For most Predator/GX200 conversions, builders are forced cut the downtubes off the donor frame and fabricate some sort of homebrew frame extension:
I really hoped to avoid that, and it turns out I will barely be able to make it work. Since the CVT backing plate has multiple sets of mounting holes, rotating the position of the torque converter a bit more than usual shortens the overall length enough to allow the assembly to fit within the existing frame cradle. This leaves the engine pretty high in the engine bay, which looks weird, but in this case that’s a good thing, since the engine is just high enough to clear the cross tubes at the front and middle of the frame. Other than chopping off a few extraneous tabs, I can leave the frame unmodified.
From the right side, the engine’s sky-high placement looks pretty odd, but I am thinking I can utilize the space under the engine by integrating an electrical box into the engine mount and putting the battery under there. I grabbed an old Rebel 250 battery cover and slid it in just to get an idea how that might look.
The whole thing has to sit a bit further forward than I’d like, but if I moved it back, the frame would block both the intake and exhaust. As it is now, there is juuuust enough clearance on each side.
The downside is that the output sprocket is rather far from the swingarm pivot, which may play havoc with the chain clearance and tension.
There’s no way around it; this is going to be a weird bike, on multiple levels. Overall, however, I would say that all my random pieces continue to go together much more conveniently that I had any right to expect they would.
I’ve been having so much fun with this bike that I’ve neglected Bultakenstein. So, last night, I carefully packed all the parts for this bike in a big Rubbermaid bin and slid the frame jig into the far corner of the basement. I’ll just let my thoughts on this marinate in the background, at least for a couple of weeks until the tires arrive.