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Front End Swap VS cartridges

  1. #1

    Front End Swap VS cartridges

    so immediately after I got the Kawi 650 a lot of people asked me what front end I will be using etc.
    Based on my research prior to buying the bike I saw that the two most popular swaps were either the other ninja models (636 or ZX10) or the Yamaha R6.

    I have a few weeks to decide what I am going to do with that but I figured maybe I can get a better understanding of why is it so important to swap the whole front end (something that seems extremely expensive and complicated as well).

    Some friends did a good job explaining that another benefit is the updated brakes and how the USD forks have a better connections to the frame and make the bike stiffer.

    It is very common on the SB SV to have GSXR front ends and I get that it is a huge improvement. But we are seeing that usually on first gen bikes that are fairly old 01 or earlier to 06+ GSXR Front ends.

    My bike is an 08. Is it that vital that I switch the whole front end or is it good enough to put in Cartidges and race on that?

    If you think front end is the way to go what do you suggest?

    Thank you in advance,
    Sav

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  2. #2

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    actually i think this from the 650 forum answers it pretty well for me:

    My dear new Forum Friend,

    Welcome to the Ridersforum! Woot Woot!

    Getting right down to business......... Lets keep the issue clear: No Pre Load is adjustable with the K-tecks. The wonderful folks at K-tek, found a market niche for SV's and Ninjas. We all love buying these new and second hand. But remember, our suspensions are 1970's design. So.......... Could you drop the ktecks in? Yes. Could you figure out your spring rate within 5 kg/mm? Probably.

    If you think you can work with the 5 different spring rates offered by K-teck: Go For It! I strongly suggest you figure out what Sag your looking to achieve, prior to purchase as the spring rates in this setup will determine your sag. Their is no pre-load adjustment.

    Also, Food For thought: Our tubes are narrow as compared to any USD fork, and having a compression damper in one side and a rebound damper in the other side may contribute to Fork Twist.....

    Since I have not personally tested, installed, raced or even experienced this product, many of us would be interested in your success and write up. Pictures Please! Woot Woot

    Also, I loved the giddy up and nimbleness of the Ninja 500's too! Kind of miss them! Stupidly easy to maintain....Mods? Springs and a sprocket and See ya!

    Cheers.

    Bradmeister


    Looks like front end swap it is?

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  3. #3
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    That front end is essentially EXACTLY the same as an sv. So the same rules apply.
    Also, there are aftemarket preload adjustable for caps available, if that's so crucial.
    But since you're such a fast guy now, you know you shouldn't be mucking with preload if the bike is sprung right.
    Having external clicker settings would be nice, and is doable if you do what Chuck did to his OG SV front end.
    Ask Pete how he does on his forks.

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    Cliff's Cycles KTM
    NETRA enduro B-vet
    Close your eyes, look deep in your soul, step outside yourself and let your mind go.

  4. #4

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    I know Pete does fantastic on his front end with ktech.
    I do need to make an educated decision though. Idc if I miss out on one class (SS).
    I guess my question is what's better? Front end swap or cartidges? I assume the best combination is front end swap and cartidges in that but I don't have unlimited money sooooo

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  5. #5
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Bahahahahahahahahahhahahaha
    If you don't have unlimited funds you should've bought a bike already built.

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    Cliff's Cycles KTM
    NETRA enduro B-vet
    Close your eyes, look deep in your soul, step outside yourself and let your mind go.

  6. #6

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    You think I didn't look?

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  7. #7
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    SS is where you'll excel.

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    Central Mass Powersports #123

    1000rr, zx10r, rmz450, RE classic, r6, S4Rs, xr123, sv650(2), cr250 and a box truck that leaks power steering fluid.

  8. #8

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by cdovego View Post
    SS is where you'll excel.
    I have a SS bike. This I got for TT. I don't care if it turns out to be a SB. I want the best possible suspensions / overall set up I can afford.

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  9. #9
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Isn't there SS and SB class for the 650 at the TT?

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    Central Mass Powersports #123

    1000rr, zx10r, rmz450, RE classic, r6, S4Rs, xr123, sv650(2), cr250 and a box truck that leaks power steering fluid.

  10. #10

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    No. Lightweight is one class. And it allows swapping the front end.

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  11. #11
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    oh, game on then - no brainer.

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    Central Mass Powersports #123

    1000rr, zx10r, rmz450, RE classic, r6, S4Rs, xr123, sv650(2), cr250 and a box truck that leaks power steering fluid.

  12. #12
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Be aware, you can go OVERLY stiff on the front suspension and overwhelm the frame. No idea if that's an issue or not on the EX but it's something to be aware of.

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  13. #13

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by cdovego View Post
    oh, game on then - no brainer.
    No that's the thing. I legit don't know haha

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  14. #14

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    Be aware, you can go OVERLY stiff on the front suspension and overwhelm the frame. No idea if that's an issue or not on the EX but it's something to be aware of.
    It's very common to do front end swaps on these bikes even for street use. What I can't find is info on using the stock forks with cartidges. No feedback anywhere.

    I don't think going too stiff is a concern yet.

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  15. #15
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    TALK..... TO..... SCOTT.... MULLIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    -Pete LRRS/CCS #81 - ECK Racing, TonysTrackDays
    GMD Computrack Boston | Pine Motorparts/PBE Specialists | Phoenix Graphics | Woodcraft | MTag-Pirelli | OnTrack Media

    The Garage: '03 Tuono | '06 SV650

  16. #16
    Lifer Trouble's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    If you're going to make a time and money investment like the TT why not start making friends with someone like PK? He can answer these questions and more. He might even have ideas on how the setup should differ for a legit road course vs a race track.

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    LRRS EX #7
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  17. #17
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Wonder if there's a reason for that?

    With your budget and without the SS/SB restriction, I think I'd be shopping fork swaps were I you.
    You'd think that, wouldn't you.....





    TALK..... TO..... SCOTT.... MULLIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    -Pete LRRS/CCS #81 - ECK Racing, TonysTrackDays
    GMD Computrack Boston | Pine Motorparts/PBE Specialists | Phoenix Graphics | Woodcraft | MTag-Pirelli | OnTrack Media

    The Garage: '03 Tuono | '06 SV650

  18. #18
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    If you want educatin, DON'T rely on the bike specific forums. Those sites seem full of more bullshit than a field in Spain.

    Ask some proven racers, Oh, I see someone suggested that already!

    Pre-load and sag are not the be all end all of setup as that long quote implies.

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    Paul_E_D


  19. #19
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    This thread wouldn't have even had to be created if Scott Mullin was consulted. I thought the same thing when I read the thread Pete!

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    -Christian LRRS/CCS HasBeen ECK Racing
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  20. #20
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    IMO on a llightweight bike with no HP, too stiff is better than too soft as far as springs go. Unless you are going to race on a bumpy street circuit with rock walls lining the bumps. Then all bets are off! You won't even be able to START setting it up till you get there. I'd buy a few sets of springs just to be ready.

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    Paul_E_D


  21. #21

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Just trying to educate myself and learn some things guys.

    Sorry some of you had to waste your so important time to post a response (mostly unrelated to what I want to know).

    Thanks Paul. Actually mr. Spears is getting me some suspension information since he is working with several European teams who compete there so I think I'll be able to have the bike set up properly prior to getting there.

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  22. #22

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    You'd think that, wouldn't you.....





    TALK..... TO..... SCOTT.... MULLIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes you would think that. I just want to know why. I simply want to learn Pete. It eases my mind when I understand why Im doing something on the bike and what changes on it.

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  23. #23
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Sorry some of you had to waste your so important time to post a response (mostly unrelated to what I want to know)
    lol, sav, you're a fuckin fuck We're telling you the best way to educate yourself. And it ain't here. That's why most of this is unrelated to what you want to know, cuz none of us here ride that bike besides Chipper and, no offense intended whatsoever to him, I don't think he has the info you're looking for.

    Newsflash.... NESR is not the place to ask for advice on setting up a fairly uncommon bike for IOMTT

    You want to know why you should talk to Scott Mullin? Because he's spent more time on that bike than anyone I know personally and rides it at an exceedingly high level at a circuit that, though not as high speed, is probably just as bumpy as IOM. He's played extensively with ZX front end swaps as well as cartrdige conversions. He's the man

    Pick up the phone. (603) 673-6007 is the SVM shop number. Call & ask for Scott, see if he's workin. Ask if you can swing by & pick his brain sometime.

    Unless Scott or some other legit subject matter expert comes in here & posts up, this is probably going to end up being the best advice you'll get in this thread.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 12-21-14 at 10:13 AM.
    -Pete LRRS/CCS #81 - ECK Racing, TonysTrackDays
    GMD Computrack Boston | Pine Motorparts/PBE Specialists | Phoenix Graphics | Woodcraft | MTag-Pirelli | OnTrack Media

    The Garage: '03 Tuono | '06 SV650

  24. #24

    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    I agree 100% that's why Scott and I have been emailing for over a month now.
    And although NESR might not be the place to get advice about building a TT bike it's been pretty awesone with pointing me at the right direction such as finding parts I may need for sale or connecting me with people thay have been great help towards that goal.

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  25. #25
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Front End Swap VS cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    it's been pretty awesone with pointing me at the right direction such as finding parts I may need for sale or connecting me with people thay have been great help towards that goal.
    That's about the one & only thing it's good for

    That and ball busting..... lots and lots of ball busting

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    -Pete LRRS/CCS #81 - ECK Racing, TonysTrackDays
    GMD Computrack Boston | Pine Motorparts/PBE Specialists | Phoenix Graphics | Woodcraft | MTag-Pirelli | OnTrack Media

    The Garage: '03 Tuono | '06 SV650

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