BushMoto With A Harley

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Guy, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Guy

    Guy Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    I have a Suzuki DR-Z400S, that I am going to have to sell due to my worsening nerve damage and back, which is aggravated by its height. I needed something shorter, so I have purchased a Harley Davidson 883 Iron.

    I will be fixing this up for more off-road use, primarily for public lands and back roads.

    DSC_9583 (2).jpg
     
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  2. cornbred

    cornbred Scout

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    brother Guy,a sissybar goes a long way...i strap my fullsize pack on my dyna,load the saddlebags n head to the mountains.i found about a 2 foot tall works best for me.even picked up a military duffle ,sewed a sleeve to go over the sissybar n now i can fill it with grocerys when i need to run into town..
     
  3. Guy

    Guy Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    I had a Dyna Wide Glide for years and used the HD extended sissy bar with t-bags for camping. I have ordered a 30" old school sissy bar to strap my pack onto the Iron.

    I like the duffle idea for groceries. I will try that one. Thanks!
     
  4. cornbred

    cornbred Scout

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    hahaha thats one of those 70's things i did, back when choppers had goosenecks n glitter paint....loved drag racing my sporties too..guy i even had a shovester...80 incher,gusseted up the trapdoor,changed the gears n hold on...lol...
     
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  5. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

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    If you have back troubles, a backrest goes a long way. My bike just happened to have one on it when I bought it. I swore I'd never have something like that on a bike (used to be way into bobbers), but now I'd never ride one without it. Made a huge difference in my shoulders and neck. Sometimes you can just put a pack on the front of the sissy bar for a backrest also, depending on your setup. I'm always glad to see someone adapting their ride instead of giving up motorcycling. Should be a fun project.
     
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  6. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Old Dog Supporter

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    I look forward to seeing what you do with it. Do you have specific mods in mind? Google tracker style sportsters for some good ideas.
     
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  7. Guy

    Guy Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    I am going to try the backrest via a pack idea, first. I am holding off on the backrest seat until I see if the pack will fill the gap. I used a t-bag on the Dyna, with a sleeping bag in front of it, to give the thickness I needed. That may not be necessary with the shorter 883.

    I have been looking at the trackers and like them, with the exception of the forward lean angle position of my body. I need to be able to support my back as much as possible. I like the mid-controls of the Iron for the standing possibility when on dirt, but I may have to compromise my desire to make it a dual-sportster, with my need to not hurt my health more. Which means a mild mini-ape type setup.

    As for mods, I already have Progressive Suspension 13" shocks fork springs, to increase that 1/2" of travel that the bikes have from the factory. I want to do something with the exhaust to raise it up to help the lean angle, but I don't want the loud versions. That will be the trick to find. I plan on going on public lands and want it as quite as possible to avoid the wrath of the watchers, as well as to gain some clearance. That quest is a unicorn thus far.

    EDIT: I also have a crash bar with highway cut-outs heading to me. I have a full length skid plate bookmarked as well.
     
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  8. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Supporter Supporter

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    I saw this one that Burly Brands built a few years ago. Iron Cobra Fabrication built the pipes. I have no idea what they cost though. But I always thought this setup was beyond workable for dirt roads and fire lanes.
     

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  9. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Tagged for interest. I am a relatively new rider (2 years) and just passed a year with my "bushcraft bike".
     
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  10. Finner

    Finner Supporter Supporter Banned

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    Nice looking bike. Just a couple of thoughts that helped me out. It sounds counter-intuitive but I slapped some drag bars on my 1200 and found that the forward posture takes quite a bit of pressure off of my back (had a crash and broke my shoulder blade in half two years ago). Also, while it may not give you the clearance you are looking for, some cheap bolt on straights will definitely gain you at least an inch and a bit over the stock monsters. Cheers and looking forward to seeing your end result.
    1200.jpg
     
  11. lowenBhold

    lowenBhold Supporter Supporter

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    Very cool man. Biking is a passion of mine as well. As an older dude, the first thought I had was the seat. I'm way bigger than you so please take no offense when I say that seat looks way too small for your size. In my opinion, the seat is the first thing to look at when your back and comfort are a priority. I went from hurting after 45 min to being able to ride all day long, just by investing in a seat built for me. There are many companies that do a good job with it, but I went with the Russell day long seat. I like the fact that they take your stock seat and modify it base on your size and weight. Best money I ever spent on my bike hands down. I ride a lot, so it's a big deal for me.

    Can't wait to see what all you do with yours!
     
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  12. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Old Dog Supporter

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    I like it - I would ride it like I stole it.
     
  13. x39

    x39 Guide

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  14. saxonaxe

    saxonaxe Scout

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    I look forward to seeing how you adapt the bike to suit your plans. Those Burley-jackrabbit pipes look useful. I'm lucky in that I don't have a back problem, but even so, on a long run I find it's nice to feel that extra back support. Camping gear stowed against the short back rest on my Guzzi works well for me.
    P1030957.JPG
     
  15. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    The birth of the BUSH HOG! :46::14::dblthumb:
     
  16. Guy

    Guy Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    Now that is a sweet ride! I have thought about trying to find someone to do a custom exhaust that will give the spark arrestor that public lands require. I will bookmark the company and also see what may be up in Atlanta.

    I had not thought about leaning forward, but I want to do some longer trips on it, so that may be cramp inducing. I have degenerative discs in upper back and osteo-arthritis in lower, plus nerve damage. I fear that I am going to be uncomfortable one way or the other, but I still want to ride.

    Yes, the seat is coming. I am doing the suspension first and had thought about trying to get the stock one reworked. I will check out the Russell Day Long Seat. I have not heard of them before. I had a Mustang Royal on my Dyna. I loved that seat. I put over 40K miles on it.

    Those are the exact ones I have bookmarked already for the rear. I am getting the Mitas E-07 Dakar, for the front.
     
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  17. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Appalachian Arthfael Supporter

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    If the HD doesn't work out, I remembered that I had two friends who rode a pair of these from WV to Alaska a few years back as a once in a lifetime trip.

    http://imz-ural.com

    Not sure which model it was, but I do remember they both sold them immediately after. I wouldn't judge the bike by that, because they did a similar trip to Utah in 2 Suzuki samurais which are an awesome vehicle. They sold them there and flew home.

    They even make them in a 2wd model (rear wheel on bike, side wheel on sidecar pulls). Just posting the link because I thought it may be something neat to see or possibly get ideas from.
     
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  18. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    @Guy Look good, like the color too.
     
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  19. lowenBhold

    lowenBhold Supporter Supporter

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    OK. I expected to scoff soon after clicking the link, but that's really pretty cool. thanks for sharing.
     
  20. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Nice ride Guy! I think I'm going to clean up my v45 and try to trade it for a dual sport or an atv.
     
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  21. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Since @saxonaxe showed us his Italian Bush Bike, I figured I can show my German one. It turned drinking age this year.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Chris Scrivens, on Flickr
     
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  22. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Nice bike Pastor Chris, do those panniers affect handling? A friend let me ride his KLR650 with aluminum panniers, and above seventy there was a slight shimmy. Not scary, but there nonetheless.
     
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  23. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  24. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Not noticeably. It is a bigger bike than the KLR though. The racks were also custom fabricated out of 5/8" solid aluminum bar stock, so they are stout.
     
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  25. TRYKER

    TRYKER Scout

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    photo-353%20(2).jpg


    the names......................TRYKER
     
  26. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good luck with the Sporty, I love mine but with mini apes on it the bike is not to comfortable.
     
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  27. central joe

    central joe Guide

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    Good looking scoot brother, I've got a FXDWG, and last week bought a new DR650 at 62. Ride safe and far joe
     
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  28. x39

    x39 Guide

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    No question the GS is a lot of machine, and a Beemer to boot, so I'm not surprised it's stable.
     
  29. Land

    Land Scout

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    Guy,
    I have some back issues, as well (had surgery in Dec. '07 on my lower back).

    I'm not sure how much this will help you since we're all different, but here's another data point/food for thought:
    I have found that the sit-up-and-beg seating style (like sitting in a chair with a very slight forward lean) is incredibly comfortable for me. Since the surgery, I have at least a couple hundred thousand miles on the BMW GS platform. Driving a car bothers my back, but I have relatively little pain on (or after riding) my bikes. I've spend all day (15- and 18-hour days) in the saddle and have done big mileage days and have been pretty comfortable. The leaned-back, cruiser-ish riding position kills my back, and I can only do the sport-bike tuck for a few minutes before every part of me complains.:17::18:

    Whatever you decide to do with this build, I'm looking forward to seeing it -- and I wish you luck. I dread the idea of ever giving up riding.

    All the best,
    Chris
     
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  30. Guy

    Guy Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    I am putting a sissy bar on it and will put my pack between the bar and my back. I will adjust forward or back as I need to. The DRZ is an upright position that I can lean forward on too, but it doesn't do it for me. I looked at the GS platform when I decided to get the DRZ, but it is a bit out of my price range.
     
  31. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I had medium buckhorn bars or whatever they were called at the time. Due to clearance limitations getting my bike in and out of my truck with the ladder (tipi pole) rack on it, I put drag bars on, then swapped them to the buckhorns to go riding. After getting tired of dealing with that, I just didn't swap bars, and discovered the drag bars were more comfortable all around for me. Leaning slightly forward was better than leaning back. I agree about the mid mounted footpegs being better for most use.

    In the end, if you cant make it perfect, just go with what you have and see how it works out. I'd guess it will do more than most expect it to.
     
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  32. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Supporter Supporter

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    Excellent pic for a comfy bike. As a previous Sportster Tourer I can say you've made a great decision. Mid control pegs are pretty comfy so long as you have highway bars, and passanger pegs. On 10 hour days you can hang your heals on the passanger pegs and it'll take some pressure off your lower back. The mustang solo seat with backrest is a great seat for long trips in the saddle but make sure you take the backrest off during offroading to avoid kidney and back pain. Progressive make a good set of front and rear springs for your bike that will take some of the jolt out on rough roads. Make sure if you change the bars any, that you don't bring them rearward. You want to have slight pressure on your hands when riding a cruiser. This will keep you from having pain between your shoulder blades, your neck, and lower back.
    If you find that the wind is a nuisance, Slipstreamer make a small tombstone that clamps on to your bars and it'll send the bugs and wind over your helmet. I did a two week trip to Wyoming from Alabama on my Sporty and this was my favorite mod. Keeping the stock 3.2 gallon tank will ensure regular fuel stops, which is a good thing. You will enjoy around 52mpg after taxes are paid.

    Regardless of what other self proclaimed bikers may say. The Sportster is one fine motorcycle. Parts will always be readily available. The engines are bulletproof, build quality is excellent, and the value per pound is hard to beat in a light v-twin cruiser.

    Here is the story on my cross country adventure with my Sporty.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/from-alabama-to-wyoming.1213066/
     
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  33. Guy

    Guy Founder Staff Member Administrator Vendor

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    I have installed the progressive springs already and a Mustang Fastback seat. I thought about the Solo, but decided that the pack between the sissy bar and me would be fine. I drove across the US like that with my Dyna Wide Glide back in early 2001. I like the air cooled aspect of the Sporster and this is the first EFI bike that I have owned. I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it is less of a concern of the carb model bikes and without the 10 minute wait for warm-up in cooler weather. There is a guy on one of the Harley sites that does a bunch of Iron Butt rides on his and he has over 200K miles on his. It is like the DR-Z400 of the twins. I also like that it still uses throttle cables instead of fly-by-wire. That is why I went with the Sportster over the Indian Scout. That was the main reason anyway...the "minor" being the lack of upgrades available for the Scout and the exorbitant price of what is available.

    After have a DRZ and KLX250 previously, the 883 cc is a huge step up.

    I am a member over at ADVrider and have read your thread. Very cool trip and well documented. That is what I hope to do, but will be reporting it here. I did wonder who you were here, after seeing the mention of BCUSA in your thread. Thanks for the shout-out!
     
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  34. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Supporter Supporter

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    Excellent, good to see we get around. The XLForum is another great place for any hard to trace issues you may have with your bike, and have gatherings every year.
    It sounds like you've got a great set up. If you ever want some good sportster porn pick up the biography by Dave Barr. A rtw sportster rider who is also a double amputee.
    One of these days I will have another Sportster. Such a fun bike to ride! Keep the shiny side up, and watch for cagers!
     
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  35. x39

    x39 Guide

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    @Guy, check this out. @tobiism you might like it as well....

    sporty enduro.jpg
     
  36. tobiism

    tobiism Supporter Supporter

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