has a few peanut dents and dimples which disqualify it from polishing. However since I never intended to polish the tank I don't need it totally stripped down. I just need to see what condition the tank is in regarding any holes that have been patched with bondo. I really do not think we're going to see any, but I need to know.

The toughest part of removing really difficult finish from an all aluminum tank is making sure that you do not change it's shape or lose any of it's defining lines. It's very easy ... VERY EASY ... to over-work the material (as in oversand the tank) and consequently lose the definition of the subtle lines of the tank. This particular fuel tank design has some excellently nuanced lines that have a sortof geometric sexuality about them. I am trying very hard to retain every single "cheekbone and hip curve" this tank has while removing that paint from hell. That said I've been staying clear of the corners and edges and only working the flats.

These mid-70s YZ tanks look amazingly good with a well thought out paint scheme. Check out the Sportster picture below with the Norton fuel tank. That tank is a 1976 YZ400 fuel tank, precisely the same design as the one I just received from you Dave. They can be made to look pretty sick, especially if the paint scheme exploits the subtle lines that these YZ tanks have in their DNA.

Alrighty then, a little breakfast, then it's back out to the shop.

Holy Radioactive Coyotes, Batman ..... this stuff makes me happy. Nothing like the feeling of a wrench in my hands (you guys "get that", right?)

More pics, updates, and my mental vapors later.


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Maybe leave the paint as is, and get a small inspection camera and look inside that way. I thought about that, but since I retired I don't have access to one any longer. Decided if I need a favor from old boss, I'd save it for something I really need.
Maybe leave the paint as is, and get a small inspection camera and look inside that way. I thought about that, but since I retired I don't have access to one any longer. Decided if I need a favor from old boss, I'd save it for something I really need.
Well, like I said I'm not going for the total "Brazilian" look (total finish removal) just enough to hit the flats. I'm sure I'll hit the "screw it, I'm done with this" point soon enough here. :)

Been using 150 grit just to be safe, but my brother just got back from Wal Mart with two packages of crappy 100 grit paper. Let's see how that goes.

Bow chicka chicka bow wow!! Yea baby ....

I give you YZ400 tank, danged near sanded clean. :thumbsup:

There's a number of (quite expected) little peanut dents, and a bit of a knee-smash on the right side (a pretty small one, really). Any and all of the dents will be easily fixed with just a little finishing Bondo (the green type). I am extremely pleased with this tank, the lines are going to be just perfect.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

And lightweight!! I weighed a 2.5 gallon steel tank from a 1984 Honda Magna V45 (the black tank pictured below) and it weighed in at 6 pounds 14 ounces on our digital postal scale (no cap, no petcock). This YZ tank weighs 3 pounds 14 ounces, no cap, no petcock. Hells yea!


I'm pretty sure I can make this work. At least I hope so! :)


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Ug. I had my surgery yesterday at the VA hospital in Tucson. It took 2x longer than expected, and I had a LOT of problems in post-op/recovery. And keep in mind that I still had a four+ hour freeway trip home after the surgery! So we got home last night at around 8pm. We'd left here at 3:30am yesterday morning to get to the VA hospital, and we got home at around 8pm. Long day, long eight hour round trip, and one hell of a day in the hospital.

Today, I feel as though I have been hit by a cement truck. I've broken over two dozen bones in my life, some of them were multiple fractures (I broke all five metatarsal bones in my left foot in a single fall, a monster highside during an era when most of us wore little more than work boots while racing. I've busted my collarbone 3 separate times on one side, and in 3 places all at once in a single eat-it on the other side. I've even been shot (previous line of work was less than safe). My point? This post-op discomfort is at least as bad as any of those mentioned incidents.

So it will be a few days before I'm doing anything with this project. I'm hurtin' too much to do anything, even typing this is difficult.

I'm outta here and getting back in bed.

Hasta Lasagne, hombres!

Ok, sp I checked my eBay account and I see that we sold a set of carbs from a previous project bike (1984 Honda Magna). Right on! So there's another $400 added to the kitty. I have enough totally saved up for the girder front end and about halfway there towards the frame. Next will be the wheels/brakes. :)

Here's the carbs that sold last night ....


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Post-op pain-med induced rambling nonsense .....

Wow, that surgery has had me down and out since I had it done last Friday. I had some serious problems during recovery that extended my recovery time in post-op by 3x what it normally takes most folks. Those problems were the worst part of the procedure, and they weren't even issues directly related to the surgical procedure!

Then, a couple of days later I see on CNN that the Phoenix branch of the VA has been cooking a 2nd set of scheduling books which has resulted in the DEATH of at least FORTY veterans. Holy Shit! I mean, I guess it wasn't enough that people like myself volunteered to enlist to protect this ... ahem ... country, it wasn't enough that many of us are damaged and scarred forever (which of course overflows directly into our families). Hell no, that wasn't enough ... now we get to be taken care of by crooks that are not held accountable for their actions! This was (I believe) the third or forth expose that CNN has done on shitty VA hospitals that are literally killing vets, and as of yet there's been NO ONE held accountable yet. Thanks USA, thanks US MIL, thanks to all of the lame supporters that talk a big game ("I support our military"). I wish everyone in the nation were required to work in a VA hospital for at least one year, you must either do actual military service OR you must do actual time in a VA hospital. Madatory, like in places such as Finland and other free democracies that require military service. This is why I think the Affordable Care Act is a GREAT THING. Why? IT will allow the US public to see what it's like to be subjected to industrialized/socialized medicine (which is what the US Military is a perfect model of, it is the absolute definition of "socialism" yet so many people act like that word is the friggin boogeyman or something, we've been a "socialist" nation since our inception.) Maybe then the care given "to those who have bared the weight born in battle (Abe Lincoln) will become at least as good as that given to the private sector.

Reinstate the draft. Initiate a War Tax. Now. Americans are not feeling enough of the pain of war. It's entirely too easy to tell congress "yes" every time FOX News gets people all worked up and afraid of some new "threat" and we end up deploying troops. If everyone in the US knew that there was a chance that their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers may end up being drafted, and that an immediately effective War Tax were applied to every single taxpayer, we will think twice/thrice about saying "yes" to "shock and awe" (oh brother, what a joke that was).

Rant overwith, I'm just glad I use the Tucson VA hospital, it's rated as one of the best in the nation. Even so, this latest news about the Phx VA has me second guessing everything they do now. Who knows what other little surprises are to be found out about our mighty mighty VA system?

Go USA. Or something like that.

POST SCRIPT: Oh yea, and to make matters even MORE FUN, our air conditioning unit for our 25 year old home took a huge shit last Saturday (the day after my bad surgery issue and the 10 hour round trip). Of course it had to be during a mild heat wave of around 105f+. And of course the AC repair shops around here were all booked until yesterday (Thursday). So we suffered at home in 100+ heat with fans while I tried to recover. We ended up having to have an entirely new AC/Heat system installed ($4,800 bucks). So now, we have this great new AC system, more efficient, and all of that. And it's only been in the high 70s today and tomorrow. HAAHAA! So of course now that we have spent $5k on a new system, and I had to really gut it out without any AC during the last heat wave, of course the weather is really nice for the next several days and we won't even need it on at all!

HAAHAA! My kinda luck sometimes! Haahaa! :)

So, forgive my old-man "get off my lawn" attitude, I'm a pissy little whiny punk with a boo boo right now. I'll get over myself in a few days. :) I get angry at the csble news idiots, so I usually stay FAR FAR FAR away from watching them. But since I'm down with this health issue all I have done is watch TV (I can't even fiddle around out in the shop yet). Bad bad bad mojo on that there TV gadget! Especially any of the cable news stations.

LASTLY: Most folks have no idea that there is not one single protective law on any lawbooks anywhere within the US that says that news agencies are required to report the truth. Know that. Ok, back to my project bike ......... :)

May 14th, 2014: I just re-read this post. Wow, can I be a whiney little bitch-boy when I'm on pain meds during a heat wave or what? I am SO glad to be off of that crap by now. Anyhow, this post is something I use as a form of entertainment. I'd suggest anyone reading it take it no more seriously than I do. So then, in the words of the eternally funny Emily Latilla ...... "Nevermind".
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After all of my longwindedness and self confidence about using the girder front end I've elected to use a standard telescopic front end instead.

Since I've been recovering from that little procedure I had done I have had time to do some research on a few things. I was totally sold on using the girder front suspension system, I had a number of design modifications I wanted to try with it once I got it on the bike and it seemed like a great way to make a fun and unique bike. All well and good. After having another long telecom with Paul at Spitfire (the guy/place that makes the best girders on the market at present) and after receiving the engineering drawings on it, I think it may be better suited to a future project.

OFFSET: The equivalent offset of the girder is 4.5" (114.3mm). This is the distance measured from the extended centerline of the steering stem/headstock to the center of the front axle. Most of your street tracker type bikes use quite a bit less offset than 114mm, such as around 30mm to about 75mm tops. Below is some information I copied from the Cheney Engineering website, a page about "Steering 101" (here's a link .... ).


".... The basic elements of steering include rake, trail, and offset.

TRAIL: The trail plays a role in stabilizing the front-end by helping your tire develop a restoring force that attempts to keep your motorcycle traveling in a straight line. The longer the trail, the more the motorcycle will resist turns and be more stable on straight line driving. A shorter trail allows for quick and easier turns. The shorter trail makes the motorcycle want to "fall" into the turns.

RAKE: The rake plays a role by allowing any lean of the wheel to be translated into a turn of the wheel towards that lean. A more vertical rake allows the bike to handle bumps and ruts well, HOWEVER, by having a smaller rake you create a smaller trail and forfeit some straight line driving stability. A smaller rake also produces a lighter handling feel when turning. As you increase the rake, the motorcycle will produce a more heavier or sluggish handling feeling since the weight of the chassis is attempting to self-straighten the fork as it hangs in the steering axis.

The trail and the rake directly affect each other. If you shorten one, you automatically shorten the other. The opposite is also true. If you increase the angle of the rake, you also increase the length of the trail.

OFFSET: The third basic element is the offset. Offset is defined in millimeters (mm) and is measured from the centerline of the top of the steering stem axis to the centerline of the top of the fork tubes. An offset provides a second option for the setup of how the motorcycle will handle. The smaller offsets (35mm - 60mm) allows the motorcycle to angle more into the corner and push through the turn. However on exiting the corner, you will experience less (REAR WHEEL) traction allowing you to turn easier and stay on the inside of the track. As you increase the offset (60mm - 75mm) you obtain more (REAR WHEEL) traction coming out of the corners, but the greater offset forces the motorcycle into an upright position and you will drive more towards the outside of the track coming off the corner ...."


So longer offsets cause the bike to want to stand-up when coming out of turns, but you get more rear wheel hook up as you apply throttle when exiting a corner. Shorter offsets allow you to dove into a turn a bit harder while the bike wants to push a bit through the corner, but when exiting the back end will want to come around a bit better, allowing a person to steer with the throttle better.

Notice how dimensions of 75mm are considered the long end of the scale regarding offsets. With the girder, not only is it exceptionally long at 114+mm, but that dimension is not adjustable on a girder without making the pivot arms shorter (bad idea) or reconfiguring the girder's tube frame so that the offset is reduced (tucking the front axle in a bit rearward would fix the offset issue). Can it be done? Sure, you betchya. It's just not free nor is it instant.

WAIT! .... WEIGHT. (um, wait...): :wtf: Ok, this blindsided me. When I began researching the possibility of using a girder the published weights were right in around 27 pounds total (including the 0.750" front axle, both shocks, and all hardware). Recently, as Paul explained this, his supply of spec sized bolts he'd used for 25 years became no longer usable due to poor quality, and a lack of availability elsewhere. So Paul was forced to reengineer the girder to use a different setup on the pivots and their bushings. There is no longer a pivot bolt (8x) that the pivot arms pivot on, that "stud" is now an integral part of the upper and lower "trees" that extend out and allow the pivots arms to mount to those extensions. This system required the use of new materials for the trees, which changed the weight to a now hefty 36 pounds. 36 pounds! When compared to a standard 37mm telescopic front end with aluminum triple clamps 36 pounds is nearly TWICE the mass of the standard setup. I have four sets of telescopic forks kicking around here in 37mm and 39mm. The triple clamps are half cast steel and half cast aluminum (it's all stock 1982 Honda streetbike stuff). The lightest setup (two 32 inch long fork sticks with oil and springs, upper and lower triple clamps, and the front axle) totaled out at 18 pounds, the heaviest setup weighed in at 20 pounds total. I'm fairly certain I can get things a little lighter yet by using more optimal forksets and triples (available at Cheney). Not only that, a grand percentage of the girder front end's mass is unsprung.

While I certainly wish things were different, I'll be using a telescopic front end on this project bike ... for now ;)

In the interest of getting this bike on the road ASA-FRIGGIN-P, I'll mess with reinventing the girder front end after I get this bike up and running. My wife is really pushing me to get this bike rolling, not that she wants to get me out of her hair, we both just know how much this whole thing is affecting my health. All she wants is to see me healthy and happy, and she knows what it takes to get me there. I am truly a blessed man in some ways.

SHOPPING THE FRONT END: So now I'm sniffin' around for a front forkset. I plan on using as much Cheney stuff as possible (it sure makes for an easier build when one manufacturer supplies you with most of the fitments). That said, there are several forksets that Cheney supports, several of which are modern MX bike front ends due to their mass availability and their more-than-sufficient engineering. Cheney also supports Kawasaki EX500 forks (43mm standards), Yamaha R6 forks (43mm standards) as well as several of the USD types. So I suppose I have pick of the litter, I just need to decide which way to go! I'm doing a thread on this one!

And awaaaaaaaayyyy we go .... :laugh: :laugh: :thumbsup: :bike:
Wise decision I think. Myself that girder front end is more for a boardtrack racer or even a chopper.
Well, I've made a lifetime of breaking conventions, I'm FAR from ~done~ with the girder design, I'm just not adopting it right now as it were.

In the most recent issue of HOT BIKE there's a custom sportster that was built by a Japanese fella. It has a fully CNC'd billet girder front end that uses modern suspension components. It's anodized fully black and looks insanely great on the bike. The entire space frame of the girder is made of CNC'd aircraft aluminum, as well as the trees and pivot arms. It's very lightweight, far more rigid than any telescopic fork system, and tuneable. It's a fine example of someone who's taken the basic design elements of the girder and has fully modernized it into a superior suspension piece.

They are used today in many AHRMA type bikes that actively race in a number of classes (brakeless, etc ..) that are other than "boardtracker" (see the picture for an example of a flat track bike with a girder front end that's NOT a boardtracker).

The damned things really work, they just need to be updated. Engineers for decades have produced a bazillion reasons why the accepted norm (telescopic front ends) are about the worst design that can be adopted, with the girder type being their first choice. The problem is marketing and aesthetics. Too many people think that the girder front end "belongs on choppers" et al.

The issue is very similar to the "linkage" single shock rear suspension systems we've become so accustomed to. Today shock absorbers have become so good that the linkage setups are nearly non-progressive at all. The only reason bike manufacturers continue to install (ahem) so called progressive linkages under sportbikes at all is because when us Americans look underneath that bike in the showroom, it had BETTER have that stupid linkage under the frame or we'll go buy a bike that DOES have the stupid linkage under it, y'know, cuz "everyone knows" it's better (ugh ... sheep). When in reality when the modern linkage systems are charted out it's pretty plain to see that they do little (or nothing) to add to any progressive spring or damping action, because shock tech has become ~just that good~ that progressive linkages provide little or no improvements, the shocks are doing all the work these days and the linkages have been all but totally dialed out of the equations. But yet, there those linkages are, selling bikes!

So then, all of that stuff is fair enough, but right now I just want to ride. :)

So we'll goof with the girder another time. :)


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THE YZ650 IS BEGINNING TO COME INTO ITSELF (an all new front end approach, hooked up with a 2001 R6 front end!):

I really like the designator "YZ650" for this bike. It had not hit me until I scored a 2001 Yamaha R6 front end over the weekend. The stanchions are in what could be described as ~excellent~ "A+" condition, and it's been my experience that when the stanchions are good more than half the battle is won when dealing with used forks.

"Ch Ch Ch changes" ... this bike's sense of self is emerging.... I AM ME!

It's been mentioned in this thread (and I'm sure many many MANY others as well) that these bike projects tend to take on lives of their own. Sometimes the builder has such a strong image within the mind's eye of how the bike is to turn out that the finished project varies little (if at all) from that mind's eye image the builder had etched into his/her brain. But most of us tend to allow the build to guide us through the design. The bike ends up being a combination of intention and accident. What you may have intended to do may get changed due to some circumstance, such as unforeseen opportunities that arise in the form of parts finds.

In my case, I was really stuck in a mud-bog of indecision regarding exactly ~what~ I was going to do with the front end since the girder system was scratched from this project. Well, the Universe decided for me when I stumbled upon the 2001 R6 front end over this past weekend. About a gazillion decisions are now made for me with the R6 front end going on this bike (just so you know the 2001 R6 front end is not an inverted system, it's just a standard cartridge type telescopic fork with 43mm stanchions and a 755mm overall length.) So with this find, choices such as which brakes to use, triple clamps and so on, all of these things are so much more narrowed down now, it's really taken a lot of pressure off of me since these decisions are now sortof made "for me" without undue brain-drain.

For now I'm just going to use the stock R6 brakes (remember the main idea is to get this bike on the road and riding! .... adding fluff and foofoo can come later). There's some triple clamp issues that I need to work out this week, but they are easy-peasy issues. The R6 front end is probably THE most popular front end amongst the flattrack racing bunch. So there is a boatload of performance tech on them out there, as well as another boatload of performance parts available for them in the aftermarket.

So, on the way here is the R6 front end (pictured) as well as a pair of R6 calipers (blue pot covers) that have only 3K miles on them. They're take-offs from a 2002 R6 that the owner replaced with Brembos right away.

So like I said, this bike is taking on it's own identity. I no longer feel it is a "street tracker", and it's also not a "bobber", or a "chopper" .. I think I am actually achieving my loftiest goal with it. That is to say, this bike defies definition. It is not another construct that will be easily slotted into some preconceived pigeonhole or genre. It's just a hot rod troublemaker streetbike. It is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. I'll allow it to become whatever it becomes as I collect the parts and pieces that the Universe throws our way that will assemble it's identity. All the while retaining the heart of a racer.

Well then, this project bike now has a 1975 Yamaha YZ400 fuel tank, a 1981 Yamaha XS650 engine, and a 2001 Yamaha R6 front suspension and braking system. It has enough Yamaha DNA taken from many of their best sources that I think it has earned the badge of YZ650 at this point.



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Whatever medication you're taking, I want some...
Uh, no you don't. That shit's horrid. Hell I don't even want to be on it. I'm glad I'm totally off of it by now. I had the most recent stent removed yesterday (that ten hour round trip thing to Tucson VA) so the worst of this last bout is finally over, a nine month long funtime magic beauty gorgeous sparkle time of a shiney shiney fun life (ya ever see those nail salons in LA, the way they use that type of grammar on their business signs? haahaa). It began September 14th of last year when I passed a 6.1mm monster at home, which resulted in a gnarly kidney infection and a five day stay in the local hospital. It's been a friggin party since then! Infections, another stone (8mm+), another severe infection with "cream cheese pus" nearly losing the kidney to it all, two more stents, another stay in the hospital with another infection (seven days that time). Yesterday the ride came to a "for now" end with the removal of that last stent. First time in nine months that I've not hurled oats every morning from the bladder spasm meds or the pain meds, so today marks a certain kind of freedom for me. For now there's no stones (says the bilateral CT scan I had two weeks ago in Tucson), there's no infections, there's no stents, there's no pain control meds for that issue. I'm looking for wood to knock on .. ah yes, there's a nice hard piece right there ... right there on top of my shoulders! So I'll just knock on that big wooden head of mine in hopes that it's over for now at least (don't wish to tempt fate and all of that). ;)

One thing that really helps is that I remind myself that no matter how bad I might have it, there's always someone else hurting far worse. And there are those that have survived far worse than what I am going through, as well. And no matter how bad I think I have it, whining about it won't fix a thing. Those ideas help to "straighten my back" so to speak. A sortof reminder for me to buck-up and not wallow in my own piss. Attitude is as important as medicine when dealing with adversity, keeping the lights off and living in a chronically darkened room does nothing but stack shit on top of shit. And doing that is disrespectful to all of those people that are genuinely trying to help you (family, friends, professionals). I feel I need to work at least as hard as everyone else is at making me get better. Keeping perspective and a good attitude is the least thing I can do for them, doing otherwise undermines their efforts, and that's plain old not fair to them (even if I don't care about myself, y'know what I mean?). :)

My wife went through stage 3 breast cancer. And throughout the entire ordeal she woke up every morning with a smile on her face and something nice to say. That woman is a friggin rock star. I aspire to be like her, and often make attempts to do just that. But to be honest, after 35 years of putting up with the likes of me that girl deserves a medal. During her "rough patch" as she calls it, the way she dealt with adversity was downright inspiring. I often think of her strength when I feel like I want to whine about my little "poor me" problem. Haahaa! :)

So, no more consuming of the mass quantities for the kidney issue, sorry. And ~no~ I don't have any left to send to you. ;)

bla bla bla .... again with the too much information :doh: .... I've got carbs to photograph, s'pose I best hesh up and get to it!

Shutting up in 3 ... 2 .. 1.
Haha, ok, you convinced me, don't want those meds, don't need any hurlin'.

Good attitude, though! Keep up the good fight, keep on keepin' on...

Wow, this is some neat stuffs. The R6 front end was an amazingly fun adventure when it arrived. It was packed up like treasure or precious jewelry. And the seller actually respected the customer enough to clean the front end (like, really really cleaned it!) before packaging it up. A lesson we'd all do well accepting by the way. It was like X-mas when I was 14 all over again. The packaging, the way the front end literally glistened and sparkled in the sunlight, and the big-eyed wow-faces my wife and I wore as we opened it all up. Haahaa .... like kids.

I'm pretty blown away by this front end. I immediately pulled a fork leg and went directly out to the shop to weigh it. I've been scouring the web for months attempting to locate weight specs on these forks. I mean, it's a 43mm front end, gotta be heavier than the 37mm and 39mm front ends I've used on a number of race bikes over the years, right?


The left 2001 R6 fork leg, with oil and spring installed, came in at 7 pounds 15 ounces. Wait, what? That's gotta be wrong. It HAS to be wrong. Let's try it again, make sure to zero-out the digital scale first, ok go. DAYUM! Yup, same reading.

Compared to a 1982 Yamaha XJ650J Maxim 36mm fork stick. Hmm, 9 pounds flat. How's about a 1984 Honda Magna V45 700cc 37mm fork leg with oil and spring. No way, 9 pounds 10 ounces! Ok, one more .... a 1984 Honda Nighthawk S 700cc 39mm fork leg with oil and spring. Hells bells .... 9 pounds 10 ounces.

So then, a 2001 Yamaha R6 43mm fork leg is roughly 2 pounds LIGHTER than some forks that are as small as 36mm. Ok, that is one bet I would have lost the hell out of!

The front axle is an enormous hunk of a murder weapon itself. The steering stem is an artful piece of gold zinc plated machined jewelry as well. This entire front end is so much overkill for this bike, it's amazing. Sure, I could do a number of uprates to this front end since R6 trick stuff is abundant within the aftermarket, but to be honest it's already so much of that "killing an ant with a sledge hammer" overkill that it really would just be self indulgent to do any trickery to it. But then again these funbikes are nothing but 100% self indulgent to begin with so may as well keep the train rolling, right? Haahaa! :)

Lastly, fork leg length comes to about 29.750 inches. That's from the axle centerline to the top of the fork leg NOT TO INCLUDE the little blue preload adjuster gadget on the top of the fork cap. Fork slider length (axle centerline to the top of the wiper seal on the fork slider) is 13.750". Triple clamp offset is roughly 38.825mm (+/-) by my own measurements.

CALIPERS: Ok, same :yikes: result there. The calipers come in at 2 pounds 3 ounces each (L and R) without the mounting bolts installed. That is about a full pound LIGHTER than the Honda 2-piston calipers from the 1980s that were used on nearly every Honda built for roughly 12+ years. And these R6 calipers are FOUR PISTON, not just two piston like those old Honda units. So, again with the "Holy Crap!" reaction on my part. They're easy on the eyes as well. Even the mounting bolts for the calipers are typical Yamaha trickness. They're rifle-drilled stainless steel bolts. Lovely. How very ~Yamaha~. They came with some type of brake pads (???), but whatever they are they appear to have some life left within them. At least enough to get the bike around the block a few times until I can rebuild them to functional perfection. The rebuild kits I've located so far are about $75 bucks, which takes care of two calipers and do not include new pistons.

So I can has a modern front end that actually weighs about FIVE POUNDS LESS than an older front end of lesser rigidity and performance.

I'm waiting to hear back from Jerry Cheney about this front end. He's already told me he can build the frame to adopt any front end I wish, so I'm not worried, I just need to iron out a few details such as steering stops and a few other neat niceties I've had him add/change. :wink2:

For the time being I'll be using the 17 inch stock front R6 wheel/tire until the money machine produces more money to obtain something else in the front wheel department. Or ya never know, they may end up staying on the bike. These things have a tendency of changing over time .........

CHENEY TT HUB AND ADJUSTABLE OFFSET TRIPLE CLAMPS: If I decide to do so, Cheney offers a "TT Hub" that is set up to accept disk adaptors to run dual front disks. They also offer a set of adjustable offset triple clamps. Both the TT hub and the triples can be ordered for use with the 43mm R6 forks (the R6 forks are easily THE most popular fork used in flat track these days, bar none.) So, using his triples and hub I can set up a 19 inch spoked wheel with R6 brakes and 43mm fork legs. What I do NOT know is if Cheney offers a conversion hub that will permit the use of R6 front ends without having to use the Cheney triple clamps. It's just a matter of spacers and an axle. Cheney already offers axles of many types, and they already offer many types of disk spacers. So I'm hoping that they have an R6 fork adaptor setup to allow the use of the entire stock R6 front end with a spoked hub without requiring the trick triple clamps. The triples they have are WAY cool, but they're also $600 bucks. I'd prefer to save that if possible. :)

So for now I'm using the stock R6 17 inch front wheel assembly. I don't know if the 17 will affect what I see in my mind regarding this bike or not. Who knows, it may end up staying on it. This project has already changed pretty drastically from the original vision, so at this point the sky is the limit (I suppose) when it comes to ~what~ this bike becomes. Budget and time are the limiting factors. My wife is really pressing me to just get it on the road, reminding me that we can make changes after it is road worthy. I have little choice but to agree with her, for no other reason than I agree with her. If left to me, this bike would take five years to complete because I often times do not know how to pick my battles. I end up getting stuck on making something work out that it stalls the project for extended periods. Y'know, like the girder front end was doing to this build. It was going to be this enormous boat anchor dragging the project in a downward spiral into obscurity. So drop it and if I want to pursue the girder ideas I can do so AFTER the bike is road bound. Yup, she knows me well all righty, that wife of mine does!

So here's pics of the front end and calipers. :) Axle, disks, and front wheel will show up next week I would imagine. Total cost of the entire front end so far (R6 front end, R6 calipers, R6 wheel, discs, axle, plus shipping of all of that stuff) has come to roughly $600.

Front end = $325 shipped.
Calipers = $27 each shipped (total of $52).
Stock R6 Front wheel with discs, bearings, used tire, and axle = $225 shipped.

I've also located any number of matching rear R6 calipers for around ... get this ... $12 bucks shipped. Yes, I said twelve U.S. Dollar Bucks and that includes shipping it to me. Wow, who'da thunk it? So if I can end up using all R6 running gear in front and rear it will make upkeep over the years to come just that much easier. :)

Gotta Jet. :)


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Located an R6 wheel/tire on eBay, the seller ends up being in my city. Picked it up yesterday.

**** 2001 R6 front wheel, with bearings.
**** Pirelli 120/70 Diablo tire, about 60% worn out (date code unknown for now, I need to look up how Pirelli dated their tires).
**** Bearings with about 60K on them.
**** Both rotors. Stock max thickness = 5mm. "Resurface interval" (??) = 4.5mm. Left rotor = 4.76mm. Right rotor = 4.69mm.
**** Front axle with both spacers.

Here's some fun info, wheels, used tires, valve stems, wheel bearings, worn rotors, rotor bolts.....

:) 2001 R6 17 inch = 24 pounds 15 ounces.

:) 1984 Honda Magna V45 700cc 18 inch = 28 pounds 9.4 ounces.

:) 1982 Honda Sabre V45 750cc 18 inch = 32 pounds 4.4 ounces.

:) 1985 Honda Nighthawk S 700cc 16 inch = 28 pounds 5.6 ounces.


:) 2001 R6 = 15.6 ounces x 22mm.

:) 1982 Honda Sabre V45 750cc = 13.8 ounces.

SO NOW I HAVE GATHERED ..... darned near the complete front end. I also located an upper triple clamp mounted steering damper. We'd been watching it on eBay for about a week or so, suddenly yesterday morning it dropped by $50 bucks so we snagged it before some other watched noticed the price reduction. Hit the "BIN" button no longer than about 3 minutes after the price drop! As of now .....

:) 1981 Yamaha XS650 Engine, condition is actually unknown just yet but at first glance and peeks it looks to be at least "OK".

:) An entire 2001 R6 43mm front suspension set, ready for any rebuilding or refurbing needed. This set of forks is in outstanding condition. Someone took excellent care of their R6.

:) A 2001 R6 front wheelset (wheel/tire/rotors/axle/spacers).

:) Right and left 2001 R6 calipers with mounting bolts, bracket, and brake pads that look to be at least 70% on the good side.

:) GPR upper triple clamp mounted steering damper.

:) 1975 Yamaha YZ400 fuel tank. I found and purchased the proper fuel cap and rubber goodies for this tank, those gadgets are en route. I really love this tank, I plan on buying at least two or three more. As well as one that is a total cherry, I don't care about the paint job, but I want it to be 100% dentless. Yea, at least one super duper specimen of this tank on hand would be great along with a couple/few "riders".

:) Solo flat track/bobber type seat (actually I have THREE of those things, as well as a brand new racing seat for a HD Sportster, and one or two other ~maybes~ sitting around here).

I'm at less than $750 total expenditure by this point. And ~no~, I still have yet to really order this bike's frame! I've had a number of communications with Jerry Cheney, and we're all ready and a "GO!" for everything. I just keep running into deals that fall into my lap that are so good I can't pass them up. More than once those deals have redirected this project's trajectory. So I keep putting off ordering that frame until I'm certain I am on a certain path first. I honestly think I am on to this bike's natural flow of gravity by now. These things can be like water, it will find it's own path at times. So anyhow I think I finally have the stones up to order that bloody frame! Do you folks have ANY clue as to how many times I went back and forth between the competition rigid and the suspended frame (both by Cheney, of course)? Man, it's been a ride! Anyhow, I finally grew a set of nards, put my purse down and am set to go on ordering the Sonic Weld Cheney Engineering frame now. The vision I have for this bike at this point is pretty sick. Happy. :)



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