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Aluminum Swing Arm
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duncla
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Joined: May 23, 2009
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Location: Buena Vista, Colorado

PostPosted: May 26, 2009, 12:28 am    Post subject: Aluminum Swing Arm

Has anyone had any experience with an aluminum swingarm from [u]Motolanna in Thailand? I e-mailed the address given on e-bay for information on conversion from SR500 to XS and was promptly answered; it requires a bearing for a 17mm axel and custom spacers. It appears to have the correct bracket for the drum brake stay.

There would seem to be a sizable weight reduction and added stiffness. I realize it's a costly item but, beyond that any opinions / information would be appreciated. I've tried searching," aluminum swingarms" with no results .
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Teebs
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PostPosted: May 26, 2009, 1:11 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

I'm not a cafe guy, but I've seen a number of guys that have used the swingarm for a GSX 1100. There is one listed on ebay now for 99 plus 45 S&H. It takes some fairly in depth modification, but with the money you would save you might be able to pay for the cost of shortening the pivot.

Also, i don't know if it's an alloy or steel, but the Yamaha Radian swingarm will fit with some minor modification. Read more here:

650rider.com/Forums/vi.../t=43.html
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Teebs
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PostPosted: May 26, 2009, 1:20 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

I found another thread on the Radian swingarm. It is steel so no significant weight loss, I guess: www.650rider.com/index...ic&p=20244
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jimmythetrucker
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PostPosted: May 26, 2009, 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

duncla asks -- "If stock was so good, why did so many people, (including myself) have to \"fix\" it?"

You have to remember that the XS650 (depending on what year you've got) is between thirty and forty years old. When I was a young man (when the XS650 was new) we bought whatever the Japanese manufacturers put on the salesroom floor and, like it else, we had to learn to live with the stock machine because THERE WERE VERY FEW AFTERMARKET PARTS FOR JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES THEN, and NO CUSTOM PARTS AT ALL. If you wanted something that wasn't stock, you had to build it yourself or do without. Even as late as the early nineties, aftermarket and/or custom parts were mighty hard to find. It wasn't until the advent of the WWW that outfits like Mike's XS began to make life easier for XS650 buffs.

So it was that we older gents rode the XS650 in its stock iteration and we remember it very fondly as a simple, reliable, workaday ride that was fairly cheap and a lot of fun. After its introduction, it quickly earned a reputation as a quick, powerful, durable and versatile twin. It's a reputation that has stayed with the machine right on down to the present day.

Now your XS650 is thirty or forty years old. It needs a voltage regulator or an alternator armature. How many forty-year-old automobiles are out there running around? People fix them up and garage them and never drive them except to car shows and fundraiser cruises because parts for them are expensive and they don't want to risk a breakdown or a crash. But we fix up our XS650s and ride them all over hell. You think your machine is unreliable because the clutch cable keeps breaking on you. But you never knew the day when ALL BIKES had clutch cables and they ALL BROKE regularly and often.

The XS650 was reliable when it was new. It's just as reliable now, if it's properly cared for and sensibly ridden. It doesn't have all the high-tech stuff that the new bikes have got. It isn't built from the newest and best materials like the new bikes are. Still, it is reliable and it will run just as far or farther than a lot of the new plastic bikes will. Next time you get a '56 Chevy, try putting sixty thousand trouble-free miles on it and see how much luck you have with that.

So ride your tough old 650 and thank God for the aftermarket. It's the aftermarket that keeps us going.
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nudude53
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Joined: Apr 24, 2009
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PostPosted: May 26, 2009, 1:52 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

A '56 Chevy needed a ring job at 60k miles, and ball joints, and "A" frame bushings, and who knows what else. As much as I love a '56 more than any other year of Chevy I'll settle for an XS that needs a little tweeking anyday.

The fuel pump went out on my Buick yesterday and there sat the old Yamaha begging to be ridden. The mechanic will get to the Buick "when he has a chance", he wants to ride the 650 "right now".

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Teebs
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PostPosted: May 26, 2009, 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

duncla, as lanatwin has solid feedback and has sold a dozen or more of these swingarms since about October, I would go to his feedback page and contact members who have purchased them and ask them directly. I emailed the oldest two member listings and will hopefully get a reply, but you might want to go and email them all. That is the surest way of getting an answer.

I am very curios about this as it looks to be a very high quality piece. As you learn more I hope you update this thread.

Keep in mind that with customs fees you could end up well in excess of $400, having a machinist adapt an existing swingarm will likely cost significantly less.
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duncla
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Joined: May 23, 2009
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PostPosted: May 28, 2009, 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

Teebs,

Thanks for the replies, your opinion about adapting an existing swingarm is something I have thought about and after researching customs duties, it really looks like the better solution. The Motolanna piece is really tempting though given the apearance. I'll just have to polish whatever I come up with.
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duncla
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Joined: May 23, 2009
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PostPosted: May 28, 2009, 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

jimmythetrucker,

My statement, "If stock was so good...." was very tongue in cheek. Meant no offense. I bought my xs after a lot of thought and research into parts availability and support like this forum. I'm having a great time re-doing it as a cafe bike because it's so possible. Had a '74 Bonney in college when it was a year old and couldn't resist doing the same thing to it with help from Paul Dunstall. Friends and relatives keep asking me why I can't just buy a bike and ride it as is, didn't the engineers who designed it know better than me? I try to be resonable with mods and not diguise the whole bike but, personnalising is what makes me happy.

Sincerely,
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Teebs
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PostPosted: May 29, 2009, 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

Duncla,

I did receive info back from one of the buyers of the aluminum swingarm:

"hi ,it fits perfect and looks great your wheelbase is increased so you will need longer shocks it has no chain tensioner so you will also need a good chain ,it fitted up in 20 minutes ,i put it on my 78 tt500 overall it is great goodluck adam"

lol not a total confirmation of quality, but then Adam did buy it last year and if he had issues with it, it seems certain they would have come to light by now. And i really appreciate that he got back to me so quickly through my ebay contact with him.

Lack of a tensioner for that much money? I'd say no thanks. Modifying a proven quality swingarm, such as that off from the gsx1100 really does seem like the better option.

I hope you keep us updated on your build and the direction you end up going on the swingarm. I plan on chopping a cafe style bike after I'm finished with my current chop, so I hope you keep this thread updated.

Good luck,
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MotoLanna
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Joined: Jun 30, 2009
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PostPosted: June 30, 2009, 2:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

I am the seller of the aforementioned swingarm. The chain tensioner that he was referring to is the dirt bike tensioner specific to the TT500. As the swingarm was designed for use on the street, it does not incorporate that. It does have the usual chain adjusters.

I have two customers using this arm on XT500s in the Dakar rally without any reliability issues.

Cheers,
Peter



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dwyatt
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Joined: Dec 21, 2006
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Location: Houston/Malongo, Angola

PostPosted: June 30, 2009, 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

Sweet looking swingarm, I may have to consider one for my roadracer project.
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dpmphoto
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PostPosted: June 30, 2009, 4:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

better buy a bridgeport before you start messing around with different swingarms
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xsleo
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PostPosted: July 1, 2009, 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

It is pretty, but way out of my price range.
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dwyatt
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PostPosted: July 14, 2009, 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

.. can't let that stop you, so were most of the woment I used to date ........
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dwyatt
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PostPosted: July 14, 2009, 7:55 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

.. can't let that stop you, so were most of the woment I used to date ........
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jerseyjew
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PostPosted: July 14, 2009, 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

^^^ Hahah, isn't that the truth! I happened to come across this swing arm on my own a few days ago and was planning on making a similar thread. I guess all my questions are answered now!
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dwyatt
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PostPosted: July 14, 2009, 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Aluminum Swing Arm

mine too, now all I have to do is find a way to hide the purchase from my wife...
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