|17" Modern Wheel Swap to my T3 - Bob Gale
I installed a 17" cast front wheel from a 2002 Lemans on my T-3. Why? Because I hated the heavy cast 18" one that I had, and I wanted to try a 17" to see if it improves the handling. It was really for the weight loss.
I'm using 300mm rotors from a Yamaha that bolt right onto the Lemans wheel, and the offset worked perfectly with my F08 calipers on Lemans III fork lowers. I had to slightly shorten the end of the Lemans axle that goes through the wheel bearing, and I had to fabricate a spacer to go over that end of the axle (outboard of the bearing) 12mm long. I also had a stock T-3 front axle cut down so the 'shoulder' is 70mm long.
I dropped my fork tubes all the way to compensate for the shorter wheel/tire combo (they were protuding 1" above the top triple clamp), and I had to swap my old, twin bleeder F08s for new, single bleeder ones because the inner bleeder screws prevented me from installing the calipers (they hit the wheel rim going on).
The only other hard part was coming up with a front fender for the smaller diameter tire. I bought a late model Kawasaki front fender on e-bay (which is where I got the wheel, new, for $180) and modified it to bolt to my stock Le Mans III mounts. And just so Pete Roper won't accuse me of ruining the handling of my T-3 Lemans wannabe by going to a wide tire, I should mention that I put a 110/70 Avon on the wheel. Or perhaps he'll chastise me just for going to a 17" front wheel.
Next up: installing the matching 17" cast rear wheel (from a Centauro) that I bought on e-bay for $150. Thanks to MotoMecca Spares for help with the axle/bearing spacer www.motomeccaspares.com and to Yoyodyne for the brake rotors (GuzziTech.com is a Brembo Dealer, Ed. - Todd). This shows how much I had to mod the axle and bearing spacer. Blue tape is where I shortened spacer to. Note the shortened 'shoulder' on the lower axle. It's now 70mm. Top axle is stock T-3. Shown below:
|Here is the 'fit check' for the front axle and bearings before I pressed them into the wheel. I was verifying that the wheel would be centered. The fabricated spacer outboard of the left side (in the picture) bearing is 12mm long, clearcoated steel. By the way, that fork has 195mm tube spacing (stock for a T-3). Shown below:|
|Here is a comparison of front wheels and tires I have used, right to left: CX100 cast wheel with big 18" tire, Lemans I cast wheel with rotor spacers and 110/80VB18 Avon, and new 17" 2002 Lemans wheel with 110/70VR17 Avon. I didn't measure them, but I think the 17" tire is nearly 3" shorter overall than the CX100 one. Yeah - I like yellow wheels. Show below:|
|Here is my T-3 Lemans wannabe. It was originally an LAPD bike. Two years ago, it was burned in a garage fire, and I bought it as salvage. I've been 'playing' ever since. Now that I've mounted the new front fender, I can get it, the rear one and the fairing painted to match the tank and side covers. I bought them, painted as they are now, on e-bay. Or I can wait until I've fabricated mounts for my triangular fiberglass side covers and get them painted to match, too...Guess I should have unfolded my bar end mirrors for this pic.
- Bob Gale bg.gale<at>verizon.net - Whittier, CA