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larryboy 02-11-2009 05:54 PM

The Baja Bandit
I better start this thread before I get too far into the project and don't get to the posting.

A little history first.

I got the '96 Bandit 600 as a sidecar rig in trade for my KLR, details here .

Which promptly got crashed in a lapse of parental judgement, details here .

This leads to looking for a donor bike to scavenge parts off of. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the Bandit so I was open to anything. Fix the front end and leave it as a hack tug? Leading link front and keep it as a hack rig? Put it back as a street bike and sell it and look for something else for the Ural tub?

I found a donor 1990 CR500 with good suspension and new we have a plan.:deal

larryboy 02-11-2009 06:15 PM

I carved the old steering head out of the Bandit and put in the one from the CR.

I might have to pull the engine at the end of the project so I can properly weld the back of the steering head, don't want to skimp on the important things.

She's going to be a little tall.:huh

Byrdman 02-11-2009 06:23 PM

Keep her coming brutha, this is my kind of project!

Nixels 02-11-2009 06:27 PM

:scratch You gonna try and ride that thing in the dirt?



Oh yeah, I got some extra :lurk :lurk :lurk

larryboy 02-11-2009 06:34 PM

I took about 10 measurements from each bike before I took anything apart. Seat height, swingarm angle and stuff like that.

Getting the swingarm set up:

At this point the major hurdle was figuring out how to mount the shock and linkage. It took me a few weeks of fiddling to figure it out. The Bandit is a perimeter frame that is very symetrical and the CR500 looks like they sat a motor on a bench and started bending tube until they had a bike. This made it tough to set up the back since there are some optical illusions going on as the donor is different side to side and the shock is slightly offset. The CR has seen a few major crashes in its day so that didn't help since the subframe was tweaked among other things.

larryboy 02-11-2009 06:49 PM

Let's get her up, come on can do it. :lol3

Still no shock at this point.

42" seat height...:huh This isn't going to work. I was trying to save the Bandit subframe since it's super stout and has all the mounts for the electronics/battery and stuff.

Keep reading Byrdman, I'll try to get detailed as things go along.:deal

Yes, Nicky...dirt:ricky , 74 HP dirt bike...:lobby

clapped_r6 02-11-2009 07:45 PM

Absolutely awesome, keep it coming!

larryboy 02-11-2009 08:06 PM

Thanks, clapped.

Okay, I'd stalled out on mounting the shock. I got out the sawzall and just lopped off the back to get me going again. I got the shock mocked up and the CR subframe bungee corded on for measuring and stuff.

The front end has a little too much rake because the steering head bearings crumbled apart on the CR500, I've got the top bearing and a washer on the bottom for mock-up.

The Bandit wheelbase was 55", the CR500 was 60" and I've ended up at 65" for the Baja Bandit. Should be nice and stable when on the gas. It's still waaaay too tall at this point.:scratch

Bigger Al 02-11-2009 08:12 PM

I love this kind of stuff!! I've just aquired a running Yamaha Radian that's fairly thrashed, and I've been kicking the idea of doing what you're doing.

Seems like good fun to me.............:evil

larryboy 02-11-2009 08:34 PM

I've ended up with a combination of both subframes. I had to push the shock off center a little since it doesn't have a remote gas thingy..can't think of what they call em. The CR subframe is tweeked a little so the plan was to make the fender look right over the rear tire and get the seat centered on the tank, a shim here and there and a ratchet strap to tug things over and I've got this tacked together.

I've got a bunch of tube to put in yet with plenty of triangulation to tie things together. Lots of finish welding to do and gussets here and there. I tend to overkill things when it comes to safety.

The hardest part of the project is coming soon...I've got to build a jackshaft to get power from the wide engine to the narrow swingarm.

I made some new tabs to mount the gas tank since the shock took over the area where the tank was mounted.

I trimmed the number plates and got them mounted. Seat height is now at 39", with gas in it and me on it I should be able to sag it down to to 37" or so. I won't be able to flat foot it, but close enough is ok for me. Right now I'm at 200 pounds on the front and 190 on the rear. I'm trying to keep it under 450lbs's gonna be close.

This is the basic shape of things.

I've got a hoop to add to the back of the subframe with a tab to help stabilize the rear fender. I made a big push to get thru mock-up yesterday so my buddy Matt can have everything for paint. He's teaching himself to airbrush so I'm going to get some at cost paint jobs for him to learn on. He wants to repaint the Bandit a few times to try stuff out. We're going with something like this for the first version:

I'll update in a few days as I get some more done to it. I've managed to not spend any money up to now, but I'm gonna have to break down and buy some taller bars, blinkers, Baja Designs tail light and plate mount and some bark busters. The wheels are trashed on the donor, so I'm going to get some Warp 9 rims to lace up.

larryboy 02-11-2009 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by Bigger Al
I love this kind of stuff!! I've just aquired a running Yamaha Radian that's fairly thrashed, and I've been kicking the idea of doing what you're doing.

Seems like good fun to me.............:evil

Jump in Al, the water's warm!! :deal

Tons and tons of deals on craigslist right now. I got the donor bike for $300 last fall.

tedder 02-11-2009 08:40 PM

heh, awesome.

choccoloco 02-12-2009 02:16 AM

This will be interesting :clap


Kawidad 02-12-2009 12:54 PM


clapped_r6 02-16-2009 03:19 PM


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