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Discussion Starter #1
A couple weeks ago I picked up this gently used 100% stock 95 thunderbird with 9,700 miles and a bad sprag clutch. This is my first triumph (although I work at a Triumph dealership) I figured it would make for a good modern café style commuter. I would like to put an inverted fork set up off of a something like Honda CBR1000rr and was wandering if anybody else has done this and could offer some pointers. Any input is greatly appreciated Thank you













 

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Welcome Mason :)

I fitted some ZX7R USD forks modded with Racetech compression valves, keeping my Legend 17" spoked wheel, but upgrading the brake to a Triumph/Alcon 6 pot caliper & floating disc.

In my original plan I had some incorrect data which took me in this direction - believing the 7R forks were about 28mm longer than they were & a similar amount longer than most if not all the other options such as Suzuki/Showa types. The reasoning was because it had been thought by others that the typical lengths were too short, reduced ground clearance too much, on our frames. This turned out to be untrue, and fact the altered geometry, nose down & tail up (with a Kawa shock & custom dogbones/links), all works brilliantly.

Even tho' the 7R yokes had a larger 'offset' than many options, they were still much less than the original forks. Which by itself would have increased trail & slowed the steering considerably. But the estimated (IIRC) 4deg reduction in effective head rake, and roughly 80mm reduction in wheelbase all took the geometry back to a touch less trail than stock & none of the sweetly neutral handling was lost at all. In fact the increased swing arm angle took the rear 'squat' to a more neutral behaviour for corner exit hard on the gas.

So, the 7R Kayaba are an option, but there are others that would work just as well imo. The thread is here:

http://www.triumphrat.net/hinckley-classic-triples/164910-zx7r-96-03-usd-fork-conversion-legend.html





 

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Wow you're off to a good start!

The black painted motor and polished aluminum motor bits are a great combo. If you have more pictures of splitting the cases for a sprag clutch replacement, post them up. It's always asked about here on the forum.

IrlMike has a very detailed thread on the zx7r fork swap, I plan on following in his tracks eventually....got most of the parts but been side tracked by another bike and other stuff and the weather is nice now :rolleyes:

Welcome to the forum and don't take it personal when we bash Triumph mechs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys!

Mike your thread was defiantly helpful, one of my concerns was changing the geometry of the bike and how it would handle. I’ve never road it in stock form due to the motor issue but I’m sure there is lots of room for improvement. How do you like your rear shock set up? I’m sure I will be changing my rear as well but I haven’t gotten to making any measurements.

Rollinslow84 I won’t take it personal at all lol I went to school for mechanics and I’m Honda certified but I only wrenched for a couple years until I moved into sales and eventually finance and that’s what I do now.
 

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Quite a few of the Kawa rear shock options (Sports bike range) are at or near the stock length. Some need a shim or two at the bottom mount & either sleeving or drilling for the mounting bolt size, nothing hard to do. The dogbones are just 8mm thick steel plate, with two holes either end - easy enough to fabricate to set the ride height. The battery box and rear airbox needs moving for reservoir clearance on most of them (near all the later years).

However, all the Kawa shock options are a bit lightly sprung by the usual guidance from Racetech, Traxxion etc. Ok for lighter riders, solo, not so much with a pillion or even heavier solo riders, depending on the exact model & year. My present one is off an 08 ZX6R, a Showa adjustable for high & low speed compression, rebound & preload. It comes with a 9.2kg/mm spring, but I gained 6% effectively, compared to a TBS and 96(97?) on Tbirds etc. because I also fitted an early VIN swing arm which is 30mm shorter. (Also quickens steering a bit, down to ~ 1475mm wheelbase now IIRC, or about 4" less than stock triples.)

Maybe not the ultimate for a track bike, but as good as I'll need for quick road use. The forks give great steering precision & high speed stability, noticeably less flexy than stock forks (the big advantage with USDs and shorter length too). Taken a while to dial in the settings, but I'm pretty much using the full edges of the Sport tyres I'm using - giving loads of confidence in corner grip. For Irelands poor rural roads, late visiblity into corners & poor road surface often means braking & line changes going into a turn. My set up handles everything I can throw at it now without any dramas.

With the front dropped a bit in my set up, raising the rear also got me some ground clearance back, but also helped the geometry.

Trat member Tmod is a suspension tech who helped me upgrade the forks with Racetech valves. Highly recommended. I suggest you plan something like this from the start.

Edit: Just realised you have a 95 Tbird, so it should have the shorter swing arm already (up to VIN 60502)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I got the motor in but it put up a pretty good fight! I'm embarrassed to say how many hours it took lol

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not wanting to hack up my stock fender but have a cleaner look I decided to make my own. I finished it up last night but still need to take a couple more pictures. This is my first time using fiberglass to make something this big but it was fun and I can’t wait to make other stuff!





 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm only about a week away from having her on the road! I would still like to do a front end swap but I’m waiting to find the right deal to keep the build cost low, I’ve never had t bird before and when it’s time to sell it I don’t want to lose my ass lol





 

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Wow

It's coming together real quickly & nicely.

Kudos

BTW do you work at the Calmoto in Mountain View?
 

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Dude sweet! I wish I was a bit closer so I could check that thing out! I'm out in LA.
 

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nice :) I like the colour combos there!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bike is finished, running amazing and its FOR SALE!! Just posted an add in the classifieds in anyone is interested.

 
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