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Old 12-21-2008, 09:46 PM   #91
Michelangelo
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Looks like a DRZ400 front end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dilligaf0220
What front end is that?
This is the one I dig, I want to ride this to Mexico!!!!

For people that don't do a fork transplant, what DOT dirt tires are there for 17" fronts? I was thinking harder supermoto tires might work, but they're being harder to find than I thought. Maxxis Presa's looked interesting, but I'm not sure how much more of a bite they'd have in softer stuff.

http://www.maxxis.com/MotorcycleATV/...esa-M6119.aspx
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:58 AM   #92
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Man, I love this thread! I've often thought that a UJM would make a great mild adventure bike.

So let me ask the group here: What do you think of this:



(Sorry about the crappy pic - I was still learning Photobucket when I put this one up there.)

Bike is an 82 Kawasaki Spectre 750. About 24k on the clock. Runs good except for an annoying intermittent electrical problem that causes the main fuse to short out unexpectedly (I'll try to chase that down this winter if it ever warms up enough to be in the garage!) Leaks/burns a bit of oil but otherwise runs great. I rode it to the top of Mt Evans (14,130') in August and it did fine.

I remember thinking that an adventure-bike conversion would be cool but I didn't know people actually did that sort of thing until I read this thread!

Tires are OK but what I'm thinking is that within 6 months or so it will need new ones - trying to find some good mild D/S tires that would work. I don't know the tire sizes off the top of my head but I think the rear is a 16 and the front is an 18, though I'm not 100% on that.

Seems to me the only real "hurdles" would be (a) the shaft drive and (b) the air suspension. Spectres had air suspension front and rear - I assume I'd want to get rid of that as it would be unlikely to be able to take the pounding that an adventure bike would dole out. So how can I convert the suspension? Is it as simple as putting in new springs in the front and finding some coil-over type shocks for the back? I'm also assuming that the shaft will limit the degree to which I can lift it (which is fine - I'm not trying to make a motocross bike here.)

Fenders can be trimmed and/or replaced. I've already replaced the hideous "mini-ape" bars that those early 80's cruisers had with a flatter "Daytona" bar from Bikemaster. It would be nice to fab some brackets for hard saddlebags and a small wind deflector would be nice but I think other than that it's pretty much ready.

Hey, it's even got the fork boots (gaiters) already! (Actually they're cracked but if I'm going to replace the front springs I will put new ones on.)

Anyone else have thoughts on a dual-sport Spectre project?

Picture on Mt Evans. I'm on the left, an army buddy named Stacey is on the right. He's riding my brothers old UJM Kwacker, an 84 LTD 700. Both bikes performed well on the ride which was about 80 miles and took us from 5300' elevation to 14,130'.

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Old 12-23-2008, 09:35 AM   #93
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ZappBranigan, I am doing a similar project. I am using an 84 Honda Nighthawk. It is a great low mileage, well maintained bike. I just couldn't get excited about the 80's styling. I thought with a little work it could be more of a UJM or scrambler style bike. Like yours, it is also shaft drive. I removed the rear shocks and starting jacking up the bike with a floor jack while spinning the rear wheel. At about 4 inches over stock the u-joint started to clunk. I settled on lifting it two inches in the rear. I was looking for some two inch over shocks, but couldn't find any I liked. The stock shocks were really nice and had lots of adjustments, so I kept them and relocated the stock upper mounts two inches lower on the frame. I am looking for some more aggressive tires. Other than that, it will be mostly cosmetic changes. I will post some pics soon.

Good luck with your project! I can't wait to see it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:41 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZappBranigan
Man, I love this thread! I've often thought that a UJM would make a great mild adventure bike.

So let me ask the group here: What do you think of this:




Looks like it will work as good as any of the bikes here, all you need is a little imagination. I dont know what size your tires are but that seems to be the deciding factor around here.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:43 AM   #95
ZappBranigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdog
ZappBranigan, I am doing a similar project. I am using an 84 Honda Nighthawk. It is a great low mileage, well maintained bike. I just couldn't get excited about the 80's styling. I thought with a little work it could be more of a UJM or scrambler style bike. Like yours, it is also shaft drive. I removed the rear shocks and starting jacking up the bike with a floor jack while spinning the rear wheel. At about 4 inches over stock the u-joint started to clunk. I settled on lifting it two inches in the rear. I was looking for some two inch over shocks, but couldn't find any I liked. The stock shocks were really nice and had lots of adjustments, so I kept them and relocated the stock upper mounts two inches lower on the frame. I am looking for some more aggressive tires. Other than that, it will be mostly cosmetic changes. I will post some pics soon.

Good luck with your project! I can't wait to see it.
How do you do the fronts, though? Seems like the backs are relatively easy - just fit a longer shock or do like you did and move the mounts lower.

I'm not much of a mechanic, and I've never taken forks apart. However, my fork seals are leaking and my fork boots are cracked so I'll need to have it apart soon anyway - might as well do some other work while I'm in there. Is it as simple as just putting in longer springs or is there some other work that has to be done?
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:46 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadly
Looks like it will work as good as any of the bikes here, all you need is a little imagination. I dont know what size your tires are but that seems to be the deciding factor around here.
What is the preferred style/type for this kind of conversion? I hear the word "Trailwing" mentioned but I don't know what that is (except isn't the Yamaha TW200 sometimes called the "Trailwing?")

EDIT: Gawd I love the internet:

Tire sizes: Front Tire: 100/90-19 Rear Tire: 130/90-16

So now I can start shopping...
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:01 AM   #97
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I don't think you can lengthen forks very easily. It will involve machining a new part. Either the top or bottom leg. most people adapt a set off of another bike. I just moved mine all the way down in the clamps. For the type of riding I plan to do, I figured stock fork with stock internals were close enough.

If you really have a 16 inch rear wheel, you are very limited in your choices. So far I have only found the trailwing. The other suggestions I got were either discontnued or not available in the U.S. The trailwing you need is the stock replacment tire for the Honda Nx250, if that helps. It is also a tube type tire. I am not sure if it is advisable to use this or not. I am hesitant to try it, until I hear from some other people.

A higher exhaust system would go a long way towards completing the look. But unless you plan to go through deep water, I don't know of any real advantage. I am keeping my low mufflers to make it easier on the passenger and easier to mount luggage.

timdog screwed with this post 12-23-2008 at 10:06 AM
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:38 AM   #98
Deadly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZappBranigan
What is the preferred style/type for this kind of conversion? I hear the word "Trailwing" mentioned but I don't know what that is (except isn't the Yamaha TW200 sometimes called the "Trailwing?")

EDIT: Gawd I love the internet:

Tire sizes: Front Tire: 100/90-19 Rear Tire: 130/90-16

So now I can start shopping...


The 16" rear tire is the problem. If you had at least a 17" rear tire things would be much easier for you.

Im going to do some web searching though and see what can be found. If you get a chance grab a tape measure and check the widths of both the front and back tire. What is the difference between the two?
(If Im guessing right it should be just a fraction over one inch but Im not sure)

The reason I ask is because sometimes you have to try some crazy stuff just to see if it will work. I found these but Im not sure just how narrow you can go on that back rim:



If you do find something that will fit, your safe highway speed my be limited. I went from a high speed rated Dunlop tire to a low speed rated Avon so I never ride faster than about 70 mph just to be safe.
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Deadly screwed with this post 12-23-2008 at 11:28 AM
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:40 AM   #99
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Longer forks.

I haven't dealt with these people myself, but I have heard from people that have and they have all been pleased. They will manufacture forks to whatever length you want and I understand their prices are reasonable.

http://www.frankmain.qpg.com/

Later
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:35 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadly
The 16" rear tire is the problem. If you had at least a 17" rear tire things would be much easier for you.
Yeah, I'm discovering that.

I did find some Bridgestone Trailwings in 120/90 16 size, that seems pretty close.

The other thing that concerns me is weight capacity. Is the "Max weight loading" for the whole bike or just for that tire? Because 468lb (the rated max weight for the 100/90 16 you listed) is close to the dry weight of my bike without a rider on board (add ~200lb for that.)
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:34 PM   #101
Deadly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZappBranigan
Yeah, I'm discovering that.

I did find some Bridgestone Trailwings in 120/90 16 size, that seems pretty close.

The other thing that concerns me is weight capacity. Is the "Max weight loading" for the whole bike or just for that tire? Because 468lb (the rated max weight for the 100/90 16 you listed) is close to the dry weight of my bike without a rider on board (add ~200lb for that.)

Most of the weight is displaced between two wheels NOT one, so the 468 lb weight capacity will easliy work for your situation even with you and luggage on board.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:44 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadly
Most of the weight is displaced between two wheels NOT one, so the 468 lb weight capacity will easliy work for your situation even with you and luggage on board.
What about mounting tube type tires on tubeless rims? Can this cause a problem?
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:47 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZappBranigan
How do you do the fronts, though? Seems like the backs are relatively easy - just fit a longer shock or do like you did and move the mounts lower.

I'm not much of a mechanic, and I've never taken forks apart. However, my fork seals are leaking and my fork boots are cracked so I'll need to have it apart soon anyway - might as well do some other work while I'm in there. Is it as simple as just putting in longer springs or is there some other work that has to be done?
front fork set up changes are very easy and if you need too also purchase a manual and it will give you step by step instructions on rebuilding the front forks, rplacing seals and fluid. getting longer tubes made up is not a big deal at all. doing this will drastically change how the bike handles as will jacking up the rear end. what ever changes you make you should make on both ends so it has a balance. i would think that if it was only mild off of road riding you were doing then ground clearance probably wont be an issue and the bikes balance would be more important.

measure with a caliper the inside diameter of your forks. if you can find some abs plastic pipe that will fit in to it with some clearance. find washers that easily cover both ends and fit in the fork tubes as well. make nice square cuts and start at about 2 inches and add them to the tops of the springs. the plastic pipe sanwiched by the washers. it will add some rigidity to front end. thi smay be all you need. keep increasing the length of the pipe until you have the desired effect. even if you get lengthened tubes you will still need to do this as you will be swapping over the internals of your forks. progressive suspension( and others) have lots of rear shock replacements available. i wonder if you got to know your local bike scrap guy if he would let you try to find a replacement wheel that is 17 inches? that would fit? stock rear shocks on most bikes of the 80's were pretty poor from day one so i would replace them. lifting the bike could be a bad decision as bikes from the 80's were notoriously top heavy so raising them up would make this condition worse and may make the bike difficult to ride with any control which is way more important than any ground clearance issue. just a thought.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:49 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdog
What about mounting tube type tires on tubeless rims? Can this cause a problem?
I'm not sure why it would. I've gone the other way - mounted tubeless tires on a bike that required tubes (my Thunderbird with its spoked wheels.)

Worst case scenario, throw a tube in it. The wheels are cast, I don't know why they wouldn't support a tube...:shrug
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:49 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdog
What about mounting tube type tires on tubeless rims? Can this cause a problem?
josh i am not sure it would matter at all. i would check with my local dealer they will be able to give you a better answer. ask where you buy the tires. they are the tire professionals they should know best.
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