Dave W's

Full Mono Shock Conversion

This is what my bike looked like after 6 long hard years (due to lack of time/money)


After just having the whole top end re-built, it still had a bit of a running issue which i traced to a dodgey coil, so after finding some on e-bay i was on my way to my workshop to fit the final piece and it would be finished. However a very blind man in a very big pick-up truck decided he had more right to be on my side of the road and BANG. Next thing i know i'm on my way to hospital in the back of an ambulance.
Luckily nothing was broken (apart from the front end of my bike) and after limping for a couple of months i decided to start fixing the bike.
I wanted to improve on the handling and brakes because it was where i felt the FZX lacked slightly, and being a welder/machienist and having a whole engineering workshop at my disposal, this was very possible.
So i got on the computer and started researching. Luckily there were quite a few web sites dedicated to the FZX and many of them described modifications in great deal, one of them being FZX750.co.uk, which i found very helpful. Although most of them involved the XJR or FZR, and i'm not normally one to follow the crowd, so after a bit more research i had decided on the R1 blue spot callipers for the brakes. Then i thought what if i could fit the whole front and back end from the R1, that would be cool. So i got back on the internet and took some measurements and things looked possible so i thought i'd go for it. I liked the look of the 1999 swingarm (the 4xv model), and so it was decided.
After a few last second cunning out-bids on e-bay i managed to get most of the parts i needed all from one guy, which saved a lot on the postage.

The frame had a little pit of paint flaking off just under the head stock which looked to me like it could be a sign of a bent frame and i wasn't going to take any chances and luckily there was a good frame on e-bay for £100 so i grabbed it.

When it all arrived i gave it all a good clean and got to work.

The bits were in pretty good nick
(pics 2,3,4,5)


The first thing to do was offer up the swingarm which as you can see from the pic was a bit wider that the original. i didn't want to take anything off the end of the swingarm because how the bearing sits in the end of it so i decided to grind off the excess on the frame, as there was plenty of meat in this area.
(pic 6)


The next obvious thing was the bracket that holds the battery box, so out came the grinder again.
(pic 7)


Now with the FZX swingarm shaft being 19 mm and the R1 being 20 mm i decided to drill the holes in the frame out to 20 mm.
The shaft was a little bit longer so i made a washer to suit.
(pic 8)


And voila, stage 1 complete.
(pic 9)


Next was to fit the rear shock, so i made up some brackets out of 8mm mild steel
(pic 10,11)

And because the frame wasn't built to take a mono shock, i welded some 25 x 10 across the frame top and bottom where the brackets would go.
(pic 12,13)

12 13
Shock in, job done.
(pic 14)


Next up, front end.
I thought about pressing the FZX steering shaft into the R1 bottom yoke because the R1 shaft is shorter, but the i'd have to bush the top yoke to suit so thought it'd be easier to just extend the R1 shaft, i think it was an extra 17 mm.
(pic 15)


The bottom bearing was exactly the same size so that wasn't a problem but the top bearing was a different story. I couldn't get a taper bearing that suited the R1 shaft and the FZX frame but i did find a single direction angular contact thrust ball bearing (say that  fast 3 times) but it wasn't cheap. With them in, the yokes were on.
(pic 16)


I had decided that i wanted to keep the bike looking as original as i could which meant using the speedo and such but because the R1 doesn't have a speedo drive in the wheel, i started looking at fitting the FZX speedo drive into it. This was a bit tricky but not impossible.
First was to bore out the drive to fit the front shaft and while it was in the lathe i took a skim off the front face, i'll explain why in a bit.
(pic 17)


Then i had to make the drive fit the wheel which meant milling 2 slots into the side of the bore to take the tabbed washer that drives the speedo.
(pic 18)


Also had to bore it out to the size of the washer, and to the right depth.
(pic 19,20)

Next up, the fork. luckily there is a bit of meat here that can come off.
(pic 21)

Before i took anything off it, i measured from the centre of the wheel to the outside of the fork, just to make sure that when i was done, the fork was in the right place. I didn't write anything down i'm afraid, all done in my head.
So into the milling machine,
(pic 22)

Job done.
(pic 23)

Remember i took a skim off the outside of the drive, well this is why.
It left a nice lip (coloured in green) that would locate on a chamfer i filed on the bottom of the fork. this would hold the drive in place and stop it from spinning. Clever ay ;-)
(pic 24,25)


Drive in.
(pic 26)


starting to get somewhere.
(pic 27)


Now for the risers. They polished up quite nicely as i was hoping, but the R1 top yoke was designed for use with clip-ons and so was a bit flimsy so it needed beefing up a bit.
i milled out the small web underneath, both sides, and made some solid blocks of ali to weld inside them.
(pics 28,29,30,31,32)

Then drilled some holes for the risers and made some ali washers, not only to spread the load but also to hide the old holes that the clip-ons bolted to.
(pic 33,34)


Once i got the motor in i could see how the sprockets lined up and as i guessed they were a bit out, by about 8-9mm so i made a 5 mm spacer to pack out the front sprocket and noticed the rear sprocket had a 4mm recess on the out side, so simply took it off, turned it over and bolted it back on.

I made up this plate to hold the clocks and the headlight, and drilled and tapped into the bottom of the yoke to fix it in place
(pic 35,36,37)
I took off the ignition fixing because it was in the way.

I found some nice rearsets on e-bay again (i love e-bay) and managed to pick up on one of the old footrest fixings, just had to pack it out a little, but welded a threaded bush onto the frame to fix the other end to.
(pic 38,39)


Then i just cut the end off the old gear leaver, drilled a hole in the end and fixed it to the shaft that came with the rearsets
(pic 40,41,42)


For the rear pegs i just worked out the difference between the old front footrest position and the new rearset position and transfered this to the rear peg position so that they both had the same offset. I found out by research that the R1 rear peg hangers were perfect. got on e-bay again, made up some fixing brackets, and welded them on, as well as a new exhaust fixing.
(pic 43,44,45,46)


As for the rear brake, i got a trick little master cylinder with the reservoir built in (again on e-bay) and a couple of brackets later, it was fitted, although i later had to adjust the angle of it after the road test due to the fluid not getting through.
(pic 47)


Now because the rear shock now sits where the battery and wiring used to be, i had to re-locate it, so decided the only thing to do was get rid of the air box and fit pod filters, and fit the battery in it's place, so i got the smallest battery i could and made up a box for it to sit in just in front of the carbs. I built in a bit to hide some of the wiring as well.
(pic 48,49,50,51)


While i was at it i made a tray for some of the wiring to sit in above the rear shock.
(pic 52,53)


I had to cut the wiring loom apart and move a few things around but i had a good wiring diagram so it wasn't that much hassle.
Its obvious what needs moving when you lay it out.

i re-located the ignition to the mesh cover under the dummy tank cover by cutting a hole in it and welding a fixing bracket to the battery box.
(pic 54)


the last thing to do was get the panels painted and i got my mate Nick (who is a sign writer) to make me up some new stickers.
(pic 55)


Also found a cheap carbon fibre front mud guard and rear hugger (thanks again e-bay)
(pic 56,57)

Panels on, time for a test ride.




(pic 58,59,60,61,62,63,64)