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Old 03-13-2011, 04:55 PM   #1
Roadracer_Al OP
louder, louder, louder!
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Oakland, CA
Oddometer: 1,669
Introducing the TardMo

I have been following with great interest the following threads. They've been inspirational, to say the least.

LukasM's KaTaMaki project
Resolrider's Ninja 650 motor in a KLR chassis
TonyMorr's A different kind of Versys
JDRocks' Gravel Runner
and Sanjoh's Sanjohsaki, the build

I like building stuff. I'm a pretty fair amateur welder & machinist. So... my crazy idea is to merge a Ninja 650 and a CRF 450. My goal is to swap the complete (linkage and everything) front and rear suspension onto the Ninja. I've eyeballed it, and there is a ton of space behind the swingarm pivot for the shock. I'll have to move some things around and create the top shock mounting, and the lower linkage mounting points.

I expect, also, that because the Ninja motor has a *lot* of depth below the sprocket (i.e. the oil sump), I might need to shorten the stroke of the suspension, but I am confident that I can achieve 10", maybe 11" of wheel travel without risking constant and serious bottoming on the skid plate or crazy swingarm angles.

I found and bought a moderate-mileage 2006 Ninja which had shed all it's bodywork, presumably in someone's hedges - it's cosmetically pretty thrashed - but mechanically sound. The best part is that it has a clean title, not a salvage title, a bonus if this bike ever gets sold.

In what I consider a propitious sign from the forces of nature, a complete 2003 CRF chassis showed up on Craig's List 2 weeks after I bought the Ninja. I secured it promptly.

There will be a pile of goodies that will wind up on eBay and partially fund the project.

I've been riding the little Ninja for a couple weeks now, and I'm kind of surprised at what a good little bike it is. The chassis geometry is very friendly and neutral but the suspension damping components are harsh (typical budget stuff -- damper rod forks & unsophisticated shock). The motor is a peppy, willing partner for hooliganism, which I completely approve of.

So, the name -- I was talking with a friend of mine, and he said "You know you're doing the Motard thing, only backwards... you ought to call it the TardMo." I thought about it and he's right... instead of putting street wheels on dirt bikes, I'm putting dirt wheels (and suspension) on a street bike.

Today's TardMo picture is "as bought". Love the funky Ninja 250 lights & fairing (I think?).

When they say Harleys are for 1%ers, I don't think they mean guys who sell crank and get in bar fights any more.

Roadracer_Al screwed with this post 03-15-2011 at 10:54 AM
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