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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

It’s been a while!
I loved my Burgundy Burgman named Ron Burgundy that faithfully carried me and lots of gear between Ventura, Ca, and Yuma, Az for work twice a week, with frequent Yuma - San Diego beach trips, and fun in the mountain twisties, too.
And, Man! it can carry a lot of groceries!
I thought that when that commute ended for me, I wouldn’t need it anymore.
As soon as I sold it I started missing it, though!

Now for the strange part.
I’ve been intrigued with feet forward motorcycles for many years. The idea of a low to the ground, fighter jet-like reclined seating position while swooping through mountain curves always seemed like it would be super fun, and make for a quite comfortable long-distance ride, too.
I‘m sure many of you here are familiar with FF bikes. Check out bikeweb.com if you’d like to see what others have done. Click on Image Galleries on the upper left of the home page.
Several projects there have been done with 650 Burgmans!

The Kawasaki Concours 14 has an unusual frame that I thought would somewhat easily allow a feet forward conversion, but I was so impressed by the bike I couldn’t bear the idea of altering it.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle

Instead of cutting it up, I kept it in normal configuration and I ride it often.

The simplest bikes to convert to FF are scooters, and I think the big Burgman and Yamaha TMax are the two best highway capable scooters commonly available used in the US.

To ensure the best chance of a completed feet forward conversion this time, lots of research time led me to think the 650 Burgman would be the simplest conversion. One reason is the stock fuel tank could be left in place behind the newly positioned seat. The TMax fuel tank would need relocating or fabricating a new one, and also, used TMaxes are quite a bit more expensive.

So, thanks to burgmanusa.com member Uncle Fester in Vegas, who pointed out a used 2006 650 on Craigslist for cheap, my project is underway!
Here‘s the sweet 650 I started with.
I removed the windshield to get it home in my van.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The plastic is mostly in great shape, with only 13k miles.
It‘s been sitting quite a while, though, and some catch up maintenance will be needed.
I won’t be needing any of the tupperware, I think, so selling that‘ll get me some money back!

A big advantage of starting with a Burgman 650 for this project is that the bike can be stripped down to bare bones for a blank slate to build into any configuration, and the suspension is still in tact and the bike still runs!
Check out what this Belgian fellow, NestofDragons on YouTube has done years ago with the same idea:
I believe all he did for his test runs with the stripped bike was relocate the battery, fit a seat from a recumbent bicycle, and make basic footrests.
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
After one evening stripping the bike, I had this:
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting

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Just as NestOfDragons showed, it still runs as it is in this picture!
-If I reattach the battery.
Since the seat base takes the space where the battery was mounted, I’ll have to mount the battery in a new location before any test rides can happen.
It was dusty under all that bodywork!
I really scored good one, getting an Executive model with ABS.
I’d like to retain the electronically adjusted windshield and folding mirrors, but I’m not yet sure how the final bodywork will end up.

I tried a couple different seats meant for a sports car and a gyro plane, but I think this seat from a Razor off road buggy will work best:
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Automotive tire


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Some of the guys at BikeWeb who have built many of these believe a seat height of 20 inches or lower really allows quick transitions from leaning one way to leaning the other way, and a seat base that supports under my thighs can’t really be much higher than that if I still want to be able to reach the ground and use my (thankfully long) legs to keep the bike upright.
The thinner base of the Razor seat will help me reach the ground, and still seems plenty comfortable.
This seat height is a few inches above 20.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting


The FF design also has substantial safety benefits over a normal motorcycle!
Other than the simple fact the rider isn’t traveling headfirst, having a full height backrest and headrest will help prevent hyperextending of the neck and whiplash if the I’m rear-ended while stopped.
I’ll make some substantial bracing for the backrest just for that reason.

For more even front to rear weight distribution, I think I’ll recline the seat back a little, too.
A little taller handlebars than the short ones in the above pic will allow that, while still comfortably reaching the controls.

I’m also planning many of the same upgrades as Mr. Burgundy.
Fork springs, more substantial shocks, and I can’t wait to try some Michelin Pilot 4 tires, which I had to order from overseas.

If you’ve read this far, you must be bored!!!

More to come,
Scott
 

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Nest of Dragons gave up on the Monsterbike build and gave it to some friends. I have not seen anything from them. He is more into airplanes.

We have a few members on here that have modded their Burgmans. Look for Acat's bikes or just one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I strapped on the battery and cleared a path out of the garage through the minefield of Burgman parts.
First ride success!
5 miles around the neighborhoods and back alleys.
No real surprises in piloting the thing, it’s pretty simple!
As soon as I figure out how, I’ll post a video.
Here are some screenshots in the meantime.

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If you have the video hosted somewhere - Have a stab at posting it (or just a link) and one of the mods will help with any...adjustment.

Long term - there is a “help” button at the bottom of the page that leads to FAQ and tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Here it is!
That’s Milo you hear barking near the end.
He always wants to come along.
Dog Bicycle basket Plant Carnivore Fawn

I still need to add forward footrests.
Then, head and tail lights, turn signals, bodywork, windshield.
That will all test my resolve and creativity, I’m sure.
Credit to Koen at NestOfDragons on YouTube for showing me the way!

Scott
 

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You can sell all that windshield cabling and motor. The electric mirrors too.
 
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Don Brodka's 650. I think he is in Belgum
 

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Paul Blezard is in England some where. He is a motor journalist.

This is not Nest of Dragons but Koen got to ride it.
 

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Made in Japan.....
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