Bikes

I have used multiple bikes over the years. In my opinion, there is no right bike – just the bike you feel is right at the time.

Use the various links to see details on each bike

 

 All information is copyrighted rtwPaul 2016 onwards…
                        This is my website for you to follow me as i ride my motorcycle around the world, meeting people and taking photographs…

the bike & prep

I have used two bikes: a Yamaha xt660Z and a KTM you’ll find that half way down the page…its a KTM 625 SXC

I bought the 2009 XT660Z in mid 2010, i was in England for a few days got to see the bike for about 5 minutes based on the agreement that they would hold the bike for me until i needed it shipped to Ushuaia Argentina in early 2011, it had 12,000 miles on the clock already

it looked like this…

as i didn’t get to go over the bike i rode it exactly as you see it for 38,000 miles it had a a few mods done and it saw me thru the mileage

once i was finished it was time to strip the bike and do some modifications and upgrades before i carry on riding

so after all of THAT its time for some work….

twin wall bars
heavy duty risers
dual gps set up
high out put spot lamps
front turn signal relocation
crash bars
barkbusters
exhaust
front suspension
rear suspension
side stand foot enlarger
center stand foot enlargers
chain guard
cush drive
kev fuel mod
new swingarm
swingarm bearings
new hard luggage
chain roller
chain and sprockets
quick fuel disconnect
valve adjustment
brake and clutch levers
…and probably a few more things – need to get this list done first!!!

time to get dirty

first rule of Adventure riding…don’t ride at night! Besides the fact its dark so you can’t see anything…in the undevloped world there are lots of dangers on the road be it dirt or black top, animals, cars with no light, road debris, potholes, kids etc, etc

the XT has a good looking light that works well in low beam but on hi beam not so good…time for lighting upgrade

i added 3600 lumens each spot lights from ADVmonster link to these lights is LINK…and BTW if you get these DO NOT look directly into them, they have the potential to damage your eye sight!!!

these photos were take at 125th of a second for a comparison

before – standard HI beam

after just spot lamps

i built a separate wiring harness which included a relay and a waterproof switch, the switch for them is below the tach

if you know the bike or looked at the older photos you will notice the spot lights are where the turn signals used to be, i moved the turn signals into the area where the running lights were, as the low beam is on all the time anyhow. if you do this make sure you have a quick disconnect on the spot lamps. If for some reason you have to take off those panels you don’t want to have to cut the wire, i use deutsch connectors that are waterproof.

so take the wiring from the side lights and turn signals and simply swap there locations…easy. Two connections per light. You will need new orange bulbs, they are part number 194NA and cost $2 per pair

i added new crash bars from SW Motech the stock ones had a broken tab, even though one of my trades is welding i didn’t want to fix them because they block the access on the left side of the motor to cover for the crank, so when doing a valve clearance adjustment you have to remove the crash bars!!! Great design Yamaha, or was it on purpose so the dealer can make more money to stop people doing their own adjustments?

Here we go, the cockpit…

i did riser and bar upgrades…the stock risers are made, from one piece, this is good in some ways but not in others…if you are in the middle of nowhere and you have an off and one or both get snapped you are stranded, period. Some small villages/town might have only one drill, and chances of them having the right size tap to fix it…unlikely

so i changed to some heavy duty risers that use a thru bolt design, for less that $50 its a good swap, same height as the stock ones, but i got 1 1/8 so i can fit Renthal twin wall RC922 bars, about 30mm higher than stock but the stock wiring and cables still fit


along with this i added new barkbusters hand guards, after a good off in Argentina and another in Bolivia the old ones were done!

New levers $41 inc. shipping – they are a perfect fit, no cutting or filing required like some had people that i know tried to fit. I ordered black with red adjusters and the shorty version

the ebay link is for US ebay but they say they ship worldwide

item #170694297800

these are the parts you need as they don’t specifically stock for the XTZ

Suzuki – GSXR 600 1997 – 2003 Clutch
Yamaha – FJR 1300 2004 – 2008 Brake

once i sent them this info they sent me a money request via paypal, it took about ten days to get them

once i got them about 3-5 minutes to fit, brake side just becareful the piston rod in the master cylinder come out its on a spring, on the clutch side, reduce the pressure on the bar adjuster and fit, readjust clutch back to spec…easy

…and this is what they looked like

I did a tear down of the complete rear end to do a rear shock upgrade from the stock Sachs shock to a custom built Ohlins unit FA817…the difference from stock Ohlins was i got them to replace there standard spring with an upgraded unit and do some testing on the bottom mount and have everything set to be able to carry the weight of a RTW rider and all his luggage

the shocks…


i also did a front end spring upgrade to Hyperpro progressive springs but forgot to take photos when i did the swap, sorry about that before i do the swingarm write up and show how its done

have a look at this, this is my front sprocket that i changed, this one has 35,000 miles on it…

did a swingarm swap as the old one had excessive wear from a cheap chain in South America

i ordered new needle bearings, spacers and seals to do a complete refit

these are the main set for the swingarm pivot, as i doubt any off you took your bike apart before riding it, this is what the needle bearing look new


using a hydraulic press all new bearings and spacers were pressed in place




there is a lot of space in the swingarm for additional grease to be in there, so again make sure the bearings are in the right place with measurements the whole job of putting all the bearings, spacers and seals in a new swingarm took me about SEVEN minutes

and just for reference i use Timkin premium hi temp red bearing grease

to do a swingarm removal take out the rear wheel, i put zip ties over the sprocket to the spokes so keep it all together for an easy refit later, i have the cush drive rubber mod and it want to spring apart, this stops that happening

this in my tool kit, if there is a problem getting the pivot bolt out this fits in the open end and it long enough to hold everything in place when putting it back together as well

get anything out of the way that is in the way!!! brake caliper and rubber protection

undo the lower dog bone bolt and remove it

once this is taken out then remove the pivot bolt and the swing arm can be removed, chain does not need to be take off.

the stock exhaust was harder to get off than the new one was to put on…the retaining bolts on the exhaust clamps had rusted solid so had to be snapped to get them off. I replaced them with nickel plated grade 8 so it won’t happen again.

the stock rear exhaust hanger is replaced with the new unit, i’m doing a single stainless can, ordinarily you would cut the other side off if its not being used to hang an exhaust but i am contemplating making an auxiliary fuel tank in the space  left by the right can

once the stock system is taken off you can see the heat resistant pad which is silver colored, i sprayed it with hi temp black paint to help it disappear a little but still have the same effect if required to protect the electrics

before the rear wheel went back on i did the kev mod on the cush drive rubbers, it looks oily, its not its soapy water to help it slide together easier…oh, and by the way those cush drive rubbers have 40,000 miles on them!!!


just realized i forgot to mention tyres…i did a front tyre change to match the rear, the front has zero miles but the rear has 6000 on it, Kenda K270, i did maybe 2500 miles off road…the wear is good but they are a bit noisy on the tarmac, but cheap – pros and cons!!!

…and if you are wondering what the white patch is on the left side of my tank it a customs sticker from flying the bike bike from columbia to panama, it looks like $hit but kind of reluctant to take it off

had some spare time this week so when i found a crack in the chain guard it was time to make a new one

took a template from the original trimmed some aluminum sheet to size and bend it in a sheet metal brake

drill some holes and used a dimple die, they look like this

so basically lightened it up a little but the dimple adds strength to the piece

this is what it looks like against the original…not sure if i like it or not, or if i need to paint it black, or add another hole or more in the “V” area

got this finished quicker than i thought so i had a template for the head light, so started to make a rock guard, with the XTZ headlight being a complex shape it was easier to make a generalized shaped around the template


in the last photo you can see another one i was making as well…choices????

the bushings were out of stock and on back order, as the old ones were unusable i had to make new ones on the lathe in the shop where i work, the originals were made from 308 stainless which has a small amount of carbon hence the rust, i made the new ones from 316 S/S

yamaha paper weight

pull out the swing arm…that’s it, about 15 minutes for it to be out, do some cleaning and regreasing if you haven’t done it before, when you put it back in i use that rod to locate everything and check the side play and make the adjustment on the nut on the inside of the right frame rail to get it to spec

so do all steps in reverse to put it back together, this is the new one back in place with the new chain guard painted with an additional hole!!!

the guy who owned the bike before me put on the lowering links on it and lowered the center stand, not a pretty job, basically his welding sucked, this is what a 50,000 mile center stand looks like, lots of abuse


also some of the gussets had welds missing, so i corrected it all and added [SIZE=”5″]BIGGER[/SIZE] feet

made some slugs to lengthen the stand and welded it all back together and repainted it

regrease the bushings when it was reinstalled


now the rear wheel isn’t on the ground like it was before with a new knobbly, when i make new jack up links and add an 18″ rear when i get to Europe i now have space

i’ve been away riding…here is the last thing i did i think!!!

a gas tank mod, the fuel cell (plastic) is stock at 23 liters but its very difficult and slow to get the last few liters in, and even when you do you never get it completely full

easy one minute fix with a HAND DRILL – no power drills for this otherwise you get to hear an EXPLOSION


now i’m getting about an extra liter  and slightly more in the tank…result

not exactly a mod more like a HUGE upgrade

once all the mods were done i met Al Jesse of www.jesseluggage.com he took my bike to make welding jigs so his luggage would be available for the XT660Z

they are not on his website as of this post but they are available, mine are 10″ a total of 110 liters, i have more stuff in them than i was carrying on my pan american ride of 38,000

superb craftsmanship, strength and design. they are adjustable backwards and forwards by around 5 inches

i had more tools as i’d done these mods and was riding back from AZ to Louisiana and just in case something needed fixing on the road that i had do a mod on…it didn’t everything was good

sump guard had a cracked mount and i was holding it on with safety wire, not good!!!


made a new bracket from stainless steel – fixed easy

after the ride back from Arizona my rear tire had almost 10,000 miles on it so i did a swap

here’s a shot of the Jesse Luggage new to the stock Yamaha version

i was riding with a friend and he told me my turn signals weren’t too bright, tried cleaning them but no good so i switched to some small LED’s



my touratech 12 volt crapped out so i did a swap for a marine grade until

can you see the new one???

its right here…

and also got a new USB adaptor, nice and small

there is a lot of offroad riding i wanted bigger pegs, problems is being in the states finding some!!! Some companies claimed theres might fit??? So instead i had a spare stock set set so i jut made some wider pegs my self

i made them so they still fit the stock rubber tops, and i’m guessing you knew that hole in the passenger peg mount was the place to keep them when not in use??? Well it is now

Also having gone to a single can exhaust i had some space left over on the right side, so utilized the mount from the MTC exhaust and fitted a locking tool tube. I add some tools that were of approximate equal weight to the Exhaust can to balance the bike out again

KTM – LC4 Round the World ADVenturization

just picked up a 2003 KTM 625sxc to continue my RTW after 63,000 miles done so far on a Yamaha XT660Z Tenere above…so here is a list whats been done by the previous owner …

1. Carb: BST Mikuni stock carburetor with slide drilled out conservatively. I did not go to 1/8 but something a little less and that

seemed to add some nice snap along with a complete tear down and cleaning. I also terminated two of the breather lines with K&N air filters rather than re-breathing spent fumes. Replaced the four bowl screws with hex screws.

2. Airbox no longer has water overflow, crank case and fuel over flow (all from main chassis collection point) dumping into it. Apparently that made the box a little gummy and also the carburetor. Much cleaning operation now. Have new air filter but not installed as I cleaned the original one off (not too many miles on it).

3. Changed the oil used new KTM oil filers. I believe I used Yamalube.

4. Lighting installed LED markers all around and updated head lamp for High and Low beam operation. There is some non-insulated wire coiled up behind the headlamp. This is ground and its copper so no need to insulate.

5. Checked all four valves. Intakes were off just a little tight.

6. New Continental TC80 tires front and rear less than 150 miles.

7. New lead acid battery.

8. Have auxiliary factory seat that lowers the ride height and and can be used to customize as needed.

9. Added duel mirrors and bar mounts and have the original factory folding mirror. Now you have an aux 10mm mount on the handle bar for GPS etc.

10. All manuals and have two exhaust gaskets, Motion-pro feeler gauge

…and this is a short version of why i bought it…and at the bottom photos of the bike

so the Yamaha Xt660z is alive and well and taking a well deserved siesta, but i wanted a change (actually once this is complete the XT maybe will go up for sale)

as a RTW rider you kind of learn as you go along, with roughly 200,000 touring miles under my belt, 63,000 in last 22 months you come to conclusion that you will read here and everywhere else, i wish i had a lighter bike. There are a lot of places that i have missed, some i have tried and failed to get to simply because of the weight of the bike, all the guys riding the heavy weights wished for mine, i wished for less.

The reason being; i am heading to New Zealand, then Australia, the Far East, the Stans, Russia, Mongolia and eventually Africa…are you seeing where i’m going with this thought pattern, lots more dirt in my future

the XT660 is the heaviest in its class but very durable too, but once you add luggage, and i am a light packer you still have a lot of weight, not GSA standards but restrictive weight.

so i started looking at other options for when i carry on RTW, i posted on a few forums about what i was looking for, light weight, good power, options to add a very large gas tank, reliability and so on to get some other riders input

the short list came back as:

WR250R

XR650L

DRZ400

DR650

KLR650

570 husaberg

610 husqvarna

now other requirements for a RTW rider is shipping and import, what does this have to do with bike choice? Well a lot actually, obviously weight and the ability to reduce the bike to the smallest size possible and Carnet, the fees can get outrageous in some countries for import, so expensive bikes cost a fortune to bring in to some places

The WR250R was top of the list for a while with the DRZ400 in very close second, but finding a good used one with minimal miles was not happening, and a new one by the time i added everything i needed i would be pushing the $10k mark, why not just keep riding the XT i was asking myself

…then out of the blue some guy makes a comment, have you looked at a KTM 625 SXC, it’s everything you are describing, all the other bikes to be made RTW ready would cost more in the long run, the KTM has a good level of components as stock, you can get a 27 liter tank, (you could add a rotopax that will be empty 99.9% of the time to opposite side of the exhaust can, taking it up to 31 liters)

it has minimal electronics, so less to go wrong, no fuel pump, no FI etc, only problem is they only made a few and getting a low mileage one is virtually impossible, and most owners once they buy never sell

so doing web searches on all the above bikes i came across a 625SXC with only 500 miles on it, the owner was having some health issues and never rode it. As its a 2003 the book value is minute (great for the Carnet) and he had done a lot of mods already to save me additional time and money…it weighs about the same as a WR250, double the power, i can get a tank that’s 2.5 gallons bigger than the biggest for the WRR

so i pulled the trigger and now i have gone orange and i’m proud owner of a basically new (to me) LC4… in the coming months it will go thru a transformation to be made RTW ready – any comments/ suggestions/ recommendations/ farkle lists would be gladly accepted


here we go….

i love it when my UPS girl shows up as well…who cares if she’s got my parts…it is Vegas after all

Mount Everest just landed in my living room

i don’t have a tape measure handy so what is good for measuring with that is internationally known

rad mfg – radmfg wheels and components

my bike gets unloaded from my truck (front fender is missing, more on that later)

so a little about Rad Mfg that i learned today, they are under NEW management so anything you have read on here or anywhere else that is more than a year or two old is now totally irrelevant, their professionalism, customer service and quality is beyond reproach. I hadn’t even got out of my truck and the guys were coming outside to meet me and say hello

they run this operation completely from this building

rims come in from DID, EXCEL and most other rim manufacturers you can think of depending on your wallet or riding style, technique.

….there are loads of them…

everything else is done in house, they bring in solid round stock aluminum billets and cut them to length and run them thru the CNC machines to make all the hubs, everything is made to order, and if you requested anodizing that in done in house as well!!!

…and let me tell you having owned a motorcycle business for a number of years, also being a motorcycle builder for 12 years and i also have hands on experience in CNC facilities…this is a top notch operation




cast stock components don’t compare at all when you can get this precision…

NIPPLES…everybody likes nipples…well they have them in loads of colors and make them here too

so i have left my bike with them, as its a two year only model they wanted to confirm their measurements on file were 100% correct and then my wheels will be made to my specifications (you’ll have to wait and see what i chose)

on leaving the manager Gary Holdcraft gave me his card and welcomes any and all inquires about what they can do for you, let him know RTWPaul sent you along please…his phone number is 435-574-2537 and his email Gary@radmfg.com

parts have been rolling in and trying to find time to get this going, i figured out an easy way to make more time…i quit my job

******let me preempt this whole build thread by saying i am kind of thorough when it comes to building bikes, having done it for about 17 years and built over 150…so this is not a dig at the previous owners, there were two even though this bike has only 500 miles on the clock…

or at KTM, but i am always very wary about Monday and Friday bikes

i would rather make sure things are right while i have all my tools around me and a comfortable place to work rather than on the top of a mountain as a rain storm and 75mph winds are heading my way

and then if something goes wrong and its my fault i can make a good attempt to kick myself in the nuts ****

so boxes of stuff coming in…and still more arriving daily

i ran back up to Veyo Utah to see gary and the boys at RAD Mfg. to collect my rims, i had chosen to go with DID Dirt Star rims in black, orange hubs and nipples and upgraded heavy duty stainless spokes made in house, the nipples are longer than standard (insert wise crack here ) to add additional threads and increase strength

rear cush drive hub uses stock ktm cush drive rubbers, i was given a care package or additional spokes, nipples and rubbers for emergencies (time for another wise crack)

i asked for the wheels with tires unmounted…here is where being thorough begins, personally i prefer to tape over the inner nipple area with a few layers of duct tape and then add rims strips on top of that, i didn’t have to as RAD Mfg do this as standard procedure…sweet

new rear rim getting weighed…12lb 1 oz


a gain of 2 lb 12oz over the stock rim for the addition of the cush drive and heavy duty spokes…worth it

stock valve caps replaced with ones with integrated core removal tool


brake rotor replaced using BLUE loctite, steel bolts going into aluminum

sprocket replaced, through bolts with nuts on the back sides so steel to steel – RED loctitie

rear axle nut replaced and Blue loctite used as its not a castellated nut with a retaining clip

chain guard screws cleaned and Blue loctitie added, i always seems to loose these things

for reference i mark my sprockets, i’ll be carrying a few different ones…

front rim rim weighs in at 8 lb 7 oz…saving 14 oz


…and again blue loctite on rotor bolts going into aluminum


fork clamp bolts were finger tight, so again some blue loctite


so here it is mounted


and the full shot

do you like spaghetti?

so i started to tear into the bike this morning

having ridden vibrating bikes most of my life i know to check to make sure everything is good and tight…NOPE!

first thing i find is the secondary micro filter mount is loose, and its missing a bolt, the other one is holding by about one thread


i replace the bolt add some blue loctite and decide to check a few more, the next half a dozen bolts are all loose…so i spent the next hour removing everyone i can find and adding loctite and torquing down to spec.

BTW never found any evidence of any loctite on one single bolt

so once that was done i took off the headlight….holy Füçkïñg §ĥĬŧē


about a pound of zip ties and extra wire, dozens of unnecessary spliced connections, chaffed wires, open ends, pinches, melted wires, even found a twist strap from a loaf of bread holding a wire in place…starting to wonder if this bike really has 500 miles or the first owner who had it the longest just unplugged the speedo or replaced it with his wiring skills…second owner only had it for a short while so i know its not down to him

guess i’ll be rewiring for a while here, but amazingly everything works so it’ll be more of a clean up job

can you imagine if you just bought this and flew it to Mongolia sight unseen and then had an electrical problem in the middle of the Gobi desert…

it would be a case of opening the gas tank throwing a match in there  and taking a camel home…

when i was a parts unlimited/ drag specialties dealer i got them from there, very easy to use and they come in multiple configurations (Available in 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12 cavity arrangements) click this link deutsch connectors and find someone near you or even your local good quality electrical store is probably a good choice or of course there always ebay – just make sure you get the correct male and female connectors, and radio shack used to sell the crimping too for less than $10

once you use them you might not use anything else they are so easy

then it all came apart ready for some wiring correction

and i found out why the mileage was so low (maybe) missing a back up battery in the speedo for the ‘memory’

seeing that i was a little pissed and i decided to work on the front end and leave the electrics for later

i had spoken with Craig at lexington motorsports most of you might know them as KTM parts house i had already contacted another GPR dealer about a steering dampner and was told they don’t make one for the SXC! i specifically wanted an under bar mount and didn’t like the gold Scotts version overbar…Craig called his inside source at KTM and they came up with a combination of parts so i could make this work…this is what you need if you didn’t know already like me as this is my first orange bike


so i took the front end apart and found loads of grease so maybe my bike was built on a wednesday but wired on a friday …but i still regreased the bearing and they were in good shape and so were the races


the new mount and stabilizer adds 2 lb 10 oz

add some bars – renthal RC high bend 922’s

and some dual compound grips – 63002021200, need to find my safety wire and wire them on as well…later

so around the same time my tank came in my fairing did too.

now this is my opinion here so bear with me…when i originally started in business i was a one man show, the little guy so to speak, and if no one took a chance on me i would have closed my doors real quick, so that being said if i find a small company or inmate in this case who is making a cool,useful, practical and well made product i am all behind him…even if it does cost a few dollars more as ‘he’ is a one man show right now and makes everything himself

enter stage left Bernard aka inmate ‘aiMhi’ and his website http://www.aimhi-enduro.com/ he has worked hard on this fairing and it shows, it is a quality piece of equipment…so check out his site and if you do get one of these fairings please let him know you saw it in this build thread so he knows where the order came from and who to talk to…believe me as a one man show you can’t be everywhere

now not only does he make a great product he also sells someone elses great product too, Rigid IndustriesLED light, and if you haven’t seen this already take two minutes out and watch…

OK onto get everything mounted, went backwards and forwards and tried a few variations of mounts and none i really liked, even one attaching it to the hand guards, reason being that i didn’t stay with that is when the bike goes down  and it will, the weight of the bike will go on the hand protectors in my case Barkbusters, so my first thought was to mount it to them and then realized i was an idiot and the first time the bike goes down the fairing will be junked

so for a little inspiration i went out, most of you may go to a bike shop or a spend an hour or two on the internet trying to find a solution

not me…i headed out to Viva Las Vegas hotrod show…lots of out of the box thinkers there

and i found this…stainless steel 2 1/4″ exhaust clamps from summit racing, the upper fork legs on the SXC are approximately that size

take two of those and two pieces of inner tube

OK so once i knew the direction i was really headed in i got to doing it after dicking around for a few days

start with a blank canvas, and as this fairing doesn’t come with mounts it is your choice how you get it mounted

the inside of the fairing has some mount points

made some lower mounts, the hole in the very front mounts to the bottom mount of the fairing


once that was in place then i made upper mounts and cross members in a rough mock up


this is how they mounted, i added coupling nuts to make it obvious where the mounts fitted on the exhaust clamp, structurally very strong and minimal weight

because of not have access to all my machines and tools (sold most of it already sadly) i was just hand fabbing stuff with simple tools and fitting this by eye most of the time

i ordered some perferated aluminum sheet, a 12×12 piece


from custom car grills i got some with 1/2″ holes so i could dimple it with these 1/2″dimple dies

dimples add rigidity and structure to an otherwise very flimsy piece of material


what are you doing that for i hear you say?????

well even though i have built hundreds of bikes i haven’t really built anything like this but i know from my personal experience what i need and what will work, with the gas tank i chose a tank bag is out of the question or if i did get one then it would be very small and in the wrong location…so yes i have a GPS but i like maps as well, so i need somewhere to put them while i’m riding…so i made this


all mounted up and put it together with a waterproof 8×12 map pocket, but i still need a final clip system which i’m working on but for now here’s the idea

and here how it looks from the front, the photo distorts the view a little and makes it look massive but its not, the top sits about chin high which is perfect, simliar to the XT so i know it works and i can see

so now all this is mounted i can finally get on with rewiring as i know what space i have to work with…

oh yeah, wiring hell, when i got the bike i didn’t check the horn or turn signals for function as i knew i would switch them out anyway…once i was doing a few tests found the horn did not function, turn signals were intermittent at best but i found this one out once i had done my set up then had to source the internet for an exact replacement (there’s a week including shipping)

anyhow once done and rewired with deutsch connectors the finished article

for those of you unfamiliar with them here’s a few photos


so if you asking why use these and not the molex connectors that come with your bike, these ones…

well, in the field the deutsch are are a lot more user friendly, you can isolate one individual wire without cutting it, remove it from the circuit, fix repair and replace easily, with the molex you can’t do this as easily, also the deutsch is waterproof (resistant) the molex isn’t creating possible shorts

they are standard equipment on Harley Davidson and Cat powered trucks amongst others, easily sourced on the interent and a few spare pins is all you need for a repair (very unlikely the pin with break)

the ‘almost’ finished article

using these i can take off my fairing simply undoing three connectors and three nuts

as i had changed from standard incandescent bulbs to LED’s, there is a problem…the LED is ‘just on’ it runs on full power, so to make it switchable for high beam and low beam using the stock switch you will need one of these

its a Skene IQ170 controller Jerry is an inmate on here and he has put together a very good product, it allows the use of the stock switch and make hi/lo function work without having to add anymore switches, there is also an upgrade on there to custom brightness you can look into

here’s the instructions

but for basics this is what you get

lo beam

hi beam

another useful thing i have added is a 12 volt digital voltmeter, useful to know where your system is at, at all times especially if you add heated vests, gps, heated grips, spot trackers, hardwired cameras etc

i got this from adv monster here and quite simply connect it to a key 12 volt power wire, black to ground and red and blue combined to power, i had one of these on my XT for thousands of miles and its works great, also the ‘power on’ orange bulb in my system pops very ofter so this basically replaces it, i used 3M double sided tape to mount it on top of the steering dampner

my finger is pointing at a 12 volt power connector that i added


as you can see there is also a GPS on the bars now as well, make sure you have this to keyed power otherwise it will constantly draw from your battery even when your bike is off, then you get to use your kickstarter

while waiting on the new flasher to arrive it was time to mount a few things, to make my life more comfortable/ safer/ easier for working on the bike etc…

my bike (not sure about yours) doesn’t have a front brake pressure switch, so no brake light activation when its used and we all know that front brake gets used a lot…so i added a pressure switch into the system


the pegs on my bike are the same ones for the mini bikes, so tiny and not many options so a post on here and ‘gunnerbuck’ stepped to tell my to change the left side mount so i could use any pegs

i had this problem with my peg extenders


difference in mounts and saved almost a pound in weight


another inmate ‘motomark39’ contacted me with a stock set of pegs unused from 2004

now my new extender fit, they are from zipty racing…yes i know they are huge but i am not riding solely on single track so this is more of a comfort upgrade


here they are mounted and in the background a dreaded Touratech piece!!! The only company i could find who made one, or i would have to resort to cutting the plastic piece up…i took the TT route


the horn had failed so a replacement from sickspeed and 124 db output


the front turn signals were a joke, cheap Chinese crap so i mounted some hi output LED’s onto the fairing….


i will deal with the same junk on the back once i get my luggage situation worked out

the cross member for the tank is made from aluminum and Safari suggest you call them for a new one if this bends in a fall…not a problem if you are going home every night, i’m not so i made a more substantial one and also changed out the 60 cent pipe clamp out and replaced it with a U bolt

seat concepts made me a seat, gripper top and carbon sides with orange stitching

i filled the tank, got the stated 27 liters in it …took the bike for a quick test ride and had some carb issues, back home carb rebuild and now its all good

rode 75 miles today and everything seems to be where i want/ need it to be, just need to change the gearing to 16 or 17/42 for more streetable riding, right now its at 15/45 which is wheelie territory in every gear

headed out to Calico Basin this afternoon and here’s the finished article


the graphics were done by a company here in Las Vegas called 702 hydrographics

the plastics are coated with a hydrographic ‘real fire’ film over a special paint and then clear coated for durability, might not be everybodies ideal color scheme but i like it, and thats what counts….and it make me visible to the crazy car drivers here in vegas…but don’t be surprised if the bike turns solid black when i’m heading into a country where i need to blend in as much as possible

i’m heading to Overland Expo this weekend so if you are there stop by and say hello

*****once i come back i’ll go over the auxiliary oil tank and a few other minor items

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