Author Topic: Blackbird suspension upgrade  (Read 5620 times)

Hank

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Blackbird suspension upgrade
« on: December 04, 2010, 05:32:30 PM »
Not even remotely dual sport related of course, but its pretty quiet around here lately so what the heck.

My one bitch about the Blackbird is the suspension, so I'm transplanting a Suzuki Hayabusa front end and swapping in a Penske shock that I snagged used off a Blackbird forum.

Got started today.  Turned this lovely thing:



To this:



and finally this:





Eeesh, thats pretty ugly!

Tomorrow I hope to get the triple clamps off (didn't have a big enough metric allen wrench), then I'll work on fitting the Busa tree.  I know I have to turn a bearing race to a smaller OD somewhere in that step, but I'll just figure it out when I get to it.  :)

plumber mike

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 06:58:08 AM »
The only thing that would keep it out of the dual-sport category is where you take it ;D

I have found that using a bolt with the correct sized hex head makes a wonderful makeshift allen key ;)

Beautiful ride BTW....even nekkid.

Hank

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 09:42:14 AM »
Yeah I had a 12mm head bolt but couldn't get enough grip on it.  No welder to weld a nut on it either.   We think alike ;)

Dr Psyko

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 10:10:37 AM »
You're a brave man. I'd lay awake at night worrying about how to get it all back together...
11th Commandment: Thou shalt not slide through life.

Hank

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 12:20:06 PM »
Readers Digest condensed version of this project:


Finally (almost) wrapped up 3+ months of on and off work on the XX.

Before this round of farkling my trusty 97 already had a few comfort type mods, including:
Dual HID's
Corbin
ZG Touring screen
LSL superbike bar kit

Here it is last fall on day zero.



I decided to upgrade the suspension.  Had picked up a used Penske shock which happened to be setup for my exact weight,
and following in the steps of others went for the Busa front end conversion.

I picked up a front end off an 03 busa and went to work.

A few hours of wrenching and I had this:



Here is the busa triple vs the XX triple.



On 99 and newer birds the steering damper can be used if the air duct is modified and a mount is fabbed.  Not so on a 97/98.
The oil cooler is in the way.  

As others have noted, the steering stops must be moved on the busa triple.  

So off come the busa stops and damper mount.

Here is the busa lower triple after the -ectomies.  Also shown are my new stops and where I marked to mount them.



Here they are mounted.



Looks OK, but I ended up having to remake one slightly longer to limit the steering more.  The fork was smashing into the plastic
above the radiator.   That was a tricky thing to measure.  There aint a damned straight edge anywhere to measure from.

Got set of tapered roller bearings from Pyramid parts in the UK.  The XX/busa combination requires two new bearings.  The
Bottom is easy as its a standard size.  The upper, not so much, the outer race has to be turned down 1mm.   Don't remember
the sizes off hand but I can dig them up if anyone cares.



Bearings in and test fitting the forks and lower:



Now that's all good, on to the upper triple.

The stock XX keyswitch isn't even close to fitting in the Busa upper triple.  



So I put it in the mill and changed it:



I needed to offset the switch and change the hole centers, so I milled the mounts off.



Then made an adapter plate.



and had this:



Looks good.

Not so fast jackass.  The switch body now smashes into the frame.  So I remade the bracket and offset the switch about
and 1/8" to the top of the keyhole.  Now it fits.

Put the top triple on and tried to set the distance from frame to axle center as close to stock as possible.  To get that dimension,
the forks were about 1/4" sunk inside the top triple, so I put the top triple back in the mill and milled the bottom side of it
down to get it closer.  Now it fit, but the stem stuck a bit too far out the top triple so also made a spacer to go under the top
nut.   No pics of that but I can take some if someone asks.

It all fits!!!!  Yay!



Sow now obviously my LSL bar kit isn't fitting on this, so I made my own.  I increased the pull back and rise about
an inch each over the LSL kit.  Cuz I'm over 40 and I like to be comfy.

I modeled the parts in SolidWorks and had one of the guys at work whip them up on a CNC.

Models:





And just like magic pixels on the screen turn into 6061 on the bike.  Test fitting:





I like it!

Of course now, every hose, cable and wire is too short.  They were stretched to the max with the LSL setup, and now we've gone
too far, so I had Motion Pro make up some custom cables (no pics), got custom lines from Venhill, and made some extendo wires
once I found the right ends.

Homemade wire extendo-matics:



BTW Venhill makes a great product and are super to work with.  Same for Motion Pro.
I got the smoke colored lines with SS fittings.  Looks nice.

Since the forks are gold, I decided to anodize my risers gold.  Here is the test fit as well as fit up of the cables, hoses
and wires.



Now we're getting somewhere!

Also mounted up the shock.  Here is is next to the stock pogo stick:



About this time I mounted the tire and popped the front wheel in, only to find my busa rotors were warped like potato
chips.  So off to eBay we go to find a straight set.  Fortunately Busa parts are plentiful and relatively cheap!

During my wait for the cables and hoses, I decided to enhance the performance a bit, to go along with the improved ride
and comfort :) :)

Ordered up a Micron 4-2-1 SS system with a round alloy silencer.

Pretty stainless:



Lightweight alloy:



And while we're doing that, might as well throw in a Factory Pro jet kit:



This turned into a PITA as one fuel screw was stuck and I destroyed it.  I did get it out but it required waiting for parts again.

Then I put in an adjustable ignition advance, set to +4 degrees:



Also threw on an upgraded CCT, you can see it above.

While I was in there that far I checked the valves (all in spec).

About now I finally got to fire it up!   Test run, sounds great.  

Then synced the carbs.

Project scope keeps on growing.  I snagged a V3 Speedohealer off ebay for nearly nothing.  Of course it came with the wrong
harness, but it wasn't hard to stick new ends on the harness to make it right.   Required waiting for more parts again.. sigh.

I then added a datatool digital gear indicator (digi).

Test wiring:



Cable tie on and program.



About this time I drilled 1/16" holes in the handlebars and inside the control pods and pinned them in place.
For some reason they never fit tight on the aluminum LSL bar, and this was a great solution.  Time consuming PITA though!

I'm tired of sleepy cell phone yappers that can't hear my horn as they run me onto the shoulder, so I mounted a Wolo Bad Boy air horn
inside the fairing.  It's a nice fit.  Stuck the relay in the left lower part of fairing where the stock horn wires would just reach.




Today I finally got to take it for a brief test run.  Main goal was just check speedo healer calibration.  I wanted to get
that perfect before buttoning everything up.   If its off too much, when I fix it, I'll have to reprogram the digi.

Weather for the test run was 18 degrees with a 25mph east wind and blowing snow.  How nice.
Mounted the GPS as a reference.  Speedo calibration was spot on.

Time to see how it runs a bit.   The road was super cold as was the tire, so I really couldn't go too nuts, but I think
the pipe, jets and advancer have really woke it up (like it was sleepy before?).   I whacked it open once in first, but
with the cold road I left a 150 ft stripe.  

The pipe sounds great.  At low RPM, Mr. Micron is quiet, like almost stock quiet, but above 6K it really picks up.
The stock 7K rush seems greatly amplified.   Snapped it open in 2nd at 6500 and it power wheelied.  

NICE.   After 6 miles I was really cold and that was enough for today.

Front brakes don't sound quite right.
Head back to the shop to button it all up.

A quick check reveals the front rotors are hotter than they should be.  It appears the calipers are dragging a LOT.
Looks like a set of eBay calipers are in my near future.  A low mile set is cheaper than a rebuild kit.

Got digi mounted in its permanent home.  I drilled a hole in the face and side of the cluster cover for the cable and mounted
it flush on the face between the tach and speedo.

Here it is in its final place, with most of the plastic back on.




Contols smash into the ZG windscreen, so tape, mark and prepare to cut:



Cut, file, and sand a bit, and here we are:




Just clears:



And that's about it!

One side shot:



And I'll post some more once it's warm enough to get to a car wash and take a few outside!

New calipers, and I hope I'm finally done!  There have been probably hundreds of small steps and tweaks, each one consuming
time that I didn't document.  It was quite a long project.
----------------
End note:   A set of 4,000 mile calipers off an 05 were secured on Ebay...  this weekend, it's a wrap!

Dr Psyko

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 12:29:57 PM »
Really impressive. Now for the real trick, don't sell it!!!
11th Commandment: Thou shalt not slide through life.

numb41

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 09:03:25 PM »
Hank... you really need to, to, to, adopt me.  Then i can play with ALL of your TOYS that you have at your disposal!

loingrader

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 08:10:17 AM »
looks awesome hank.  you need to find a road with a few curves on it and get that new suspension dialed in.  it will be like a completely different bike.

amazing work my friend.  i am truly impressed with your skill and ingenuity.  can't wait to see that thing in person.

i'm curious how it will run out versus my xx and also what kind of mpg you will end up getting.  i love how i usually average low 40's most of the time.

on a side note, even while putting out an extra 50+ hp and carrying a passenger my xx gets consistently better mileage than my brothers 05 cbr600rr with full akra exhaust.  his is much prettier and quicker in the twisties but it still torques him off!
You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime - Burt Munro

Hank

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 09:00:18 AM »
I'm wondering about the mileage too.    Steady state cruising, if its dialed in right, really shouldn't be much if any worse than stock.  If I do lose a ton of mileage I might be going back to stock jetting.    I usually get low 40's too, with a best of 46 or so.   Worst ever was 16.. hmm.   Never had a bike were you can dial the mileage with the right wrist to that degree!

Thanks for the comments guys.   It really wasn't all that hard, and the degree of fabrication was pretty simple.    Ain't nothing like building a side car out of bread pans like Mr Bruns did!  It just took a long time because waiting on parts numerous times and numerous surprises.

Next winter I might stick a single sided swingarm on it and gold anodize it.  I nearly gold anodized the stocker just to get the front and rear matching, but I ran out of time and patience.

loingrader

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Re: Blackbird suspension upgrade
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 11:14:13 AM »
 I usually get low 40's too, with a best of 46 or so.   Worst ever was 16.. hmm.   Never had a bike were you can dial the mileage with the right wrist to that degree!

16?  wow.  sure someone didn't siphon some off?  i've never had below about 38. 

my best was about 55 while chasing mountain peaks in colorado.
You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime - Burt Munro