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Old 11-17-2012, 06:47 PM   #46
slowlane OP
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So I just read up on the TAT and the author of the website suggests at least 400cc's to handle the trail. I applaud your faith in your little c70 to be able to stand up to this.
Thanks. Yeah that 400cc minimum makes me slightly apprehensive, but that's all part of the thrill I guess. I know there will be sections that I will have to walk the bike through or up where a bigger bike could power its way on. I don't expect to be able to cover the daily 200-250 miles that many TAT riders seem to, especially in the Western states.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:28 PM   #47
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Definitely consider using an overlay sprocket once you get to the mountains. The overlay sprocket carrying hub as used on the early CT200's (first generation Trail 90) can be adapted to work on a Passport and makes carrying/installing it quick and easy. I have one currently on my Passport. They're easily available on eBay both new and used and when the going gets steep and rough you'll appreciate having the lower gearing. Rebel Gears cut the sprockets I'm using with this setup.

Also have a Honda dealership run a copy of the altitude/jetting chart that came in Honda XR manuals. The one for my '90 XR-250R had one and by using it you can come up with a correction factor for any bike's jetting. If you don't plan for leaning out your jetting for altitude you're going to suffer from fouled plugs and/or a bike that flat won't run. The CT-90's from the early '70's or thereabouts had an altitude compensating knob making adjusting the carburetor quick and easy. I don't think these will easily adapt to the Passport and will require a 90 manifold and likely machine work to make it fit. If you went with an 88cc kit (highly recommended) it would be worth the effort to adapt this carb assuming you can find one--a good one is going to be hard to come by.

I highly recommend an oil cooler. The high temperatures you will experience on the TAT will cook your little motor especially since you're going to be hauling a load.

I'd be worried about the wheels. The rocks on the route will beat them to death. Same goes with the fork--if I were you I'd consider adapting a complete late model XR/CRF-100 front end to your bike. If you do this a seller on eBay offers a set of replacement shocks for a CT-70 that are about 13 3/8" in length. These will balance the suspension and give you substantial clearance between the rear tire and the fender, important when you encounter the muddy parts of the TAT. There are roads on the route that will be dry and concrete-like before a sudden afternoon thunderstorm turns them into slime that will pack up on your tires and stop forward progress especially on a low-horsepower bike that won't have the power to throw it off.

PM me if you need the details on adapting a 100 front end to a Passport.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:57 AM   #48
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Thanks for all the ideas Woodsrat. You read my mind with the overlay sprocket. I had been thinking about that for a while. It's on the list for sure now. What modifications did you have to do to run that ct200 carrier hub?

The wheels have me a little nervous too. I have hit many a rock and deep pot holes at speed with this bike and they have held up well but I have seen videos of sections of the TAT that will test the durability of the stock rims. Ultimately I am leaning toward just chancing it with the current wheels and of course going slow and easy over the bad stuff.

I'll definitely consider an oil cooler. I have run high speed for about 30-40 miles straight many times in 100 degree Texas weather, but that was with only a light load.

I like the idea about the 100 front end, but i hadn't planned on making that drastic of a modification to the bike. I wish I could just find a better set of front shocks for the bike. Mine are still the 30,000 mile originals, and my only attempt to replace them didn't go so well. The new aftermarket shocks I bought and fitted were junk, and gave a worse ride than the worn originals. They were super weak and practically bottomed out as soon as I sat on the bike.

I have had a few encounters with that sticky mud when I was in Kansas. I remember sitting on the side of the road digging mud out of the rear fender with a stick to get going again. The design of the rear fender is probably my only complaint about these otherwise amazing little bikes. The front of the rear fender tapers down and mud starts to gather there. Before long it's packed front to rear with glop and grinds you to a halt in short order.

I already have the #72 main jet that the factory C70 manual recommends for high altitude operation. That easily adjusted CT-90 carburetor sounds amazing. I keep mentally going back and forth about the 88cc kit; added power versus proven reliability.

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Old 11-18-2012, 08:14 AM   #49
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Starting with the 88cc kit I've had a HTB kit in a CRF-70 motor for seven years that I've done everything in my power to kill and it just keeps on going. Being they have an aluminum cylinder they shed heat better than the stock iron cylinder and it's proven to be as reliable as a stocker. It comes with a mild cam and the whole package is well worth the bucks.

I found a set of replacement shocks on eBay that were much stiffer than the stockers which I could bottom by just pushing on the forks. I'll see if I can find out what seller had them. The XR/CRF-100 front end solves a lot of problems, though--it gives you a high front fender, rides far, far better than the stock C-70 fork and stiffer springs are available if needed. To install it all you have to do is cut and lengthen the steering stem--it uses the same bearings as the C-70. I'd recommend you install a set of tapered neck bearings while you're in there if you convert it and add a grease nipple to make regreasing the neck bearings simple and quick.

Using a 100 front end allows you to use conventional handlebars which are cheap and easy to replace if you bend them. The stock C-70 setup is pretty weak and maybe not the best for a trip on the TAT.

Again going along with using the 100 front end and CT-70 shocks you'll end up with a lot more rear wheel clearance and the mud buildup problem won't be quite as bad as it is stock.

If I remember right I bought a used CT200 hub and installed new bearings. Otherwise it was a total bolt-on. The CT's used a #428 chain whereas the C-70 uses a #420 so you'll have to change the sprocket.

The wheels worry me. The stock XR/CRF-100 wheel isn't exactly a strong unit and not much better than the C-70. Going with a set of quality aluminum rims, heavy duty stainless steel spokes and the best tires you can buy might keep them round and free from damage but are a major investment. If you've kept the bike this long and don't plan to sell it they're a good investment to avoid problems over the long haul. Ain't gonna be cheap, though...

Purists will tell you if you do all these mods you're not riding a C-70 anymore. I'm a realist who's been out on the TAT a couple of times and know what you're going to get into--but don't take any of these suggestions as "must do" things before you go. The most important thing is not to wait until everything is perfect but to get out there and do it while you still can. Life is short and we don't know what the future holds for us. Get out there and make some memories. Isn't that what an adventure is all about???
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:09 AM   #50
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My recommendation would be to either just go for it without making a lot of modifications to the bike or trade it for a CT90/110 and you'll have everything you need in a proven reliable package.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:03 PM   #51
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[QUOTE=slowlane;20069106

I have had a few encounters with that sticky mud when I was in Kansas. I remember sitting on the side of the road digging mud out of the rear fender with a stick to get going again. The design of the rear fender is probably my only complaint about these otherwise amazing little bikes. The front of the rear fender tapers down and mud starts to gather there. Before long it's packed front to rear with glop and grinds you to a halt in short order.

.[/QUOTE]

+100 on the mud. I went pheasant hunting one time in Clay Center. the hunting was great. I know why the town got it's name. The clay would stick to the sole of the boot, extrude out the cleats on the side and wrap around the toe. Your boots weighed a ton. Constant kicking off the mud made my legs so sore the next morning I about cried. Still there were many pheasants, and it tempered the pain quite a bit.

Rod
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:16 PM   #52
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Yeah I actually lost a pair of shoes in that mud on one ride. My Honda got stuck and sunk almost to the axles so I had to drag it out. My feet sank so deep in mud that they were totally covered under probably 6 inches of muck. I struggled for a bit and finally broke free, but when I pulled my feet out, only socks were left. I decided to ditch the shoes as they were already worn out to the verge of being trash anyway and I rode back with just muddy socks.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:49 PM   #53
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Interesting problem. For the TAT a near stock C70 or to mod it? Besides it "not being a C70" with a bore kit, carb, rims, handlebars, etc. is the expense. I guess you have to weigh those costs with the costs getting the bike out of someplace if it dies or gets busted up. My vote is to go with it as near stock as possible. I know, not having ridden the TAT its easy for me to say that sitting at my computer. I rode a (admittedly lightly loaded) Thai Honda C100 "Dream" all over the back "roads" of Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia. It can take incredible abuse, just incredible. They also have 600 different kinds of mud there. You can paddle through a lot of mud though. (True it did have telescopic forks though...) For me, on the TAT with a standard C70, the issue would be altitude and heat, or rather those combinations. Aren't there 9000+ passes (or higher)? and at 80+f, that makes them in reality 13,000 ft density altitude. An oil cooler for sure. Larger displacement, FWIW, the Symba I ride has a mere 30cc on my C70 but it makes a difference but there begins the slippery slope of money and it getting away from being a C70. Ruined rims? Maybe. They will bend maybe for sure, but I don't think they will break or fail. Having had a CT110 too, I would think, aside from power, it isn't that much more capable for dirt roads and trail riding. It will protect your feet better though, I've noticed on the C70, in the rough stuff if you dab your feet are really close to the pegs and the ground and the rear wheel - basically your feet will touch down way sooner on the C70 than the CT110, you may have saved it with the CT110 but have twisted or dislocated your ankle on the C70. Just my two penny thoughts.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:07 AM   #54
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For slowlane or anyone else with a Passport/Cub-style bike in need of a front suspension upgrade I had excellent luck with eBay item #200733646463. These replacement shocks are way stiffer than stock and won't bottom if you look at them hard like the stockers. At $30 plus shipping they're cheap, too.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #55
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Thanks Woodsrat for the front shock link. I ordered a set. I think they will help balance out the ride a bit more. It's pretty good as is but the front is definitely mushier than the back over bumps. I have put close to 100 miles on it since the new stuff was added. Unfortunately the engine is leaking a fair amount of oil from the top end while running. It has been leaking for awhile because I have had to add a bit of oil between changes for about the last year or so. I guess the bash guard collecting the oil that would usually just end up on the ground just made the extent of problem more apparent. I ordered a complete gasket kit and will probably go ahead and reseal the whole engine instead of only the top end. I was already planning to pull the clutch cover to clean the oil screen and centrifugal filter and check the clutch plates and springs.

chazbird I have been going back and forth about how much modification I really want to do. I understand that certain parts of the bike will take a beating. I think I am just going to go for it with what I have now save for maybe an oil cooler. I am not dead set that I have to complete the whole trail at all cost. Of course completion is the goal, but I also do not want to totally destroy my old friend the C70, or myself for that matter, and I will travel accordingly.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:47 PM   #56
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Many members have ridden all over on small bikes, Dabinche rode his Symba to Alaska and back from Ca, Hitchikeforever rode to NY from CA on a C70, Underbone the World, rode Syms with his wife all over southeast asia and then the US. Nathan the Postman rode OZ and back to London on an old postie bike, then rode across the US. If anybody knows the capabilities of these little bikes, they do. Just ask them what they would do differently or add to. Lot's of experience out there just for the asking. Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #57
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CCs are no match for gearing. I have climbed 10,000 foot mountains with a 50cc 2 stroke moped. Yes it was slow but it got there. And did so without lugging the engine. I was able to keep the engine spinning over 7,000 rpm at 15 mph. My 125cc Zuma 125 won't come close to climbing that mountain, because the CVT lacks low enough gearing. That dual range transmission was a stroke of genius on Honda's part, enabling a very small bike to climb anything. The single range transmission on your Passport will also climb anything in first gear, just take your time. In first gear it has more power than the rear wheel has traction
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #58
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Today I pulled out the leaky engine to take it down for a reseal. I think I'll order some new clutch plates too while I am at it. It's nice to have a vehicle where the engine can be removed in less than 15 minutes.

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Old 12-01-2012, 08:15 PM   #59
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I don't know if they'll fit the Passport intake manifold--they didn't list the bolt spread measurement--but someone on eBay is offering a replica of the early '70's CT-90 carb with the altitude compensating knob. If it'll fit the Passport it might be an excellent idea so you don't have to do any jetting work when you get Rocky Mountain High. They sell for $87.

Interesting story about altitude and jetting. I kept after my buddy to make sure he had leaner jetting for his KLR when we went to Colorado in '99. He ignored me and when I arrived he came running up to me with panic in his eyes wanting to know if I had any jets with me. Sure, I replied--Del'Orto's for my ATK and the Gas-Gas Pampera that I had in the truck. Apparently he'd tried to do the "Alpine Loop" out of Lake City that day and found his bike wouldn't run over 10,000 feet.

In desperation he went on a wild goose chase looking for jets at a local snowmobile shop with no luck. The shop owner told him about an old trick they used to do to Jeeps of putting a piece of wire through the jet to limit it's flow. They removed the main jet, broke a .025" wire off of a spark plug tool, put it through the jet, bent the end so it wouldn't fall out, reinstalled it and went for a ride up to Engineer Pass. It ran perfect and did so the entire trip through Colorado and Utah and back.

I'm not sure such a jury rigged fix would work on the Passport but it's something to file away in the brain.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #60
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I actually did buy a the high altitude main jet that the Honda manual recommends for operation above 6000 feet. It will just be interesting having to pull apart the carburetor while out there on the trail. It looks like once I hit the Rockies though, the elevation stays above 6000 ft practically to the Pacific Ocean so I shouldn't have to change the jet out for every pass. I'll definitely take a look at that carburetor on ebay.

I have only been over the mountains once, in my GMC Safari, and even though it's fuel injected, it felt as though half the power was gone by the time I got to the top of the passes. That was with about 160hp and the Honda has like 6hp so hopefully that high altitude jet will help preserve some of what little power it has to work with.

I ordered those front shocks that you had mentioned earlier and they work great. They actually have some strength to them and are a little longer than my old ones so ground clearance increased as a bonus.

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