Single Sided Swingarm on VF500F?

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by BLIGHT, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    Actually not surprised the stock R is only slightly wider than the 500. 3.5" is a really narrow wheel. Sounds about right, mine is at 125mm or around 5". Considering it has a 2" wider rim, a .75" greater measurement from CL would be about correct.

    Every bit helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  2. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    UPDATE: Still waiting on the Hawk GT swingarm to show up. Should arrive this week. In the mean time, I have removed the VF500F swingarm on my test mule, and it's ready to fit the Hawk GT arm when it shows. My NC30 fuel tank showed up yesterday! It fits the frame really well and looks good. It will need some body work, paint, decals, a petcock, and locking cap. Still no painted body panels from China yet... still waiting. Also waiting on the NC30 headlight, tailight, and seat(s)

    I've been doing a lot of internet research on the various combinations of Honda SSS arms, fitted with various wheels. It appears almost any combination of Honda swingarms will accept bearing carriers from Ducati, Triumph, and Aprilia. That means over a dozen different style OEM wheels can be fitted, and about that many aftermarket ones as well.

    Some have the 4-bolt 100mm VFR pattern, and others are center spindle-nut mounted like the OEM Hawk GT, VF400RR NC30, RC30, RC45, Triumph 955, Sprint, etc., with 100mm drive pins. The 6" Triumph rims have a different C/L offset from what I have found and would require machining, but I can't go that wide anyway due to chain clearance. The other option is to fit different spindles in the Honda bearing carrier to permit either a 4 bolt setup (90'-93' VFR 17" x 5.5") or the other single center-nut wheels. It's all pretty modular and interchangeable stuff it seems.

    I found a UK eBay seller willing to ship to the USA, so I struck a deal on a used NC30 rear wheel, 18" x 4.5" with the center nut mount. I have heard it bolts right up to the Hawk spindle. I know, the 18" rear rubber is pretty limited, but I ordered a Bridgestone 160/60-ZR18 BT016 rear radial today to mount up to it. The OEM rear wheel on the VF500F is 18" also, so no change there, except for increased rim and tire width.

    Once I get the Hawk swingarm mounted and check & adjust the alignments for chain and wheel centerlines, I will need to source a rear shock. The original Hawk shock could work, but they are hard to come by used, and there are many alternatives that use a simple and direct 'linkless' mounting, including the Buell Blast, Honda 919, Ducati Monster 696 and many others. You need a spring rate around 1200 lbs (!) per inch with damping rates to suit, and the right length eye to eye for proper ride height. Typical sport bike monoshocks with swingarm linkages are a much lower spring rate than that & simply won't work.

    Tomorrow AM I'll snap a couple of pics of the NC30 tank sitting on the frame rubbers, and of the rear arm removed. It leaves a HUGE hole back there! BTW, the Kawi ZR750 tank did not fit, and it's for sale on eBay!

    Cheers,
    BLIGHT
     
  3. invisible cities

    invisible cities New Member

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    Very interesting project. Look forward to following the progress.
     
  4. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    I pulled out my VFR400 wheel and Hawk arm and have some numbers for you to chew on while you're waiting on parts. Hope it helps.

    VFR400wheelhawkarm.jpg

    Distance from wheel CL to outside of chain(yellow) is a little over 5". The cush pictured has no collars or cush rubbers inside so it is slightly closer to the wheel so...probably closer to the 5.25"? The cush housing is narrower than the 750/800 but it's sprocket location on the hub is the same. The 750/800 uses larger cush rubbers.

    Hawkarm.jpg

    The collar that centers the wheel to the spindle is different from the Hawk to the VFR. The Hawk's spindle is meant to seat into it's collar up to the step shown. The VFR just has a lip that rides in the wheel so I think the hawk spindle is slightly shorter. It only goes into the VFR wheel 5mm. I'd like to see it go further up into the wheel, it is hollow and riding on just 5mm of the rim of the spindle would make me nervous. Some might be cool with that, that's your call.

    Hawk left VFR right
    centerlock.jpg

    400hawkspindle.jpg

    I didn't trust my lower frame for CL. I used a line from steering neck center-front tank mount-rear tank mount- rear sub cross member hole. Came out perfect to front wheel.

    Look forward to tank pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    Hi... thanks for the info!!! Very helpful. Likely I'll likely just put an NC30 spindle or eccentric in the Hawk arm, so the NC30 wheel will bolt up.

    Here are some pics of the 'project' mule bike as of this AM:

    [​IMG]

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    Can hardly wait to get more parts. BTW, I'm now thinking of painting or coating the wheels metallic black like I did on the SuperHawk in previous pics. I just like the looks, and white wheels are a PITA to keep clean. I'd rather ride than polish.

    See ya!
    BLIGHT
     
  6. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    Is the chain on the front sprocket in the above photo?

    If so...

    Note below. The rear sprocket carrier mounting surface is inline with the left front pivot arm. Add to that the thickness of 3/4 of the chain(12-15mm or +/-.5"). If the arm is all the way against the frame there is likely interference. In your pic, the front sprocket looks well inboard of the frame. It will be close, finger's crossed.

    Hawkarm.jpg

    Tank looks great.
     
  7. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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  8. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    Sorry, didn't think to mention that I had both. I have a 750 and 800 arm as well. IIRC, you said wheel CL to chain outside on the stock 500 was around 4"? That would put you at 1"+ offset for the Hawks 5+" CL to chain outside. What is the distance from outside chain to sprocket cover? Do you have an inch to push the sprocket out? That will really tell you where to go from there.
     
  9. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    Wow, you have a nice collection of parts! That 4" measurement was 'quick & dirty' (not too accurate) Yes, there is some clearance from the chain to the sprocket cover (you can see it in the photos above). I'd really be surprised if I need to offset anything, but until I actually fit the arm I just can't say. Just not gonna worry about it for now anyway.

    BLIGHT
     
  10. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    Yeah, I have too many parts kicking around for my own good.

    I know the 4" is a "dirty" measurement, it's more like 3.75" or 93mm from a reliable '86 500 owner.

    I totally respect that you need to see for yourself. Sounds a lot like me!
    Here's to hope!
     
  11. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    Funny - I have always thought that a light conventional swingarm for my VFR 800 would make it a MORE functional, lighter bike.

    No accounting for opinions on what improves the bike and what doesn't.




    .
     
  12. invisible cities

    invisible cities New Member

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    Blight, out of curiosity, would you mind posting the weight of the stock 500 swingarm compared to the Hawk's SSS?
     
  13. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    You might be the first one to do it, although there would be no discernible difference in handling I would say. IF you really believe it's the way to go, then go for it!

    A SuperHawk 996 conventional arm and rear wheel will bolt right up. I know this because the VFR800 SSS fits the Superhawk like it was made for it... engine mount points, pivot bolt, etc.

    As far as weight loss, some Jenny Craig might be a better investment... hehehe

    Cheers,
    BLIGHT
     
  14. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    You betcha... I have a digital load-cell scale in the shop and I'll weigh the entire assemblies for both setups: shocks, linkages, arm, wheel, tire, rotor, sprocket, caliper, pivot bolt, etc. for comparison. Not fair to just weigh and compare the swingarms only!

    I think the SSS final assembly will be a little heavier if not for component size alone, for example the NC30 wheel will be 4.5" wide and the new Bridgestone tire will be a 160. The stock VF500 stuff is a lot skinnier.

    I going to venture a guess that the completed SSS assembly will be just a few pounds heavier than stock, but I could be way off... we'll see!

    Still w-a-i-t-i-n-g for my parts to show!!

    BLIGHT
     
  15. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    Does that mean I would have to cut out the beer and bacon?!? ;-)

    BTW, I remember reading a story on the design of the Ducati 999. Seems that Corse wanted a lightweight conventional swingarm and won out. Ducati wemt back to the SSS for its next superbike, though . . .










    .
     
  16. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    mmmmm, BACON!
     
  17. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    Don't get wrapped up in the chain rubbers. They may be at the same location on the arm but know this, the Hawk arm and shock are not centered in the frame like the 500's is. It is off center to the left. Honda needed to do this to get the wheel to line up on that narrow motor. You can have 2 arms with the same width but have 2 totally different locations in their respective frames. A guy measured his Hawk CL to chain outside for me and came up with roughly 5" with a 525 chain. If you line the chain up with no offset, your wheel will be out 20-25mm's.

    I know you want this badly, I do too for you, but these numbers are not going to go away and you seem reluctant to come to terms with them. I'm curious as to why you asked me for the CL to chain measurement in the first place. With the measurements I've taken as well as those from others for me, it's clear you'll have .75-1.0" to deal with in chain offset(if you want the wheel centered). I'm open to thoughts as to why this isn't the case. It's possible I'm missing something.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  18. BLIGHT

    BLIGHT New Member

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    Y'know... here are my thoughts. I think I'll just check in later when the project is either a) completed or b) abandoned.
    Way too much negative thinking here for me to stay motivated or even think straight... just don't need it right now.
    I will definitely let you all know the final outcome, but thanks for all your inputs anyway.

    Still waiting on some crucial parts from overseas, so progress is slower than I like.

    You won't be hearing from me for a bit folks until I sort this out my way.

    See ya,
    BLIGHT
     
  19. hopit88

    hopit88 New Member

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    I'm sorry if you feel getting the most information possible, good or bad is negative. I didn't take measurements and gather information online for you just to bum you out. I would have spent the same time and energy if I thought it was going to be easy. I don't respond to questions about 500 valve adjustment because I haven't done one but your project has aspects that are similar to one I have done. This isn't a blog, when you asked if it has been done, that opens the topic up for discussion, hence the name "forum". I laid out the pitfalls that may/will crop up so that you could make an semi-educated plan of attack before you searched Europe for parts.

    I'm all for custom VF's and I'm a pretty good cheerleader when that's appropriate but when someone is undertaking a major suspension modification, count on my 2 cents, positive or negative.

    Look forward to seeing it done, hope you can work around the road blocks.
     
  20. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    MORE BACON can't hurt!!! ; )









    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
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