Economy Adventure bike conversion suggestioins

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Dansk, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Dansk

    Dansk Adventurer

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    What street bike, in your imagination/opinion would you use to make yourself an economical dual road 90/10 Adventure tour bike?
    I'm sure this can be done to many bikes but I'm wondering what might be a good platform to start with?

    At present I'm playing with a lightweight Ascot VT500F due to it's rock solid reliability reputation and it's lack of resale respect. Pd $1000.for a clean 3500 mile example and it came with the front crash guard.
    It has 6" of front shock travel, 7+" of ground clearance, and an ok rear wheel travel of 4.5" that I hope can be improved. minimally obtrusive water cooling, a 6 spd,w/ shaft drive and a somewhat spirited motor that gives me an mpg figure solidly in the 60's.
    Only drawback is the 2.5 gal tank...
    Of course I'll be adding hand guards, lighting and heated grips, (370watt alternator) a small windshield and the 3 bag luggage.and finally 80/20-90/10 DS tires.
    Before I go too far is there a better equally affordable base bike I should be looking at for a comfortable lightweight touring adventure style.
    Your opinions are needed.
    #1
  2. Tee Dee Mmm

    Tee Dee Mmm Long timer

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    Easy as I would say a Yamaha TDM 850 or even better a Yamaha TDM 900
    From memory the TDM900 is a couple of kg lighter than the VSTROM 650
    Cheers Rick
    #2
  3. Dansk

    Dansk Adventurer

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    Forgot about the TDM's
    Perfect example. I love them but hens teeth they are!
    Won't keep the 900 off my search list. An affordable 850 will certainly do if found in my area. I found 3 in the USA Craigs search. 2 in Georgia one clean one in CT for near $4k :eek1
    I'm in the Boston New England area where everyone thinks their stuff is worth gold.
    #3
  4. Jimo368

    Jimo368 intrepid traveller

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    I think your ascot is a perfect choice. I rode one recently and thats the first thing I thought of. Great bike. Any pictures yet?
    #4
  5. 131unlimited

    131unlimited Been here awhile

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    Honda nighthawk 750. Plentiful on the used market, cheap to buy and own, not hard to fabricate adv stuff to make it work . enough snot to take you cross country, small enough to get you down jeep trails and camping spots off road.
    #5
  6. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Suzuki SV650.. or hell, why not even a GS500, now that's really low-budget, just don't expect it to go very fast!
    #6
  7. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    I took the on/off road tires off my V-Strom. Street tires are fine on back roads and you have to ride quite a distance from Boston to wallow in mud.

    And that bike has 18" wheels, does it not? Not sure what is available - it's now considered a "Classic" size.
    #7
  8. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Check Duro for enduro tires that might fit. They were the only ones who made them in the correct size for the rear on my (stupid) DualSportster. I think your Ascot is a good machine to build from. Post pics if you build it.
    #8
  9. Dansk

    Dansk Adventurer

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    I will certainly post pics. Thanks all,
    I was considering the Shinko 705's ?? They offer a 120/80-18 & a 410-18. I'm not sure how they'll measure up to my 100/90-18 front & 110/90-18 rear?
    Does Duro make an acceptable 90/10 on off tire? The ones I've seen were pretty aggressive.
    I'm also not sure if I want to raise the front forks an inch in the trees or leave them and raise or lengthen the rear with a bit taller shock, there is driveshaft concerns with the latter. I know I would like it to turn in a bit quicker or easier.
    It's funny I too have pondered the SV conversion since V-Stroms are at a premium. The GS5F I would only consider as a Econo Sport tourer due to the engines characteristics. I have no problem with low HP engines and this little VT500 twin has a real surprising amount of torque.
    Ooh I like the Nighthawk model that had the hydraulic lifters and shaft drive, CB700sc. Talk about main free.. And the bodywork in Red & Black imo was sexy.
    Ordered hand guards today, still debating tires, and trying to decide between the Racetech or Progressive front springs?
    #9
  10. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Oops, didn't realize you had an 18 at both ends. You have lots of choices there. Do the VT. You already have it and it's a nice base. I'd like to see it done.
    #10
  11. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I adventurised a TDM:
    [​IMG]

    The rear shock was works suspension, with a change in the mounting point. I had Hyperpro front springs. It has a 4.10/18 rear tire on the front.

    I got a little more ground clearance, and there are additional mods available for the front. The 92 and 93 models have cartridge forks.

    Rode it and loved it for 11 years. In 2008 I took it on a tour of the west. Did some Colorado passes, dirt in Utah, grades and sand in Eastern Ca.

    It did it all, but not as easily as my buddy on a KTM 950. It is still a 500lb bike with 6" of suspension travel.

    I owned an Ascot once, you could do the same.
    #11
  12. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

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    The Ascot would make a great base with which to start. Lightweight, a great engine, and the price seems right.
    #12
  13. Dansk

    Dansk Adventurer

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    Just starting to clean her up. Polished side cases, Re contoured seat. repositioned Hi way pegs.rebuilt exhaust collector, and a lot of cleaning;
    Next I'l re-cut the shield change the mirrors, add lighting,and ???
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #13
  14. Jimo368

    Jimo368 intrepid traveller

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    Your Ascot looks to be in pretty nice shape. It would be a shame to change it from stock.
    #14
  15. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Yeah, no kidding those v-twin cylinder'd Ascots are like hen's teeth in these parts. The earlier Ascots are easy to find, but not those later ones. :trp

    As to converting to ADV riding. Those Ascots, EX500, GS550/500, Yammie XS650 would all dominate my list. :deal
    #15
  16. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    There's a shaft drive Transalp just waiting to come out of that bike. Check out the Transalp thread for more ideas. :deal
    #16
  17. pennswoodsed

    pennswoodsed lizards,bugs and me

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    I thought of this ,just don't have the bike or space ,yet .
    #17
  18. motomike14

    motomike14 Thumper Crusader

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    Honda made the XL750V for foreign markets, which for all intensive purposes, was a shaft drive transalp. Once in a blue moon, one in the states pops up. Stunning bike that was about 30 years ahead of its time.
    #18
  19. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Wow, you weren't kidding. Look at this red, white and blue one I found when I googled XL750V. It reminds me of a 1985 Interceptor or some smaller XLs of the era. Very nice indeed.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...wUMjEG8Lv0gGE9IDwBA&ved=0CCIQ9QEwAA&dur=11999
    #19
  20. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Converting bikes always costs more than just buying one, and when you go to sell it you'll have a bunch of money you'll never see again.

    Windshield, bags, heated grips, call it a day and go ride.
    #20