What does a person do when their favorite bike in the last decade was a twistie road eating, lightweight, short, street bike, but they've found themselves to have a newfound passion for adventure camping? Modify of course! Here's my conundrum: I am 5'3" on a tall day, like to go fast on solid pavement, and need a bike that will travel 100+ miles to the gravel without sounding like an angry lawnmower. Oh! And it has to be done for around $3,000. BUST OUT THE WELDER! This is my baby (well, the mechanical one). It is a 2001 Suzuki SV650 in the exact same color as the '02 I rode once upon a time and hated to have to sell. I paid a bit more for it than I would have liked, but still a decent deal. The person I bought it from liked wheelies, so both fork seals were bad, and the leaking oil contaminated the brake pads. So, I spent a week ordering parts and spending the rest of my budget on things I could easily bolt on or modify to make it more dirt worthy. In the mean time, I LET my husband play with some fabricating with me (it is his shop and you try keeping a mechanic away from a modification project). So here are the first round of mods with his "help". First up was a little lower suspension. We had these left over from a severe seat height drop on the previous SV. They were too long for this project and too hard to drill through again, so we shortened them. [/IMG] Next we needed to make riser/backers for those low handlebars. Short arms + long tank = laying down. But first we had to figure out what type, how to affix it, and then what to use. Hmm... Of course! A broken vise! [/IMG] Cutting it to fit. I love playing with power tools! [/IMG] Stacking the materials together and thinking, "my God that is ugly, but functional. I wonder if it will be strong enough?" [/IMG] Fitting them to the bike. They were a LOT taller than I thought they would be! [/IMG] But, aside from having to buy a longer brake line, all the stock cables rerouted to fit perfectly. And, we got some pretty paint, so they actually match the bike ok-ish. [/IMG] Here's my short self testing them out. By the way, when posing for a side shot picture, take all tools, keys, bolts, and other things out of your pockets. It makes you look like you have a beer belly. :eek1 [/IMG] [/IMG] That last picture had a radiator guard. Super cheap way of doing it is to get some thin gauge angle iron and expanded metal, cut, weld, and paint. [/IMG] [/IMG] [/IMG] But, that was a lot of painting with the risers, and the guard, and the primer first, and all those coats. We got bored and we didn't have the parts to finish the fork seal job, so we built some luggage racks. [/IMG] [/IMG] Ok. I know that was a LOT. And, we still have a lot more to do on it. But that is where the project is one week in. Hoping to have the fork seals and brake pads replaced, seal savers on, hand guards on, and front buttoned up either tonight or tomorrow morning. More pictures to come!