The ultimate adventure scooter - my idea

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by twistedkeys, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. twistedkeys

    twistedkeys Utahrd

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    I've been thinking and playing around with some ideas lately. We all agree scooters are the way to go, simple, easy to ride, not beastly by any means, yet still gives you everything a motorcycle has.

    The main problem I see with scooters is that there are few (and I mean the Ruckus and Zuma alone) "dual sport" scooters out there.

    What if I took a Honda Reflex (theoretically speaking), made the general body size and shape slimmer, slapped some tall off-road suspension increasing the height a few inches, gave it some knobbies, changed the CVT so it's much like the hi/lo CVTs on side by sides, gave it a general performance upgrade, louder exhaust, moved the pipe over out from the bottom, high-up front fender, etc.


    Why not just buy a GS650? In addition to ease of use, comfort, and rideablilty that scooters inherently have. Scooters are also really really reliable, mainly in the engine and drivetrain areas.


    What do you think? Who wouldn't want one?

    I'm planning a trip to California (from Utah) on a Honda Elite, so I'm thinking of an ideal bike to take.


    My one question is, is it possible to detach the rear wheel and engine somehow? Obviously if you're going over some pretty gnarley terrain you don't want your motor doing the same thing your tire is. Would it be possible to have the belt like the chain on a motorcycle? Opened up? Without that crankcase? Or am I just stupid?
    #1
  2. twistedkeys

    twistedkeys Utahrd

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    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=673914

    Well (^^^), doesn't look like I'm the first one to think of this...

    Either way.. I hate the fact that they based this models sales off the all around stupid DN-01. That was pure common sense that the normal scotterist isn't gonna buy one because it's a motorcycle, and the normal cruiser rider isn't going to buy one either because it's NOT A DAMN CRUISER!!! :baldy:baldy:baldy

    Okay! Got my cool back.... But you can see the problem. The market for a scooter/adventurer is a much different market for a cruiser/scooter model. (does that sound wrong? sorry it's 1am....)
    #2
  3. Jacl-Kampuchea

    Jacl-Kampuchea Booze Merchant

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    I imagine an old Honda CT110 would fit that bill nicely.
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  4. twistedkeys

    twistedkeys Utahrd

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    Ahh yes the CTs, great bikes, Honda really hit the nail on the head with that one. Even my own father had one, talks about how he used to carry fence posts and chain link rolls up hills while his brothers pounded them in, all on the back of his 90. And he hates motorcycles!

    The obvious problem with that bike is the age, the size, and the motor (and styling?). To say the least, if they decided to use that as a starting point for a new model, it would need a major makeover.
    #4
  5. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

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    I think it's a matter of choosing a scooter power plant you like that has the right wheel size/capacity and mate that to a frame you would want to use. I think something like an 80/100cc motorcross frame would be nice as far as wheel size matching the size of the bike. You could use stock tank for fuel and the unused engine cradle as storage space.

    If you want adventure bike or off road prowess you need a riding position suited for it and the laid back seating position of almost every scooter is not off road friendly.
    #5
  6. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

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    This!

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bOzEXlpQQoQ" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>
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  7. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    There are lots of problems with making a dual sport scooter. Smallish wheels, unsprung weight of the engine/transmission, CVT, ground clearance, etc.. No scooter is going to be anywhere near as good off road as a chain drive motorcycle. My solution is a CT90 with a larger engine.
    #7
  8. Beltway

    Beltway Adventurer

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    I agree with the earlier posts re: unsprung weight and the body position issue. The comfort afforded by the laid-back riding posture on the street would make it horrible on rough off-road terrain.

    How bout a Madass with a Lifan 125/auto tranny? Throw on a skidplate and go get dirty.

    Of course at that point you may as well get a nice little dirtbike/dualsport, install a Rekluse auto clutch, and have a better suspension.

    Sounds like fun any way you go. Let us know what you come up with.
    #8
  9. Woodsrat

    Woodsrat Gone ridin'

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    I have a bike going together similar to hugemoth's Frankenstein CT-90. The inspiration for it came from when I rode a Lifan 125 semi-auto powered pit bike on a 450+ mile dual-sport ride (mostly on paved, gravel and dirt roads). The motor performed perfectly and proved to be all I needed for the ride and while my BBR framed "XR-50" handled well enough for what it was the 10" wheels on gravel roads are, as inmate hiljak put it after he rode it, "like sitting on a basketball--that's sitting on a basketball."

    My goals for my "ultralight adventure bike" are:

    --sub 200 lb. weight
    --larger wheels than the 50's 10" units (I'm using a 19" XR-100 front wheel with a stock 17" CT-90 rear although the front may end up getting respoked to a 17" so I only have to carry one inner tube)
    --minimalist lighting--maybe even an LED battery powered bicycle tail light--to go along with a headlight run off the engine
    --nothing on the bike that doesn't make it go forward save for maybe a bicycle air pump and maybe a mount for a Rotopax as needed.

    I don't see any reason why an "underboned" frame bike/scooter can't be used off-road but from my experience larger wheels than the usual 10/12" units usually found on scooters would be a big advantage.

    A big disadvantage is the large amount of unsprung weight overworking the rear suspension on scoots where the motor moves up and down with the rear wheel. That and the small wheels are the two biggest things working against scooters for off-road use.
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  10. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

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    Somehow the Zuma series pulls off dirty work with it's swingarm powertrain. I think you could get away with 10" wheels like a Zuma as well. Little balloon style off road tires to help soften the blows. Can't be narrow like the above stated crf50 though.
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  11. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    I predict that Ultralight Adventure Bike (UAB) will be a new and popular class of motorcycle within a few years. A sub 200 lb bike with a short wheel base and good ground clearance can often go places where no other bike dare venture.

    #11
  12. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

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    Rokon Trailbreaker, Yamaha TW200!
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  13. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    The others pretty much done said it.

    Even if you did the work you meantion, by that time you could by a 250-650 Dual Sport and have much money left over.

    I kind of say every bike is really best suited to its type and then some, some as in not a whole nother type.

    Thats like trying to make a Harley Road King compete with a R6 in handling. Gonna take WAY more than anyone would even consider doing. I mean yes with a proper rider vs a noob a Road King will possibly win, but given equal riders handling wise it would not be worth it, better off just buy even an XR 1200 and go from there. It may be possible, but nobody don't have no time to do it.

    I mean splitting the engine from the rear wheel would be a HUGE deal, yea it COULD be done but just how much time and money you willing to sacrifice? That engine was not designed this way, how you do tranny? It would be a costly wasteful investment.

    I say the closest you can git is the Yamaha Zuma 125, but it still ain't gonna compete with even a TW 200 off road given equal riders.

    I know your intention, but I just think its not worth the trouble and money. The tars are to small for serious trails, and yea the position ain't favorable. If I were you I'd buy a Dually. I know you want automatic, but there ain't no such thing as no scooter type engine GY6 arrangement without no split case, now there is SOME CVT dirt bikes but they were crappy and CVT not no good offroad cause you need the gears for the control on downhills and such and just better overall control.

    Not trying to put your idea down, we all would think something like what you describe would be neat, but I ain't never seed one. It would really have to be designed from the factory. But after that amount of enginnering, it would hardly be a scooter no more. I would buy a CT and drop a Pitster Pro 155 4-speed in it with mods and you could possibly, with correct gearing see 80+ MPH! And a shit load of power with that little bike!
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  14. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    The Rokon is not street legal and max speed is something like 35 mph. Add to that no suspension and that really limits is usefulness. The TW200 is a great bike but closer to 300 lbs. Hardly a UAB.

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  15. S/W

    S/W Been here awhile

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  16. Woodsrat

    Woodsrat Gone ridin'

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    Back to the idea of modifying your Reflex for off-road use if you possess infinite self-control and don't go too crazy during your off-road adventures I'd recommend the following:

    Suspension: If your budget can afford it spend it on improved shocks with enough spring and dampening to carry you and your load over the kind of terrain you expect to experience without it becoming a Bounce-O-Matic. I've never ridden a Reflex but if they're like the other big scooters I've been on they're probably pretty soft in the suspension dept. Same goes for the front suspension which could be inexpensively modified with preload spacers and heavier oil.

    "Bombproofing": Make the bottom of the scooter as durable as possible. Since it sits low simple "bash plates" over vulnerable areas might be the difference between riding and walking out of a remote area. You might consider removing some or all of the vulnerable bodywork to keep it from getting knackered up.

    Tires: This is controversial and usually leads to verbal fistfights but unless you run something like a really aggressive on-off road or knobby tire changing to the so-called 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10 "dual-sport" tires are just street tires in drag and a total waste of money. They perform no better than regular street tires even if you could find some to fit on the Reflex. Running knobbies would kill your street performance and would require you to run tubes. I'd just plan to slightly lower your tire pressures and maybe run the tallest profile tires you could find to help save your rims from getting dented.

    Gas: Make sure you've got enough to go between stations. There aren't many anymore and you'd better be ready to travel upwards to 200 miles or more between fill-ups. A Rotopax mounted in the middle of the scooter somewhere might be the difference between walking and riding.

    Get Yourself Prepped: Time spent on the stair step machine and in the weight room will pay huge dividends when you have to push or lift the scooter through wherever you're going. Unless you ride only on the most gentle groomed dirt roads (where you could ride the bike in stock condition without breaking a sweat) eventually you're going to either need to push, pick up or lift the scooter over something. Careful planning of your route will also save you from getting in over your head in areas where the Reflex shouldn't be, anyway.

    The bottom line is that you can adventure on virtually anything. Be realistic about where your machine will go, use a little common sense and go have fun. There's no sense in trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear when it comes to setting up your scooter for off-road use. What you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your machine will be of huge value to anyone else contemplating the same thing and I'm sure everyone here would be very interested in your experiences.
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  17. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    No matter what you do to the Reflex it's going to be painfully inadequate off road. How about this for an adventure scooter: Get a CT90/110 and put on some leg shields from a Cub. Instant scooter that will go anywhere. Put a bigger engine in if you need more power.

    #17
  18. twistedkeys

    twistedkeys Utahrd

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    Oddly enough I sat on a Reflex a few weeks ago and then a KLR. Sure the Honda was more road oriented, but it was generally the same configuration (ergonomic-wise).

    And keep in mind I'm speaking theoretically, I don't plan on carrying out this project. If anything, I would hope a manufacturer would get a clue.
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  19. twistedkeys

    twistedkeys Utahrd

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    Okay sorry, I just read the most of the replies. I guess I didn't write it clearly enough or left something out. But what I meant is to come up with a concept of a design that a manufacturer (such as Honda) could take and create a new motorcycle, and new motorcycle class.

    I have no intention whatsoever to build anything like that myself, as much as I'd like to.
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  20. Terdwilicker

    Terdwilicker Adventurer

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    I think, perhaps, what we're really thinking of here is the simplicity of a scooter (no gears to shift) with the utility of the dual sport. The answer is either automatic transmission on a dual sport, a really light weight one, or else learning to shift really well with a light dual sport, like the Yamaha XT or WR model 250ccs. Those are expensive machines, unfortunately, and very tall, but they're well known and capable Dual Sport bikes. I suppose the alternative is to push the FedGov to legalize 2-stroke on the roads which would allow the Yamaha 125cc 2-strokes so popular and bulletproof in central and south America for use on USA's roads. That's an ultralight adventure bike, after all. They go anywhere and weigh very little. I also agree that once you get offroad, 10" wheels aren't going to cut it, and the standard 17-19" are far better, both for ability and tire choices. A really clever option would be legalize all 2-strokes on USA's roads, which opens the doors to offroad bikes (and their varied displacements) to suit conditions. Just gotta learn to shift so its automatic in the mind rather than suffer the consequences of an automatic in offroad conditions, which apparently means getting stuck a lot.
    #20