Cannondale 440E supermoto conversion w/build pics.
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Thread: Cannondale 440E supermoto conversion w/build pics.

  1. #1
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    Default Cannondale 440E supermoto conversion w/build pics.

    Hello all,

    I thought I would post up a few pics of a build I got to do over the past couple of months on a bike built right here in the states, a CANNONDALE!! I think it turned out pretty badass. It's definitely one of a kind!

    ( I tried to get all the pics the same size, but photobucket is freaking out. Sorry if some of the pics are huge! )

    I started out taking lots of pictures to document the build, but I forgot my camera for a few days and started just using my iPhone for pics. So bear with me! I'll do my best to remember what all was done.

    First off, we needed some wheels. No one has any idea what will fit a Cannondale of course, so I used my CRF wheels and tires for mock up. Needless to say, the Honda wheels looked close enough and I was confident that we could have some spacers machined to get everything to work. So we ordered a set of 17's from Joe at Motostrano (Black Excels with silver talon hubs).

    The front wheel was fairly simple because the Cannondale's front axle is the same diameter as the Honda's. So, all we had to do from there is machine up two spacers to get it centered because the forks are about 15mm wider at the wheel than the CRFs.

    The next challenge was the front brake set up. The customer is a Magura rep, he does a lot of their bicycle brakes and suspension work. So obviously he wanted a Magura radial set up on the tard. This immediately seemed like it was going to be a headache, but as I got moving on it, everything just kind of fell into place.



    After doing some measuring and parts swapping with an old YZ426 tard, I came to the conclusion that a YZ 450 radial addapter might just work. I figured, even if we had to do some machining it would be better than starting with nothing. After mounting up the adapter I could see that everything lined up, we just needed to make some spacers to get the caliper in the right spot to grab the disc. After some rummaging around in our hardware inventory I found some old Ducati brake pedal pivot spacer things, and low and behold, they were the EXACT thickness I needed (the gold things in the pic above). So they went on to test fitment, and then they got painted black. Here they are after I painted them. (And before I get flamed for this, I painted them with a high temperature engine enamel, so they shouldn't flake from the heat.)



    Also made a little braket for his speedo. You can see one of the wheel spacers in there too.


    Now onto the rear wheel. This is where I had to get creative. He wanted to be able to swap wheels and ride the bike on the dirt, so everything had to be removable and I couldn't modify the axle or the swingarm. Because I was using Honda hubs the rear axle diameter was 5mm larger than the Cdale's. At first I thought I would just get some bearings that where the right size and be done with it. But, no one makes a bearing with a 20mm I.D. and the correct O.D. that I needed. So, to the machine shop I went. This is what we came up with:



    From left to right: Stock Cdale spacer, aluminum sleeve, talon/Honda spacer, and an aluminum sleeve for the talon spacer. I know, I know, it looks like a lot of crap to deal with when taking the wheel on and off. What I did to make it all a little easier is flair the ends of the center colar just a hair, that way you can pop it into the wheel and it's not going to just slide out with the axle. And the outer spacers stay in the dust seals just fine, so changing the wheel isn't any harder than your average tard.

    For the taillight/brake light set up I wanted it to be as minimal as posible but still put out good light. L.E.D.'s where the obvious choice, so we went with a six inch led bar. All I hade to do was drill and tap the end of the subframe, open up the mounting holes a little on the light bar, and it mounted right up. I mounted the license plate up on the battery box using some existing bolts that hold the ECU in, and then put a small L.E.D. license plate light right above it. After all of it was installed, I got everything wired up (DRZDude would've been proud) and wallah it's road legal. Pics:

    Mock up stage.


    Installed. (Didn't have the plate light on at this point)


    Brake light. It is VERY visible when going down the road. (We went for a ride when he came to pick it up. )


    Put some new hand guards on it.


    We are still waiting on a rear sprocket to show up from sprocket specialists, once that's in it'll be getting a gold chain installed. And the front fender is temporary for now (I think). We couldn't find a silver fender that we thought looked good, so I just chopped one of his old beat up fenders for now. I had to cut it shorter than I wanted because of all the scratches and fold marks that where in it (it's a dirt bike!), but it turned out ok for what I had to work with.

    I want all of you to realize something. This bike is close to TEN YEARS OLD, and it's advanced even by todays standards (IMO). Aluminum frame, fuel injected, reverse cylinder, ohlins front and rear!!! Anyways, here are some pics of the bike as it stands now. I'm sure there will be more modifications in the future.

    Before we got the decals on it.


    License plate location.


    Got the decals on.



    Couple shots sitting outside.



    Loaded up and going home!


    It was a fun project! Nobody knew anything about the bike and of course there aren't any off the shelf supermoto kits for the thing. So I enjoyed trying to figure everything out and making different parts work! Now I just need to make it down to Austin so we can rip it up!!
    Last edited by 481; 09-07-2010 at 09:47 AM.
    '07 CRF 450x SM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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  3. #2
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    great looking bike. good luck !!
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    Nice build

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    I had the SM version of this bike and after 5 minutes it blew. I hope you updated the bike! Good luck, they are sweet looking.
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    pitboy used to have one of those, sweet ass bike lol...i wonder what ever happened to him
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly705 View Post
    I had the SM version of this bike and after 5 minutes it blew. I hope you updated the bike! Good luck, they are sweet looking.
    I've heard stories like this about the earlier ones, scary stuff. This bike is an '02 model (I think), and apparently they were updated and a lot more reliable. The guy who owns this bike has ridden it a ton on the dirt, and hasn't had any major issues. I think it'll be alright! Even if it does have issues, he said that he has a connection at ATK where he can get a complete engine.

    Thanks for all of the complements guys! The bike looked bitchin' going down the road with him on it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. View Post
    So do you build bikes for customers? or work in a bike shop or...??
    Little bit of both. I work at my dad's store, we're a Triumph/Ducati/Victory dealer. (No, that doesn't mean I'm loaded. Or I can take a Ducati whenever I want. ) We do all kinds of weird stuff though, as you can probably tell.

    I've been around tards for as long as I can remember, but this was the first one that I did the majority of the work on to get it rolling down the road. We may start doing more conversions if people want us too, anything after this bike would be a piece of cake! Supermotos are starting to catch on around here it seems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Killer bike man! Looks mean
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    nice job, I used to work for cannondale as a r&d mechanic and I raced on the factory atv team, Man could I tell you some stories about cannondales.

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    481- I like this clients taste a lot better than you last one you posted. (Hyper Mutant) Even if the Cannondale is a time bomb, it looks the cats ass. Great job on another fine build.
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    Looks like an 03 model. They seemed to fix most of the issues in 03 from the problems with the earlier models.

    I've got a few stories to tell about Cannondale myself as I was a dealer of theirs for 4 months before they went bankrupt and drug me down with them.

    Put the "x440" mapping in it if you have the means.

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    Very unique and cool looking bike. Thanks for posting the pics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiesel820 View Post
    nice job, I used to work for cannondale as a r&d mechanic and I raced on the factory atv team, Man could I tell you some stories about cannondales.
    I heard that they dominated the four wheeler racing stuff while they where in it! Was that not the case?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutzy View Post
    481- I like this clients taste a lot better than you last one you posted. (Hyper Mutant) Even if the Cannondale is a time bomb, it looks the cats ass. Great job on another fine build.
    Yeah, this guy is a gear head and he definitely has good taste! The bike looks soooooo BADASS while it's rolling down the road. I don't know why, it just looks MEAN!

    The Hyper guy took the bike home, rode it 40 miles, and decided he didn't like it (the way the bike rode).

    Quote Originally Posted by Thedrizel View Post
    Looks like an 03 model. They seemed to fix most of the issues in 03 from the problems with the earlier models.

    I've got a few stories to tell about Cannondale myself as I was a dealer of theirs for 4 months before they went bankrupt and drug me down with them.

    Put the "x440" mapping in it if you have the means.
    Man that sucks about the dealer thing!

    I was asking him about the mapping because it seemed to be harder to start when it was hot, and it seemed to be kind of harsh when you're transferring from off throttle to on throttle (really abrupt). It'll take some messing with, but I'm sure we'll get it figured out. Seriously though, if you Cdale guys have any more tips let me know!!
    '07 CRF 450x SM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    yeah the quads were the fastest thing you could get stock out the door, they would just pull and pull, unfortunately it was an all or nuthin thing with these machines, I have to say those some of the funnest years of my life. I,ll try to dig up some pics

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    That's a sick looking bike, nice job! Don't mean to pick it apart but that front fender has to go. Needs a real motard fender.
    Live free or die!

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    Default Quad photo

    here is a shot of the 440 atv, this is me riding mx practice at the factory track.[IMG][/IMG]

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmm View Post
    That's a sick looking bike, nice job! Don't mean to pick it apart but that front fender has to go. Needs a real motard fender.
    Thanks! And yeah, it does need a legitimate fender. The only silver one in existence is the Acerbis one, and it's on backorder until Sept. 24th. When it comes in we're going to see how it looks on there, if it looks ok we'll leave it alone. But if it doesn't, I'll most likely get to trim one of his new fenders how I want. I had to cut that one a lot shorter than I wanted, but it turned out ok considering what I had to work with. I wish UFO made a sumo fender in silver!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiesel820 View Post
    here is a shot of the 440 atv, this is me riding mx practice at the factory track.
    Nice!!

    Did ATK buy all of the atv stuff too? The guy that owns this bike was telling me that's who bought all of the motorcycle stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    yeah, ATK got the manufacturing rights to both the bike and atv line, some other company got the bicycle side and now they moved all the production outside the country.

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    I almost picked one of these up last year to do a conversion but I was scared away by some of the issues and difficulty in sourcing some parts. Good looking bike!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post


    Man that sucks about the dealer thing!

    I was asking him about the mapping because it seemed to be harder to start when it was hot, and it seemed to be kind of harsh when you're transferring from off throttle to on throttle (really abrupt). It'll take some messing with, but I'm sure we'll get it figured out. Seriously though, if you Cdale guys have any more tips let me know!!

    Yeah, Sucks indeed. I swore if I ever met the CEO, I would find a way to ruin his life for 5 or so years...

    The "E" mapping is actually smoother than most others. If you find someone with the equipment, you can always install the "S" mapping as it was the same engine on the Sumo.

    They are notoriously hard to start when warm and WILL FOUL plugs very quickly. DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE when starting the bike. The battery is so small it will not spin the bike very long and the FI system on the bike took a lot of power to run. There is an art to starting the bike without inducing panic 30 miles into the woods.

    Find someone with the software and hardware to remap the bike. The on/off throttle response was the biggest issue I had with the bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thedrizel View Post
    Yeah, Sucks indeed. I swore if I ever met the CEO, I would find a way to ruin his life for 5 or so years...

    The "E" mapping is actually smoother than most others. If you find someone with the equipment, you can always install the "S" mapping as it was the same engine on the Sumo.

    They are notoriously hard to start when warm and WILL FOUL plugs very quickly. DO NOT TOUCH THE THROTTLE when starting the bike. The battery is so small it will not spin the bike very long and the FI system on the bike took a lot of power to run. There is an art to starting the bike without inducing panic 30 miles into the woods.

    Find someone with the software and hardware to remap the bike. The on/off throttle response was the biggest issue I had with the bikes.
    All good info, thank you!!

    If I remember right, the guy that owns it told me he had the ability to change the mapping. So, I'll just tell him what you told me and I'm sure after a little bit of fiddling with it, it'll be fine. I'm glad you told me about the throttle thing when starting it, I'll be sure to let him know!

    If I ever meet the CEO I'll give him a kick in the nuts for ya.
    '07 CRF 450x SM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    Little bit of both. I work at my dad's store, we're a Triumph/Ducati/Victory dealer. (No, that doesn't mean I'm loaded. Or I can take a Ducati whenever I want. ) We do all kinds of weird stuff though, as you can probably tell.

    I've been around tards for as long as I can remember, but this was the first one that I did the majority of the work on to get it rolling down the road. We may start doing more conversions if people want us too, anything after this bike would be a piece of cake! Supermotos are starting to catch on around here it seems.
    Hey is your dealer the one right off of I 35 to the right headin north? If so I have been there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetLightDemo View Post
    Hey is your dealer the one right off of I 35 to the right headin north? If so I have been there.
    Yeup, thasss it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    Yeup, thasss it.
    do you have any hypermotard 796?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetLightDemo View Post
    do you have any hypermotard 796?
    Not that I am aware of, we do have two 1100 Hypers though. One is an 'S' and the other is a standard model. Call the store and talk to Mark, he's the guy with all the info! He could probably get ahold of a 796 if that's what you really want, we got one for another guy a couple months ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    Not that I am aware of, we do have two 1100 Hypers though. One is an 'S' and the other is a standard model. Call the store and talk to Mark, he's the guy with all the info! He could probably get ahold of a 796 if that's what you really want, we got one for another guy a couple months ago.
    I would love to but i dont have the ching for it though.

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    You dont want the 796 and you dont want the 1100 without it's S.

    Trust me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApTard View Post
    You dont want the 796 and you dont want the 1100 without it's S.

    Trust me.
    I have only ridden an kawasaki eliminator 125cc. so the 1100 is to much.

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    Nice to see another Cannondale out there. That is indeed a 2002 model, I can tell by the rock hard seat, and the engine case (it is nick named a unicorn case). The reason why the Cannondales are considered unreliable by some (actually most) is because, out of balance cranks, wrong bearing installed on big end of rod from factory, crappy fuel quick disconnects that run the engines lean, some assembly workers forgot locktite on internal engine bolts, out of balance flywheels, drilling alignment holes on the cylinder sleeves too deep which caused cracking of the cylinder, sticky valve bucket bores caused by stamping numbers on the side of the head (which would later swell up after a few months of riding due to heat cycles) thus the valve bucket (only one) would slowly seize up. Now if all of these things are corrected, they are incredible bikes. I own a few, and all are street legal. I run them on the Highway (70 mph) all the time to get to trails and they have NEVER let me down. They are simple and fun to rebuild if you know what to look for. The spare parts are still available for these bikes by the truck load. If I would of seen your build sooner I could of offered you a new spare Cannondale hub for the rear $75. and a new complete motocross front wheel for $125.00 (you would have to unlace it for a 17” rim. The Cannondale rear hub takes a Honda CRF 450 rear sprocket and the front hub uses a Yamaha yzf450 front rotor fyi. One of the mistakes Cannondale made was allowing customers to buy the software to tune the bikes. Many people and shops raised the rpm limits, created ignition and fuel maps that that were too lean or aggressive. Many motors blew up because of this and Cannondale covered them under of warranty. Cannondale also marketed the bikes incorrectly. They were too heavy to compete in motocross with the YZ450 & Crf450’s because they were electric start. They weigh about the same as the CRF450x, KTM 450exc, etc. That is the market they should have realized they could compete in.

    PS. Tell your friend that the twitchy throttle is due to an early throttle body cable pulley. There is a factory pulley with a slightly different curve that reduces the instant on/off throttle issue. If your buddy is interested in one, let me know. I think they are about $20.00.

    Of the topic, Yes I still love the simple fuel injected Ducati 904cc air-cooled Desmo engine.

    This is one of my projects, lowered for a supermono racer, now has clip-ons and rearsets. Working on a fairing (not sure if I want to go full fairing or half) and designing a larger fuel tank.

    John
    Last edited by polyesterpig; 09-30-2010 at 05:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmm View Post
    That's a sick looking bike, nice job! Don't mean to pick it apart but that front fender has to go. Needs a real motard fender.
    I agree, a killer bike that's an Accerbis fender away from being excellent. Good job man!
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    Awesome build.. Thanks for posting.

    I had the chance to buy one of those with a totally updated fresh motor, spare Ohlins forks, all stock in mint condition but it had NO papers.. I contacted everyone trying to figure out a way to get a title and never got anywhere. Aparently it was an Cannondale employee bike and never really existed as far as a public unit. I couldn't even find a VIN#. It's in a friends bike collection. I passed on the bike but I know it's still available if I want it. I could buy it for $2,500 with the spare Ohlins forks still in the box. I still think about it for a track day toy and now that you posted photos of one converted I'm really thinking again.. It looks identical to yours but with dirt set up of course.. Wife is going to kill me if I buy another bike right now.. I bought 5 different bikes this year..

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    Very nice work 481. And the odds of seeing another one out on a ride are, let's face it, almost nil. That alone makes it really coo in my book, I love obscure stuff. Love the made in the USA sticker too BTW. I remember when we used to still build things, those were good times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyesterpig View Post
    Nice to see another Cannondale out there. That is indeed a 2002 model, I can tell by the rock hard seat, and the engine case (it is nick named a unicorn case). The reason why the Cannondales are considered unreliable by some (actually most) is because, out of balance cranks, wrong bearing installed on big end of rod from factory, crappy fuel quick disconnects that run the engines lean, some assembly workers forgot locktite on internal engine bolts, out of balance flywheels, drilling alignment holes on the cylinder sleeves too deep which caused cracking of the cylinder, sticky valve bucket bores caused by stamping numbers on the side of the head (which would later swell up after a few months of riding due to heat cycles) thus the valve bucket (only one) would slowly seize up. Now if all of these things are corrected, they are incredible bikes. I own a few, and all are street legal. I run them on the Highway (70 mph) all the time to get to trails and they have NEVER let me down. They are simple and fun to rebuild if you know what to look for. The spare parts are still available for these bikes by the truck load. If I would of seen your build sooner I could of offered you a new spare Cannondale hub for the rear $75. and a new complete motocross front wheel for $125.00 (you would have to unlace it for a 17” rim. The Cannondale rear hub takes a Honda CRF 450 rear sprocket and the front hub uses a Yamaha yzf450 front rotor fyi. One of the mistakes Cannondale made was allowing customers to buy the software to tune the bikes. Many people and shops raised the rpm limits, created ignition and fuel maps that that were too lean or aggressive. Many motors blew up because of this and Cannondale covered them under of warranty. Cannondale also marketed the bikes incorrectly. They were too heavy to compete in motocross with the YZ450 & Crf450’s because they were electric start. They weigh about the same as the CRF450x, KTM 450exc, etc. That is the market they should have realized they could compete in.

    PS. Tell your friend that the twitchy throttle is due to an early throttle body cable pulley. There is a factory pulley with a slightly different curve that reduces the instant on/off throttle issue. If your buddy is interested in one, let me know. I think they are about $20.00.

    Of the topic, Yes I still love the simple fuel injected Ducati 904cc air-cooled Desmo engine.

    This is one of my projects, lowered for a supermono racer, now has clip-ons and rearsets. Working on a fairing (not sure if I want to go full fairing or half) and designing a larger fuel tank.

    John
    Damn! Great info, I'll be passing it along for sure. Thanks man

    Oh, and I thought the seat on my CRF was hard.... compared to the Cdale it's a freaking couch.

    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    ..That alone makes it really coo in my book, I love obscure stuff..
    Thanks, and yeah, that's what I kept saying. You'll probably never see another one like it. That's what makes it so cool!
    '07 CRF 450x SM
    My supermoto videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    Damn! Great info, I'll be passing it along for sure. Thanks man

    Oh, and I thought the seat on my CRF was hard.... compared to the Cdale it's a freaking couch.



    Thanks, and yeah, that's what I kept saying. You'll probably never see another one like it. That's what makes it so cool!
    Its at 3k you've got 3 hours left on the auction! haha
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Other...Q5fmotorcycles
    Fast is smooth. Smooth is Fast.

  40. #39
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    very nice gotta love the one offs Ive been trying to find a led bar like that for my bike if you wouldnt mind helpin me out that would be great. but again awesom bike.
    beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.
    06 rm 250 (desert)
    97 dodge (prerunner)
    09 drz (sold)
    05 ktm 525 sm (new whip)

  41. #40
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    Well, I got news that the motor let go. He said he was riding along around 50mph and it locked up.

    He's pulling the motor out and shipping it off to someone, not sure who. I don't think the motor has ever been gone through, so maybe now after it's rebuilt it'll be ok. Sucks though!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sukikid View Post
    very nice gotta love the one offs Ive been trying to find a led bar like that for my bike if you wouldnt mind helpin me out that would be great. but again awesom bike.
    I can't remember what brand it was, if I get a chance I'll see if I can find the part number and what not.
    '07 CRF 450x SM
    My supermoto videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadend View Post
    but yeah 481 wins CRITERIA MET.
    ./gives up his King of Internet belt

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