Front end rework (Warning not for purists!)

I’m going to be changing the front end on this
For this

Has anyone else had a go at making a Le Mans actually handle well? By well I mean not headshake on white lines and not destroy your thumb joints on country roads. :unamused: The front end is a GSXR 1000 K4 by the way and I’m after a Magni Sfidi swing arm too if anyone has a good one going spare! :laughing:
Oh and the shiny forks with racing cartridges, the modified top yoke, the clip ons and headlight brackets will be up for sale real soon if anyone is interested. :wink:

Which Lemon?
As far as I was concerned I was never good enough to find out any limitations my Mk III had on the road and I never tracked it.

I have a heavily modded lemon as well as a standard Mk 1…its been my experience that modifying stuff devalues it moneywise…but may make it a more personal, pleasanter ride…mind you…as Eno comments…I’ve yet to bottom mine…on road or track…
Will be interested to read how you fare…

I find my T3 and G5 have very stiff/harsh movement on the front forks, this makes the ride very tireing, the forks on my Norton Commando Special has 1988 Yam FZR 600 forks, these are so much more pliable and make for a much more enjoyable ride, would really like to change the forks on my Guzzis to something more forgiving.

No worries re modifications. Look at any of my bikes.

Just a thought … Have you thought of TW suspensiontech …? A suspension tuning firm in Lancashire, ( check out his web-site )… This man’s services are very highly sought after, and he is a perfectionist … He is capable of keeping your original forks, and fitting springs specific to your weight, along with cartridges that are fully adjustable … Thus keeping that “original” look … and no messing about having to deal with a different brake caliper … He did a first class job on my V7 II … Regards, Tony

My MKIII had Marzocchi 38mm on the front and Koni’s on the rear when I sold it and was easily the best handling bike I have owned until I bought the lil’Breva.
Keep us posted on how this works out please.
Edited to add, apart from my Ducati 250 MK111 which was in a class of its own.

The issue with the forks is that the 1970’s design just doesn’t damp fast enough so they’re very stiff with the racing cartridges in them. I’m not fussed about originality as the bike is heavily modded anyway (It was once a mkII Le Mans) and I’m never going to sell it. I’ll just modify it to suit my age/riding style. One day it may well wind up as a sort of bastard California with a mentally quick motor in it :smiling_imp: who knows. One thing’s for sure though it will have the most up to date kit I can afford to put on it to make it the best it can be to ride.
I’ll put more pictures on here as and when the project moves along.
So no one knows where there’s a Magni Sfida swing arm to be had then? :question: Looks like I’ll have to talk to the factory!

alas…only attached to an Australia we did some work on a bit back ! :laughing:

Harris made a version.

As far as I am aware Harris only made 2 Guzzi mono shock conversions, one was on my mate’s Le Mans that is now in N Essex, I don’t know where the other frame is.

Batty’s bike in the early 80’s

How it looks now, or did a few years ago.

Some confusion here. It’s not a monoshock I’m after it’s a parallelogram swing arm which utilises twin shocks, requires no modifications to the frame and reduces pinion climb when opening the throttle thus allowing you to open the throttle quicker on the exit of a corner without a change to the steering geometry. It also allows you to run softer shock absorbers thereby getting a comfier ride. I’ve got some Ohlins ones in mind to replace the Konis that I had built for me by the Koni overhaul facility at Farnborough when my mate Paul worked there. Here’s what it looks like on a LM3

As for finding out the limitations of the bike…I did that a long time ago as riding much more modern bikes has allowed me to push more than this old beast will ever allow, hence the reason I know about the front fork’s limits. It really is quite a scary thing when you get a tankslapper overtaking cars on chevrons or just raised centrelines. Also it tracks ok in a corner but it’s so stiff that a big change in road surface or a pothole is a bit more than entertaining.
When I rode down to Brightona this year I went down the M3, M25, M23 which was fine, cruised at silly speeds no problems but on the way home using the country roads my second thumb joints got an absolute battering from the stiff front end and that was the final straw for me. Time for a major change!

From memory the Harris one is twin shock.

what tyres you using? Isn’t white-lining generally down to tyre choice and wear rate?

I agree about getting more complaint front suspension though
Somewhere in the shed I’ve got a pair of CBR 600 F4 forks, I’m told that they have much better cartridges and overall damping which can be made to fit inside guzzi forks with a bit of thread re-cutting - but you would prob need the 40 mm forks off the later lemans

Also if you’re keen on a parralelogram and can’t get anything off the shelf, talk to Martin Russell of Rustler Racing in B’ham. He’s built his own (for a trident/rocket3 based TT racer)

I talked to Lester Harris the other day and they haven’t got the drawings as they made those swing arms in the old factory and the drawing have been binned since then. The tyres aren’t the issue, it’s just the bike not liking the road surfaces.

I still can’t get any response from the people at Magni Sfida which is disappointing but the front end is coming along nicely. I’m getting a set of discs made for me to this AutoCAD design so the I can use GSXR600 calipers because the Brembo ones simply won’t work on the Suzuki forks. I’m going to paint the calipers gold to match the old ones though.

I’ve a lovely pair of headlamp brackets coming which are just how I wanted them as they conform to my less is more attitude of motorcycles.

I reckon that the total surface area of the Suzuki caliper pistons won’t be too much of an issue for the original master cylinders so I’m keeping them as I like the look of the old brembo front brake unit and I know a lot of people don’t like it but I like the linked brakes. The original Suzuki bottom yoke fitted pretty well with the Guzzi stem and there’s a slightly reduced lock, but it’s liveable and it’ll mean that the trail is reduced slightly so it should be a little quicker on the handling (Not a bad thing for an old Guzzi I reckon) Of course it does mean that I need to have a new top yoke made so I’m using a fella called Matt who owns this company He’s going to knock me up a one off top yoke from a piece of billet ally, hopefull engrave this into it

and anodise it dark blue to match up with the rest of the bike. When I get it I’ll float in some white enamel paint into the engraves eagle which should make it pop nicely.
That’s about it for now…The project is apace again!

Shiny new discs made especially for the Gixxer calipers.

I understand that this is off topic but the Harris conversion was mono shock, I have seen it and have photos to confirm :smiley:

Grubby, a lovely bit of work, the headlamp brackets are an exercise in minimalism and the discs look neat and fit for purpose, well done!

Top yoke’s made. Just got to get it anodised blue to match the rest of the bike. Bit tarty I know but it’s going to look right with the blue Renthals.

Might be a shot in the dark but have you tried talking to Stein Dinse in Germany? I have a vague feeling they might be agents for Magni or something, or if not might know something. Mandy there speaks English. I have seen a Magni swing arm assembly on a MK11 Lemon last year so they definitely did a kit at one point.

Failing that it might be worth trying Teo Lamers in Nijmegen.