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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks, I figured with all the separate posts I have been making (and want to make) for this project I might as well have a master thread. It's the weekend, let's start my write-up.

In November 2018 I flew down to Costa Rica to pick up my old HP2 which I'd stored there a few years prior. I had already ridden it from San Francisco to Costa Rica, and I expected to be able to continue South. Wrong! The Costa Rican government had seized it, as you cannot store a bike there (legally, even by following local procedures to the letter) for more than a year without nationalizing it. Of course, nationalizing it means paying insane taxes and months of processing including vehicle certifications, plating, etc.

What a nightmare! I had a nice ride on a rented BMW with the wife and then flew back to LA to pick up a 2017 R Nine T Scrambler — to make it my new RTW travel bike.

Here's what I am starting with:



As you can see it came with a few 'nice bits' from the previous owner: an Altrider skid plate, header protectors, a nice little (Dart?) flyscreen (I hate proper windscreens, and loved riding all the way to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on my unfaired Ducati Sport Classic GT1000!) and a Hepco Becker rear luggage rack. It has peg-lowering brackets, as well. I think that's about it. It has the spoke wheel option and ASC (toggleable ABS! Important!), as well as a dual gauge setup with rev counter.

Changes I will be making:

- Suspension bump: I got the Wilbers +70mm suspension kit ordered by Beemershop. They're local to me, and reports on this forum are super positive. That's a front and rear upgrade with longer fork legs and a much longer rear spring, which are both fully adjustable. It's still (sadly) not an USD fork and less than 200mm, but that's the best you get without a front end swap.
- Dirt-friendliness upgrade: 21 inch front wheel and 150/17/70 rear wheel
- Higher seat
- Lower footpegs
- Higher fender (high fender if possible)
- Handguards for drops
- Crash protection (cylinder head, crash bar)
- Luggage setup for very long distance touring
- Lightening: swap steel gas tank for aluminum unit, drop the stock exhaust)
- General protective bits (oil cooler, intake)
- Add power hookups for heated gear, devices
- Change handlebar rise for comfortable stand-up on tricky off-road bits and general comfort
- Make handlebars comfortable to hold (somehow got terrible cramp riding it up)

PARTS!



[RESERVED SPACE FOR COMPLETED BUILD]
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The first things to do was to find a place to work. I live in San Francisco, and I'm not a tech billionaire, so I have no garage. The fine folks at Piston and Chain gave me a key to work at their workshop in downtown SF (Soma, really) and use a work-stand to prop up the bike.

To do the suspension swap, the forks have to come off. I hadn't done this kind of work before so it seemed fun. I don't have the workshop manual, but the online Haynes one worked just fine to get the forks off:



feeling cute might delete later


and start work on the other bits:



Forks were sent to Beemershop in Scotts Valley. For what it's worth, FedEx 1-day shipping to Santa Cruz from SF was a pittance; about $50. Not bad for overnighting a heavy and huge set of forks.

In the meantime, as you an see above, I popped a new Anakee Wild tire on the 21" Wunderlich rim. This rim is really nice; this is it next to the stock 19" front. 21" gives you far more feel and forgiveness in loose stuff, which we'll see plenty of in South America.

Work done on the 21 inch rim: installed a (provided) angled valve stem, put on a tire (duh) put on the the ABS ring (center slotted metal ring) and brake discs.

Whoever torqued on the brake discs at the BMW factory used some serious torque: I broke my T30 bit on it:



But with some gentle caressing, less than gentle caressing and swearing they came off OK. Don't forget to tighten these in a pentagram pattern (if you didn't have a goth phase, just try to tighten a bit by bit sequentially, tightening the screw furthest across from the current one you're working on) so the disc doesn't end up all askew.

The ABS ring is a custom one from Wunderlich. The old one looks like it's almost exactly the same size. Pretty precise stuff from the Germans!

The rear wheel I'm putting on is coming out of my shed. I had an HP2 Enduro 'supermotard' wheel set, which were slightly more on-road focused wheels for hooliganing about the neighborhood but I never used them. The rear is a pretty perfect size for dirt: 150/17/70, tubeless. Same hub (and screws!) as the stock rim. Score. I spooned off the (now 10 years!) old rubber and put on a fresh Anakee Wild.



The silver-colored wheel is the old HP2 Enduro rear, complete with ancient useless rubber on it.

I put the tires aside for when the new suspension comes in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Protective bits! While the forks are off, I might as well screw that stuff on.

Wunderlich oil cooler:

This thing was so poorly fitted that I was honestly really surprised. This will be kind of a theme in this build, where Wunderlich parts just don't really line up or work properly. Not too happy about that.

Check out the fitment with one of the oil cooler mounting bolt sleeves:





I had to wrestle this thing so it was bent somewhat and could fit on. Super disappointing. Oh well, it looks neat I guess. At the price, it should also really have its rubber attached from the get-go, but nope. You have to cut down your own foam rubber padding on the thing. Come on, guys.

Crash bars


Ironically the best fitting piece was a 'Wunderlite' Chinese copy of Wunderlich crash bars. I find the entire structure of it a bit dubious; I think the Holan bars I had on the HP2 Enduro were a lot better thought out, but this is Wunderlich's design. Super easy to pop on, just a bit of elbow grease and zip-ties to get it mounted.

(Space reserved for the other protective bits)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wunderlich High Fender

Another Genuine® Wunderlich™ Part that fits extremely poorly. I'd actually argue it doesn't fit at all. High fenders typically mount on the bracket that supports the headlight.





This particular bracket has two non-removable threaded sleeves that stick out a bit so they 'lock' the headlight bracket into place even without the bolts. Wunderlich's bracket that holds the fender should, in theory, get squeezed between the bracket and the receiving end. But the holes are too small for the sleeves, so they end up kind of hanging out with no 'squeezing' going on. Perhaps in 2016+ these threaded sleeves were added instead of regular threaded holes in the receiving end of the mount, but this is super sloppy regardless. If you're mounting a high fender, DO NOT leave it like this; either drill out the holes so the sleeves fit (which honestly, looks like it'll rattle the bracket apart with enough off-roading as the remaining metal is so thin) or just send it back.

I guess it looks cool?



But the clearance is also terrible: it'll totally hit your steering damper with any small bump.



So I took this one off and threw it in the bin.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The shocks are here, the shocks are here! After just about a day's work (wow!) the entire Wilbers kit came in. Previously (as I can gather from reports) you had to do some work yourself; lengthening brake lines, extending the side stand, etc.

Nowadays it comes with a small billet aluminium bit that was machined to extend your brake lines and a drop-in piece of extend your side stand. Take that to a welder!



I still had the bike on the work stand so I mounted up the new forks. Wow, would you look at that!



Beautiful. A lot more length at the front.

Perhaps a bit too much?




Well crap: the fork legs were different lengths. I had Eric from Super Plush Suspension (an ace shop that works out of the Piston and Chain space) check it out and he commented it was probably something that went wrong in assembly. Bah. Shipped them back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To Beemershop's credit, they had identified the issue (misaligned part in the preload mechanism) and fixed it and shipped it back in a day, with all shipping paid for by them. I'd soon be less annoyed with the delay because my luggage from Holan got stuck in USPS ****. It was shipped Dec 19, and I still don't have it as of this writing (Jan 12). Not sure if the Polish mail or USPS is to be blamed, but it seems to just be missing.

If you have a luggage idea in the meantime I am all ears. I need something, fast.

The forks being back means I can screw on the front



The rear: (took a few extra people, but if you unload the rear and put weight on the front end of the bike you're making your life a lot easier)





And now we have a super tall R Nine T Scrambler! Pictures do NOT do it justice.



This thing is taller than the KTM 950 Adventure. No joke. This is going to be AWESOME.

Of course, I can't ride it yet. I have to get this new fuel tank on. Tank's off...



But wait, what's this?





Yep, this particular part doesn't come with the requisite mounting bits. In fact, they're not even on the parts fiche! I guess this is why you need a 'certified BMW technician' to install the gas tank; they just don't give you the parts you need. The heat shielding is something I can figure out, but the lack of mounting hardware not so much.

Currently waiting on BMW SF to get those parts in so I can put the gas tank on. In the mean time, I removed the charcoal canister and am sourcing a bit longer rubber hose to run down from the gas tank for venting (I am guessing I can't just let a short hose hang out in case it drips overflow fuel onto my header or bits of my bike - eek)

In the mean time, some other things: a set of spacers and longer screws for the front fender makes it work on the 21 inch wheel. I just grabbed a few metal sleeves and longer screws and it works great.



I got a headlight guard in (that one was supposed to come in with the Holan luggage, but I am no longer expecting to ever receive that —*thanks postal service), cylinder head covers and Rox Risers to further rise the bars. More on that next week, when I get that all fitted. I've been cutting some zip ties and adding slack to the handlebar control lines in anticipation of the risers.
 

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Caliform; poco a poco....impressive in every single way..what exhaust is that ? and, swapping steel tank for aluminum does not concern you with stones and dinging ?? .. I just traded my 02 GSA 1150 for an R9T UGS and I have been pondering how to get the 33.5 saddle closer to 35inch to more replicate my old high-riding monster, so thank you for the idea and process of forks & wheels....I rode down to Panama & back up in the early 90s with a surfboard strapped off the tail (sketchy) and ran into similar issues in Costa Rica where I stayed for awhile..great posting and looking forward to more...buenos suerte..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh LORD, the luggage moved today! It's stirring! After weeks of 'Origin Post Preparing Shipment' it has been processed through ISC New York today, whatever that means. Apparently it might be in customs or processed through. In the meantime, I have soft luggage arriving today and a rack of which I am not sure if it'll fit. A few more days' wait for the BMW Special Tank Mounting Bits™ so I guess I have time to see if it'll move. I would really like to have hard cases on the bike...

This weekend I got in the headlight guard and Rox Risers and those are going on today.

Caliform; poco a poco....impressive in every single way..what exhaust is that ? and, swapping steel tank for aluminum does not concern you with stones and dinging ?? .. I just traded my 02 GSA 1150 for an R9T UGS and I have been pondering how to get the 33.5 saddle closer to 35inch to more replicate my old high-riding monster, so thank you for the idea and process of forks & wheels....I rode down to Panama & back up in the early 90s with a surfboard strapped off the tail (sketchy) and ran into similar issues in Costa Rica where I stayed for awhile..great posting and looking forward to more...buenos suerte..
Thank you! The exhaust is an Arrow kit, comes with the link pipe that goes high like that and the small end can. It's a LOT lighter, and I bet it'll sound great. For fitment I can even drop the can off the end and it should fit panniers more snugly, or get a different link pipe to drop the exhaust down low like the 9T-Urban GS.

The tank being aluminum doesn't bother me at all. If (rather, when) I drop the bike, it'll hit handlebar guards, cylinders and panniers first, and I know for a fact I will scratch and ding it anyway. While this tank option is usually $3000+, I got this one for $800 from a guy on Craigslist with some scratches already on it. Perfect! It also holds a bit more gas. A pint's worth, really, but it's something!

Sounds like a true adventure! To get that seat height, look into the peg lowering brackets, perhaps the SW-Motech pegs (they're comfy, wider, and can be mounted a bit lower) and the BMW high seat. That's definitely the easiest way to get more comfortable. You'll want to use Helibars or another way to rise the bars too, probably, or you get into a rather hunched posture after all that.
 

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thanks, the Arrow looks slick..I have a thought to try routing exhaust under the seat with some kind of cool heat shroud, and that trimmer pipe may be the one..I am also swapping steel tank for an aluminum and was surprised that all the parts must be replaced making it a tedious process..good to know there is slightly more juice in the aluminum, you will run on fumes at some point.....I have bar risers and am still deciding on seat configuration......thanks tips & info..I don’t know many that would run an R9T through S.AM, great post, great bike; it’s gonna be a real ride..
 

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I am loving this entire thread! Thanks for the detail and talking some killer photos! Workshop looks amazing, compliments to your hosts.

Personal question: the PitBull stand in the second photo of post #6 ; is that a reversible handle direction?!?! The one I have has the handle welded to the vertical support bar, so the handle only goes rearward...

Cheers, and keep it up. Photos of your journey would be great, too!

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am loving this entire thread! Thanks for the detail and talking some killer photos! Workshop looks amazing, compliments to your hosts.

Personal question: the PitBull stand in the second photo of post #6 ; is that a reversible handle direction?!?! The one I have has the handle welded to the vertical support bar, so the handle only goes rearward...

Cheers, and keep it up. Photos of your journey would be great, too!

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Perhaps I'll keep posting some pics of the journey once we get going (hopefully) this week!

The pitbull stand is the one I got for my HP2 enduro, I think it works for just about anything with a shaft drive from this gen. It doesn't really reverse, I think; it might appear that way, but there's no proper leverage swinging the other way.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sad news: The Givi rack does indeed not fit the Scrambler, even with my minimal exhaust setup. I'd have to have the rack running against the muffler for it to fit or drop the entire muffler (fun, loud, illegal). Gonna wait for the Holan setup. Sucks, but there's no other way.

On the plus side, that Holan order is now in the US and moving! USPS still can't give a delivery estimate, and the status just says 'in transit', but I know it's on its way in a truck / plane. Good!

Today:

I did manage to get both the Rox Risers AND Wunderlich 1" handlebar riser on the bike today. Had to reroute some hosing and wiring under the gas tank but there's a finger or two of slack in the lines even at full handlebar tilt. The clutch line is the biggest limiting factor, it's definitely the tightest (that and the throttle cable) but they aren't taut at its most extreme stretching. Standing on the bike is great now. Totally different (better) ergonomics.

Just waiting for heat shielding for my new (aluminium, visible weld) gas tank and some hose clamps to come in for my longer venting / overflow hoses (which I need after cough, the evap canister accidentally fell off during exhaust mounting) and then I can do some test rides on this crazy bike.



It looks pretty sweet with this gas tank on and the super tall handlebars.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Nice rack!

That's what I thought to myself when I finally opened the giant package that came in from Poland. Yep, after almost two months of waiting the Holan rack and panniers are here. In true Holan style, there are no instructions whatsoever included so this afternoon was a puzzle-fest!





Looks grand, doesn't it! Really a fantastically built rack. They might not be great at shipping or communication or making instructions but they DO make great racks and panniers. My HP2 Enduro had a Holan system too. No complaints.

I have a minor issue: my indicators are way too wide to fit. They're the standard US style and that means they are just too long. I went by BMW to see if they had some but nope — so I ordered some Rizoma Club ones with 1-day shipping (I want to go ride!!!).



But you know, I think I might have to relocate them. Even with the small signals, they might 1.) Not fit (see image) and 2.) if I load up the luggage rack on the rear it might obscure them, making them kind of useless / potentially illegal which can lead to shakedowns in Latin America.



I might see if I can mount them off the license plate. That should solve that issue; of course, I'll have to lengthen the turn signal cables. :(

So long for this update! Oh, thanks to a friendly fellow NineT forum poster, I put a new HID bulb in the front to somewhat compensate for a lack of aux lights and also put the headlight guard on.

 

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the bike is a brute and indeed looks RTW-ready...this should have/could have been BMWs Urban GS interpretation (with an adventure tank)..really well done....you like to go lean, but add a front fender like the Urban for debris ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd love a front fender, for sure. This one is a bit bigger than stock and raised (by me) a bit more, but I'd love something bigger yet. I might improvise one in South America —*that'd be fun, and memorable. :)
 

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Wow! I don't know what made me drool more that Scrambler or that workshop! Looks like heaven to me. I didn't realize the Scrambler had a different mount for the exhaust so I'm going to pass on the stocker but thanks for offer. I can't seem to locate a CD drive anywhere but when I do I'll upload that manual for ya.

I hope my Urban GS looks half this good someday. Shame to hear about the oil guard cooler. I guess with all the $30 knock offs on flea bay it's tough to compete.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Let's walk this thing out of the shop, shall we? Why?



It's time! Fuel in:




It's alive!

It kicked over pretty quick but didn't run super well. I am guessing this is because the pump was empty and it requires a bit of effort to get fuel in every part of the system again.

https://youtu.be/9op3PoqvrnQ


That being said, it still doesn't run super smooth after a few minutes of running in. I am guessing the new Arrow exhaust is causing it to run a bit lean, perhaps. At first, blipping the throttle would make it stall. Now it just runs a bit rough — goes under 1k RPM when blipping. Not super great, a bit on-off, too. Reset the throttle position (ignition on, 15 seconds of WOT, ignition off, WOT for 15 seconds, release throttle and turn ignition on again) and it was slightly better. Will have to do a few more laps tomorrow to see if the issue resolves itself.

It was great to finally get it running though. Today I got proper heat shielding in and let me tell you, it needs it. I waited on putting the tank on again because I figured I needed the requisite heat shielding BMW has on the tank I took off. The aluminum tanks get a bit of extra shielding and I can see why: 10 minutes of running and the gas tank's right-hand side is hot to the touch.

But enough with the boring stuff, how does it sound?

Fantastic! A bit loud perhaps. Might drop in the DB killer from Arrow that they supplied (I'll have to look up how).

The link-area (near the flapper valve thing) is producing a lot of smoke at the first run (see end of the video above). I am guessing the grease that Arrow supplied isn't quite up to the thermal task and is burning?

Tomorrow: fix up the last bits on this rack; the mount screws are a bit loose still and I might've stripped one of the threads in the rear under the seat (doh) because of the amount of fussy pushy fitment between the Hepco tail rack and Holan pannier rack.

Before setting off for South America I'd still like to get the fueling a bit more steady, get rear turn signals on (those don't fit right now) and perhaps lengthen the clutch line. Tomorrow: 6K service and more test rides.

:wavetowel2:



:eusa_clap::eusa_clap::eusa_clap: So pleased!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There comes that happy moment when your project is finally ready to ride around.



The other side:



To do:

- Need a new rear rack. The current Hepco doesn't play nice with the Holan as they use the same attachment point and the bar shape interferes. Super sad, this rack is great!
- Need new rear indicators; the current ones are way too long. I had to relocate them already. I ordered Rizoma Clubs but now realize that I need resistors... special ones, in fact. So, those are on order.
- Fix the running issues (see below)



It rides amazing when it's warm. When it's cold it runs like total ****. Surges, stalls, just really bad. Gotta figure out what's up.
 
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