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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering trying to purchase a set of wire wheels for my 750. I just don't care much for the stock wheels. Has anyone done this? Is there anything in particular I need to be aware of?
 

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Search Goddess
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Wire wheels generally mean a couple of things..
You will be running tubed tires and you will be doing a lot more maintenace and cleaning on with wire wheels.
It may also mean switching out the brakes on the front from dual to single or disk to small drum. I lot of the sportsters run 19" wire but I believe they run a 1" axle.
I think the hardest part will be trying to find one without too many changes for width, axle and brake set-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

I saw online that a couple of MFG's are making wire wheels that run tubeless (ex: American Wire). I figured there would be some fitment issues though. I knew that the axle would be a hurdle. If need be, I suppose I would be willing to switch out the brakes to a single disc (although that would be a bit more of an expense.

So, am I to assume that no one has really bothered (at least that you know of) to do this on a 750? Hmmmmm...that alone worries me.

I guess I have some more homework to do.
 

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Search Goddess
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It's a matter of personal preference of course. I know a lot of people with wire wheels that are looking for the cast wheels merely to get away from the maintenance and cleaning of the spokes. You are correct about some wire wheels being able to run tubeless.
Switching over to a single disc may be as easy as switching over one of the fittings where it splits and eliminating one of the brake lines and calipers. Switching to the small drum brake of course would involve a lot more
Finding a disc brake, same axle size, width, and circumference may be the hardest part
 

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This is an old post (2005) - but I'm curious too - has anyone ever successfully changed their cast wheels to wire?
 

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Hey PoggiPj,

Do some research on the Kawasaki website for the part numbers on a 1996-97 Kawasaki ZL600 Eliminator. (I actually have one and 750 Vulcan.) The swing arm on the ZL600 Eliminator looks identical to the VN750, which could very well mean that the wire-spoked (chrome rimmed) rear wheel may bolt on directly to the VN750 without having to do too much worrying about compatibility with the shaft drive gears or drum brake. Kawasaki lists the wheels as being tubeless but since I've never had to replace the rear tire I can't verify that for you. The two bikes have a lot of common parts.

Actually if you look quickly before the auctions end, there are two on Ebay right now...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995-Kawasaki-ZL-600-Eliminator-Rear-Wheel-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem439af43607QQitemZ290362504711QQptZMotorcyclesQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories $80

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Kawasaki-ZL600-Eliminator-600-REAR-WHEEL-RIM-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem563c92e516QQitemZ370383447318QQptZMotorcyclesQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories $20!!

-Sloppy
 

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Sparky!!!
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are the ZL600 axles interchangeable with the VN750? What size tire does the ZL600 use front and rear (Stock)? Dual disk front end? How long are your forks (decompressed)?
 

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The axles are not the same. I have a zl600 front end in my shed. If you want to use it I would recommend to change the whole front. it would work perfect since you lowered your bike since the are about 2 inches shorter. you can make it dual disc front with another rotor and caliper since it already has the mounts. if you want the front end it is your just pay for shipping i have way to much sh*t from prior projects laying around. It is complete with fender, triple tree, spoke wheel, and brakes. I would just rebuild the forks.
 

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Wow Slimvulcanrider that is a very detailed parts list you've complied there. Most of the parts have very similar numbers. There's a chance that the difference in numbers may be color related, (the ZL600 swingarm is silver/grey not black like the VN750) or perhaps the width of the spacers or something totally silly like that. I find it hard to believe that Kawasaki didn't just reach into the parts bin and take the easy route of reusing parts between bikes and instead chose to re-engineer parts that are almost identical.

The ZL600 has a single front disk and if I'm not mistaken only the left fork has the mounting tabs for the caliper. I'd have to check again to be sure. One thing I can say with certainty is that years ago when I called Progressive Suspension for new fork springs for it, they said they didn't make any for that bike.

For the record I have not done the spline lube on my 600 Eliminator and I doubt I will, since I hardly ride it anymore.

-Sloppy
 

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Sparky!!!
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The axles are not the same. I have a zl600 front end in my shed. If you want to use it I would recommend to change the whole front. it would work perfect since you lowered your bike since the are about 2 inches shorter. you can make it dual disc front with another rotor and caliper since it already has the mounts. if you want the front end it is your just pay for shipping i have way to much sh*t from prior projects laying around. It is complete with fender, triple tree, spoke wheel, and brakes. I would just rebuild the forks.
How much shorter are the Tubes? This sounds like the reverse order I am trying to go... I dropped the back to increase my Rake, and even though dropping the rear did increase my Rake, it didn't go as drastic as I was shooting for. So now I am trying to go Longer on my tubes. I will do a little more research here and get back to you on the fork set up.


Wow Slimvulcanrider that is a very detailed parts list you've complied there. Most of the parts have very similar numbers. There's a chance that the difference in numbers may be color related, (the ZL600 swingarm is silver/grey not black like the VN750) or perhaps the width of the spacers or something totally silly like that. I find it hard to believe that Kawasaki didn't just reach into the parts bin and take the easy route of reusing parts between bikes and instead chose to re-engineer parts that are almost identical.
I looked closer at my parts list... and all the spacers and shims are different OD/ID, the Seals are all different sizes between the two, not a single number crosses over between the two final drives. I have looked at pictures of both Drive Lines and Swing arms as well... the ZL600 has a way different Front Bevel gear coupler than the VN750... and the coupler on the Final drive is also different between the two models... Now wether we could use the ZL600 wheel and use the original VN750 brake drum and final drive... I don't have a clue. But I think this Myth is Busted... unless some one can find me some more conclusive facts that show for 100% with out a reason of doubt that the ZL600 wheels will in fact work on the VN750 with out too much modification to the bike.

We have thus far disproven that the front wheel is a direct bolt on replacement. The front forks won't interchange streight up... the VN750 uses a 38mm Fork tube, the ZL600 has a 37mm Fork tube... being that far off might not cause to much problems... but i still wouldn't trust the size difference on my bike. next part of the front wheel conversion... use the ZL600 Triple Tree... I don't have the steering neck bearing info on hand for the ZL600, but the VN750 uses an Upper Bearing: 25 x 47 x 15 Lower Bearing: 28 x 52 x 16.5 so if the ZL600 uses the same fork bearings, then we would be good.. except that the top triple tree is set up for clip on bars... so this might not work for every one (me included)

For the rear we need to Know if the Axle diameter is the same between the VN750 and the ZL600. We also need both the VN750 and the ZL600 Final Drives torn apart side by side to measure everything from the tooth count to tooth backlash, Outide diameter of the final drive units, final drive thicknesses, Width of complete wheel tire brake and final drives... and a whole lot more stuff I haven't even thought of yet just to make sure that this could be done... not saying it can't... but its not going to be as simple as just unbolting one wheel and putting the other wheel on.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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For anyone still thinking of converting to a wire spoked wheel, here is a link to a guy who also sealed the spokes in the wheel "valley" with silicone, in order to run tubeless tires. I am not commenting on the wisdom or advisability of this project, just pointing out the possibility to the experimentally inclined in our midst.
http://www.gadgetjq.com/tww.htm
 

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I looked closer at my parts list... and all the spacers and shims are different OD/ID, the Seals are all different sizes between the two, not a single number crosses over between the two final drives. I have looked at pictures of both Drive Lines and Swing arms as well... the ZL600 has a way different Front Bevel gear coupler than the VN750... and the coupler on the Final drive is also different between the two models... Now wether we could use the ZL600 wheel and use the original VN750 brake drum and final drive... I don't have a clue. But I think this Myth is Busted... unless some one can find me some more conclusive facts that show for 100% with out a reason of doubt that the ZL600 wheels will in fact work on the VN750 with out too much modification to the bike.

I saw somewhere deep in these forums that the rear wheel does work. i saw it on some ones bike.

We have thus far disproven that the front wheel is a direct bolt on replacement. The front forks won't interchange streight up... the VN750 uses a 38mm Fork tube, the ZL600 has a 37mm Fork tube... being that far off might not cause to much problems... but i still wouldn't trust the size difference on my bike. next part of the front wheel conversion... use the ZL600 Triple Tree... I don't have the steering neck bearing info on hand for the ZL600, but the VN750 uses an Upper Bearing: 25 x 47 x 15 Lower Bearing: 28 x 52 x 16.5 so if the ZL600 uses the same fork bearings, then we would be good.. except that the top triple tree is set up for clip on bars... so this might not work for every one (me included)

I know the my zl600 front race looks like it is set up for ball bearing instead of tapered rollers. this weekend I will pope the race off to measure. the threaded top is identical to ours and our top bearing fits perfectlly. Also keep in mind you can go to a bearing distributor and size combinations are endless for cheaper than the part store (I have bought my bearings straight from timken industrial distributors for years) with that said you could get the correct bearing to use our axles with the front wheel. You will have to more than likely turn a spacer but it would deffinatly be possible. But, the next problem is the rotors. They are substantially thicker than ours but the zl600 calipers my bolt up. Bottom line don't be discouraged over bearing sizes.
 

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btw our wheels share the same coupler part # 42034-1029 so it will mount to our diff. they also share the brake drums parts so that would leave to believe that our drum will work. the zl600 rear spoke wheel is pretty rare though on ebay.
 

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Sparky!!!
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I am not worried about bearings to much. Just stating vn bearing size because the fork swap info I have has left out the ZL600. This could be because the triple tree isnt up to par for a chop
 

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Sparky!!!
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The axles are not the same. I have a zl600 front end in my shed. If you want to use it I would recommend to change the whole front. it would work perfect since you lowered your bike since the are about 2 inches shorter. you can make it dual disc front with another rotor and caliper since it already has the mounts. if you want the front end it is your just pay for shipping i have way to much sh*t from prior projects laying around. It is complete with fender, triple tree, spoke wheel, and brakes. I would just rebuild the forks.
if you can hold onto these for me I am getting ambitious again... but timing is all wrong. I have to move with in the next couple of weeks. I would ask for them now, but not sure when I will be moving... I just know as soon as the paper work is signed we will be packing up and moving into the new place...
 

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wonderful pcs moves, gotta love them. no hurry to get rid of it I just don't need it.
 
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