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CRF500L V2.0

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by michaelkozera, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    calgary
    Here we go again.........

    So my crf500L has just crossed over 260,000km, its time for a complete tear down of the bike, and a full rebuild.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/crf500l-full-build-thread.1077236/

    [​IMG]

    now that i have a 2018 crf1000L ATAS 6mt, i find that i dont really go long distances on the crf500L anymore, as thats what my crf1000L is for. im finding i go max ~300km on my crf500l so its time for a change up. both bikes are nearly identical in terms of ergonomics, and style, but with obvious weight differences and capabilities.

    I also have built my crf1000L as a long distance tourer, seen here:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/2018-africa-twin-atas-adventure-build.1337646/


    so i guess its time to re-evaluate what i want from my perfect 50/50 unicorn machine. i would say my first build of the crf500l was a true 50/50 unicorn as most would agree, but built more towards being road focused, EI: wind screen , lights, comfort, fuel economy, etc,etc. for version 2.0 i want that perfect 50/50 unicorn bike again but off-road focused. i figured having two similar bikes, one touring, one off road, but both road legal was the best course for my stable to take.


    version 2.0 goals:
    1 -300lb's wet, full take of gas!
    2 -12" of ground clearance.
    3 -12" of suspension travel.
    4 -massive skid plate/integrated engine protection.
    5 -drop it day and night, hundred times and still drives , (KLR mentality haha)



    1 -300lb's wet, full take of gas:
    this will be by far the most difficult challenge. as right now my bike sits at 344.4lb's wet, (355lb's actually if you count the rear rack and steel sprockets/on-road wheels/tires)
    i think the most weight to save is in the front lights and tower, that entire tower subframe (aluminum) and the tower itself, plus the lights weighs a good 25lb's if not more. 2nd most weight to save is the skid plate and lower/front subframe. both made of steel at the moment, i plan on making both out of aluminum. 3rd most weight savings is the exhaust, currently very large and made of thick tube steel. and 4rth general weight reduction, EI rear rack, steel screws/fasteners, large seat, perhaps a smaller fuel tank, extra plastic bits.


    2 -12" of ground clearance.
    not much to say here, currently the bikes sitting right around 12" so gotta cut the oil pan so i can lower the seat height abit.

    3 -12" of suspension travel.
    already has 12" due to previous modification, so this one done basically.

    4 -massive skid plate/integrated engine protection.
    ive put a few cracks in the side engine case and had to JB weld it, im sick and tired of having to worry about side impacts and radiator/ engine case damage. so my plan is to make a skid plate out of aluminum with varied thickness. obviously the front and bottom will have the thickest, while the sides will be thin, but side drops dont need much protection, just enough to prevent engine case damage.

    5 -drop it day and night, hundred times and still drives , (KLR mentality haha)
    kinda ties into the above, but basically i want the bike to be a dooms day bike, just like it was when i first got the crf250L way back.



    as with all my builds, i welcome ur input! i welcome ur criticism! and as always, please enjoy!


    i will be contentiously adding to this first post as the build progresses.









    removal of old steel subframe and skidplate and various other things:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    heres what about 150,000km's of rust looks like haha:

    [​IMG]


    not much rust on the subframe and skid plate:
    [​IMG]

    time to cut down the oil pan
    [​IMG]

    shouldn't reduce oil capacity to much from the already reduced oil capacity:
    [​IMG]

    all welded up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    painted with some nice asphalt paint:
    [​IMG]


    cut down the oil pick up for clearance:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    old muffler vs the new one im putting in:
    [​IMG]


    all tacked up ready for welding:

    this front section is now made of 100% stainlesssteel.
    [​IMG]



    ended up reusing the old dual pipe splitter, rusted sure, but it will do.

    [​IMG]

    new mufflers weigh ~800g lighter, each. that plus the thinner stainless steel pipe metal, equates to about 1.5kg (3.3lb) in weight reduction.


    [​IMG]


    had an issue with the oil pan, turns out when i welded it it warped and its no longer flat.

    so i had to get creative. using my CNC would work , however thats lot of work and a high chance of damage/failure.

    so plan B:


    wet sand paper on glass, since glass is very smooth/flat, i was able to get a perfectly flat and smooth mating surface.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    took about 2 hrs of sanding, about 2mm of material.



    [​IMG]


    so smooth.

    [​IMG]






    now onto the subframe and skid plate:

    made the subframe removable

    [​IMG]

    and welded the skidplate frame/cage to the subframe.

    both the skid plate frame and the subframe add to each others strength. once this get all welded up i will be mounting the aluminum skid plate to this subframe/skidplate cage.

    the mounting screws and bolts are just temporary for now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    the aluminum skid plate will also wrap around the steel tube to add additional strength. and its 1/3 the weight of the old subframe!

    and as a bonus, this new setup give me an additional 1/2" of clearance. i did a fast measurement and got roughly 12" of ground clearance now.

    got the exhaust finalized. sound meaner then it did before for sure, abit louder too. but necessary for the weight savings. still not obnoxious IMO:





    getting the skid plate all together:

    this is the main plate, 7mm thick 6061, made to take the main hits, 6 screws to mount it on, and its removable so you dont have to take the whole front sub frame off to do oil/filter change.

    [​IMG]

    this outer aluminum sheets are 3mm thick.

    [​IMG]

    put some vent holes and slits for heat dissipation:
    [​IMG]

    now thats one mean skid plate:
    [​IMG]


    and best part,

    old skidplate/subframe weighed in at 6380g (~14lb's)

    new skidplate/subframe weighs just 3850g (8.5lb's) and impressive 5.5lbs lighter!


    got the subframe painted, and the skid plate. went with asphalt paint, gave it a nice bronze look.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


    i took the time to rebuild both front and rear brakes, rebuilt the cylinder, new fluid, greased the rear brake lever mount, etc etc. reused the old pads for now, but will need new ones soon.

    i also took the time to resurface both rotors, after 260,000kms the rotors are basically shot, i dont see them lasting much longer. comparing them to the "newish" rotors on my other set of wheels i would say ive got 60% of the original material left.

    also added some aluminum bits the replace the steel for lighter weight.

    next up, do a compression test, tear the engine apart and do a full rebuild on the engine (if needed). also gotta rebuild the front forks.

    installed a bunch of aluminum screws today, didn't save much, only about 1/3 of a pound, but hey they look cool and every little bit counts haha. only costed 20$. of course i only replaced the fairing screws, and screws that were not load bearing/important, like brakes, engine, etc etc.

    [​IMG]

    on some more serious weight reduction. completely removed the rear pegs and mounts, also cut out alot of extra metal bits back from when the bike was a 250cc, (old muffler mounts, wiring harness mounts, random unused metal tabs). also cut down the license plate mount.

    grand total, including the screw replacement was 1680g (3.7lb's). not bad, but still have a long way to go to get to 300lb's or less.


    i almost want to start crying.

    to any builders out there that understand just how much time and effort it take to build custom panels....... i used plastic from an old plastic garbage can, heat molded them like 20x each , test fit 20x, took the entire bike apart 20x to make sure every thing fits, now its all coming off!

    countless hours of work.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    it will never be the same again.

    [​IMG]





    on a positive note, i figured out what im gonna do with the headlight.

    here are the old highbeam/lowbean LED headlights off my crf1000l.

    got me thinking, slap them together (one upside down) and stuff it inside the stock crf250l headlight. would make a great, lightweight, yet powerful headlight.

    [​IMG]




    i got a chance to take the top of the engine apart. did a valve check, all within spec as it has been for the last 3 years. i still made a minor adjustment on one of the exhaust valves (far right one). its the same one ive made adjustments on for the last 4 valve checks, i dont know why that one is wandering so much. probably because its pressed up against the valve chain cover and experiences the most heat/ heat cycles.

    compression test:
    approximately 150,000km's on the 500 engine. manual states 188 psi is stock/new.

    dry compression test:
    -c#1= 165psi (left cylinder)
    -c#2= 162psi (right cylinder)

    wet compression test:
    -c#1= 185psi
    -c#2= 184psi

    interestingly both tests show cylinder# 2 to be wearing slightly faster. again, probably because its in the middle of the engine sandwiched between c#1 and the valve chain.


    just incase people out there dont know exactly what these numbers mean. 165psi vs 188psi new after 150,000km is really good. infact thats very good for a motorbike engine, makes sense since this is a de-tunes 500 twin. that kind of loss over that many km's is approaching car engine levels of longevity. impressive honda, impressive. my R1 had the same loss in only 50,000km's!

    as for dry vs wet, dry is just testing compression with the engine as is.

    wet compression test involves putting oil directly into the spark plug hole ( no much perhaps a few ml). this will give you a higher reading as the oil acts like a seal to the rings and this gives you a better idea of how worn the rings are.

    example, if you dry reading is lets say 140psi, and wet 142, then you know the rings are leaking very bad.


    so needless to say im pretty happy. altho compression loss is an accelerated function, at this rate the engine ( the piston/rings at least) should last till 300,000km's. again, impressive Honda, very impressive.


    on with the build:
    [​IMG]




    brakes /suspension, 260,000km's of rust. this is what happens when you ride most of the winter here in calgary where they salt the roads 4 months a year. yuck:

    the front caliper is very rusted up, even after spraying it with rust converter......ima try and restore it but might need a new one
    [​IMG]

    the lower fork crown is made of steel, and rusting of course:
    [​IMG]


    stanchion covers held up pretty good, this is my 2nd set. i will be rebuilding the forks today, they will be like-new

    [​IMG]

    fork seals are not leaking, but after 260k km's there are alot of scratches in them.

    i blew the fork seals 4 times over the last 6 years of owenership. first time was within first 1,000km's i then put on stanchion covers and they only blew up after 100,000kms when i took the covers off for 1 day to replace them lol.

    i dont understand why honda cant make fork seals! like they make one hell of an engine, but for seals are made of cheese! i blew my crf1000l seals within the first 300km's ffs........

    [​IMG]




    on a final note, i had a few forum members PM me in the past saying im full of shit and i did not give my crf250l 12" of suspension travel. i wont call them out by name, but you know who you are!

    i rest my case:
    [​IMG]



    some bad corrosion on the lower forks, that will ahve to be dealt with soon too
    [​IMG]

    getting close to finish

    [​IMG]


    fabricated a radiator guard, simple, easy, strong, light, and still lets the radiator move around without hitting

    [​IMG]



    now for the headlight.

    i wanted to utilize my old crf1000L headlight. but only one LED module fits into the headlight.........


    [​IMG]

    so i slapped both together. some head compound between both to help dissipate the heat.

    [​IMG]

    easy. top reflector is the highbeam, bottom is the lowbeam. 34w total power.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    lowbeam:
    [​IMG]

    highbeam:
    [​IMG]

    both:
    [​IMG]


    the stock headlight/ speedo mount was way heavy. made a custom aluminum one, it weighs 1/8th the weight!
    [​IMG]


    Came out pretty good imo. I added alittle gold paint to match the forks and handle bars. looks mean!

    [​IMG]

    new dash layout.

    left button is my "go dark" / "running from cops " button lol, turns off everything except for the highbeam. right button is heated grips.

    [​IMG]

    close to finished, just need to tweak a few things, and swap the wheels to the offroad set

    close to 13" of ground Clarence with a full tank of gas and no rider.

    [​IMG]



    cant figure out if i should put a windscreen on? thoughts? im leaning more towards no windscreen

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    engine guards, very impressed. good fit and finish, light weight, and surprisingly beefy.

    thanks to who ever that was that recommended them!

    20190225_234403.jpg

    20190225_234423.jpg

    almost done, almost time for final weigh in!


    spent the last few nights dialing in the headlight aim.


    just finished rebuilding the rear brake, the slider seal broke again, and was pissing lube out. 2nd time in 267,000km that this seal has ripped apart. i might consider making a protector for it as i suspect its when i go deep mudding or gravel roads and the sticks and rocks hit it causing wear.


    just finished up the new (refurbished) 2nd set of wheels. i balanced them and cleaned them up.

    running t63 and TM-2. replaced the HD-tubes with regular tubes, saved 1.2kg! (2.7lb!!). not a huge fan of HD tubes anymore, as they are way harder to put on and dont offer an improvement in puncture resistance, at least from what i have seen??? however i never go below 20psi, perhaps that why.



    aluminum sprocket and spacers of course.

    [​IMG]


    all done.

    spent the entire day tuning the drd speedo healer, and testing fuel economy. these offroad tire suck down the gasoline hard, i was barely getting 3.5L/100km average (67mpg us). with the old shinko 244 i was constantly getting below 3l/100km.



    im very disappointed. :(:

    final weigh in 326lb's wet, full tank of gas......... damn. i guess 300lb's wet is just not possible with a 500 twin. sigh.


    on the plus side tho, bike looks sick. and due to the diet a total wheelie machine:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    reserved
    #2
  3. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    removal of old steel subframe and skidplate and various other things:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    heres what about 150,000km's of rust looks like haha:

    [​IMG]


    not much rust on the subframe and skid plate:
    [​IMG]

    time to cut down the oil pan
    [​IMG]

    shouldn't reduce oil capacity to much from the already reduced oil capacity:
    [​IMG]

    all welded up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    painted with some nice asphalt paint:
    [​IMG]


    cut down the oil pick up for clearance:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    old muffler vs the new one im putting in:
    [​IMG]
    #3
    Chillis likes this.
  4. Dutch idiot

    Dutch idiot Crazy, not stupid

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    belgium
    :lurk
    #4
    2old2Bbold likes this.
  5. flipflopdog

    flipflopdog Youth & Talent, no match 4 Old Age & Treachary

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gateshead the Grim North of England...!!!
    ….."And the good news is your keeping it"...!!!

    One observation Michael, just zooming in on your pics their and without backtracking your original thread, how did you attach the bottom rails..?? They look like they were welded permanently. I couldn't see the joining adaptor spiggot thingymebobs that we have all used...

    Good look anyhow and keep posting. So you could potentially be selling the light tower assembly then...???
    #5
  6. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    yes it was permanent. i dont see why it needed to be removable since the whole point of using the 500twin was because it is super reliable. yeah sure, i guess if u needed to service it u can still take off the side covers, also top valve cover still comes off....but yeah. for version 2.0 i will be making the sub frame removable since im going aluminum, and u cant weld aluminum to steel, however making it removable is not nessesery IMO.

    about 150,000km on the 500twin and i have not had a single issue. i have changed the oil exactly every 10,000km on the dot, and ive done 3 valve clearance checks, of which only ever needed to adjust one exhaust valve. i will be doing a compression test too, but judging by my "butt dyno", compression must still be good. fuel economy over the ~150,000km has not changed much either (i keep meticulous records), started off around 3.3L/100km combined average, im at right 3.4L/100km, so hardly a change.
    #6
    plumer1kt likes this.
  7. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    and yes, i might be selling the light tower, the old exhaust, the old rear rack, i have 2 sets of wheels so possibly the front and rear wheel ( with rotors, tires, and sprocket), and various other bits.

    maybe......
    #7
  8. MotoPolo

    MotoPolo So many places, so little time Supporter

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    Portland OR
    Are you looking to do any suspension upgrades to make it even more dirt worthy or are you happy with current set up
    These are awesome builds - subscribed
    #8
  9. plumer1kt

    plumer1kt Adventurer

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    Weight saving from the oil pan...?
    Where is your weight scale...?
    Ha-ha!!!Just kidding!Keep going michael.
    Thoughts about livery color?
    Mark-Samuels-sm.jpg
    #9
  10. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    To equal the strength of the steel frame tubes your aluminum idea will weigh 20% more.

    To save weight and maintain strength you can go to a thinner wall 4130 steel.
    #10
    brownvv, tuscan and flipflopdog like this.
  11. Oyabun

    Oyabun 親分

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    Can you please share how did you came up with this figure?
    IImight be wrong, but as per my last information Aluminium is tipically being about 1/3 in weight and roughly 40-60% (depending on alloy mixture and temper) in strength compared to steel. So two structures with the same specification the ally will always come out lighter, or the same weight from an alluminum alloy will be stronger. Also building the same structure from a high temper of a high strength aluminum alloy (like 7075 T6) will be almost identical in in strength as a normal steel.
    It's true however that aluminum is stiffer than steel and prone to fatigue failures under repetitive stresses - so a nice thin wall steel trellis structure could be more desirable on a loaded offroad bike.
    #11
  12. redneckK20

    redneckK20 Been here awhile

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    Hannibal, MO
    In the original post he said it's already been modified and has 12" of travel, maybe a revalve for harder off-road use but otherwise seems to be pretty covered.

    Awesome thread, excited to see the outcome.
    #12
    Dutch idiot likes this.
  13. MotoPolo

    MotoPolo So many places, so little time Supporter

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    For weight saving is a single muffler an option? - thoughts on twin vs single?
    #13
    pennswoodsed likes this.
  14. totensiebush

    totensiebush re-tarded

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    good luck welding 7075 :)

    aluminum in as-welded state is nowhere near the strength of heat treated state, and heat treating it is much more difficult than steel

    in comparison, mild steel doesn't need any heat treat and even 4130 doesn't lose anywhere near as much as aluminum
    #14
    pennswoodsed and climberevan like this.
  15. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

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    yes, as mentioned already the suspension from previous build is already 12". however i might get more aggressive re-valve, or at the very least put heavier oil in the forks. there is not much you can do with these forks if you want hard-core off road jumping, but i still want to maintain some comfort, it is a dual sport at the end of the day, not a motocrossbike.


    i can whip out the weight scale if youd like haha.

    no i think this time im just gonna do a final weigh in.

    as for the colors, i went to a black and white color scheme for a more stealth look. i dont think i would go back. if anything i really like camo, might have to do a camo scheme, like the KLR650.

    its a complex idea, but hear me out.

    currently the engine is a stress member.

    specifically here and here:
    where the most amount of flex/TQ is being applied
    [​IMG]

    now the whole reason that dual sports ( and motorcross bikes) have a double cradle frame is the maximize rigidity and strength right?

    i would argue that the engine has sufficient rigidity/ strength as is, as long as the mounting point on these two locations is beffy enough. i rode around without the lower subframe attached and the deflection in the frame was less then a few milimeters, impressive if you ask me.

    now a standard motorcross engine is designed to be as light as possible, the the frame does most of the heavy lifting. but the 500twin is a very beffy engine, the mounts are huge, and the engine itself has alot of extra material on it. make sense since both in the cbr500r and cb500x, both dont have double cradle frames, only regular frames with no lower subframe.

    so,
    one could make the argument that a lower subframe is not even needed. now of course i still think one is needed since you still need a bash plate. so my current idea is to make a very thin subframe and is integrated into the skid plate (two birds one stone). the skid plate would still provide the protection, while the subrframe would supply the support, and both would add to the over all rigidity and strength of the entire bike frame.

    thoughts?



    exactly, the extra 2" was needed because of the extra weight, but apart from doing a full MX swap its good as is IMO. time will tell.

    twin muffler is a personal preference, duals sound amazing, and looks much cooler.

    singles weigh less sure, but i already have a dual so might as well use it.
    also, singles vs dual are within 20% weight of each other, so we are only talking a 1/2 of a pound of weight or less.
    #15
  16. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Skid plate as a frame member. I like it. :thumb
    #16
  17. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I agree, you could do something super light with the lower frame tubes, but I still think 4130 tube is the way to go. With 4130 you should be able to be well under 4 lbs for the cradle.
    #17
  18. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

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    Mikey,
    I'm not you, so do whatever you want.
    If I was, I would retire that frame and buy a new one. If you start with an 18, the 3.5 gallon ims tank will fit. Also, get the newer linkage. The frame points there are the same but the link and triangle will give you 11" out of the box. The ohlins shock available for it is supposed to he pretty good too.
    A frame isn't expense or hard to deal with where I live. Not sure about Alberta.
    #18
    Redneck-Hippie, chinditone and Cruz like this.
  19. MotoPolo

    MotoPolo So many places, so little time Supporter

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    Agree the twin pipes look great. They may sound better too. It would be fun to hear twin vs single on same engine side by side.
    #19
  20. MotoPolo

    MotoPolo So many places, so little time Supporter

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    Subframe- with that engine as long as your main frame is providing good rigidity between fork and swingarm you don’t need a subframe. It is there just for protection. If you fab from aluminum you could just bolt together. Mine is 7/8” mild steel tube and uses simple clevis bolted joints. The aluminum frame members might be even lighter but fabrication might be tricky. I have never had much luck bending aluminum. Looking forward to your solution here.
    #20