So, after reading and then re-reading (and looking at pictures) more posts than I care to admit about raising the fender of the V650, I decided to do it. For starters, I have a 2016 Versys 650LT. The bike had a lot of things done to it when I bought it, which made it very attractive. And simply put, it's just a fun motorcycle. I enjoy riding it and working on it. I've since done a heck of a lot of other things to it to make it both a blast on the road and then capable enough for my limited skill set off pavement. Well, in Florida, off pavement means SAND. And lots of sand. More on that later.
I ran Shinko 705's right after getting the motorcycle. They are capable enough and if living where fire roads mean gravel, some grass, and just dirt - they work fine. But in the sand not so good. So I wanted a more aggressive tire. I also wanted a larger tire diameter and since Woody's Wheels or the VStrom 19" front wasn't in the budget, I decided to do what others had done on here - modify the front fender, mount up a rear 130/80/17 TKC80 on the front, and ride. So that's what I did.
HUGE! I wasn't prepared for the sheer size. That's a lot of rubber. Price wasn't too bad, and I was digging the aggressiveness. But would it fit even with a raised fender?
Off with the old:
I attached some ratchet straps to the garage door support, then attached to the handlebars. That, along with the centerstand worked well.
I had already measured the size of the new tire mounted to the rim and compared to the old tire mounted to the rim. There was a 2" difference in height. So to maintain the same ratio, I needed to raise the fender 1". Got it.
After getting the front fender removed, calipers zip tied out of the way and the new TKC80 in place, I put the fender down. No way was 1" going to clear anything nor would the tire even spin. So I moved it up...and up...and up. Now I have the bottom hold on the fender, on the top hole of the bracket...and? Plenty of clearance but it rubs on the inside. Dang!
So I cut it:
Liquid courage helped me get through this. But it actually turned out great.
The brackets I cut from some metal studs. I had a piece of aluminum bar stock I planned to use, but I didn't. You need 4 attachment points for the homemade bracket, from the bottom up: Hole closest to the ground holds the bracket to the fork. Next hole up is the first hole of the fender (no hole in your fork wheel bracket) Next hole is the actual threaded fork bracket, then the top hole is the top of the fender.
If I had used the aluminum bar stock, I would have had to drill through the fork bracket, and that thing is thin. Some people have done it I believe, but not me. Liquid courage ran out. This way, the bolt is held in place and pinched. It actually works well.
I reused the reflectors and the original bolts, and added two. Then I painted the homemade brackets.
I also got a 170/60/17 rear, and mounted it up.
After that, road test. Initial impressions - It took about 10 miles to get used to the harder turn in, and just taking it slow not pushing the tires hard. After about 30 miles, the test came in some sand/clay and general off road dirtiness. It had just rained the previous night, so conditions were pretty good.
These tires and this combo work great. I just really dig it - the way it handles on road and off pavement is great. There is a drop in, that takes some getting used to, but I'm not a peg dragger kind of rider so I was pretty pleased. In sand, it powers through it. In dirt and mud you have all kinds of traction. Now I can't wait to do more.
I did have to fiddle with the crossover brake line, and slide the grommets up. For the crossover, I drilled an extra hole in the rear of the fender and zip tied it in place. See it?
I do get the ABS light intermittently - meaning it will come on (as in the ABS is not working) sometimes, then sometimes after a restart it does not. I think the differing tire circumferences are throwing it off. Unless some other smart person can help.
I'm also going to find some fork seal protectors - any suggestions?