TU250 ADV: Front End Swap Edition

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Nifty250cc, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey Y'all! This project has been a few months in the making, but I've only recently discovered the ADVrider forums. 2 Years ago I rode my Yamaha Bolt 33 days and 10,000 (ish) miles around the US and had the time of my life. Along the way my fellow cruiser riders and I ended up doing almost 100 miles of dirt and gravel roads. They were a ton of fun but all I could think about while riding them was how much fun they would be on a little thumper with some knobby tires.

    Fast forward two years later and after a brief hospital stint with a very rare lung disease I decided it was now or never. (6 months later and I have made a full recovery.) I bought this 2011 TU250x from a fellow photographer and got to work right away.
    [​IMG]


    The Good

    Before I did anything to the bike I wanted to rack up some miles and see what needed improving. When I picked up the bike it was completely stock bar a custom upholstered seat. I put 500 miles on the bike and fell in love. What really impressed me the most was just how tall the stock gearing was. I had no problems cruising at 70mph with the original tire size as long as there wasn't a grade or headwind. The seating position wasn't cramped for me at 6' tall and the steering was light and forgiving.

    The Bad

    The brakes are very meh, but the biggest downfall for me was the suspension. Even for street riding the 3.5 inches of travel was incredibly limiting and so under sprung you would bottom out just by looking the wrong way at a speed bump. Rear travel wasn't terrible, and I actually really like the original spring rate but was poorly dampened and felt very bouncy to me.

    The Goal

    When I did my first road trip it blew up on Imgur and Reddit. I got so many comments along the lines of "wish I had a bigger bike to do a trip like that." This bothered me a bit. So many people think you need to buy a big KTM or BMW if you want to explore the world and see some dirt along the way and as most of y'all know that just isn't the case. Sure it can make life easier, but for a novice off roader it can make life much harder.

    For this trip I have coming up I wanted to ride 4,000 round trip to Utah from Atlanta and do anywhere from 400-800 miles off road via the TAT. 16 horsepower should be more than enough power to get the job done.


    Suspension
    [​IMG]

    To address the lack of travel (and 18" front wheel) I removed the front end of my Suzuki ls650 to swap onto the TU frame. Aside from having the exact same stem length, the bearing ID and OD are the same as the TU so all I needed for the conversion was a new set of bearings from all balls racing. As far as I know this is the only front end swap on a TU out there. The new front end has a 19" laced wheel, Yamaha r6 front caliper and rotor, upgraded fork springs/oil, and almost double the travel of the stock front end.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Aside from some sticky Races (raises?) The swap went pretty smoothly. Thankfully I had plenty of friends at Brother Moto to help me when I was in a pinch. It's an amazing co op!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    swap completed
    [​IMG]
    Brogue Slip on and Oil cover
    [​IMG]
    Givi Dolomiti 30L hard case and man rack
    [​IMG]
    Trail tech vapor and quad lock phone mount.


    Current Status
    Here is how she sits now!
    [​IMG]

    A little water never hurt nobody
    [​IMG]

    Completed Mods
    Front end swap from 2001 Suzuki LS650
    Custom Laced 19" front rim
    Yamaha R6 rotor and caliper
    Custom Fender/Bracket
    Pro Taper Risers
    Pro Taper 1 1/8th fat bars FMX Pastrana Bend
    Emgo 6.5" Headlight
    Brogue Exhaust
    Brogue Booster Plug
    Progressive 413-4039B 15" Rear Shocks
    TC Bros Side Mount License plate bracket
    ManRack Luggage Rack
    Givi Dolometi 30L Top Case
    Givi Universal top case mounting kit
    Black Plasti Dipped Side Covers
    Trail tech Vapor Gauge system
    Continental TKC 80s 110/80/19 front 120/90/18 rear

    To Do

    Mirrors
    Turns Signals
    Skid Plate
    Cycra Hand Guards
    USB Power

    I'm in the last stretch of completing this build and I hope y'all enjoy it! Let me know if you have any questions.

    #1
  2. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,769
    Location:
    Wet side of WA.
    Man that bike is straight outta 1978. Pure "all that you need and nothin' you don't" Well done.
    #2
  3. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks! People come up to me around ATL all the time and ask what year it is.
    #3
    Eatmore Mudd likes this.
  4. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Oddometer:
    873
    Nice practical swap. OMG! Was that Yamaha rotor machined to fit a stock Savage rotor? Nicely done.
    #4
    Nifty250cc and Eatmore Mudd like this.
  5. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I wish I was that savvy! It's done by RYCA to fit the stock savage rotor mounts and using their hardware.
    #5
    Webman and JagLite like this.
  6. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Oddometer:
    873
    Didn't know that was Ryca. They use the stock Savage rotor, and machine into it to fit the Yami rotor. Clever indeed!
    #6
  7. pekingduck

    pekingduck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Oddometer:
    873
    I love the TU250X - fuel injection makes them so sweet.

    Here's a pic of mine that I modified to hide a dent on the tank, and then it got a little out of hand.

    IMG_4398 SQ_zpsblrsajom.jpg
    #7
    Honda-50, JagLite and Nifty250cc like this.
  8. clange95

    clange95 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    Fond du Lac, WI
    Awesome build! I've looked at plenty of TUs on Craigslist and seriously considered getting one to do something like this, but I never could find any real swap info to pull it off. Glad to see that someone made it into a reality.
    #8
    JagLite and Nifty250cc like this.
  9. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Looks good!
    #9
  10. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    That was definitely frustrating to find info on. I finally said screw it and just ordered the bearings and it worked out. The nice thing is that you can get fairly complete s40 front ends for cheap
    #10
    Webman likes this.
  11. mentolio

    mentolio King of the island of unwanted toys...

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    864
    Love the bike and what you’ve done with it!
    #11
  12. fast1075

    fast1075 Not a Lemming Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,007
    Location:
    Flaw'da
    That looks great, I really like the look! I see you are in Georgia. Just Don't make the mistake of coming to Florida with that sideways license plate. You will get ticketed. Say thanks to stunters for that little piece of legislation.
    #12
    JagLite likes this.
  13. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,676
    Location:
    Western PA
    sweet build!

    nice pictures too!
    #13
  14. MotoChris521

    MotoChris521 motominded

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,243
    Location:
    south west
    Looks cool . I would reroute that front brake hose though . Over the headlight .
    Seems like it would stick way out there when the forks compress . Catch on brush and such .
    #14
  15. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    13,786
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    When's the trip? Louis and Rodrigo still around ? Bike turned out great!
    #15
  16. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    good to know! I've had much worse tag mounts with no issues but I don't really ride in Florida.
    #16
  17. Nifty250cc

    Nifty250cc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Leaving August 16th! Rodrigo is the man! Don't know Louis except for by name. He still pops in plenty. Thanks!
    #17
    PMellin and Ginger Beard like this.
  18. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    13,786
    Location:
    FLAT Lander

    Looking forward to a ride report! Have fun man!
    #18
  19. Webman

    Webman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Arizona
    Just found your post, brilliant transformation! I've thought of building a Savage into something like this, but the TU looks like an even better solution. Well done! Do you have any other pics?
    #19
  20. 1Gopokes1

    1Gopokes1 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,007
    Location:
    Durango CO back in CO Bama sucked
    is that front end from a DR650???

    Thanks
    #20