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gst95dsm

Project... "Any Road"

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What's up fellas..... 
 
I figured I'd start a little build thread to document my FJ's upcoming transformation.  My goals here are an "any road" bike,  Not an Off Road bike..... I know it's a sensitive subject any time someone mentions riding an FJ off road,  or setting one up for off road.  I understand this is a road bike,  it does that very well.  I rode mine from CA to NYC and back last year and it was awesome!
 
What I desire is a bike that can handle any road one might come across,  dirt, gravel,  wet,  muddy,  smooth, rough, new, old...... you get the idea.  I want the bike to have a fighting chance regardless of the conditions.  
 
I also want the bike to be able to be ridden standing up, comfortably.  What this adds to the machine is..... "suspension", via my legs.  On a short travel bike riding any kind of rough roads just beats the crap out of you in a hurry while sitting down.  Most of us can testament to that having ridden old school dirt bikes before they had mono shocks.  Same idea,  you were always standing and letting the bike do it's thing underneath you.  I've already ridden this machine on some very rough,  semi paved,  pot holed,  gravel and dirt roads and while it does fine,  I was not able to stand comfortably and I knew if I WAS able to stand,  I could ride that terrain for much longer,  faster, with more control and more comfortably.  This will probably be the hardest goal to accomplish.  I have already ordered 2" bar risers,  and some aftermarket wider pegs that will allow me to lower them slightly and give me a much bigger platform to stand on then the stock pegs.  This goal is made much more difficult because I am 6'4".  Hopefully these two mods make a huge difference.  If not,  I will be looking at how I can relocate the foot pegs to help.  
 
 
TIRES.... probably the most important change.  It's actually a pretty easy choice.  Continental TKC80's.  They just do it all and do it all well.  They are MUCH better on the road than they look like they would be.  They do well on any type of surface.  They are relatively cheap,  and that's good because the rears wear out quick.  I went with 170/60r17 in the rear to give me a bit narrower tire,  that should turn in faster and make the bike feel lighter and more nimble.  Another side effect of these tires...... they just look so badass on an FJ.  
 
Protection.... I need the bike to be able to handle a low speed drop without much drama.  I need some oil pan protection.  I need some exhaust protection.  Luckily someone has figured that out pretty well.  I ordered Higdonian set up today.  After I get that installed I will see where the most vulnerable areas are and address them appropriately without getting too crazy and adding even more weight.  I also plan to order a radiator guard,  and do the KTM hand guards.  As a cosmetic mod,  that I know really serves no purpose but will ad to bikes overall appearance in this guise,  I am probably going to get the BEAK!  I also plan to raise the stock front fender a bit.  
 
Suspension..... still in the research phase here.  I may leave it alone as this can be a very slippery and expensive slope trying to get it right based on past experience.  I actually don't have a problem with the stock suspension after I dialed up the preload,  I know it's low end and I know it's street oriented travel wise.  I guess I just don't expect too much out of it,  and I am WAY over the target weight.  
 
Ok well..... not much to show until parts start coming in.  I ALMOST just sold the dang thing and my DRZ400s to buy a new GS1200,  but luckily I came to my senses.  I think the FJ with these few mods will go almost anywhere you should take a GS and definitely anywhere most GS owners take theirs.  Wish me luck..... feel free to comment or make suggestions.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I figured I'd start a little build thread to document my FJ's upcoming transformation.  
 
What I desire is a bike that can handle any road one might come across,  dirt, gravel,  wet,  muddy,  smooth, rough, new, old...... you get the idea.  I want the bike to have a fighting chance regardless of the conditions.  
 
 
 
 
I have an old Africa Twin which i use for travelling on roads you describe. I wanted a fast naked road bike, that didn't cost the earth to get my adrenaline rush on short rides, i rode a few to see what bike suited, street triple, MT-09 were the bikes that topped the list, and then i rode a Mt-09 Tracer and started to think maybe this bike could be used for longer distance as well as a get my go-fast kicks.
 
I Will fallow your post with interest as i now think maybe this bike can do Motorways, rough roads, gravel, long distance with luggage, with some well thought out mods.
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Having run TKC-80s for many thousands of miles, I can say they're pretty terrible on-road. They can hustle for being a 50/50 tire, but the front end pushes quite a bit—especially when they're worn down. Since I couldn't do crazy stuff off road because of chassis limitations, I never found my tires to be the limit. I went back to street tires and can handle fire trails and light dirt well enough. If I went for a "all road" setup again, I'd definitely go for a tire like the ContiTrail Attack.
 
Good call on the Higdonion cage. Kris is a great guy. In fact, I'm going to be scooting around the Vegas area with him this week!
 
34097240422_50ee2abe8f_b.jpg
 
34233731395_481d290c51_b.jpg
 
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@shigeta those are great pictures

'15 FJ-09 w/ lots of extras...

Fayetteville, GA, USA

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Having run TKC-80s for many thousands of miles, I can say they're pretty terrible on-road. They can hustle for being a 50/50 tire, but the front end pushes quite a bit—especially when they're worn down. Since I couldn't do crazy stuff off road because of chassis limitations, I never found my tires to be the limit. I went back to street tires and can handle fire trails and light dirt well enough. If I went for a "all road" setup again, I'd definitely go for a tire like the ContiTrail Attack.  
Good call on the Higdonion cage. Kris is a great guy. In fact, I'm going to be scooting around the Vegas area with him this week!
 
34097240422_50ee2abe8f_b.jpg
 
34233731395_481d290c51_b.jpg

 
I'll give the TKC's a shot,   if they don't work out,  no biggie.  I've also come across your bike on ADV before and you were also someone who inspired this build!  So thanks!  And keep up the great riding getting the most out of your FJ.  

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My tires showed up yesterday!  I had them mounted up today and went for a little test run.  First off..... they look badass.  They REALLY change the character of the bike instantly.  First impression driving off.... vibe's at very low speeds,  smooth after that.  Definitely louder.  The bike also wants to turn in much easier,  just something to get used to.  Overall street characteristics are fine.  I've ridden TKC's before,  but never on a road bike.  After some time on the street getting a feel for the bike,  I hit a dirt / sandy road that follows a canal by my house that I wouldn't even have considered before.  It's smooth but has some spots where the sand is quite deep and loose.  I ride it all the time on my DRZ400,  so I figured I'd give it a shot.......... turned off TCS..... and let her rip.  WOW,  the amount of grip was awesome and having that much power on loose dirt / sand, is quite entertaining.   I was very pleased with how it handled and felt.  
 
So I'm waiting on the Higdonian Trail cage, Bar risers,  KTM hand guards,  Windscreen and the Wider Pegs to arrive.  Should have some more stuff to install next week!
 
Here's some junk photos..... I was about 30min away from decent lighting.  Oh well.... you get the idea.
 
33DF7044-084A-43F0-BA08-B7C3537626B9_zpsyarmieba.jpg
 
23D9CF10-D08B-473C-A2C5-7E4D7091E7FA_zpswzcrholo.jpg
 
7848F1AE-96C6-4A3D-8B4C-F983E17F7D30_zpsiecb2tl5.jpg
 
E6A0855E-34AE-4726-B115-87B11738867E_zpsbktvu4ix.jpg
 
4FF3F9CE-6E0D-46BE-BF0D-26F641DD066A_zpsfzcvwzfi.jpg
 

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If I ever get around to planning my trip to Alaska, those will likely be the tires I'd get. Looks awesome!
 

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I have used TKC 80'S in the past and they are a good tyre for Gravel, sandy or dry dirt, but pretty useless in muddy conditions. The grip they offer for road riding i found good, as has been said the front has a tendency to feel like it will let go long before the back when you try to push hard in the twisty's .
 
One thing to be-aware of is if you travel long distances at high speed on them the heat build up seems to accelerate ware dramatically. On a trip to Morocco to play in the sand i got the ferry from the UK to Spain and then travelled on the back roads down through Spain no Fast riding, on the return journey i had to change the rear tyre in southern Spain as the tyre had lost a chunk of rubber in the rocky conditions in the atlas Mountains. The new TKC was shot when i arrived home after a high speed ride through Spain and France, 2000 miles all at 80/90 mph,( high speed for a big trail bike )  the front tyre looked like it had started to melt very uneven ware in the centre of the tyre. i know you guys in the US travel big distances to get to the interesting bits.
 
Haven't checked if Heidenau K60 tyres  come in sizes to fit, but they are a good compromise for off-road grip/road mileage.   

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Here's a shot of the Barkbuster Storm hand guards. I installed them after I busted up the OEM hand guards in the snow. Not only do they have better crash protection, but they also provide better protection against the weather.   
 
34198125821_e36f400f97_b.jpg
 
33518630443_b26cc6a912_b.jpg
 
And a quick shot of the cage. 15mph lowside after hitting an oil slick and the only damage was to the cage, OEM hand guard, and plastic shroud on the tank. (Engine paint gone is from a drop in some muddy sand.) 
 
33518632853_1d38367080_b.jpg

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I have used TKC 80'S in the past and they are a good tyre for Gravel, sandy or dry dirt, but pretty useless in muddy conditions. The grip they offer for road riding i found good, as has been said the front has a tendency to feel like it will let go long before the back when you try to push hard in the twisty's . 
One thing to be-aware of is if you travel long distances at high speed on them the heat build up seems to accelerate ware dramatically. On a trip to Morocco to play in the sand i got the ferry from the UK to Spain and then travelled on the back roads down through Spain no Fast riding, on the return journey i had to change the rear tyre in southern Spain as the tyre had lost a chunk of rubber in the rocky conditions in the atlas Mountains. The new TKC was shot when i arrived home after a high speed ride through Spain and France, 2000 miles all at 80/90 mph,( high speed for a big trail bike )  the front tyre looked like it had started to melt very uneven ware in the centre of the tyre. i know you guys in the US travel big distances to get to the interesting bits.
 
Haven't checked if Heidenau K60 tyres  come in sizes to fit, but they are a good compromise for off-road grip/road mileage.   
Thanks for the first hand experience with the TKC's.  I had never heard of them heating up before and causing any problems.  I'll have to be conscious of that if I find myself on any long high speed stretches.  Would you happen to recall the PSI you were running them at?  I work in the tire industry (non MC),  and based on the speed rating of the TKC's,  I can definitely see constant operation near their speed rated limit would build up some significant heat,   perhaps running them at or near their max PSI rating could help that situation.  

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Consider the Barkbuster handguards instead of the plastic KTM ones. The plastic stuff just snaps after a fall or two.  
https://www.revzilla.com/search?query=FJ-09+barkbuster&commit=Search
 

Man I do like those better than the KTM's.  I basically went with the KTM's because I knew they'd fit up easy and they are inexpensive.  Oh well,  if I find myself dropping the bike enough to worry about my hand guard durability I probably shouldn't be riding on that terrain.  Lol.  The one's you linked I think look way better though!  Thanks for the cage photos and I'm glad to see it saved some significant damage!  I can't wait to get mine,  I hope he ships it soon.

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