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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to consider the FZ09 as an adventure, long ride bike. The Super Tenere is way to heavy for me. But the FZ09 is definitely not setup for dirt roads and the rake on the forks, 25 degrees is way less than the Tenere which is 28. I'm wondering if longer forks would take care of this issue. Also the low exhaust is an issue. Any suggestions on how to make an adventure bike out of the FZ09?
 

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Do you own an FZ now ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I pick it up tomorrow. Road it yesterday. I also have a WR450 and an 1125 Buell. I want something in between these two for travel.
 

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I suppose it depends on what your idea of adventure bike is. My advice would be to start with a different platform. The above mentioned reasons - small fuel tank, poor drain plug clearance and less than all day comfort on the seat make the fz less than ideal for my idea do an adventure bike.

You can drive a nail with a brick, but it's not the best tool for the job.

Just my $0.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. They look good for a start. When I say adventure riding I'm talking about fire roads, gravel county roads, the Haul Road to Prudhoe. I'm not referring to anything like single track or deep desert sand. So, I may have to live with only 5.3" of ground clearance. BTW I had a break in my work today and picked up my dark gray 09.

I just went down to the garage to checkout the oil plug. Why did they do that? It's still a great bike and they gave me more trade-in on my '07 Sportster Roadster than I could get selling it. Not sure what to do from here except to get skip plate, maybe a different exhaust, the suspension mods from Stoltec. I'd like to find a front end off of a Tenere that would be useable even if I had to have a stem made to fit those triple clamps. But that will lead to all kinds of figuring on geometry, etc. This is going to be a fun project.
 

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I've hit quite a few bumpy gravel roads with my FZ and I feel like it's a natural for that type of terrain with some of the suggestions mentioned above. I've ridden a couple of the large adventure bikes and I'm more comfortable on the FZ in relatively rough terrain, probably due to the suspension and lightweight feel. I'd love to have a second FZ just to use as a dual-sport.
 

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I have done 2500 kms in 4 days and I can say that you should have an iron butt because of the seat. Also another 3 things annoys me why this bike can not be a travel bike;

1. Low top speed - For some reason it is limited to 226 on speedometer(9000rpm at 6th gear) - also it is not actual gps speed.
2. Wind issue after 200 km/h
3. Fuel capacity is too low for long rides - and consumption is high I can say. its around 7 lt/ 100km
 

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It is possible and I am slowly inching towards the ADV version of my FZ.
I have been on all sorts of roads except the most extreme terrain- it wont take many mods to make this the perfect Jekyll & Hyde- city slicker and long distance horse.
I probably have an iron butt- done many long days on stock seat while wifey sat on an AirHawk. The bike did not complain with a top case and saddlebags.
I am even okay with the suspension with both of us barely breaking the 300 lbs mark on the scales together. The "semi-soft" setting worked well on the few gravelly and dirt roads that I have come across.
It becomes mostly a question of protection, increasing travel of suspension (maybe) and increasing the range. Here's a little take on what all needs to be done to make this ADV dream come true:

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
motorock, thank you for that image. Great work. I hope you don't mind but I shared it with an expert in the FZ09 mod industry. I think our biggest challenge will be the suspension. I like the idea of grafting a Super Tenere front end on. Even if all you had were the triple clamps, stem and tubes. However, as it was pointed out to me by the expert, there will be geometry issues with extending the shock, i.e. swingarm angle.

On the skid plate, when I looked at Motomachine they said the HB skid plate was not for sale. Not sure what's going on there. Time to get out the welder and make one I guess. I also like what julianziggy said about the flush oil drain plug and grinding the flange flat, which probably means exhaust mods to take full advantage of that. I'm also thinking that a center stand could be made.

I'm kind of lucky in that I have a new set of heated grips for an '08 FJR that didn't get put on before the bike was sold. I'll see if I can use those before this winter.

I also have a 2012 WR450 that is street titled, which is great for single track that I hope the 09 never sees. It would be nice to have foot pegs like the WR on the 09. They work so good in the rain and mud.

I hope you and the others will keep posting ideas and successes to the forum. This is what we need.
 

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No big deal if you end smashing the exhaust what with all the aftermarket pipes a used stock exhaust is cheap to come by.
I have had this in mild off-road situations and the lightweight and short reach to the bars relays into confidence with
The front end.
TKC-80's and a Skidplate and I would take her over off road Cinammon Pass in Colorado.
 

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I don't see any issue with a longer rear suspension stroke. The ZX-10 shock does that just fine and work very well to me. The front end might be more difficult but if the S-10 front end fit, case close! Skid plates and luggage are the easy stuff.

If anyone cold come up with a 5 gals aftermarket fuel tank that would be awesome!
 

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motorock, thank you for that image. Great work. I hope you don't mind but I shared it with an expert in the FZ09 mod industry. I think our biggest challenge will be the suspension. I like the idea of grafting a Super Tenere front end on. Even if all you had were the triple clamps, stem and tubes. However, as it was pointed out to me by the expert, there will be geometry issues with extending the shock, i.e. swingarm angle.

On the skid plate, when I looked at Motomachine they said the HB skid plate was not for sale. Not sure what's going on there. Time to get out the welder and make one I guess. I also like what julianziggy said about the flush oil drain plug and grinding the flange flat, which probably means exhaust mods to take full advantage of that. I'm also thinking that a center stand could be made.

I'm kind of lucky in that I have a new set of heated grips for an '08 FJR that didn't get put on before the bike was sold. I'll see if I can use those before this winter.

I also have a 2012 WR450 that is street titled, which is great for single track that I hope the 09 never sees. It would be nice to have foot pegs like the WR on the 09. They work so good in the rain and mud.

I hope you and the others will keep posting ideas and successes to the forum. This is what we need.
Sure, go ahead and share- I would love to see if more aftermarket options came out of that. Esp skid plates.
As Marthy said, suspension should not be that hard to solve- just a few $$$ and engineering I guess- we don't have to go crazy increasing the travel. I will let the suspension experts comment on that.
I like the FZ's ergos- already suited to long rides and upright SM handling capabilities- one of the main reasons I chose it.
A larger tank would be absolutely welcome- or maybe a alternate fuel tank system that we see on Dakar bikes/
 

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Look closely at the skidplate from motomachines it does nothing to protect the bottom of the pan you can see the drain plug and that so-called protective fin sticking out in the photo on their site, The one ziggy found at sw-motech looks like it will actually cover that area and combined with removing the fin and adding a flush plug would allow a small crush gap
if you strike the skidplate bottom. the below plugs are from magneticdrainplugs.com & belmetric.com ziggy also posted one from an aussie source found on ebay. anyone trying to ride rougher roads be careful the crack at the base of the fin in the photos came at walking speed and from a minor impact that I did not even hear.
Rick Hood Automotive exterior Table Car Product Metal
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I took the FZ09 back and got a Super Tenere. There were too many compromises for what I wanted the bike to do. I put a 110 miles on the 09 and the dealer was pleased to let me return it, no penalties. I got to put 180 miles on ST Sunday in what little time I had. Tonight I'll get a chance to do some hard packed dirt riding. There's a local young guy that has an ST and rides sand washes with it. He has about 7 posts on YouTube. Really amazing to see what he can do on this beast. He's friends with the dealer and hopefully I'll get a chance to ride with him some time to hear about his experiences.

Anyway, FZ09 is an amazing bike for the money. Just too many issues trying to use it as an effective long distance, adventure bike.
 
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Sad to see a FZ9er go- the ST is great but if you want a true hardcore ADV bike, I would pick up a KTM or even the BMW- but in that category, the ST is good bike for the money- just like the FZ is in its category! Good luck and hope you have fun!
 

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I took the FZ09 back and got a Super Tenere. There were too many compromises for what I wanted the bike to do. I put a 110 miles on the 09 and the dealer was pleased to let me return it, no penalties. I got to put 180 miles on ST Sunday in what little time I had. Tonight I'll get a chance to do some hard packed dirt riding. There's a local young guy that has an ST and rides sand washes with it. He has about 7 posts on YouTube. Really amazing to see what he can do on this beast. He's friends with the dealer and hopefully I'll get a chance to ride with him some time to hear about his experiences.

Anyway, FZ09 is an amazing bike for the money. Just too many issues trying to use it as an effective long distance, adventure bike.
I'm genuinely curious, what were you looking for in a bike when you initially bought the FZ09? The FZ09 would not even be on my radar if I was shopping for a bike with off-road capabilities.
 
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