XR650R Acerbis & IMS Large Tank Brace and Dual Sport conversion.


22 replies to this topic
  • ztsd

Posted January 28, 2006 - 06:50 PM

#1

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NOTE: If you don’t see the pictures, my bandwidth has been exceeded. Sorry! Try again later... :thumbsup:
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Howdy!

Here’s some detail on a tank brace for the large Acerbis and IMS tanks. It’s ridiculously simple to make... My friend came up with the design. It’s just 3/8” gaspipe with a flat cap on one end. For now, we are just using adhesive and a zip tie to attach it to the frame for testing, but we may make a flat bracket for a permanent solution.
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We used longer tank bolts and they protrude through the radiator bracket and prevent the gaspipe from falling. I wasn’t happy with the vibration factor, so I found a set of rubber table leg caps that fit the gaspipe snugly. I figure that a couple of washers between the gaspipe and the rubber cap will finish the modification. The washers will prevent the gaspipe from cookie cutting the rubber caps and the caps will hold the washers in place against the gaspipe. Also, if the hole in the washers is close to the size of the tank bolts it will stabilize the mount better. I’ll try to update this thread with a picture of the finished installation. I was amazed to find that the stock mud deflectors fit right over the brace without having to cut them and the installation looks very clean. With the braces installed, the rigidity of the tank is amazing!

I have heard from several riders that the large tanks (Acerbis and IMS) really protect the radiators IF the lower radiator mount is braced. I checked out the braces available and didn’t like the commercial one and all the other fabricated designs looked difficult to make and install. They all required cutting the mud deflector also. This one is remarkably simple and cheap!
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Oh, BTW, I went with the IMS 7 gal tank because I got a great deal off eBay, brand new for $175. This mount will work with either the Acerbis 6 gallon tank or the IMS 7 gallon tank. I know the tank looks huge but the plan is to only run 3 to 4 gallons of gas while on the dirt. This will place the gas weight lower on the bike! I’ll add extra gas to get me to the trailhead as needed. On those long runs where gas is unavailable, this tank will let me carry 6.5 to 7 gallons of gas without having to tie spare bottles to me or the bike.

This is what the IMS tank looks like installed on the BRP.
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Here you can see how the brace blends into the style of the bike and is almost invisible!
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I also installed the Baja Design Dualsport kit. I had to get an extra brake light switch for the front brake, due to Massachusetts’s requirements. I didn’t like the rear directionals so I picked up a set of XR650L signals and mounted them to the taillight bracket. This moved them aft, out of the way of luggage and also moved them inboard and less likely to be damaged by a fall. I also think it looks a heck of a lot cleaner this way. I didn’t like the newer kits so I picked up a classic kit off eBay for $255. It was actually for the XR400. I like the fact that the battery is under the seat and not sitting on the triple clamps. I also wanted the taillight up on top of the fender where it’s out of way of the tire and will also help to secure luggage on top of the fender and help to keep it from sliding off the back. I did fabricate a subframe extension out of aluminum, but I may go with the SRC extension and luggage rack later.
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I also installed the Kouba Link to lower the bike a tad so I can flatfoot it better and also so I don’t need to use the sidestand to start it.
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I talked to several people that have done long-range trips on the BRP and they mentioned that vibration was a problem along with the comfort of the seat. I plan to mount a comfortable aftermarket seat (researching that now) and add some vibration isolation to the handlebars and pegs. I want to get the Scotts SUB mount but I want to use the rubber mount from the CRF450. Since no one makes this, I’ll have to fabricate something. I did get a set of CRF405 triple clamps of eBay cheap so I can make some measurements.

Oh, I also went with a right peg modification which hopefully will prevent having the right peg fall off the bike at an inopportune time. It seemed like a lot of money at first, but after seeing it and installing it, I love it. Cheap insurance and great piece of mind! (Thanks Kris!) I got the natural finish peg post and painted it to match the frame and tank brace.
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Other things...
I have some DOT Kenda K270’s coming for the safety inspection.
http://us.st11.yimg....s_1878_51206563

I have to finish plumbing the tank and silver tape the bottom. I have a BD oil sight tube ready to install. I need to get a chain and sprockets too. BTW! What size sprockets do you use? I also want to fabricate a chain guard as I have heard that will GREATLY increase the life of a chain by keeping the mud off it. And, as an experiment, I picked up a Manual Motorcycle Chain Lubrication System from LoobMan, which is also *suppose to* greatly increase the chain life.

Still waiting for installation is a set Larry Roeseler series 35mm Progressive Suspension forks. PN#11-1519. Anyone know anything about these??? Another big-ticket item I’m getting ready to order is a speedometer that is also a tachometer and temperature gauge.
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Well, all I can say is it’s a damn good thing I only paid $2,000 for the bike because it’s turning into a rolling money pit...

Tom D. :bonk:

  • xr650noob

Posted January 29, 2006 - 07:58 AM

#2

How much does that kouba link lower the bike? I've had a few low speed tip overs and think that might help me. Thanks.

  • mjlang

Posted January 29, 2006 - 08:07 AM

#3

Wow that's a huge tank. Didn't it run aground in Alaska somewhere?

  • oldturtle

Posted January 29, 2006 - 08:42 AM

#4

I also have IMS 7.0 that I install for the long runs. I have shimmed between radiators and the bottom tank mount bolt just to prevent inducing any strain into the tank and radiator. I have not worried about bracing back to the frame. I have taken a few hard falls on the tank without problem. Regarding bar mounts, I installed 1-1/8 in Pro Taper KX High bars in the Scotts top triple clamps. These bars greatly reduce vibration fatigue. The clamps mount the bars farther forward and the extra height of the KX Highs is very nice with the big tank.
I often use tank panniers for extra luggage capacity and I carry heavy tools such as tire irons and wrenches in tool pack straped to lower triple clamps. I had to cut off the bottom of the Baja Designs head light plastic frame for this all to fit. With the pannier and tool weight plus the 7.0 IMS I had Precision Concepts respring and revalve forks for the extra load. Works fine for me either heavily loaded for the long trips or lightly loaded with 3.2 gal IMS smaller tank.
I originally installed a Gutts Racing tall medium foam and did some custom carving to better suit my ideas. After a bad knee injury I had some problem starting with the tall seat so I have since reverted to the stock seat height and can now start with no problems.
I run 16/48 gearing for the long easy rides. I believe chain life is improved with bigger front sprockets and 16 was the biggest I could fit. I even had to file down the stock aluminum case saver slightly for this all to fit. I run 15/48 with 3.2 IMS on normal dual sport rides with single track and regular gas stops.
I did not want to plug my stabilizer into the oil dip stick hole so I went with forward anchor mount and avoided the need for the oil sight tube. But now I am limited with options on odometer/speedometer.

  • roadcam

Posted January 29, 2006 - 10:36 AM

#5

on my XR650L, the KoubaLink lowered it about 1.75", and I raised my fork tubes 10mm up into the triple tree to compensate ... I think they give abut the same specs for your 'R' ... quality of the KoubaLink is outstanding, by the way .. :thumbsup:

  • ztsd

Posted January 29, 2006 - 11:06 AM

#6

How much does that kouba link lower the bike? I've had a few low speed tip overs and think that might help me. Thanks.

It’s supposed to lower the rear by 1.5”. I haven’t finished the install; the last step is to do the race sag. I hope to complete that later next week.

  • ztsd

Posted January 29, 2006 - 11:11 AM

#7

Wow that's a huge tank. Didn't it run aground in Alaska somewhere?

LOL! Hey that’s probably why I only had to pay $175 for it! I’m looking for a tank graphic that said “The Valdese,” but no luck so far... I figure that with 4 gallons of gas in it down nice and low, it will feel liter than the stock 3 gallons. And I wont have to carry a gallon gas bottle strapped to my belt...

  • ztsd

Posted January 29, 2006 - 08:04 PM

#8

Howdy!

Thanks for replying! I have been lurking around the various forums for several months and I came across some posts you made that did impact my decisions so far. So, thanks for your info!

Do you ever run the big IMS with only 3 or 4 gallons of gas for dirt rides? I figured that this would make the bike feel lighter with the fuel down lower and for rides where the gas stops were unavailable I can carry more gas without resorting to tying gallon bottles to me or the bike.

I read that you don’t have any overheating problems with the Acerbis Standard Panniers so it’s on the luggage list along with the Dirt Bagz.

I also want to do what Ibarra did to get the tools down real low and I want mount some sort of highway pegs as well. These old legs don’t like one position too long...
http://ibarra-bros.s.../54025500-M.jpg

Yeah, I’m planning on some nice high Pro Taper bars but I do want to get them rubber mounted too. I’ll try to fab something.

I’m surprised that you can get good fork action with such a variance in weight between the two setups. I hope to do some cross country stuff so I’ll probably be fairly heavily loaded all the time. From what I have heard, most people carry way too much stuff and wind up shipping it back home after a while. I’m gonna try to go as ultra light as I can. Do you have a travel list for EXTENDED trips? I’d love to glean some info from your experience if you don’t mind.

As far as the seat goes, I’m looking at the Rick Mayer or Renazco custom seat. I did a little touring 20 or so years ago and found the most important accessory on the bike is a good seat. I’ll keep the 16/48 gearing in mind, so basically you just swap out the 15 and 16 sprockets as needed? How many links on the chain?

Yeah, I agree about not using the oil fill for the stabilizer and I plan to use the forward mount job, but I do want to use a sub mount to keep that link as low as possible.

Thanks for a great reply to my post!

Tom D.

I also have IMS 7.0 that I install for the long runs. I have shimmed between radiators and the bottom tank mount bolt just to prevent inducing any strain into the tank and radiator. I have not worried about bracing back to the frame. I have taken a few hard falls on the tank without problem. Regarding bar mounts, I installed 1-1/8 in Pro Taper KX High bars in the Scotts top triple clamps. These bars greatly reduce vibration fatigue. The clamps mount the bars farther forward and the extra height of the KX Highs is very nice with the big tank.
I often use tank panniers for extra luggage capacity and I carry heavy tools such as tire irons and wrenches in tool pack straped to lower triple clamps. I had to cut off the bottom of the Baja Designs head light plastic frame for this all to fit. With the pannier and tool weight plus the 7.0 IMS I had Precision Concepts respring and revalve forks for the extra load. Works fine for me either heavily loaded for the long trips or lightly loaded with 3.2 gal IMS smaller tank.
I originally installed a Gutts Racing tall medium foam and did some custom carving to better suit my ideas. After a bad knee injury I had some problem starting with the tall seat so I have since reverted to the stock seat height and can now start with no problems.
I run 16/48 gearing for the long easy rides. I believe chain life is improved with bigger front sprockets and 16 was the biggest I could fit. I even had to file down the stock aluminum case saver slightly for this all to fit. I run 15/48 with 3.2 IMS on normal dual sport rides with single track and regular gas stops.
I did not want to plug my stabilizer into the oil dip stick hole so I went with forward anchor mount and avoided the need for the oil sight tube. But now I am limited with options on odometer/speedometer.



  • oldturtle

Posted January 30, 2006 - 09:38 AM

#9

ztsd. The 7.0 IMS just feels too big to me when riding single track. Running with only 3 gal in 7.0 IMS will have lower CG than 3 gal in smaller tank but the tank is so wide and tall that I would rather just change tanks. Also getting to the choke and idle is more difficult with big tank.
Many replacement chains will come with extra links and you will need to cut to fit. If you install the 16/48 gearing and position wheel as far forward as possible then the chain will also fit for 15/48 with wheel a little farther back. I don't recall exact number of links.
I have seen some of the custom bucket style seats but these often lock you into only one position. This can be a handicap when you do get into rougher dirt conditions. So I prefer to have option of moving around.
Your tool carrying plans in pipe on skid plate looks very good. The main thing to avoid is anything heavy like a tool fanny pack strapped to your butt. This will wear you out quickly as I learned the hard way.
Gear list question is difficult to answer. Start with rain and cold weather clothing and emergency repair supplies. Don't go cheap with clothing. Aerostitch has quality stuff. To reduce clothing req'm I bought a Baja Designs high output alternator and wired up connection for electric gloves and vest. I have seen several dual sport bikes; XR650Rs and KLR650s; with broken sub frames from too much weight out on the rear. Just plan on only essentials and then leave half of that at home.

  • ztsd

Posted January 30, 2006 - 10:00 PM

#10

ztsd. The 7.0 IMS just feels too big to me when riding single track. Running with only 3 gal in 7.0 IMS will have lower CG than 3 gal in smaller tank but the tank is so wide and tall that I would rather just change tanks. Also getting to the choke and idle is more difficult with big tank.
Many replacement chains will come with extra links and you will need to cut to fit. If you install the 16/48 gearing and position wheel as far forward as possible then the chain will also fit for 15/48 with wheel a little farther back. I don't recall exact number of links.
I have seen some of the custom bucket style seats but these often lock you into only one position. This can be a handicap when you do get into rougher dirt conditions. So I prefer to have option of moving around.
Your tool carrying plans in pipe on skid plate looks very good. The main thing to avoid is anything heavy like a tool fanny pack strapped to your butt. This will wear you out quickly as I learned the hard way.
Gear list question is difficult to answer. Start with rain and cold weather clothing and emergency repair supplies. Don't go cheap with clothing. Aerostitch has quality stuff. To reduce clothing req'm I bought a Baja Designs high output alternator and wired up connection for electric gloves and vest. I have seen several dual sport bikes; XR650Rs and KLR650s; with broken sub frames from too much weight out on the rear. Just plan on only essentials and then leave half of that at home.

Hey Oldturtle,

Thanks for the info! I understand about running the 3 gal tank on single track and I can see what you mean about the choke and idle screw. Due to health problems,:thumbsup: I don’t think I’ll be running much in the way of technical riding, at lease I hope not! Right now I’m trying to prep for the TransAm trail, which I hear, is mostly open, boring but scenic till I get to Colorado. I’ll have to bypass any tough sections anyway.

I’ll set it up with the 16/48 to start and carry a 15 with me, just incase. Will your method also fit a 14?

I found what I think is a good seat at http://www.xrdualsport.com/ it's a Renazco seat.:bonk:
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It seems like just the ticket to a comfortable seat that I can move around on and still be able to do long saddle days.

I picked up a daypack that has a hydration unit. I’m only planning to put real light stuff in it. I suppose if it gets to heavy I could possibly bungee it to the bike, maybe like a tank bag? Heavier stuff would go in the tank panniers and the Dirt Bagz. I want to stay as light as I can so no tent or camping gear but possibly just a bag and mat. Guess I’ll just stick with the riding suit and several changes of under-wear and just do a wash every few days.

I was looking at the Aerostich, but I don’t think they make stuff in my size, XXXfat! :p I always have trouble with clothing as my weight varies between 200 to 300 but mostly hovers around 250 to 300. I’m gonna wait till spring before I get the clothing to see what happens.

I got the XR for reliability reasons so I hope I don’t have to carry much for emergency repairs. Just the usual, like chain stuff, extra levers, tire repair, headlight bulb, oil filters, taillight bulb and spare cables routed along the regular ones. Of course the obligatory staples, duct tape, wire, JB weld, silicon seal, nutz&bolts and a ¼” drive with select sockets and stuff. Of course the biggie is a relatively cool credit card if I can find one after the build.:eek:

I like your idea of the electrical clothing! I was planning to upgrade to a 200w stator anyway. Do you recommend the electric gloves over grip heaters?

I’m familiar with the subframe problems. I’m gonna try to address that problem this winter. I’ll probably hit ya a few more times as the project progresses. Absolutely great info, thanks!:thumbsup:

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  • al_piv

Posted January 31, 2006 - 04:47 AM

#11

I too am thinking really hard about a Renazco seat.
I have lived on a KTM 450EXC for three years now and just upgraded it's seat to a guts tall seat -- Man my butt is thanking me. Yet the KTM is a day rider.. The BRP is a week at a time rider and figure I need more!

  • oldturtle

Posted January 31, 2006 - 07:58 AM

#12

ztsd. I have not tried installing a 14 front with a chain cut to fit 16/48 but my guess is that the rear wheel would be too far back and out of chain adjust range.
Re grip heaters or electric gloves, I believe an electric vest is the most important electric heating item to have. My vest just happens to come wired with a harness to the gloves from Widder. I think you could get along with either grip heat or glove heat but the vest will save your core.
Also some will claim that an electric vest will help keep hands and feet warm by reducing the restriction of blood flow to extremites.

  • ztsd

Posted January 31, 2006 - 10:21 PM

#13

I too am thinking really hard about a Renazco seat.
I have lived on a KTM 450EXC for three years now and just upgraded it's seat to a guts tall seat -- Man my butt is thanking me. Yet the KTM is a day rider.. The BRP is a week at a time rider and figure I need more!


Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking! I did some touring on a Kaw 900 Z1B and I almost did some permanent damage. That taught me a hard earned lesson; ALWAYS protect your butt.

  • ztsd

Posted January 31, 2006 - 10:30 PM

#14

ztsd. I have not tried installing a 14 front with a chain cut to fit 16/48 but my guess is that the rear wheel would be too far back and out of chain adjust range.
Re grip heaters or electric gloves, I believe an electric vest is the most important electric heating item to have. My vest just happens to come wired with a harness to the gloves from Widder. I think you could get along with either grip heat or glove heat but the vest will save your core.
Also some will claim that an electric vest will help keep hands and feet warm by reducing the restriction of blood flow to extremites.

OldTurtle:

Ok, just a thought. Seems like I’d ether be using a 14 or a 16. Haven’t ridden the bike yet, too cold and I’m busy with the build. Guess I’ll get it plated and see how it feels in various modes, then make a decision. Good info on the electrics. I’m gonna do that, I dealt with hyperthermia twice and lucky to survive, I’m smarter now (I hope). Unfortunate, it seems by the time I was bad enough where I should have stopped, the mind wasn’t working well enough to realize it... Betcha it’s the root cause of a lot of bike deaths but goes undocumented... Thanks for the info! :thumbsup:

  • ztsd

Posted January 31, 2006 - 10:43 PM

#15

I too am thinking really hard about a Renazco seat.
I have lived on a KTM 450EXC for three years now and just upgraded it's seat to a guts tall seat -- Man my butt is thanking me. Yet the KTM is a day rider.. The BRP is a week at a time rider and figure I need more!

I just noticed you belong to the SpringTAT. The TAT is what got me started on this build. I was just going to Dualsport the bike for convenience for the local stuff until I came across the TAT. Now I’m hoping to do the whole run (skipping the really difficult stuff for health reasons) and I want to go from Province Town, MA to the Pacific Ocean by way of as much dirt as I can handle.

Can you tell me about your TAT experiences and how the XR does on the TAT? Also any prep tips I’ve missed would be appreciated.

Tom D.

  • The Bossman

Posted February 09, 2006 - 10:08 AM

#16

Hey you IMS 7.0 gal guys, do any of you have a picture or good description on how you made the fuel pump work?

  • oldturtle

Posted February 09, 2006 - 10:38 AM

#17

Connect the vacuum hose to the vacuum fitting on intake manifold. Connect other end of vacuum hose to pump. Connect pump suction to lowest fitting on tank. Connect pump discharge to tank fitting near petcock so that tank chamber near petcock will always run full and you will have gravity flow of gas for starting.

  • ztsd

Posted March 23, 2006 - 10:23 PM

#18

Update:

I’ve beefed up the front suspension for my 300# bulk and I have a HD spring coming for the rear. I tried setting the preload to max and it did take care of the sag but it caused the suspension to be very hard riding. No give on small and medium bumps. With the new spring set at a light preload, I’ll have the correct sag and the suspension should be able to work properly.

The HRC exhaust tip is really loud. I decided to go stealth and installed the BD Baffle. The difference between the two at even an idle is remarkable. I think it may even help the low and midrange but there’s gotta be a loss on the top. I figure it wont be a problem as the XR has so much power it’s difficult to get on it anyway. Guess I’d rather have quiet than excessive wheel spin...

Posted Image

I mounted the DOT Kenda K270s and they look good, but it’s a little early to tell. There’s a difference on the dirt but they did seem to be decent so far.

The next addition was the mirrors and I went with two Dual Star Mirrors and I’m very pleased with them. Surprisingly good coverage considering how tucked away they are.

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The Edelbrock QS finally won me over and it’s on the way. I just don’t want to have starting problems especially if I drop the bike. Just about everyone seems to agree that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

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The Acewell digital speedometer/tachometer/temperature gauge, the final item to make the bike street legal, was shipped yesterday! I hope to get the plate for the XR tomorrow. Once the speedometer comes in I’ll go for the inspection.

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Once the bike is plated I’ll start on the final details. Graphics, seat, GPS mount, luggage and a SUB mounted Scotts stabilizer with tall bars.

Posted Image

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel; I just hope it ain’t an 18 wheeler...

Tom D.

  • ztsd

Posted March 24, 2006 - 07:18 AM

#19

Plated in Massachusetts!

Just came back from the RMV with a shiny new registration plate.

I guess it’s no big deal as the bike was previously titled and registered in Vermont. I was just worried that Taxachusetts would give the bike a thumbs down...

Anyway, I’ve got a TICKET TO RIDE! :thumbsup:

  • justanotherider

Posted September 26, 2006 - 09:29 PM

#20

I'm having trouble fitting an Acerbis 22 litre tank to a 93 XR650L. The tank won't fit down over the factory mounting tabs, or even the Acerbis stabilizing bar, (the tank is too narrow). I am considering heating the bottom mid-section of the tank with a heat gun, then trying to spread it apart so it will clear the mounting tabs. Anyone out there had a similar problem and got a better idea?





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