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Old 01-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
I Am Murphy OP
Vagabond Sportster
 
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
Oddometer: 111
Hawk 8


I am Murphy. Every year my father and I go to the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in D.C., and in 2012 I left the show with more than just the free handouts. I left that year with a mind fixated on a new dual sport. Over the next few weeks I researched the KLR 650, the Suzuki Vstrom, and the BMW F800GS, among others. I looked into the potential trade in value of my Sportster, and tried to find low priced dual sports in my area. Much to my dismay, the Sporty wasn't going to be worth much as a trade in, and even the used options I came across were selling for more than I had initially paid for my HD.

I tried to let it go, I tried to convince myself to be satisfied with what I already had, but every time I saw a dirt trail or an open field off the beaten path, I lusted for a bike that would enable me to explore further. I found inspiration in the projects of Jimmy the Hog and John Ogden Jr., but it was evident that they both had been able to invest significantly more than I would be able to. With the feasibility of my bottom budget dual sportster conversion completely unknown, I decided that the best thing to do would be to plunge forward blindly. Since the day I began tear down it has been one trial after another, tribulations around every corner, and just about everything that can go wrong, has. I Am Murphy, and this is the unfolding tale of the Murph-Mobile, the labor of love, the blind stab.

Timeline/Index

FRONT END ASSEMBLY
Remachine steering stem.................06 Feb 2012......Pg(s) 1,2
Install Honda forks & wheel.............08 Feb 2012.......Pg(s) 2
Install Honda front caliper...............15 Feb 2012........Pg(s) -
Install Honda axle components.......19 May 2012.......Pg(s) 4 (no photos)
Fabricate handgrip adaptors............11 Feb 2012.......Pg(s) 2
Install dual sport handlebars...........11 Feb 2012........Pg(s) 2
Design adaptive brake line...............17 Feb 2012.......Pg(s) 3
Install adaptive brake line................13 Mar 2012........Pg(s) 3,4
Drill, install fairing............................17 Feb 2012.......Pg(s) 3
Assemble dashboard........................25 Feb 2012.......Pg(s) 2,3,4
Install dashboard..............................02 Jun 2012.......Pg(s)
Design new tank................................10 Feb 2012.......Pg(s) 2,4
Fabricate new tank............................05 Jun 2012.......Pg(s) 2,3,4
Install new tank.................................09 Jun 2012.......Pg(s) 4
*Repair right turn signal...................09 Jun 2012........Pg(s)
Rewire lights through kill switch.......12 Aug 2012.................Pg(s) 5
Design and Fabricate Tank Bib.......16 Jun 2012..................Pg(s) 5

CENTER ASSEMBLY
Install rear control (brake)................05 Jan 2013..........Pg(s) 6
Install rear control (shift)..................09 Jun 2012........Pg(s)
Install passenger peg relocators......09 Jun 2012........Pg(s)
Install custom 2 into 1 exhaust..........05 Jan 2013..................Pg(s) 6
Convert, 883-1250.............................______..................Pg(s)
Convert, belt to chain........................______..................Pg(s)
Design and Fabricate Auxiliary Fuel Cell.......................______..................Pg(s)
Install Auxiliary Fuel Cell.......................______..................Pg(s)
Design and Fabricate passenger back rest.......................______..................Pg(s)
Install passenger back rest.......................______..................Pg(s)
Des and Fab rear luggage rack.......................______..................Pg(s)
Install rear luggage rack.......................______..................Pg(s)

REAR END ASSEMBLY
Fabricate extended swingarm............_______.........Pg(s)
Plan shock absorber acquisition........._______........Pg(s)
Install modified swingarm........._______........Pg(s)
Extend chain length........._______........Pg(s)
Install longer shock absorbers........._______........Pg(s)
Design/Find wheel for d-sport tire & sporty axle........._______........Pg(s)
Install new tire/rim........._______........Pg(s)
Remove rear fender.......................______..................Pg(s)
install lightweight fender.......................______..................Pg(s)

I Am Murphy screwed with this post 01-06-2013 at 04:25 PM Reason: Timeline update
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
JimmyTheHog
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Welcome to the forum Rory ! Good choice on the Sporty project - Im sure it will be fun, frustrating, theraputic, enjoyable, etc...a roller coaster of emotions, trials & errors, and at the end - you will be glad you did it. I was as this bike is a blast to ride.

Not sure on your handlebars, but would think that you can find and order aftermaket replacement bars for that bike.

Looking forward to the progress and shout if you need input.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
I Am Murphy OP
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Location: Taneytown, MD
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Handle Bars

Thanks Jimmy, and BTW I really loved following your progress as it went forward.
So I have come up with the solution for my handle bar issue. I am now planning to use the 1984 XL600R forks, in conjunction with the HD triple tree. Should be a bolt on match, but I will still want bars that were made for dual sport riding. I believe I will cut my HD bars into chunks and weld them over the 7/8" Honda bars in all the right places. This of course will be hinged on the idea that they ARE 7/8", if they turn out to be 1-1/8", I'll have to go back to the drawing board.

I Am Murphy screwed with this post 02-05-2012 at 05:52 AM
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
motorat
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the bars on a honda xl600r will be 7/8. same as the dr650,klr650.
have fun with the build. i wish i had the tallent to attempt any of the builds i read about here.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
I Am Murphy OP
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
Oddometer: 111
Front end

So I have made the front end my start point, and spent two hours last night from 9:30 to half past midnight kicking this thing off the only way I know how - by taking all the shortcuts that make the work harder and doing everything causelessly wrong. Pulled out the manual, flipped to the page about front end removal, then ignored it all and started ripping things apart, starting with the last step, the steering stem.
Eventually wound up going through and breaking down all the subassemblies, as they (particularly the brake line) were kind of holding me back.
So now I am exactly where I would have been had I followed directions, but Julia's scattered in pieces around the garage. As the process dragged on, and my jaw got tired from holding the flashlight, I took less and less care as I ripped her apart...but it's done.
Today I sat down with the original steering stem (still attached to the lower triple clamp) and the Honda stem (also attached to lower clamp), and my digital calipers and machinist's scale, and drew both up to avoid overlooking any details. I tried to identify the points on each stem that I would like to take forward in the new stem and drew up the FrankenStem. It will be made to the general dimensions of the Harley stem, with the bolt hole for security on top, the brake line mounting bolt hole and snap ring slot on bottom, and will have the diameters of the triple clamp mating surfaces from the Honda on top and bottom. I have uploaded my sketch, should hit the machine shop on Monday.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
I Am Murphy OP
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
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...Before...

A bit late, but I have a tendency not to think about the before/after shot until way after. So I just want to make a record of where Julia came from, who she was before the change. So here is my little lady, this was taken on my way to the first H-Troop 1st Cavalry Regiment reunion, 4 July 2011.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #7
Bambi
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Hello Rory,
welcome to the forum!
Fiddling around with my bikes just a little bit, I'm never-the-less someone to give advice as good as, for example, Jimmy concerning your project. But I'd like to give you a quite easy hint: If the clamp for the handle-bar of your chosen triple-tree is attached by bolts to the top yoke you are the one to choose the right clamp to secure your choosen handle-bar. And that leeds you to the right bar for further use of your heated grips ... I can't imagine that one inch clamps aren't obtainable for every possible top yoke, except for the ones with cast in lower halves on top of the upper yoke. If any diameter doesn't match the other, I'm sure, that Jimmy could offer a solution. At that point, I'd be out. As far as I understand you're going to use the Honda triple-tree. Do you have a picture of the top-yoke?
Kind regards, Bambi
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:15 PM   #8
I Am Murphy OP
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Location: Taneytown, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi View Post
Hello Rory,
welcome to the forum!
Fiddling around with my bikes just a little bit, I'm never-the-less someone to give advice as good as, for example, Jimmy concerning your project. But I'd like to give you a quite easy hint: If the clamp for the handle-bar of your chosen triple-tree is attached by bolts to the top yoke you are the one to choose the right clamp to secure your choosen handle-bar. And that leeds you to the right bar for further use of your heated grips ... I can't imagine that one inch clamps aren't obtainable for every possible top yoke, except for the ones with cast in lower halves on top of the upper yoke. If any diameter doesn't match the other, I'm sure, that Jimmy could offer a solution. At that point, I'd be out. As far as I understand you're going to use the Honda triple-tree. Do you have a picture of the top-yoke?
Kind regards, Bambi
Yeah, the bar clamps are part of the top triple tree or otherwise you'd be right, the switch would be as simple as a bracket swap.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
JimmyTheHog
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Going from 7/8" dia to 1" dia bars will take some creativity, or some better web seaching than I could do. I ended up using Joker Machine 1" dia bar clamps (that each bolted to the top triple tree) and Biltwell 1" tracker bars. I quickly found out though, that with the clamps/bars hard-mounted to the triple tree - that there was way too much vibration into the hands. So, I added a home-made rubber damper set-up to the clamps that worked.

If you have access to a machine shop, then you might be able to remove the 7/8" clamps and add holes to bolt "1 clamps (w/ a rubber damper). Just a thought. Im sure there are many other clever ideas out there ...
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=657449
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:35 AM   #10
I Am Murphy OP
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
Oddometer: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyTheHog View Post
Going from 7/8" dia to 1" dia bars will take some creativity, or some better web seaching than I could do. I ended up using Joker Machine 1" dia bar clamps (that each bolted to the top triple tree) and Biltwell 1" tracker bars. I quickly found out though, that with the clamps/bars hard-mounted to the triple tree - that there was way too much vibration into the hands. So, I added a home-made rubber damper set-up to the clamps that worked.

If you have access to a machine shop, then you might be able to remove the 7/8" clamps and add holes to bolt "1 clamps (w/ a rubber damper). Just a thought. Im sure there are many other clever ideas out there ...
Yeah, turned out my internet skills weren't honed enough to track down a reliable bar conversion either Jim. My guess is there isn't one anywhere to be found, as there can't be much of a market for them. So I tossed ideas around for a bit, and actually found that this should turn out to be one of the easiest steps for converting to the dual sportster. No machining, no expensive kits, just a $6 piece of stainless 1" OD tubing at Lowes and a 15 min effort! The Sportster bars have indentations that the wires run through, allowing the mounted controls to have a full round mating surface. I am currently debating whether I will modify the bars or the mounted controls' mating surfaces to accomodate the wires, but even that will be easy once it's together. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:24 AM   #11
I Am Murphy OP
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
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Exhaust

Hey, anybody know where one might find some high and upswept exhaust like this? Also
the plastic straight rear fender with tail / brake light?
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:37 AM   #12
DirtHopper
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Location: AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakakaan View Post
Hey, anybody know where one might find some high and upswept exhaust like this? Also
the plastic straight rear fender with tail / brake light?
the exhaust might have to be built unless you dip your wallet into the old flat tracker high swept exhaust. as far as the fender is concerned you can get cheap stuff off of Ebay, try your local dirt bike shop or dealer, maybe even in the parts for sale in the forum.

Good Luck with your build, we'll be listening in
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #13
Bambi
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Hello Rory,
the Honda XL/XR-family is very big. Perhaps there ís another model of which the top-yoke makes the problem as easy as the bracket-swap ...
Kind regards, Bambi
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:13 AM   #14
I Am Murphy OP
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Taneytown, MD
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So I spent a lot of time this weekend searching for any instructions I could find regarding the separation of the steering stem from the lower triple clamp and found zilch. So as would any red blooded American, I referred back to Option A: figger it out by eye and let brute force and power tools be your guide. I only had a half hour before work started, but the HD stem popped apart like a dried out bar of soap...the Honda? Not so fast, Bucko! I so far have put it to the test, using oxy-acetylene torch, hydraulic press, leverage press, grinder and dremel, and have only gotten the bottom bearing off. Time was limited though, so I'll get back on it later.

I Am Murphy screwed with this post 02-06-2012 at 05:32 AM
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:45 AM   #15
I Am Murphy OP
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No match for consistent effort. Now it's time for final stem design revision, machining, and front end re-assembly.

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