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Old 05-10-2011, 05:52 AM   #1
solorider40 OP
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Street Bike Converted to Adventure Tourer.

I have this crazy idea of converting my 1984 VF700S "Sabre" to and adventure touring bike. Its no heavier than a BMW GS, and though it sits lower, I figure it would handle gravel roads with ease. Thought about installing 80/20 street and dirt tires, hand guards, small windshield, luggage rack and panniers,along with a skid plate and maybe nerf bars.

Has anyone out there did a conversion like this and can you show me the pictures?
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:14 AM   #2
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You can pretty much convert anything...


I am making a Yamaha FZ1 into a gravel road terror using 950 suspension.


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=672108



Biggest deal is making sure the swingarm will work if you plan on donating. Also I think it is easier to swap in a motocross front end that way you get the tire/rim combo. Problem is that will significantly raise the front of the bike making a rear end swap necessary. And with that you get the rear rim tire etc...

Conversion bearings and friends with machine tools and a welder are all you need. Plus some vision to see it through. I'll be riding mine in a week, fingers crossed
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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Sweet thread. I have though about doing this with my connie for light adv touring.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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wow!

WoW! Yeah, that is quite a project. I don't think I'm gonna go that in depth with the Sabre. In fact I already have a Fox twin clickeer shock on the rear and progressive springs up front, so I'll leave the suspension as is. I just wanna make it more gravel road friendly and give it an adventure look.

I have a KLR650 for most of my riding. It actually replaced the VF700S after the bike hit 100K miles. The KLR is decked out for adventure touring and I like it allot. Its just not very good for two up riding. So the ole Sabre is just sitting there and she runs great. So I thought why not fix her up and keep riding her.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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This sounds like a great project. I always admire a bike that's heavily modified to make it more versatile, especially in light of how narrowly focused many factory bikes have become.

One example I've seen was a Bandit 1200 (the old air cooled version) set up for long-distance sport touring and maybe even gravel roads. It had tires, luggage, big windscreen, relaxed ergonomics, etc. Its owner spent ~ $8000 total on bike and mods, and ended up with a machine that's probably 95% as capable as a new $18,000 R1200GSA. With that ten grand difference, you can buy a lot of gas, motel rooms, campground fees, and park entry fees. You can even afford to eat out at steak houses a lot, but at the end of a day riding that unit, I'd feel it more appropriate to dine on pork and beans, (or even kippers and Ritz crackers).

I say, go for it. In my mind, an '84 Sabre dressed out for adventure touring rates a lot of street cred--on paved or unpaved streets!
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #6
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I don't get it, what do you need to change on a motorcycle to ride on a gravel road?
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:08 PM   #7
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I don't get it, what do you need to change on a motorcycle to ride on a gravel road?
Tires, mainly. And it's nice to have some protection for the engine/radiator/sump. If it's a gravel road with potholes, ruts, and rocks, long travel suspension is nice.

But it isn't just about riding gravel roads. Compared to a standard street bike, adventure touring bikes have better provisions for carrying luggage and mounting other accessories, they usually have a more neutral seating position, and (ideally) they carry more fuel.

Although any bike can be ridden on a smooth, graded dirt or gravel road, many riders prefer an adventure bike for their riding style, even on pavement.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by solorider40 View Post
Has anyone out there did a conversion like this and can you show me the pictures?
Check out this big ol' thread from the beasts forum:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=330726
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:40 AM   #9
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Sweet Thread!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pica Hudsonia View Post
Check out this big ol' thread from the beasts forum:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=330726

Sweet Thread!!! That Night Hawk and CB919 is exactly what I'm talking about! Though taller suspension is nice, for what I'm wanting to do, I think the lower center of gravity is better. Especially for a heavy bike like the VF700S.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:17 PM   #10
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:35 AM   #11
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+! for the Sabre!

I loved my old '84 Sabre! If some low-life hadn't stolen it, I suspect I'd still be riding it today. I rode it frequently on our rural gravel county roads here in Ct. in box stock form. (with Hondaline fairing!). Admittedly, I was risking severe financial hurt if I dropped it & broke much of that factory plastic, but I was young & foolish (& lucky!). The engine had the factory case guards, & I would never have taken it "off-road", such as plowed fields or hiking trails, but gravel roads & graded 2 track were not a serious problem, even with stock suspension. I suspect that the almost electric rheostat -like throttle response of that V-4 had something to do with it. The power came on so smoothly & progressively, that it was easy to ride fast & maintain a very precise control. You are quite right, wheelbase & weight compare favorably with the modern GS mega trailies. Perhaps the extra suspension travel would help in potholes, but I never found it a problem, & the stock bike is near perfect for the miles of b-roads required to get to the rural gravel. I used "Bagman Premiers" when touring, (throw-over saddlebags, long since defunct) but there are any number of excellent, similar, throw-over bags marketed today that would require very little modification to adapt to the Sabre. Good luck & I'm glad you are keeping the old girl on the road.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by solorider40 View Post

I have a KLR650 for most of my riding. It actually replaced the VF700S after the bike hit 100K miles.

Quoted for truth.
Soichiro Honda is smiling at this idea, wherever he is.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #13
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Thinking of doing the same.

I have been thinking about the same for quite some time, I think it could make a real awesome adventure bike.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ugo1st View Post
Someone posted that picture on one of the Goldwing forums. Everybody had a good laugh.

I have ridden several cruisers on dirt/gravel roads with no problems, though not at breakneck speeds. Most streetbikes are just too heavy to ride fast off road. They can get away from you in a hurry. As far as preferring a bike just for it's looks, that's a personal choice.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:35 PM   #15
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Street bike to adventure tourer?

All you need is a destination!!
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