SuperMoto Junkie banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This post will chronicle my conversion of a 2019 FS 450. As a preface, I would like to stress that this conversion is extremely challenging and poses many obstacles. The purpose of this motorcycle at this time will be a split purpose. The FS will be used approximately 60% of the time on the street and 40% track or race use. I fell in love with supermoto many years ago coming from the motocross world. Motocross is a beauty and a pleasure unto its own but supermoto allows full access to the raw power of these machines, in glorious fashion. It's unfortunate that there really aren't any true OEM offerings so there are always added costs when buying a new machine. I chose this route because in my eyes this bike was designed specifically as a supermoto bike, not a motocross or enduro/dual sport retrofit. Currently I am waiting on the motorcycle to arrive at my dealer. In the mean time I have had to order a set of wheels to accommodate street tires as there are no road legal or seemingly road legal slicks to get past the eye of the unassuming inspector. There are no tail light kits available for the TC/FC/TX/FX models so I will be looking into retro fitting an led strip with integrated turn signals and mounting the license plate under the tail if possible, temporarily. This thread will serve to document this process for this model for my records and as a reference for others that choose the same or similar path. I will post updates as they are available. Thanks for reading.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,598 Posts
in my eyes if you're faced with the dilemma of either getting a FS to do street duty or getting an FE and run it on the track I'd go FE conversion all day long... and I say this after owning all the bikes in question, a '15 FS and '15 FE501. both bikes were based on the same chassis and engine. I've also test ridden the more recent model year FS bikes.

FS is a purebred racebike. suspension is set up stiff and low. comes with a 16.5 front wheel so you have all but 1 option for a street tyre and it isn't readily available just anywhere. doesn't have any sort of lighting and making that work is a whole nightmare in itself (no brake light switches present, there's no lighting coil wired into the ignition, etc etc). not to mention the attention the motor will need once you start racking up miles. since the '19 FE bikes aren't out yet that are based on the new FS and FC you have no parts to retrofit yet.

when it comes to practicality, with an FE you slap on some wheels, upgrade the brakes and suspension and you're done. it has lights, larger tank so you'll get some range out of it and all the required bells and whistles to putt around on the street. if you want to go nuts you can get triple clamps and put in a slipper clutch. that stuff is still super easy compared to making a FS road worthy. not to mention a FE will hold it's own on track and I have the laptimes to prove it. there's one karttrack where I used to run 49 to 50 sec a lap on average with my '15 FS, this year I ran my 501 FE on the same track and I'm only a second to a second and half slower on average and that's pretty much down to the FE not having a slipper clutch. need to put in more work to keep the rear end in check and that translates into slightly slower laptimes. not to mention the motor on the FE will outlast the FS engine by an inconsiderable amount. I rebuilt my FS at 75 hours and that was a full overhaul, piston, rod, camchain and other bits, be it with race use. at 250 hours I opened up my 501 FE and it still looked mint in there, that's with mainly street and some trackdays (similar to what you're planning on doing). even though the engines were similar there are key components that will last a lot longer on the enduro motor but you're still not taking a huge blow in performance.

I understand guys wanting an FS, because to some it even seems like an easier option if you want a bike to run on the street because it's already a supermoto. but from a practical standpoint it's just not a viable option. I'm again on the fence for a '19 FS, but if I get one it will just see track and race use, I would never run one on the street because I know how they are set up and what they are built for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
Is the swingarm the same? I'd have expected the FS to have a shorter swingarm, which might not be easy to get.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Is the swingarm the same? I'd have expected the FS to have a shorter swingarm, which might not be easy to get.
The swingarm is the same, unfortunately.
My understanding is the only difference from the FC is the wheels, Suspension (inc triple clamps), front brake and slipper clutch.

Really, the FS is a Factory converted FC (MX bike), unlike a TM, or even the old KTM SMRs (different/reinforced frames) The most difficult bit to convert yourself would be the radial brake mount.

I bought an FS as I really wanted the fancy wheels, and radial brake mounts. (Easy to change disc diameter.) Also saved the cost of a slipper clutch,

Shorter swingarms are available from aftermarket companies. Around 25% of the cost of a new FS450!!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,598 Posts
Shorter swingarms are available from aftermarket companies. Around 25% of the cost of a new FS450!!
little machine work on the stock swingarm can get you in the same ballpark when it comes to wheelbase adjustability. I was able to shorten the rear about an inch on my '15 FS, it just didn't have the presence of a devtech, tekmo or tecstra swingarm, same goes for the price tag though... I'd rather fork out 3 grand for a full ohlins suspension setup than an aftermarket swinger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
What do you do, lengthen the slots (forward) and take some material off of the axle blocks? I'm a little tempted to pick up a spare swingarm for my YZ (maybe WR too) and do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Some people just love to punish themselves
Does the FS even come with a street title? Skully has all the right points. I went the 701SM route myself (coming off a fully built CRF450SM), and never looked back. Amazing bike right out of the box. Only two things bothered me - the stock tires and the presence of ABS. One of which I easily remedied by installing Metzeler slicks.
It’s a bit handful on SM tracks, but man do I love passing $20k Ducatis on smaller road race tracks! All I do is tweak my suspension settings, and take off the mirror, kickstand and license plate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,451 Posts
Some people just love to punish themselves
Does the FS even come with a street title? Skully has all the right points. I went the 701SM route myself (coming off a fully built CRF450SM), and never looked back. Amazing bike right out of the box. Only two things bothered me - the stock tires and the presence of ABS. One of which I easily remedied by installing Metzeler slicks.
It’s a bit handful on SM tracks, but man do I love passing $20k Ducatis on smaller road race tracks! All I do is tweak my suspension settings, and take off the mirror, kickstand and license plate.

Thanks for the stock tires ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Despit's what I couldn't have or should have done, this is the way I intended to build it. This thing will fulfill its purpose as a race bike next season along with being a street legal joyride. I have received the motorcycle and the dealer, I believe ruptured the tire trying to seat the improperly seated bead from the factory and made right by replacing the bridge stones with a set of Metzler race Tec k2 mediums, which if I do say so myself are awesome tires. Although I've never even ridden a supermoto bike so take that for what you will. Here is the bike sitting next to its food supply for the next good while. My absolute favorite-gulf 98 octane ethanol free. I have had issues with 93 pump gas in the recent past and do not want any complications. Gulf is much more affordable than any fuel in VP's line and better, highly recommend i. I have had really good luck with gulf fuel in my Suzuki. Now I am waiting on my street wheels to arrive. I will post them when they arrive. Thanks for reading.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ahh yes, well it is if you have the cash of course. You can get a Montana LLC for a lawyer fee, then the LLC owns the motorcycle. However, I live in a free state in the south so I'm good to go. No worries here. It's actually titled as a road bound vehicle because it's part of Husqvarna's "street line". This makes it even easier to register. The dealer actually had a paper plate made for it and I LOL'd. Although I've heard every motorcycle that comes out of Ktm's plant is street titled. Not sure if there's any truth to that though.

Addendum: Many people turn motocross bikes that are not initially street titled into supermotos, rmz, kx and the ubiquitous crf450 supermoto. This one is intended, laughably as a street legal motorcycle on paper (title). I'll include updates about this as this process quickly is approaching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
To be technical they are machined aluminum alloy with a carbon fiber center. The center is 100% carbon fiber. Call Dubya USA or talon hubs for more info if you desire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
oh, that makes sense - I hadn't seen that the center section of the hub was black rather than blue

your replacement image doesn't work for me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Update:

The front carbon talon hub and the ultra lite model as well have a lip for the rotor. The spacer for the rotor will not fit on this hub without modification. In my case, I took the spacer to a machine shop where they notched each corner of the spacer with a mill. Also, the 160 rear Michelin power rs is a very very tight fit and rubs the chain. This will be remedied by moving the hoop over by a few millimeters by adjusting the spokes. I wholeheartedly recommend going with the 4.25 or maybe a 5 inch rim if that exists and a 150 tire. The metzler 165 slick fits no problem with plenty of room. It’s quite a bit narrower by eyeballing. This project has become a total mess. I’ve been riding (motocross) for a long time and have never run into anything this asinine. Although I have a feeling that in the end, it will be worth the trouble. Until then, there are more mountains to climb and more shitstorms afoot.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top