Thread: rokon trailbreaker 2wd motorcycle
Join Date Jun 2009 Location Great Lakes Posts 290
Upgrades! Upgrades! Upgrades!
Hey kids! I did a little upgrading to my ’97 Trail-Breaker this spring. She’s like a new machine now, and I’ve fallen in love with her all over again. Here’s the scoop:
Not too long ago I read over at the RokonWorld site that Maxxis had just introduced a taller version of their Bighorn tire that would fit 15 rims that some side-by-side UTVs are sporting. It just so happens that’s the rim size of the hollow aluminum drum wheels on the Rokon and. well. I just had to get a pair.
The stock Goodyear may look classic but the traction isn’t so hot, and is essentially non-existent while sidehilling. So anyhow, after I had got her some new shoes, I decided to really go whole hog and resto-mod the old girl.
I bought a pair of surplus 40mm ammo cans from Sportsman’s Guide to convert into hard bags for my Trail-Breaker. I sanded them thoroughly inside out and hit the outward-facing 3 sides, bottom and the entire inward-facing sides with 3 coats of Dupli-Color truck bed liner, (I had over half a can leftover after undercoating my Jeep Cherokee.) I painted the remaining portions of the ammo cans lids with 3 coats of Krylon satin black, with a light rubdown of 0000 steel wool in between to help each coat stick.
While I was at it I removed the rear fender and stripped it with a wire-wheel and slathered it top bottom with multiple coats of the truckbed liner stuff. It’s hardened up nicely and should be fairly stone-proof now. I also whacked the edges of the rear fender outwards with a rubber mallet to accommodate the larger width of the Maxxis Bighorns (they’re an inch or more wider than the Sure-Grips, and the actual tread footprint is almost 2 wider. I’m hoping it will reduce the mudslinging somewhat!
When re-mounting the fender, I put little rubber washers between it and the mounting points to reduce metal-to-metal rubbing and help eliminate any rattling.
Using some lengths of scrap metal I found at work I fabricated mounting straps that utilize the stock rear seat mounting holes and these straps run the full height of the cans from top to bottom. During the assembly I again used rubber washers in between the cans and the mounting straps to help eliminate vibrating noises while riding. I used stainless steel hardware to help fight rusting later on down the line, plus I coated the threads with anti-seize compound for good measure.
In order to make the ammo can on the left side fit I had to modify the exhaust pipe. I took the whole thing into work one night and used the giant bandsaw back in our Fabrication Department to cut out the 45 angle, then cut a 4 length of heavy gauge tubing and slid it over the exhaust pipe, butt-welded the joints then slid the tubing piece over the seam and welded it all the way around at both ends. I shot the newly-chopped exhaust with 4 coats of high-temp paint and re-installed it.
While I had the side covers off I peeled the scuzzy stock decals off and removed the gummy residue left behind with Goof Off (smelly stuff, but it works great), then I sanded the covers just enough to remove a few rough spots and give the surfaces enough tack to hold paint. I applied 3 even coats of Krylon satin black. (K-Mart had a sale recently, 3 for $10.) I also bought a set of really nice die-cut decals off of eBay that are replicas of the old 60’s/70’s tank decals, and put ’em on. (I had to fudge the right side decal due to that cover’s awkward shape smaller size). They turned out really nice.
The other big money item came in the form of hydraulic brake conversion to replace the lame cable set-up from the factory. Hands down the best investment you can make to an older Rokon. I have stopping power out the ying-yang now! Stoppies are no problem for this beast. In fact, I decided to reverse the location of front rear hoses because your first reaction is to roll off the throttle and grab a handful of front brake.
These new units are so much stronger than the old jobs that I could probably catapult myself right off the bike if I do that! So now when I roll off the throttle I hit the rear and then judiciously apply a touch of front, as needed!
Well, with new Maxxis Bighorn tires, the re-done side covers, the hydraulic brake conversion and the 40mm ammocan saddle bags, the old girl has gotten a major cosmetic performance overhaul. Doing all of these tasks was sometimes a real pain in the arse but it was a lot of fun, too. And as I said before, I am in love with this machine all over again.
The only downside to these fix-ups is that now that the Trail-Breaker is better stronger than ever, I now have no excuses to put off several yard woods chores the little woman has been nagging me to do! Oh well, at least they’ll be a LOT more fun to tackle with my new Rokon!
Last edited by Dirty Harry; 06-05-2010 at 09:00 AM. Reason: re-size pics, too big
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