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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first of all, I apologise for my poor english,

I was looking for a second hand Africa Twin, but they were overpriced so I finally choose a '03 TA which was nearly new.

After a year and a half, and 25.000 kms of intensive use and abuse, I don't regret my election, but still want to improve the offroad capacities of my bike.

My biggest problem are the low ground clearance, and the little protection of the engine, as in my area the trails have a lot of stones.

I'm probably going to install a second hand Africa engine guard, but how can I improve the suspensions to have more ground clearance and suspension travel ?

Can I fit an Africa fork ? And what about the rear shock ?

Will the stock wheels endure an intensive offroad use ?

I'm looking for any ideas that can help without spending too much money in Marzocchi's, Ohlins and all that profesional stuff.

I'm not going to race in the Paris-Dakar, just want to go a bit more far in the trails.

Thank you guys.
 

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Bling Tastic Transalp
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HI ya

Your english is very good, I do not have much experience with off roading stuff with the TA.
But I thought I would say hello and welcome you to the forum.

Engine guard, I am sure that a AT guard will fit with a bit of adjustment (make some holes / hammer). or you could get a aftermarket alloy engine guard that is made for the TA.

I would also say, fit crash guards as well, the rest I have no clue.

But someone will be along soon to give their input..

have fun :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your welcome.

The aftermarket engine guard are too ugly or expensive. The Touratech looks good, but they told me it will suit only '00 to '02 models.
I like the Africa one, it looks strong and will probably be cheaper on the second hand market.

I already have Givi crashbars, they protect a lot (I experienced it !), but are no good for ground clearance because they're fitted under the frame at the centre stand fixing points. I will probably change them.
The centre stand too reduces ground clearance but is very helpful for maintenance.

In fact, I like a lot what Wheeliebin did to his bike, but I cannot find what kind of modifications he did.

If I can keep the original suspensions and just modify it, that will save me a lot of money for my next travel to Morocco :D
 

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For more clearance, take off the rear suspension linkage & flip it upside down, this lifts the rear.
The front forks will benefit from a bit more preload, 10-15mm will help, this will lift the front a little, if you want more, support the front of the bike and allow the forks to drop through the yolks a bit (so the fork top is below the top of the yoke). This will lift the front a bit more.

There are various aftermarket sump guards available or the AT one. I just bolted a piece of 3mm alloy plate inside the original - maybe not much good for more serious offroading.

You can shed weight by ditching the fairing/clocks & brackets, chopping the cat & fitting an aftermarket silencer, easily lose 20kg from stock.

Like this;



Phil
 

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bike nut
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For more clearance, take off the rear suspension linkage & flip it upside down, this lifts the rear.
intresting :D:thumbright:

could you please give more detail on this?
also u mention peload on the front end, what exactly do you mean? i.e fitting spacers in the top of the forks? is that what you mean?
many thanks :thumbright:
 

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Hill Rider
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Don't know about creating more ground clearance but as for improved sump protection, I "found" an old, damaged road sign and just cut it to size then bent & battered it into shape. I then bolted it under the original plastic sump guard (on the outside) using the rear and front mounting bolts. Sprayed it black so's the "Highland Tartan Museum" reflective logo didn't give the game away as too where I got it from :rolleyes:. It's taken a fair few bangs from largish rocks and has stood up well - as it should seeing as it's nearly 3mm thick :thumbright:

PS - this was on a 1991 XL600V, not a 650 version - far too modern them things :D

I reckon the wheels and rims are up to some enthusiastic off-roading - Mudwiz seemed to manage with his 650. I'd just make sure that on a regular basis I checked the rims for buckles and bends and the spokes for tension and breakages.

Aprt from that, keep enjoying yerself & remember to let us know how you get on - pictures would be nice.

PPS - hope to be in Alicante late April / early May (Torieviaja ??? area), so if you see a red & white @ running round on Brit plates, with a "Policia" look-a-like riding it, it might be me :D

Steve T

:cool:
 

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intresting :D:thumbright:

could you please give more detail on this?
also u mention peload on the front end, what exactly do you mean? i.e fitting spacers in the top of the forks? is that what you mean?
many thanks :thumbright:
John aka Wheeliebin has done this (not me!), its the linkage that attaches the shock & swingarm and 'dog bones' together. Unbolt it & replace upside down (650's only)!

As for the front forks, remove the caps & add some packing above the springs ie. adding more spring preload.

Phil
 

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Is it part number 4 you flip?



and for adding some preload in your front fork,
you could add a cylindrical collar on top of part 6:

You will however lose some fork travel since the spring will bottom out quicker.

Best would be to buy springs with harder caracter.
 

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Is it part number 4 you flip?



and for adding some preload in your front fork,
you could add a cylindrical collar on top of part 6:

You will however lose some fork travel since the spring will bottom out quicker.

Best would be to buy springs with harder caracter.
Yes, flip part number 4 upside down, lifts the rear.

I have had 10-12 mm of preload added to the front springs (a bit too much sag as stock), without being coil bound when compressed they would take more without proiblems, I think mudwiz used to run 1" or more of packing???

Phil
 

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Golam Rosewater
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I went down the adding preload route prior to jacking up the suspension.
Personally I prefer a more softly sprung set-up for mild off-roading (although you need it siffer for serious stuff, ask Mudwiz).

But softening everything reduces ground clearance, the linkage flip increases the ride height by 50mm at the back.

For the front, I looked at fitting different forks (Africa Twin forks are 43mm diameter, TA's are 41mm), you'd need to change to top and bottom yokes as well.
I went for the easier option, I took one of the fork leg tops to an engineering company and asked them to make a longer version, they are 80mm long. I've lowered the forks 50mm to match the rear. Brake lines are standard length, but re-routed slightly and replaced the speedo cable with one from an RD07 and extended the sidestand.

Ground clearance is about 250mm with a nice level stance.

 

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bike nut
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For the front, I looked at fitting different forks (Africa Twin forks are 43mm diameter, TA's are 41mm), you'd need to change to top and bottom yokes as well.
hi do you know if the africa twin yokes fit the transalp?

would a africa twin front end be a strait swop? i.e from a africa twin full forks and yokes, front wheel, mudguard and use the brake discs and calipers off my own transalp?
 

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geriatric
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there is a lift kit available from germany,(http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....10563629&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=007)don't know how good it is.
excuse the translation I used babel fish,vader will be able to tell us if it's wrong............

Produktbeschreibung:
Als führender Spezialist auf dem Gebiet der Heck-Höherlegungen haben wir in den vergangenen Jahren das weltweit umfangreichste und kompetenteste Programm an Höherlegungen entwickelt. Sie erreichen folgende Fahrwerksoptimierungen:
+ verbessertes Handling
+ besseres Ansprechverhalten des Federbeines
+ mehr mechanischer Grip am Hinterrad
+ mehr Gewicht auf dem Vorderrad
+ stärkere Optik des Fahrzeuges durch steiler stehendes Heck.

Material:
Je nach Modell: Edelstahl, oberflächenveredelter Stahl oder hochfestes Aluminium
Montage:
Richtet sich nach Fahrzeugtyp, ist aber problemlos, Montageanleitung liegt bei.

Lieferumfang:
Höherlegung, Montageanleitung ,mit ABE 20mm
Bild zeigt nur Beispiele

translated as:
Product description: As a prominent specialist in the area of the tail high putting we developed the world-wide most extensive and most competent program in the past years at high putting. They achieve the following chassis optimizations: + improved handling + better responsing mode of the shock strut + more mechanical Grip at the rear wheel + more weights on the front wheel + stronger optics of the vehicle by more steeply standing tail. Material: Depending upon model: High-grade steel, surface-improved steel or high-strength aluminum Assembly: Depends on motor vehicle type, is however problem-free, assembly instruction is attached. Scope of supply: High putting, assembly instruction, with ABE 20mm Picture shows only examples
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts

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bike nut
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1,034 Posts
there is a lift kit available from germany,(http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....10563629&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=007)don't know how good it is.
excuse the translation I used babel fish,vader will be able to tell us if it's wrong............

Produktbeschreibung:
Als führender Spezialist auf dem Gebiet der Heck-Höherlegungen haben wir in den vergangenen Jahren das weltweit umfangreichste und kompetenteste Programm an Höherlegungen entwickelt. Sie erreichen folgende Fahrwerksoptimierungen:
+ verbessertes Handling
+ besseres Ansprechverhalten des Federbeines
+ mehr mechanischer Grip am Hinterrad
+ mehr Gewicht auf dem Vorderrad
+ stärkere Optik des Fahrzeuges durch steiler stehendes Heck.


Material:
Je nach Modell: Edelstahl, oberflächenveredelter Stahl oder hochfestes Aluminium
Montage:
Richtet sich nach Fahrzeugtyp, ist aber problemlos, Montageanleitung liegt bei.

Lieferumfang:
Höherlegung, Montageanleitung ,mit ABE 20mm
Bild zeigt nur Beispiele

translated as:
Product description: As a prominent specialist in the area of the tail high putting we developed the world-wide most extensive and most competent program in the past years at high putting. They achieve the following chassis optimizations: + improved handling + better responsing mode of the shock strut + more mechanical Grip at the rear wheel + more weights on the front wheel + stronger optics of the vehicle by more steeply standing tail. Material: Depending upon model: High-grade steel, surface-improved steel or high-strength aluminum Assembly: Depends on motor vehicle type, is however problem-free, assembly instruction is attached. Scope of supply: High putting, assembly instruction, with ABE 20mm Picture shows only examples
#

hi yes iv seen this on ebay looks interesting, dosent say how far it lifts it though, anyone have any experiance on this product??
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all your replies.

I suppose you need to remove definitly the catalysator if you want to flip that part on the back.

And I'm interested too by the price of the top fork caps.
My problem is that it's difficult in my area to find an engineering company which want to do that kind of work for an individual.

Do you think that fork caps will endure the strong torsional forces of an offroad use ? And is the back geometry of the bike altered by the flipping ?

Thank you again for your answers.
 

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3 Posts
Finally a suspension thread.
The suspension is the weak link on these pigs.:blob2:
I added a 45mm 1 1/4 inch diam pvc spacer to my forks sping preload, it helped prevent the dreaded thunk over the 1 foot bumps common where I ride so it's easier to go faster in the rough stuff. This added about 25mm to the front end sag. I also flipped the dogbone on the rear shock link for about 50mm rise but the shock still sucks because there is dam little rebound control, I guess I need a better shock. Not many options out there. I also run 140/80 metzler sahara rear for about a 1/2 inch larger tire diameter. The handling on the dirt is good, the road is a bit more twitchy.

With all the extra height I need a kickstand extension....:confused:

Nice paint job Wheeliebin - how'd you do it?

Saludos
 

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Old Body/ Young Head
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How long are yr legs Wheelie ?

Looks useful but not for a Short A##e like me !

Still love the paint job !! :thumbup:
 

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Golam Rosewater
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1,444 Posts
jamie, I haven't ever changed the forks and yokes, but I'm pretty sure with a little modification it would be a fairly straight forward conversion.

bt, I paid about 80 quid for the pair.

transalicante, sorry, didn't make it very clear - Yes, you have to remove the subchamber / header system to flip the rear linkage. As the linkage only alters the position of the bottom shock mounting point, the geometry remains unchanged.
As to the torsional strengh of the front forks, it could well be reduced, and would depend on how much abuse they get, haven't had a problem with mine, but then my off-road riding is very mild.

conquistagor, I converted my sidestand to make it adjustable, see this thread :
http://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=21309

silveralp, I'm 6ft 1" and on tippee toes :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry for the delay, I have little time and check the website only two or three times a week.

I recently drove my TA on a sandy trail, and my feet were very useful to help me avoiding to fall, so maybe 60 mm more in the seat height will be too much.

I will probably start increasing the preload on both suspension, but how far to go without riding a woodpiece instead of a bike ?

Also, Conquistador, have you a picture of your bike from a sideview to see the height difference between the front and the back. Un saludo.

Thanks.

P.S. Does anyone know the price of the WP shock for the 650 TA. I think the height can be adjusted.
 
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