Fig. 89: To the right, a complete CB550 frame, brackets and all. To the left, a frame with the centerstand brackets ground down...and pretty much stock besides that.
He sells a program where you can do all these calculations and run simulations and whatnot. Some folks are into that, and I have mad respect for them, it's just not my style. I have two standards for weight and strength: "Can I lift it?" and the ever important "Can I jump on it?" You don't need a computer program for these tests. You don't even need a brain, strictly speaking.
So some frame stiffening will be required now that the brackets are off, I just haven't gotten around to it yet (see Fig. 90). I'll probobly put a a pair of gussets beneith the frame on either side of the oil pan, and some cross bracing on the downtubes (the pair of pipes heading down from the head tube and looping around the front of the engine). Tony Foale also talks about the many faults of the oil dampened fork suspension system used on...pretty much everything that's not a springer or Bimota Tesi 3D.
If you can afford this motorcycle, you are not reading this blog.
A fork brace can mitigate some of the unwanted flex found in fork type suspensions, but they're expensive. Basically, it's a big piece of metal (usually aluminum) that clamps the two forks together closer to the wheel than the triple tree. However, I have seen (rarely, so it might be a horrible idea) folks who have used an extra triple tree clamp low on the forks to act as a fork brace. I've got an extra tree clamp so it's worth a shot. What's the worst that could happen?
Hope you folks enjoyed this article. The is the special commemoritive edition celebrating my first Follower and First Comment. Special thanks to Demoto's Sister, Hister, owner, rider, and builder of a sleek KZ400 we bought off the side of the road for $29 cash. Thanks sis, you rock my world!
Fig. 91: Hister, keeping it real.