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Old 01-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #61
hugemoth
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Riding a little underbone bike like the CT90/110 is a very different experience than even a DR200. The physical size and weight distribution is in a totally different league. Today it's easy for a DIYer to start with an old CT90, substantially increase the horsepower, upgrade the suspension and brakes, change to a 12V electrical system with bright lights, for under $1000 including the original bike. 175 lbs, 60 mph, 100 mpg. You end up with a bike that can take you places a bigger bike can't. Of course a bigger bike can take you places an ultralight bike can't so it's nice to have both.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:02 PM   #62
HandKPhil
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A realistic cross-country mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
Riding a little underbone bike like the CT90/110 is a very different experience than even a DR200. The physical size and weight distribution is in a totally different league. Today it's easy for a DIYer to start with an old CT90, substantially increase the horsepower, upgrade the suspension and brakes, change to a 12V electrical system with bright lights, for under $1000 including the original bike. 175 lbs, 60 mph, 100 mpg. You end up with a bike that can take you places a bigger bike can't. Of course a bigger bike can take you places an ultralight bike can't so it's nice to have both.
In my neck of the woods, a decent running CT90 can be had for $800-$1000, but deals like that are not falling off the trees - you have to look around for them. A few years ago I scored a low mileage '83 CT110 for $850. By the time I put new tubes, tires, better shocks, new air filter, new battery, upgraded rectifier, and a few other Dr. ATV bits on it, I was already over a grand. It was a nice little, fun, reliable toy, that struggled to reach 50 mph. Cruising speed was about 40. It was of course already a 12v bike (being an '83), but even with that, the light was dim compared to any modern Japanese 250 cc. bike. The front suspension on these bikes was crude, and the only way I know to "upgrade" them is by swapping the entire front fork from a CB125.

One could of course buy a beater CT90 and swap in a Lifan motor. A beater around here would cost you $400-$500, and by the time you installed a new Lifan engine, replaced tubes, tires, forks, brakes, battery, rectifier, chain, cables, assorted bulbs, filters (the guy is planning a 5000 mile trip), you'd be over a grand.

I'm not saying that a CT90 or a CT110 bike is junk. Again, I've owned both and they're fine for exploring local woods and trails. Just like the '83 Passport I also owned.

What I am saying is that for similar money, the original poster would be much better served on a 5000 mile trip with any number of 200-250 cc. Japanese dual sports, all of which have much better brakes, handling, lights, power, etc.

In my mind, it's almost a safety issue. I don't need 30 h.p. out of a dual sport, but I do want a certain amount of reserve power to stay out of trouble. Nine horespower will not cut it, even on a 45 mph backroad, especially if you're carrying 40 lbs. of gear. The tires on a modern 250 are way more substantial than the typical Trail 90 tires. As I mentioned above, the lights, signals, etc. are quite a bit brighter, and the brakes are way stronger.

In my opinion the original poster would be far safer, and have a much more enjoyable trip, if he chose a bigger, better bike for the job.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:04 AM   #63
hugemoth
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I picked up a beater 1968 CT90 that didn't run for $75, put in a $400 Lifan 140, Front forks, bars, gas tank, fender, front wheel, from a basket case XR100 that I got free. Put in a batteryless 12V electrical system with a car headlight. New tires, chain, shocks, etc., Used seat from a Sportster. The result is a simple, very rugged, low maintenance, light weight bike. About 12 hp. 9000 miles on it so far with zero problems, most of it hauling my 250 lb butt over rocks and bumps.

Here in the Pacific Northwest there are many times, especially in the spring, where you are stopped by snow drifts or downed trees on a heavier bike but this bike can be lifted over logs, dragged under fences, turned around on narrow steep trails, and yet still cruise at 55 mph when necessary. For getting out in the middle of nowhere I always choose the little bike over my 200.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:53 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
I picked up a beater 1968 CT90 that didn't run for $75, put in a $400 Lifan 140, Front forks, bars, gas tank, fender, front wheel, from a basket case XR100 that I got free. Put in a batteryless 12V electrical system with a car headlight. New tires, chain, shocks, etc., Used seat from a Sportster. The result is a simple, very rugged, low maintenance, light weight bike. About 12 hp. 9000 miles on it so far with zero problems, most of it hauling my 250 lb butt over rocks and bumps.

Here in the Pacific Northwest there are many times, especially in the spring, where you are stopped by snow drifts or downed trees on a heavier bike but this bike can be lifted over logs, dragged under fences, turned around on narrow steep trails, and yet still cruise at 55 mph when necessary. For getting out in the middle of nowhere I always choose the little bike over my 200.
Any pics of this work of art?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #65
hugemoth
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Think I posted a pic of it earlier but if not here it is.

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Any pics of this work of art?
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #66
jon_l
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Cool bike hugemoth!

I bought my wife a used Yamaha 50cc 2 stroke scooter as her intro to 2 wheels machine. It was so under-powered it scared me. Topped out at around 40-45 mph, so couldn't keep pace with traffic around town; the few times I rode it, it seemed like there was always a white cargo van right on my ass.

We felt much safer with her on the Ninja 250 that replaced it a few months later.

Personally I wouldn't consider 50cc for this project.

The KLX250, WR250R/X, DR200, XT225/250, Super Sherpa, KLR250, and TW200 all seem like good choices for minimalist touring.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:47 PM   #67
8gv
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Think I posted a pic of it earlier but if not here it is.



You sir, have bike building skills!
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:10 AM   #68
mischief
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Looks pretty cool but not much ct90 left
I like this thread because of the interesting ideas and solutions

Please, what is this batteryless 12 volt elec system that you speak of?
thx
Christi

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
I picked up a beater 1968 CT90 that didn't run for $75, put in a $400 Lifan 140, Front forks, bars, gas tank, fender, front wheel, from a basket case XR100 that I got free. Put in a batteryless 12V electrical system with a car headlight. New tires, chain, shocks, etc., Used seat from a Sportster. The result is a simple, very rugged, low maintenance, light weight bike. About 12 hp. 9000 miles on it so far with zero problems, most of it hauling my 250 lb butt over rocks and bumps.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:55 AM   #69
hugemoth
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The Lifan engines don't need a battery for ignition like the old Hondas do. As for lighting, the built in 12v alternator puts out much more power than the old Honda engines. The Lifan engines come with a regulator/rectifier that allows you to run lights on regulated AC and or DC with or without a battery. I'm running the 35/35 Watt headlight on AC and the tail/break/horn on DC. The lights are nice and bright and it's really great not having a battery.

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Originally Posted by mischief View Post
Looks pretty cool but not much ct90 left
I like this thread because of the interesting ideas and solutions

Please, what is this batteryless 12 volt elec system that you speak of?
thx
Christi
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:36 PM   #70
the dom
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so...whatever happen?
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:12 PM   #71
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You need at least 900cc to tour on, and at least a 600cc sport bike to be safe on the roads.
Or so I read on the internet.

I love the ride reports that feature someone buying a $500.00 bike and riding it cross country, or a 250cc bike or smaller around the world or country. Or an old bike any distance, or a street bike in the dirt, or a dirt bike on the street.
I do not bother reading ride reports where people use a new good bike on a trip, any more then I would read about someone doing it in a car.

My best rides were when I had no time limit and no place I had to be at any point.

So if you have time to ride, do you spend time slabbing it to get someplace interesting far away, or do you ride good roads and not go as far?

If its about the ride, I guess you would do a good ride closer to home...
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #72
mischief
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
The Lifan engines don't need a battery for ignition like the old Hondas do. As for lighting, the built in 12v alternator puts out much more power than the old Honda engines. The Lifan engines come with a regulator/rectifier that allows you to run lights on regulated AC and or DC with or without a battery. I'm running the 35/35 Watt headlight on AC and the tail/break/horn on DC. The lights are nice and bright and it's really great not having a battery.
Thx. I kinda thought that. I was looking for a way to convert the stocker to 12 volt but I don't think it's going to happen


IMG_0630 by mischief87105, on Flickr
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