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wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
5/13/17 7:44 p.m.

I like these bikes, and figured I might post a pic or two. Feel free to join in if you like.

I was prompted to do this when I found a random thread on a bike I own that is an unloved orphan. Behold the XT550

Here's one I built, currently my brother's. XR650L.

And the one that started my love affair with this style bike. The Duke.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
5/13/17 8:26 p.m.

Here's a new XR650 just because it is so darn weird.(EDIT:photoshop) This, I like. While not the same thing, it is hard to argue with Ducati.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
5/13/17 8:29 p.m.

Okay, it's not a pic, but a question: How different are the suspension tunings for dual-sport duty vs supermoto? Can you really just swap wheels and do pretty well going back and forth between kart tracks and the woods?

And I'll play along while I'm at it...

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
5/13/17 9:15 p.m.

I had to post this one CR500 too awesome.

In reply to Ransom: I can't answer with much authority. The XR 650L I built used an unknown set of forks. I believed them to be Yamaha YZF 400 or 250 forks. I also used a Ricor rear shock "tuned" to my body weight +20 lbs. It handled weird. I always felt like I was oversteering into the corner. I added a lowering link, and slid the forks as far as they could go down in the triple clamps, and it was way better. In all honesty, I'm not an aggressive rider. After all that, it rode nice, you know, like a dirt bike, if you rode the front wheel. A good set of tires on the stock rims, along with some cartridge emulators and a shock rebuild would have gotten me 90% there for 15% of the budget. Looks nice, though.

Maybe AE86andKP61 will chime in. I suspect he, and others might be a better resource than I on this one.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/13/17 9:30 p.m.

I threw some 17s on my Husky TXC 449 and while it looked cool the handling was scary. It was probably just my bike but at speeds over 60 mph it was very twitchy. It also had a really weird transmission setup and required 300 mile oil changes so it is no longer with me. I would like another as I LOVE light weight bikes but that one scared me. Also 38" seat height is unnerving even at 6'2".

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
5/13/17 10:16 p.m.

In reply to singleslammer:

You hit the nail on the head. The 17" front wheel is like slamming the front end 2", and all the corresponding rake changes that would make. In my case, I had less trail, too, as well as forks set up for a lighter bike. That's why dropping the rear, and raising the front helped mine so much. If I were to do it over now, I'd use stock forks. Again, the USD's look nice, but actual performance gain is highly questionable. To get a little closer to answering Ransom's question, I'd say changing wheels only on a stock bike, suspension valving may be close, but you should plan on addressing some of the basic suspension geometry problems created. Lowering the rear is a good start. It sure isn't just a case of throwing new wheels on and hooning.

The above is an opinion.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
5/13/17 10:32 p.m.

I love the small SM bikes in theory and for whipping around town but... does anyone have any experience with these? I love the idea of an SM on steroids. It's tall. It's narrow. It's got clearance. It's light. It's packing a monster LC8 V-twin made by the orange mafia. It's probably as temperamental as an Irish redhead on the menses. I feel like it might be perfect with some soft bags and a mohawk glued onto my helmet.

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
5/14/17 8:09 p.m.

If I were discerning and/or skilled at riding and tuning, I might have some useful input. Instead, I'm the type to ride what is underneath me until I get the "whee!" feeling without being too scared, and I call that good enough.

I used Race Tech's spring rate calculator for my DR350SE, plugged in all the appropriate values, including 200 pounds, amateur rider level, and called my riding style trail/enduro. I set the bike up with these spring rates (a little stiffer than stock on the front, a tiny bit stiffer in the rear) and didn't mess with ride height. I like the quicker handling with the little front wheel, but the ol' DR wasn't exactly knife-edge with the stock enduro wheels. I'm sure a model geared towards more agressive riding might be more twitchy. The spring weight works for me on and off-road with both wheels. The dive, squat, and flex with really sticky tires takes a little getting used to, but is also part of the reason I like the bike...you get lots of feedback and dramatics before reaching the edge of the tires' traction, and small slides disrupt the chassis less than on low and stiff sport bikes.

I found it interesting to note that the spring rates Race Tech came up with for my DR are almost identical to stock rates on the DRZ400SM from Suzuki. I think Suzuki tweaked the fork offset on the SM, and I'm not sure what sort of rider weight they modeled for the stock supermoto. The one I rode seemed fine to me, but as I said, I'm not the most discerning.

The guys around here into track days and racing generally seem to lower and stiffen off-road models when going supermoto, but they are also often tweaking suspension settings from track-to-track and day-to-day, and aren't taking the same bike out on trails.

I'd say try it as-is cautiously, then play with stiffening it 10%-15% a bit if you feel the need. That should be OK for dual duty. Ride, enjoy, and if the bike isn't working, dial back the pace a bit and enjoy. Works for me, YMMV.

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
5/14/17 8:17 p.m.

Here's my fantasy material of late...the little Aprilia V-twins...although perhaps with some lights.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/14/17 10:08 p.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61:

Those are cool! That gives me terrible thoughts of a motocross bike with a hole in the block and a wrecked sv650 or similar. The issue is that a project like that could easily top $3k making it much easier to just buy a real supermoto.

java230
java230 SuperDork
5/15/17 10:33 a.m.

Ive got a KX250F in my garage.... I would love to do the tard treatment, but its so convoluted to get it resisted....

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
5/15/17 9:35 p.m.

In reply to singleslammer:

I had pretty much exactly the same thoughts, but then I started following the Aprilia SXV/RXV market, and they seem to be an insane amount of bike for the money. I really doubt you could even come close to building something vaguely like it for the same price. $3.5-$5.5K for a stockish runner, saw a couple Challenge-priced (or less) basket cases, and a few with tons of upgrades that keep getting relisted at $6K+ but don't seem to be selling fast if at all.

These bikes really suffer from the fact that everyone on the Internet is convinced they are maintenance nightmares and massively unreliable, even if they've never owned/ridden/seen one! The market seems fairly soft, which is good news for buyers!

Let's get a couple things straight: they aren't low-maintenance. 2007's suffered from some issues from the factory. They aren't the kind of bike where you spend an afternoon after buying checking the spark plugs, cleaning the air filter, and lubing the chain before riding off into the sunset on a long-distance trip. Buying one used will take some careful vetting, and most likely some work before riding. It will need oil changes monthly, and the engine will have to come out of the frame every other winter or so. But in all seriousness, do any of us really intend to buy a fire-breathing, wheelie-in-every-gear, seat-like-a-2x4, sub-300-pound, 70hp supermoto to ride 10,000 or 15,000 miles a year?

I've been dreaming of picking one up after a get a new job later this year. I like shopping for bikes between late October and February, so may be searching for one then.

A Husky SMR510 or 511 seems like it could be a similar riding experience for around the same price, but you would be missing that awesome V-twin soundtrack!

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
5/15/17 9:43 p.m.

In reply to java230:

Is WA really that bad? I've heard that getting an off-road model registered for the street there is easier than Oregon where it isn't an option, no matter what. Is there more to it than taking your off-road title and getting an inspection for lighting equipment, muffler, horn, DOT tires, etc?

Burrito
Burrito Dork
5/15/17 10:08 p.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61:

I have been lead to believe that it is just that. The kid I get along with at the Cycle Gear on 4th Plain in Vancouver just plated a 2017 YZ450 and said it was an absolutely painless process.

I couldn't help but notice that the aftermarket turn signals and taillight weren't even DOT approved.

I plan to go through the motions to plate something old and 2 smokey thus coming winter, so I'm incredibly pleased to hear this.

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 HalfDork
5/15/17 11:27 p.m.

In reply to Burrito:

I'm no expert, just asking if what I've heard is close to truth. Let us know how it goes if you get an old two-stroke out on the road!

My interest is that I have a bike that I can't register which my dad could potentially title for m...,I mean....I have a bike that isn't legal in Oregon, so I figure that I should sell it to my dad so it doesn't sit too long. Since he's in Washington, he could register it and ride it if he bought it from me....yes...ahem!

skierd
skierd SuperDork
5/15/17 11:58 p.m.

I love mine!

Mine started as an R with 21/18 wheels. The WR250X has 17's, a larger front brake, and a shorter kickstand, that's it basically. I think the factory suspension settings might be a bit stiffer too, but those are all clicker adjustments.

The SM wheels are a friggin HOOT on road, and good enough until you need a really want a real dirt bike anyway off-road with the 17" knobs. They still corner pretty well on road to the point where I think I'll get a set of TKC80's next.

With slicks it was most happy on dry gravel roads and could rip down dry dirt trails... just be ready for any deepest sand or wet spots to throw your front wheel in to a skid. As long as it wasn't too long of a section and I stayed on the throttle it usually just skated across and hooked up on the other side.

java230
java230 SuperDork
5/16/17 10:07 a.m.

In reply to ae86andkp61:

That is exactly what it takes. Must be a certified inspection shop.

Need hi/lo headlight, BOTH mirrors, horn, stop tail turn, DOT tires, adequate muffler (IIRC on that one). Then you can get your title changed to converted vehicle and get plates.

The issue is MY bike, stator is not big enough to power lights, no aftermarket one really works, so its wasted battery pack style. No factory lights, so all the brake switches etc need to be added. When I looked into it it was ~$1200 all in with tires and whatnot, I can just about buy a plated DS for that. I did look at old frames with titles for awhile.....

Note some inspection shops are far more scrupulous than others, like burrito said, "technically" everything must be DOT approved, but "usually" lights are good enough. I really wish I didn't have to do tires.

EDIT: here is the WA state page on it. http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/offroadmotorcycles.html

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
5/16/17 10:17 a.m.

What you do is... register it in Vermont. You can do it all by mail. Put the VT plate on it. Get insurance. Done.

java230
java230 SuperDork
5/16/17 10:38 a.m.
Huckleberry wrote: What you do is... register it in Vermont. You can do it all by mail. Put the VT plate on it. Get insurance. Done.

Only works on 15 years or older bikes.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/16/17 10:57 a.m.
ae86andkp61 wrote: In reply to singleslammer: A Husky SMR510 or 511 seems like it could be a similar riding experience for around the same price, but you would be missing that awesome V-twin soundtrack!

I would avoid the 511. They have a different rear suspension that makes lowering it very hard or impossible. My 449 (same everything except displacement) was a mess on road and the gearing was insane. 1st was huge and then every other gear was stacked up tight. It was the motorcross gear set and every model of that style got it.

The SMR is likely much better but there are better options out there.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
5/16/17 11:32 a.m.
java230 wrote:
Huckleberry wrote: What you do is... register it in Vermont. You can do it all by mail. Put the VT plate on it. Get insurance. Done.

Only works on 15 years or older bikes.

Or under 600cc IIRC.

The issue with the Vermont thing is when you get some kind of busy body do-gooder reviewing your title application who wants you to just swing on by the DMV with the bike so they can ensure that it is in fact road legal, even though it came from the factory as such (72 Honda CL175). Ask me how I know

FlightService
FlightService MegaDork
5/16/17 2:31 p.m.

I have to ask, how much did it cost to build that XR650L?

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
5/16/17 4:27 p.m.
FlightService wrote: I have to ask, how much did it cost to build that XR650L?

A friend gave it to me. 5K on top of that.

$800 Ebay used forks and wheels.

$650 to get them trued, add tires, balanced, etc.

$300 supermotard disc kit. I adapted the stock Homda caliper to this.

$1500! Staintune exhaust-stupid. It had a pefrectly good Supertrapp slip on.

Somewhere around $200 for the ricor shock. 150 for the HotCams cam, 150ish for the tank, 500 for the seat.

I had a good job at the time. I overspent. It is still a XR650L.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
5/16/17 8:38 p.m.

My Husky was the bike plus $1200 for a supermoto kit with tires and big brakes. A xr650r would be awesome. 40+ hp with VERY minimal work plus $1k for the wheels. Done

Burrito
Burrito Dork
5/16/17 9:18 p.m.

I think this is the day I brought my WR home.

I think it might be time to load the 17s back up with some slicks and go find some twisty roads...

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