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Old 02-19-2014, 10:16 AM   #1
Z_HARSH OP
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The Harsh Rally Custom

Well, first of all, youíre probably wondering why ďHarshĒ. I suppose it is a bit narcissistic but that is the name they gave me, so I guess I will run with it for lack of a better one. And honestly I have no intention of racing it so Iím not sure where the Rally part came from either. But I guess, Iím always open to suggestion.


Anyways, my name is Zach, Iím from Colorado and I have to confess that Iím not really an ĒAdventure RiderĒ.


Sure, there are few things in life I enjoy more than exploring a new trail on a motorcycle, but really, Iím a dirtbiker. Not the type that rides around in a tight circle over and over again, not that there is anything wrong with that of course. But, rather the type that prefers the baby heads and shelf trails. I was lucky enough to have grown up riding with The Colorado Trail Master himself, Geroge Harvey Gangler aka Arvada George, rest his sole. George forgot more trails than anyone else has ever ridden, and when Malcolm Smith needed help leading his industry rides in CO, George is who he called.

Anyways, Iím a dirtbiker, but it is cool to have another one that you can ride from your house on, blast 80 up I-70, turn off on some nasty jeep trails, and even stay overnight riding 2-up. I donít want to pucker when I see a big rock section, I want to hit the biggest one at full speed and bounce over the rest. I want something that can cruse 80 MPH all day if I want. I want something that is bullet proof and with parts availability world wide. I want something that is comfortable all day long but can jump and wheelie too. And if there is a rock there I want to be able to crush the belly on it not think twice.


Finding the right compromise straight from the factory is impossible though. They are too heavy, not good enough suspension, not enough reliability, not comfortable, and always too something. Mostly too street oriented, if all I wanted to do was gravel roads I might as well just get a Goldwing and be comfortable, forget all that luxury car brand crap.


I tried a factory one. In the summer of 2008 I went out and bought a next gen KLR, figuring that for the money it was hard to beat. Honestly, maybe the DR would have been a better choice, but I had a ton of fun on it. I trailered it up to Alaska ( http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=683989 ) say what you will, but I found all kinds of good stuff, ending up with about 25,000 miles on it by the time I sold it to start this project a year and a half ago.


Iím also not a mechanic, engineer, welder, fabricator, designer, or anything of the sort. I sell insurance for a living and manage rentals. But, I know a few people, am willing to learn, and if I donít know how Iím willing to ask nicely for help and advice. But most importantly, I am extremely tenacious and persistent and willing to fail, re-do it 5 times, and try again.


I believe it was Hennery Ford that said ďIt doesn't matter if you think you can, or you think you canít, either way you are right.Ē


Well, that is a little about where I am coming from and this is my attempt to create the ultimate beast, second only to my old friend Wesí Rally Twin.


 photo P1010069_zpsda597315.jpg
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Luke, your work on the CB Desert Sled is absolutely amazing. All that arc welding...wow. I haven't checked back on it lately, but I was always wondering if you had to finally put a cush drive on the rear hub. I know Wes found that it was a necessity for pavement on his.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
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The Foundation

Wes and his brother Wayne decided to start from scratch, taking a straight twin off a 500 Kaw and building the rest from the ground up. I believe Wes said there was in the range of 500 individual parts welded together to make just the frame. Well, I didnít have 1000ís and 1000ís of hours or the engineering skill to pull something like that off, so I had to find a good solid base to start from.

Three years ago this summer my amazing wife and I decided to tour Europe for our honeymoon 2-up. We landed in Sofia Bulgaria with our helmets and riding gear and with the help of a good college friend from there we purchased a well used 1989 Honda TransAlp 600 for about the equivalent of $1100 USD. It burned through a quart of oil every two gas tanks but ran impeccably well for 7000 km and I just fell in love with that V-twin motor.

We hopped an island in Greece:

 photo IMG_1127_zps3bcc812d.jpg

Rode the Transfagarasan in Romania:

 photo IMG_1641_zps35b7dcf1.jpg

Basked in the Austrian Alpine Sun:

 photo IMG_1871SL_AJPG_zps2bcf52cd.jpg

One day I left the wife in Bolzano and rallied the Alp over eight passes and did 500 km. I was absolutely addicted revving that baby up to 9,000 RPMs out of switchback after switchback after switchback on Stelvio.

 photo IMG_2304_zps4ee417fa.jpg

And found it was the perfect transport for island hopping in Croatia.

 photo IMG_2505.jpg

But out of the factory it leaves a lot to be desired. The suspension is minimal at best; the belly practically drags of the ground, and the rear brake is laughable. The only way you can tell it is engaged is the high pitched squeal, there is certainly no noticeable change in velocity when it is pressed. But when you strip it back it looks like a dirtbike frame and that hum of the motor is memorizing.

So I eventually found a low mileage one in Orland and just so happened to have a buddy with an empty trailer there with perfect timing, heading back here to CO. So I bought it sight unseen and gave my buddy a few bucks for his hassle. I think I paid $3,400 for the bike (1989 XLV600 TransAlp) with about 14,500 miles showing on the odometer.

 photo P1000196_zps1343b9c5.jpg
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:24 PM   #5
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It's time to make some popcorn!

Mmmm popcorn. This is gonna be good. I can feel it.
That bike was on my wall as a kid. I dreamt (dream) of riding ATW, and that bike was the first one I thought you could do it on. I still want one.
A V shaped motor makes power in an addictive way.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:41 PM   #6
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Coming from an off road background, I agree with what your saying. I usually sacrifice comfort on the street for something more off road worthy. I can't wait to see what you come up with!
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z_HARSH View Post
Thanks Luke, your work on the CB Desert Sled is absolutely amazing. All that arc welding...wow. I haven't checked back on it lately, but I was always wondering if you had to finally put a cush drive on the rear hub. I know Wes found that it was a necessity for pavement on his.

Thanks. I don't have a cush hub and haven't seen a sign of needing one, but the motor has an internal cush drive on the primary shaft. It also has a heavy crankshaft getting pushed by tiny little pistons.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:57 PM   #8
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Thanks guys!! Definitely a lurker for the most part, but here it goes. I have been putting off starting this for quite some time. I just hope it won't disappoint, I will do what I can though
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
Thanks. I don't have a cush hub and haven't seen a sign of needing one, but the motor has an internal cush drive on the primary shaft. It also has a heavy crankshaft getting pushed by tiny little pistons.
Interesting, Wes was talking about shredding sprockets way too quickly when he was without one if I remember correctly. Mainly on the deceleration when you chop the throttle on the pavement. But I guess compression and engine resistance variance would play a big difference there. Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #10
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Parts Shopping


Honestly the TA was not ever on the radar before our Europe trip. You don’t ever see them around here. When I was planning for the trip I had been searching the classifieds in Bulgaria and had several different bikes I was watching. There was an Africa Twin that had a lot of KMs on it and was a little expensive, there was also an older Yamaha Tenere I looked at but the dude that owned it obviously ran it really hard and didn’t seem much for upkeep, plus it was the street version. But when I first swung my leg over the TransAlp and turned the throttle I had a big old smile on.


All the things I would do to the TransAlp just kept running through my head on the trip though. And TransAlp modifications are nothing new. Up in the Beasts section the TransAlp Mods thread is immense. I had a ton of motivation from there and the collective knowledge is astounding. Ray, Mark, Jim, Eric, Royce, and everyone else are so incredibly helpful, I can’t thank everyone there enough. But all the information is a bit overwhelming, confusing and contradictory too. And good luck finding the same post twice.


Actually the KLR probably would have been just fine but my buddy had to trade his in for a 950 Super Enduro and then it was all over. I couldn’t keep up.


For what I want, the TransAlp leaves a ton to be desired out of the box. So, the first thing I did was put it on blocks and strip everything off to just the frame, motor, intake and carbs. Well, actually I rode it hard for a couple months while spent a bunch of time figuring out how read German eBay auctions and searching HAmart.at



The AfricaTwin swing arm is aluminum and an inch or two longer plus has a rear disk, rather than the unusable drum on the TA. But there are 3 different models of AfricaT wins in a 5 year span and some years are better than others so figuring out which is which not the easiest. Most say you need the RD04 model for the swap, so that is what I bough. Or so I thought.


But after a bunch of time searching and some hefty shipping charges from Europe this is what I ended up with to start the process:


 photo P1000258_zps6474ece1.jpg


The hub was the most difficult. I didn’t want to buy the entire wheel and have it shipped across the pond, and on eBay things are not exactly always clear, especially translated by google, and if you don’t know what you should be getting it makes it harder to know what you are looking at. I finally found one in Portugal, the only problem was it wasn’t labeled what model or year it was off of and the seller was a parts house that didn't know. I remember it to have been expensive by the time it showed up at the office in a box all beat to hell. But as far as exact numbers, my stack of receipts is measured in inches and there is not much motivation in whipping out the calculator, especially this time of year….or, maybe a business expense somehow? But I digress.


Anyways, if you want something you can hammer, it all starts at the wheels. After 25,000 miles on the 17 inch rear on the KLR there is a noticeable difference between the 18 on my dirtbike when it comes to rolling over rocks. So I took the hub down to Woody’s Wheels, paid an arm and a leg, about $380 for the paint job (should have done that myself), the rim, I ended up with the 2.5 but would do the 2.15 or maybe narrower next time, and the Super Lace. The Super Lace uses significantly thicker spokes and alters the angles to increase the strength. When I was a kid, like 11, Grandma got me a new XR 100. The only problem was I kept breaking spokes, I also bent the swing arm and separated the frame from the engine…but that is a different story. The Super Lace from Woody’s solved my other problems for good though.


The sprocket was quite an ordeal to order too, I calculated that the difference in rim size would equal approximately one tooth in the front or three in the back. In the TA world everyone will only use OEM countershaft sprockets, fear of tearing up the spines with aftermarket, and finding a smaller 14 would have been difficult too. Most go to a 16 off a NightHawk. Plus, I needed to drop the gearing if I was going to have a chance at the steep rocky ones. I went to a 52 tooth rear, with a 5 teeth increase if I remember correctly. I needed a JTR1332 pattern but JT Sprockets and everyone else only made up to 47 teeth. I even called Ironman, they make the tiny ones on the KTMs, and they were about to start doing special orders, probably do by now but they weren’t capable of it then. I ended up finding an awesome little mom and pop shop that cut one out for me in no time, I think it was sprocketspecialist.com for about $75 for aluminum. I needed the bigger hole size though and had to whip out the drill before installation.


The disk was a bit of a chore too. I should have just got an off brand on eBay but SunStar had one but wouldn’t sell to me, an individual. You can’t exactly put “AfricaTwin” in on any American eCom website and all motorcycle parts search engines are worthless without a make and model, and a parts number search didn’t work either. Tucker Rocky and Western Power Sports didn’t carry it, Southern or something, a smaller distributor had it in their book but had some special process to order it and only worked with one shop in the state, Coyote.


The rest, swing arm, full rear brake system, suspension linage (not in picture above), axles, chain adjusters, swingarm pivot bolt, and nuts I ordered from HAmart.at in their “AfricaTwin RD04 section”, seems easy right? Sure I could have probably saved a little on eBay Germany but shipping gets expensive. I actually didn’t need the “U” for the linkage, it is exactly the same as the TA one I had, so is the swing arm pivot bolt. I also bought and shipped two axles and spacers, the first set of spacers was the wrong size and the axle was significantly worn and a bit corroded, as were the chain tensioner seashells.

Oh yea, the AT shift lever pivots, while the TransAlp is stationary so I got one of those too.


Here is a pic of the difference in the two wheels:

 photo P1000262_zpsf601782d.jpg

And the swingarm difference:

 photo P1000264_zpsded6b198.jpg
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Z_HARSH screwed with this post 02-19-2014 at 11:26 PM
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #12
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Swingarm Installation



I had all the parts, and then it was time to try and fit everything together. My biggest concern was making sure the sprockets were perfectly aligned. But things were not so straight forward in other areas.

I had already fit everything together by this time and had been testing things but I decided to try and figure out why things weren’t working quite like I thought they might, this is from a series of post in the TA Mods thread, starting on post # 14867, page 992 on 5/28/13:

Ok, so I've heard it been said you can use, or maybe even should use, AT suspension linkage. I have installed an RD04 swingarm and bought the linkage. Here you can see the significant difference, AT on the left and TA on the right:

 photo P1000722_zps02ec0f9f.jpg

But when you try to assemble the bike with the AT RD04 linkage with the AT RD04 swingarm and the stock TA PD06 shock, it flat out won't work:

 photo P1000718_zps267a6291.jpg

This is the biggest problem, the shock hits the frame in the front:

 photo P1000716_zpsb5e20cfb.jpg

And the bolts won't line up:

 photo P1000715_zpsbd682f56.jpg

It is really not even close to working.

Here it is with the TA (the "u" pieces are identical):

 photo P1000727_zps91c3ebef.jpg

But I have noticed that there are quite a few that take the shock and extend the lower bolt hole down to make the shock longer. Do they also do it to give you more clearance so the shock doesn't hit the frame?

 photo P1000716_zpsb5e20cfb.jpg

It seems like if the piece with the Showa sicker was remade a bit longer there might be enough clearance to fit the AT linkage. If I bought a AT RD04 shock, would that be what would make it work?

What am I missing here?

Thanks for all the help!!!


I kept wrestkling with it and then posted this on 5/29/3, page 993, post #14881:


Quote:
Originally Posted by ravelv View Post
You HAVE TO USE AT triangle link, TA's link gives totally wrong progression curve, I have tested that myself.
Is that triangle link also from RD04? As far as I remember, RD03 and RD04 have same one, but RD07 had again different one.
That is what I thought I read. When I bought the linkage it was listed online as an RD04 triangle (I bought the U also but they are exactly the same) but when I went to replace the dust seals the 1990-1992 (Austrian model for all my searches) were slightly a different size and mine matched up to a 1993.

http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-xrv750-af...059/partslist/

But, the 1994 also uses the same sized dust seals too and that would be an RD07 according to this:

http://www.gummycarbs.com/wiki/index...nd_Africa_Twin

I guess when you buy used parts from a parts house online you never really are sure exactly what you are getting. But, at the end of the day, I am not going to be able to hook up the AT RD04(???) linkage in the 1989 PD06 TA with the TA shock and the AT RD04 swingarm.

I would love to test it out. ravelv, what exact model shock, swing arm, linkage, and frame combination are you using?





Jim- you are exactly correct. The only modification I had to do to fit the swingarm was to turn down a spacer about a 1/4 inch so it would fit in the frame, and it still stayed centered:
 photo P1000272_zps0316a27e.jpg

And ravelv replied with this:

Is that linkage together with swingarm you bought?

If you had to turn down spacer on swingarm axle, then this is RD07 swingarm, not RD04... This spacer on left side is visual difference between RD03,04 arms and RD07. RD07 swing also have additional ball bearing on left side besides needle one.

RD04 and RD03 swings are only different in distance between swings axle and wheel axle. Linkage fitting points dimensions are same.
But RD07 swing is totally different, as well as RD07 frame (U link is the only same part as TA's one). So, no wonder that TA's shock does not fit. I don't rememeber have I tested RD07 arm in TA frame or not, though, I still have on hands all 3 swings with linkages... I have posted also all triangle links photos, I think. Please roll back.

I use complete RD03 rear suspension with TA's stock shock. I also posted detailed parts list.



So then I did a whole lot of research and came up with this:

I went through about 100 pages and pulled about everything on the subject, but the whole thing is still confusing.


Maybe this is too much but this is a mess of cut and pastes on your posts, it might be helpful to someone to have it all in one place:



RD03 shock is also same lenght as TA one- just longer travel and external can.
I have now RD03 arm with TA shock- bike is almost 4cms higher now and wheel travel is same as with TA stock suspension. To get full RD travel you need also RD shock.

BTW, rear wheel and sprocket assembly on RD03 is same as on Transalp, just sprocket's side axle spacer needed from RD03- 15.8mm in lenght.
Brake disc also is same and you can user Translp's caliper with RD03 caliper bracket (caliper bracket from RD04 and RD07 will fit, but disc is too small- those have 256mm brake discs, TA and RD03 have 240mm).
And RD03 caliper location place is ok- it does not hit stock exaust muffler as I thought in beggining. But still have to adapt Transalp's caliper bracket as have to go ride next week, but cannot get part from RD03...
I red your post #2209

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...postcount=2209

And there you wrote that RD swingarm fits in frame perfect. I tested one I have and this is from RD7 and it does not fit- left side axle spacer is wider by 5mm. From microfiches looks same as RD04, at least by shape and count of parts.
It can be shortened, but then place for sealing my not be sufficient.
Have not checked also how it looks against front sprocket...


Other not nice thing is that chainguard for RD07 is different and one bolt hole less and shorter- also more dirt will go on chain. :( for RD04 chainguard fits perfect from TA.

So, if RD04 one fits perfect, then simpler is to take RD04 one, they don't cost much, anyway if I have to buy also chainguard, then simpler is to take other swingarm which fits perfect out of the box and use existing chainguard.

Another question is regards shock, is RD4 one shorter than TA one? As I tested with TA shock and RD07 arm and linkages, TA shock is too long and rises bike more than I wish now. I would be happy if rear is ~same height fully released as with stock rear arm&co (ok, it will be a bit higher anyway as only RD03 swingarm seems to be same lenght as TA stock- if you look carefully in fiches, you can see that most rear chainguard bolt holder/place on RD03 is closer to flat axle part than on RD04 and RD07 swingarms).
Did you measure your rear height difference against stock after putting on RD04 suspension?
Also stock height may save some headaches regards chain touching too much chain guide...

And what is RD04 shock lenght and travel? TA one is 375mm between end hole centers, on '88-89 there where something else, right? And TA shock travel I also don't know yet.

Just thinking, because for the moment I could then get cheap used RD04 shock while some day I'll have some money to buy wilbers shock... RD04 shock should have more powerfull spring than TA, so, not bad again.
Here I was a bit playing some time ago... In pictures you can see, that if suspension bottoms till muffler (does actually stock swingarm can go so far, I din't test:)), RD07 caliper will also hit muffler. But with TA default caliper's placement should not be a problem.

Also when wheel is in most far position, it is is few milimeters away from rear mudguard (with almot worn tire...).

RD03 swingarm would be nicest choice, but it's almost impossible to get one.
Here one TA was modified like that:

http://www.still-laughin.com/en/tune_no078.html

(see also some other nice mods: http://www.still-laughin.com/en/modify.html )
Attached Images
My modification was completed with RD04 parts only. I was told that RD03 and RD04 parts would fit the PD06 Transalp (and should also work for your PD10 but I have no experience with this bike since they were never imported to the USA).

Frame changes in the RD07 model resulted in changes in shock abosorber length and other suspension changes in the rear. These changes seem slight but enough to make parts exhanges difficult.

The RD04 and PD06 Transalp shock are the same length in the extended position. The stock PD06 shock has 40mm of free travel ...it moves 40 mm before touching the rubber bumper-stop. I would think it would move about 10mm more into the bumper stop so probably 50mm total travel would be correct.

The RD04 shock had more travel in the shock but I don't remember the exact figure. My old Transalp shock was measured on the bench this morning but the RD04 shock is still in use and it's difficult now to get accurate measurements.

The rear tire will come close to the rear fender with the longer RD04 arm installed. The Africa Twins used a different rear subframe with a longer rear fender.

Most riders in the US use the RD04 arm so they can switch to a rear disc brake. Since you already have a disc on the PD10 I'm not sure why you would want to make this change...other than the RD04 arm looks nicer. As you've seen, you may run into problems with the brake caliper interfering with the stock exhaust at full compression.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladder106
My modification was completed with RD04 parts only. I was told that RD03 and RD04 parts would fit the PD06 Transalp (and should also work for your PD10 but I have no experience with this bike since they were never imported to the USA).
So, RD04 fits without any modifications in front?

Quote:
Frame changes in the RD07 model resulted in changes in shock abosorber length and other suspension changes in the rear. These changes seem slight but enough to make parts exhanges difficult.
Then also triangule and U link are different?

Quote:
The RD04 and PD06 Transalp shock are the same length in the extended position. The stock PD06 shock has 40mm of free travel ...it moves 40 mm before touching the rubber bumper-stop. I would think it would move about 10mm more into the bumper stop so probably 50mm total travel would be correct.

The RD04 shock had more travel in the shock but I don't remember the exact figure. My old Transalp shock was measured on the bench this morning but the RD04 shock is still in use and it's difficult now to get accurate measurements.
OK, 30-40 EURos are not much money, I will take one to see. Seems that lower U part is a bit longer than in case of TA shock, so I can make new shorter part to lower bike, if needed. Travel limiting also is not difficult...
As stock shocks spring anyway is too soft for two riders (I have mine compressed maximaly and it is almost ok when I ride alone), RD04 should be ok then. Plus I get compression adjustment...

Quote:

Most riders in the US use the RD04 arm so they can switch to a rear disc brake. Since you already have a disc on the PD10 I'm not sure why you would want to make this change...other than the RD04 arm looks nicer.
There is one thing what I hate in TA swingarm even from Soviet bike times- spring ajustment mechanism- you can easy put wheel out of track. In case or RD it is pretty precise. OK, one can work out something here also, but I dont want to mess with this part.
Also seems that stock TA arm is heaver than RD04. But I have to put them on weights just for interest. TA arm is quite soft. And rusts better than alu one. :)
ave,

I am assuming that you are referring to the front part of the rear swingarm. Yes, It fits the Transalp (at least the PD06) frame without any modification. There may be some change in your PD10 that I am not aware of....but I doubt it. The only other point is that I used the left side RD04 wheel spacer with my drum Transalp brake. It allowed the chain line to be perfect. With the addition of the RD04 rear wheel, everything fits well.

Quote:
Seems that lower U part is a bit longer than in case of TA shock, so I can make new shorter part to lower bike, if needed.
The U shaped suspension link was the same for the PD06 Transalp and RD04 Africa twin. Or are you referring to the U shaped piece that attached to the shock absorber shaft? These are the same length also.

I do not think there is room to shorten the U shaped piece on the bottom of the shock without fouling the suspension linkage at the upper/lower ends of travel.

You'll have to experiment.

If you were referring to the "U" shaped aluminum suspension link that runs between the frame and the triangular shaped piece, you'd have to make this part longer to lower the ride heigth...unless I'm looking at it wrong.

Originally Posted by Ladder106
I am assuming that you are referring to the front part of the rear swingarm. Yes, It fits the Transalp (at least the PD06) frame without any modification. There may be some change in your PD10 that I am not aware of....but I doubt it. The only other point is that I used the left side RD04 wheel spacer with my drum Transalp brake. It allowed the chain line to be perfect. With the addition of the RD04 rear wheel, everything fits well.
Yes, I was assuming front part. But my TA is PD06, P10 is starting from '97 with two brake rotors in front.
Nice also that RD04 left wheel spacer could be used, one part less to make.

Quote:
The U shaped suspension link was the same for the PD06 Transalp and RD04 Africa twin. Or are you referring to the U shaped piece that attached to the shock absorber shaft? These are the same length also.
I do not think there is room to shorten the U shaped piece on the bottom of the shock without fouling the suspension linkage at the upper/lower ends of travel.
Sorry, I was referring to U shaped piece on the shock absorber shaft.

Looks that it would be good idea to make table with RD03, RD04, PDxx and RD07 shock travels, lenght sizes. Maybe even sizes for other suspension parts also.

Quote:
If you were referring to the "U" shaped aluminum suspension link that runs between the frame and the triangular shaped piece, you'd have to make this part longer to lower the ride heigth...unless I'm looking at it wrong.
That U link is not from aluminium, at least mine is steel. Solution might be even adjustable, see attached picture (this is from some site in France, sorry, don't remember which).

Did you measure how much TA rised from ground with RD04 rear comparing to stock rear suspension?

The PD06 and RD04 shock are the same (375mm).

It would be interesting to see any differences in the suspension linkage. If any one of those "U" shaped pieces was shorter, it may be a way to raise the rear of the bike without using the shock spacer. The PD06 and RD04 "U" link are the same length....don't remember the measurement right now.

Africa Queens sells a shorter link, but it's quite expensive. I like the one you showed that was made from rod ends.

Laying out a all the suspension parts and their measurements would be very helpful. If you choose to do this, you have my THANKS in advance.

I think you are well ahead of us here in the USA when it comes to the rear suspension.

The AT parts are difficult to get and most of us are happy just to have the AT arm and disc brake installed and working.

I noticed the difference between the triangular link piece between the Transalp and AT

Transalp piece:
....and the RD04 piece:
There is certainly a difference but I did not take the time to plot that difference. I used the RD04 piece since it made sense to me to retain the factory design in the system.

Do the different parts affect how the "rising rate" works?

At this point it appears that you are the "Resident Expert" (and I mean that only with respect, no sarcasm or other strange inflections). It would be very helpful for us all if you could take the time to put together some sort of tutorial for us on the rear suspension.....what the differences in the parts and arms are, exactly, and how that affects what the suspension does under load.

Is there anywhere one can find basic information on these systems on the internet?
OK, I see then why TA triangle is used... Similar situation is here on my country, almost nothing from used parts can be obtained... But lucky I have Germany not far away...

I also did not plot that curve, but just from my feeling by sitting on bike, I conclude that TA triangle with AT swing almost don't reach steepest curve's part- suspension feels almost lineary flat and same softness in almost whole wheel travel. This is because triangle's bolt holes in AT swing are a bit more to rear placed comparing to TA's swing- and thus- geometry is different with TA triangle.

I have feeling, that original progression curves are quite similar between AT and TA. I can only measure and draw curve in TA frame, but this curve could be different on AT frames- would be great if some could measure distances between swings front axle bolt holes in frame and upper shock, U-link bolt holes in frame... Buying all three AT RD0x frames will be too much for me.

Anyway, I will put together all info I have in my website in one place. Also detailed info what and how I rebuilt my bike with complete list of parts I had to buy- so, others will have less hasle then later going same way- I know how hard is to find information... I will not try to guess, what differences can influence, I'm not real suspension expert. Just measurments and my feelings on road are what I can give to all here.
But I cannot say when, I can promise that I will do this. I usually try do put pics and info about projects I'm doing in web.

But at the moment I'm still waiting for RD03 swing to come and thinking how to solve shock problem. Probably will take some nonworking RD0x one and will give for rebuild (and in same time put longer hose for external can), this will cost me not more than 100$.
Just unpacked... Yes, it is a bit shorter than RD04- in lower part of picture RD04 arm is on top of RD03 arm. But longer than stock arm. Well, just perfect!
Elsevise they are same, except front axle sealings are mounted from sides like on transalps arm. On RD04 and RD07 sealings are in swing right besides of bearings. And RD04 and RD07 arms have spacer in chain side. Basicaly RD03's swings front is 100% same as stock transalps one.

Seller was so kind and added for free also both axles, but not left side wheel spacer... Will try to bother Honda dealers here!
No, it is not same, looks like that it is same as RD04 and RD07, I yesterday didn't take out anything from box as didn't wanted dirt hands. :)
But definetly transalps triangle is different from RD03. Looks like U-links are same... I have now go to metal lathe and make special bolts to put in parts holes so I can measure distances from hole center to center precise. So, table with sizes follow soon!

BTW, where you got your RD03 arm from? I found in German Ebay... And later also here http://www.teilweise-motorrad.de/ - nice site for used parts- browse under honda for xrv650 parts- there is swing also, just somebody wants now to get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa
So, Is the suspension triangle on RD03 same as PD06 Transalp?
I know that RD04 and possibly RD07 are different.

I have an RD03 arm waiting,
Just need the right parts to make it happen.
Did a quick check between triangles today. So, RD03=RD04, RD07 is different- shocks mount point is much more up- so, one can get much higher bike with stock shock by using RD07 triangle.
Now question for me is that how higher transalp gets with RD04 arm and linkages, but with stock shock lenght? With RD03 arm bike should be a bit less lower than with RD04, because arm is shorter... At the moment I cannot disassemble bike to check this, but from this depends should I made adjustable U-link to match stock front suspension or not when using stock shock.

But for you it means that you can look also for RD04 triangle, much more easy to find.


U-links are same for all, so- RD03=RD04=RD07=PD06=PD10.
Here come quick picture as I dont have time, but you need info quick. :)
Compared swings also quickly by sight- RD03 and RD04 seems 100% same, except RD04 have longer wheel end than RD03.
RD07 has triangle bolt hole a bit more to back, elsevise (except a bit wider in left front axle side) it is same as RD04.
RD07 triangle is complete different, not only front hole is more up&back, but also U-link lower hole is a bit more up for few milimeters than RD04.

I think, that putting RD07 triangle in RD03&RD04 arms will rise bike quite extreme.
Suspension travel in my opinion is limited by shocks travel and possible linkage parts and shocks end collision at some point...
BTW, just now had time to take out RD03 rear arm from it's packaging and compare more.. RD03 arm seems that have same inside distance in wheel's end like transalps arm- so, transalp's wheel should fit perfect with brake parts and axle spacers, difference seems is 4mm like RD04 left side spacer is wider than transalp's one. For me it is nice as I will use transalp's stock brake caliper with it's bracket and wheel (to avoid hitting exaust silencer).

Only brake bracket will need a bit cutting to fit RD03 arm's holding place.

And wheel axle then will be a bit shorter than RD04&rd07.
Quote:
With the AT shock, try a 22-24mm spacer. I've had good service from the one I made from large aluminum rod. Drilled and tapped on both ends. Screw the shock into one side and then get the correct bolt and run the bolt through the stock "U" shaped clevis bottom mount and into the aluminum spacer. I have photos of this somewhere if you need them.
he result was that the new shock should be 25mm longer than my old ta shock. As i was still not sure about the length i ordered the wilbers with length adjustment which gives you another +/- 5 mm to play around. I'm using it in the longest possible setup now which should be something around +30mm. The spring was ordered for a 80kg rider going offroad. For convenience i got the hydraulic preload adjuster because often traveling with lots of luggage...
Now after using this setup for more than 40.000 km i would say that you don't need the length adjustment, it gives a weak point to the shock. with mine the threads are already somehow worn. When the budget allows it to send the shock back for service (which is said to be necessary every 20.000km, i didn't do it so far) i will ask them to remove the length adjuster and just bring it to +30mm full length. On the other side the setup works perfectly, you can fly and even do a save landing:
The Transalp shock and the RD04 shock I used in my suspension conversion are the same eye-to-eye length. I do not know about the RD03 shock although Rave might.

The difference is that the AT shocks have a remote reserviour connected to the body by a fairly short hose. This forces removal and relocation of the radiator coolant tank to use this shock on the Transalp.

If you have the AT front end on the bike, why not just install the AT rear arm, shock and linkage? It works best with the AT rear wheel but the Transalp drum brake can be made to work. Search this thread for information about this mod.
RD03 shock is also same lenght as TA one- just longer travel and external can.
I have now RD03 arm with TA shock- bike is almost 4cms higher now and wheel travel is same as with TA stock suspension. To get full RD travel you need also RD shock.

BTW, rear wheel and sprocket assembly on RD03 is same as on Transalp, just sprocket's side axle spacer needed from RD03- 15.8mm in lenght.
Brake disc also is same and you can user Translp's caliper with RD03 caliper bracket (caliper bracket from RD04 and RD07 will fit, but disc is too small- those have 256mm brake discs, TA and RD03 have 240mm).
And RD03 caliper location place is ok- it does not hit stock exaust muffler as I thought in beggining. But still have to adapt Transalp's caliper bracket as have to go ride next week, but cannot get part from RD03...
RD03 Africa Twin rear parts needed for Transalp 01
________________________________________
Hello,

here comes complete list of minimum parts from RD03 microfiches to upgrade Transalp's rear suspension. All parts not mentioned here can be reused from Transalp (chainguard, bolts, nuts...), here is just minimum needed. OK, bearings also maybe can be reused, but I doubt somebody will get used parts without them already in place.
Those, who have drum brake, add also wheel (or hub), caliper, disc, master cylinder (pedal and footpeg base also?).
Attached Images


fiche02

Note that bearing on shock's lower end and and triangle joint most likely will be rusted- on triangle I got and friend's RD03 we had same situation. This is due to weak and thin seals comparing to other's in triangle. So, it is good idea to order needed parts also if unsure about condition of triangle you bought.
Attached Images

________________________________________
fiche03

Chain adjusters can be used also from RD04 and RD07. RD07 ones are different thickness- on chain side adjuster is much thicker than on other side. RD03 ones both are same with markings on both sides, also same thickness.
Attached Images

RD03 Africa Twin rear parts needed for Transalp 04
________________________________________
fiche04

In case of RD04 arm you need to use RD03 caliper bracket if you want to keep Transalp's 240mm brake disc, with RD04 caliper bracket you need also 256mm brake disc which fits only on RD04 wheel... Caliper brackets between RD03, RD04 and RD07 are interchangable regards their place in swingarm. Caliper from 1994 Transalp (XL600V-R) fits perfect on RD04 and RD03 caliper bracket, don't know about RD07, but should be same. Only difference is that brake fluid hose bolt and drain bolt is placed oposite to Transalps placement- if you take stock RD hose, it might be a bit short then for TA's caliper.
Attached Images

RD03 Africa Twin rear parts needed for Transalp 05
________________________________________
fiche05
Attached Images

From what I saw so far, 08TA is pretty much same as y2k TA regards frame and suspension. Only engine and fairings changed.
AT swingarm mod does not work easy starting from y2k TA, but I guess, that swingarm itself will fit, question is how different placed shock's upper mount point against old TA's? And yes, exaust box must go then from y2k TA...


And then:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravelv View Post
Is that linkage together with swingarm you bought?

If you had to turn down spacer on swingarm axle, then this is RD07 swingarm, not RD04... This spacer on left side is visual difference between RD03,04 arms and RD07. RD07 swing also have additional ball bearing on left side besides needle one.

RD04 and RD03 swings are only different in distance between swings axle and wheel axle. Linkage fitting points dimensions are same.
But RD07 swing is totally different, as well as RD07 frame (U link is the only same part as TA's one). So, no wonder that TA's shock does not fit. I don't rememeber have I tested RD07 arm in TA frame or not, though, I still have on hands all 3 swings with linkages... I have posted also all triangle links photos, I think. Please roll back.

I use complete RD03 rear suspension with TA's stock shock. I also posted detailed parts list
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravelv View Post
.

You must be right, I must have bought a mislabeled swing arm that was an RD07 if that is the case. It has two ball bearings and a needle bearing on the sprocket side.

But, this 1993 microfiche shows the ball bearings and according to the GummyCarbs post, a 1993 is still RD04 and 1994 starts the RD07 line......?

http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-xrv750-af...0.html#results


The swingarm did not have the linkage attached, I bought "RD04" linkage and got them both from hamart.at but the linkage wouldn't work so I just used the TA's.



The stock PD06 shock and linkage all bolt up to the RD07(???) swingarm and seem to work just fine though. It is solid with no slop side to side, everything lines up and the suspension works as good as the stock rear shock can work it seems. I found the right wheel spacers the second time and only had to modify the one bushing. I still don't know what version hub I bought though.

Here is a picture of the way I rode it this weekend, with no complaints (PD06 Frame, Linkage, and Shock with a RD07??? swingarm):

 photo P1000727_zps91c3ebef.jpg

It seems to work, the only reason I bring this up is because if it could work better then it might be worth a try.

I guess I could try to buy the RD07 triangle and see what happens?

It sounds like I might be in uncharted waters, on accident???

But, I think I will just figure out a shock and ride the crap out of it the way it sets. It felt pretty darn good this weekend, jumping off the water bars and smashing into rocks without slowing down.


And finally:

Ok, so, only going off the Austria model for consistency looking at the "triangle" 1990-1992 use:

17.5x26x5 and 15x24x5 dust seals

http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-xrv750-af...0.html#results

http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-xrv750-af...0.html#results

But, the 1993 and 1994 use:

17x24x5 and 20x26x4 dust seals.

http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-xrv750-af...0.html#results

http://www.cmsnl.com/honda-xrv750-af...0.html#results

The triangle I bought was the latter. It would appear that I have an RD07 swingarm and triangle?

Either there was a half-step between RD04 and RD07 in 1993, or perhaps there is a mistake here?

http://www.gummycarbs.com/wiki/index...nd_Africa_Twin

I noticed that there was mention of the RD07 frame and shock being different but I don't believe I saw what the differences were?

I'll report back...



In the meantime I was just using the TransAlp triangle linkage and kept testing it out and working on other stuff.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:21 PM   #13
Z_HARSH OP
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Rear Brake Installation

Enough of that bolt-on confusion we will get back to it later though, but let’s move on to some minor fabrication now.

Assuming you find all the right parts and they are what they say they are installing the AfricaTwin aluminum swing arm is pretty easy. The rear brake installation takes a little welding though.

My grandpa was a tool and die maker, made some parts for the production line at Samsonite and such, needless to say he was an amazing machinist and welder. He made a little 3 rail motorcycle trailer and a couple years before my dad helped me completely rebuilt it. This was my first major adventure into welding. We used grandpa’s old acetylene torch and the arc welder. Acetylene welding is great practice but it takes so long to heat the metal up and arc welding, well, between the slag and sticking the rod you have to be a true artist to make something that doesn’t look like complete crap. So, I went out and got a cheap TIG Inverter from Harbor Freight. It was about $500 plus we spent about that again by the time you get the argon tank, the chord, tips, rods…. Looking back I probably should have got a real one off craigslist because mine is not rated for aluminum and doesn’t have the foot pedal. But, it is hard to buy used when you don’t know what you should be getting and you have no experience.

It probably would have been a good idea practice a little more than a couple minutes with it before trying to weld the frame though, especially in a tough inside corner like needed.

 photo P1000719_zps43071240.jpg

Turned out alright though, for the bracket I just took some paper and cut a template. Then picked out a piece of steal the right thickness and cut it out with the band saw. I like to take a belt sander turn it upside down and use it to round the corners and pretty it up.

It was difficult to get the master cylinder lined up right and positioned to the correct height. Tack, adjust, tack, and adjust type thing to get it perfectly straight. Patience and triple checking are key, or you can just bust out the sawzall and grinder and re-do it.

It is pretty obvious where the master cylinder goes, there is only one right position, but the reservoir placement options are wide open. I decided that the best thing would be to adapt the existing solenoid bracket.

 photo P1000712_zps62db459c.jpg

All I did was weld in a little chunk to raise the u bracket, and but a chunk of angle iron to make a tab and drill a hole for a bolt to hold the reservoir. I measured and looked and stared and dreamt about the options of how to execute for a long time, in the end it is a little difficult to install, and I had to drill out the rivets on the battery box holding the existing bracket, but it is tucked up and out of the way cleanly.

 photo P1000141_zps87475b82.jpg

I also had to shorten the hose a little.

Really the hardest part was bleeding the darn thing. I spent hours turning it in every direction to get out the air bubbles. My hands started stinging they were covered in DOT 4 for so long. I finally disassembled the master cylinder after much frustration and found that the previous owner put it together incorrectly and after a good cleaning and proper assembly it wasn’t a big deal.

***Oh yea, almost forgot, I also took a steel rod and bent it into a "U" and welded it on for a bottom attach point for the return spring on the rear brake. Easy enough....***


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Old 02-21-2014, 01:45 PM   #14
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #15
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WOW, I know what you mean, that swing arm, linkage, shock thing is really confusing. An extra RD03 swing arm came with my bike when I bought it. Took forever to find a RD04 link and shock. I have decided to use the more available XR650L complete front end and rear wheel, and brakes. Seems like a lot of parts off the XR650L will work on the Transalp with very little if any modification. I've given up on jumping through hoops trying to find the right stuff from Europe. Going to have to make some spacers to get the rear tire, sprocket and rotor lined up, but I think it will work. Looking forward to seeing your approach.
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