Enduro motorcycles are designed for riding motocross and desert courses in long races that sometimes last through the night. Headlights, bigger gas tanks, hand guards and padded fairings are standard equipment on enduro motorcycles. In addition, a lightweight frame and suspension save you from muscling unnecessary weight for hours at a time. Compiling the parts is not difficult, but making them fit is not always straightforward. Building your own enduro motorcycle requires a shop full of tools, mechanical aptitude and ingenuity to make everything come together.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Motorcycle frame
- Front and rear suspension
- Wheels and tires
- Disc brake components
- Engine and exhaust
- Headlight and tail light
- Hand levers
- Hand guards
- Gas tank
- Seat fairing
Visit motorcycle wrecking yards and find an aluminium dirt bike frame with the front and rear suspension intact. The size of the frame depends on the engine you plan to use. Make sure the frame and engine mounts are not broken or rusted. Generally, if it looks good and is reasonably clean, it is structurally reliable.
Find a rebuilt engine with a carburettor or an engine and carburettor from a wrecked motorcycle. Save money by negotiating for accessories, such as the air filter cover, oil tank, battery rack, foot pegs and wiring. Compression test the engine before agreeing to the deal.
Mount the off-road tires on the front and rear wheels. Bolt the disc brake rotors onto each wheel. Mount the rear sprocket on the rear wheel. Bolt the front and rear disc brake calipers to the motorcycle frame.
Install the front and rear wheels on the motorcycle. Having the wheels mounted in the early stage stabilises the bike. Put the bike on a repair stand or elevate the frame 2 inches off the floor with wood blocks.
Ask an assistant to help position the engine in the motorcycle frame. Align the engine mounts and bolt the engine to the frame. Mount the fuel pump and ignition coil to the frame using clamps or brackets. Install an exhaust gasket and connect the exhaust pipe and muffler to the frame.
String the electrical wire leads to the battery rack, handlebars, fuel pump and ignition coil. Attach the wiring to the frame using nylon ties.
Mount the handlebars on the steering headset. Attach the tachometer and ignition switch at the handlebars. Connect the tachometer cable at the gauge and the tachometer gear fitting on the engine. Connect the electrical leads to the ignition switch.
Mount the headlight and light guard at the front of the handlebars and connect the headlight wires. Mount the tail light and connect the tail light wires to the brake light switch.
Put the hand guards on the handlebars. Attach the front brake lever and clutch lever to the handlebars. Attach the throttle grip on the handlebars. Connect the clutch cable and throttle cable to the cable connections on the clutch arm and carburettor linkage.
Clamp the air filter onto the carburettor. Clamp the fuel line to the carburettor. Mount the gas tank on the motorcycle and connect the carburettor fuel line to the petcock on the tank. Install the disc brake lines at the front and rear calipers and the master cylinder.
Put the battery in the battery rack and secure it with battery straps. Connect the battery leads. Attach the seat fairing with legs pads to the motorcycle. Fill the engine with motor oil. Fill the master cylinder with brake fluid. Fill the gas tank.
Tips and warnings
- Take the time to consider each assembly and installation in terms of the steps that follow. It is not uncommon to encounter a situation where you have to remove a part or component to install another.
- Obtain a wiring schematic based on the make of the engine and type of electrical accessories.
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