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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

I thought I'd post some of the process of getting my FFE (forkless front-end) RZ350 ready for a show. In February I'm planning to take this bike and the CHOPPRD RD400 http://www.customfighters.com/forums...ad.php?t=61719 to The One Motorcycle Show in Portland. This is an awesome event and I'm supper stoked to be invited to show my bikes there.

The FFE RZ350 is in need of a major clean up and re-paint. While the tail, tank, and fenders are off to the painter, it was time to strip down the chassis for some serious cleaning. I may also send a few pieces of hardware off for re-plating and some of the engine side covers and trim parts will be replaced with new parts. Hopefully the bike will be show worthy in a few weeks.

The first order of business is getting it down to the bare frame.

Here is the chassis with body work and rear sub-frame (this bike also has a front-sub-frame) removed...







Here is the roller with engine out...





Little better pic of the steering linkage (I get a lot of questions about this. As you can see, the linkage system is redundant (left and right sets of linkage). This is so that the linkage can be adjusted to have a slight amount of tension (left and right sides slightly pulling against each other) to eliminate any free-play in the rod-ends. The rider feedback when riding is excellent. It feels very similar to a conventional bike in terms of road feedback. There is essentially no vagueness or slop in the system. The steering feels very solid and connected to the wheel.



Roller with everything but suspension and brake systems removed...





Here is a close-up of the front brake setup. Note the twin-discs, and three-padded caliper. Both rotors float and there is a double sided pad that floats between the rotors. The grungy goldish color fins on the caliper is the heat-sink for the middle pad. Stopping power is excellent.





Then finally down to bare frame. Many people ask if the frame is a stock RZ350 frame that has been modified as it has some similarity, but with everything removed you can clearly see it is a pair of continuous hoops on each side with no conventional steering head. With the engine in the bare frame it looks more like a generator than a motorcycle. The blue and silver sticker is the California assigned VIN as assigned by CHP for a "Specially Constructed Vehicle". Having a specially made work stand to support the frame during assemble (and dis-assembly) is very helpful. It is designed with an internal threaded mechanism so it can be adjusted to correct height.







Stay tuned as the cleanup continues and the bikes starts coming back together
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

way cool

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CB is cool as fuck , proper old skool kick your cunt in for looking at it funny
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

Very cool! Any action videos or pictures?

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

There is a lot to take in from those pictures, holy crap...
Thank you for explaining it some, I like the inner workings shots
Subscribed to see where it's going...

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A bit of vaseline should lube your bush up real nice though. Just make sure that your shaft is a good fit.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

Yeah very neat. Thanks for the walkthrough.

Dylan
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

very very cool! But sorry those bars and mirror don't do it justice.

~~~Brian

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

First want to thank everyone for the props! Much appreciated. I'll be posting more pictures and detailed descriptions as the bike goes back together.

I've been asked to do a "build" thread on this bike, but most of it was built long before digital cameras existed and I really don't have the patience to figure out how to scan seven years of slides to digital format... even if I could find them all. So this will kinda be like an condensed build thread as I re-assemble the bike.

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Very cool! Any action videos or pictures?
Unfortunately no video. But here is a good action shot taken at ThunderHill Raceway many years ago.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

Dude, way cool. I've dug your other build too, but it's sweet you came up with that way before any of us guys were probably even customizing shit.

Couple questions though. How heavy is it? When was it built?

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by venturesomerite View Post
very very cool! But sorry those bars and mirror don't do it justice.
I agree about the mirror. I need to find something more modern. As for the clubman bars. Well, I always ran clubmans on my RDs and RZs... so seamed fitting to use them on this bike. The design is to utilize conventional 7/8" single-piece handlebar, so I could easily install something more upright (superbike bend). I'm open to other suggestions though?

I also had some early sketches with push-pull bars running on linear tracks connected to the linkage, but way too complex when I started thinking about the fabrication and extra weight.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-01-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
make that thing forkless
forks and valves... WTF?
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Default Re: FFE (forkless) RZ350 clean up and re-paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by claytonisbob View Post
Dude, way cool. I've dug your other build too, but it's sweet you came up with that way before any of us guys were probably even customizing shit.

Couple questions though. How heavy is it? When was it built?
I had the bike weighed when I took it to the International Motorcycle Show in Los Angeles in 2001. If I remember correctly, and according to the Teamster's scale, it was about 350lbs. My goal wasn't really to minimize weight (compared to the stock bike), but just to not make it heavier. The front suspension and wheel are over engineered, so there might be 15 to 20lbs that could be saved if I ever re-make some of those parts.

The project started in 1990 after I graduated from college. The front suspension was mostly designed by hand with pencil and paper (literally). By the time I started on the frame design I was just learning to use 2-D CAD (anyone remember Claris CAD?) on a Mac SE.

It started as a "one-year" project to modify an existing RZ350, but evolved from there into a ground-up design. I was very foolish thinking I could build it in a year, but in hindsight it was worth it for the vast amount I learned along the way.

By the time it was "running" seven years had passed. I had a roadracing license, so easiest way to do some "test" riding was to inter some races. It was always fun going through tech inspections as the tech inspectors were never sure what they were looking at. So mostly they just waved me through figuring I knew what I was doing.

After a few races and a test ride by John Joss for an article in Roadracing World the bike sat for a number of years. Then in 2000 it was cleaned up, new custom tail made, and re painted. I used the bike for promoting my new business building conventional frames (A-N-D AK-1).

A few more years later I finally decided to add lights and get it titled and street licensed. Since then I've been slowly trying to finalize the lighting and other details. Someday I might consider it finished... or not.
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