Jump to content
Yamaha Tenere 700 Forum

Tenere 700 KYB SSS fork swap and TFX shock-videos!


Camel ADV
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Supporting Vendor

I've had several Yamaha dirt bikes with KYB SSS forks and they are simply amazing. I swapped a pair onto my Africa Twin and and added a custom length TFX shock to the back...it transformed the bike off-road.

 

The 200mm travel, 43mm forks and base level shock on the T7 are a bit lacking for what I do (and weight) so, since I was so happy with the SSS forks and TFX shock on the AT, I've decided to do the same with the T7. At first I was planning on using YZ dirt bike triples and stock fork lugs as they are made for the forks but there are lots of draw backs going this route. Some of the issues are minor, some are not. In no particular order:

 

1) The pinch bolts on the lower triple are at the back (stock T7 triples have them on the front). The bolt heads will contact the rad when making tight turns. Obviously rad damage is possible with this, especially if you drop your bike. If you want to run YZ triples, you'll have to limit the turning radius.

 

2) Lack of mounting for the ignition switch and steering lock. You would either have to fabricate a new bracket to hold the assembly in the stock T7 location or find a new place (off the triple) to mount it. This would eliminate the steering lock capability on the bike. Big deal for some, no big deal for others.

 

3) The stock T7 upper triple swoops down from the center to where the upper section of the fork tube is located. Stock SSS forks are only about 16mm longer than the T7 forks. The height difference in the triples means you would have zero mm extra height of suspension travel. It's a lot of work to do a swap like this and have to run stock height suspension

 

4) The SSS forks only have one caliper mount. I've run lots of ADV bikes with caliper/rotor and it can be set up to work pretty well, especially if you are mostly riding solo in the dirt. 

 

5) If you do run one caliper/rotor, you will have to source newer, bigger units as the dirt bike brakes are way under powered to stop a 450lb ADV bike (potentially with a passenger and luggage). You need to find a suitable rotor, caliper and likely a new caliper adaptor to mount a road worthy caliper to the axial mount on the fork lug. You might be able to use the stock T7 wheel but might have to get a rotor spacer made to get the rotor aligned with the caliper centerline. Also, you'll need new brake lines and a new smaller master cylinder as switching from 2 calipers to one requires a smaller bore master.

 

6) You'll need a new steering stem, head set bearings, custom axle shaft, bearings, spacers and seals.

 

Because of these things, I decided to get new triples and fork lugs made instead. Now, I can use both stock brake calipers, rotors, brake lines stock axle, stock bearings etc.

 

New triples and fork lugs:

 

 

 

 

 

6fbeabc3a90dd9c616f9e167db64395.jpeg

e5dc2cb7637e56aa30f712351169644.jpeg

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great Job. Thank you for sharing the whole process (including fails). Makes it much more autentical:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Vendor
8 hours ago, bikeever said:

Great Job. Thank you for sharing the whole process (including fails). Makes it much more autentical:)

No shortage of fails!

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Supporting Vendor

Episode 4 is up on YouTube. I installed the new triples and test fit the forks.

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Vendor

Prepping the frame for new upper shock mounts:

 

  • Like 1

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Supporting Vendor

I finally had time (and weather) to go ride the beast. I'm pretty happy with the suspension to this point. I'm going to drop from 0.70kg fork springs to 0.66 or 0.68. The current 0.70kg springs have very little preload on them to get 30% rider sag and are a bit stiff. The compression adjusters are backed out 14 clicks (of 20). Some lighter springs with a bit more preload will still net me 30% sag but will have a softer ride and I can add some more compression damping back in.
 

 

  • Like 2

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
  • Supporting Vendor

We just started working on this stuff again. Been swapped with a pile of other projects and these got put on the back burner.
 

I'd like to offer a kit with the triples and one with triples and lugs. I need to get a few things sorted out with some  tuners. The KYB SSS forks changed over the years. Rod lengths, rebound adjuster height, spring seat location and length, spring length, tube diameter @ the upper triple location etc. Also differences if they were from a 125cc, 250cc, 450cc, WR or YZ etc.  

 

I need to figure out what we can do to make them compatible with as many years of SSS forks as possible. If I have to sell them as, "Only works with 2006-07 from YZ450", it's unlikely I'd sell many. People have asked for a kit for WP as well. Their open chamber forks are cheap, readily available and can be made to work very well.

 

Lots of things to consider... analysis paralysis 😉
 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have some suggestions...

 

First off, KYB SSS forks are almost identical damping wise except the shim stack.  Pistons have changed, but in this application the changes aren't meaninful.    You could develop an couple different shim stack recipes and give them to buyers as suggestions.   Almost every major center has a suspension guru.   It would be relatively easy for buyers to get the dampers set up to their liking using your recipe.     None of the stock available YZ/WRs forks will have the correct shim setup for this application and even if they did, half the forks people buy used will have modified stacks in them.  Everyone will need to get their forks revalved.

 

The next major difference between various SSS forks is diameter and travel.   Diameter is easily acomodated by changing the bore in the TC.  No biggie.  

 

Travel and length are a different matter.   Long travel forks can be decreased in travel by  changing the length of the bottoming cone at the bottom of the fork.   Again you could offer several lengths of those.  Do people really want 12 inches of travel ?  Will they have enough ground clearance to safely use it ?

 

You tackled the length issue by machining custom fork ends, which is one approach to the issue.   The other approach would be to machine longer fork caps, but then you have the problem of machining adapters for the dual disk brake calipers.   I like what you did with the fork ends, but I suspect they will be very pricey.    Would be a lot cheaper to machine longer fork caps and adapters to hold the calipers ?   I guess this would be especially problematic on the right fork which has no caliper mount at all.  

Edited by ADV Newbie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have another suggestion... instead of selling people a custom shock, develop a kit to use a KYB shock from a YZ or WR.   They are plentiful, cheap and everyone knows how to work on them.   They can be set up for  a wide variety of applications easily.

 

Is the preload adjuster on the T700 built right into the shock body or does it thread on ?  Could it be reattached to a different shock body ?

 

Ohlins are great until they need servicing.  Not everyone works on them and not everyone can get parts and such.   Everyone works on KYB.

 

Also, if you lengthen the suspension travel on a T700 you should also increase the ratio change of the linkage.   Not sure what the ratio change is stock, but if you had 12 inches in the rear you could start out with a much softer ratio and make it more progressive.  You have a lot more travel to play with if you have 12" of travel versus 8". 

 

FWIW, 12 inches of travel would increase the seat heigh by 2/3 x 4" = 2.66 inches.   I'm 6'1".   I wouldn't be put out by that.  But then I'm use to riding a YZ450FX with a 37" seat.  YMMV.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Vendor
On 12/12/2020 at 6:20 AM, ADV Newbie said:

I have some suggestions...

 

First off, KYB SSS forks are almost identical damping wise except the shim stack.  Pistons have changed, but in this application the changes aren't meaninful.    You could develop an couple different shim stack recipes and give them to buyers as suggestions.   Almost every major center has a suspension guru.   It would be relatively easy for buyers to get the dampers set up to their liking using your recipe.     None of the stock available YZ/WRs forks will have the correct shim setup for this application and even if they did, half the forks people buy used will have modified stacks in them.  Everyone will need to get their forks revalved.

 

The next major difference between various SSS forks is diameter and travel.   Diameter is easily acomodated by changing the bore in the TC.  No biggie.  

 

Travel and length are a different matter.   Long travel forks can be decreased in travel by  changing the length of the bottoming cone at the bottom of the fork.   Again you could offer several lengths of those.  Do people really want 12 inches of travel ?  Will they have enough ground clearance to safely use it ?

 

You tackled the length issue by machining custom fork ends, which is one approach to the issue.   The other approach would be to machine longer fork caps, but then you have the problem of machining adapters for the dual disk brake calipers.   I like what you did with the fork ends, but I suspect they will be very pricey.    Would be a lot cheaper to machine longer fork caps and adapters to hold the calipers ?   I guess this would be especially problematic on the right fork which has no caliper mount at all.  

 

On 12/12/2020 at 6:29 AM, ADV Newbie said:

I have another suggestion... instead of selling people a custom shock, develop a kit to use a KYB shock from a YZ or WR.   They are plentiful, cheap and everyone knows how to work on them.   They can be set up for  a wide variety of applications easily.

 

Is the preload adjuster on the T700 built right into the shock body or does it thread on ?  Could it be reattached to a different shock body ?

 

Ohlins are great until they need servicing.  Not everyone works on them and not everyone can get parts and such.   Everyone works on KYB.

 

Also, if you lengthen the suspension travel on a T700 you should also increase the ratio change of the linkage.   Not sure what the ratio change is stock, but if you had 12 inches in the rear you could start out with a much softer ratio and make it more progressive.  You have a lot more travel to play with if you have 12" of travel versus 8". 

 

FWIW, 12 inches of travel would increase the seat heigh by 2/3 x 4" = 2.66 inches.   I'm 6'1".   I wouldn't be put out by that.  But then I'm use to riding a YZ450FX with a 37" seat.  YMMV.

 

 

 

 

On 12/12/2020 at 6:31 AM, ADV Newbie said:

Has FEA analysis been performed on the T clamps and fork ends ? 

The small changes in dimensions do make a huge difference for us in the parts and info we include in the kit. The different lengths and heights of things can really throw off the length of springs required, length of limit spacers needed, oil lock heights change etc.

Since we won't/can't supply forks with the kit, we wouldn't be supplying shim stacks with them either. The thought with conversion is that people buy the triples, and forks then drop them at their local suspension shop. The average rider can't split the lugs from the tubes, in fact, a lot of shops can't seem to do it without making a mess of the threads. The tuner will have to figure out spring lengths, rates, preload based on what year of forks are supplied. We'd likely supply over-length oil lock/bottoming cones and they can be turned down to length as needed.

The linkage on the T7 shock gives it a 2:1. Most bikes are closer to 3:1. We looked at a few different dirt bike shocks but they are all way too long and the piggyback reservoirs aren't in the right location for the swing arm cut-out.  The shock mount is under the airbox so there isn't an opportunity to move it any higher than about 25mm from it's current location... and it's an annoying job with a pile of disassembly required.




 

  • Like 2

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

@Camel ADVDo you have a long term update on these? Did you ever reduce the spring rate in the forks? What are your overall thoughts now that you've spent more time on this setup? Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Vendor
On 10/4/2021 at 2:26 PM, Ace402 said:

@Camel ADVDo you have a long term update on these? Did you ever reduce the spring rate in the forks? What are your overall thoughts now that you've spent more time on this setup? Thanks

 

I've been on the for 2 seasons and am very happy. We just finished a round of tweaks to the CAD files, they are basically done.

I did reduce the spring rate last spring. Everything is very dialed for me and the terrain we regularly ride.

  • Thanks 1

Bits and pieces for your adventure bike. Camel-ADV.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

Our Friends

Tenere across the USA

Tenere 700 Forum. We are just Tenere 700 owners and fans

Tenere700.net is not affiliated with Yamaha Motor Co and any opinions expressed on this website are solely those of ea individual author and do not represent Yamaha Motor Co or Tenere700.net .

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.