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Old 08-18-2011, 01:13 PM   #991
CooperSmithingCo
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JD, you check the trail on the bike? Couldn't say for sure just from photos, and maybe the dimension changes with a rider compressing the forks, but it looks like you're cutting it slim there. I'm a fan of the build, just wanted to say something before you take it high speed.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:10 PM   #992
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Originally Posted by CooperSmithingCo View Post
JD, you check the trail on the bike? Couldn't say for sure just from photos, and maybe the dimension changes with a rider compressing the forks, but it looks like you're cutting it slim there. I'm a fan of the build, just wanted to say something before you take it high speed.

i've run it about 1500 miles with the new suspension, including hundreds of miles of 80mph cruise and higher. bike handles beautifully, both paved and gravel.

it's a freakin' beast of a bike and fun to ride.

about to launch on a 13,000 mile ride, watch for the report.

i'm late getting started because i'm trying to collect a receivable from a certain federal agency. what a bunch of boneheaded dummies. from the federal deficit standpoint, i'd save some bucks by firing the whole lot. they know and do so little, no one would know they're MIA.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #993
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Originally Posted by CooperSmithingCo View Post
JD, you check the trail on the bike? Couldn't say for sure just from photos, and maybe the dimension changes with a rider compressing the forks, but it looks like you're cutting it slim there. I'm a fan of the build, just wanted to say something before you take it high speed.


j d r doesn't need the tutorial but what is the ideal trail you'd look for? You're worried because it looks like the front wheel is tucked too far under the steering stem?
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:44 PM   #994
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Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
j d r doesn't need the tutorial but what is the ideal trail you'd look for? You're worried because it looks like the front wheel is tucked too far under the steering stem?
I'm sure you guys know how to measure trail, like I said it's hard to tell from a photo and I'm not trying to ba an armchair QB.

As far as ideal, it's really just horses for courses, but I'd say anywhere from 3-4 inches would be typical.

As you know, proper trail is a necessary figure in order for the motorcycle to track correctly, and is why the front wheel doesn't flop when you let go of the handlebars. Anything under 2 is getting slim, and under 1.5 inches is pretty dangerous. Less trail will quicken the steering to a point, but go too low (or even worse, none) you have a real danger of high speed wobble. In fact with no trail, it's a guarantee and just a matter of time.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:50 PM   #995
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Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
j d r doesn't need the tutorial but what is the ideal trail you'd look for? You're worried because it looks like the front wheel is tucked too far under the steering stem?

And no, the wheel being tucked in would give you more trail.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:20 AM   #996
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Originally Posted by CooperSmithingCo View Post
As you know, proper trail is a necessary figure in order for the motorcycle to track correctly, and is why the front wheel doesn't flop when you let go of the handlebars. Anything under 2 is getting slim, and under 1.5 inches is pretty dangerous. Less trail will quicken the steering to a point, but go too low (or even worse, none) you have a real danger of high speed wobble. In fact with no trail, it's a guarantee and just a matter of time.

lots of discussion on this subject back in the thread when i stuck the DRZ forks on there...rake, trail, wheelbase, the usual concerns.

end result as predicted, it works. can't tell you about handling over 100mph on this unfaired bike, but it's fine everywhere else. additionally, the Kenda Big Blocks i recently took off to mount my travel tires were scuffed right over near the edge.

was out last night scuffing in the TKCs for a few miles, man, this thing will ruuuuun....
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:26 AM   #997
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Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
It looks like it will take on the F8GS just fine.
maybe, but some guys trick the suspension on their 800s just to get a leg up.



photos of the pannier mounts are over on the Versys forum.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:34 AM   #998
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Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
j d r doesn't need the tutorial but what is the ideal trail you'd look for? You're worried because it looks like the front wheel is tucked too far under the steering stem?

might just be the camera angle, i'll take another if i get a chance.


as far as a tutorial, i do need one...or two.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:00 AM   #999
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
lots of discussion on this subject back in the thread when i stuck the DRZ forks on there...rake, trail, wheelbase, the usual concerns.

end result as predicted, it works. can't tell you about handling over 100mph on this unfaired bike, but it's fine everywhere else. additionally, the Kenda Big Blocks i recently took off to mount my travel tires were scuffed right over near the edge.

was out last night scuffing in the TKCs for a few miles, man, this thing will ruuuuun....

What works in practice...works! Just the same, if it feels like it would flop ever you should let go of the handlebars, you could always swap the left and right forks and have the axle trailing rather than leading. It's just shooting from the hip trigonometry, but from what I can tell it would put you near the 4 inches of trail the stock DRZ has.

Just food for thought, I'm just glad I found a place where builders actually ride their customs!
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:56 AM   #1000
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Originally Posted by CooperSmithingCo View Post
...you could always swap the left and right forks and have the axle trailing rather than leading...

Just food for thought, I'm just glad I found a place where builders actually ride their customs!
I don't recall ever seeing a caliper mounted forward of the axle/rotor on a bike. I think I'll stay with what I have.

About the only way to make this bike handle better with the way it's equipped is to go see a tuner. I can't outride it the way it's set now.

No mistake, the bike is purpose built for the big gravel roads. Not a show bike.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:54 AM   #1001
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Not a show bike.
I think that depends on the show

Looking forward to your RR
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #1002
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
I don't recall ever seeing a caliper mounted forward of the axle/rotor on a bike.
It's certainly not unheard of. Ducati did it back in the day. Here's my '74 750GT. They did the same thing on the 750SS.



In other news, all these threads on dual sport Ninjas is making me jones for a project bike... nice work.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:38 PM   #1003
Brad Felmey
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I wish to compliment the OP on his workmanship. I actually followed the posted link over to the Versys forum and read the build all the way through. Once in a great while reading someone's thread like this will make me nearly leap out of my seat to get out in the shop and do something.

This was one of those threads. Thank you very much for sharing.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:50 PM   #1004
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Originally Posted by DesmoDog View Post
It's certainly not unheard of. Ducati did it back in the day. Here's my '74 750GT. They did the same thing on the 750SS.
The 70's era Honda disc brakes also had the caliper in front of the fork.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:17 PM   #1005
CooperSmithingCo
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I don't recall ever seeing a caliper mounted forward of the axle/rotor on a bike. I think I'll stay with what I have.

About the only way to make this bike handle better with the way it's equipped is to go see a tuner. I can't outride it the way it's set now.

No mistake, the bike is purpose built for the big gravel roads. Not a show bike.

That's good, because at a show you'd likely be docked points for not having any trail figured into the design.

I don't recall giving you a reason to be rude, especially since my critique was only one of safety. We both know you have no idea what the trail figure is, and from the pictures it appears to be dangerous. A ride test isn't reliable; you can hold any wheel straight with enough grip. Would you be so confident as to coast more than a few feet without both hands firmly on the bars?

I tried to go about it nicely, but if frankness is what you prefer I'll go ahead and tell you: your bike is downright dangerous without the proper trail.

My issue begins when someone builds an incredible bike such as yours, but upon closer inspection it has a major flaw involving function and safety. Say you sell it to someone and they wreck - you just damage the industry and reputation of other small custom builders. Say you keep it for yourself and wreck - if you have insurance, they start putting red flags on custom bikes. If you die, the state might put up flags of their own.

Please just take a second to consider the advice.
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