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Trail 90 bug out bike

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Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Nicholai1328 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:27 pm

I recently overhauled a 1972 trail 90 and turned it into a full on bug out bike. I completely rebuilt the bike first, then got to modifying it. I saved the old carb and jets in case I ever wanted to run it on gasoline again ( quite a possibility at the 90mpg I was getting on the mountain trails in high gears) bu then costom jetted a seperate carb to allow it to run on ethynol. The thing will run for 20 years on the same oil so that's not much of a problem. I also beefed up the suspension a bit. I used an xr 100 front end and an xl 80 rear suspension powder coated the frame od green actually pretty much everything was made od green. I replaced the headlight/speedo with 6 volt off road light and put that and the tail light on a toggle switch for a quick stealth mode and since nothing on the bike is reflective now it really disappears in fields. I rigged up an Atv exhaust silencer to it and you can barely hear it running when it's climbing in 1st! The rack is probably my favorite part, I bought an old ammo can well an artillery can, it's huge and then my creativity kicked into overdrive. Built into it is a am/fm/weather radio with aux imput (mostly for blasting CCR as I'm riding the trails) a seperate cb radio with a helmet mic and headphone set up (or speakers on the box can be used) 3 cigarette lighters for charging phone or running portable air compressor, lighting fires, powering spotlight, or the electric hot plate for lightless and smokeless heatin and cooking. Also in this bug out box is an emergency strobe and it's all run off of a small motorcycle battery and it's all secured to take a beating. (It's been tested too) the Boc can be removed so a passenger can ride and it can also fully function with out the bike so if you need to take a different vehicle you can take the box with you. I also equipped the bike with a front storage rack along with a rifle rack that runs down the front fork. I raised the fenders and customs made snow chains... Yes snow chains for a motorcycle. I kept the Spare fuel can on it which make its fuel capacity about 3 and a half gallons, lets do the math 90mpg and 3.5 gallons. That's just over 300 miles ( If you're using gasoline it's only about15 bucks to fill up to) 300 miles on 15 bucks!!! I then made a small luggage trailer to pull behind it for my gear throw some spare tools & parts in the extra space in the ammo can some spare tubes and fuel on top of the trailer a tent and sleeping bag and lock and load and it will get me where I'm goin. And it will go where no car or truck can go. Now we get to my point. Lol. I want to build more of these and sell them. But with some upgrades. Swap it to a 12 volt system so that the box charges while you're riding (it then becomes a portable generator) just prop up the rear wheel and let her run. If i were to do this does anyone think they would sell for like 1500$ to 2000$ would anyone even buy one?
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Wallimiyama » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:31 pm

My interest is piqued!
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Nicholai1328 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:44 pm

I just started my second one and the first one I'm going to sell ill get pics up as soon as I can
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Dirk Williams » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:57 pm

Is a 72 still a step thru frame?.

We have something similar without the cool add ones. We use Trials bikes my wife's is a Honda TL125 1971/73 era. Mine is a 1974 Yamaha TY250 trials bike. Both run all day on a tank of gas.

Had the TL for 10 years, all we ever do is add gas and go. Did put new tires on a couple years ago.

Your idea to capitalize on vintage low H/P motorcycles is really a great idea. They also run points ignitions as well. No EMP concerns.

How did you mate the late model shocks, did you trade out the complete swinging arm?

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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Nicholai1328 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:06 pm

Yes it is still a step through frame and with the upgraded suspension and a modified seat it is the most comfortable trail set up I've ridden. And no the rear suspension was off of an early model xl. So it was still dual shock. But on this bike I'm building right now I think I'm gonna find a taller rear suspension off of an early xr 185 or something because the 80s was really short.
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby mrduke » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:42 am

when i was a kid , i thank i was 12 years old my dad surprized me with my first bike a honda trail 55, i don,t know what it got in gas millage , but if someone told me it got 150 mill,s per gallion i would have beleaved them, the thing would go forever on a full tank, the great thang about the old trail , 50,55 and 90,s is that thay were extreamly simple, built like a tank , and even people that have never rode a motercycle before can probaly manage this one, becouse there is no cluth to worry about, just turn the throtle, if i remember right some people were taking there old trail 90,s and putting 110 moters in them, for a bit more power,
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Nicholai1328 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:57 am

I am currently testing the lifan 140 cc engine in this bike to provide better power output which will help when it's weighed down. So far the ethynol tests are going well and it's a plus that it is 12 volt not six however it is a Cdi ignition not points. I originally looked into the 110 engine but restoring one would be more work and might not actually give me much more power. But it was done quite often "back in the day"
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby getvicious » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:00 am

We've done some conversions on pocket bikes using lifan engines with good results.

A couple of things to consider.
If you're running an actual business (and paying for the base bike to modify, parts, labor and the various business / employer taxes / fees / insurances / etc.) your comment about "sell for like 1500$ to 2000$" is, IMHO, too low (based on the work you say you do and upgrades you mention). Keep in mind that in the motorcycle parts / accessories business if you don't make an average 40% mark-up (at least) you loose money.

Motorcycles have a large number of limitations:
No protection from the elements - heavy rain, heavy snow, high wind and frigid temperatures all are conditions where a motorcycle is not practical.
No protection for the rider - get hit by a tree limb, get hit by a car, slide on bad riding surface and fall over, get forced off the road, hit a pedestrian or being ambushed and attacked by someone are all situations where the motorcycle may be damaged and the rider will probably be injured or may even be killed.
Less cargo and occupant carrying ability than any car.

Even with all the limitations a motorcycle is excellent in the proper environment / situation!

I bet there's a good market for what you have in mind building.

I look forward to seeing some pictures and reading a "road" test. :thumbsup:

Good luck with this - I hope you pull it off!
It's not the blast that kills you, it's the tumble to the bottom of the 800 foot crater.....
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby daaswampman » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:49 pm

This is a good option, but are there any older three or four wheelers that would serve the same purpose or could be converted. A neighbor has a 71 Honda three wheeler that I have been trying to buy for years.

If someone had the skills I could see a market for converted four wheelers. They would be very useful and for more than a BOV. Swamp
People rarely notice what it right in front of their eyes. The Da Vinci Code
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby Nicholai1328 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:36 pm

I've taken all of those points into consideration. And all are great points. In total my bike cost me about 400 and it would be about 300 more with the lifan swap. My plan isn't to market it as a highway escape vehicle rather for people who live in a town with alternate paths out of town to a bug out location (trails, deserts and so on) because it is practically silent it is totally inconspicuous and if someone had a group and all were riding these they could have the trails predetermined and get to a better location way faster than taking roads out of town. The built in cb radio will help with communication along the way and they could use codes such as numbers to determine locations of other riders. As for your comment daaswampman, I live in commiefornia so I can't legally purchase a 3 wheeler :( but yes I've been looking for older honda atvs to do the same thing with
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Re: Trail 90 bug out bike

Postby ejlogging3709 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:51 pm

Like the trail 90's got one, dead battery during wither storage. Made two canvas saddle bags for mine and leather rifle scabard to go on bike like on a saddle with butt sticking out the back. works great while dear hunting on the bike. Have taken it on lots of dirt roads and off the road camping twice. Would like to do that again. I live in ca 95695 area if you live close to that zip in ca would like to see your bike
    :thumbsup:
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