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CRF250L Adventure Bike Stage 2

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Hi everyone, long time no see. Thought I'd drop by and start a thread for the next round of updates to my CRF250L which I'll be working on over the next couple months. Sorry for the wall-of-text, I'm pretty wordy when I write. But hopefully it's helpful for anyone like me who likes to do long-haul trips by dirt bike.

Unfortunately my bike has not seen much use these past couple years except for commuting to work and the occasional highway trip to visit friends and family. I have no nearby place to get the bike dirty since the trails in Council Bluffs are still closed, and I also had some health issues that made off-road riding unwise due to the likelihood of injury. First was some kind of crazy wisdom tooth cyst thing that destroyed nearly a cubic inch of my jawbone, so I had a really high chance of jaw fracture until that healed. Now I'm awaiting surgery to fix a stupid minor ankle sprain from last summer that didn't heal right and is keeping me from doing all kinds of things on most days. I can still ride street but I'd be in a real pickle if I dumped the bike in a mudhole or jammed it between fallen logs. I'm starting to go crazy and need to do something with the bike though, and there are even more aftermarket parts now than in 2014...

So way back when I first got this bike, I did some minor cargo mods. (One of my first trips with it was to ride it all the way to the Rockies, go camping with friends, and visit some jeep trails in the mountains. About 1300 miles in less than a week!) I have a Wolfman tank bag which is good for small stuff (gloves, sunglasses, phone, etc.) I installed a Manracks cargo rack with a Rotopax mount which allows me to carry one of their 2-gallon storage containers full of emergency supplies, as well as a Rotopax 3-gallon gas can so I don't get stranded between gas stations. This works but has been annoying. The gas can is mounted horizontally, so it has to be removed to use it. Often times I have duffel bags tied down on top of the Rotopax gear, so refueling requires me to untie all my cargo, unlock the gas can, refuel, and then re-install everything. It was a lot of work and needed to be done about once per hour on the interstate.

My next planned trip is to central Iowa in July to participate in the 2017 Iowa State IDPA Championship. This is less than a three-hour ride, but I gotta somehow carry enough shooting supplies to last at an all-day match! I have no place to easily tie down heavy cargo, and I'm really not interested in carrying 1000 rounds of pistol ammo in a backpack for a 3-hour motorcycle trip! I think it's time to revise things a bit. See if I can fix the refueling headaches and make enough room to securely carry some heavier gear.

The first step is to add to my rack. I discovered DirtRacks has some affordable Rotopax-ready side racks. Here are images from their site:

1468376589454287524645.jpeg  1468376595439-1898211206.jpeg

This is going to really ease my pain regarding highway refueling. I plan to pick up a second 3-gallon Rotopax gas can, and then I can mount them vertically, one on each side. With the spout at the top. Meaning I can actually open it without having to remove it first... :goofy: I found a small battery-operated fuel transfer pump on Amazon for under $20, designed to assist with refueling from a gas can. Refueling will be super easy. Pull over, unscrew a cap from a gas can, pump to the main tank, screw the cap back on and stow the pump. Quick and easy, and I'll be able to carry a full 6 gallons of spare fuel...which is overkill but a great safety net on those super-windy days where a severe headwind can limit me to 30 - 35 mpg on the interstate.

I also want to pick up a couple more Rotopax 2-gallon storage packs. I already have one for emergency supplies, and it's great. These can be stacked beside the fuel cans on the side mounts, or I can stack them in the center on top of my emergency pack. I should be able to stow everything I need for a day-long IDPA match in them and have room to tie down duffel bags or whatever on top.

I'll have to see how much width the new side racks add. If it's too much, they may come off except for when I need them for a trip. They'll almost certainly come off for off-road riding just for safety's sake. But, on a side note, I have noticed other drivers are hesitant to tailgate me when I have gas cans mounted on the back of the bike. :thumbsup:

There are a couple other minor things I'll work on. I REALLY NEED to upgrade the seat. I was dumb enough to ride 12 hours to Colorado on the stock seat. Never again. And I also need some new bark busters. I picked up a cheap set locally years ago, and then promptly broke one of them when I stalled in a gully, lost my balance, and laid the bike down. It wasn't a hard hit at all, and I'm really not happy about sacrificing a $40 guard to protect a $10 brake lever.

Well, that's the plan. I'll update and post pictures as parts come in.

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I ummed and ahhed for ages about getting a Acerbis 3.3 gallon tank. Used a rotopax style 3 litre on my rear rack for ages. It was a pita and ate up most of the rack space since it was on top.

Finally bought the Acerbis and very happy. So much easier than constantly messing around with the extra fuel container.

You could still go for the rack you're looking at but you would cut down a lot on the roadside refuelling necessity.

I also like the beefier look it gives the bike.

 

IMG_20170403_085345419.jpg

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I thought about upgrading my tank, but I just don't see the value, not for the way I ride. Couple hundred bucks or more to carry one extra gallon just doesn't help me much.

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2 hours ago, mott555 said:

I have no nearby place to get the bike dirty since the trails in Council Bluffs are still closed

They opened on April 1st 2017.  It is real muddy and lots of trees on the ground but it is open.  The quads and side by sides are currently having a blast down there trail blazing the way for us dirt bikers when it dries up a little. 

Edited by gnath9
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That's why I took so long to do it. However once I did I realised I should have done it ages ago.

I bought mine on eBay from the US for $246 AUD delivered.

Edited by Cuttlefish

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16 minutes ago, gnath9 said:

They opened on April 1st 2017.  It is real muddy and lots of trees on the ground but it is open.  The quads and side by sides are currently having a blast down there trail blazing the way for us dirt bikers when it dries up a little. 

Good to know. I'm sure it's a muddy mess after last week's monsoon season.

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5 hours ago, Cuttlefish said:

That's why I took so long to do it. However once I did I realised I should have done it ages ago.

I bought mine on eBay from the US for $246 AUD delivered.

Another thing I love about living here. Any village without a gas station has an entrepreneur who buys fuel by the 200 litre drum, fills up water, pop, juice, whatever bottles, and sells it. Bought Coke and Fanta branded fuel !

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So I can't remember...are the nuts and bolts and such on this bike metric or standard? I want to add a basic toolkit to my standard loadout. Socket set, wrenches, some Allen wrenches, etc.

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Says a guy in the UK where they have stone, pence, poppy seed, nail, hand, finger, oh, and a hogshead which is two Coomb or 64 dry gallons!!

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30 minutes ago, Evan D said:

Says a guy in the UK where they have stone, pence, poppy seed, nail, hand, finger, oh, and a hogshead which is two Coomb or 64 dry gallons!!

............  :lol:    Who's thursty .... :cheers:

 

Pin

4.5 gallons or  1⁄8 beer barrel

Firkin

2 pins, 9 gallons (ale, beer or goods) or  1⁄4 beer barrel

Kilderkin

2 firkins, 18 gallons or  1⁄2 beer barrel

Beer barrel

2 kilderkins, 36 gallons or  2⁄3 beer hogshead

Beer hogshead

3 kilderkins, 54 gallons or 1.5 beer barrels

Beer pipe or butt

2 beer hogsheads, 3 beer barrels or 108 gallons

Beer tun

2 beer pipes or 216 gallons

Edited by gnath9
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3 hours ago, mott555 said:

IIRC on my Chevy Silverado half the bolts are standard and the other half are metric... :banghead:

My 1980 K20 was all Imperial, except the transfer case, which was made in Canada, and was metric.

"At this time, only three countries—Burma, Liberia, and the US—have not adopted the International System of Units (SI, or metric system) as their official system of weights and measures." We should point out that even these three countries do use elements of the metric system.

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First batch of parts came in today!

20170411_163240.jpg.8dce55983cbf21b05f6cdca326fe744c.jpg

Here's how the bike started:

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DirtRacks packaging is kind of ridiculous. It's like 20 pounds worth of Saran wrap. I had to attack them for nearly half an hour with my pocketknife to get them unwrapped. Here they are in their full glory. Pretty basic, but the finish seems really tough.

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First problem: This kit was not designed to work with the Manracks rack I already have installed. The spacers are wrong, and without the spacer the rack collides with the muffler:

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I took one of the spacers and decided to cut it in half. I started with a hacksaw, but without a vice or any kind of stable work surface I got tired of it really quickly. Finally decided to get the cutting torch out. Lol.

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This seemed to work. Here's a photo of the modified spacer in position.

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And here's the end result of today's work:

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The right rack does clear the muffler now, but I don't know if I'll be comfortable putting a gas can there. I'm considering installing an extra heat shield between the exhaust and the rack.

Well that's it for now. I ordered two Rotopax mounts, just like the one you can see in the last picture. Once they arrive I'll fit them on the new racks and see how my current gas can works in that position. If I'm comfortable with the weight, I'll buy a second 3-gallon can so I can have one on each side. Otherwise I may have to buy two brand-new 2-gallon cans to keep the weight down. We'll see.

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6 gallons of extra fuel is a fair old weight in addition to anything else you'd be carrying. Nice to have the extra capacity, but will you really need it? You're looking at about 16kgs, not including the weight of the racks and containers...should be sturdy though.

 

 

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On 05/04/2017 at 2:49 AM, mott555 said:

I thought about upgrading my tank, but I just don't see the value, not for the way I ride. Couple hundred bucks or more to carry one extra gallon just doesn't help me much.

So what did you spend on your racks and fuel containers?

I'd rather pay some extra for a 15 litre tank that looks really good on the bike, is easy to fill, I can see how much I have, don't have to screw around with a few different fuel sources (been there done that and spillage is a pita) and still have all my rack space for carrying other stuff or an extra fuel container if I want to go really really far.

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Just an observation, all that weight, up high, right over the rear wheel, doesnt that make the bike handle squirrelly, for a better word and maybe spelled better? Maybe you ride in the western part of Australia that has never seen the footprint of man, I don't know but seems extreme! The bikes not a gas guzzler. just saying..

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2 hours ago, hockeyrick said:

Just an observation, all that weight, up high, right over the rear wheel , doesnt that make the bike handle squirrelly, for a better word and maybe spelled better? Maybe you ride in the western part of Australia that has never seen the footprint of man, I don't know but seems extreme! The bikes not a gas guzzler. just saying..

Yeah it'll be squirrelly, but this is for interstate travel, not trail riding. Will definitely not leave the gas cans installed off-road, or at best keep one on the center mount which I've done before without too much difficulty.

No pics yet, but my new Rotopax mounts came in yesterday. Just to see how the weight is, I refilled my 3-gallon can and mounted it on the left side. Talk about squirrelly! Left turns were really easy, and the bike hesitated to turn right! :lol: That said, I would not put more than a 3-gallon can on each side. The new racks are steel but there's a bit of flex with a loaded gas can there since they only attach to the frame at two points. Any more weight would concern me quite a bit.

5 hours ago, Cuttlefish said:

So what did you spend on your racks and fuel containers?

I'd rather pay some extra for a 15 litre tank that looks really good on the bike, is easy to fill, I can see how much I have, don't have to screw around with a few different fuel sources (been there done that and spillage is a pita) and still have all my rack space for carrying other stuff or an extra fuel container if I want to go really really far.

Probably too much. I'd rather not do the math...I'm sure I'm under $500 so far though. I guess while the rest of you guys spend your money on shocks and exhaust, and try to lighten the bike, I spend my money making the bike heavier with cargo stuff.

11 hours ago, vanorak said:

6 gallons of extra fuel is a fair old weight in addition to anything else you'd be carrying. Nice to have the extra capacity, but will you really need it? You're looking at about 16kgs, not including the weight of the racks and containers...should be sturdy though.

6 gallons is way more than I need, but I already have a 3-gallon and at Rotopax prices I'd much rather just buy a second 3-gallon instead of two brand-new 1.5 or 2-gallon. But even with 3 gallons spare, I've had times out in western Nebraska/northeast Colorado where I was uncomfortable with my mileage and remaining fuel. Mostly because I thought I was fine and passed a gas station, only to end up in a strong headwind that knocks my MPG down to 30. With 6 gallons spare, it'll take some terrible planning on my part to run out of fuel.

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Okay I lied, here are some pics from yesterday. Just test-fitting the one gas can I have. I hope you get the feel from the pictures, it was kind of dark out and I was too lazy to get the truck out of the way this time.

Right-side mount:20170412_171804.jpg.df8798201ed23a9a657ed34354c7680c.jpg

Left-side mount:20170412_171940.jpg.fdf905011892ec374ba4ae97c55d54d7.jpg

Refuelling pump in action (actually it's fake, the gas can was empty at this time...)20170412_172104.jpg.25a36f2e308c467cba576e113285cbdd.jpg

 

Slight problem here. The transfer pump was far larger than the pictures made it out to be, and it will not fit inside my storage pack. I need to cut off the intake and replace it with some flexible hose, and I also need to remove the output hose and replace it with a longer one. Shouldn't be a difficult mod.20170412_172157.jpg.ffa1b58f815430c9c59994b1e18b32de.jpg

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