Mutilating an offroader into some sort of scrambler

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Dino de Laurentiis, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    So for quite some time, my project bike has been a CCM R30. Engine in this particular bike is from the Suzuki XF650 Freewind, which is identical to the DR650SE apart from the head (dual carbs, larger valves), so in stock form it has almost as much power as a KTM 640 :snore. Admittedly, a super moto and not so much an offroader but what to do when handed a great thread title... (though there's an enduro version with an identical chassis).

    [​IMG]

    So, it started with a 790 kit + 190 cam from ProCycle to increase power some, and progressed into some other things (new wheels and a custom made headlight setup among other things), which turned out like this:

    [​IMG]


    Unfortunately, to avoid cross atlantic shipping costs for my stock cylinder, I bought just the DR big bore sleeve and had a "mate" install it. Big mistake, as it turned out. While I didn't fully realize the issue until two consecutively ruined conrod small ends, what happened was that he installed the sleeve crooked, which caused all kinds of weird issues.

    [​IMG]

    In addition, I've had all sorts of other depressing issues, but I think I'm on top of things now. It's all detailed in a build thread over on www.drriders.com (still ongoing).

    Fast forward to some time ago, and I've decided to take on a slightly more ambitious rebuild. Plan is to turn into a scrambler or gravel racer, perhaps suitable for longer distance travel than what one usually can handle on a super moto usually.

    Here's a mockup with old seat foam and a skeleton subframe made out of plastic electrical conduit.[​IMG]


    Current state of affairs is this:
    [​IMG]



    To be continued...



    P.S thanks to @JCool for the tread title ;)
    #1
  2. Scubawerx

    Scubawerx Scubawerx

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    Looks like a good setup. Keep the photos coming.
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  3. JCool

    JCool Long timer

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    :imaposer:imaposer:imaposer
    #3
  4. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    So, let me tell you about my bo... motorcyle. Why have I chosen this bike, and what do I actually plan to do with it?

    Well, first let me tell you that I'm slow. Both when it comes to finishing motorcycles builds and when it comes to decisions in life. I didn't choose my career until I was 27. I still haven't, at 39 years old, chosen whom I'd like to spend my life with, and I had this bike for 13 years before I truly started to building something out of it. Point is, dont expect break neck speeds in this build thread. Things will take its time, I definitely don’t want my hobby turning stressful. It’ll be done when it’s done, whenever that is.

    It is my first bike, in fact, one that I rode a 1000 miles the first week I had it, 10 000 miles the first year I had it, and only about as much since then. The idea for this build, I've had for a long time, but I was originally planning to do it with another bike. Then as it was, I figured, why the hell sit around and wait for the great deal on that particular bike when I can just build on the one I have?

    In short, I want a bike that can:

    - travel further than the closest coffe shop
    [​IMG]

    - not having to turn around when the asphalt ends
    [​IMG]

    - manage to take a beating and not needing a week of polishing to look reasonable again:
    [​IMG]

    - be an actually useful ride, both for spirited riding and as a daily driver and not a trailer queen
    [​IMG]

    -have some reasonable offroad abilities while still not wallowing around on stilts on the asphalt
    [​IMG]

    - still have some style and class
    [​IMG]

    -not weigh a metric ton :twitch
    [​IMG]

    - channel some Steve into it
    [​IMG]

    In effect, a retro styled scrambler* with a big fuel tank without being to heavy.



    scrambler = To avoid any discussion of what is what, I'll stick to calling this a gravel racer...
    #4
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  5. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    So with these somewhat abstract parameters in place, where did I start? Well, by finding the perfect fitting gas tank of course. In stock form, my bike had a 9 liter tank, which was enough for maybe 150-160 km, when really pushing it. I knew I wanted at least twice that, preferrably even more. I was initially drawn to the classic BMW R-tanks but they're so bloody expensive I never got around to buying one. Good thing that, since when I finally got to try one out, it wouldn't fit on the frame.

    After probably hundreds of hours of googling bikes, tanks, frames etc to get a reasonable idea of what would fit, I finally settled on the CX500-tank. I can't say I care for it on the original unmodified bike, but it can get a pretty raw look with the right stance. Also, it supposedly takes 19 litres which at approximately 5 litres/100 km would take me at least 350 km on a tank.

    [​IMG]

    Stroke of luck as it turns out, since there's huge amounts of space between the offroad chassis central spine and the underside of the tank, probably enough to hide ALL electrics in there, in a nicely protected and weigh optimised central location on the bike. Pics to come. My goal is to have fully fueled weight of less than 160 kg. Mind you that's about 100 lbs/45 kg less than the _dry_ weight of a stock Triumph Scrambler. Power wise, I'm happy if I can reach the mid fifties.
    #5
  6. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    Now, where I'm currently at is figuring out how to lower the bike without it ending up unrideable. I've decided that 50 mm lower is a reasonable amount, which means I will still have about 250 mm of ground clearance. To get a baseline, I've measured the chassis dimensions, with so-so precision, but at least I think I have a rough estimate.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The fork is fairly straight forward, since it only goes up or down. The shock though of course has a ratio between shock travel and actual wheel travel, especially since this is a linkless PDS suspension. I still haven't been able to come up with a completely certain measurement, so in the end, I think I will just have to prop it up, raise the rear wheel 50 mm, and see how much shorter the shock becomes. That will then decide the length of the spacer in the shock. Will probably leave that to a suspension guy though, since the shock needs servicing anyway, and I lack the proper tools to do it.

    Foto 2018-01-06 22 20 54.jpg


    For the front, it's fairly simple to install a spacer to stop the damper rod from extending fully (inside the chamber/thin alu tube in the pic). I will need shorter springs too, and may go with somewhat stiffer ones, as it feels way too soft on the pavement now. Increasing the oil height helped some. If my calculations are correct, front spring is now a 4.8 N/mm, maybe a 5.5 N/mm would be ok? (btw, in the background are my freshly painted brake calipers, stock were just plain aluminium).

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. JCool

    JCool Long timer

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    Shortening the stock springs will make them stiffer.
    #7
  8. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    True, and I would arrive at about 5.3 N/mm if I did so probably pretty good. I have considered it but I think it’d be difficult making the end of spring as flat/even as it is now. I know it would bother me having that imperfect spring end wearing away at the ”fork lid”.
    #8
  9. flinders_72

    flinders_72 Long timer

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    Some guys in here have done it successfully, I believe. Heat, bash and grind flat. If you're throwing the springs away anyway...
    #9
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  10. Salsa

    Salsa Long timer

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    Heat up the end with a torch to flatten it. Then grind it. (Yes I have done it)

    Don
    #10
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  11. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    Ok, good to know. Issue is I don’t have a proper torch, only one of these small hand held butane ones, and it doesn’t heat very much. Is the only other option to get a full size acetylene/oxygen torch or are there more affordable options?
    #11
  12. Salsa

    Salsa Long timer

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    I think Propane/Butane will work on something that small. Map or what ever they replaced it with is a little hotter, but not very much. Some places in the world have a Propane and Oxygen setup.

    Don
    #12
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  13. JCool

    JCool Long timer

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    You need oxy/acetylene to get it red hot fast without heating up several inches of the spring. You can get a mini torch set up for about $175 , then you can cut , braze and solder.
    #13
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  14. 9mm

    9mm Been here awhile

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    I am starting to hate the word scrambler.

    Bobber, chopper, scrambler When is the new fade coming?
    #14
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  15. Salsa

    Salsa Long timer

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    How do you tell the difference?????

    Don
    #15
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  16. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    Agree. I’m just building the bike I always wanted to make, just happened to coincide with the latest fad.

    Off topic, but if I were to guess, I think the next thing will be retro futuristic 80s bikes (think Katanas with a 2000-twist).
    #16
  17. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer

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    Good off topic subject though..
    Can we have 70's choppers with murals, bad rake angles, dangerous forks, cut off denim jackets, hot pant wearing groupies, lewd behaviour and orgies round camp fires, poor personal hygiene, bad acid instead of meth.
    Mind you, most of the guys on this thread will be still doing one if not all of the above anyway :bmwrider
    (Good build by the way.)
    #17
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  18. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    Hey!! My acid is not bad at all :robin
    With that in mind, I like the way you think but I don’t think that’s hipster enough to really catch on and i say that as a card carrying hipster.

    We’ll see where the build ends up. So far it’s not even started really.
    #18
  19. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    So I’ve started looking some at the tank. The Honda logo obviously has to go... in stock form it also has a big contraption for locking the gas cap, which also has to go.

    Step one was removing the tank logos. I had to drill and/or weld a washer to get them off, since they were rusted stuck pretty good. Once off, turns it out they’re screwed onto this strip of sheet metal, behind which there’s A LOT of loose rust. Just tapping on the strip caused streams of rust particles to fall out. Originally, I wanted to leave the strip in place to attach a new logo, but with all the rust behind it, it just wouldn’t be possible.

    C31F616C-C2A2-465B-BF58-FFD11BC22B70.jpeg


    I’ve already got rid of most of the strip in this photo, but imagine all the recessed part being filled with loose rust.

    1E041228-8E7A-4F97-9954-0598BC12708E.jpeg

    After some tender care with an angle grinder and a flap wheel, it now looks something like this (image make it look like there some deep dents/grooves that are really not their). Still some rusty spots left, but since they’re recessed I’m a bit wary to go to hard on them with the abrasive pad. Any tips on good rust stain removal appreciated. I will fill in the recessed parts with lead filler. I was considering using metal epoxy but lead filler will ensure a good seal in case the sheet metal has rusted through or nearly rusted through developing a leak later.

    DF0438DF-4308-4AD7-901F-A6C9907BA60D.jpeg


    Also with the tender touch of the angle grinder, I lopped off the attach points for gas cap lock mechanism. Half way done here:

    1CE4D64B-9B5E-4C0C-B284-D5774F1AB09A.jpeg
    #19
  20. Dino de Laurentiis

    Dino de Laurentiis Working on it

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    ...and all gone here. The idea is to fill in the area around the gas cap with metal epoxy to make it smooth. Rust is not very bad here, it’s easier to shape epoxy and it’s also a lot less toxic than lead.

    020EEA2F-2357-4389-9CB6-CBCC10F75280.jpeg

    I’d still like to remove the paint around the gas cap but it really sticks on. As of now, I’ve poured some brake fluid on there overnight, maybe it can overcome the strength of the Honda quality paint job.

    B6C52150-B74E-4383-B274-171829BE313E.jpeg

    As for the cas cap, I was originally thinking about putting on a weld in pop up cas cap, since it’s somewhat invisible and perhaps would reduce tampering. However, it’s also recessed into the tank, I’d loose some of the tank volume, which I’d rather not. All ears if anyone can suggest a nice looking bayonet style gas cap for a 39 mm filler neck.
    #20