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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Going on a group ride through Utah in June. The planned route includes some off highway riding like the Burr Trail and the Moki Dugway among others. The other riders all have bona fide adventure bikes like BMW GS or Suzuki V-Strom.

My legs are too short to ride pretty much any ADV bike, and in any case I'm not a fan of them. I just can't get into how they look. So, I'm not renting one and I'm not buying one for the trip.

I decided instead to remove the belly pan fairing from my 2012 CBR250R for a little more ground clearance, and also to swap out the wheels and tires. My bike has ABS, which can be a liability or even hazardous on loose dirt and gravel. So I picked up a used set of non-ABS wheels on eBay and mounted a set of Shinko Trail Masters.



The tires are a little larger than stock:
  • Front: 120/70R17 OEM: 110/70R17
  • Rear: 150/70R17 OEM: 140/70R17




I have about 6" of ground clearance under the kick stand bracket, and 8" under the exhaust pipe. I think it's going to end up being pretty capable. If this "Mad Max" scrambler can't go over some particular piece of rough terrain, neither will I. I'll turn around and find another route to my destination.

I put clear protective wrap on the lower fairings to protect against stones, and I did complete maintenance this winter (bike has 26,000 miles):
  1. New chain & sprockets
  2. Valve clearance inspection & adjustment
  3. New spark plug
  4. Coolant flush & fill; replacement of both radiator hoses & coolant tank hose
  5. Rebuild front forks with new seals, bushings, and fork oil
  6. New dust seals on wheels
Battery is two years old, still strong. I think the bike is ready to ride.

 

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Wouldn't it have been enough to pull the ABS fuse? It would have allowed you to switch it back on when going on paved roads.
Anyway good luck with your trip. We're still in lockdown and heaven knows when that will end.... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Wouldn't it have been enough to pull the ABS fuse?
I didn't think of that, but to be honest I'd be afraid of forgetting to do it both ways (removing for gravel / re-installing for pavement). Or, holding up everyone else on a group ride. "Wait! I need to pull my ABS fuse!" Edit: unless you meant, "Pull it at home, take the ride, put it back in at home." Yeah, that would've been a good plan!

I guess even better would be to install an on-off switch.

The other thing, maybe more pragmatic than anything else, is that I found a lot more non-ABS wheels available (it's shocking how many used wheels are offered for sale that are damaged).

Technically, only the front wheel is actually different between ABS / non-ABS. The ABS hub is specially machined in the center to mount the pulser ring. On the rear, the ABS is mounted to the brake disc, which is different than the non-ABS brake disc in that it has more metal in between the mounting bolts where the ring is attached. So, it would be possible to just move the brake disc with the pulse ring to the other wheel.

I should also say: I now have two sets of wheels and tires, which is cool. I still have my original wheels with ABS pulser rings and Michelin Pilot Street Radials. When I get back from Utah, I will just put them back on the bike.

The cost of the extra (used) wheels was $190 delivered. At my tire shop, the cost of mounting and balancing two tires is $80. So, to mount the gravel tires, $80. To remount the road tires, $80. Total $160. This way, I spent $190 for wheels and $80 for mounting the gravel tires, so $270 total and now I can switch back and forth any time.

ETA: details of the front wheel ABS pulser ring mounting vs. non-ABS wheel.



 

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I think it looks great. You did a nice job. Any concern of the down pipe hitting the ground? Too bad you cannot configure some kind of cage or bar to protect it a bit. Have fun on your trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I think it looks great. You did a nice job. Any concern of the down pipe hitting the ground? Too bad you cannot configure some kind of cage or bar to protect it a bit. Have fun on your trip!
Thanks! I'm not too concerned about the pipe. I'm not going to ride extremely rugged trails, rather gravel roads that may have a few rough places, washouts, sand, etc. A lot of it will look like this along Burr Trail Road. Or this along the Moki Dugway.

Road-tested the Shinko Trail Masters tonight. They are good! Heavier gyroscopic effect turning in due to their mass but otherwise no complaints. Comfortable and stable, not noisy or bumpy.





 

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I didn't think of that, but to be honest I'd be afraid of forgetting to do it both ways (removing for gravel / re-installing for pavement).
Don't think you would as the ABS light should be reminding you constantly

I guess even better would be to install an on-off switch.
Would have been amazing if Honda had build it like that stock.







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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You did a great job. Nice bike too
Thank you! 26,000 miles and still going strong. This was my first bike as a new rider at age 49. I "upgraded" to a BMW and a Triumph but both of those are sold and I still have the CBR! I love everything about it.

Nice thing about swapping out wheels & tires, and removing the belly pan fairing: when I get back from the trip I can switch it right back to sportbike mode very easily.
 
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