990 Mods for Offroad

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by MissFortune, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. MissFortune

    MissFortune mostly right-side-up

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
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    Okanagan, BC
    I've been riding my new-to-me 2010 990 Adv for around 4 months now and, other than adding a pair of heated grips, have been running it as I bought it. I figure it's time to add some protection before I break the stock skidplate and cause some expensive damage.
    I'd also like to have a plan for the rest of the changes, and I know others out there have already figured out what works well offroad.
    Please chime in if you have any suggestions for setting a 990 up right for reasonably hard offroad riding.

    March 30, 2014 update. I've made it down the list of mods a bit, have found a few more weaknesses.

    Diet
    Remove one front caliper/rotor (possibly replace stock cylinder with SE version) In the mail, including the se cylinder....looking forward to seeing how this changes the feel of the suspension
    2-1 exhaust (cj + fmf)
    Lithium ion battery (not sold on this item at the moment)
    Canisterectomy (tunecu + cover plates etc.) Done
    Lose the crash bars - plus rburkat noticed that his had started to kink the frame eventually (find carbon guards if vanity demands) Done....too many scratches already to worry about vanity, lol

    Armour/Protection
    Skidplate (Motoventure - checking to see if they provide a rubber spacer) Installed and no complaints. Haven't decided about the centre mounts, may cut them off this week before the Desert 100
    Rear brake master cylinder guard (Blackdog)
    Handguards (still like Barkbusters)
    Side stand relocation + switch bypass Done...no complaints

    Steering
    Steering damper- (mostly sold on Rallemoto RM1, have some questions into them) This will be the next thing I get after my front wheel is sorted. I'm going to get the Rallemoto RM-2 as it has more adjustments and will work with my risers.

    Suspension
    Go see Konflict or Riders Edge.Had it done by Konflict. New heavier spring in the front and re-valve. Tried it out in Squamish last weekend and it felt good in the rocks, big improvement. Will see how it feels with more speed next weekend

    Lighting
    Look at the Brittania Composites fairing with the projector HID's when it comes out. I've seen the prototype up close on Lica's bike and it looks great..I'm completely sold on this solution.

    Gear Ratio
    Go from the 990R stock 16/42 to 16/45 when replacing chain and sprockets in the spring. Buy a 17 for highway trips. Look at dirttricks. Done...used the stock sprockets and a heavy DID chain. It turns out the last owner was running 17/42, so 16/45 is a massive improvement offroad

    Range
    ADVRALLYTANK - Plastic aux. tank Bought the tank on flea market, waiting till some more pressing mods are done

    [/B]Misc[/B]
    Better mirrors, doubletake or similar. Done
    SE swingarm chainguide.
    More aux lighting, depending on base set-up.
    Air bleeders for forks (have shock sox). Done
    Better footpegs. Done...went with SW Motech. I really like the lower position compared to stock (maybe 3/4"lower. They're cast aluminum and I found that the outside edge is a bit slippery, so might square of the outside row of teeth a bit
    Cooling fan sensor + 2nd stock fan (summer upgrade)

    Improve if Broken
    Rims Argh....discussed below
    Handlebars (or if starting to get sore wrists - my heated grip is jb'd to it, so not happening right away!!)
    High fender......ya, it'll have to go eventually, or risk being torn off. Keeping the nice white one for a while, though. In the mail with my single disk parts

    I've broken the turn signals a couple of times now and will be looking for something more durable to replace them, too.
    #1
  2. munstro

    munstro Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
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    Northern Az
    One word. Knobbies.
    #2
  3. MissFortune

    MissFortune mostly right-side-up

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Okanagan, BC
    Running Michelin Desert front and TKC80 rear. :D
    #3
  4. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    welcome :D
    -I would go down one tooth on the front sprocket(16/42?), still can cruise hwy speeds & better for the tight off-road stuff. Wish I would have done it sooner. I know the Mounties don't mess around up there:deal I'm running a 17/45 set-up, fun wheelies with the shortest wheel base...but I do like to hold 85mph on those big trips too & only feel comfy @ 75mph with my set-up now
    -installed a SE swingarm chain guide(helps went its loose to not hit your rear shock, free lil upgrade)
    -replace your cooling fan switch with the lower activated one, been working well for me vs needing a second fan
    -neoprene "shock sox" covers with air bleeders(never deal with blown fork seals)
    -larger pegs help on single track stuff
    +1 on no crash bars(i've never owned a bike thats hit the ground so much & still looks good)
    CJ is the man to talk too

    CHEERS :1drink
    #4
  5. Bowser

    Bowser Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    224
    Location:
    Gloucester
    You also NEED Touratech stickers otherwise it wont handle off road, and you will some kind of "Racing" sticker as that "adds" BHP at least 10 possibly 15 :evil

    More importanly if you ride like me, +1 for Proper handguards for when you fall off, and different mirrors that dont bolt to the clutch and brake, and move when they hit the ground/tree/sombody else etc. I have HDB guards and mirrors, but there are loads of other good makes. I personaly also like the mirrors that fit the ram mount ball but cant remember the name for the moment.
    #5
  6. kave

    kave Gravel rules

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    627
    Location:
    Sweden
    I would get proper rims first so you can run proper tires.
    The standard rim/tire setup is way too wide for any serious riding.
    The fact that the rims are made of butter doesn't make it better either :)
    #6
  7. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
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    7,617
    Location:
    Ben Lomond, Highway 9, California
    And PLEASE do the side stand relocation bracket before you crack your cases.
    #7
  8. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC
    Here is my list from most important to least.

    Must
    ------

    1. Disable the kickstand switch before it kills you. Most don't realize that they hit it down with their heel, or that the kick stand swings down when you hit g outs or hard bumps. The kick stand moving down slightly makes the bike cough or stall and lose power. This can cause you to crash badly. You just have to remember not to ride away with your kick stand down from now on.

    2. Skid plate. I think the blackdog one is good primarily because it has a big rubber block between the skid plate and the engine in addition to being solid. If you take a hard enough impact you can't have empty space between the plate and engine.

    3. suspension. get it setup for yourself. you might as well do this early as it will let you enjoy the bike better, ride faster and safer. Alex at Konflict Suspension did mine

    4. Get rid of stock exhaust. It's heavy and almost any other will make it breath better. You will probably want the advtank later so might as well get the 2:1. I would go for the fmf because it has a solid welded mounting tab, unlike many others that have some strap that then mounts to the bike. I have broken those straps more than i can count.

    5. Handle bar with a lot less sweep. The stock one puts your hands in an unnatural position and if you're doing hard off road and standing lots it takes a toll on the wrist.

    Nice to have
    ---------------

    5. advtank. almost more 50% fuel which is needed on the 990 if you like to explore

    6. gearing. you have the 990r so you are already running 16:42 stock, which is better than the A with is 17:42. You can go 16:45 as it's a good sweet spot and if you optimize for dirt might as well have the fun there. It's fine on the hwy unless you want to be cruising at 90mph for 100s of miles. If you "really" need the taller gearing, you can easily just put in a 17 front and you'll be basically where you started. dirttricks sprockets seem to last the longest for me.

    7. scotts stabilizer. I believe one feature of the scotts unlike others is that the return is not dampened. That is if you get your steering bumped sideways you can turn/return without fighting the dampening. I have another brand on my other bike and it does not do this and I like it less.

    8. wheels. A 1.6 or 1.85 front is a nice upgrade. Stronger and still fits all tires for the bike. I got talked into getting smaller 2.5 rear wheels but I realized that they round out the tires too much and you get a lot less contact area on the ground. It's particularly noticeable when climbing loose stuff at slow speed.
    I still run my stock rear, but it does square a 140 tire a lot. I think an idea compromise would be a 3.5 rear.

    9. lights/screen - wait till the britannia composites light/screen comes out early int he new year.

    Other
    ------

    kickstand relocator.

    ditch the canister and disable the error with tunecu. really easy

    go with one disk in the front. you keep the left calliper and you just buy a new brake line at a moto shop with proper banjo bolts. ( harley shops seem to have them ) You could use your stock master cylinder but it will feel really stiff. To get the right feel you want to buy the 950SE master cylinder.

    high fender. sooner of later you're going to rip it off so might, with a chance of screwing you your brake line in the process or crashing. might as well get it over with.

    lithium battery. nice to save some weight but more prone to issues in the cold or if you discharge it fully. I had the shorai for a year and it was fine until it died.

    double take mirrors work well. not as large and stable as the stock, but you wont have to worry about screwing up something in a crash or having to pull out tools to adjust the mirror when it loosens
    #8
  9. MissFortune

    MissFortune mostly right-side-up

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    131
    Location:
    Okanagan, BC
    Thanks for the great responses Radek, AJ990R and others. Hopefully other 990 owners benefit from having all this in one spot, too.

    Rebecca
    #9
  10. MissFortune

    MissFortune mostly right-side-up

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
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    Okanagan, BC
    That was exactly my concern with getting the wrong damper. Anybody know if the Rallemoto dampers can be set up this way?
    #10
  11. Off Road Ryder

    Off Road Ryder Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
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    3,241
    Location:
    Kent Wa
    I heard you cant ride a 990 off road.:eek1
    Do a skid plate and ride the thing, youll figure out what works for you. Thing is, for the most part you really don't know whos on the other side of the keyboard or their "idea" of Off road.
    here's mine.
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/F5FSb3_H0g4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #11
  12. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    Portland, OR
    I always end up buying used dirt bikes with Cycra's pre-installed and they always work "well enough" that I'm not tempted to ditch them and start over. The 950 was the first bike I'd bought new ones for and I went for the Highway Dirt Bikes setup. Paul is a member here.

    Any pictures of this? I couldn't find anything searching and don't see it on their website. Seems there are lots of competing designs all of a sudden.
    #12
  13. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Chilliwack, BC
    This is still in proto stages, but the guys putting it together have more info here. I took all my lights there ( 8" hid, diablo, BD squagons, onyx, rigid, cyclops ) and we had a shoot out agains hellas and some others to try to find what will work/fit in the best. This might have the option to bolt on an led option as one of the lights...like a squadron)
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=22862173&postcount=30

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    Portland, OR
    Thanks, I'd not seen that. Interesting. I just bought a pair of Hella 90mm and was going to make my own screen copying what SheepShagger did. I'm vain and like the one piece laminated look :D

    Seems like lots of interesting rally headlight options popping up all of a sudden to challenge the $touratech$ one. I'm one of those not bothered by the stock screen but for those who hate it, I think the adjustable height feature will be a big seller!

    I'm a bit of a downer on the AdvTank. Always seemed like a product that needed more R&D (especially for the bracket) before it was released. The jig that is used to weld up their 2:1 badly needs to be redone also as fitment is annoyingly poor. This said, when you run out of gas and have to push, such things will likely become far less annoying :lol3
    #14
  15. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

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    I hear ya. The tank plate can bend and start rubbing on the swingarm when compressed, but a nice quick fix seems to be to put some kind of a brace between the passenger foot peg area and the tank plate.

    Ex.
    [​IMG]

    Some just put a straight bolt through both and secure it with nuts, or even some zip ties between those points prevent the rubbing and ad rigidity.
    #15
  16. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
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    Location:
    Alaska
    My advtank plate ripped completely off the bike while going through some whoops. Did a trail side fix of securing the tank to the luggage rack with 2 bungee cords that have worked well for, oh, around 40,000 miles. I need to do a permanent fix one of these days. :lol3

    Lots of good info in the above posts, but mod preferences vary by individual rider. I would just do a side stand relocation kit, a good skid plate, and ride the piss out of it to see what else you would like to do. That way you can better judge what you need to do to the suspenders, ergos, etc.

    For me, essential off road mods are: Tuned suspension, wide pegs, side stand kit, Scotts damper. After you bend the hell out of your front wheel you can replace it with an Excel A60, no need to replace it out of the box, it will last a few rides.


    I also have learned that generally speaking, the less you mod the guts of the bike, the less problems you will have. Just my opinion.
    #16
  17. MissFortune

    MissFortune mostly right-side-up

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    #17
  18. Dustodust

    Dustodust Long timer

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    Hillsboro Oregon
    absolute necessities for serious off road

    1. high fender , the stock fender will lock up the front wheel in light mud
    2. strong aluminum handguards, (walking sux)
    3. S-suspension , the 9xx geometry was designed at s-height it handles like a toad lowered
    4. heavy duty rims , 9xx handles best off road with low tire pressure , to run low you will need strong rims

    all the rest is optional fluff
    #18
  19. Bowser

    Bowser Been here awhile

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    I have the rallemoto damper on my bike it works very well, you have three settings. 0 damping on return, 50% damping on return, and 75% (roughly).
    It fits in a heartbeat, no trouble at all no special topclamp no extra cost.
    #19
  20. MissFortune

    MissFortune mostly right-side-up

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Okanagan, BC
    I guess we have similar ideas of offroad, at least as far as singletrack goes. Except up here in BC, the trails are steeper, the rocks rockier and the mud muddier!!
    ;-)
    #20