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Old 12-24-2011, 08:01 PM   #16
Woodsrat
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Back to the idea of modifying your Reflex for off-road use if you possess infinite self-control and don't go too crazy during your off-road adventures I'd recommend the following:

Suspension: If your budget can afford it spend it on improved shocks with enough spring and dampening to carry you and your load over the kind of terrain you expect to experience without it becoming a Bounce-O-Matic. I've never ridden a Reflex but if they're like the other big scooters I've been on they're probably pretty soft in the suspension dept. Same goes for the front suspension which could be inexpensively modified with preload spacers and heavier oil.

"Bombproofing": Make the bottom of the scooter as durable as possible. Since it sits low simple "bash plates" over vulnerable areas might be the difference between riding and walking out of a remote area. You might consider removing some or all of the vulnerable bodywork to keep it from getting knackered up.

Tires: This is controversial and usually leads to verbal fistfights but unless you run something like a really aggressive on-off road or knobby tire changing to the so-called 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10 "dual-sport" tires are just street tires in drag and a total waste of money. They perform no better than regular street tires even if you could find some to fit on the Reflex. Running knobbies would kill your street performance and would require you to run tubes. I'd just plan to slightly lower your tire pressures and maybe run the tallest profile tires you could find to help save your rims from getting dented.

Gas: Make sure you've got enough to go between stations. There aren't many anymore and you'd better be ready to travel upwards to 200 miles or more between fill-ups. A Rotopax mounted in the middle of the scooter somewhere might be the difference between walking and riding.

Get Yourself Prepped: Time spent on the stair step machine and in the weight room will pay huge dividends when you have to push or lift the scooter through wherever you're going. Unless you ride only on the most gentle groomed dirt roads (where you could ride the bike in stock condition without breaking a sweat) eventually you're going to either need to push, pick up or lift the scooter over something. Careful planning of your route will also save you from getting in over your head in areas where the Reflex shouldn't be, anyway.

The bottom line is that you can adventure on virtually anything. Be realistic about where your machine will go, use a little common sense and go have fun. There's no sense in trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear when it comes to setting up your scooter for off-road use. What you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your machine will be of huge value to anyone else contemplating the same thing and I'm sure everyone here would be very interested in your experiences.
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:17 PM   #17
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No matter what you do to the Reflex it's going to be painfully inadequate off road. How about this for an adventure scooter: Get a CT90/110 and put on some leg shields from a Cub. Instant scooter that will go anywhere. Put a bigger engine in if you need more power.

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Originally Posted by Woodsrat View Post
Back to the idea of modifying your Reflex for off-road use if you possess infinite self-control and don't go too crazy during your off-road adventures I'd recommend the following:
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:52 PM   #18
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I think it's a matter of choosing a scooter power plant you like that has the right wheel size/capacity and mate that to a frame you would want to use. I think something like an 80/100cc motorcross frame would be nice as far as wheel size matching the size of the bike. You could use stock tank for fuel and the unused engine cradle as storage space.

If you want adventure bike or off road prowess you need a riding position suited for it and the laid back seating position of almost every scooter is not off road friendly.
Oddly enough I sat on a Reflex a few weeks ago and then a KLR. Sure the Honda was more road oriented, but it was generally the same configuration (ergonomic-wise).

And keep in mind I'm speaking theoretically, I don't plan on carrying out this project. If anything, I would hope a manufacturer would get a clue.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:01 PM   #19
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Okay sorry, I just read the most of the replies. I guess I didn't write it clearly enough or left something out. But what I meant is to come up with a concept of a design that a manufacturer (such as Honda) could take and create a new motorcycle, and new motorcycle class.

I have no intention whatsoever to build anything like that myself, as much as I'd like to.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #20
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Scooter vs Dual Sport w/AT

I think, perhaps, what we're really thinking of here is the simplicity of a scooter (no gears to shift) with the utility of the dual sport. The answer is either automatic transmission on a dual sport, a really light weight one, or else learning to shift really well with a light dual sport, like the Yamaha XT or WR model 250ccs. Those are expensive machines, unfortunately, and very tall, but they're well known and capable Dual Sport bikes. I suppose the alternative is to push the FedGov to legalize 2-stroke on the roads which would allow the Yamaha 125cc 2-strokes so popular and bulletproof in central and south America for use on USA's roads. That's an ultralight adventure bike, after all. They go anywhere and weigh very little. I also agree that once you get offroad, 10" wheels aren't going to cut it, and the standard 17-19" are far better, both for ability and tire choices. A really clever option would be legalize all 2-strokes on USA's roads, which opens the doors to offroad bikes (and their varied displacements) to suit conditions. Just gotta learn to shift so its automatic in the mind rather than suffer the consequences of an automatic in offroad conditions, which apparently means getting stuck a lot.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Terdwilicker View Post
I think, perhaps, what we're really thinking of here is the simplicity of a scooter (no gears to shift) with the utility of the dual sport. The answer is either automatic transmission on a dual sport, a really light weight one, or else learning to shift really well with a light dual sport, like the Yamaha XT or WR model 250ccs. Those are expensive machines, unfortunately, and very tall, but they're well known and capable Dual Sport bikes. I suppose the alternative is to push the FedGov to legalize 2-stroke on the roads which would allow the Yamaha 125cc 2-strokes so popular and bulletproof in central and south America for use on USA's roads. That's an ultralight adventure bike, after all. They go anywhere and weigh very little. I also agree that once you get offroad, 10" wheels aren't going to cut it, and the standard 17-19" are far better, both for ability and tire choices. A really clever option would be legalize all 2-strokes on USA's roads, which opens the doors to offroad bikes (and their varied displacements) to suit conditions. Just gotta learn to shift so its automatic in the mind rather than suffer the consequences of an automatic in offroad conditions, which apparently means getting stuck a lot.
Good idea, but I was thinking more along the lines of a scooter, with the option to go off road if needed. And to be more robust. But to the n00b, it would still ride and fit like a scooter.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:27 PM   #22
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Well for retrofitting an old scooter-ish bike to off roadability would need some cheaply available donor with lot's of refit options and only a few bikes common to the US fit that parameter. And most of them start with the moniker 'CT'. Trail 90's and other Honda SuperCub derivatives, seem to be the only viable option for the D.I.Y.er.

Hugemoth's old trailbike conversion has been running for the last what, 4 years? The sub 300 lb 'ultralite' trail bike is an option other countries still have available, in Europe and the UK there's the Suzuki RV125 VanVan. It has fuel injection and has the fat tired wheels of the Yamaha Teedub. I think it's a bit heavier than the 200 lb limit but I could see some company making a lighter version, if modern Trials bikes are any example.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_RV_125_VanVan
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:45 PM   #23
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I hear ya man. Unfortuantly, American Motorcyclists are a very little target for Japanese [specially Honda] manufactoreres at the moment, so you can only imagine scooters!

I think what you'd like is a new 2012 redesigned Automatic CT 250! Simple single cylinder, carbed, same old Honda horizontal style engine [with engine protection guard for adventuring] but with 250 cc and a CVT. But not too big, not a truly Interstate capable machine but Interstate ain't out of the question for shorter distances. But decent travel, good Dual Sport Tars, high mounted filter and tailpipe so going thru mod is doable. But its not too far from a scooter, but with that rugged CT look to it! WHAT a bike that would be! I mean the CT 90/110 is pretty much considered a scooter, right? Not a true scooter actually with geats+ no floorboard, but we accept them here for the most part.

BUT, as we all know, that will NEVER happen! The best we git is the CRF230L with so high a price I ain't afforded it!
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:06 PM   #24
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I believe there's a market for one - a GS650 with a step-thru frame, and an automatic engine. I'll just wait till I get older and have more influence in the market.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcn View Post
I hear ya man. Unfortuantly, American Motorcyclists are a very little target for Japanese [specially Honda] manufactoreres at the moment, so you can only imagine scooters!

I think what you'd like is a new 2012 redesigned Automatic CT 250! Simple single cylinder, carbed, same old Honda horizontal style engine [with engine protection guard for adventuring] but with 250 cc and a CVT. But not too big, not a truly Interstate capable machine but Interstate ain't out of the question for shorter distances. But decent travel, good Dual Sport Tars, high mounted filter and tailpipe so going thru mod is doable. But its not too far from a scooter, but with that rugged CT look to it! WHAT a bike that would be! I mean the CT 90/110 is pretty much considered a scooter, right? Not a true scooter actually with geats+ no floorboard, but we accept them here for the most part.

BUT, as we all know, that will NEVER happen! The best we git is the CRF230L with so high a price I ain't afforded it!
Well let's brain storm this a bit.

A few years ago when I was researching retrofit Lifan engines, I came across the company's website and they had among all their Chinese home market bikes, a list of aftermarket moto engines they made. Among these engines was the nicest little, horizontal cylindered, water cooled, 200 and 225 cc, five speed manual clutched engines you've ever seen. Small, fairly narrow, and low profile and shared the same piston the vertical 200's Lifan does sell here.

What a super low profile trailbike engine.

I'm sure there's some home market bike this water pumper 200 goes into. Not that I could find it though.

They also had a nice, 60 degree forward sloping water cooled twin 250 that I still think would have been a good design for a slightly heavier trail bike. Most modern dual sports suffer from too much height and I feel they're a bit top heavy.

I know of a local rider who has redone his Pitster Pro with 14" wheels and a very potent 150cc engine. He's stopped using his bigger bikes on trails because the little one is more fun and more capable.

There's a lot of options but most of them are motorcycle based, they're just small bikes.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamaGeek View Post
Well let's brain storm this a bit.

A few years ago when I was researching retrofit Lifan engines, I came across the company's website and they had among all their Chinese home market bikes, a list of aftermarket moto engines they made. Among these engines was the nicest little, horizontal cylindered, water cooled, 200 and 225 cc, five speed manual clutched engines you've ever seen. Small, fairly narrow, and low profile and shared the same piston the vertical 200's Lifan does sell here.

What a super low profile trailbike engine.

I'm sure there's some home market bike this water pumper 200 goes into. Not that I could find it though.

They also had a nice, 60 degree forward sloping water cooled twin 250 that I still think would have been a good design for a slightly heavier trail bike. Most modern dual sports suffer from too much height and I feel they're a bit top heavy.

I know of a local rider who has redone his Pitster Pro with 14" wheels and a very potent 150cc engine. He's stopped using his bigger bikes on trails because the little one is more fun and more capable.

There's a lot of options but most of them are motorcycle based, they're just small bikes.
Wow, yea I love those kinda little engines!

Honestly, I think the Chinese has better marketing, like they do build more what we'd like. But most of the no names can't git their shit straight, and nobody don't buyed it cause quality control is such a problem.

Like hell, they make the 150 Ruckus, they even make the 3 wheel verson! All kind of cool designs!

I'd love the engine you describe, I bet its reliable as a F350 and smooth, like a big Honda fiddy! 5 speeds would be nice!

Holy shit imagine if I hacked one of them into my 90 cc Street Legal Mini Chopper!
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:21 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by YamaGeek View Post
Well for retrofitting an old scooter-ish bike to off roadability would need some cheaply available donor with lot's of refit options and only a few bikes common to the US fit that parameter. And most of them start with the moniker 'CT'. Trail 90's and other Honda SuperCub derivatives, seem to be the only viable option for the D.I.Y.er.

Hugemoth's old trailbike conversion has been running for the last what, 4 years? The sub 300 lb 'ultralite' trail bike is an option other countries still have available, in Europe and the UK there's the Suzuki RV125 VanVan. It has fuel injection and has the fat tired wheels of the Yamaha Teedub. I think it's a bit heavier than the 200 lb limit but I could see some company making a lighter version, if modern Trials bikes are any example.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_RV_125_VanVan
The Yamaha XT225 (238 lbs) weighs less than a 125 Van Van (260 lbs).

Pretty low seat, highway and off road capable.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:01 PM   #28
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Pitster Pro offers a Van Van-like machine that's EPA/DOT approved with a Honda clone motor:

http://www.pitsterpro.com/bike/overview/id/45

The jury is still out on the fat tires but for $1800 (and $130 shipping) it might be something to consider.

I'm with Yamageek in that I think a remotored Honda step through with updated suspension might be the way to go. Any of the Honda 50/70 bikes (and the pushrod 90's) offer bolt-in swaps and since they use the same neck bearings as many newer bikes (XR/CRF-100's come to mind) suspension upgrades are simple and relatively cheap. Anyone with a basic knowledge of wrenching can do such a buildup without difficulty and there's lots of information on-line to guide you through stuff like converting the electrics over to 12 v.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:39 PM   #29
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I finally got the UAB (Ultralight Adventure Bike) on wheels today. A '71 CT-90 frame, with a stock seat, gas tank, complete XR-100 front end w/ TRX-450 handlebars, Passport swingarm (used to level the bike out with it's taller shock mounts), stock shocks and rear wheel assembly weighed in at 94 lbs. My XR-70 motor with an aftermarket 88cc kit weighs in at less than 40 pounds with footpegs so we're still under 140 lbs. With the bike setup as-is the seat height is at 33.5" and it should have between nine and ten inches of ground clearance.

Admittedly I still need to add a burning headlight, a battery operated bicycle LED tail light, rear brake controls (I'm planning to initially use both foot and hand brake controls although ideally I'd like to go with only hand controls and eliminate the foot pedal altogether) and exhaust system (likely a custom system made from an XR-50 muffler and aftermarket head pipe) but I'm right on target to be well under 200 lbs. ready to ride, probably closer to 175 if everything goes well.

I still need to redo the lower motor mounts as they were located too far forward which rotated the motor up and limited clearance for the carburetor/intake manifold under the frame's backbone but otherwise the critter is coming along. I'd planned to do a test ride on it this week but that's gonna get delayed a few more weeks.

Here's a question for everyone--if a backyard hack like myself can roll together a lightweight street-legal bike using mostly cast-off components that in theory can go anywhere larger bikes go (or carried if need be!!) why can't Honda or other manufacturers? The closest I've seen is the Mad Ass--although the same ideas could be used on something like the Symba without radically changing the basic bike.

I believe there's a market for a lightweight bike for folks who don't want to blast through the backcountry or backroads. Whoever the dealer was who converted the original Honda Cubs for off-road use was a visionary fellow. The same basic bike remains in Honda's lineup today, in some markets with F. I. to satisfy emissions standards. Adding a hydraulic fork and modern shocks wouldn't cost all that much and I believe they could put them on the U. S. market for well under $2500. Would we buy it? There's the proverbial $64,000 question.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:39 AM   #30
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Tires? Over on a couple Yahoo groups, I'm a controversial character because about 3 years or so ago, I turned on some
riders to using a car tire on the rear of the Honda Reflex scooter. I think I am the only one so far that also uses a
150/70-13 rear tire from a Silverwing on the front of my Reflex. (front on a Reflex is 13") It handles better on gravel roads
and sand BTW. The rear has a 12 inch rim and I have several spares with different size tires mounted and are used when
it suits the style of riding I'll be doing.

With a standard scooter tire I pull around a single wheel trailer just to look cool. A 145/70R12 car tire for pulling the trailer
on long trips. A 155/80R12 car tire when not pulling the trailer, but want to use it for the assist to my fuel economy.
Scooter rear tires wear out after about 6000 miles. My 145/70R12 car tire has about 17000 miles on it so far and barely
shows wear. I mean a tire made to carry about 600 LBS+ but is only carrying only about half of the Reflex's 375 LBS is
just about damn near bullet proof.!!! Ditto for the tire I use up front. I did have to modify the front fender to accommodate
the Silverwing tire and I have slightly modified an extra swing arm to accommodate the 155/80R12 because of a tire width
issue. Any of the tires 145 or less in width that I use don't have that issue and mount with out problem or modification. I
also have a 145/80R12 that I have yet to experiment with. It's actually a snow tire, so the tread pattern is a little more
aggressive you might say, with a deeper tread depth too. (I think... I haven't measured, but it sure looks that way to me.)

A guy out in California just loves the car tire now. (though he initially was outspoken and panned the idea) His rear tire
squared off at around at 4000 miles from mostly flat road riding anyway. So the car tire feels no different to him.

Oh, and about removing body panels; The lower skirts and "floor board" plastics guide cooling air to the radiator. Without
cooling air redirected, you risk overheating. The fan might not be enough after a time. I may sound crazy, but I go forth
(and far) on my scoot without trepidation.
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