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Old 04-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
mikem9 OP
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Converting a Streetbike into an Adventure Bike?

I have an 03 1200 Bandit S. Have enjoyed the bike and it was relatively "cheap". Have been thinking about trying to change the ergos to make them more in line with an adventure bike. IE: bar risers, dirt bike style bars, lower foot pegs to increase leg room, etc. Has anyone made these types of changes to your similar streetbike (Bandit, FZ1, etc?). Have you enjoyed them

From the engineering types, do these kinds of changes significantly mess up the handling geometry? Or, are they reasonable changes?
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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the best way to make a streetbike into an adventure bike is to take an adventure on it.

but don't fool yourself. It's no dirtbike and never will be one. Changing the tires would be first: the rest is up to your own desire to tinker. Changes will effect handling, but don't change that much because not matter what you do, it will not be a dirtbike.

A Bandit should be able to handle a mild dirt or gravel road just fine with at least marginally appropriate tires. It will never be that good on dirt, gravel or sand because it's a big beastly streetbike, but who gives a damn. Just don't get yourself killed and ride it.

I used to want to make my bike "perfect" but there are plenty of people traveling all over the world (on and off road) on completely "inappropriate" machines and making adventures out of it. Gear is cool but riding is the best.

Enjoy that bandit and ride it. When you do, adventure will follow.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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Ganze - thanks for the encouragement. I've already taken the bike off road several times, including forest service roads, dirt roads, several creek crossings and a pretty good sized river crossing.

The issue I'm interested in here is whether or not it's realistic to make some ergo changes to make it more comfortable/enjoyable - I like the feel of adventure bikes.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:54 AM   #4
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I took my VX800 and did exactly what you are talking about. And while I will agree that it will never be as good as the dual sports that were built off dirt bikes, I'd match it up to the GS any day. I replaced the tires, had the forks re-worked by GMD-Computrack of Atlanta, Installed Easton handlebars, dirt bike style footpegs, and a set of homemade panniers and I love it.

Doing the same to a VN900C as we speak.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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I'd just throw a good set of dirt bike handlebars on it, different tires, and ride it.

I don't own a true adventure bike, but it has been said over and over on this site that the bike you are taking an adventure on is an adventure bike at that moment. It'll be fine on dirt and gravel roads, but it's not a dirt bike.

One thing I've learned is that the more capable your bike/truck/ATV/whatever is, the harder it is to get out when you get stuck. My sig is a reminder of that to me. I went down 2 hills, one on a friday and one 2 days later on sunday, that I couldn't climb but had a trail at the bottom. I am still wondering who in the heck rides those trails, because I sure as heck couldn't find a good way out. The second one I was in the creek bottom for probably 4 or 5 hours getting out. Kick only XR650R's suck when the bike is overheating, you wreck it, and you're only 5'9" and 150 lbs.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:53 AM   #6
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I'd start by playing around at cycle-ergo.com. Compare your bike to bikes that you know you like the ergos of, and that should give you an idea of what kind of changes you'd need to make...things like how much you'd need to move the bars up and/or back, how much you'd want to drop your footpegs, etc. Follow that up with searches online for parts, and that'll tell you whether the changes you're thinking of would be off-the-shelf purchases, or if you'd have to go build something (or have it built). I'd also check specs on the Suzuki V-Strom (or Wee), to see if you might get lucky and find some off-the-shelf parts for them that'd work on your Bandit too.

Or you could take the easy route and buy a ready-made ADV bike.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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I have a couple of KTM Exc's for more dirt oriented dual sporting. I enjoy a lot of things about my Bandit as a streetbike and sometimes going on gravel etc. My questions about converting a streetbike into more of an adventure bike have to do with making it more comfortable going longer distance and possible a little more comfortable when taking gravel roads etc. I like the feel of adventure bikes, but wanted to see if I could get most of that ergo feel on my Bandit without compromising handling too much.

Would be good to hear and see more streetbike to adventure conversions and hear how they handle.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soldierguy View Post
I'd start by playing around at cycle-ergo.com. Compare your bike to bikes that you know you like the ergos of, and that should give you an idea of what kind of changes you'd need to make...things like how much you'd need to move the bars up and/or back, how much you'd want to drop your footpegs, etc. Follow that up with searches online for parts, and that'll tell you whether the changes you're thinking of would be off-the-shelf purchases, or if you'd have to go build something (or have it built). I'd also check specs on the Suzuki V-Strom (or Wee), to see if you might get lucky and find some off-the-shelf parts for them that'd work on your Bandit too.

Or you could take the easy route and buy a ready-made ADV bike.
That is a very cool site - thank you!
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #9
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Can't be done, don't waste your time.

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
ganze
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go for it. get those tires, bars, pegs, crashbars, rework the fork, and consider a new (different) shock. it will be a great ride. You can hardly mess up a bandit or fz1 unless you go off the chart and try to make it a dirtibke with 12" of travel.

Show us pics as you do it and give us the ride reports too.

Oh, and search the site for "converted" or "conversion" and see what comes up:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ight=converted
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ight=converted
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #11
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Tires, shock upgrade, and don't cry if you break a little plastic. Works on my fz6r. I haven't figured out if I can make the lower parts of the fairing out of aluminum or sheet metal.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
the best way to make a streetbike into an adventure bike is to take an adventure on it.
+ 1.

I think Adventure Riding is a state of mind. Road bikes can take you to neat places, so can Dualsports. I see many of both in the same places and on the same roads all the time...
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:39 PM   #13
mikem9 OP
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Originally Posted by dukedinner View Post
+ 1.

I think Adventure Riding is a state of mind. Road bikes can take you to neat places, so can Dualsports. I see many of both in the same places and on the same roads all the time...
I feel the same way. Now, I just want to make the bike more comfortable.



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Old 04-27-2012, 11:41 AM   #14
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I love the enthusiasm in this thread. I too am looking to do a similar conversion with my street bike a 92 yamaha XJ600 Seca II. It is relatively lightweight for a streetbike and has a good starting point for a Duel-Sport. A pair of KLR forks are a direct bolt on for the Seca. This opens up the front to tire possibilities and suspension travel. The rear is a mono-shock so a lengthier mono-shock will compensate the rake angle of the longer forks. This also serves the purpose of giving the bike an overall "lift kit". Then the normal adds will follow, lower footpegs, higher handlebars, ect....
I am not meaning to highjack your thread but I figured this would be a good example of maybe something you could look into doing. See what size the forks are and look at your options. Or recently I read about "air forks" forks that you can change the pressure of the air to determine travel and stiffness. Someone on another forum is trying it out.
I will say that there are plenty of adventures that dont require dirt tires. Street tires on gravel work just fine, it may be a little rough but hey you'll get to where your going and see all the sites.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:53 PM   #15
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I'd like to see that Seca build. That would be cool, sure it might not be a 990 but it could be very capable and, ultimately, it's all state of mind anyway. A guy here did a compehensive job on an FZ1...
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