Before I get into my build, I wanted to update everyone on the resource guide that I said I was putting together from this thread. The paper is together and is now being reviewed by several folks from the forum whose input we all appreciate. As it stands now it is over 400 pages (text and pictures). My plan is to post it up as a PDF file for folks to download. Additionally, I view the paper as a "GROUP WORK IN PROGRESS" and anyone who would like to add write ups to the paper, to please send me their input (with pictures) and it will be added.
One of the biggest issues I found in putting this together is when ADVRider updated how pictures are handled, we lost a major amount of data when the earlier pictures that were hosted on the site server were deleted. Additionally, where noted I have indicated who posted the information that is quoted in the paper. If you find that you want to change, update or correct anything that is listed, please send me your updates and we will get it posted.
I realize that until you see the paper there is not much to add... My plan is as soon as I have the reviewers comments I will get it up for everyone!
Now, onto my build...
I picked 89 Honda Transalp earlier this year from Seattle Used Bikes as my friend owns this shop and he new I had been looking for one of these for years. There are a lot of dual sport rides that I have had on the back burner for years and with the rebuild of this bike I am hoping to achieve many of them.
Well, the bike when I put it in the studio it was running great, but with any bike that is 24 years old there is only so much trust you can put in seemingly good looking parts. After two months of ordering parts and pieces both from US suppliers and European vendors, I can finally begin the tear down on the bike. A major thanks for parts and pieces that are almost impossible to find go to my friends MAS336 and LADDER106. Mark and Ray are very much a part of this build as are many of you. Your input over the last 9 years has built a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to build one of these bikes...
To date I have been able to do the following: Suspension upgraded: front forks are from an XR650 (rebuilt) and the rear shock is an XR250 with the spring upgraded to Spring rate: 11.5kg / mm. This will place the bike seat at just under 41" which is exactly what I wanted. Front and rear wheels are completely rebuilt, rear brake converted from push to pull (thanks Locorider!) that was a great idea. If you are sticking with drum brakes, this is one of the simplest mods to protect your rear linkage. The drum brake cam works exactly the same in either the push or pull configuration so all you have to do is move the lever.
Something else I was able to do tonight was the blending of a XR450 rear fender. The previous owner for some reason sawed off the end of the fender leaving the bike with little rear wheel protection. Since I decided to go with a high mount fender, I was able to order all the plastics for an XR450 from EBay for $20.00 and when I started looking at the fender I found that cutting at the bolt hole location gives you a fender that can be slipped onto the existing TA fender and be attached (I will post pics on that as well). With everything, as I progress I will add more images.
Other areas that I will be replacing or upgrading are:
Carbs rebuilt (new diaphragms in hand as well as the slow 40 jet upgrade)
Air box upgraded (Rays mod)
Engine mounts upgraded (Rays mod)
Top end rebuilt
Rays optical fuel gauge
All electrical connection cleaned and upgraded
Swing arm stripped, coated and bearings replaced
New handle bar
Highway Dirt Bike guards (you need to see these things: http://www.highwaydirtbikes.com/HDB_Shop/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=billet_hg_7%2F8
Handle bar switches replaced
PIAA lights upgraded
XR450 high mount front fender
XR450 rear fender
It will probably take till the end of January to finish the build...funny how all the parts in bags make the build seem so far from the finish...but that's have the fun!
When I first started my build I wanted to do a TA to AT conversion, but than after some wonderful conversations with folks here I have found that what I really wanted was a blend.
As Robin said, of all the bikes I have built this one seems to multiply the number of parts as they come off.
In closing I want to wish every single person here a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I consider myself lucky to have found this group and look forward to where the new year is going to take all of us!