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 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?

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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:09 am

Has anyone ever heard of or even perhaps replaced their stock SW front front fork assembly with one from another motorcycle such that they could use 15" rims/tires on the front?  I assume a custom bike builder could do this but I was wondering if there might be a "plug and play" solution that somebody knows about.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:15 pm

I'm sure there is a way if you throw enough time and money at it, but why?
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:10 pm

Why replace the OEM 14" front wheel with something larger when the weak link in the "chain" is the 13" rear wheel?

Tim
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GHM-PM
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:28 am

I have a friend that got rid of his SWing to buy a CTX700 to get the larger motorcycle type wheels. He regrets it now because of the chain maintenance he has to do, I warned him!!! Also it eats rear tires like crazy. Personally I have no problems with the OEM size and would not spend a bunch to switch them but that is me. One thought, the bigger the tire generally the more expensive it is. My scoot tires are dirt cheap compared to the Goldwing (heart failure)...
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:48 am

Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
Why replace the OEM 14" front wheel with something larger when the weak link in the "chain" is the 13" rear wheel? Tim

Well, larger diameter tires are proven to ride and handle better ... especially the sizes we're talking about. One of the SW's noted issues is front end handling performance in hard/twisty riding. A larger front wheel/fork set-up would go a long way in helping to address that issue.

Tim, you're right about the 13" rear being the weak link. For me, I'd be happy with half of the solution (15" front) and then deal with the rear 13" issue somehow. Not interested in major cutting and welding ... that's why I asked plug & play. For those who are happy with their OEM setup, ride on and enjoy.

So by the responses, I'll assume nobody knows/has heard of a plug & play solution.
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carolina wing rider
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PostSubject: plug and play   Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:49 am

Though it sounds feasible I can only speak for my own experiments through the years and what I have found is that generally speaking...it is very hard to improve on Honda technology at home.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:55 am

Agree, Honda usually figures things out from the beginning---for everyday street use. And right now Honda has chosen to stay out of the dead new big scooter market, at least in N America.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:24 pm

I'm not aware of any easy swaps.
Some of the TDM900 guys used to swap from 18" front to a 17" from something else in the Yamaha stable. Likewise there was swap from the early Blade 16" wheel to a 17" from another Honda (I can't remember what).
I don't think Honda makes anything in 15" so you are looking at a crossbreed. I have seen a conversion running a Burgan twin disk front but I think that involved a full front end (forks, triple clamps etc).
If you can find something to fit it will lift the front of the bike which will change the steering geometry which opens another can of worms.
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gavinfdavies
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:10 pm

If you're after improving the handling, I think a large OD wheel/tyre combo would actually make things worse. I would increase the trail, which would make the Swing handle even more like a chopper than it does already.

If you're after improving the front end, I found that reducing the trail did this quite nicely. I did it by better Hagon shocks which on their own reduced sag, then went a step further and jacked them up by 22mm. Overall this meant that when I was actually on the bike, the rear end was actually over 50mm higher than before. This steepened the angle of the forks, and hence reduced the trail. The bike now handles more like a heavy motorcycle, rather than like a raked out cruiser.

I wonder if it would be possible to reverse the front forks to move the axle mount in front of the fork leg? That would really reduce the trail, but then the metal around the axle would be under tension rather than compression, likewise the caliper mounts, so maybe not!
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:57 pm

steve_h80 wrote:
... I don't think Honda makes anything in 15" so you are looking at a crossbreed. I have seen a conversion running a Burgman twin disk front but I think that involved a full front end (forks, triple clamps etc).  If you can find something to fit it will lift the front of the bike which will change the steering geometry which opens another can of worms.

Thanks Steve.  I am aware of the changing geometry and was hoping a +1" wheel change wouldn't be too much.  As it is, I feel I am always "sliding forward" when riding and my crotch being jammed into the front, center "hill" on the seat after a while of riding.  

I am not opposed to a complete front end transplant ... if I knew it would work.

gavinfdavies wrote:
 ... snipped ... If you're after improving the handling, I think a large OD wheel/tyre combo would actually make things worse. It would increase the trail, which would make the Swing handle even more like a chopper than it does already.
 

I agree Gavin - see above ... absolutely do not want this.

gavinfdavies wrote:
 ... snipped ... If you're after improving the front end, I found that reducing the trail did this quite nicely.  I did it by better Hagon rear shocks which on their own reduced sag, then went a step further and jacked them up by 22mm.  

Overall this meant that when I was actually on the bike, the rear end was actually over 50mm higher than before. This steepened the angle of the forks, and hence reduced the trail. The bike now handles more like a heavy motorcycle, rather than like a raked out cruiser.  

Not sure I follow ... did the Hagon's lift the rear end by 50mm+ or by 28mm and you put in some kind of spacer for the remaining 22mm of lift?

gavinfdavies wrote:
 ... snipped ... I wonder if it would be possible to reverse the front forks to move the axle mount in front of the fork leg? That would really reduce the trail, but then the metal around the axle would be under tension rather than compression, likewise the caliper mounts, so maybe not!

Not sure about the "reversing the forks" approach.  I can see all kinds of stress and engineering no no's with this approach.

My main objectives are; 1) to improve the front end stability/handling ... particularly in twisties where the front end can behave a little "unplanted" if ridden hard in the turns; 2) a bigger wheel combo would help with general road manners and smooth out some of the bumps/road snakes/potholes in the road and; 3) I'd like not to feel like I'm sliding forward in my seat all the time.

Definitely do not want that extended fork/easy rider feel ... that is going against what I want.  I read somewhere (maybe on this site) that the SWing suffers from being a little light in the front end by about 15 lbs. Once our snow melts and the salt is washed off the roads, I thought I'd try to "add weight" to the front end using my gym set weights (in 2.5 lbs. increments) to test this idea. I hate adding unnecessary weight to any vehicle but if that is the trick to better performance manners, I'm open to looking at it.

Thanks for your thoughts guys.
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The Bern
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:49 pm

sonuvabug wrote:
steve_h80 wrote:
 

 ... snipped ... I wonder if it would be possible to reverse the front forks to move the axle mount in front of the fork leg? That would really reduce the trail, but then the metal around the axle would be under tension rather than compression, likewise the caliper mounts, so maybe not!

Not sure about the "reversing the forks" approach.  I can see all kinds of stress and engineering no no's with this approach.


Hmmmm, not 100% sure on the tension/compression thing as regards fork legs, but I think it would be OK given that 'Slippery Sam' won Isle of Man TT 750cc production class several consecutive time, 'he' was built using standard components, as it was originally single disc & no other models in the range had a caliper on the opposite leg, 'he' was built with one leg in tension & the other in compression, when 'he' was retired, 'Son of Sam' was built with the same configuration.

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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:04 pm

OK ... out of my technical element here. What are y'all referring to when you say one leg in tension, the other in compression? I assume leg = fork but not sure of what components you are referring to.
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The Bern
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:27 pm

bug.jnr, I was refering to the caliper mountings, annoyingly I can't experiment with fork turning on my silverwing as my winter 'project' is on the bike bench part way through a major rebuild.
I wonder if by reversing the forks to decrease trail, it may well cause the tyre/tire to foul the mudguard/fender
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Easyrider
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:55 pm

My engineering skill are nul and I would be afraid to modify that part of my bike that controls my front end, especially if traveling at 70-80 mph. Not sure if your bike insurance will be negated. Still this is an interesting topic. Be safe!
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gavinfdavies
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:26 pm

sonuvabug wrote:

Not sure I follow ... did the Hagon's lift the rear end by 50mm+ or by 28mm and you put in some kind of spacer for the remaining 22mm of lift?

Not sure about the "reversing the forks" approach.  I can see all kinds of stress and engineering no no's with this approach.

I read somewhere (maybe on this site) that the SWing suffers from being a little light in the front end by about 15 lbs.

Your second idea is correct - the stiffness made the rear sit about an inch higher when loaded, then I jacked it up by another inch.

The fork reversal was a bit tongue in cheek I'll admit. I don't doubt it can work, as shown by it having been done before on older bikes. But it's fundamentally weaker, and I suspect that even maxi-scooter brakes are more powerful (hence exert more force on the mounts) than vintage TT racer brakes.

Lastly, you could shift the weight balance by removing weight from the rear instead? Swapping the exhaust can shaves off about 10lb, and that massive alloy grab rail/rack mount weighs a ton. It's pretty quick to remove and is independent of other parts, so can be removed/refitted as required. Could be worth a try to check handling. It is also possible to weigh the bike using bathroom scales. Get a big old plank as long as the bike and as thick as the scales. Then roll the bike up onto the plank, and place the scales at one end and then roll the wheel onto the scales, then do the same at the other end. Bingo. Given than most scales can take a 22st bloke standing on them with one foot, the one end of a bike pressing down via the wheel isn't a big ask. Add the two values together to get the total weight, and compare to see the front/rear weight bias.
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gavinfdavies
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PostSubject: Re: 15 Inch Front Rim/Tire - Plug & Play?   Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:56 pm

Pictures below. I think a cutaway would be more useful though. The silver metal brackets are there to restrict the forward movement of the centre stand, and hold the bike a bit higher to allow the rear wheel to clear the floor once it's been jacked up.

On the shock the alloy above that little groove half-way up the base is where I added the spacer.



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