CRF 450X rally/adventure build (Pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Small bore adv, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
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    73
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hello all,
    I am working on converting my 05 CRF 450X into a lightweight adventure bike.
    stock.jpg
    I should start off by saying that I live in Michigan and enjoy riding long distance (300-1000+) mile rides across the lp, u.p, and Ontario ! (pic is from Searchmont Ontario).

    Until now I have ventured on my 09 Wr 250F.. yes.. 14-42 gearing, 3.5 gallon tank and the open road! so i am no stranger to riding small bore dirt bikes long distance. For me, a crf 450x with the proper adventure setup is the ideal bike.

    Now i am definitely looking to build a "function over form" kind of adventure bike, i.e big fairing and big tanks. (which in my mind is beautiful) however, the main goal is to have a billy goat adventure bike.

    Here are some pictures i gathered before starting the bike, these really captured the mood of the build i was aiming for..
    adv ref hussa.jpg
    450 dakar 2.jpg
    pic ref 450 africa.jpg

    First things first, got to have some protection (get your mind out of the gutter) im talking about a skidplate! One thing you should know about me, im not one to buy things i can make! custom skidplate it is. Tons and tons of pictures to share, not sure how to upload more than 4.. did i mention that this is my first post??
    #1
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  2. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    So my understanding is that I can only use 4 pictures per post? hopefully it will be okay if I just string replies together to post pictures?

    Anyways, skidplate.jpg
    My method for making a custom aluminum skid-plate, (Amazon boxes will be the foundation to this entire build),..
    1: just get a rough idea what i want, this was one of 3 designs or "mockups"
    2: pick one and refine it
    3: transfer to aluminum
    skid 2.jpg
    Annndddd done, I will add some "cool holes" later, for now this will do as a blank to get the idea.
    Main things I kept in mind when designing this was
    1: full coverage underneath
    2: water-pump protection
    3: allow room to shift and apply brake without interference

    skid 3.jpg

    burning through the 4 picture limit again ! oh well.

    Skidplate is done, minus the details.

    Next it want to design a full on, rally style, navigation tower and fairing. For me, this is the most critical area for both looks and functionality.
    Normally rally bikes have a navigation tower to hold roadbooks, trip readers, repeaters, and headings, all of which i will not have. My plan is to keep the rally bike look, but to have an adventure bike functionality i.e gps, tac setup / gauge cluster, and very bright lights! as well as usb charging and extra storage space etc etc. Also i didnt want to weld a block to the head tube ( on rally bikes a block is usually welded to the head tube to attach a navigation tower), however this is a little extreme for my taste. So i decided to build a setup that would bolt to the head-tube instead. With this in mind I started to rough out a design for the fairing!

    fair 1.jpg
    Okay okay i know.. not too pretty to look at, but this was just the first mockup! i made 6! thanks to Amazon i was able to rough out a few designs and look for someithing that caught my eye. Getting the proportions right, and thinking about the fairing in free space was way harder than i thought it would be, lots and lots of head scratching. Eventually I just curved a big piece of poster board to represent the windscreen, this allowed me to have some idea where i needed to be with the fairing. Once i had some sides i worried more about what the actual windscreen would look like.
    In this first picture i tried to use the oem 450x headlight, but quickly abandoned that idea lol.
    #2
  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Nicely done!
    #3
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  4. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    mock 2.jpg
    Eventually i got the design close, from there i used poster board to refine the shape.
    mock 3.jpg moch 4.jpg mock 5.jpg
    Final product, very happy with the look. Now before i make the fairing i need to start on the navi tower to ensure the two will clear each other.
    #4
  5. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    Thanks! I must be doing this right if you can see it haha
    #5
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  6. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    Ok so remember how I didnt want to weld to the head tube? well this is what i came up with.. tower 3.jpg
    I decided to drill and tap 4 holes into the frame, two on the face of the head tube and two on the sides (not in pic)
    Fun fact, the steering stem has a gap around it in the head tube, so no harm done!

    tower 3.jpg tower 2.jpg

    Now what to build the tower off of??
    tower 4.jpg tower 6.jpg
    This will do! now i can build my tower off of this base plate that is mounted to the frame. (note that there are two bolts not pictured, the bracket has a total of 4 bolts and is very strong)
    #6
  7. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    One thing i would like the mention (just because it bothers me) as you can see this 450x is not in tip top shape, dirty, broken levers, worn tires. I bought this bike with the intention of building it to be what i wanted, it is in fact a low hour bike and a solid foundation. However it will require lots of tlc and little parts, i plan to get it clean as new again (im really anal about my bikes btw) I hope to have it in the same condition as my WR, shown below (10 years old and 200 hours of use in the 2 1/2 years i have owned it and never turned a wrench on it!)
    So don't worry too much about the condition of the bike right now, eventually i would like to take it to the frame and get it vapor blasted etc etc
    wr.jpg
    #7
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  8. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    OK! back to the build!
    so the tower needs to attach to the base plate i just made..
    tower7.jpg
    Boom! done! .. if only it was that fast..

    Anyways this is what i came up with, two plates that bold onto the main base plate. From here the main tower will bolt up and tada! i will have a navi tower! all for about $15 in aluminum that i found at the local scrap metal dealer.

    tower 8.jpg

    Always remember to not get discouraged with the first template! i learned that quickly with this project, just keep refining.

    tower 9.jpg
    Big shoutout to my sponsor Amazon for providing me with all these boxes, like i said, they are foundation of this whole thing! These are my scrap templates for the navi tower!
    tower final.jpg

    But keep going and eventually you will figure all this crap out. Finally i setteled on a tower design (Note : does not have cool holes yet) some hacks that might help you design stuff like this..
    1: Amazon boxes - if you dont buy a lot on Amazon you better start
    2: push pins help hold everything together and are easy to adjust !
    3: if you cant use push pins some cheap tape works good too.
    4: straight edge is a must! as well as a 90
    5: glue gun works good too for strong designs that need to hold weight
    A lot of times i will start with cardboard and switch to poster board or template material as i get closer to the final design.
    #8
  9. oneilldom

    oneilldom n00b

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    Looks cool, looking forward to the rest of this.
    #9
    Small bore adv likes this.
  10. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    that plate looks very close to the filter cover, looks like quite a project, was going to say .perfect fairings has quite a selection at very good prices.
    #10
    Small bore adv likes this.
  11. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    tower temp.jpg
    quick test fit before i start making it out of aluminum.

    Anddd done!

    tower al.jpg

    tower al 3.jpg

    template back on to check the fit.
    temp al 2.jpg
    time to start filling the tower up, lights, wire harness etc
    #11
  12. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    light 3.jpg


    Picked up some super bright led pod lights, i will stack two high. The lower pod will always be on as a running light, the second will turn on when the high beam is activated.
    light 1.jpg light 4.jpg

    In case you were wondering, the blue paint will defiantly not be staying lol. everything will get painted flat black when i am done.
    #12
  13. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Reaver made me do it...

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    A word of caution regarding those lights. They are not DOT certified headlights. They WILL dazzle or even blind oncoming drivers. If that happens to be a LEO or other road safety tax collector, you will be looking at a ticket and towing bill at a minimum. Ticket, towing, impound, inspection, and possibly worse, if the enforcer doesn’t like your attitude.

    There are plenty of DOT certified lights to choose from that are proper headlights. No reason not to use them.
    #13
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  14. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    Yes i did think about that, like you said they are not MDOT approved. However i have adjusted the lower light to aim sligthly down, when i step back and looked at it it is not blinding at all. only when the beam is pointing eye level and directly straight does it become dangrous. I have to have the bike inspected at the local police station, however last time i did this i got approved without DOT tires, no high beam, and no mirror, so im am doubfull they will catch a non MDOT light. Still i will make sure it is not a danger to others on the road, and if it is too bright i will swap the lower light. Also this bike will be off main roads the vast majority of the time and even less so at night.
    #14
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  15. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    yes the Skidplate will have to be dropped to change the oil, not only because of the filter cover, but also the drain plug is under the case, so no getting around it. Personally im not a fan of perfect fairings, if anything i would have gone with a rebbel kit which blows my student budget out of the water lol.
    #15
  16. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    lex 1.jpg
    Time to make a windscreen, there are several methods to do this. The easy way is to get a piece of lexan and use a little heat to get the desired shape, takes a little practice but its not bad. end result is a perfectly clear and super strong windscreen for about $20

    lex 2.jpg


    Fits good! any small adjustments can be made with a little heat and some force.

    lex 4.jpg


    I will get the edges sanded nicely and get it mounted to the tower. It is worth noting that the bend in the center does distort light ever so slighly, after checking with the headlights there is no major diffraction so we are good, and the distortion of view is not noticeable to the rider.


    lex 5.jpg
    Modifying the fairing to fit perfectly to the windscreen, and setting the angle i want (i.e a more vertical windscreen to clear everything)
    #16
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  17. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    wire 1.jpg

    Lots and lots and lots of wiring !

    I started with a Trail Tech lighting kit, the harness had to be disassembled and completely redone to fit a digital display and eliminate unnecessary wires. Also i soldered all of the connections that Trail Tech crimped together. This is a very cheap and nu-reliable way (i have fixed this issue on other bikes)

    wire2.jpg

    I know it looks like a rat's nest in the picture, but i promise it will be neat and organized when its done! Hardest part of the build so far is getting everything to swing with the bars and clear the forks. The wire harness running between the fork and the navi tower is a tight fit, but all the wires fit well and dont get stretched at full lock.
    #17
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  18. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    gps1.jpg

    Also made this GPS bar mount, works good, mounts rock solid.
    #18
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  19. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Looking good! :thumbup
    #19
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  20. Small bore adv

    Small bore adv Adventurer

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    fair 2.jpg
    Got the fairing pieces made out of some plastic, aluminum reinforced on the back. This will do as a first go at a fairing, later i would like to make one out of fiberglass but for now this is ok.

    fair 3.jpg

    Little bit of flat black viynl makes it look a little less junky lol. Again this is just a rough first go, everything will get refined in time. The rivets on the side are holding the aluminum backing.

    fair 4.jpg
    #20