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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Installed some bar-risers. These are roughly 1/2 inch up and 1 inch back. For daily cruising these are a definite improvement. With the stock seat, and even more so after the custom seat moved me up/back I felt like i had to hunch my back to have a comfortable bend in my arms while riding. The reach to the bars is much more relaxed now. I've only ridden to work so far so I'm not sure how they will feel on twisties yet, but this is what they look like all mounted up.
IMG_20200523_140640.jpg
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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Today was a long day....
I started the day out by dropping the bike while doing some parking lot drills with a coworker. Not too much damage but still pissed me off.
Busted off one of my new mirrors, scuffed the left side case and headlight mounting bracket.
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So then I went home and built a red-neck paddock stand - yes that is my bike sitting on jackstands (that weren't tall enough so I had to put them on top of pallets)...all so I could remove the wheels and get my new tires mounted.
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Took the wheels in and go the new tires mounted & balanced....
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I went with these tires for a couple of reasons:
1. I wanted something that offered a bit more grip on dirt roads
2. I wanted something that still provided plenty of on-road grip and manners
3. I wanted something that had a more aggressive look

According to bridgstone these tires are supposed to be made with a 'sport touring' compound rubber Link - hopefully this provides a bit better balance between grip and longevity than the stock tires did. I enjoy my corners but I'm not out dragging knees ever day so I really would like a tire that lasts more than 3000 miles. These were the only scrambler type tire I could find that came in a dual compound configuration.

I also really liked the dunlop mutant (which is a sumo tire) but dunlop doesn't plan to bring them to the USA until sometime next year - so its highly likely I'll try a set of those next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I purchased my K-tech Razor R shock from another member here on the forum. After speaking with a local shop I negotiated what I felt was a fair price for the shock, and purchased it. Unfortunately it turned out to not be a great deal. Once my local shop had the shock in hand they said it looked like the seals were 'weeping' slightly and they recommended that they be replaced which cost an additional $75 in parts. Overall this resulted in me being into this shock for about $750 - new the cost is only 795, so not a great deal - if I had it to do over again I'd have just paid the extra $50 - if only because I'd have been supporting a local business and building a better relationship with them. Advice to anyone looking at a used shock would be to make sure your getting it at a low enough price that even a 'worst case' rebuild won't put you over what a new unit would cost.

All of that said I was able to get the shock mounted on my bike....I think I did this 'wrong' but it worked for me so I'll describe my method, and it looks like I'm going to be swapping springs so I'll try to do it right next time so I can compare.

First I started by removing the seat, tank covers and the fuel tank. No problems with this stuff.
Next I loosened the upper shock mount bolt - the bolt head is 'captured' against the shock mount so it cannot turn - the nut was tight but not absurd, didn't have any trouble with a standard end-wrench.
Here is where I went off the reservation....the factory manual would have you remove the linkage and shock together.....instead:
I used a tie-down strap that I looped through the rear wheel and then over the rear of the sub-frame to compress the rear suspension enough that the lower shock mounting bolt was accessible above the swing arm. Once the bolt/nut were accessible I removed the nut from the bolt, but left the bolt in place - this has a lot of tension on it at this point - do not remove the bolt!
Then I removed the tie down strap to release the compression on the rear suspension
Next I supported the weight of the bike using some straps and a tree branch (yes I'm a shade tree mechanic).
Once the weight is off the rear swing arm it was easy to remove the top and bottom shock bolts and slide the shock out the gap between the sub-frame and the rear swing arm/tire.
Install was the reverse of removal.

I did not take pictures of this process.....my hands were full of tools, straps, and shocks.
Here are the old & new side-by-side.
IMG_20200531_135050.jpg

And the new installed.
IMG_20200531_154351.jpg
IMG_20200531_154346.jpg
 
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It seems it's been a rough and long recent road my friend.

Get on that bike and ride those worries away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Indeed it has - I'm planning a ride for lunch time today, and I'm waiting to post my thoughts on the shock for a bit. The local place got the wrong spring on it for me, so I'm unable to get the correct static & rider sag numbers dialed in. Spoke with them today and they are going back to ktech support who told them I needed the 110n spring rate.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
The UPS guy delivered some goodies yesterday, got my (2nd) trail cage, my gpsuspension cartridges, a new mirror to replace the busted one, and a couple of fork tools.
IMG_20200605_002605.jpg
IMG_20200605_002628.jpg
IMG_20200605_002925.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I got my trail cage all mounted up and went for a test ride. You can read my in-depth review of the cage over on this thread:

I'm eager to get the GP cartridges installed but I think I'm going to wait a bit and get things sorted with the Ktech shock first. I don't want to make so many changes at once that I can't isolate things. It will probably be a few weeks before I have things sorted.

So far I'm happy with everything I've done - the tires are working out well. Plenty of grip in all the corners I've thrown at them, and significantly better on the dirt roads out here. Quiet and stable on the straights, longevity is the big question for me now. The risers are working out well also - although I really need longer cables. I had to re-route the clutch cable and loosen all of the zip-ties to prevent any binding when going to full steering lock. I may see if I can find a pair of the OEM Tracer risers to try - they would be a single unit and they look like they'd put the bars in a similar position.

I also got my safer-turn stuff (brake and signal modules) in the mail recently. I've ordered connectors so I can wire them up without cutting/tapping/splicing so those are coming soon too.

And a couple of photos because we all love photos!
IMG_20200605_091912.jpg
IMG_20200605_090757.jpg
 

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I purchased my K-tech Razor R shock from another member here on the forum. After speaking with a local shop I negotiated what I felt was a fair price for the shock, and purchased it. Unfortunately it turned out to not be a great deal. Once my local shop had the shock in hand they said it looked like the seals were 'weeping' slightly and they recommended that they be replaced which cost an additional $75 in parts. Overall this resulted in me being into this shock for about $750 - new the cost is only 795, so not a great deal - if I had it to do over again I'd have just paid the extra $50 - if only because I'd have been supporting a local business and building a better relationship with them. Advice to anyone looking at a used shock would be to make sure your getting it at a low enough price that even a 'worst case' rebuild won't put you over what a new unit would cost.

All of that said I was able to get the shock mounted on my bike....I think I did this 'wrong' but it worked for me so I'll describe my method, and it looks like I'm going to be swapping springs so I'll try to do it right next time so I can compare.

First I started by removing the seat, tank covers and the fuel tank. No problems with this stuff.
Next I loosened the upper shock mount bolt - the bolt head is 'captured' against the shock mount so it cannot turn - the nut was tight but not absurd, didn't have any trouble with a standard end-wrench.
Here is where I went off the reservation....the factory manual would have you remove the linkage and shock together.....instead:
I used a tie-down strap that I looped through the rear wheel and then over the rear of the sub-frame to compress the rear suspension enough that the lower shock mounting bolt was accessible above the swing arm. Once the bolt/nut were accessible I removed the nut from the bolt, but left the bolt in place - this has a lot of tension on it at this point - do not remove the bolt!
Then I removed the tie down strap to release the compression on the rear suspension
Next I supported the weight of the bike using some straps and a tree branch (yes I'm a shade tree mechanic).
Once the weight is off the rear swing arm it was easy to remove the top and bottom shock bolts and slide the shock out the gap between the sub-frame and the rear swing arm/tire.
Install was the reverse of removal.

I did not take pictures of this process.....my hands were full of tools, straps, and shocks.
Here are the old & new side-by-side.
View attachment 159911
And the new installed.
View attachment 159910 View attachment 159912
For what it’s worth. I’d think of getting a rectifier guard if you’re looking to go on dirt roads.

This is what I’ve fitted.


I haven’t priced a new rectifier, but I’m assuming it’s a lot more than the guard is.
 

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The UPS guy delivered some goodies yesterday, got my (2nd) trail cage, my gpsuspension cartridges, a new mirror to replace the busted one, and a couple of fork tools.
Very interested in hearing a review on the GP Suspension cartridges once you get some miles on them. They have been on my watch list for awhile now. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
For what it’s worth. I’d think of getting a rectifier guard if you’re looking to go on dirt roads.
I fail to see any reason why the rectifier needs a guard. It's a solid state, potted circuit and only the aluminum heat sink is exposed anyways. It should be able to take a stone hit without any damage.

Very interested in hearing a review on the GP Suspension cartridges once you get some miles on them. They have been on my watch list for awhile now. (y)
I will, but I'm probably the least qualified person on the forum to review suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I found the exhaust a bit to loud so I made my own silencer.
This is the P1X with an additional length of 1.25" brass sink drain attached. The drain pipe is a snug slip fit but I added a couple sheet metal screws to ensure it doesn't fall off. Finally I crushed the pipe a bit for even less volume.
I can not recommend anyone else do this same mod, today on my way to work the bike suddenly went guttless and started sounding constipated. I was only about 1/4 mile from my work parking lot so I coasted the rest of the way in. On closer inspection I found that the sink pipe must have softened and collapsed due to the heat, which resulted in all the exhaust being forced through a pair of pencil sized holes. DIY baffle has been removed. I may try some other options in the future, as I still find the 2Bro's system slightly too loud for my taste, love the deep tone but not the decibels.
IMG_20200616_153049.jpg
IMG_20200616_152143.jpg
 

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What if you brace it internally? That's wild that it got that hot to collapse it like that but they are made of cheap metal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Updates:
I had a rather massive tip-over a couple of weeks ago during a trip. Long story made short is that I pulled over for a picture and the shoulder was soft/unstable and the bike and I both took a rather large tumble (shoulder was about 3ft above surrounding terrain). The good news is that the bike was ride-able, and I was able to repair the important bits at a nearby ace hardware and continue on my trip.
Damage sustained:
Bent Radiator
Bent Radiator Guard
Busted Radiator Fan
Broken mirrors (bar end)
Broken Headlight shell & ring
Damaged left hand switches
Broken windshield
IMG_20200919_072118.jpg
IMG_20200919_072109.jpg
IMG_20200919_072134.jpg


I've adjusted my future plans a little bit as a result of this I'm going to be attempting the following:
Replace stock headlight with 7" round headlight (I wanted to do this anyways because I like the look of the larger headlight)
Replace left hand switches with stock switches from a Tracer GT. I like the layout of the buttons (horn & signals) better and this will provide buttons for cruise control that I should be able to wire up to an MCCruise when I get one.
Modify the higdonion cage I have now to include some upright supports to protect the protruding parts of the radiator. Probably fasten the (new) radiator guard directly to this rather than to the radiator itself.

Update on current mods:
  • The Higdonion cage has done a good job - I have one large dent from a large unseen rock that would have really done a number on my header pipes even if it didn't hurt the oil pan. This was acquired on a poorly maintained gravel road while searching for a waterfall that was marked on google maps.
  • The bar risers work well, but the finish has faded into a bronze color I don't care for. I'm going to look into swaping out for the risers that come on the tracer 900. Also a full lock right turn would cause the throttle cable to become too tight, so I need to get longer cables too.
  • The AX41S tires were nice - I really liked them except that they barely lasted longer than my stock tires (4500 vs 3000). This wouldn't be bad if they weren't so expensive. I currently have a shinko street tire mounted on the rear, and will probably try the conti trail-attack 3 or possibly the shinko 705 as my next set of tires.
 

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Hand switch is a good idea.... I also don't enjoy the turn signal/horn layout. Post pics if you make the swap!

But why the AX41S tires? To my eyes they don't look like they'd provide significantly more gravel riding ability than Pilot 5's, and they have less than 1/3 of the mileage.

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
But why the AX41S tires? To my eyes they don't look like they'd provide significantly more gravel riding ability than Pilot 5's, and they have less than 1/3 of the mileage.
At the time I couldn't find any reports of mileage on them and they are marketed as a dual compound, sport touring compound, tire. Compared to the road 5 I liked the more (off road) aggressive look of the tread pattern, they were about $75 less for the pair when I bought them, and I was hoping that they would last more than the 4k miles I actually got from them - being a dual compound tire I expected to get closer to 10k but that didn't turn out to be true. I've never ridden a road 5 so I can't compare them directly.
 

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I was hoping that they would last more than the 4k miles I actually got from them - being a dual compound tire I expected to get closer to 10k but that didn't turn out to be true. I've never ridden a road 5 so I can't compare them directly.
We have learned from you!

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
We have learned from you!
I'm trying to be good about posting follow-ups so future people will know. I probably won't be buying the AX41s again due to the limited lifetime, and relatively high cost.
 

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If you want to try the Road 5s without putting the coin down, hit me up. Mine still look barely broken in at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
If you want to try the Road 5s without putting the coin down, hit me up. Mine still look barely broken in at this point.
Are you offering to let me ride your bike, or to give me your new tires....;).

I don't think I'm comfortable riding someone elses bike the way I ride mine, but I appreciate the offer.
 

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Are you offering to let me ride your bike, or to give me your new tires....;).

I don't think I'm comfortable riding someone elses bike the way I ride mine, but I appreciate the offer.
That’s the responsible sort of response I’d need to hear from someone before offering them a ride on mine.


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