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cheap xt225 motard conversion... (pic)

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So what do you think of my cheap motard conversion?

It's a Yamaha rear rim laced onto the front hub,

with two equally sized dual sport rear tires.

Total cost $469

It corners suprisingly well, and is very stable at highway speeds.

motard4.jpg

You can make fun of the milk crate if you want, but it carries two full bags of groceries very well. I use the bike every day for transportation, and it gets a genuine 90 miles to the gallon... :banghead:

Greg

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The milk crate! LOL thats great!

90 MPG is extremely impressive. But it comes at a sacrafice. Power and acceleration. But thats OK.... you are an excellent example of super economical living SM style.

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Hi Nate,

Yeah, I use my bike differently than almost everyone else here. I use it as a motor vehicle for transportation...

...but the enjoyment of riding is exactly the same because I live in a canyon chock full of steep winding roads. The motard conversion is to make the bike corner better, and I've been totally pleased with the results.

The whole project was fun. Coming up with the idea. Planning how to do it for the least amount of money, obtaining the proper parts, building the wheel, and mounting the tires.

The bike's average mileage completely stock was an already good 86.7 mpg. Then I removed the stock spark arrestor and made an exhaust cap out of a simple $3 plumbing 2 inch copper cap with a 3/4 inch hole in it, and the mileage got even better. Current cumulative mileage is 90.1 mpg. The total mileage for 2,500 miles is 89.4 mpg.

It's just a game I play to see how efficiently I can get around and still have fun.

The bike is well maintained, runs only premium gas, synthetic oil, and the tires pumped up 21/25.

I don't mind sacrificing power and acceleration, because the xt didn't really have that much to begin with. (haha!) But the bike runs great and does 70 on the freeway, and is lots of fun to ride.

Greg

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I don't think you even need to run premium, not sure on the c/r.

but, sweet Idea none-the-less. :banghead:

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Hi dj,

You're probably right... Since the bike is stock California jetted and runs lean and clean, I don't mind paying the extra 40 cents a fillup for the anti detonation properties of premium. The only carb mod I did was to remove the cap from the pilot screw so I could richen up the bottom end mixture for easy reliable starting.

Greg

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Hi dj,

You're probably right... Since the bike is stock California jetted and runs lean and clean, I don't mind paying the extra 40 cents a fillup for the anti detonation properties of premium. The only carb mod I did was to remove the cap from the pilot screw so I could richen up the bottom end mixture for easy reliable starting.

Greg

agreed...

one of the most ingeneous motorcycles I've seen in awhile, and that smaller front wheel really cleans up the tt-r's relatively foofy factory styling.

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Shave about 4-5 inches off that front fender. It'll look more like

a motard and may cut down on wind drag increasing your mpg.

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Nice mod. I may look at ebay'ing a rear wheel off a whatevern just for the rim and follow your lead.

I'd like to find a second set of wheels for my DR350 so I can set up one set as a street "motard" set and keep kobbies on the other set for trail riding. Having to swap tires is doable but has gotten to be a pain.

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Hey, thanks for the kind words...

motard6.jpg

I really didn't want the bike to look modified, so by identically matching the front and rear tires and rims, the bike looks like it came from the factory that way.

And it's quite inexpensive compared to a normal motard conversion, because the rear wheel is left intact.

The change in front wheel diameter is 2 inches, so front axle ends up one inch closer to the ground which lowers the seat height to 31 inches. To compensate, I removed all of the preload in the rear shock to lower the rear also.

One drawback is that because of being 18 inch rather than 17 inch, there aren't a lot of non knobby tires available. The Kenda 761's were the best deal for the money. They are an H (130 mph) rated tire, and run really smooth and true.

Here's a picture of the conversion kit:

motardconversionkit2.jpg

The rim J2.15x18, tube, rim strip, and rim lock all came from Yamaha. The spokes came from Buchannan. The tires 120/80x18 came one from Dennis Kirk, and one from KG Motorcycle Tires. Total kit cost, only $469.

The tire to fork clearance is close, but there's enough room not to be a problem:

motard3.jpg

(The view is from the back of the fork looking forward so the fender wasn't in the way.)

motard7.jpg

The conversion would probably work fine on a TTR. The one difference is that the rims on the XT are aluminium, and they may be steel on the TTR, so thay may want to be matched. Although I'm not sure you would want to do this on a dirt bike, and here's why...

There was a totally unexpected effect from the this unorthodox conversion.... Using a rear rim and rear tire on the front puts a LOT of extra weight on the front of the bike, not always ideal for dirt riding... but it is not just static weight, it's rotational mass.

This produces a gyroscopic effect that makes the normally light skittish wandering wind vulnerable front end stable at speeds over 55. At 70, the front end becomes even more stable, and feels like a much heavier bike than it really is, because more speed... more gyroscopic effect... more resistance to any vector other than the direction you're traveling. I had no idea that this effect even existed until I actually rode the bike.

You can also feel the gyroscopic resistance to leaning when negotiating corners, it gives a sort of molasses feel when you lean the bike. But once set up in the corner it works in your favor with a stable confident stability.

I'm no racer, and the bike is hardly a high performance cycle, but it performs very well on winding roads... far better than I had ever hoped it would.

Greg

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Shave about 4-5 inches off that front fender. It'll look more like

a motard and may cut down on wind drag increasing your mpg.

Yes, I've been considering that factor...

The Yamaha TW200 has an 18 inch front wheel, and comes stock with a really cool aerodynamic black *street style* tire hugging front fender. I'm going to explore the possibility of adapting one of those onto the XT.

I kind of held off on cutting the stock front fender for now, as that big tire would pick up and throw off a LOT of water!

Greg

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Excellent job! :applause: That's funny, I was just wondering if anyone had done this. I'm looking at SM'ing my street legal WR400F as a winter project. I originally planned on buying some used wheels from ebay, and running them stock the first year, later to be replaced by 17'ers. But I like your idea of 18's front and rear better because I only need to get ahold of one rim and spoke set. Plus they're easier to find used than the 17'ers.

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My son has motarded his TTR250 by fitting two rear DR800 rims to his hubs. He's running a 150 rear and a 110 front. We weren't to sure about a 120 on the front but, with hindsight it will fit. The restrictor has been taken out of the header pipe and there's a WhiteBros exhaust to be fitted this weekend. Should keep that silly grin going.

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I'm curious how you ordered the spokes. I've found plently of 18" rims, but don't know how to get the spoke length correct for mounting to the front hub of my WR400f? :applause: Ideas??

thanks

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Took a box cutter to my gals XT fender, came out nice...

BeksBike002Small.jpg

Dig that wheel set up of yers. I was about to attempt something similar but looks like she's gettin a dr400sm now. Her little XT rules though.

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How ironic-my name is also Greg and I too have an XT225 (along with the DRZ of course). That's cool, I've been considering doing something similar on my XT. I'm curious to know what spokes you used. Also, I had an FMF Power Core 4 exhaust on mine, the mileage went up about 5 with the pipe on it (but it was LOUD). The PC4 was also lighter and looked way better. Remember that any aftermarket exhaust for the TTR225 will bolt right on to your XT, as well as a TW200. Nice to see another XT owner! :applause:

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So what do you think of my cheap motard conversion?

It's a Yamaha rear rim laced onto the front hub,

with two equally sized dual sport rear tires.

Total cost $469

It corners suprisingly well, and is very stable at highway speeds.

motard4.jpg

You can make fun of the milk crate if you want, but it carries two full bags of groceries very well. I use the bike every day for transportation, and it gets a genuine 90 miles to the gallon... :cheers:

Greg

nice idea!! i love it .

but can it do highway speeds?

unless u have really slow speeds?

sa speeds are about 70mph .. 120kph

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that is awsome. I was considering doing the same with my XL250R except it has 17" rear. I would try to get the front smaller, I noticed that gyro effect too when I put slicks on my XR100. I just got an NX250 and it has a 16"rear, I think Im gonna use two XL250R rears on it. that XT looks good!

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