RiderForums.com - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I picked up my zr7s for 1600 in nice shape 21xxx miles, all receipts, original owner. I got the bike because I wanted to make something that can go off-road and still be able to cruise at 80mph on the streets. I'm looking at raising the ground clearance to start off and was eyeing the 2008 klr 650 forks to swap in and putting some raising links on the rear. I figure I'll need at least 2 inches of extra ground clearance to make it "off-road capable"

is there anything else I should be looking at? is it possible? I know it's easier to just buy the bike that suits my needs, but I don't have enough for an adv bike and I wouldn't learn anything new. thanks for reading
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,199 Posts
how "off road" are we talkin..gravel or dirt or serious dirt biking?....i ask cause the rake angle is the only thing ive felt that could use some adjustment IE raise the front more than the rear....your talking about a pretty HEAVY bike to be taking out in the dirt.....80mph on streets could EASILY be done with most 500+cc dirt bikes especialy from the 80s with only the adition of an oil cooler.....my xl600r tops out a smidge over 100..but can hold 80 all day long

that said..the issue youll have with ANY fork swap is going to be getting springs in there that will soak up the rough stuff but have enuf HEFT to them to hold up such a heavy beast..ive done plenty of gravel roads and such with my zr7..with STREET tires..she stable up till around 35mph..after that the street tires and rake start to hurt it in a hurry..my vfr interceptor is good for another 10-15mph on the same rubber on the same roads and capable of going a lil faster and still feeling safe and solid..the only real differance as i mentiond is the rake angle

something else youll ned to consider is the offroad tires you consider need to be able to safely handle said speeds as well as the weight of the zr7

possible yes..worth it..i dunno...if it was me..id find a 600cc+ 80s dirt bike..even if it was just a roller...and then see about shoehorning in the zr7 engine....lighter weight with all the grunt and scream of a much better engine with only nominal weight change.....id LOVE to take a cbr/interceptor engine and stuff it into an 80s honda xr/xl frame...it would be insanity
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,693 Posts
Offroad means many different things, but theres no way this bike will ever be decent for this. No different than a yz 250 will never be any good carrying a fairing and saddlebags.

Once you get over soemthing the size of a Honda xr600, you'll find offroad becomes a real challenge. Something over 300 lbs is a nightmare. Your bikes closer to 500.

Those klr forks flex like crazy on a machine 200lbs lighter than you have, and we wont even mention the front brakes.

Assuming you swap the forks and raise it, you will now have a bike you cant give away.

Dont worry. This adventure bike craze will go away, like it did before. As soon as the adv owners ride a real dirt bike, most get converted.

What makes a good streetbike ruins its offroad abilities. The two uses have nothign in common. Combining both, at a factory level, is bad enough.

This being said, you should do it. Your learning experience will be incredible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,199 Posts
to most of that i would agree....but..sometimes its better just to ignore the box and build outside of it..like i did with my body work

that said..the weight is the biggest issue period

as for a dirt bike never being good on the street..i beg to differ..the xl600r is a ditch digger in the dirt and a riot on the street..the biggest issue is getting the suspension tuned for YOU not the average joe as well as picking a set of tires that are good for YOUR riding style....course i have 2 sets of wheels one for dualsport the other straight up knobs

for forks i would be looking at something BIG heavy and SOLID..BMW or one of the other too heavy to be a dirt bike forks..they will be the only ones not flexing under the weight and should have a good enuf following to find springs that can do what you want..same goes for the rear shock..except your going to have to get creative and probably make a longer/shorter dog bone for some travel..honestly tho id make a slightly longer swing arm +3 or so as it will help soak up the rough stuff..youll also need a chain guuide for the swinger...id guess youd change out the wheels...if you do..stick with something with a cush drive or your going to break things

like i said if it was me id swap the engine into a dirt bike frame..and take most of the guess work and cost out of it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
guess they watched the walking dead and liked daryls bike lol
nice bike by the way.
11018880_1190331900992966_4976175902316235195_o.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the replies! I'm not talking about serious off roading, just being able to hit a fire road or too, I'm about an hour from pinecrest and always itch to take a few on my way up. I want an enduro but I likeke the luggage capabilities and comfort of riding the zr7s long distances too much to get rid of it. Would the versys forks be a better possibility? I saw a thread of someone who put them on a ninja 650 and said they swapped right in. Zr7 forks are the look the same as the 650's.

While I do lobe Daryl's new bike it's not quite my inspiration for this:dance:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,693 Posts
to most of that i would agree....but..sometimes its better just to ignore the box and build outside of it..like i did with my body work

that said..the weight is the biggest issue period

as for a dirt bike never being good on the street..i beg to differ..the xl600r is a ditch digger in the dirt and a riot on the street..the biggest issue is getting the suspension tuned for YOU not the average joe as well as picking a set of tires that are good for YOUR riding style....course i have 2 sets of wheels one for dualsport the other straight up knobs

for forks i would be looking at something BIG heavy and SOLID..BMW or one of the other too heavy to be a dirt bike forks..they will be the only ones not flexing under the weight and should have a good enuf following to find springs that can do what you want..same goes for the rear shock..except your going to have to get creative and probably make a longer/shorter dog bone for some travel..honestly tho id make a slightly longer swing arm +3 or so as it will help soak up the rough stuff..youll also need a chain guuide for the swinger...id guess youd change out the wheels...if you do..stick with something with a cush drive or your going to break things

like i said if it was me id swap the engine into a dirt bike frame..and take most of the guess work and cost out of it
I think we're on the same page. xr 600 will sort of go offroad, and sort of go onroad. Even for street, a ninja 300 will run circles aroudn it, and ofroad, an old yamaha 175 will do it in better. The suzuki drz 400 is away better bike, too.

Its an incredibly difficult role to cover. Being decent at both. That walking dead bike woudl be fun. Not offrod, but as a "look at me" bike.

They went throguh this back in the 60's and 70's. None of this dual sport stuff is new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,199 Posts
whill ill give you my xr250 is ALOT better bike off road its more of the weight than anything....if your out dodgeing trees on single track it gets tricky in a HURRY but anything outside of that..rythm sections, big air, woops, the xl600r with a xr fork spring swap will out do my xr250 all day long..the only time the 250 does better is the ultra tight single track

as far as on road..with the right tires..that 600 grabs n goes and will lay down faster and harder and more confidently than anything ive been on...its down right glued to the road....ive out cornered my fair share of 250 ninjas..in all honesty i look at my 83 xl600r the same way i look at the zr7..it aint "perfect" at anything but its very good at just about everything..wish they both had 6th gear LOL..the 600 could really stretch her legs!

one look at that bike posted and i instantly see the LACK of front suspension travel..whats it got 4 inches?........


the verseys forks would be a better choice deffinatly....but will it be enuf? unknown..but probably close to if not a direct fit/swap...if your just shooting for fire roads...improve your riding skills and just dont chicken out and RIDE IT AS IS!!!!!..i say this cause we have members that do it...myself included...my farm shop is 7 miles 1 way of fire road gravel.....dont ask me how many times ive had my zr7 on it..lilke i said..the rake makes her a lil squirlly ..but a fork swap aint going to fix that..unless they are considerably longer length.....honestly you dont even need more ground clearance...if you "want" more..then your going to have to find the longest forks you can and then stretch the swinger and make a new dog bone..at that point its all about tire

"idealy" if you can find a "big" heavy dualsport/enduro like the verseys with the same size fork tubes as whats on the zr7 it would make things ALOT easier
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Alright cool, thanks for all the replies again! definitely shed some light on what I want to do. If i end up doing any sort of swaps I'll start a thread about it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,807 Posts
If you just want to do fire roads there is absolutely no reason to swap forks in my opinion.

Karla rides her ZR7 on fire roads quite often, even a little two track now and then when it's required. But plenty of dirt and fire roads. Her only complaint is the bars aren't wide enough, which makes the front end feel really twitchy.
I run my 650R offroad a lot. Like I'm stupid for doing it, but hey, it's fun.

Both of us run street tires at street pressure.

That's Karla up front:



She's following me in this one:



That was dusty! We did 10 miles on this road.



We seek out adventures like this, and we were both fully loaded:





So yeah, my advice is keep it simple. There's no reason to over think or over engineer this. Like others have said, remember this is a big heavy street bike. I thought long and hard about dual sporting my 650R and ditched the idea, even though loads of people have done it before me. Too much money, time and fabrication required for just a few mods and it's still a heavy street bike. Heck, folks have issues with breaking the foot peg mounts on the 650R standing up too much. It's things like that you won't think about until you start building the bike and then it becomes a money pit and is never really what you want it to be.

Just my $0.02. Or closer to $2? Get on that bike and go get it dirty!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,168 Posts
I've taken my 7s many places where pavement feared to tread. Just remember if you drop it, you may break some of the pretty plastics and more important - you have to be able to pick the bike back up if you tip it. Just avoid beaches - the sand can be a pain in the arse!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,199 Posts
smash..have you guys done any of those roads "unloaded"?..i ask cause the load WILL effect the rake..in a positive way by squating the rear even a little bit.....ive done a ton of gravel myself and the front never felt very planted above 35mph..i imagine with the load it feels tons better....you 2 were EXACTLY who i was thinking of when i said other ride them as is offroad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,807 Posts
smash..have you guys done any of those roads "unloaded"?..i ask cause the load WILL effect the rake..in a positive way by squating the rear even a little bit.....ive done a ton of gravel myself and the front never felt very planted above 35mph..i imagine with the load it feels tons better....you 2 were EXACTLY who i was thinking of when i said other ride them as is offroad
Oh yeah, I would say we do most off pavement unloaded. Just noted that we were loaded at that yellow sign. We never shy away from some off pavement adventure on trips though! We camp 99% of the time, and that always requires a little dirt road exploration.

Not saying the ZR7, 650R, or any street bike is "good" off pavement. However they do just fine, just have to slow down a little. I'm perfectly comfortable at 45 on dirt roads on my 650R. Karla takes it a little slower, mostly due to her narrower bars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,199 Posts
unloaded offroad..huh i figured youd be loaded

you cant go screaming down the gravel at 60+ like a propper dirt bike....as far as the tires go..ive got multiple sets for my xl600r..and street tires actualy work BETTER in the gravel than knobs in overall traction same goes for "hard pack"..still blew my mind when the interceptor with its clipon narrow bars and lower to the ground than the 7 did better off road..thats when i started looking into the rake angles and such and found that rake changes everything in offroadability..

flat and tight= tighter in and out of the corners
angled and long= less tight in the corners but more stable off road

push it too far tho and you get ill handling everywhere lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
If you just want to do fire roads there is absolutely no reason to swap forks in my opinion.

Karla rides her ZR7 on fire roads quite often, even a little two track now and then when it's required. But plenty of dirt and fire roads. Her only complaint is the bars aren't wide enough, which makes the front end feel really twitchy.
I run my 650R offroad a lot. Like I'm stupid for doing it, but hey, it's fun.

Both of us run street tires at street pressure.

That's Karla up front:



She's following me in this one:



That was dusty! We did 10 miles on this road.



We seek out adventures like this, and we were both fully loaded:





So yeah, my advice is keep it simple. There's no reason to over think or over engineer this. Like others have said, remember this is a big heavy street bike. I thought long and hard about dual sporting my 650R and ditched the idea, even though loads of people have done it before me. Too much money, time and fabrication required for just a few mods and it's still a heavy street bike. Heck, folks have issues with breaking the foot peg mounts on the 650R standing up too much. It's things like that you won't think about until you start building the bike and then it becomes a money pit and is never really what you want it to be.

Just my $0.02. Or closer to $2? Get on that bike and go get it dirty!
That's awesome! thanks for the inspiration, hopefully I'll get out and off road soon when I have time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I've taken my 7s many places where pavement feared to tread. Just remember if you drop it, you may break some of the pretty plastics and more important - you have to be able to pick the bike back up if you tip it. Just avoid beaches - the sand can be a pain in the arse!
nothing fiberglass and bondo can't fix:headbang:
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top