Africa Twin Rally-ish Build

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by seancampbell, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    OK, here we go....

    I've had my 2016 Africa Twin for a few years now and love it....BUT there are a couple of things that bug me.

    1. The seating position. Even with the standard seat in the high position it always felt "sit IN" rather than "sit ON" like a propper dirt bike. To this end I purchased a Touratech rally seat kit which comprised of new taller foam and cover.

    The Touratech seat was better but still not right for me. The angle was not flat and tilted my hips forward which I didn't like. I decided to make it better by adding more foam for height and to make it flatter. This was a big improvement and I have used this for the last 2 years.

    Screenshot_2019-10-17-16-29-36.png

    This was the highest I could go with the Touratech seat cover. While it fixed most of my complaints and was comfortable, it was wide and I couldn't move anymore forward due to the tank.
    #1
  2. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    2. The fuel tank. The tank on the AT is wide and really spreads out my legs when riding with knee guards. (Yes, I use this bike as a dirt bike doing big skids and jumps)

    As I mentioned above, I can't sit as far forward as I wish which makes it hard to weight the front wheel when I come into a corner fast and would appreciate as much front tyre grip as I can get. Also, with the bulbous tank anytime I stick my leg out to balance and weight the front end (as i do on regular dirt bikes in a turn), my leg is pushed out much further than I like.

    Screenshot_2017-04-24-15-13-44 (1).png
    Gratuitous photo of me and how I like to ride my Africa Twin.
    #2
  3. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    All of which brings us to the here and now. I am setting about to fix these issues and in the process make my AT into something a little different to all the others and closer to my dream bike.... that is the Rally-ish bit.

    The idea is to remove all the crap I don't want and retain the stuff that I do want, then rebuild it the way that I want. I want to have it mechanically and electronically the same, so that it keeps it's reliability and ease of maintaining it. Only concession is that I will change the headlights.

    20191012_122219.jpg

    Step 1: Remove this stuff.
    #3
  4. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191012_124434.jpg

    Blank canvas
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  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Let's do this.

    :lurk
    #5
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  6. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    I've been researching and getting ideas for about a year. I purchased a second hand fuel tank from a wreckers that only has a very slight ding. I'll be cutting up this tank to build a new fuel tank.

    I've also been buying bits and pieces in the last few weeks and the mail man has made a few deliveries already.

    I toyed with the idea of buying another frame and cutting off the subframe so that I could attach a CRF450 subframe and then run a CRF450 rear rally tank but I have been unable to find a frame at a cheap enough price. I'm not that brave as to cut up my own frame.... too much.

    For those of you wondering what skills and budget I have, the answer is very little of either. I've done a project build or two in the past but they are always "learning" experiences. This one will be no different. Don't expect CNC'ed parts, lazer cut dohickies or CAD designed anything. It's all in my head and hopefully I can pull it out and have something that I will enjoy riding and be proud of.

    BMW side email (1).JPG

    My bike project from a few years ago.
    #6
  7. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    My inspiration on design comes from the HRC Dakar rally bikes. To try and replicate a similar look I want a clear rally screen and rally-ish fairing. When I looked at the CRF250 Rally I noticed that their fairing is similar and available at very cheap pricing direct from Thailand where it's probably made.

    $35 dollars later I had both left and right fairing sides delivered to my door. God only knows what Honda Australia would of charged me for these.

    I was keen to see if the would be anywhere near fitting and what they would look like on my big, fat AT.

    20191013_085937.jpg

    I also repurposed the original screen into my rally screen. This was just a quick mock up to get an idea... but I think I like it.
    #7
  8. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191013_085921.jpg

    This is the side view.
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  9. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Takes a brave man to take apart a perfectly good bike and make it what he sees.

    Yes, Let's do this!
    #9
  10. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191019_124239.jpg

    I pulled the dash out of the front assembly to see what my rally tower idea would look like in real life.

    I mocked up a cardboard rally tower template and then transferred that to some aluminum composite panel that I have plenty of hanging around. With the two tower panels bolted in I was able to see in real life what was in my mind. Also, as this was just a rough mockup I was able to take some measurements and test things like steering lock with the tower and where to run wiring harnesses etc.

    Some LED lights turned up in the mail and as I woke up before sunrise I decided to see how they looked in the dark. Answer: Freaking BRIGHT. The AT has great factory lighting and I want to make sure that I don't go backwards in that department.

    This mockup also gives me proof of concept that my vision will look good (to me) and also stands as the starting point for the rebuild. I will start at the front and work my way back making everything match and "flow"
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  11. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191020_095822.jpg

    The front will look something like this.

    Small daytime running light for low beam, throws a good close spread without pushing too far down the road or dazzling other drivers.

    And the big LED for high beam. Bright and good for around 300m.
    #11
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  12. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191020_142012.jpg

    Think something like this but with the tank thinner.
    #12
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  13. sidetrack one

    sidetrack one Chief Tiddler Supporter

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    Needs under seat exhaust :D
    Love chopping up a perfectly good machine to make it "yours"!
    Go hard man!:clap
    IMG_2508 (Large).jpg
    #13
  14. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191023_120144.jpg

    A bit of shed time today mocking up the rear rally tanks design. Don't want to make them too big but would like to get 4-5L out of each side.
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  15. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191023_155419.jpg

    Also started marking out where the main tank is going to get cut and trimmed down.
    #15
  16. Junya

    Junya Adventurer

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    :lurk
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  17. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191026_190208.jpg
    Second mockup of the front tower using some HDPE, or as my wife calls it "Do you know where the breadboard went?"

    I've used HDPE before for screen mounts and it worked well. Here I've stiffened it up by packing some more HDPE in between the two sheets and it's strong and stiff enough but doesn't give me room to run the wiring in between.

    I used this mock up to work out the lighting positions and dash height.
    #17
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  18. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191026_190216.jpg
    I've also changed the low beam light to a larger LED for a better light and also a more balanced look between the two lights.

    If you look closely you can see the wiring loom hanging from the dash, this is what I need to run (hide) between the tower sides.
    #18
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  19. seancampbell

    seancampbell Long timer

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    20191026_135319.jpg

    This is what the light will look like through the screen.
    #19
  20. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    #20
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