THE 919 TRANSALP PROJECT . . . or "The Tigress"

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by KEN PHENIX, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    SOUTHEAST TEXAS
    As I mentioned in another thread, I had test ridden several bikes, mentally recording their respective handling characteristics until one bike up and pegged my fun meter. The 1050 Tiger has torque by the ton, crazy acceleration, and totally nimble road manners with no top heaviness or sluggish steering whatsoever. This is it, I thought. Not so fast. The 2007 Tiger was not in the budget. It wasn't until I rode that first 919 that I knew this balance of power and handling I loved about the Tiger could be had for a price I could afford. The more I studied the specs, the more I realized just how similar the Tiger and the Hornet really are. So this thread is not about how much I have to modify the 919 to get what I want but how little. I began my search. Via searchtempest.com I tracked every 06 & 07 919 in the continental United States and even called some the ads after they were pulled to ask how much the bikes actually sold for. The 919's were selling for around half the going rate for a comparable Tiger. After 3 months of market research, the time was right. In other words I finally sold my old bike.:lol3 Armed to the teeth with fresh market trends, I worked my list until I found a seller receptive enough and due to the distance involved engaged in some pre-haggling over the phone. I left at 4am the next morning and made the almost 5 hour trek to northern Louisiana. We jump started the bike (battery dead from sitting) I did the test ride, made my decision and then said, "ok, on the phone you said you wanted $XXXX and I wanted to pay $XXXX so why don't we meet in the middle?" He said,"I was hoping you'd say that." And we shook hands.

    Here she is. She's a 2006 model with 8k on the clock and lived in the back bedroom. The new trailer queen ready for the ride home.
    [​IMG]

    Now the task of turning this minimalist muscle bike into a capable adventure tourer begins.
    [​IMG]

    So here's what I've been up to. First I raised the stock suspension 38mm, as much as I dared. Granted, this is an experiment. I originally planned to do a dirt bike fork swap but thought I'd try this first. I removed the fork cartridges and dropped in a pair of 5/8" impact sockets fitted with 1/2" OD steel spacers to maintain alignment. A 60mm bolt holds the assembly in place. I had to grind a little off the bolt head on the left fork leg for axle clearance. I understand I have decreased the distance between the upper and lower fork bushings but so far it's very stable.
    [​IMG]

    Before and after:
    [​IMG]

    I stressed over the rear too until I saw how ridiculously easy it was. I had to drill one hole to relocate the upper shock mount. Slightly changing the shock angle softened the ride a bit too.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. elgato gordo

    elgato gordo KTMRFS

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    516
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    ABQ, NM
    Cool idea.:lurk
    #2
  3. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
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    5,864
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    I'm digging it
    #3
  4. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    SOUTHEAST TEXAS
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Next comes a little routine housekeeping: I won a windshield on ebay, I restored the factory pipes and tail section, scored tags-on Dunlop D616 rubber from a fellow inmate and decided to try the new 11,000# zzz chain by EK. Now to get rid of the #2 pine puck.

    I started with a donor sidestand that appeared to be long enough. Heat (acetylene) is a wonderful thing.

    [​IMG]

    I drilled holes in the back of the stand and in a washer to accommodate the Bike's rotary safety switch.

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, I welded tabs to the stand and cut a piece of aluminum in an oval to make a permanent puck.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Thanks. I studied your builds too - EXCELLENT work! :clap

    This 919 is also my daily commuter so I'm trying to do the transformation with minimal down time.
    #5
  6. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
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    Of course, the stock 26"wide x 2" rise bars had to go in favor of 31" x 4" aluminum.
    [​IMG]

    I was ready to pull the trigger on custom motionpro.com cables but I think I might be able to live with the rerouted and stretched to the absolute limit factory units. We'll see.
    #6
  7. dentvet

    dentvet Long timer

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    1,375
    Location:
    hunt country virginia
    Hey i might try the fork extender option. Are you going for a bigger wheel up front or did you just want ground clearance?
    #7
  8. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
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    So far the spacers (sockets) under the cartridges are working great. I did have to do longer brake lines. I wouldn't take the idea more than a couple of inches though. Like many of these conversions, this one was slated to get a beefy dirt bike front end and a 19" wheel if for no other reason than to give more tire choices. My plans for this machine are at most 20% established dirt roads and 80% touring but it won't see any dirt work until after I fab the crash bars to protect the tank and side covers. The fact that Conti will soon be offering the TKC80 in a 120x70x17 front and 180x55x17 rear will help too. Time will tell whether the 17" wheel will be adequate for my purpose.
    #8
  9. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    650
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    Here's a shot of the repositioned Tusk Raptor bars after I rigged the Moose Racing hand guards and Heat-Trollers. The 919's grips are a bit short so I left some room on the ends and made bar-end weights out of simple 7/8" shaft collars.
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    SOUTHEAST TEXAS
    I finally got the chance to throw the switch on the old stick welder - and that's usually a sign of a pretty good day. The plan is to adapt my old homemade Seahorse case rig to the 919.
    I got off to a pretty good start.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Fast forward one week:
    Back to work on the side case install. I'm trying desperately to make this rig job of a rig job not look like a rig job.
    The only place to hang a bracket on the 919 is the muffler mounts inside the tail plastic. Here's what I came up with.
    [​IMG]

    This made replacing the tail section a little tricky.
    [​IMG]

    I needed to make new rear top case supports but found myself short on material. What to do? Oh, this'll work. :wink:
    [​IMG]

    Perfect.
    [​IMG]

    ADV stickers are . . . . .O N . . . T H E . . . B I K E !

    [​IMG]

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    #10
  11. TerraRoot

    TerraRoot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    i'd be damn proud of that piece of engineering, and the welding, and the metal reclamation :rofl
    #11
  12. Johnny5jz

    Johnny5jz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Has the added height in suspension affected the handling characteristics of the bike at all?
    #12
  13. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    Changing the rear shock angle slightly softened the ride a bit - a good thing. I have yet to test it two-up or fully loaded but there's still plenty of preload available for that. I may have actually picked up 1/2" of travel up front - even after backing way off on preload and rebound adjustments. I bought the bike largely for its lightweight feel and nimble manners - all still there. Fun meter still pegged. :lol3 If anything, the bike might get a tiny bit twitchy over 85mph which is a tradeoff I can live with. I'll play with the adjustments some more before my next road trip.
    #13
  14. Johnny5jz

    Johnny5jz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Minneapolis

    I am planning to build a dual sport with an old honda CB450 twin using CR 250 forks and a custom monoshock swingarm. I am a little worried about the geometry and how it will handle. I am glad to see your changes didn't affect handling too much. That makes me a little more confident.
    #14
  15. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
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    Progress is slow. Work gets in the way. Some or all of the major mods I have slated for this bike might have to wait until after the big trip next month. But those protruding top case bracket bolt heads had to go - especially before I throw a dry bag across the pillion. The only flat head cap screws I could find were barely long enough and didn't quite work. So here I go head long into the man cave short on time with limited tools. I ground about 1/4" off the spacers that go between the grab bar and the top case mounting bracket and then drilled into said bracket to countersink the bolt heads.
    [​IMG]

    Now the new bolts will be long enough but the heads are still too big. Not for long . . . .
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Voila! Close enough for rock 'n roll.
    [​IMG]

    As always, I filed this rig job under "Desperation is the Mother of Invention."
    #15
  16. Jigo

    Jigo Westbound

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Windy City
    Nice! May I know where you bought those windshields? Thanks in advance.
    #16
  17. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    SOUTHEAST TEXAS
    Sure thing. The screen is a National Cycle Street Shield I picked up used on ebay. It's good quality and blocks the wind alright but I wouldn't go out of my way to get a new one.

    The hand guards are Moose Racing. The aluminum and plastic pieces must be ordered separately.

    http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/2/9/192/4826/ITEM/Moose-Racing-Aluminum-Handguards.aspx

    http://www.motorcycle-superstore.co...Standard-Competition-Handguard-Protector.aspx
    #17
  18. amk

    amk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    507
    Have you tried it off road yet? To what extend? How did it work?
    What is the suspension movement now, and what is the ground clearance?
    #18
  19. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    SOUTHEAST TEXAS
    I rode dirt bikes in my teens but don't have any recent dirt experience so I'm waiting until after I get the crash bars / skid plate built to see what level of dirt work I want to put her through. I took her up and down a wet grassy embankment and the D616's did not inspire confidence. I'm thinking maybe Tourance on different wheels. Work gets in the way and now I'm gearing up for a 4,000 mile road trip. I'll report on off road action if I see any.

    My suspension mods raised the ride height about 1.5" and a picked up about 3/4" of travel. This 919 is by far the most nimble "street bike" I've ever ridden. The progress is slow but I'm having a blast.
    #19
  20. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    So Cal
    I owned a 919 for about 20,000 miles or so, bitchin bike.
    Love your build and I thought I'd contribute a bit of knowledge.
    I had mine set up for commuting and the occasional canyon ride so I wanted better suspension than the stock, non adjustable units. I found a Racetech'ed CBR 600 F3 shock which was a bolt on and is 10mm longer than the stock one. It's also fully adjustable and comes with a remote reservoir that fits perfectly where the so called stock tool kit used to live. CBR600F4 forks slide right in as well and are compression, rebound and preload adustable.

    I'm looking forward to see where this will go.
    #20