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5 Custom Adventure Bikes Built By “Real People”

 These impressive bike builds will inspire you to start your next project.

Published on 02.12.2014

3. Suzuki SV650 Frankenbike

The SV650 was designed to be a budget sport bike and became one of Suzuki’s most popular models. Beginner riders loved the SV650 for it’s smooth power and ease of operation. Experts found it to be a capable tool for backroads and track days. At the heart of this bike is a 650cc V-Twin that produces a reliable 72 hp. The SV650 packs enough power to propel it to an 11 second quarter mile and a top speed of 129 mph. There is no doubt that the SV is a versatile bike, but it was never designed for off-road travel.

Some SV owners have felt their bikes would make excellent Adventure Bikes with a few modifications and part swaps. An impressive example of one of these custom SV650 Adventure Bikes was built by Russell Smith of Kansas. His SV650 started out as a salvage yard bike before Russ applied his creative genius to it. With donor parts from several different bike models, it’s surprising it turned out to be such an attractive looking motorcycle. Russ performed many of his own fabrications to the bike for the foot controls, under seat tank and carbon fiber bodywork.

SV650 Adventure Bike

The SV650 donor parts list includes DRZ400S forks, GSXR1000 triple clamps, GSXR rear shock, KTM Supermoto front fender and CRF450 footpegs. (photo courtesy Photobucket/RussS_)

The custom carbon fiber dual headlight cowl design was inspired by the Buel Ulysses. (photo courtesy Photobucket/RussS_)

Russ fabricated his own under seat fuel tank that holds 6.9 gallons and weighs just 7 lbs. A big improvement over the original 14 lb. 4.5 gallon tank. The custom carbon fiber dual headlight cowl design was inspired by the Buel Ulysses. (photo courtesy Photobucket/RussS_)

You can get more details about this ongoing bike build on the ADVRider Forum.


Author: Rob Dabney

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9 thoughts on “5 Custom Adventure Bikes Built By “Real People”

  1. I did something similar with my Husky TE630–Safari Tank, hard bags, small windshield, rack, guards–some say I took a perfectly good dirt bike and turned it into a KLR…..Tom in Salem

  2. The SV650 is a nice custom but about as unsuited for adventure riding as a Goldwing. It would be a short race to see if the oil cooler or the radiator got destroyed first. Luckily the lack of luggage capability would not leave you far to push it home.

    • Or the exhaust…
      Suzuki made the V-strom for this purpose, so modding an SV650 into an adventure bike is a waste of time, effort, and money. Kudos to that guy for the fabrication skills though.

  3. Suzuki DR650 is the best platform to start with. You can build a really cool bike that is bullet-proof and nearly 100 lbs lighter then the FS800 or similar bikes. Capable of going anywhere a motorcycle can travel, narrower, very dirt capable with upgraded suspension, tons of after-market parts available. Much more maneuverable then an Africa Twin, GS or even KTM due to the lighter weight and smaller profile.

  4. Pingback: 2006 DL650 Naked Weight Loss with numbers ! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums


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