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Old 12-29-2008, 07:30 AM   #127
bwringer
Gimpy, Yet Alacritous
 
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Indianapolis
Oddometer: 2,054
Wicked Ds Vx800

My VX800 is just starting its transformation into a poor man's Beemer. How many V-twin shafties get to go play in the dirt?

Avon Distanzias -- the front is an oddball size, so it's wearing a 110/80-18 rear tire, mounted backwards. The rear is a 17" rim, so I chose a 140/80-17. The stock size is 150/70-18, but I think with the "knobs" on the Distys, it wouldn't have fit. The 140 was a pretty tight squeeze.






Since these photos, I've raised the front fender. I need to extend the rear fender, too.

The Distanzias handle beautifully on pavement, and have even better traction than I had hoped for in dirt, gravel, and mud. Plus, they look really cool. The front is somewhat noisy on pavement, but works great.

The radiator has a grille, but I'd like to make something a little more robust, at least for the lower half. The bottom of the engine is actually protected pretty well by the frame. I'd like to come up with some hand guards, more for wind protection than anything else. As far as luggage, I'm happy with soft bags.

As with any street bike, it's rather heavy and the suspension doesn't really have the travel for serious dirt work. But just changing the tires extended the VX800's mission profile considerably, and adding some rock protection will give me some peace of mind.

The bike seems to handle quite well on loose surfaces -- it has a more kicked-out head angle than most standards, and the torquey v-twin plonks along quite well on dirt roads, but is also happy to throw a nice rooster tail when appropriate...
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