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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

I have learned a ton owning this bike for the past year and thought I would share what I have encountered and what I have upgraded along the way. My twin is a daily rider in the spring/summer/fall months and the occasional nice day in the Wisconsin winters. I have just over 10,000 miles as of 3/1/2018. Purchased 6/1/2017.

I have a background in suspension design and two wheel vehicle dynamics so please excuse any deep dive into the tech bits.

Here is my list as it sits March 2018:

-Tail trim (plastic removal/trim)
-12V plug (Honda OEM)
-Ram mount for phone
-Barkbusters - VDS
-Camel ADV footpeg brace (after I broke one stock mount)
-Cheapo footpegs (needed in a pinch - but have worked well!)
-TrailJammer Designs Stator guard
-Oxford Heated Grips
-Outback Motortek crash bars (mid only)
-Rapid Bike Racing add on kit
-Danmoto full SS exhaust
-Evap can delete
-Superlight Sprockets/DID chain (16/42 combo from 16/42 stock)
-Penske tuned forks with 20mm piston kit w/ custom valving 0.85kg/mm springs
-Penske/Axis shock w/ custom valving 600lb/in spring

Tires I've used:
-Stock Dunlops - UGH! Glad to have switched
-Shinko 804/805 - just okay, about 5000 miles out of them, not great on gravel, amazing price, but just okay performance

The bike has completely been transformed from when I picked it up just under a year ago. Its amazing capable and I've taken it on parts of the ****, numerous trips from WI to TN, MN and MI. I raced it in a flat track event (just for fun!) and if I had tires I would have had it out on the ice!

It was an incredible platform from the start, super tame, yet capable, but I knew there is a ton of potential just waiting to be uncorked! I come from a MTB background, so I’m sensitive to weight…yeah I know I know….its 511lbs….for now! The geometry of the bike makes it incredibly stable at high speeds off road, yet able to be easily balanced at slow speeds, but the suspension was set up for comfort on road. I did upgrade the suspension, and my riding style leans more supermoto than enduro, so it is sprung fairly stiff. Possibly too stiff, but more off road riding will help me get a better gauge on the exact tune. The rear with the 600lb spring is perfect. I don’t usually carry a ton of luggage, and when I ride with a passenger, it is much more tame, so I haven’t needed to adjust preload. It is stiff when I need the control, but compliant and comfy with a passenger. The front is a bit stiff, but I need to put more time on it before making more changes. The suspension, exhaust, and tune are all fairly new upgrades.

The Danmoto full SS exhaust is surprisingly good! I wanted something lightweight and something I wouldn’t mind getting beat up, so dropping over $1k on a Termi or Remus system didn’t seem to great. For $340 shipped I was more than willing to give it a shot, even if it ended up being disposable. I spent the money saved on exhaust upgrades to get the Rapid Bike Racing unit. That was the best decision I made for the bike. It is unreal how much more alive the bike feels. It takes an effort to keep the front wheel on the ground during hard acceleration. It is also completely customizable and can be tuned with or without a dyno. I have a dyne session scheduled for later this spring, so I will update with more info after that. Overall super impressed with Rapid Bike. I have a 2017 bike, and had no issue installing it or getting it to work properly. The biggest benefit for me, is that it adjusts on the fly. No need to head back to the dyno if I decide to start messing with the airbox, or head work.

Outback Motortek crash bars - my goodness what an amazing system. I have dropped/crashed by bike no less than 3 times since installing them, and they have been SOLID. I cant recommend them enough. Minimal weight and tons of protection. With the TrailJammer stator guard, and bark busters, I haven’t had any issues with damage at all. It finally feels like a 1000cc dirt bike. I did need to modify the headers with a very sophisticated……hammer…..uhhh…but they do fit and I have had no issues at all. I don’t plan to add any more protection, everything I currently have its more than adequate.

I will say I do have some nit picks - I wish it had an easier place to store a toolbox. I had a 1988 NX650 with a nifty little toolbox on the lower left side of the bike, mounted to the skid plate. Such a cool design and easy to access! The current options are not great. I also wish the seat was flat. With a passenger, she sits right on the hump transition from the front to rear seat. I know there are options out there. Seat concepts finally has a rally seat that will match, but I don’t really want to raise the seat another 20mm. Id rather have it a tad lower than stock so you sit lower in the bike. It helps handling way more off road (and on road) to have that lower center of gravity, plus with a tall seat, you’re just taking away space for you to absorb terrain with your legs and move around on the bike. I’ll be searching for more info on this in the future.

I also need to convert the wheels to tubeless. Rotational weight is the easiest way to add performance and feel to a bike, not to mention, it’ll help the suspension work more efficiently. I also wish tire manufacturers were required to post motorcycle tire weight. The Shinkos were noticeably heavier (as the should be for a 60/40 off/on road tire). But exact weights would be helpful in making tire decisions. I’ll start an excel doc as I get more time on tires. So lightweight sprockets, going tubeless and smart tire selection should balance out to help add performance and bike feel while still remaining a formidable off road tool.

I have also investigated doing a 19in front wheel, or 19/17 combo, or even a 17/17 combo! Again, just adding to the possible versatility of this bike.

Okay that is enough for now. I’ll post photos of the process along the way and feel free to inquire or argue with anything haha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
still more? YUP! Also enjoy some "monster moto" renderings with 17/17 and 18/19 wheel combos.
 

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Great post, great info and photos, thanks for sharing. So the header downpipes interfere with the crossbar for the OM crash bars I assume? I have same crash bars and probably going to run into the same interference when I go to fit my arrow header.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes I did have to modify them I decided to remove a bit of material from the brace (in a non critical area) and dent the headers. Arrow ones might fit. I think the Termi's fit with the OM crash bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also found a good way to weigh the bike. 2 bathroom scales and a jack! This way I can get an approximate weight and the F/R weight distribution without a rider. Initial weight with just over a gallon in the tank is 490lbs. 250 front and 240 rear (51/49 split).

I'm fairly happy with that. Ideally I would want a 450lb Africa Twin, so there is more work to do! Obviously it is no small task, but over the next year or so I think it is absolutely possible.

There is easy weight to be lost in the form of going tubeless, and lithium battery, but the rest will take some creativity.

Fully fueled this should sit at just about 515lbs.
 

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I also found a good way to weigh the bike. 2 bathroom scales and a jack! This way I can get an approximate weight and the F/R weight distribution without a rider. Initial weight with just over a gallon in the tank is 490lbs. 250 front and 240 rear (51/49 split).

I'm fairly happy with that. Ideally I would want a 450lb Africa Twin, so there is more work to do! Obviously it is no small task, but over the next year or so I think it is absolutely possible.

There is easy weight to be lost in the form of going tubeless, and lithium battery, but the rest will take some creativity.

Fully fueled this should sit at just about 515lbs.
To take 25kg out of the stock bike you are going to have to get some lightweight wheels (a lot to save there), lightweight gas tank (not much), and things like a new swingarm (a fair amount to save) , not sure where else there is that much weight that you can remove. Mine with Honda crash bars and rear rack and bash plate plus a few tools comes in at 250.4 kg (with 10L fuel). If you went through the bike and swapped out all bolts, including axles etc with Titanium ones you would get an easy 10kg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To take 25kg out of the stock bike you are going to have to get some lightweight wheels (a lot to save there), lightweight gas tank (not much), and things like a new swingarm (a fair amount to save) , not sure where else there is that much weight that you can remove. Mine with Honda crash bars and rear rack and bash plate plus a few tools comes in at 250.4 kg (with 10L fuel). If you went through the bike and swapped out all bolts, including axles etc with Titanium ones you would get an easy 10kg.
Hmm not a bad idea! Bolt kits are available. I bet I could get a Ti kit. Wheels are one that I really want to investigate. Durability is still a factor, but I think a 19/17 combo could be really light and still deliver quite a bit of off-road performance. Someone needs to make carbon rims for motorcycles, like they do for mountain bikes.

I also think the rear rack can be upgraded with an aluminum custom option that still is usable, stronger than the original and lightweight.

I wonder if the race/rally seat is lighter than stock.
 
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