Project Bonneville Street Tracker Is A Go!

Discussion in 'Fabrication, Welding, Machining' started by Rich Rohrich, May 3, 2016.

  1. Rich Rohrich

    Rich Rohrich BioHazard
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    Back in 2006 when I bought my Bonneville I talked with Ol89r about trying to do a Gary Nixon themed street tracker. At the time I didn't have the space or the skills to even think about doing it right so I sold off the Bonny a couple years later to make room for my Ducati.

    I never lost interest in the idea of the street tracker though. I'm still not sure I have the skill to pull it off properly at this point but I figure the only way to find out is to try. So I bought my Agean Blue 2005 Bonneville back from my buddy Steve and decided to take a swing at it. If nothing else I will gain a whole new set of skills trying to work out all the engineering problems involved with doing this right, and I plan on doing it VERY RIGHT. I want to build it to Ol89r standards, and his bikes are gorgeous so it's a seriously high bar to shoot for.


    So as an opening salvo I picked up a complete 2011 R6 front end (with brakes) on Ebay over the weekend. This seems like the front end a lot of the dirt trackers use, and Richard Pollack from Mule Motorcycles has put them to good use as well. He mentioned in an article that he starts with the front end, gets the steering and stance correct and works back from there. So I figured this is as good a place to start as any.

    I'm shooting for something between these two bikes pictured below with a distinct Gary Nixon flavor too it. Sadly the little 690 Duke had to go to make this possible, but I'm thinking it will be worth it, and really fun to try and figure out how to build this thing and make it super trick. I need my fabrication skills to improve by a couple orders of magnitude like NOW !!

    I'll be picking up the Bonny in the next week or so, and Ol89r has kindly offered to help me as a voice of reason as I try and work out the various aspects of the build. The 2005 has carbs and is basically an analog motorcycle so I don't have to deal with any hairy EFI stuff ( my EFI turbo Dodge project is keeping me buried in that LOL) .

    I'll document it with pictures as I go along, and hopefully we'll all learn some new stuff along the way.

    pic 1.png pic 2.jpg


    This is what I am starting with. A great bike as is, but not quite what I have in mind.

    Bonneville_meg_DRN.jpg
     
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    #1 Rich Rohrich, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 6, 2016

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  2. Mully

    Mully AssClown SuperPowers
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    Too cool !!! Love seeing the older looking styles be made into something more.
    I expect a full report on my desk by the end of the year ! :)
     
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  3. Rich Rohrich

    Rich Rohrich BioHazard
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    I put about 40 miles on the Bonneville on Sunday. It's been 8 years since I've ridden it and I forgot how fun the bike can be on a laid back ride. I sure appreciated the low seat height in traffic. It felt strange to ride a bike with a ton of crank/flywheel weight after spending time on the hyper responsive KTM 1290. It almost seemed a shame to cut the Bonneville up, but .... I quickly got over that.

    I did a bunch of initial measuring today. I'm going to get a set of adjustable flat track triple clamps from A&A Racing so I don't get locked into a trail measurement before I know what feels right. These are adjustable in one millimeter increments from 0mm to +/- 7mm using eccentric inserts (53-67mm) . I'm going to start ripping the stock stuff off of the bike this weekend and do a test fit of the 19" DTX wheels from my CRF450 just to see how everything fits. This is going to be fun.

    The triple clamps are similar in design to this :

    [​IMG]
     
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    #3 Rich Rohrich, May 10, 2016
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  4. XRpredator

    XRpredator AssClown SuperPowers
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    Not gonna lie. This makes me a little turgid.

    Heck, I'd even settle for one of those Yamaha 650 Special Trakker setups. It's just a cool platform.
     
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  5. Rich Rohrich

    Rich Rohrich BioHazard
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    You're right Pred, the XS650 is super cool, but the last new one was built over 30 years ago so finding a decent one is tough and usually expensive. Building a Kenny Roberts style Shell Thuett replica would have been my first choice probably but it's out of my skill and price range. The new Bonnevilles are really great bikes with Japanese build quality, and super tough engines that can easily support 80-90 horsepower without getting fragile. A sub 400lb bike with 80hp and lots of torque is a good time in my book any day.

    [​IMG]
     
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    #5 Rich Rohrich, May 18, 2016
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  6. Offroadr

    Offroadr Ready to bang some trees!
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    gonna be awesome
     
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