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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello fellow Alpiners.

Alp (1991) and I have been out and about in the world for almost three years now. We've done a fair bit of k's and had the occasional spill. A bad one in Australia particularly left a mark but still managed to put the bike back together again. Now it is time to make this bike run and look great again.



I'm excited and anxious at the same time since I've never done a full strip down and never had a look inside the engine. With the latter I am lucky enough have someone help me out who knows what he is doing. Currently there is reduced compression in the front cylinder and the rear does not hold compression anymore. Looking forward to the project though because after I'll fully understand and know the bike. The plan is as follows:

1. Strip down the bike
2. Look inside the engine and figure out which parts we need to replace (small engine rebuild)
3. General maintenance
4. Replace worn/broken parts with secondhand parts
5. XR600/650 forks mod > Scrapped, next project
6. XRV750 tank + fairings mod
7. Repaint the bike

Looks great written down right but I know I'm opening a can of worms here. Posting here for moral support and I'll update during the process. I'm currently in New Zealand and it is definitely not the greatest place to be to have a crack at the mods (other than that cracker of a place). Heavy parts, probably coming from far away, while on a budget and not too much time. What can go wrong. We're going to South America next and Alp needs to look the part :happy6:.

Using the following threads as mod conversion bible. Trickiest bit will be getting the parts:

http://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/transalp/14148-ta-conversion.html
www.TransAlp.org • View topic - Jeffs TransAlp to AfricaTwin conversion thread!

Suggestions and ideas more than welcome along the way.


All the rebuild progress videos are listed here


A short compilation of what we've been up to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5PXuZ6U38c
 

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welcome to the forum great choice of bike for the job in hand . I would wait until I was finished traveling before a rebuild my self . but I prefer riding to fixing ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
welcome to the forum great choice of bike for the job in hand . I would wait until I was finished traveling before a rebuild my self . but I prefer riding to fixing ;)
Thanks mate. It is the bike that keeps on giving. This is that good fixing that will guarantee more riding and at the end of the day that is all we want.

First of all: Merry Christmas!

P1430363.jpg



A humble start on Christmas day working on parts that have come off many times before. Off to an easy start. Most work went into cleaning up the place to have a tidy area to work on the bike. No more turning back now. Video shows what has been going on.

https://youtu.be/iKfq6cIk_ek
 

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Watching your progress with interest :)
I had a green 600 just like it in the early '90s - a great bike.

It sounds like you have quite a bit off affection for your bike & the travels that she's taken you on.
 

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bike nut
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I wouldn't bother with an XR600 fork change, I don't think you really gain that much

Its pretty easy and cheap to get a set of WP48 forks these days, now they really transform the bike! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Watching your progress with interest :)
I had a green 600 just like it in the early '90s - a great bike.

It sounds like you have quite a bit off affection for your bike & the travels that she's taken you on.
Cheers mate. If you still have the bike please stuff it in an envelope and send it this way. I'll be needing more than a few parts. It's a bond we made. I remember a moment in Mongolia where I realized that this machine was something I could truly rely on. Back then more than on any person in my life.

Good luck with the project, thought you said the axe was unrelated looks like it came in handy :)
Thanks! And here I thought no one would notice.

how many miles has the bike done?
150.000km

I wouldn't bother with an XR600 fork change, I don't think you really gain that much

Its pretty easy and cheap to get a set of WP48 forks these days, now they really transform the bike! :thumbup:
Please tell me more. Got a link to a good mod? XR600 forks indeed seem a bit outdated and the XR650 are excotic. Can only get them from Oz and pretty pricey to boot.


Further stripping down the bike. Always like the look of a stripped down Alp. Like you could go in any direction customizing the bike. No real problems except at the end of the day where we found that the frame was bent on the top left side. And there is a good a chance it will be bent in other places too. Steady as she goes for now.
P1430369.jpg

All the work done on day 2 in the video below. A little ride too the beach too.
https://youtu.be/M8eiCy3R0-g
 

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bike nut
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Please tell me more. Got a link to a good mod? XR600 forks indeed seem a bit outdated and the XR650 are excotic. Can only get them from Oz and pretty pricey to boot.
You basically just want the front end off any KTM, ideally a full set up with rolling wheel, brake etc

Then find a lathe and turn the stem down to fit the transalp head bearings, if you don't have access to a lathe then rugged roads will sell you a stem that works

Although you will also need some stiffer fork springs for the alp and some consideration to a fender, either low or high depending on preference

Here is my bike with a high fender set up

med%u002520res%20%287%20of%208%29.jpg

The only problem with this mod is it will highlight how crap the rear shock is and make you want to replace that as well :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You basically just want the front end off any KTM, ideally a full set up with rolling wheel, brake etc

Then find a lathe and turn the stem down to fit the transalp head bearings, if you don't have access to a lathe then rugged roads will sell you a stem that works

Although you will also need some stiffer fork springs for the alp and some consideration to a fender, either low or high depending on preference

Here is my bike with a high fender set up

View attachment 107729

The only problem with this mod is it will highlight how crap the rear shock is and make you want to replace that as well :thumbup:
They look great on the bike mate, like the exhaust too. Did it change the geometry of the bike? To recap you need KTM: forks, triple clamp + stem, wheel + axle and caliper? How much did that put you back more less? Probably way over my budget for the front of the bike for me.

Ended up opening another ten browser tabs after your reply and I'm now wiser but a lot more indecisive on the forks ha. This fella here is not too happy with his modded TA/AT with XR650 forks. Top heavy and he does not trust the bike. Great on the road but bad off-road while the latter is what I'm focussing on for South America. And I like to have fun:

http://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/transalp/38183-best-transalp-fork-mod.html

But it is tough for me to judge others people's experiences. I've ridden through a wide variety of rough stuff at different speeds over long distance and have grown around the bikes faults and feel confident on the machine regardless of terrain. Except mud. All I noticed was that the forks dived but even that was part of the experience. Anyone here who could tell me more about XR600/650 fork experiences? I know a guy in America who vouches for the XR650 forks on a TA but he also has the AT swingarm

In that forum thread the guy installed these on his standard TA forks:

41 MM INTIMINATOR FITS ALL TRANSALP WITH 41MM FORKS

People's experiences with those seem to be positive (not just reviews on site) and the way they write about them I can relate to.

At the end of the day though I do have to replace the forks, standard or different, since they are buggered. More to think about as to what and how. I think the rabbit hole is starting to get deeper.
 

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bike nut
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As the Wp forks are longer then the stock Transalp ones they must be dropped in the yokes about 20mm to compensate

I found my bike to be fairly level after that, however my bike also has an Africa twin swinging arm and an Africa twin fully adjustable aftermarket shock fitted :cool: so it is a touch raised on the back!

Looking at the price of those intiminators I reckon you would nearly get a ktm front end swap done for the same money

Have a look around for any KTM bikes being broken local to you that you can get the whole front from on the cheap, my set up wasn't expensive

Its worth trying to get all the parts in a deal off one bike to avoid looking about for random bits you need.

I ended up sticking a low fender on my bike as the high one let to much dirt past! and also changed the exhaust as the one pictured was far to loud!

I managed to bodge an old Vara1000 end can I had lying around with minimal effort

 

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FWIW, if you are changing tge front end & machining the KTM steering stem, if you blindly copy the oe stem, you will be stuck with non-standard bearings (when I did my research in the '90s aftermarket bearings wouldn't fit the stem as it is 26mm ). As I recall the upper bearings are off the shelf items as are the lower od but stock Honda lower inner race is 26mm id - the std size bearing from a local merchant is 25mm id.

That was some time ago & the memory is a bit jaded so double check but if you go down the machining route you may aswell machine to a widely (and cheaply) available bearing size.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As the Wp forks are longer then the stock Transalp ones they must be dropped in the yokes about 20mm to compensate

I found my bike to be fairly level after that, however my bike also has an Africa twin swinging arm and an Africa twin fully adjustable aftermarket shock fitted :cool: so it is a touch raised on the back!

Looking at the price of those intiminators I reckon you would nearly get a ktm front end swap done for the same money

Have a look around for any KTM bikes being broken local to you that you can get the whole front from on the cheap, my set up wasn't expensive

Its worth trying to get all the parts in a deal off one bike to avoid looking about for random bits you need.

I ended up sticking a low fender on my bike as the high one let to much dirt past! and also changed the exhaust as the one pictured was far to loud!

I managed to bodge an old Vara1000 end can I had lying around with minimal effort

I thought that swingarm looked familiar. Same for that bashplate. I generally like the lower fender look better on conversions. Nice work mate and thanks for the reply. Did you ride the bike with the forks before you did the swingarm mod and did you get to ride it hard offroad? At this stage it looks like we'll be rebuilding with stock shock and swingarm. How would those forks impact the handling you reckon? I have a preference for stock now but I'm still on the fence about it.

Regarding the exhaust the only thing I like about the stock is that it is quiet. Sometimes you just don't want to be heard while looking for a camp spot. That being said the alternatives look great. So the one you have now is a Varadero one? Any other alternatives that tend to work on the bike? In case of misaligned pipes I've got a chap here who is dying to work on that. I've had to shut him up about the stock exhaust otherwise he'll make Honda cry.

FWIW, if you are changing tge front end & machining the KTM steering stem, if you blindly copy the oe stem, you will be stuck with non-standard bearings (when I did my research in the '90s aftermarket bearings wouldn't fit the stem as they are 26mm id). As I recall the upper bearings are off the shelf items as are the lower od but stock off the the shelf lower inner race is 26mm - the std size bearing from a local merchant is 25mm id.

That was some time ago & the memory is a bit jaded so double check but if you go down the machining route you may aswell machine to a widely (and cheaply) available bearing size.

Phil
Thanks Phil. I'll keep that in mind if we decide to go that way. Did you do the conversion yourself? If so care to share your offroad experience with the forks?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That was day 3 and still taking parts off the bike. That all went well but slowly we could see more issues with the frame which looks like it is bent in a few places. Especially the bottom left where it has been pushed up and bent the engine bracket. Now we can not pull out the bold there because the frame is in the way. We'll have to sort that out. We also cannot remove the swingarm yet since the bolt is stuck probably due to the pressure of the engine on the swingarm due to the bent frame. Good times, but we're on it.

I've already checked on frames online and there is an option but I'm not keen on the hassle with VIN numbers at the moment. Too little time to get corresponding paperwork if possible at all from abroad. There is the option of messing with the VIN number but I've still got first world countries to go through. Customs always looks at the VIN on the steering head, some really scrutinize it. I imagine one could make it through Latin America but then there still America and Canada.

https://youtu.be/ZlMVq43Mqxo

Cover UP Alp!
P1430702.jpg
 

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bike nut
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Did you ride the bike with the forks before you did the swingarm mod and did you get to ride it hard offroad? At this stage it looks like we'll be rebuilding with stock shock and swingarm. How would those forks impact the handling you reckon? I have a preference for stock now but I'm still on the fence about it.

Regarding the exhaust the only thing I like about the stock is that it is quiet. Sometimes you just don't want to be heard while looking for a camp spot. That being said the alternatives look great. So the one you have now is a Varadero one? Any other alternatives that tend to work on the bike? In case of misaligned pipes I've got a chap here who is dying to work on that. I've had to shut him up about the stock exhaust otherwise he'll make Honda cry.
I changed the front and rear at the same time, iv done a fair amount of off road on the bike yes, it handles much better then the original bike did! Although it is still no enduro bike! To save money just a rebuild of your forks with fresh oil and some extra preload spacers would mostly likely help a lot!

What is wrong with your standard exhaust again? Might be cheapest to just repair that. I only changed mine with what i had lying around as there was no standard one and the micron it came with sounded ridiculous!

Its going to be interesting to follow your rebuild and see how long it takes, mine took 6 months! :toothy10:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I changed the front and rear at the same time, iv done a fair amount of off road on the bike yes, it handles much better then the original bike did! Although it is still no enduro bike! To save money just a rebuild of your forks with fresh oil and some extra preload spacers would mostly likely help a lot!

What is wrong with your standard exhaust again? Might be cheapest to just repair that. I only changed mine with what i had lying around as there was no standard one and the micron it came with sounded ridiculous!

Its going to be interesting to follow your rebuild and see how long it takes, mine took 6 months! :toothy10:
We'll have a good look at the forks which might be a little bent. Even just optimizing stock will probably feel like a massive improvement to what I'm used to. Standard exhaust has some serious rust spots and is pretty heavy. Interesting for me too mate though they will kick me out of the country before 6 months are up. In that case I'll become a hitchhiker :thumbup:. Incoming parts are going to be the decisive factor for time.

​NSFW
P1430712.jpg

Cleaning up a naked dirty girl with lots and lots of degreaser. Smaller parts are cleaned first with petrol and some are really dirty. Bought some more supplies including a back of rags. I never saw myself buying a bag of cut up used clothes but here we are. We got a real project on our hands. So far still feel in control.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpoZl58kFrU
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Alright, I'm letting the project rest for a couple of days to celebrate the new year ahead. Finished the video of yesterday where I spent the day mostly cleaning parts. I can now actually feel the surface again of many former dirty parts. Today I briefly had a go at one of the shock links with the drill and steel brush. Pleased with the result so far. Plenty to do still in 2017 and my obvious new years resolution is to make that bike great again :happy6:. Thanks for the helpful replies.

Have great new years celebration everyone.

Line 'em up!

P1430715.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C16JOoIXh5M
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Damn dude, nice work! Any ideas yet what your'e going to do with the bent frame?
Thanks mate! We've taken the bike into the depths of hell in order to sort it out. We can only go up from here.

The day got really interesting in the afternoon as a piece of frame was cut out in order to get the engine out. The same thing happened to the swingarm bolt because that thing was not giving in and there is no time to play the waiting game. We discussed only cutting the engine bracket instead of the frame but the problem would remain and putting the engine back in would later still be an issue. That section of frame got pushed up and Jorge is going to weld in a new piece that is going to resemble the original position.

It is interesting to say the least to see the bike in the current state but I keep picturing the end result in my mind. Hang in there Alp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTfShpIFEKI

P1430732.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
So pretty calm day compared to yesterday's madness. More cleaning and rust removal. Made a comprehensive parts list which took some time. 7 Bearings for the whole rear suspension is a bit of a shocker :cyclopsani:, 25 euros a piece OEM. Sending the list to a Kiwi fella who might be able to source some parts in New Zealand or Australia. Otherwise most parts will have to come from Europe.

The rear rim suffers from the typical Transalp Corrosion. I've been trying to find some info on fixing them up but most people end up opting for replacement. The rear rim has been corroded on the outside ever since I got the bike and the wheel has taken some serious abuse ever since without breaking in half. Does anyone know a thing about filling the corrosion with Alumaloy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ3uMVkZ2Lc

The guy in this thread used it but he opted for a replacement in the end (thanks to him I'm staying far away from the spokes).

On a different note I think there might be something stuck on my eyeball.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X293xdbTmU
 
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