Modifications - Performance Discuss aftermarket and DIY performance modifications

Before I Start Cutting...

Old 04-23-2011, 06:58 AM
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Before I Start Cutting...

I finally picked up a Superbrace for my forks, and I'm thinking about just taking a dremel to the stock plastic fork guards so I don't have to drop the entire front end.

The justifications I've cooked up for cutting include time savings, avoiding strain on the brake caliper bolts from retorqueing, and that I just can't imagine ever switching back to the stock guards.

However, every other part I've swapped out so far has been removed properly and cleanly, and boxed for prosperity... So I do feel a slight bit of guilt about the plan.

Does cutting sound unreasonably lazy to anyone?
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:05 AM
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Exceptionally.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RWhisen View Post
Exceptionally.
LOL - I thought it might.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:46 AM
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Whats wrong you dont have a jackhammer or dynamite? You would be doing a great injustice to your own mechanical skills and the beloved hawk to do this. Why would you have to drop the whole front end? I guess since I race & disassemle every part of all my bikes all the time this seems absurd (which it is). None of your "logic" makes any sense. If you cant install the brace without destruction like that then you should get someone qualified to SHOW you how. Its an easy job.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Whats wrong you dont have a jackhammer or dynamite? You would be doing a great injustice to your own mechanical skills and the beloved hawk to do this. Why would you have to drop the whole front end? I guess since I race & disassemle every part of all my bikes all the time this seems absurd (which it is). None of your "logic" makes any sense. If you cant install the brace without destruction like that then you should get someone qualified to SHOW you how. Its an easy job.
I know how to do the swap/install properly... Just debating an (apparently ill-conceived) shortcut.

As for why I would have to drop the whole front end... Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the only way to remove the guards is to pop them loose and slide them up off the top of the fork? Seems to me this would require removing the brake calipers and dropping the front end out of the triples.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AngryOlaf View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the only way to remove the guards is to pop them loose and slide them up off the top of the fork? Seems to me this would require removing the brake calipers and dropping the front end out of the triples.
You are correct, but while you're at it this would be a good time to change the fork oil too.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RWhisen View Post
You are correct, but while you're at it this would be a good time to change the fork oil too.
I suppose you're right... Though I am not sure they really need it yet. Might as well flush and bleed the brakes and clutch while I am at it. So much for shortcuts!
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:56 AM
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Update: No fork guards were harmed in the previously discussed brace installation.



...I suppose my next step will be to wrap them gently in linen, put them in a custom-made wooden box, and then store them in a cool dry place in anticipation of some future road gravel apocalypse.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:00 AM
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p.s. Here are the new shiny bits... (sorry about the crappy phone pics)



I also installed a gear indicator while I had the front end exposed...


Next up... Exhaust (Finally!)
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:31 AM
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Booo! I'm all for laziness. I cut mine off when I installed the Superbrace. I was too impatient.

But to be honest, I wish I had removed them like you did. I later swapped to a CBR1000RR front end, and now I have leftover VTR forks I'll eventually sell that look awesome but have no guards.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:32 AM
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Very impressive. So how did you attack it. Just drop one fork tube at a time, then slide them back up? So the fender survived. No carnage, the world is a better place for what you did here. I think I can speak for the forum in saying we are proud you didnt sawsall you fender, hacking your tire & brake lines in the melee.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Very impressive. So how did you attack it. Just drop one fork tube at a time, then slide them back up? So the fender survived. No carnage, the world is a better place for what you did here. I think I can speak for the forum in saying we are proud you didnt sawsall you fender, hacking your tire & brake lines in the melee.
Fender?!?!
I never said I was thinking about cutting the fender.. only the little plastic guards!

I have a winch I'd mounted in the rafters of my garage for this type of work, so yeah... I just lifted the front end and drop each fork tube to remove the guard.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:18 PM
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Well I did a write up a little while back about how to properly install a brace and you can search for it if you want.

I will say that you do need to be careful when installing a fork brace. Get it wrong and the forks can bind. If that happens you are in the ditch or worse.....

The quick way to install it is like this:
1 ) Make sure the forks are level. Just like the makes on the swingarm for the chain, don't trust the factory marks. The way to set them is to remove the wheel and fender (and the brace if you have already installed one). Then put the front axle in. It should slide smoothly with little or no effort into both fork legs. If you need to push it in or wiggle it around to get it in, the forks are out of alignment. To set them, loosen the triple clamp bolts on the fork that the axle goes into second (or the side that the bolt is on) and move it up or down until the axle does slide smootly. Take your time with this as 1mm change make a lot of difference. Another plus to doing this is it make tire chages much easier.

2) Now install the brace.
edit: Leave the front axle installed with the bolt finger tight when installing the brace.

3) Loosen the fork caps so that they are removed but still attached to the damping rod. Now slowly lift up on the brace (the springs will drip some oil and if you get carried away and pull hard on the forks, you can pump some oil out but go slow and there will be no problem). You want to feel for any binding or sticking. If it does feel like it sticks, remove the brace and double check the fork alignment. If the alignment is good, then check the brace torque specks. Whatever it takes, the forks must cycle smoothly throughout their stroke.

4) If everything is smooth. Tighten the fork caps, put the fender, wheel and brakes on and enjoy the front end and braking improvement.

Just remember this is one mod that does really help but also has the potential to ruin your day if you do it wrong.

The result of the "Its OK to just bolt it on and go" That I have witnessed went something like this..... It was a small group, so we were riding pretty "spirited" Anyways, the rider was hard on the brakes for a right hander... Fully compressed his suspension..... and it stuck.
The next bump pitched the now locked up front end in the air at which time the forks unstuck and produced one of the most wicked 70-80mph lowsides I have ever seen straight over the oncoming traffic lane of right off the side of the mountain....

So do what you want but just like him, you have been warned.

Last edited by 8541Hawk; 05-04-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:36 PM
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I just cut my plastic ones off. You're a better man than me.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:30 PM
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I like the gear thing whete did you get it would like to get one i have a bad habit of forgeting what gear (5th)that im in
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Superhawk11610 View Post
I like the gear thing whete did you get it would like to get one i have a bad habit of forgeting what gear (5th)that im in
I picked it up on eBay. It came with a harness for Hondas that made it a real easy install. Basically one plug and one wire to splice.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:13 PM
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Looked at it for about 5 minutes and then cut the plastics. I had recently serviced the forks and no other maintenance was necessary.

As a bonus my forks have never locked during any condition of braking/cornering, but I think 8541hawks advice about checking the fork stroke after installing the brace is a great idea.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryOlaf View Post
I picked it up on eBay. It came with a harness for Hondas that made it a real easy install. Basically one plug and one wire to splice.
Angry, fork brace looks great. Big improvement in handling? I noticed your install for the gear indicator. Checked out Ebay, and they only have the GiPro unit listed. Is this the one you went with? If so, $132 seems steep. Is it worth the seemingly high price tag or did you go with a different unit?

Thanks, Jeff
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryOlaf View Post
I picked it up on eBay. It came with a harness for Hondas that made it a real easy install. Basically one plug and one wire to splice.
i want one!
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by V4Jeff View Post
Angry, fork brace looks great. Big improvement in handling? I noticed your install for the gear indicator. Checked out Ebay, and they only have the GiPro unit listed. Is this the one you went with? If so, $132 seems steep. Is it worth the seemingly high price tag or did you go with a different unit?

Thanks, Jeff
Yeah... I went with the GiPro, and the price is a bit steep.

I do really like the indicator, but in hindsight it's definitely not something I really needed. Though at the time I did manage to convince myself that I absolutely had to have it.

Also... I do notice some improvement with the brace, but not the kind of big gain I got when I did the fork springs and valves.

Last edited by AngryOlaf; 06-27-2011 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryOlaf View Post
Yeah... I went with the GiPro, and the price is a bit steep.

I do really like the indicator, but in hindsight it's definitely not something I really needed. Though at the time I did manage to convince myself that I absolutely had to have it.

Haha I know exactly what thats like..

Also... I do notice some improvement with the brace, but not the kind of big gain I got when I did the fork springs and valves.
Definitely will go for the springs oil and valves first then. I came accross some magnet versions and other off-brand versions of the Gear Indicators, all of which have terrible reviews. So that purchase will wait till for a while..
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by V4Jeff View Post
<snip> ... $132 seems steep. Is it worth the seemingly high price tag or did you go with a different unit?

Thanks, Jeff
i guess i don't want one!
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fred View Post
i guess i don't want one!
Oh... dont you?
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:53 PM
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Whats the upside to seeing what gear youre in numericly on the dash? Shouldnt you be looking at the road to avoid the soccer mom turning left in front of you?
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Whats the upside to seeing what gear youre in numericly on the dash? Shouldnt you be looking at the road to avoid the soccer mom turning left in front of you?
That is a good point. I suppose the reason I would be into the Gear Indicator is for going hot into the twistie routes, to able to glance down quick and realize your in the correct gear. Also, I think it would aid in learning the gear range even better, to learn correct gear for certain corners or speeds. Plus it wouldn't hurt to have another neat gizmo on my gauge cluster
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:26 AM
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Well, if you cant just look at the tach for a nanosecond and hear and feel what the bike is doing and wanting then I guess it may help.

I just feel like its kinda squidish since your dime of attention should be looing up the turn, body positon, braking, etc. MAYBE on the slabway you want to be sure you are in top gear for fuel efficiency or passing situaions.

Seems like one more distraction. Which is against the way of the motorcycle.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:39 AM
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Hmmm.... For me it might stop me from trying to click into 7th!
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Well, if you cant just look at the tach for a nanosecond and hear and feel what the bike is doing and wanting then I guess it may help.

I just feel like its kinda squidish since your dime of attention should be looing up the turn, body positon, braking, etc. MAYBE on the slabway you want to be sure you are in top gear for fuel efficiency or passing situaions.

Seems like one more distraction. Which is against the way of the motorcycle.
I can understand your point. Perhaps its the fact that I've only been riding this bike for 2 months now and am still learning its curves and style. Not new to riding of course, but anything that may help speed that process is beneficial. And as Angry said, sometimes you just come across things that you convince yourself you must have, whether it be for something to do on a rainy day or just a little side project.. We all know what that's like I think
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Stevebis1 View Post
Hmmm.... For me it might stop me from trying to click into 7th!
heh. i've had the opposite problem. the bike i ride way more often (so far) than the VTR only has 5. when i had the SH running good for 3 weeks, i'd constantly end up at read-line in 5th and then realize that there was another gear in the tranny... woosh. i guess if i've got it running long enough to ride it for a month, the fancy gear indicator would be a moot option.

--fred

Last edited by fred; 07-01-2011 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Well, if you cant just look at the tach for a nanosecond and hear and feel what the bike is doing and wanting then I guess it may help.

I just feel like its kinda squidish since your dime of attention should be looing up the turn, body positon, braking, etc. MAYBE on the slabway you want to be sure you are in top gear for fuel efficiency or passing situaions.

Seems like one more distraction. Which is against the way of the motorcycle.
Personally I don't see a huge difference between glancing at your tach and a big red number right next to it, and squidish seems a bit harsh... But then... we don't all race.
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