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dual sport conversion

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by idontlikemondays, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. turning a road bike into a dual sport? can it be done?
    well i want to find out. ive got my old faithfull VTR250 at home, and i want to do some serious touring over the summer. my first trip that im planning is going down to tarthra, west to hay, north to bourke, east to grafton and back down to sydney. my aim is to go off the beaten track and take some of less traveled roads throughout my journey. but although the bike as it is could still manage the trip there are a couple of things i reckon would make life easier.
    dual sport tyres, i know metzeller do a dual sport tyre for similar sized rims, maybe ill need to look into spoked rims aswell?
    fitting a bash plate, to protect the sump, protect the engine and the radiator and stop some of the crap getting into the spark plug wells.
    gear level, i want to fit an XR gear level to it, in the event on a drop it isnt bent back in and damage the spindle.
    shock cover, fit a protector to try and stop all the crap getting on the shock.
    handlebars, get some that wont bend through a minor drop and some where i can fit lever gaurds on them.

    so these are my initial thoughts, are there any suggestions to other modifications that would be appropriate? i would be most appreciative if there were. unfortunatly selling the VTR and buying a real dual sport isnt on the cards. i wouldnt want to spend much more than about 500 bucks either, as there is about 700 bucks worth of other repairs/replacements/refurbishments that need doing at this point of the bikes life (approaching 60000kms)

    the trip im planning will be camping out aswell, so id also be very appreciative of any other suggestions for things that i should take into account for a long distance trip in remote areas. im ex RAInf, so i do know abit about bush craft :LOL: :p

    thanks again,
  2. If you're going on smooth gravel roads, then any bike can do it. Check out tyres such as Tourance, Anakee and TKC 80 - whilst a 17" front can be hard to find, you can always put a rear tyre on the front which I've seen done on advrider.

    If you're talking spoked rims, you must be aiming to hit some bumpyroads. Once you start increasing rim sizes, you're also starting to mess with trail and the handling of the bike will not be as it was meant to be.

    I know you said you don't want to, but before going too crazy, check out the price of dual sports. My 2004 KLR 650 is for sale for $5,500 with full luggage, all the protection bars, heap of extras plus 24 litre tank standard.

    To go quicker off-road, the bigger the front rim the better. 21" is going to absorb potholes much better than a 17" front. I'd hate to see you go to all the expense of kitting out the VTR and then hitting a bulldust pothole and dumping you and the bike pretty hard (don't ask me how I know :wink: ) when a 21" front would see you sail through.

    Then you've got suspension travel....
  3. You tell me this AFTER I sell the Transalp??

    I could still go on the WR400... hmmmm
  4. hahaa you guys are nuts :grin:

    if you want a challenge.... I have a cbr250rr which would make an excellent offroader. just needs some crf450 forks, chassis, swingarm, rear shock, and wheels. and a few thousand bucks for the parts :)
  5. youll be right.
    i woudnt bother with the spokes.
    like someone said back tyre on the front in reverse i think it is.
    ive taken the gpx offroad a few times cant accelarate or stp for crap but still fun.
  6. Along with more suitable tyres, you're gonna need longer travel suspension and as has been said preferably a bigger front wheel.

    Then there is the issue of being able to stand up sometimes. I dont know about you but I can't do it for long on my VTR.

    Just sell it and buy a Weestrom. $10k ride away! :grin:
  7. thanks for the tips guys. yeah ive taken the little VTR off road quite a few times. im really only interested is just a couple of extras just to make life easier. and to make a big long trip more survivable. the places im planning on going will be a lonnnnngggg way from a mobil phone tower, little lone a work shop.
    tweet, i have to admit i was considering it when you mentioned it to me, but at that point i wasnt prepared to swap the 250 for a bigger bike. im starting to change my mind on that now.
    alex ive noticed the klr, they seem like quite a decent machine. but if i were to buy a dual sports/trail, id get an XR400. there is actually one for sale in melbourne at the moment, 2000 model 25000kms with a long range tank fitted for only $3900. ive ridden the XR a few times and i do like them.
    the only thing im worried about is all weather commutabilty on a dirt bike, which i need especially living in hornsby with work and uni on the other side of the bridge. and i dont want to commute 500kms a week on the thou which drinks like salior (shut up wayne! i'd have to admit it sooner rather than latter now im getting abit more throttle happy!! :LOL: ) and eats rubber like it is going out of style.

    bah i might run with it. im excited somewhat by doing a big dual sports kind of trip on a sports 250. after all, i got my inspiration from one of my neighbours who went around australia on a postie bike!
    i was checking out the tourance tyres at sydney city today, they look perfect if i cant get a 140/70/17.

    thanks again for the tips fellas!
  8. at least try and get some spoked wheels. cast wheels are too heavy and not made for rough dirt roads. You'll flatten them in 2 hours.

    I guess if your contingency plan is to just ditch the bike and fly home when it all goes south, then it doesn't matter. but letting some sensibility prevail - the xr4 is a sound and sensible idea for a long-haul off/on-road trip. Just don't be in a hurry and get a throttle clamp for the long straight bitumen bits.