First Generation Ascots > The Thumper Years: Modified To Full Customs

Dutch FT project

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Hi guys

As a great fan of the yahoo group I had to check this forum out as well. I do think a forum is better for ongoing threads like projects.

My name is Paul a 27 year old mechanical engineering student from The Hague in The Netherlands.
I've been riding motorcycles since I was 18 and they were getting faster and faster, last year however I bought a ft500 as a commuters bike to save my zx6r a little.

I've completely fallen for the little thumper and even take it out on the fun trips in the weekends instead of my zx.
As a fan of fast and good handling bikes I do want to improve the FT's suspension a bit and also change the looks a bit more to my liking.

Enough about me, it's FT time.
I've bought my yellow '82 as a non runner. It had been standing for about a year because the PO had trouble starting it. After the purchase I replaced the battery, did the starter maintenance as described at the yahoo.groups and did a full fluids and spark plug change. It immediately purred like a kitty.
I did have to replace the starter spring with a homemade ballpoint one but it functions perfectly.
How the Ft looked when I bought it:

Ofcourse this is a project thread so what am I going to do with it.
I really wanted to change the front suspension, since I have a spare CBR900rr front end lying around, this is going in!
The steering stem is exactly the same as the FT's so no adjustment needed there.
Here is a picture of an original FT fork compared to the CBR:

The front axle is 20mm thick while the FT's is only 15mm.
At first I plan to run the cbr forks with the ft wheel so I ordered some new wheel bearings for the FT wheel with the correct axle diameter. Later I plan to install spoked wheels.
I then made some spacers to centre the wheel correctly into the forks.

I really like the upright position on the FT so I want to keep the original handlebars, this means adepting the CBR top yoke, I've bought a couple of risers from a salvage yard to mount to the CBR yoke.
I've had to shorten the stuts of the risers and rethread them because they were really long and had a strange non-metric thread.

Ofcourse I strenghtened the original yoke with some thick steel plates.

This is were I'm at so far, as soon as I have time I'll try a mock up to check the ground clearance and see what kind of spacer or adjustment plate I have to make to mount the front brake caliper.

It's in!

I've had a couple of struggles along the way, for instance getting the original bearings out of the FT wheel was ridiculously hard.

As you can see the front brake caliper isn't mounted to the forks yet, I haven't figured out how to do this just yet and if spacers on the calipers or the wheels would be a better option. I'm also thinking of changing to a 4 or 6 piston caliper. If I do that I don't have to bother with the stupid sliding bracket of the ft.

I took it for a spin around my block, the suspension is a bit to hard at the moment but I didn't have immediate problems with the ground clearance. of course I haven't ridden it hard or took it round a real turn but we'll see how it works out.

I've bought a BMW F650 rear wheel to fit in the bike as well.
And I bought a CX500 tank, a quick mock-up of how that would look on the bike:

I'll keep updating this first post.
Any comments, both on my project or faults in my English are welcome :D

Has been a bit quiet here sorry. I've been crazy busy with an internship and will be busy for the rest of the year probably.
Did make some time to fabricate a bracket for my brake caliper. The cb spoked wheel will have to wait till I have more time.
A quick picture of the (quick) bracket I bodged

Next up is new seals for the forks

Got both my wheels now. so eventually these bad boys will go in the ft

update 4/10

Got the fireblade forks out of the bike to see if I could fit the spoked wheel and bigger brakes.

I had to get new bearings for the wheel and fabricate some new spacers.
Right now the wheel is perfectly centered between the fork legs. However the brake faces on the hub seem not to be completely centered.
Any thoughts on this?

well, time for pictures I guess  ;D

the wheel centered with the new spacers

nicely centered

with disks in the forks

lookin good

cheers Paul

Welcome to the board Paul. Sounds like you have a great project on your hands. I've heard that other Countries received Ascots in yellow & blue. Here in the USA we only had a choice between black & red. I saw a picture of a Canadian Ascot that had a dual disk front brake that was supposed to be original equipment. It would be interesting to learn of the various configurations & colors that different Countries received.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your bike & seeing some pics.


Hi J.

Most of our Ascots are red or black as well, mine is the only yellow one I've seen so far. No blue ones as far as I know.
The color also gave it its current nickname, the banana.
Dual front disks on an Ascot is something we do not have here. The front wheel can be easily fitted with another disk but the forks do not have another mounting point.
I'm thinking of installing dual disks on mine since I have a spare disk and the CBR forks do have the mounts.

Cheers paul

The fork is in!


--- Quote from: kansloos161 on August 20, 2013, 01:25:05 pm --- The fork is in!
--- End quote ---


It looks like you have some rough working conditions. Are you working outside on the street? I like your flower pot/motorcycle stand. ;D  Dedication & motivation will get you through it. Looking forward to hearing a more detailed ride report.

Good luck


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