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"L" Build for fun

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Wattner, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Wattner

    Wattner Long timer

    Oct 14, 2003
    Key West, Florida
    I have been contemplating my next bike for quite awhile. I want a bike that can go long distance comfortably with the ability to still hit the trails and offroad. I have a KTM 525 with a lot of goodies, and have ridden the bike on many multi-day, yet dirt oriented rides. I have no problem riding for 12-15 hours and am still quite comfortable at the end of a ride.... When I get on the road for extended periods, I am always thinking about my 650L. I had a few BMW GS's and while they are fantastic for long distance, anytime I would get offroad, I would once again think about the "L". The shortcomings of the "L" are the seat (For multiple 10+ hour days anyway), the stock suspension leaves a lot to be desired, they are WAY down on power stock and the lighting is not too great.

    What I LOVE about the "L" is the old school, air cooled true thumper. Massive torque and the sound they make simply cannot be beat in my opinion. I have had several in the past and have either had them built, or built them myself with big-bore, high compression, reworked or aftermarket suspension, etc, etc... I am guessing I have well over 30k miles on "L"s with a lot of riding in Mexico.

    With all of that being said, I considered a KTM 690, had a LC4 640 for a week (what an underpowered, undersuspended paint shaker that was...), I looked at the 950 SE, Husky 630, BMW 650's, Honda XRR, Triumph, etc, etc.... Every bike either was too heavy or simply did not stir me.

    Enter the "L" again. It really is the platform I wanted to start with, so I began looking for a low mileage bike.. I found one from an inmate with 800+ miles, the price was right, so the deal was done.

    In my decision, I felt that I would go ahead and get it just the way I want it.... Huge-Bore, add the NX second and fifth gears, and go full on for the rest of the build. I have spoken with Shawn (CycleWizard) and was most impressed with his knowledge and ability with the air cooled motors. We both have a passion and love for them, he actually makes the pistons, has ground cams, made one off parts, makes the sleeves and sells huge bore kits for the "L"...

    After a few conversations with him, I kinda gave him the reins to build a high compression, giant bore, long stroke motor with every goodie we could find. He is actually contemplating making roller rockers, which would ease my concern with an aftermarket cam. I have had several from Mega-Cycle and WebCams go south. I always suspected the difference in hardening between the rockers and the cam, so rollers will solve that! I have an HRC cam in another "L" and really like the cam, but I cannot locate another so that is off the table. Shawn convinced me to go with a slightly modified version over stock, but staying away from the radical race grinds. We will get our power from the stroked crank, high compression and massive bore.

    Add some Kibblewhite Stainless valves, springs and Titanium retainers and the top end is happy. He has made the piston, a custom crank to 84mm., welded up the crank pin holes, is making a new pin and will bore to fit, has made the sleeve, ported the head and will bench flow to get it spot on, etc. He is now removing all of the casting flash and will radius and polish the inside of the cases and will shave the flywheel to get some of the mass off for faster rev's. We will end up with a 742cc firebreather!

    I have ordered the NX 650 second gear to close the gap between first and second and then the NX 5th gear to add the taller gear on top, kind of an overdrive.

    Add a new XR's only exhaust, extend the clutch actuation arm (by 3/8" to ease the pull..), heavy clutch springs and a Mikuni 42 mm Pumper and the motor is about complete.

    Shawn added several frame gussets from some photos I had sent him and the frame is off at the powdercoater getting a Jet Aluminum coat and will be all polished as well, which should look nice and clean up pretty easily. The side cases will be powdercoated as well with a finish that will clean up nicely, color yet to be determined...

    I ordered a new set of CRF forks, RSW clamps with a Scott's damper mount, some Highway Dirtbike handguards, top clamp and desert high bend pro-tapers that are tapped and ready to go.

    I am sending my Ohlins rear shock off to Dan Kyle to have him go through it, freshen it up and get her like new. I also bought CR Stuff oversized brake rotor and caliper mount, a set of RAD wheels with red hubs, giant Stainless spokes and black rims... the rear hub is cush as well to assist in longevity of the motor...The front tire will be a MotoZ Enduro and the rear will be Mefo explorer in a 150 width.

    For the lighting duties, we will begin with a CRFX rear fender with LED's, LED's in the blinkers (along with diodes to correct the draw), a license plate frame that is LED and a device from Kissan that will allow the blinkers to operate as running lights with auto-cancel.

    For the front lighting, we added the LED's to the blinkers (That will operate as running lights as well...), a Cyclop's Halogen Headlight in a Trailtech 8" racelight frame (the reason I went halogen instead of HID is to have instant brights...) and a set of 24 watt LED lights from Sanjoh with dimmers.

    I am going with a set of mirrors from Neduro and an oilcooler from GSMark (both inmates here..) and a seat concepts seat.

    There are some things that I still need to order and have missed here, but will update as CW gets me the info and pictures to post.

    I know, I know... Why spend that much and put all of this effort into a platform as old as the "L".... Simple, because I want to! In the end, I feel I will have a bike that will suit many needs, have the suspension, comfort, motor and be set up for what I want to do...

    There will be tweaks here and there to get it all dialed in, but let the fun begin!!!!

    I want to thank CW for his desire and ability to get this bike together. I have built many bikes and I feel his experience will trump my ability. He is in the business to build bikes, so please get in touch with him for products and service. He is a great guy!!!!!

    Here are a few pictures and links to some of the stuff I am using:
    The shop (not house... this is his shop!):
    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/L%20build%202011/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture010.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_L%2520build%25202011_BikePicture010.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    The Master at work:
    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/L%20build%202011/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture005-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_L%2520build%25202011_BikePicture005-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Some gussets to the frame:
    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/L%20build%202011/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture014-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_L%2520build%25202011_BikePicture014-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/L%20build%202011/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture019-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_L%2520build%25202011_BikePicture019-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    The new slug CW made:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture029.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture029.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Look at that baby sitting on top of the stocker!!!!
    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture023.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture023.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Table full of goodies:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture041.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture041.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    The wheels:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture034.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture034.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Headlight:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture032.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture032.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Mirrors and other stuff:
    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture038.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture038.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Oil cooler:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture033.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture033.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Carb:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture030.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture030.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Front Rotor:<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture035.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture035.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Clarke Tank (not TOO fond of it, we'll see what I end up with...)<a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture036.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture036.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/Wattner/?action=view&amp;current=BikePicture022.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/W/Wattner_BikePicture022.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    A few links (I'll add more...)

    RSW Racing for clamps:http://www.rswracing.com/

    Mirrors: http://www.doubletakemirror.com/

    Rad Wheels: http://www.radmfg.com/RAD-CUSH-Series-hubs-s/39.htm

    CRF Stuff (Front Brakes):http://www.crfstuff.com/brake450r.html



    Sanjoh LED Aux.Lights: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607184&highlight=sanjoh

    MEFO Rear tire: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/4809/765/

    MotoZ Front: http://www.brapoffroad.com/Motoz.htm

    Seat Concepts: http://www.seatconcepts.com/index.php?p=1_33


    Oil Cooler:http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=652313

    I'll add more as we go! I am STOKED!!!!!!
  2. worldrider555

    worldrider555 Been here awhile

    Aug 5, 2007
    Quakertown, PA
    This is gonna be amazing. What a great project!:clap
  3. brothermosley

    brothermosley Motorcycle Operator

    Mar 10, 2007
    Medford, MA

    I like where this is going!!
  4. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I Supporter

    Feb 12, 2005
    Kansas City
  5. Bbasso

    Bbasso my name is Rob

    May 18, 2009
    North Carolina!


    Jun 29, 2009
    Leanna Decker's panties

    I don't...yet another motorcycle I will dream about, but will never have. I'm already drooling over post #1. :tb

    Wattner, this is going to be awesome! :thumb I would say something mean, but you would see right thru it...straight to the jealousy. :lol3:freaky

  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    May 29, 2002
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    nice man cave!!!
  8. Ghost_Mutant

    Ghost_Mutant looking for bionics

    Aug 12, 2009
    border of granite & flats
    Now if I had a big bucket of disposable cash.........:rofl

    I like your choices. If you can bring yourself to reveal the costs, I sure would like to know how much to subtract from my retirement account to do a similar build.

    Are you gonna add in a minisquirt later?:D
  9. Cumbacheech

    Cumbacheech XRated

    Oct 10, 2006
    Bolton, ON
    This is going to be GOOD!! :lurk
  10. Wattner

    Wattner Long timer

    Oct 14, 2003
    Key West, Florida
    Bike $2,200.00
    Build labor $ ?????$
    Tires/wheels $1,500.00
    Rest of the stuff, gheeeesss ummm, uhhhh, I have not added it up. I will guess around 8k total, then I have sold the shock, forks, stock wheels and a few other goodies for several hundred. I am guessing it will end up costing me a little over 7K.

    I am not going to attempt to justify it, but it will be exactly what I want and what Honda should have built. It will still be a carburated, air cooled, full on Thumper that I can work on trailside and should last a long, long time!!! (My current "L" is a '94 and is about as clean as you can get)

    I am planning a Colorado trip this summer and a trip through the Carolinas, Georgia, and beyond this spring. The old bike may find itself on a boat real soon to Mexico. It will stay there or South for a fly and ride

  11. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8 Supporter

    Apr 30, 2008
    Hockley, Tx
    Looks like a cool project. Man, you must have cleaned up on a resto job to get the loot for this!!! LOL
    Good luck.
    I think; you will need more cam. A radical race cam for a 650 will be a mid range cam in a 742CC motor.
  12. tjrockit

    tjrockit One day closer...

    Nov 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Hey Mike,

    On the mirrors, did you get the 2 or 3 inch bracket?

  13. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Castle, CO
    I'm thinking of upgrading my lighting also, Are you going to use hard or soft bags for your gear?

    The wheels are very nice. I gotta start saving my pennies.
  14. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

    Oct 21, 2008
    Prescott AZ
    Don't over look the RevLoc auto ciutch:D
  15. thebigman

    thebigman XR's all the way . Big Thumps or V-twins

    Jul 9, 2010
    Texas Gulf Coast. Galvatraz
    Subscribed, Got my eye on this 1, I'm jealous, :clap
  16. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

    Oct 28, 2004
    SoCal -T.O.
  17. El Birdo

    El Birdo Been here awhile

    May 14, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    I'll be watching.....:lurk
  18. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

    Nov 25, 2007
    madera california
    i cant wait to see the progress! that thing is going to suprise all the hightech new bikes out there! yay for the ol 650l!
  19. El Birdo

    El Birdo Been here awhile

    May 14, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    I think Kuby should build Wattner a tank. That would be even more kick ass..... :norton
  20. flatfender

    flatfender Been here awhile

    Jun 7, 2009
    Belle Fourche SD
    Congratulations to you for getting what you want, any big plans for the maiden voyage?

    I wish I could follow this build on the Discovery channel instead of another radical chopper build.