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Offline Vagabond MC

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XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« on: November 27, 2018, 10:00:58 AM »
Good day, folks!

Now, my question today may have been posed already but I can't seem to find any information on the topic. I own a 2016 model year 1200 XRx - to any lurkers this is the more road-biased spec of Tiger 1200.

I am quite interested in going on some offroading trips during tours (and I know many will say "well why did you buy an XR and not an XC?") but I purchased the XRx because the overwhelming majority of my riding will be on tarmac.... although here in the UK the roads might as well not be paved most of the time, it's like riding across the pockmarked surface of the moon!

The clear differences I have seen between the two are the wire wheels (easier to repair after a ding offroad, greater front wheel diameter for rollover of obstacles, yada yada yada) and generally the XC doesn't have the brembo calipers and electrically adjustable suspension that the XRx has. I'm sure others here will know of other differences and if you do, please comment below!

I would like to purchase a set of XC wire wheels to fit robust trail tyres to, for those trips into the woods. I am expecting that I'll be told it just can't be done, at least not without a great deal of misery. Will the XC wheels fit in with the brembo calipers, as opposed to the XC's Triumph Branded (nissin?) calipers? I know for certain I would need a front mudguard and leg shields from an XC as the increased diameter would cause problems with the XR one.

I'm an automotive engineer by trade (albeit designing sports cars) and I have a degree in motorcycle engineering, and I am not sure if this is a help or a hindrance here. I know the kind of horseplay that goes on at giant manufacturers of vehicles and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the XR suspension, traction control and ABS is tuned around the alloys and wheel sizes the bike comes with. The Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is also likely of the passive variety, monitored by wheel rotational speed given to the computer by the reluctor rings on each wheel. As a tyre flattens, its rolling radius decreases, which makes it turn faster in comparison to a fully inflated tyre - thus triggering the TPMS warning. Please correct me if you happen to know the triumph TPMS is active, meaning the valves in each wheel communicate pressure info directly to the computer, but my worry would be that fitting the XC front wheel to the XR would cause TPMS warnings constantly...

On the same thread - rotational velocity is the basis of all ABS and Traction Control functions. By changing the wheel size(s) would I cause the traction/ABS calibrations to sh*t themselves or do they just react to perceived slippage? Will the TSAS active suspension enjoy being taken offroad or will it get damaged or send me flying?

THANKS for sticking with me through this ramble, any insight would be great. If anyone local with an XC would like to come by my workshop in Warwickshire sometime and experiment, I am absolutely up for swapping my alloys for your spoked wheels to see what happens!
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Offline XCaTel

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 11:17:27 AM »
"greater front wheel diameter for rollover of obstacles"

I'm not sure that is the case is it? It is on the 800 but I thought the front wheel sizes were the same on the 1200?

Offline Hax

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 11:52:07 AM »
Front wheel sizes are both 19's XR/XC. TPMS is individual live sensors mounted on the wheel with live pressure ( I know after nursing a slow puncture home with several stops to top up)

How serious riding are you intending to do?  A spoke'd wheel might buckle/give a bit more where an alloy could crack under a big impact but by that time you're likely to be off the bike in a pile anyway..... If you're into wheel destroying action then I'd rather put the conversion money into a more suitable lighter bike.

Just my opinion. (Waiting to be shot down.......  :745:)

Offline Dilbert

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 01:16:19 PM »
As a non-automotive design engineer I'd suggest it's possible, but likely to get expensive, apart from the wheels and tyres there's also the suspension to think of, that's probably the bigger difference, since you can actually buy a spoked wheel road version already  :028:
I'll never be old enough to know better !

Online Will Morgan

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 01:17:47 PM »
For gentle riding on green lanes, graded forest roads, dirt tracks etc the cast wheels should be adequate - fitting more off-road biased tyres is all you need do. But if you want to go jumping rocks & tree trunks then wire wheels will be better......and a more appropriate bike even better still.

Its worth remembering if you have an impact hard enough to break a cast wheel it could well be the end of a days riding on wire wheels too. Wire wheels are not indestructible! They might be repairable but would you have the tools & skills to do it in the middle of nowhere without workshop facilities?

If it was me before bothering changing the wheels I'd get off-road tyres just to see how I get on ( and then I'd probably get a different bike  :164: )

Online Icy

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 01:32:02 PM »
All this (and many more) is done on 2013 Gen 1, with all the cases attached at all times.




The point is; you don't need to convert anything. The tyres are Anakee II - I did everything except deep mud on those tyres, on that bike, no change in tyre pressure. The only difference between that bike and an XC is the spoked wheels.

So, make sure that you have these before you hit the trails:
- skid plate
- upper crash bars
- lower crash bars
- proper hand guards (Factory plastic ones are a joke. Get a pair of Barkbuster Storms)

Optional accessories (these will become apparent after a few drops on uneven terrain where a rock will bend the shifter and another will break the d#@mned shift lever and that stupid handguard will simply bend and not protect anything):
- foldable shifter
- foldable break & shift levers

And that's it. More aggressive tyres will make you feel good more than anything - unless you are planning on riding in mud and deep sand. My favorites are the Mitas E07 Dakkar Editions.

Have fun, be safe and keep the rubber side down.

 :305: :002: :821:
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Offline Vagabond MC

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 02:28:48 PM »
OOOOH this is more information than I had possibly hoped for. Love the bike in that shot Icy!

I had thought that the cast front wheel was 19" and the spoked one was 20" - I am guessing this was down to dealer misinformation or the shop boy just spouting crap. I used to ride motocross and did enjoy a lot of trials style riding and aggressive off road, and would be very keen to try some tough stuff on this but you are right - it's a very heavy machine with a lot of power for this kind of stuff.

Your list of offroad mandatory kit is very useful - I wouldn't have suspected the factory handguards are total trash, although I have suspected other parts are more for show than function.

I think the basis for my question above was that the front wheel was larger diameter, which really does improve offroad handling - but if thats not true then there is no point in chasing this only for wheel robustness. My only final thought on that is that spoked wheels can deflect and you can true them relatively easily without permanent damage, whereas cast wheels are f*ed the instant they go out of round or have some runout...

Maybe I should just fit a towbar and tow a trail bike into Wales with me?  :745: :745: :745:
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Online Icy

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 03:03:47 PM »
aye. though I tried quite hard - I mean I hit that alloy rim wheel to so many rocks that I am not sure how one can break that where I failed to do it. but there is a possibility, yes.

larger front-wheel - yeap. though I think at 600lbs it's pure fantasy to assume that I'd be jumping rocks. I am more likely to shove them aside with my massive @ss and for that, the current wheel diameter is more than enough and that's my experience. if I want to rip the trail, I am on an 800cc or lower bike. when I want to move slow and have fun, I am on the 1200 (which is 99.99% of the time)

I currently have the 2018 XCx (my third TEX) the previous was also an XC 2014. Riding wise, I don't see or feel any difference between the spoke wheel and the alloy rim wheel. actually spokes make me nervous because every time I feel a vibration I think they need trueing (is that how it's spelled?!?) so, my approach to them is purely cosmetic - they look awesome with knobbies. Other than that - at this weight level - beh, the bike and the engine is so sturdy that I don't think they make that much of a difference.

but all you said are true - it should be way cheaper and easier to fix a bent few spokes than a broken alloy rim.



I would not change this bike for the world. If the trail gets too tough, I turn around - you know, advance in the opposite direction.  :082: I love how I can get on to all the trails marked as "no motorcycles or atvs allowed" with this bike. Though, trailing a trail bike behind this would be the ultimate show... You MUST DO IT AND PICTURES AND VIDEOS ARE MANDATORY!!!

 :745: :745: :745:  :821: :821: :821:

« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 03:19:21 PM by Icy »
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Online Icy

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 03:50:06 PM »
I couldn't help it and did a search... So it is doable afterall (sorry for hijacking the thread. I couldn't help myself  :431: )

Go for it!


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Offline Vagabond MC

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Re: XR to XC Conversion - THOUGHTS?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2018, 10:29:36 AM »
A colleague of mine has a Goldwing with a tow bar - he regularly tows a single axle trailer to work. I have absolutely no idea why, as a goldwing already has enough storage to move a house with....or why he would need a trailer to his office based job?!

I have seen tow kits for the explorer however my insurance specifically stated I MUST NOT tow anything with this bike without paying through the nose for it. Can't help but wonder though - a little light trailer with a CR250 or a CRF450 on it could be a giggle!!

On a completely off-topic note - Do you think the LED headlight unit from a 2018 TEX would be backwards compatible to a late 2016 model with halogen lamps originally? I'm not so worried about the 2018 upgrade to the fancy colour dash but I do like the LED headlights....

"If you don't absolutely have to touch those exhaust studs, don't touch them. Even if you absolutely have to, don't."
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