My Shortypants SV650 ADV Mod
What does a person do when their favorite bike in the last decade was a twistie road eating, lightweight, short, street bike, but they've found themselves to have a newfound passion for adventure camping? Modify of course! :clap
Here's my conundrum: I am 5'3" on a tall day, like to go fast on solid pavement, and need a bike that will travel 100+ miles to the gravel without sounding like an angry lawnmower. Oh! And it has to be done for around $3,000. BUST OUT THE WELDER!
This is my baby (well, the mechanical one). It is a 2001 Suzuki SV650 in the exact same color as the '02 I rode once upon a time and hated to have to sell. I paid a bit more for it than I would have liked, but still a decent deal.
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The person I bought it from liked wheelies, so both fork seals were bad, and the leaking oil contaminated the brake pads. So, I spent a week ordering parts and spending the rest of my budget on things I could easily bolt on or modify to make it more dirt worthy. In the mean time, I LET my husband play with some fabricating with me (it is his shop and you try keeping a mechanic away from a modification project). :rolleyes So here are the first round of mods with his "help".
First up was a little lower suspension. We had these left over from a severe seat height drop on the previous SV. They were too long for this project and too hard to drill through again, so we shortened them.
Next we needed to make riser/backers for those low handlebars. Short arms + long tank = laying down. But first we had to figure out what type, how to affix it, and then what to use. Hmm... Of course! A broken vise!
Cutting it to fit. I love playing with power tools! :evil
Stacking the materials together and thinking, "my God that is ugly, but functional. I wonder if it will be strong enough?"
Fitting them to the bike. They were a LOT taller than I thought they would be!
But, aside from having to buy a longer brake line, all the stock cables rerouted to fit perfectly. And, we got some pretty paint, so they actually match the bike ok-ish.
Here's my short self testing them out. By the way, when posing for a side shot picture, take all tools, keys, bolts, and other things out of your pockets. It makes you look like you have a beer belly. :eek1
That last picture had a radiator guard. Super cheap way of doing it is to get some thin gauge angle iron and expanded metal, cut, weld, and paint.
But, that was a lot of painting with the risers, and the guard, and the primer first, and all those coats. We got bored and we didn't have the parts to finish the fork seal job, so we built some luggage racks.
Ok. I know that was a LOT. And, we still have a lot more to do on it. But that is where the project is one week in. Hoping to have the fork seals and brake pads replaced, seal savers on, hand guards on, and front buttoned up either tonight or tomorrow morning. More pictures to come!
Awesome! I'm pretty sure that those bar risers will be strong enough. :rofl
Interesting use of a brake rotor...
I know right?! :rofl
We have a pile of random parts off other random projects and bikes laying around, so we decided to recycle. :D
By the way, do NOT let a man in the shop during a fork seal job when you have the fork between your knees and are trying to pop the old seal out. This is what happens:
They take one picture, make a derogatory remark and then SNAP!
It was actually really funny, but I wasn't getting anything done with all the innuendoes. :rofl I had to kick him out of the shop to finish... Uh... popping my pipe? No. Um... Pumping my tube. Worse! :lol3
:lurk I'm in and waiting for more.
- This is great, the world would be a better place if there were more girls like you in it.
- I had a vise snap right in half once, it really surprised me, to say the least. Hopefully your donor was a good brand name type, and not a cheap one like mine...
- I might suggest running a file or grinder over the pointy and rather sharp looking edges of the brake disc corners.
Have fun! :D
:shog Thanks. It is a lot of fun and as much as I rip on my husband, he has been a great help throughout this project. :freaky
Good point. They are a bit pokey.
Unfortunately, I've done a lot of work on it but forgot to take pictures. :eek1 I'll have more up later though. I'm hoping a headlight guard shows up today that will add an element of ruggedness to it. :D
It's great to see two SV650's on the forum. Not many others attempting adventurizing these bikes.
Ok. I did not get any pictures of the fork seal job, but I did it all by my own self and it was super easy with the driver tool I splurged on. :D
Before I could do anything more though, I HAD to switch from the twangy country my husband insists on playing in the shop. :huh
Aside from that, I changed out the brake pads for clean ones and degreased everything that had been oiled and splattered by the leaking seals. Added some hand guards that presented an odd conundrum. It turns out that when you put a spacer between the grip and the clutch lever itself, the manufactured bends in the lever bottom out before the switch allowing your bike to start is tripped. I never received that memo. :augie SO, I disabled the system and it started fine! :D
Next on the list was testing the difference between the stock springs, since I am keeping the forks, and the new ones I bought out of a different bike. I discovered that the VF1000R came with progressively wound springs that slide seamlessly into the 41mm tubes from the SV. All I had to do was build a 3.5" spacer out of PVC.
More power tools! :clap
After that, it was time to button it up! :deal
Husband helped. :freaky
Took it for a test ride!!!!
But, it looked lonely. So, here is the dear husband's F800GS then mine as it sits now and finally my 5 year old's PW50.
Finally, I tried it in the nearest twisty corners and our five acre off-road track that is more aggressive than any forest service highway, to test the suspension. :ricky
It handled beautifully! :wings I was simultaneously sad and ecstatic that the different springs worked fine as a substitute. It would have been fun to try different combinations of spring stiffnesses and lengths to find one that worked, but I am glad we didn't have to go to that extreme. There are more modifications in the works, but until I get more parts the project is at a bit of a standstill. :cry In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the bike as it is! :deal :1drink
EXCELLENT! A project is never at a standstill if you can ride it while waiting for parts. Call it an extended road test. I seem to do a lot of that. :lol3
Let's try this again. My browser decided to shut down right as I was clicking "Submit Reply" and it will NOT open the page that had everything. Grr... I think I'd rather do another mod than trying to fight with technology. :cob
Ok. Like I was trying to say, it has been a while since my last post, but we have been busy! I got my crash bars in from Belgium and they are a LOT beefier than the SW Motech ones looked, BUT we also found out why they were so cheap. The angles were a bit off. Time to modify!
Then we made a tool box (actually, the tool box came first, but I didn't have a solo picture of it, so you get both)!
The next weak spot on the bike was the forward protruding oil filter directly behind the front tire. On road it is not an issue (unless you are doing sustained wheelies, in which case you will starve your engine of oil and it will no-no-go-go), however, off-road it could mean a long walk. We don't have any chopping implement big enough to cut through diamond plate in the dimensions we needed, so... TIME TO PLAY WITH FIRE! Seriously though, playing with fire is BAD. We only use it as a valuable tool. :evil
Yep. Evil scientist in the shop!
Pretty sparkles! After everything was cut, it was time to weld again. :clap
And then grind...
After we primered it, we had to drill the holes for the U-bolts to attach the rock guard to the crash bars.
Here it is fitted to the bike before painting and grinding off the excess threads.
The top expanded metal was painted with the same hammered finish silver paint that I used on the radiator guard. The side angle iron got a coat of hammered black paint. And the bottom diamond plate was rubberized to provide a bit more protection from rocks.
I got a headlight guard and painted it black (because it came in chrome and just didn't look right), and my mother in law got me a ridiculously early B-day present, so we fitted those to the bike as well. Here is what it looks like now:
On the way I have new tires, a water rotopax, and a windscreen! :clap Hopefully in a few days I can bolt it all together and have it off-road worthy!!! :wings
Thanks for following the progress! :ricky
I forgot to mention that we came up with a few new engineering terms during the crash bar and rock guard projects. Things can be "crowbar close" or "screwdriver close" and we tighten bolts until... "yep, sure, that feels good." :rofl
Sometimes the mods don't always line up just perfect, but it is still more fun than Facebook, so I don't mind! :lol3
That will make a great bike, don't add too much weight upfront and low though. Steel adds up quick.
Can I send my misses to you for garage training ? Group rate maybe ? I know I can't be the only one
That thinks you're awesome. Lucky guy
Don't give up on her! It actually took me a LONG time to be comfortable in a shop and with tools, and most of that came from the absence of testosterone. I know that sounds harsh, but when I was learning to weld and wrench I would shut down when a man came near. :eek1 It made me super self-conscious and all I wanted to do was get away because I thought that I was messing something up. I know, kinda crazy, but that's female psychology for ya. After a while I got more comfortable and can handle myself when the hubby is around. Still, there are times when it is better to just work alone (like when I'm trying to pop old fork seals out). :rofl She may surprise you yet! :thumb
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