GS Frame Modification

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by MoMan, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. MoMan

    MoMan PigPen

    Joined:
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    I've done some recent updates to my bike from my crash back in Sept. '05
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95165

    The left PIAA light was destroyed in that crash along with a bent frame, tweaked forks and a sundry of other things. I made a new light bar out of an aluminum stock and bolted it to the frame via construction grade u-bolts.
    [​IMG]

    In the crash, the frame bracket was collapsed. I purchased a new one and welded a steel strap across the top to add support and bracing. It probably wont fair any better in a frontal crash, but might do better ricocheting off of trees or the occasional oopps.
    [​IMG]

    I bought some aluminum screen, spray painted it, cut to shape and zip tied it to the stock oil cooler screen. I also did this to the headlight screen and am working on a mesh screen for the PIAA lights too. I haven't lost a headlight to a rock before, but it does give that Baja ready cool factor to the eye.
    [​IMG]

    After I had the frame straightened, I got an evil grin and decided to modify the frame. I read all I could about the process and a few ADV FF's added their $.02 worth (Thanks Jim Rowley & Rubber Cow!) So far on the street, the bike feels GREAT! No more of that rear end swaying on pavement, lots more precise steering. I haven't taken in the dirt yet, but this weekend is the ADV Eastern Air Head Rally, and I plan on seeing if all my labor will work...and not break the frame in the process.
    [​IMG]
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    #1
  2. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    Hi Moman. I have been giving my R80 a full Makeover in preparation for our Canada/Alaska trip next year and couldnt resist a few frame mods of my own. I hav'nt figured out how to put more than 1 photo on at a time so the first is of the steering head area. If you want to see some more I will post others.
    Ps: I have ordered the Staintune System. Should be here in about a week.
    Phil
    #2
  3. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Nice work Phil! Beautiful welds. I'd never seen the brace between the backbone and the one below it. What's its purpose?
    #3
  4. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    Like MoMan, I spent considerable time seaching the net to see what others had done. One of the sites I found showed where a frame had failed around the steering head area. The main tube and side plates had been stressed and had split. I dont know what sort of riding was being done to do this but it showed up a weak point. It would appear the force required to do this is a forward pull at the bottom of the steering stem. My solution was to put a tube in from the bottom of the stem, back to the hoizontal tube.
    I cant take credit for the welding, a freind is a welding guru. He used to work for the KR 500 GP team making exhausts and frames. I fabricate the parts and drag the bike to his place for welding.
    #4
  5. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    Question for you guys:

    does the rear pivot-point gusset inhibit getting at the trans/shaft connection at all?
    #5
  6. MoMan

    MoMan PigPen

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    It does a little, but still very managable to tighten the bolts on the driveshaft to the tranny. Now if there was something to help getting that damn rubber boot in place...
    #6
  7. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    Hi MOMAN, I see youve spent some time putting conduits on the wiring loom. Nice. Do you have a large alternator to drive those lights. I see an extra tube tied with the brake cable. Remote breather for the diff ? Any chance of a photo of the diff to see how you did it. Is routed into the airbox.
    The last of my frame mods was the sub frame as most of my riding is done 2 up and often loaded. I wanted to keep the brace subtle. I only did the right side as the left side has the muffler which provides a degree of bracing
    #7
  8. MoMan

    MoMan PigPen

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    Thanks! Had a total electric failure some years back because of wires rubbing against the frame and am determined that will never happen again. I got a 400W alternator upgrade from Motorrad Elektrik http://www.motoelekt.com/
    With the upgrade, I can run the PIAA's, GPS, XM, Gerbings Heated Jacket Liner, have the brights on with a turn signal blinking and the alternator still is pushing 13 volts.

    The extra tube tied to the brake cable is the crankcase vent hose I routed through the airbox. I'm planning to do the diff breather routing later this year.
    #8
  9. Jack90210

    Jack90210 mindful

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    There's some beautiful welding work photographed in this thread. :tb
    #9
  10. Boojum

    Boojum I Miss the PartyBoss

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    Nice Thread, MoMan!!!! I just got back from Scavenging through the Maint. Shop for scrap Steel pieces for Todd and Myself :wink: Got off to a Great Start! :evil :lol3

    Boojum!
    :freaky
    #10
  11. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    Before anyone starts welding reinforcements to their frame they should read Tony Foales's book on chassis design. I'm not an engineer etc. but from what I've learned most of these reinforcements " will stiffen the frame but make it weaker,especially in fatique" quoting someone who knows. It all has to do with stress risers, area of moment of inertia, neutral axis's, tension, compression and myriad of other stuff that is beyond me. Anyway don't shoot the messenger, just make absolutely sure you know what you are doing unless you have a spare frame laying around. JT
    #11
  12. elmoreman

    elmoreman takin' a break, boss

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    I'd love to hear what people have to say about this. Been thinking of reinforcing my g/s for a central america trip in 08, and it seems like making things stiffer (except for the subframe) just sends the stress to a different part of the bike's frame. This happenned when the first really stiff telemark bindings came out years ago. The bindings were solid, but they put so much stress on the screws that the bindings ripped out of the skis...and that sucks.
    #12
  13. Boojum

    Boojum I Miss the PartyBoss

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    Totally understood, and well put! I have an Engineer friend, and two metal crafters that I will be consulting with BEFORE I pop the first weld! :nod So, YES! I will be careful. and thanks for your comments!
    Next thing we know, we'll all have Mad Max Airheads!:lol3 :lol3

    Boojum!
    #13
  14. Crush

    Crush Been here awhile

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    I just checked the price of this book, $299.98 at Amazon:eek1 :eek1 :eek1
    #14
  15. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

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    I made a few mods to my G/S as well .... Pics under the link "Bike" at www.nohorizons.net

    In Nepal at the moment ... Everyhting seems to hold up well.

    K
    #15
  16. elmoreman

    elmoreman takin' a break, boss

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    Cool...Ive checked out your site before. Your frame reinforcements look minimal. Have you noticed any difference?

    Also, have you ever really needed that much gas??

    Glad to hear your trip is going well...would you do it again on the same bike?
    #16
  17. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    I got interested in this when I'd sent an engineering friend of some photos of a g/s frame that had been reinforced and he'd chuckle and say they should read Tony's book etc. usually because what they'd done made things no better and probably worse. If I were going to do this I'd have a someone who I had absolutely no doubt understood this sort of chassis design and fabrication. At worst I'd mimic what HPN has done. There are some good photos around.

    http://www.possi.de/hpn/hpnmatz.html

    and some great close ups of a HPN frame here.

    http://www.pbase.com/d_paulus/the_first_purchase

    JT
    #17
  18. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

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    Most of the modifications in this thread are old-hat and well-proven on the airhead frames. Unfortunately they all conspire to deliver a lot of stress to the main top tube which will eventually get overstressed and bend or crack. That said, I've seen at least twenty g/s & GSs with these mods and only one of them had a broken top tube.
    It does make the rubber cow less rubbery.
    cheers,
    Jorge

    Not one of you bastards welded a bottle opener to the frame....WTF?!
    #18
  19. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    Hi Moman, I have studied the alternatives to the charging system. Due to the cost of getting one of the Motoelekt or Omega Systems in New Zealand, (double US price to get NZ$ ) I have sent mine to Australia. A guy over there has been doing good work on charging systems for years. I am waiting to hear back from him. He thought about $200NZ to rewind the stator for more output It was only when I dual plugged mine that i noticed the shortfallin the charging area. The extra 2.5amps of the second ignition module put me over the top when I had everything switched on.
    #19
  20. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

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    Yes, I needed 800 kilometers of gas to get through the Baluchistan desert, from Iran (Taftan) to Quetta (Pakistan). As it turned out, there was gas (by the side of the road, in bottles, smuggled from Iran) available. So strictly I didn't need it, but still. And when you get stuck, at least you have gas to cook on (I have an MSR Whisperlite stove). It's not that you NEED it, but it's nice to stop for the night, carry on the next day and then find gas when it's convenient.

    I would certainly do it again on this bike. Nothing I can think of in terms of changes. I'm very happy with the mods. However, I am getting new bags made when I get home. The Touratech ones are junk. Also, Fiamm horn mounting tabs seem to not survive the off-road beating. I've had two breaks there. The gaiters, which I didn't change before departure, could not stand the abuse and both are split. I would get rubber gaiters next time. I've ordered a set from the UK. Above 12,000 feet, the battery, Odyssey, charged less quickly then at lower altitude. I'm running an Enduralast system from Euromoto Electrics, which is great. I won't take a spare tire across the Middle East next time. The Metzler Enduro 2 on the rear is holding up fine and I could have changed it in Delhi and in some places in Pakistan even. The front, Michelin Sirac, will probably make it another 7,000 miles. I put it on in Turkey. The rear shock is getting used and I am very happy I spent the cash on new rims at Woody's. The wheels have gotten an incredible beating. I'm currently planning a 40 day hike and frankly have zero desire to ride a single mile more after roughly 25,000 kilometers.... I might do Thailand and Cambodia and then come home. There's only so much riding you can do before you lose your sanity. :-)
    #20