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Old 12-04-2012, 06:34 AM   #1
Ginger Beard OP
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One more for the cheap seats....Scram-ster!

Like the title suggests I am getting ready to be taint deep in a Sportster project. Parts are piling up, bank accounts are getting drained and my meager skills will be put to the test as well as scrutinized by the ADVR public.

A little info about the bike...

Two years ago my dad decided that he would do a 70th birthday bucket list solo ride from his home in Homer AK to my home in south Florida. He loaded up his 2000 Sportster 1200 and rode that damn thing for roughly one month straight covering 7200 miles. At the end of the trip he stashed the bike with my aunt. A year later he came for a visit and we went for a week long ride together. Some details of those rides can be found here.

At the end of his last visit he asked me if I would be interested in taking possession of his bike. I jumped at the opportunity because 1) I LOVE Sportsters and 2) This particular bike means a lot to me because of the story behind it. The one stipulation he put on the deal was that I do something cool with it. I said "I already have an idea of what I want to build." He and I have always loved custom bikes...bobbers, choppers, cafe builds, rat bikes, you name it! For this bike build non of that would do, it has to be some type of dual sport. Drawing inspiration from the many great builds on this site ( JimmyTheHog, John Wesley, Doug, all come to mind ) I knew what direction to head with one little bit of a switchup. I want a classically styled bike that looks like I rode it right out of the 70's. Besides, with my limited budget and even more limited skill, the feat would be easier to accomplish than some of the more costly and modern options.



Now for a couple of before picks to get this thread started.....



That's it...The blue one.

On it's way down from AK.



And as it currently sits. Piles of parts and a goal without much of a plan for the point A to point B....




Wish me luck,I'm going to need it!!!
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Ginger Beard screwed with this post 12-04-2012 at 06:44 AM
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:51 AM   #2
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Good luck


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Old 12-04-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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Thumb Great start!

An excellent way to start a build story.

The meaningful background is the foundation for a great build.
We will be watching...
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good start. I am looking forward to the progress.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:07 AM   #5
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Love this idea. The modern long-legged dual sport conversions are cool, but I always thought a 60's or 70's scrambler style would suit the Sportster better. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Tracker style body kit? Alloy fenders? High pipes? Flat seat? Back in the day, 4" rear & 6" front travel was about it. No need to go crazy with it to have a fun, cool, bike.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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Get out the sawzall and make some chips
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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IMHO, you're at the stage when you can just cowboy up and build your own frame designed to suit all the bitchin' suspension you want to put on it.

I'm doing similar work on a Ducati that was acquired cheap after a garage fire. The CRF forks bolted up easy enough, but there is no room for the radiator.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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Thanks for the support guys. It's going to be a bit slow going until I get everything mapped out. So far I have radius bends for the exhaust, some foot pegs that I adapted to fit , Biltwell Moto bars and a sprung solo saddle that I need to fab a hinge for. I also scored a fork and wheel off of an 83 XL600 that I need to make a brake adapter for.

Here is a bit of inspiration. If I can come close to a longer travel version of this bike I will be happy.



One thing I don't want is for the bike to be as pretty as the one pictured above. I don't want to worry about it's looks when I am out beating the crap out of it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjoh View Post
Get out the sawzall and make some chips

I would probably just hurt myself!!
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Beard View Post
Thanks for the support guys. It's going to be a bit slow going until I get everything mapped out. So far I have radius bends for the exhaust, some foot pegs that I adapted to fit , Biltwell Moto bars and a sprung solo saddle that I need to fab a hinge for. I also scored a fork and wheel off of an 83 XL600 that I need to make a brake adapter for.

Here is a bit of inspiration. If I can come close to a longer travel version of this bike I will be happy.



One thing I don't want is for the bike to be as pretty as the one pictured above. I don't want to worry about it's looks when I am out beating the crap out of it.
Those are coolest sportsters. I wish they would make one, I have been looking at doing one but got too many projects as it is
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:07 PM   #11
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It looks like you are building a scrambler, based on the thread title of course, and not going full blown dirt bike like Jimmy the Hog as you stated, so my question would be why run a 21" front wheel?

That is in no way meant to pick on your choice, and I know that a 21" is better in many off road conditions, argueably all true off road conditions, but a scrambler is much more of a mix bike. That beatiful vintage iron head sporty in your inspiriation photo would have had 18" front and rear or possible 18" rear and 19" front I am not sure. But that would be a great look and a great fit for most uses on a bike with only 6" of suspension which is all you can get out of a sporty frame without a ton of mods like JTH had to do. I.E. swing arm lengthening, chain guides and tensioner rollers.

With that limited suspension a 19" front would usuably be plenty. This is coming from a big fan of 21" front wheels for dirt based bikes.

Your choice of course, and neither choice is wrong. I just the vintage look of that scrambler bike which usually have a more balance front/rear wheel combo package. Think of the new Trumpet scrambler or the MotoGuzzi scrambler bikes.

MG is not a true scrambler but in the family in my mind....thats an empty place
http://www.motoguzzi-us.com/motorcyc...lery.html#view

The Trumpet is a true scrambler in that vintage style

http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/mo...mbler-overview
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #12
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Kelly,

You are correct. I am looking to build somewhat of a retro scrambler style bike rather than a more modern style long travel bike. I completely agree with you about aesthetics. I would prefer an 18-19 combo for the vintage flare. That said I plan to ride the bejesus out of this thing and it's been my experience that when on the road it is easier to find 21in front DS tires. The other issue for me is cost. I was able to find a front wheel to match my fork and it only ran me $50.00 with a disc and brand new wheel bearings.


The suspension issue is my biggest concern right now. 6in does seem to be the max for the rear with the stock shock mounts. Right now my fork is has 9in of travel and I'm not sure that I want such an unbalanced travel range. Still kicking it around though. I know others have short travel rears with long travel front ends and seem to really be able to get the job done (Sanjoh's dirt ninja comes to mind). The key to keep it in check will be the shock quality. This bike will more than likely have a bit more "heft" than a Dirt Ninja.

I hope to update the thread soon. The holidays are kicking my ass at work right now which is a good thing because I've got parts to buy....
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:11 PM   #13
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Really glad my comments were not taken offensively.

I do not think DOT 19" tires for the front are hard to find since so many ADV bikes use them like the Tenere, BMW GS/GSA, and the VeeStroms. Maybe in a true knobbie you may well be correct.

The forks/shock travel differential is not too hard to adjust. I am not familiar with your specific forks, but most forks have a spacer set up that can be moved around top to bottom or bottom to top to adjust ride height and or travel.

The 21" wheel size is not an issue at all. If that is what you want....run it man. To change to a 19" is not hard either or as expensive as some might think, just for future reference if you should choose to change it. Spokes are about $80 and a so is a wheel ring. You can lace it yourself. Not super cheap, but not out of reach if you chose to go that route.

Good on you for the build though. Something that was your dads and you can keep along time is a cool thing. I am sure he will love seeing the build, and seeing you enjoy it. I would if I had a son.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post
The 21" wheel size is not an issue at all. If that is what you want....run it man. To change to a 19" is not hard either or as expensive as some might think, just for future reference if you should choose to change it. Spokes are about $80 and a so is a wheel ring. You can lace it yourself. Not super cheap, but not out of reach if you chose to go that route.
You will lose ground clearance and cornering clearance by going from 21" to 19" -- at the front axle, it will be lower by 1", at the engine cases, about 1/2". Not much, but if it's marginal or clearance is important, it's notable.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #15
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Hey Al,
You do not need to preach to me about the benefits of a 21" front wheel. I love them.
The only reason for the mention of possibly doing a 19" front is to keep the look and styling more like that old XLCH with the high ground clearance kit on it. More of a real scrambler look.

He has an issue with rear wheel travel maximums {barring serious mods} so having a big front wheel and long travel front may not only look odd, it may cause an unbalanced feel and handling.

I would not pick on him for whatever choice he would make, just making some possible options known to try and be helpful.

A 19" and a bit less fork travel would level out the bike lessening that chopper look the stock sporty has already.

Just post up some more pics there Ginger Bread
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