Author Topic: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap  (Read 412 times)

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Offline batboy

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Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« on: September 11, 2018, 01:27:16 am »
I recently picked up a 1988 red Concours with low miles from a COG member in Colorado. I actually looked at these bikes and test rode a couple when they were new back in 1986 and 1987. At that time, I had a cool 1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR that I bought new. I went on several long trips on that 650 and almost traded it in on a Concours. Life conspired against me and I never bought the C-10 (until now). It's been 20 years since I've rode a motorcycle.

Okay, enough of all that sappy remembrance stuff.

The "new" old bike is in dire need of a rear tire. The previous owner told me about the tires right off the bat. I decided to do the 17" Mean Streak wheel conversion as my first mod, so I could get a decent tire. Not only is the selection better, but you can run a wider tire and get better brakes out of the deal too.

I found an undamaged wheel on eBay. The description said the clearcoat was flaking off and it looked really dirty in the photos. There was a tire mounted on the rim, but I didn't pay much attention to it because I assumed it was some funky wore out thing. Turned out the tire is nice and has about 3/4 of the tread left (Bridgestone Exedra Max 170/60ZR17). The wheel cleaned up better than expected. I still need to polish some more and buff it.

I bought a low mileage Mean Streak caliper and bracket (stay). Another score, it's in near perfect condition. However, the rear brake rotor that arrived was not the right part. Not even close. I hate having to hassle with returns and now it'll be another week longer of not being able to ride.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Stay tuned for more adventures working and riding on this 30 year old beautiful beast.

The previous owner had a few things done, like the J box rebuilt and the petcock replaced. It has handlebar risers, throttle lock, backrest, spin on oil filter adapter, two windshields (stock and rifle), tank bra, forks protectors, a cover, a service manual, and a bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.


« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 06:11:55 am by batboy »

Offline Bud

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 09:28:18 am »
Welcome to COG!  Nice looking Connie you have there.  My son and I recently completed the project on his 87.  ZX-9 front end with 1 inch pro taper bars and a meanstreak rear wheel.  BIG improvement!

Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 11:53:35 am »
Nice! What did you do about the rear brake? Most people have a machine shop mill the rotor mount on the wheel to utilize the stock Concours rear brakes. I want to make use of the bigger Mean Streak brakes. I have found 3 or 4 variations on how to do this. But first, I need a rear brake rotor that fits. I have another one on the way, but the delivery date is next Monday.

Online Bob_C_CT

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 02:36:11 pm »
Welcome aboard.

There are several ways to skin the cat on the meanstreak wheel conversion. I machined it down and used the Meanstreak rotor turned down and later used the Nomad front rotor off the shelf as stated below. This way you use the Concours caliper (plenty of braking power to lock it up if you aren't careful).
You'll probably need to modify the caliper bracket for a stock meanstreak rim/caliper/rotor use.
See post below for other ways to skin that cat;

I think there is another post where a fellow cogger modified the caliper bracket. I will look for it too. Looks like you have already searched the posts.

Have people been using the Mean Streak rotor also or keeping the C10's?


As already stated, the C10 rotor unfortunately has too few bolts and won't work.  The Mean Streak rotor is too large (300 mm)and needs to be turned down to 280 mm to work.  I used the Mean Streak rotor without turning it down or machining the wheel, but made my own caliper bracket to make it work.  My guess is most people who do the conversion use the Nomad rotor.  Just curious, from the pictures of you bike, it appears you already have the Mean Streak wheel installed, are you looking for another rotor? 

There are a pair of Nomad rotors on ebay now, you can use one and sell the other to another C10 owner  :great:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/99-Kawasaki-Vulcan-VN-1500-G-Nomad-Front-Rotors-GO-/150939685029?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2324b4d0a5&vxp=mtr


HTH,
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 02:42:57 pm by Bob_C_CT »
97 C10,ZRX Front, Meanstreak rim

Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 07:11:34 pm »
Yep, I have done a ton of searching and researching. This conversion gets a little tricky if you want to avoid the machine shop and use the Mean Streak 300mm rotor and caliper. The reason people cut down the rotor to 280mm or use a Nomad front rotor is because if you use the larger diameter 300mm rotor and the C-10 brake stay, it appears the bolt/nut of the stay will hit and interfere. At least one person modified this stay and got it to work. (see photo). It looks like the Mean Streak caliper bracket (stay) is threaded, so it might not require a nut to hold it on (perhaps just torqued snuggly with Locktite on the threads). Once I get all my parts, I can start putting the puzzle together. One thing I did different is that I have the Mean Streak axle bolt and axle spacers. I'm hoping that will line things up better than modding and trying to make the C-10 spacers work.

NOTE: That photo is not mine. That's how another fellow did it. I'm going to try to figure out how to put this together without butchering the brake stay like was done in that photo. The seller of the rotor admitted they screwed up and are sending the correct part using expediated shipping. They also told me to keep the first rotor I got because they didn't want to spend anything more on shipping. The icing on the cake was they also refunded me $1. Yippee!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 07:21:51 pm by batboy »

Offline bikerhawk

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 03:11:05 am »

NOTE: That photo is not mine. That's how another fellow did it. I'm going to try to figure out how to put this together without butchering the brake stay like was done in that photo. The seller of the rotor admitted they screwed up and are sending the correct part using expediated shipping. They also told me to keep the first rotor I got because they didn't want to spend anything more on shipping. The icing on the cake was they also refunded me $1. Yippee!

Welcome, Batboy. The "butchered" photo is from my conversion, following the same extensive reading that you did and going with a setup similar to what Yamahawk did. (Not offended, no worries.)

I did ponder the wisdom of cutting an ear off the stay, but went ahead with it once I became comfortable with the following:

--The Mean Streak bracket is indeed threaded, so it doesn't need a backing nut to be secure. Loctite is definitely a good idea.

--The force on that area from braking is almost entirely forward into the stay, not a twisting motion that would need to be countered by a double-sided end.

I've put enough miles on it now where I am very confident in my process. Good luck with yours. Indeed, several ways to skin this cat.
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
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Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2018, 05:02:19 am »
Hey, I was hoping you'd show up. I even muddled around in your thread to see if you'd appear. Think we're almost local boys. Great that it's holding up good. You made some valid points. The proof is that it works. LOL, okay, I could have used a more PC word than butchered. What I meant was that I want mine to look prettier. ;)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 05:13:29 am by batboy »

Offline tdbru

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 04:04:23 am »
Batboy,
i had the MS wheel machined down.  kept the factory connie caliper.  there's enough power there to lock up the rear.  you don't need more power there.  most of the braking is done by the front anyway.  however, more than one way to proceed.  have fun.
-Brian

Offline WillyP

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 02:35:42 pm »
There is some theory that using larger brakes on the rear makes it easier to brake without locking the wheel. I would guess, because you need to use less pressure on the pad, you get finer control. Just like using a longer wrench would not only give you more torque, but also finer control.
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Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 03:10:56 pm »
The dual pot calipers also are smoother and apply more even (uniform) force on the pads compared to the single piston caliper. There's good reasons you don't see any single piston calipers being installed on vehicles nowadays. I also plan to do some performance mods too, so it makes sense to upgrade the brakes. Those of you with 1994 or newer C10s already have dual pot calipers, so I can see not wanting to change them out. But, mine is a 1988, so it has the old style single calipers. Your choice really, but to me it's a no brainer.

I got the rest of the parts for the rear wheel swap (rotor and axle). I've done a lot measuring and head scratching this morning. The caliper bracket is thicker on the Mean Streak. Looks like I will need to grind 3mm off the inside of the bracket where the brake stay attaches. Riderhawk took the easy route and just cut one ear off the stock stay to make it work. I'm going to try modding the stay, but keeping both ears of the stay (have to make the bracket 3mm thinner). That seems better than cutting it completely off which likely would reduce the strength. I'm confident that I'll get it all sorted out once I slap the new wheel into place and do some precise measuring. I'll post updates as I go. Battle stations and full speed ahead!

Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 03:53:13 pm »
The dual pot calipers also are smoother and apply more even (uniform) force on the pads compared to the single piston caliper. There's good reasons you don't see any single piston calipers being installed on vehicles nowadays. I also plan to do some performance mods too, so it makes sense to upgrade the brakes.

That's the reason I came up with the mod for converting the front C-10, 2 pot calipers to fit the rear after putting 4 pots on the front. Then I converted the front brakes to newer ZX-10 radial calipers and made it even better.
"Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug" Get used to it cause thats life !!!

Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 08:56:05 pm »
Ok kids, I made some progress and have the brakes mocked up on the wheel. It's looking very good. Using a 4" angle grinder, I began grinding on the bracket until I was able to fit the brake stay on. I have over 1 mm of clearance. I think that's enough... I hope... maybe? I still need to install the wheel, but it sure looks like it'll work okay.


Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 12:13:50 am »
I ran into another snag. The C-10 caliper bracket is narrower than the Mean Streak bracket. I thought by getting the Mean Streak axle and spacer that I would not have to deal with it. But, the spacers are the same [EDIT: not the same, see next post] and if I go back to JDM's post, he says  this:

If you look close at photo no. 2, you will see the caliper bracket is wider at the bottom than it is at the top. You will need to grind off the inside bottom face as shown approximately 8 mm +/_ .

You will need to shorten the axle spacer to 28.5 mm +/_.                 

Earlier in his thread he mentioned getting a longer spacer, but then he shortens it. Not sure why he did that. If you use the C-10 spacer, the only thing left for me to do is grind the Mean Streak caliper bracket to the same thickness as the stock C-10 bracket. Biker-hawk doesn't mention grinding the bracket down, but when I zoom in on his photos, I can see it was ground down. So, I'll grind the bracket tomorrow and get things finished up.


I'll post a photo even though it's fuzzy and out of focus. The C-10 is on the right and the Mean Streak on the left needs ground down to the same thickness. Looks like I need to take about 4mm off.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 12:28:05 am by batboy »

Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 12:54:55 am »
I didn't have a lot of time today, but I do have the wheel installed and the brake trial fitted.

In the last post I compared the axle spacers from the Concours and the Mean Streak. A casual glance made me think they were the same size. But, I measured the Concours spacer to be 20mm and the Mean Streak was 21mm. Not sure why it's different, but I used the Mean Streak spacer since most everything else was Mean Streak (except the brake stay from the C-10).

Because I had to grind down the caliper bracket, that threw my clearance off the brake stay. Now the thin headed stock bolt won't work. I see why Bikerhawk cut the ear off the stay, because it was the easiest way to do it. My way has more grinding on the bracket, but I was able to retain the ears of the stay. Unlike the C-10 caliper bracket, the Mean Streak bracket is threaded on the upper hole where the stay is mounted. I went to the hardware store and bought a M12 x 1.25 that was 32mm long. The bolts come in 30mm and 35mm lengths. The 30mm long bolt will work if you find a thin lock washer. I only had thick lock washers, so I used a 35mm long bolt and cut off 3 mm with a Dremel tool. The holes on the ears of the stay are a bit too small, so I drilled them out. The front hole I enlarged the hole to allow the bolt to easily pass through, but the back hole I drilled it out to just one size bigger and tapped the hole to fit the M12 bolt. It was hard to find a fine thread tap. When I do the final tightening, I'll make liberal use of Locktite.

I'll have it finished tomorrow and post photos. The earlier photo showing over 1mm clearance is null and void. It was a bit more work than I thought, but it's going to work. I'll do a wrap up tomorrow.

Online Bob_C_CT

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 09:14:35 am »
Nice work on getting it to fit. Make sure you look at the clearance between the bag and the caliper before loctiting it together. There's more than 1 way to skin a cat!
97 C10,ZRX Front, Meanstreak rim

Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2018, 06:03:49 pm »
It's a busy weekend, but I've worked on the bike off and on. I've also installed Soupy's lowering links and Murph's Tip Over Bars (only can get the front bars, PM me if you have spare rear bars).

I have swapped a Vulcan Mean Streak 17" wheel onto my Concours and went with the Mean Streak brake system (see photo). I did a lot of grinding on the Mean Streak caliper bracket. If you have sharp eyes, you'll notice the flex brake hose is not connected. The stock C-10 line is not long enough. I'm going to get a good quality braided line. Any suggestions?

What brake fluid to use? The owner's manual just says DOT 4 fluid.

Whew, definitely way more time spent than I expected, but the brake system came out very nice, if I must say so myself.

Offline WillyP

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2018, 09:16:11 pm »
Smart people look like crazy people to stupid people.
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Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2018, 11:29:50 pm »
Good to know about Murph's. I wonder what their turn around time is?

I saw several places through Amazon that "stock" the lines but if you put it into the cart you find out they can't get it to you until the middle of October. I assume they have to make the lines when they get an order instead of keeping an inventory.

I can always buy a Russell line and two banjo fittings. I've used Russell on my car prokjects before and it is good, just a little pricey.

Regarding the crush seals, I usually get copper ones for the banjo fittings. I see the steel and rubber ones, are they better or worse?

Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2018, 02:01:46 am »
Good to know about Murph's. I wonder what their turn around time is?

I saw several places through Amazon that "stock" the lines but if you put it into the cart you find out they can't get it to you until the middle of October. I assume they have to make the lines when they get an order instead of keeping an inventory.

I can always buy a Russell line and two banjo fittings. I've used Russell on my car prokjects before and it is good, just a little pricey.

Regarding the crush seals, I usually get copper ones for the banjo fittings. I see the steel and rubber ones, are they better or worse?

Get the copper or aluminum crush washers.
"Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug" Get used to it cause thats life !!!

Offline batboy

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Re: Yet another 17" rear wheel swap
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 12:33:18 am »
Thanks. Jim. I picked up a pack of copper 10mm crush seals today when I went to get brake fluid.

I also bought a missing adapter for the compression tester hose, so I can connect into the 12mm spark plug hole.  Sheesh, trying to locate and then ordering parts is almost a full time job. The braided rear brake hose should be here no later than Thursday. If you use the Mean Streak brakes, you'll need a longer hose that goes from the MC to the caliper. I ordered a 24 inch long hose (600mm).

I'll post a couple pics when I'm completely done. But, to tide you over, here's a shot showing clearance of the brake stay (about 2mm). You can see I had to change it a bit from the first way I had it rigged up.