1981 CX500 B(?) Shadow
May the myriad of wheels in your head, keep the two wheels between your legs rubber side down.
No more stable, no more ride for me.
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Sigh. Come on guys. Focus.
So what's the chance of a 50hp 450lb motorcycle breaking an 8 gauge spoke that is bowed in the center. Especially with a rock solid, would-break-a-sledge-hammer-it's-so-beefy Harley steel rim laced to it? (I think the steel rim alone weighs as much as a stock comstar).
I'm going to send my second hub out to cognito-moto and have them lace a warp 9 rim to it with custom spokes. See what they can come up with to eliminate the bowing. But in the meantime, while that's being worked over, I do plan on riding it with this harley rim. I've put about 1500 miles on this setup so far, without a single issue.... but now I'm a little worried. Not a lot, mind you, but a little.
How much bow is dangerous? I mean, if I can get a feeler gauge in there without too much force, is it something to worry about?
Also, from what I can tell, I've been trying to lace a rear 17x3.00 rim to the front hub, which might be why that's not working so well. The hole angles are way off. So I'll give up on finding a 40-spoke 17x3.00 front rim, and go with a 19x2.5, which will at least let me run some interesting dual sport rubber on my bobber build. Was hoping for sport bike rubber, but it's not worth the extra expense to have a custom drilled rim made and laced up.
Okay, so I got more spokes in, and experimented more with the Moto-synthesis rings. Here's what I've determined:
- The spoke rings are ideal for 18" rears and 19" fronts. If that's what you want, you can lace up with an over/under pattern using off-the-shelf spokes.
- Rear wheels cannot be laced to front hubs. So if you have any notion of lacing up an inexpensive 16" drop-center Harley rim onto the front, or any kind of vintage 17" rim (which were exclusively rear wheels), you're SOL. The holes in the rim are drilled such that this is impossible. You'll have to get a custom rim made. Rear rims lace to rear hubs, end of story. Also, 16x3.00 front rims from old harleys were made for drum brake wheels, which have a bigger hub, and so essentially they're identical to rear rims.
- For 16" and 17" Harley drop-center rear rims, you need this spoke kit: Honda Chopper Bobber Custom Spoke Kit 16" Rear Wheel Conversion CB 450 500 750 | eBay. You WILL be able to do an over/under pattern with this particular kit. The spokes will not bow.
- The above kit will NOT work for 17x4.25" rims that are not drop-center rims. Such as the Warp-9 rim. They're about a quarter inch too short.
- The above kit contains 8ga spokes. My moto-synthesis rings are drilled for 6/8 spokes, which means they're 6ga where they go through the hub. So, if Jerry is ever back and taking orders again, make sure you get a pair made for 8ga spokes, and make sure they're counter-sunk on both sides. (Mine are not. I'm doing that myself shortly).
- With a Warp-9 17x4.25 rim, you'll be forced to lace an under/under pattern from the same side of the rim. (all inside spokes). You'll need to find spokes with the same basic bend, but one having more length from the spoke end to the bend. And you'll get some bow. That is, unless you can find a slightly longer type of spoke kit with the radical bend above. OR if you get longer nipples. Some spoke sets have much longer nipples than others. That might be enough difference to be able to lace the wheel.
- For the front wheel in 18" or 19", skip getting any rings at all. Buy a front wheel for a 1979-1981 CB750K (DOHC). It will bolt right on to any CX500, and will use your stock axle, speedometer drive, and rotor. You'll need rotor bolts for the CB750K, but everything else works. If you want 18" or a wider 19" rim, there are brand new 19x2.5 rims all over eBay. At good prices too.
- For a 17x3.50 front rim, you'll need to get a Warp-9 rim and a pair of 36-hole rings. You WILL need custom spokes.
The ebay spoke kit referenced above is commonly used to convert GL1000 and CB750 rear wheels to Harley 16" drop center rims. This has always been a problem since the dawn of time -- the short spokes coupled with the large Honda hubs and standard hub design mean that to get a proper over/under pattern, you need the crazy bend in the spoke kit above. These have been around since the 70s. People laced them up as all inside spokes to begin with, until these kits came out, which will allow you to lace it correctly. I've purchased three different types of these spoke kits so far, and this one is by far the best in terms of bend and fitment.
So, from what I'm seeing here, there's no problem with the rings. The problems were:
- I was trying to lace a rear rim to a front hub.
- Later, I was trying to see if a warp-9 rim will fit with front rings. Not without special spokes. Outside spokes need to have a bend > 90
- I am not using a drop-center spoke kit for my harley rear wheel. I laced it from all one side, and the spokes bowed. I will rectify this soon.
Basically I was trial-and-erroring the wheel build, because I couldn't get information from Jerry. He's MIA. Hopefully this will help some people who have already bought the rings.