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Old 03-19-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
RidingDonkeys OP
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Buell Blast Dual Sport?

I can't stop thinking about this. MrsDonkeys is 5'1" tall. She loved the Blast, and though she really wants a CRF230L, she doubts its ability to do serious commuting duty. She likes the Honda's seat height and off road capability though.

So she keeps saying that her perfect bike would be a Buell Blast dual-sport. So why not? Am I crazy for considering this?

What is necessary?
A $1500 donor bike
Chain conversion
Lower gearing
Spoke wheels
Tires
Better shocks

It seems like I'd still be out for cheaper than a BMW 650, and lighter too! Better yet, I'd have the satisfaction of a shed-built rig.

I welcome all comments from the peanut gallery.

Sent from the voices in my head and transcribed by their drinking buddy...
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
I can't stop thinking about this. MrsDonkeys is 5'1" tall. She loved the Blast, and though she really wants a CRF230L,

A lowered DR650 would be a much better choice.


Having said that, it won't hurt me a bit if you try to make a
Buell Blast into something it really won't ever be. But if you want
a good end result, think a bit more before you commit to the Buell
project. You're right to avoid the BMW single though. Those things are
heavy poorly suspended underpowered pigs. And sometimes the front forks
snap off while the bike is being ridden ( ouch ! ).

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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I'd have to agree on the DR650SE as an alternative to a Blast.

With the lower suspension positions front and rear, slid forks and lowering links, and a lowered seat, the DR's seat can be brought below 30". You still have a bike with considerable travel, a smoother engine, aftermarket support, and offroad ruggedness. The air/oil cooling works great. Skids are easy to just bolt on.

If she doesn't need a 650, the CRF230L is low and light, with offroad ruggedness and wide gearspread. I wouldn't expect it to cruise slab at 80MPH, but most people aren't likely to enjoy a Blast over long distances at that speed either. The new CRF250L is a nice bike too, but a bit taller, heavier, and more complicated. The EFI, liquid-cooling, and added displacement make for a nice bump in power over the 230.

Also take a look at the XT225/250 and the KL250 Super Sherpa. They are pretty low, rugged, and light too.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Ouch. I think I'd try riding a stocker in the dirt for a proof of concept before I went too far down the path you're considering.

Does it really need lower gearing? Most of the gearing issues I see on the forums are people trying to raise the gearing to lower the revs on the highway.


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Old 03-19-2013, 09:29 PM   #5
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Xt225 is a viable option, but is pretty tapped out at 60mph.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
RidingDonkeys OP
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Top speed is an issue with the 250 range. If she is going to commute on it, it will need to maintain 60mph for 20+ miles each way. She loves the CRF230L, but like the XT, it is pretty tapped out at 60mph.

The DR is an option. The dry weights are nearly identical. However, the perceived weight is very different. I love the DR myself, but to MrsDonkeys, it feels much more top heavy, and she's the one riding it.

Part of the attraction to the idea is simply the fun of building something different.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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I like new, interesting projects.

That being said, I think the 230 or another dual sport would still be better in most every way. From commuting, to on and off road. I looked into the 230, briefly before buying my CRF250L. IIRC correctly it will maintain 60MPH.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
Top speed is an issue with the 250 range. If she is going to commute on it, it will need to maintain 60mph for 20+ miles each way. She loves the CRF230L, but like the XT, it is pretty tapped out at 60mph.

The DR is an option. The dry weights are nearly identical. However, the perceived weight is very different. I love the DR myself, but to MrsDonkeys, it feels much more top heavy, and she's the one riding it.

Part of the attraction to the idea is simply the fun of building something different.
Belt drive? Changing wheels to dual sport wheels...how will that work with out major machining?
I think half way through a project like that and a guy would really start wondering why he started.
Women change their minds like underwear,wait till tomorrow and something different will crop up.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:03 AM   #9
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Belt drive? Changing wheels to dual sport wheels...how will that work with out major machining?
I think half way through a project like that and a guy would really start wondering why he started.
Women change their minds like underwear,wait till tomorrow and something different will crop up.
Easy peasy. The Blast engine is essentially half a Sportster engine. Well, not essentially, it IS half a sporster engine. Sporty chain drive conversions work. You just have to add a tensioner somewhere.

I'd likely find a UJM donor bike for wheels and forks.

I'm getting my Google-Fu on, and apparently I'm not the first idiot to think of this idea.

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Old 03-21-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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Even though the HP was about the same, I know my dr650 would easily pull away from my buddies blast, even though he weighed a LOT less than me.
The blast was a trip to ride though. And something different always rocks.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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Well good luck then. There are several Sportster builds going on over in Some Assembly Required, you might get some ideas there.

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Old 11-09-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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This concept has been eating at me for over a year now. I love projects too, and being without one has me thinking dirty things again.



And then last night, after a few glasses of scotch, I start searching for projects on CL. Sure as shit, I find a Blast. The timing is aweful, but the price was right. I'm going to pick up a Blast donor bike in an hour.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
This concept has been eating at me for over a year now. I love projects too, and being without one has me thinking dirty things again.



And then last night, after a few glasses of scotch, I start searching for projects on CL. Sure as shit, I find a Blast. The timing is aweful, but the price was right. I'm going to pick up a Blast donor bike in an hour.
Good for you man, build whatever you want. I look forward to seeing this project progress, keep posting!
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
Top speed is an issue with the 250 range. If she is going to commute on it, it will need to maintain 60mph for 20+ miles each way. She loves the CRF230L, but like the XT, it is pretty tapped out at 60mph.

The DR is an option. The dry weights are nearly identical. However, the perceived weight is very different. I love the DR myself, but to MrsDonkeys, it feels much more top heavy, and she's the one riding it.

Part of the attraction to the idea is simply the fun of building something different.

I rode on a dual sport run in WV - not much real off roading, but some serious abandoned dirt/mud back roaads - with a guy riding a box stock Blast. He did it all, oddly enough, the muffler under the engine worked as a skid plate fairly well. He was a good rider, so part of it was his skill. He was on fairly worn out street tires too! It would essentially be the equivalent of one of the old overweight early 70s "enduro"s (street legal).

It can be done if the trails aren't too nuts. Besides, if she's happy and you want to do the project - why not?

As for a DR650, only do that if you don't want her to ride with you after she has to hoist it up off of herself about a dozen times because even lowered it would be too tall. A Kawasaki Supersherpa would be far better.

The Blast is the first one in line, that's me letting air out of my 650's tires after having traction issues.



Here he is again



He rode the Blast because it was the only thing he could find on short noticee. He now rides a WR250R. He was roosting corners like a Grand National rider on the gravel stuff. The low height made it easy to deal with if/when he got hung up, but like I said, the muffler was a great skid plate. He also had done one of the dual sport weekends on an XS650 too.

Again, if it makes her happy, why not?
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:05 PM   #15
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There's a reason why Erik Buell crushed the last ones.

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