What does it take to prep a scrambler for a 1,000-mile offroad rip? Lucky you, if that question plagues you—here’s a video to show you!
It’s an interesting clip because it shows two things: First, it shows how far adventure bikes have come, in the past 50ish years.
The Honda CL350 and CL450 scramblers shown in this video from Common Motor Collective would have been respectable dual sports in their day. Not as competent as a true dirt bike, but capable of putting in hard miles. Remember, the CL350 was the original bike to beat at the Baja 1000.
Compare these machines, then, to stock, unmodified duallies from today! Something like the DR-Z400 or even the KLX250 would be a far superior machine in its showroom-floor clothes. In other words: Stop complaining so much about the choices on the dual sport market today, and be happy for what you have.
The other thing it shows: Second, this gives you a good idea of what to expect, if you want to get a vintage bike ready for hard miles offroad. As per the YouTube, description:
… Our primary focus was mechanical reliability, which we know well, so we started preparations with a thorough inspection and full tune-up which included a cam chain and valve adjustment on both motorcycles, as well as getting our timing spot on. We wanted our motorcycles starting first kick every time when we would inevitably drop them. Since they both were already reliable daily drivers, we were already in a good spot but still need to make sure they were going to handle the dirt properly. Both motorcycles were fitted with new front and rear sprockets aiming for high torque as well as LED headlights in case we found ourselves riding the trails late into the evening. Lastly, both motorcycles were sent off with a slew of spare parts for on-the-ride repairs as well as fuel cans, luggage setups, high fenders, knobby tires, and PLENTY of spare oil. Be sure to watch until the end to see how we did, what broke, and what we would do differently next time!
So, high fenders, knobbies, better electric bits, and re-gearing. Got it.
Alas, there’s not a lot of footage of the bikes in action, but at least we get somewhat of an idea of what the actual ride went like.
The event they took these bikes in, the Vintage 1000, is fairly interesting in itself. It sees riders doing 1,000 miles of mostly offroad in five days on vintage bikes. If that sounds like something you need in your life, more details here.