Kawasaki spoked wheels advice wanted.

Exuptoy

Member
Right then, further to my thread in the project section HERE I’d like to run spoked wheels on the ER5. I have an 18 inch wheel here from a Chinese 125 (herald I think!) which looked quite acceptable but wouldn’t fit as it was a drum and I want to retain the front brake disc. Especially now I’ve converted to a newer Nissin front caliper.
I purchased a KZ400B rear wheel as it was a Kwaker rim and runs a rear drum the same as the ER5. The ER5 rear brake assy fits inside the KZ4 drum with a little slack and does work when you actuate the rear brake arm. Not sure if the brake assy can be used or if I’d need a KZ4 one? Also the rear 6 section rear cush won’t fit so I think I’d need the 4 section one from the 400? The mag alloy wheels in the ER are 3.0 and 3.5 but I’d like to go 4.25 in the rear.

Does anyone have any advice regarding the conversion and best possible selection of wheels with a rear drum and single front disc? I can easily get adaptors made to space out the rear sprocket from the cush and even an adaptor for the front disc to get the centre line on the front caliper. The KZ400 rear rim looks quite narrow and whilst I realise I can stick a 36 spoke 17” rim on the hub, I’m not set on using it just because it’s here. I’d happilypurchase 3.0/4.25 rear rims to suit whatever hubs I use. I’ve also read on here that the KZ400B wheel is quite narrow in the hub area.

Also how would going from 17/17 to maybe 18/18 inch rims change things? Am I better off staying with 17/17 or even something like 17/18 (r/f)?
My thinking is I will have to buy rims for the hubs so I can get what I want. Although I have just purchased 2 x new 17” Maxxis Supermaax tyres in 110/150 format hence the rim selection at 4.25 for the wider rear boot. Space isn’t an issue as you can run the 20mm wider rear on the standard 3.5 rim without clearance issues although 150 seems to be the most extreme size I can get away with on a 3.5 rim.
 
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doc_rot

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Since you're swapping hubs, my vote would be to switch to a rear disk. I would stay away from the KZ400 hub as it had pretty lame brakes and tiny axles. If you want to stay in the same family I would look at a KZ650 rear wheel which has a 17mm axle and a bigger drum. If you go rear disk there are lots of options, however each one will present its own set of challenges to get it to fit correctly. What are the axle sizes of the ER5?
 

Exuptoy

Member
Same as the 400 I think. Seemed snug on the spindle. Bearings are 6205, 6203 and 6303 so 15mm or 17mm.
I’d rather keep the drum for the look. If I wanted to improve stuff I’d put an upside down front end in and maybe even go mono shock but that’ll come later. For now I’d rather the original brakes.
Maybe Ill look at the 650 wheel then.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Keeping the rear drum will of course make the swap a lot simpler.

XS650 wheels are plentiful and with 36 holes are easy to find rims for if needed. Avoid Honda CB hubs as I seem to recall the bearing selection is very slim and 40 spoke rims are less common.

Rear hub sprocket offset is probably the biggest hurdle. Front rotors can be spaced out as needed from a narrower hub, but the rear sprocket on most hubs doesn't have a lot of room to play with in terms of spacing it out without a bit of engineering and lathe work.

There's an axle size list on the site somewhere.

I'd go 18/18 on wheel sizing or 18 rear 19 front.
 

Exuptoy

Member
Just won a Z650 36 spoke rear wheel, so we’ll see how that goes. Have to sell the KZ400B wheel now.
 
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Exuptoy

Member
Guy reckons he has the hardware including brake and sprocket assys and spindle inc tensioners and spacers. Don’t forget this will be UK market bike.
 

Exuptoy

Member
I have purchased a KZ305 front wheel which is 1.6x18 and I have a spare KZ650B rear which is 2.15x18, could I remove the rims and put the 2.15 rear rim on the front hub so I could have maybe a 110/90 front and 130/80 on the rear?
 

doc_rot

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the spoke angles will be different but the hubs are close enough in diameter that it might work. You may need different spokes.
 

Exuptoy

Member
I keep changing my mind on this, I’ve been toying with using my spare rear Z650 rim (2.15) on the front hub and just buying new tyres, BUT I have a pair on new Conti boots here and am still thinking of getting 17 inch black anodised rims in 3.5 and 4.25 flavour with 40 spoke holes. My rear 150 will fit the 4.25 so no issue there and the chain run doesn’t bother me, I can make that work if it doesn’t.
I keep seeing rims on the net advertised as supermoto rims. Are there any real differences in ‘supermoto’ rims which would stop me using them with the KZ hubs or are they just generalising? I’ll obviously need new spokes but I can work out what I need without issue.
 

doc_rot

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I keep changing my mind on this, I’ve been toying with using my spare rear Z650 rim (2.15) on the front hub and just buying new tyres, BUT I have a pair on new Conti boots here and am still thinking of getting 17 inch black anodised rims in 3.5 and 4.25 flavour with 40 spoke holes. My rear 150 will fit the 4.25 so no issue there and the chain run doesn’t bother me, I can make that work if it doesn’t.
I keep seeing rims on the net advertised as supermoto rims. Are there any real differences in ‘supermoto’ rims which would stop me using them with the KZ hubs or are they just generalising? I’ll obviously need new spokes but I can work out what I need without issue.
most modern rims are 36 hole and rilled for small diameter hubs. the 650 is 40 hole and the rear hub is quite large in comparison to a modern hub
 

Exuptoy

Member
Cheers Doc, I can source 17 inch 40 hole rims and can specify a 6.8mm hole for Kawasaki spokes but I’d like to know if a rim described as fitting a supermoto will also fit a regular spoked hub? Is there anything physically stopping the fitment to a Z650 hub, spokes can be specified in whatever size and length is required but for me the question mark remains over the rim. I don’t know if there is a difference. Can anyone shed any light on this or has anyone here used similar rims.
 

doc_rot

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super moto rims just means the size of rim. if they are drilling the spoke holes custom for you should be good to go, if they are pre drilled for a differt application there is a potential for the spoke to have to bend alot to fit which puts undue stress on the spoke hole in the rim, and may not even allow you to lace it up properly
 

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