Wheel & Tires

1985 RZ350

Wheels & Tires

I chose FZR wheels as they take radial tires and they were from a similar power bike...and they were cheap.

The wheels and tires that came on the rolling chassis were pretty trashed. I had the tires removed and disposed of at my local motor cycle shop and then I set about removing all the bearings and seals from the wheel castings. The bearings were difficult to dislodge, but I found the trick was to move the axle bush just off center and then hit the outside bearing out along the lip from the other side with a pipe.

I had heard about powder coating but never tried it myself. I brought the sad looking wheels totally stripped down to West Coast Powder Coating in South San Francisco, and they blasted them, coated them, and baked them. They also are familiar with motorcycle parts so they knew exactly what to tape off. The result is the beauties above done in "Sky White" and now with new Bridgestones added.

Before the powdercoating I banged out all the bearings oil seals and other bits out of the front wheel. I good trick I use is to zip tie all the bits together in the order they should be fit. That way when the new parts arrive I have the old ones as reference and can see the order and what way things should face. Above is the layout of the front hub from speedo drive side on the left.

Starting on the non speedo drive side I set the first bearing in the hole as best as I could by hand. This bearing has a sealed side on the inside but the outside face is open to the ball bearings.

Then I used a metal socket just a hair smaller than the outside diameter of the bearing, and banged it in to position. It is very important to only bang on something that connects with the outside body of the bearing, not the ball bearings or the inside circle.

Once the bearing is set all the way in the hub, I used some grease to further grease the bearings and then followed it with a new oil seal. The oil seal can be pushed in place by hand but should be flush with the hub.

Flip the rim over and drop in the central spacer piece....

...followed by the bearing in the same manner as before. On the front hub both bearings are the same.

Grease up the bearing and fit the speedo drive clutch. The ears should fit in the recesses in the hub, and the vertical ears should be facing up.

Followed by the retainer dished washer....

...and finally the oil seal where the speedo drive will sit.

The last step before being bolted in to place is installing the brake disks (here they are shown roughly fitted with only two bolts) and then dropping the speedo drive in to place so that it meshes with the protruding ears.

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