Author Topic: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion  (Read 22294 times)

Offline GF-in-CA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Country: 00
17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« on: June 01, 2011, 09:53:43 pm »
While many C10 owners are interested in taking advantage of the latest tire technology, the dwindling selection of high performance tires available in sizes to fit the C10’s 16” rear wheel has made this increasingly difficult. Manufacturers heavily favor 17” rear wheels on sport and sport touring motorcycles, evidenced by the fact that at the time of the writing of this article, no new sport touring motorcycles were offered with a 16” rear tire. A cursory look at tire availability during the writing of this article indicated that there were nearly twice the amount of sport & sport touring rear tires offered in the 160/70-17 and 170/60-17 sizes alone, compared to the stock size for the C10.  If radial tires are considered, the ratio increases to over 16 to 1 in favor of the 17” sizes.  These and other factors have led to a desire by some owners to convert to a 17” rear wheel.  This can be done by using the wheel from another Kawasaki model.  Fortunately for C10 owners there are a couple of options available for converting to a 17” rear wheel, one by modifying the existing rear wheel and one using the wheel from another Kawasaki model.

Kosman is no longer in business, so wheel modification is no longer available from them, and no other suitable option for modification of the stock wheel is known at this time.

Option 1 – Kosman wheel modification   

This option involves sending a stock rear wheel to Kosman Specialties, where they will increase the diameter and width of the wheel to your specification.  Kosman machines off part of the original rim and welds on two rim halves to provide the desired dimensions.   If you plan on keeping your stock front wheel, and you must have the front and rear wheels match, this is the only option so far.  The recommended rim width is 5”, as this still fits nicely in the rear swingarm, and allows mounting up any tire that will fit the rear of the Connie (more on tires later).  While the Kosman work is top quality, the modification leaves visible welds around the circumference of the rim on both sides of the wheel, as shown in Figure A.
 

While the welds are not a problem structurally, the look of the beads is unattractive to some people.  If this includes you, you will need to do further work to make the wheel more attractive (e.g., polishing, paint, and/ or powder coat), which will add to the cost of the wheel.  Further details and pricing can be obtained by contacting Kosman at 707-837-0127 or online http://www.kosman.net/weldup.htm .

Kawasaki Mean Streak/ Suzuki Marauder wheel

This option involves installing a 17” rear wheel from a different model motorcycle.  The parts required are

1-   A rear wheel from one of the following motorcycles:

-A Kawasaki VN1500 Mean Streak or VN1600 Mean Streak, any year for a used wheel, or Kawasaki  P/N 41073-1671 for silver, Kawasaki P/N 41073-0042-17J for red, or Kawasaki P/N 41073-0042-R2 for black if you want a new wheel.

---OR---

-A Suzuki Marauder VZ1600 2004-05

Note: New wheels come assembled with wheel bearings and the rubber for the cush drive, but no drive coupling.  A used wheel will have whatever the seller chooses to include.  If the drive components (drive coupling, rubber dampers) are not included with the wheel, don’t worry, all these parts are identical to the stock C10 components, and can be transferred over when the wheel is assembled.

The Kawasaki wheel MUST be from a Mean Streak, any other VN1500 or VN1600 wheel is the wrong size.

As an aid to visual identification, Figure B shows photos of the correct wheel in black, without the drive coupling. 


 
With the exception of color, all the candidate wheels are identical, so if a wheel doesn’t look like the one in the photos, it isn’t the correct wheel.

2-   A FRONT brake rotor from a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad, 1999-2004, either used or Kawasaki P/N 41080-1447-CM, or EBC P/N MD4150RS

 ---OR---

Buy a Mean Streak rear rotor and cut the outer diameter down to 280 mm

3-   Seven (7) new rotor bolts, Kawasaki P/N 92150-1771,

---OR---

use your 6 existing bolts, assuming they are in good condition, and add another of the correct part number.

4-   New wheel bearings, if necessary, Kawasaki P/N 601B6304UU (2 required)

5-   A Mean Streak valve stem, if you bought a new wheel, or the stem was missing from your used wheel, Kawasaki P/N 16126-1191.  The Mean Streak/ Marauder wheel uses a special valve stem, so you need this one way or another.

Wheel modification and installation

The following is a checklist of the steps required for modification and installation of the wheel.  Consult a shop manual for any assembly/ installation procedures you are not already familiar with.

-   Have a machine shop remove .300” from the brake rotor mounting surface, as indicated in Figure C. 



Note that an equal amount of material is also removed from the face of the lip that centers the rotor on the hub, and that the finished outside diameter of the lip must be the same as the original.   This work can be done by any competent machine shop with a vertical mill or lathe large enough to accommodate the wheel
-   Have the Mean Streak rotor cut down to reduce the diameter to 280mm, if you chose this route.
-   Install new wheel bearings, if necessary.
-   Thread the brake rotor mounting bolts into each of the threaded holes in the wheel.  If any of the bolts do not engage up to the head of the bolt, you will need to extend the threads in those holes using an M8 x 1.25 tap, as shown in Figure D.



-   Install the new brake rotor using blue Loctite on all the bolts and applying a torque of 16 ft-lb.
-   Install the rubber dampers and drive coupling, if they were not included with the wheel.  Figure E shows the installed coupling.


                                         
-   Mount and balance your choice of tire (see below for tire size options).
-   Remove the stock rear wheel from the motorcycle.  (If you plan to reuse your existing rubber dampers and drive coupling, you will obviously need to do this before installing them in the new wheel.)
-   Install the new wheel as you would the stock wheel, using the stock axle, axle spacers, brake caliper, and caliper bracket.  The installed wheel should look like Figure F.


 
-   Reinstall any remaining items, double check your steps, and go for a ride!

Tire selection

The largest 17” rear tire that will fit the C10 is a 170/60-17.  This tire is about 1/2" shorter in height than the stock tire, so engine rpm will increase about 2% for a given speed and gear compared to stock.  Another popular choice is a 160/70-17, which is slightly taller than the stock tire, and lowers engine rpm throughout the gears by about 1%.  For the purpose of comparison, Table 1 shows engine rpm relative to stock for the two tire sizes.  The 170 tire should have adequate clearance to the centerstand, but to be safe you should check the clearance once you’ve mounted the wheel.  If the clearance is less than you feel comfortable with, you can grind some material off the sides of the stand feet. 


 

« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 05:26:03 pm by GF-in-CA »
Gary F.
1998 C10
California Central Valley

Offline RFH87_Connie

  • Arena
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 938
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 08:43:12 am »
Can someone fix the pictures?  They are not showing up.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline RFH87_Connie

  • Arena
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 938
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 12:37:19 pm »
Hello?  Bueller, Bueller......
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline cbh75

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 08:44:32 pm »
 Oh I so want to do this mod!

Offline Rhino

  • Arena
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3956
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 08:27:14 am »
Not sure if your looking to go to a fatter wheel but last year I had a chance to ride a fat tire bike when the Victory factory truck came by. A Hammer 8 ball I think with a 255 rear. The bike handled like the truck it came in.

Offline T Cro ®

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1733
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 04:34:24 am »
Not sure if your looking to go to a fatter wheel but last year I had a chance to ride a fat tire bike when the Victory factory truck came by. A Hammer 8 ball I think with a 255 rear. The bike handled like the truck it came in.

The conversion of the Concours to a 17" x 5" wheel is not going to fit anything larger than the 170/60-17 on the rear and that is a far comparison to an 8-Ball with 255 slab of meat hung out back... I'd go so far as to say that it is the tire that the old girl was waiting for as well as a properly fitted 17" x 3.5" front rim with 120/-70-17 rubber was the ticket as I love how my bike handles; it ain't no truck...
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline Daytona_Mike

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 760
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 12:21:31 am »
Not sure if your looking to go to a fatter wheel but last year I had a chance to ride a fat tire bike when the Victory factory truck came by. A Hammer 8 ball I think with a 255 rear. The bike handled like the truck it came in.
This above  negative comment is not a reflection  of what to expect when doing the 17"rear wheel conversion on a C10. It has no relevance  to this thread.
Once you have ridden a C10 with the upgraded Meanstreak rim you will understand why this is such a desired and sought after upgrade.
Further more the cost factor is low considering the handling improvement and the large increase of available modern profiled tires that will now fit this rim size. One of the best
upgrades you could do! 
If you still have fuel in the tank, you are not lost yet
Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle

Offline GF-in-CA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Country: 00
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 09:18:46 am »
Can someone fix the pictures?  They are not showing up.

I added the pictures back, they had disappeared thanks to the Webshots fiasco.  Sorry for the delay, I don't come to this forum very often.  Hope this gives the info you need.   :thumbs:
Gary F.
1998 C10
California Central Valley

Offline RFH87_Connie

  • Arena
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 938
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 09:56:21 am »
Thank you!  Now I will save them.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline RFH87_Connie

  • Arena
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 938
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 09:59:36 am »
Actually, I still see a few red Xs.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline GF-in-CA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Country: 00
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2014, 05:43:28 pm »
All the photos should be there now, if not it may be an issue with Photobucket.  Were you seeing any of the photos?
Gary F.
1998 C10
California Central Valley

Offline RFH87_Connie

  • Arena
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 938
  • Country: us
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 05:14:43 am »
I see many of the photos, but each photo or group of photos has a red X in a box to the left side.  For example, I see the one called "Figure E drive coupling installed" but there is also a red X box to the left of it.  Are there supposed to be 2 pictures or just one?

And thanks for looking into this.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Offline GF-in-CA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Country: 00
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 01:22:14 pm »
There should be 7 photos total, Figures A thru F and Table 1.  If you're seeing all those I think we're good.   :thumbs: 8)   Not sure why the red X's are showing up, I'm not seeing them on my browser.   :-\

Edit:  I opened this in Internet Explorer and did see X's, but all the photos were showing that were supposed to.  I think there may be some leftover links to the old Webshots photos that I can't see when I edit the post.  Whatever the case it looks like they're all there now.
 
Gary F.
1998 C10
California Central Valley

Offline GF-in-CA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Country: 00
Re: 17" Rear Wheel Conversion
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 05:27:36 pm »
Kosman is not longer in business, so I edited the article accordingly.
Gary F.
1998 C10
California Central Valley