We’ve been riding and tweaking these bikes for a few months now.
Here’s some footage from a 110 KM trip up and over Hunter’s Range, a popular snowmobiling area outside of Enderby, B.C..
About 50 KMs of this trip was us on-road getting back to our staging area. Next time we’ll drive back over the mountain, but this was not an option this time given some snow that we could go down, but not likely up again.
If a buddy of mine, with similar needs, asked me what to do to his 501, here would be a priority based list.
- Gear it down. The stock gearing is way too fast for serious trail riding.
- Ditch the stock tires. The back will burn off and the front is sketchy in the dirt.
- Balance the tires and rims. We had massive shaking on our stock set-up (both bikes).
- Bark busters – for obvious reasons.
- Steg Pegz. These are great and worth every penny, especially on a hard pulling bike like this and where you plan to stand a lot in technical terrain.
- Suspension Upgrades. We had our tuned by Rider’s Edge Suspension. We do this on all of our bikes and notice significant improvements.
- Triple Clamp Upgrade. This changes the geometry of the bike from having a “light” (and dicey) feeling to putting more and better usable rubber on the ground. This also helps to get rid of some speed wobble.
- Exhaust upgrade is nice. More grunt and we like the noise that they make.
- We’ve added a guard for the lower linkage. The added benefit is that the linkage no longer grabs logs during crossing.
- The Giant Loop luggage has been great – even just when on “normal” rides as it takes weight off of our backs.
See part 1 of this mini-series for a walk through of many of the initial mods.
The bottom line? These bikes are now zero compromise off road and advanced trail riding monsters – that are still street legal, albeit barely. They are truly awesome.