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So, I put a 5.5" rim in a Kat without chopping the swingarm.

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  • So, I put a 5.5" rim in a Kat without chopping the swingarm.

    Good Evening, I've been lurking on here for years, and all my bikes have been Katanas(3 so far, one pre600 and two pre750s). I've learned a ton reading posts that I've used on my bikes. I am currently building a streetfighter out of an 95 Katana 750 for my wife from an abandoned project bike I purchased. The previous owner has no business holding a wrench, let alone working on a bike unsupervised, this one was a basketcase. It came with a extended swingarm in poor shape and was currently using a threaded rod as an axle to hold the wheel in. Long story short, I evaluated my parts on hand, picked out what I wanted to keep, ripped off the rest and started putting things together. The wheel that came with it was from a Bandit 1100 I think, 5.5" straight spoke, six kush drive dampeners. I wanted that, but looking over the forum I was told It couldn't be done(Without a ton of trouble). Naturally, I'm stubborn, so I set out to do it and here's how I made it happen. I purchased a stock 97 Kat 750 swingarm from fleabay. I found out once it arrived that even though it is a pre97, it is made like a 98+, brake arm on the bottom, wide center linkage mount with bearing on the swingarm, a pivot tube longer then would fit in my frame, and luckily ~.25" wider for a rim. I got to work making it fit to my 94 frame. 1st I replaced the pivot tube bearings with 5mm narrower bearings so that I could take ~.125" off of each side, making it narrower to fit my frame. Once it could fit in the frame, I rigged up some spacers and metric shoulder bolts to get my pre linkage bolted to the post swingarm. I did that by flipping them upside down so the end with the bearing mated to the linkage on the bottom, and the thin side bolted to the swingarm(I should have ordered a used 98+ linkage and dogbone, so if you decide to do this mod, do yourself a favor and don't try to use the pre97 linkage with the post swingarm. Next, I replaced the bearings in the 5.5" wheel with ones the same OD and thickness, but with a 17mm ID instead of the 20mm they had. I used the 2000 KAT 750 brake bracket. I discarded the stock bandit sprocket drive carrier, and bought a 82 GS750 carrier(Must also use the center spacer for this carrier, so buy one with it)(fits the wheel, but is about .25" narrower., then I took that carrier, removed the stock bearing and seal, and replaced them with the same size sealed bearing so that I could cut off the lip that held the seal as I no longer needed it, making it another .25" narrower. I purchased a 89-92 GSXR 1100 sprocket so that I could run a 520 chain, and installed it on the new cuch drive carrier. Instead of the stock bolts with nuts on the sprocket side sticking out to hit my swingarm, I purchased grade 10.9 button head socket bolts and nylock nuts. I did some small griding with a carbide burr on the back side of the carrier so the nuts would sit flat, and installed the sprocket with a ~.1" thick spacer I had cut from a steel sheet that matched the center hub and bolt pattern, spacing the sprocket just off of the carrier. There was one spacer I had that fit in the wheel seal brake side that I could not find in 17mmID, so I found a 17mmIDx20mmOD tube on fleabay, cut some small pieces out for to center the spacer and also to run inside the tube spacer in between the bearings in the wheel. Lastly, I did have to chop and add an offset to the brake arm to fit around the tire, and I moved the brake bracket to the top of the swingarm, not needed, but that was the -97 stock location. I put it all together in the order from left to right. Swingarm, ~.25" spacer, modified sprocket carrier, carrier spacer, wheel, spacer that rides in wheel seal, .25" spacer, brake bracket, swingarm. As it sits, I have a 180 tire on a 5.5" rim centered in my stock width 98+ swingarm, with chain sprocket lined up and no rubbing. Hopefully that makes some sense. I will post up some pics and itomize a parts list of what is needed to fit a 5.5" wheel in a 98+ swingarm.

    Parts I used to fit a +98 Kat 750 swingarm in a pre frameIf you have a +98, ignore this)
    From fleabay:
    TA2225Z bearings(for pivot tube narrowing)

    Parts for Bandit 1100 Wheel to fit stock 17mm axle:
    From fleabay:
    20MM OD 17mm ID stainless tube (for 20mm spacer centering on 17mm axle)
    2x 6303ZZ bearings(wheel to 17mm axle
    28-47-7 Seal(wheel stock seal size)

    Parts to make wheel fit and line up:
    From fleabay:
    1982 GS750 rear sprocket carrier( with center spacer to wheel)
    89-92 GSXR 1100 48T sprocket(for 520 chain conversion)
    6305-2RS1 bearing(sealed but same size so that carrier can be cut down where old seal used to be)
    2000 KAT 750 "nut sack" nut/bolt/bracket assortment that had a few spacers and bolts I needed

    Final thoughts, this would be super easy on a postKat 750, and might even be possible on a pre750 if you pried the swingarm open a touch and used a thinner axle spacer on the sprocket side. If you do have a pre and want to modify a post swingarm to fit, just buy the post linkage as well, it's not worth it to do what I did. Throw an r6 shock in if you are that far into having the swingarm off. Outside of a little work with a die grinder and a hacksaw, and lots of measuring, it's not that hard of a mod to do.

    PS, if anyone here knows more then I do about these swingarms and setups, and you see something I'm overlooking that might fail or be unsafe how I did it, please let me know!!
    You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'. -Homer Simpson

    Death was Nature's way of telling you to slow down.