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Old 06-17-2007, 01:15 PM   #1
Orpheus OP
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Wicked beastly adventure modifications: triumph bonneville t100

Maybe I just need some experts to tell me this is a terrible idea, but...

So, this is my 2006 Bonneville T100:




I don't expect to be bombing down fire roads at 80 mph, but I do worry about taking adventures off the beaten path. Other than the unloaded bike weighing 450 lbs., one of the main issues in my mind is suspension travel. I narrowed down a few possible courses of action:

1) Sell the bike - AHHAHA NO
2) Get a real dual-sport - Well that's not very fun, is it?
3) Go crazy and rebuild the entire front end with KTM 48mm USD forks and 21" wheel and have a custom rear swingarm and shocks built with a 19" rear wheel and ARRRGH $$$$ OH NO MY HOUSE IS FORECLOSED.
4) Find longer 41mm conventional forks with modestly greater suspension travel and fit them into the stock triples. Stick with a 19" wheel up front, 17" in back for street-bias. Figure out what to do about the rear end. _______. Profit.

I'm leaning toward 4). Most dual-sports use USD forks greater than 41mm, so it's been hard to figure out what to do. So far I know that I could get a small (1-1.5") increase in travel with Honda F3 forks, though who knows what the hell 19" wheels those would hook up to. There are also BMW 650 forks, which in non-Dakar trim don't have huge travel. Finally, there are the 41mm forks from the new KLR 650, which are also reasonably tall.

Assuming I somehow worked out all of the spacing/caliper-carrier issues with such forks and a 19" wheel up front (maybe stock, maybe something else), that still leaves the geometry upset caused by pushing the triples back and up from the front axle. It's sort of a given that the wheelbase increases due to basic geometry, but I assume some sort of swingarm modification (putting more distance between the rear axle and top of the bike) would be required to keep things "even" up top with the increase in fork length. Logically, this also puts more distance between the top of the wheel and the fender.

Then once that's done, whatever increase in swingarm to frame distance would need to be made up with different rear shocks with greater travel. Where do these come from? Beats me.

Yeah I guess I just about talked myself out of this idea just by writing it down. But if you have any suggestions, fire away!
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2006 Triumph Bonneville T100 - I'll turn this baby into an adventure bike yet, even if it kills me (probably will).
1969 Honda CL350K1 Scrambler - On the road to recovery!
1966 Honda CL160 - Durrr not sure about this one yet.

Orpheus screwed with this post 11-02-2007 at 11:03 AM
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, do it, you know ya want to.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:28 PM   #3
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Hmm, maybe I should narrow this down. I think the best course may be to buy new (as I doubt there are any/many used on the market) 41mm KLR 650 tubes and use them in the stock T100 triples and fork lowers. Leave the stock 19" wheel with the possibility of sending it off to Woody's for fancy lacing. Stock Triumph wheel, fender, brake, etc. To that I would add a Norman Hyde fork brace. Still no contender for the Dakar, but good enough to clear/absorb nastiness in torn up roads with a 3.2" increase in front travel distance.

I'd like to increase the travel distance in the back commensurately, which in my mind means some sort of modified/different swingarm with shocks from... a magical place. Any ideas?
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2006 Triumph Bonneville T100 - I'll turn this baby into an adventure bike yet, even if it kills me (probably will).
1969 Honda CL350K1 Scrambler - On the road to recovery!
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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I like the the idea of the KLR tubes.
Take a look at the Progressive Suspension link at huskyclub.com, they have a couple of different length emulsion type shocks and different rate springs to replace the old gerlings on vintage Huskys and Maicos and the prices don't look to bad and they seem to work real well on my Husky and my brothers CZ.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the link. Very useful. Any suggestions on the swingarm itself?
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2006 Triumph Bonneville T100 - I'll turn this baby into an adventure bike yet, even if it kills me (probably will).
1969 Honda CL350K1 Scrambler - On the road to recovery!
1966 Honda CL160 - Durrr not sure about this one yet.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:49 AM   #6
Ironhead
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I don't know where you could find a custom swingarm, other than somebody with access to a lathe, milling machine and Tig welder could modify a stock one or fab a custom one for you.
I can't wait to see this thing if you decide to do it, it could be bitchin
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
Yeah I guess I just about talked myself out of this idea just by writing it down. But if you have any suggestions, fire away!

naw fuck that

you'll be the first guy to do it as far as I know

I am on the two biggest Bonnie boards and have seen nothing like what you are talking about

I do not think there is anywhere a 1200GSA can go you could not take that bike as it sits

just have to stop for gas more often

which helps keep fresh ice on the beer in the topbox

which makes that the perfect adventure bike

if I ever complete the projects I have tne next one is T100 into a homebrew Scrambler - I want the low pipes, low style points, high function points

that is a kickass bike Orph

love to see it with the NH tank

that tank is some tall fucking coin though

you gonna paint the NH tank?

I have no idea what the fork diameter is on early hinckley tigers, may be worth a look
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mutineer screwed with this post 06-20-2007 at 02:59 PM
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:14 PM   #8
Orpheus OP
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Thanks for the encouragement. The NH tank is being "prepared" right now. The look is very anti-adventure, but I don't really give a shit. It's going to be hot and the range increase should be fantastic.

I checked out the Tiger 900s and they have 43mm shocks. I still think the '08 KLR tubes are my best bet, though they may wind up being too long. Really, if I can get the bike into V-Strom/Ulysses suspension travel territory, I'd be happy. It's just hard to find 41mm conventional forks that are in that length/travel range. Either they are sub-5" travel forks for sportbikes or mega-long ones for dirt bikes/enduros.

Really, unless I find some really crazy rear twinshocks, the back end is realistically my limiting factor on how far I can raise the front. To offset the rake at the front, I need to raise the back by a certain amount, so... if I can only bring up the rear by 2", the front's going to have to be in that range, too. That said, going from 4.7" to 6.7" at the front would probably be nice place to be.
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2006 Triumph Bonneville T100 - I'll turn this baby into an adventure bike yet, even if it kills me (probably will).
1969 Honda CL350K1 Scrambler - On the road to recovery!
1966 Honda CL160 - Durrr not sure about this one yet.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:41 PM   #9
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On the advice of my local dealer, I went to talk to a custom suspension shop. They mostly do dirtbike stuff. Really heavy duty shit. They looked at me like I was crazy, but suggested I do some more research on similar swaps done by other owners...

oops.



So I went back to the dealer and asked what the price was on ordering just the tubes for a new KLR 650. Tubes and endcap assemblies = $300/ea. Jesus, I thought Kawis were supposed to be inexpensive!

I'm thinking I need to find another tube donor. Even if the tubes are too long, I should be able to have them cut down... right?

I wrote to Progressive and Works about custom shocks and rattled off all of my mad desires. We'll see how that goes.
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2006 Triumph Bonneville T100 - I'll turn this baby into an adventure bike yet, even if it kills me (probably will).
1969 Honda CL350K1 Scrambler - On the road to recovery!
1966 Honda CL160 - Durrr not sure about this one yet.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:53 PM   #10
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I can imagine the look on those guys faces
Unfortunately most people just won't get it, they don't understand that being willing to do weird shit is the heart of adventure.

Maybe you can find a swing arm from a wrecked t100 and lengthen it, move the shock mounts back on the arm so the shocks will lay forward some allowing more up and down travel at the axle and set it up with the Progressives for a late 70's Husky or Maico with a heavier spring.

Just an idea, maybe some engineering type will pipe up and let us know if it would work?
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:37 PM   #11
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Bless dumb luck. I just found a swing arm from a 2001 Bonnie on eBay and immediately snatched it up.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:09 PM   #12
itsatdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
On the advice of my local dealer, I went to talk to a custom suspension shop. They mostly do dirtbike stuff. Really heavy duty shit. They looked at me like I was crazy, but suggested I do some more research on similar swaps done by other owners...

oops.



So I went back to the dealer and asked what the price was on ordering just the tubes for a new KLR 650. Tubes and endcap assemblies = $300/ea. Jesus, I thought Kawis were supposed to be inexpensive!

I'm thinking I need to find another tube donor. Even if the tubes are too long, I should be able to have them cut down... right?

I wrote to Progressive and Works about custom shocks and rattled off all of my mad desires. We'll see how that goes.

You might give these guys a call http://www.frankmain.qpg.com/
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:33 PM   #13
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
Bless dumb luck. I just found a swing arm from a 2001 Bonnie on eBay and immediately snatched it up.
Bitchin, Time to start moddin, might take a few tries but that's what adventure is about

Man I wish I was close by, I'd love to help work on this monster

P.S. Another weird thought I just had, looking at the picture, it looks like the pivot for the swing arm is pretty high up on the back of the frame.
What if a pivot was added to the frame a couple of inches lower to add travel and make room for longer shocks
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:36 PM   #14
Duck Dodgers
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Swingarm suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
Bless dumb luck. I just found a swing arm from a 2001 Bonnie on eBay and immediately snatched it up.
I added 2 over tubes to a Sporty, I then got 15.5 progressive shocks set on bounce(now the suggestion) I got a sets of those lowering blocks for Sporty shocks (they are supposed to move the shock back) I intalled them back wards -- instead of moving the shock back and lower it moved it up and higher. This was not the best solution, it was the cheapest and bolt on. There was grinding needed on the caliper side block. They should have been welded in addition to the bolt but.... Handling ... tall and a bit twitchy.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:46 AM   #15
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I converted an '84 XL1000 Harley into a "Dual Sportster", which sounds very similar to what you're trying to do here. I fabricated a set of shock brackets that raised the rear three inches (I think) and it worked out great. I've still got the brackets if a pic would help you out.

Extending a swingarm is no big voodoo. Drag racers do it all the time and that's usually in conjunction with some serious increase in stock horsepower. The biggest challenge will probably be finding someone that will get onboard the idea with you.
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