Tag Archives: Bike accessories

Replacing poor quality motorbike levers

Contributor Todd Parkes replaces the levers on his Honda CBR500R

Standard levers supplied with most motorcycles are ugly, generic, mass-produced, chrome, longish and cheap. Many are not adjustable, so people with big or small hands never feel quite comfortable and most just feel cheap to handle.

And they will break even if you just drop your bike off its sidestand. Even if the lever just bends it will probably snap if you try to straighten it.

Whether your taste is sports bikes and you want to feel racy and have a look not dissimilar to Marquez’s bike, or if you are on a laidback cruiser and want a bit more of a custom or stylish look, those levers have got to gain some attention.

While my bike is only entry level, I do enjoy it and want to personalise it.

The more I looked at those levers, the more I thought they looked all wrong.

The Gold Coast hinterland has a heap of attractions for riders including winding roads, a Red Rattler with an Iron and Resin finish, writes local rider and MBW contributor Todd Parkes.
Todd and his Honda

Searching for levers

So I googled “levers” and found the cheapest were just $25 and they went right up to $400-plus.

My local stores on the Gold Coast didn’t have much in stock would only order them in. Most did not want me to look at anything under $300.

I’m all for supporting the locals but they have to be helpful and stock the parts affordably. 

Back to the net and I came across Aussie company Rad Guard who also make great radiator protector guards.Levers

They carry more than just radiator guards and their stock included sets of Evo1 brake and clutch lever sets for many popular models.

Their prices were very competitive with them sitting on a special at the moment for $189 (normally $230) plus postage.

I’d dealt with Radguard before for various bikes I had and their willingness to help and go beyond impressed me great.

I bought the extendable and foldable set for my CBR500 and they arrived via courier in three days at less than $1 dearer than standard mail.

I was impressed by the packaging, a labelled boxed set with bubble wrap and foam balls as well as a future purchase discount, a brand sticker and a gift stubby holder.Levers

Fitting the levers

I watched a couple of YouTube clips on how to change the levers and thought it wouldn’t be too difficult.

It is a good idea to have a can of silicon lube at hand to squirt down the clutch cable as it often gets neglected, also to lightly lube the pivot points of the levers and mechanisms.

Be careful with the tools so as they don’t slip and mark those new levers which look beautifully coated.

The brake lever went on smoothly, no dramas.Levers

The clutch one was a lot trickier.

Make sure to loosen off the lever adjustment to provide some “play”. It was really like replacing a brake cable on the old Malvern Star in a sense when hooking and unhooking the cable.

Have the manual nearby or the most relevant website to specify the freeplay you need. Check at both ends and don’t forget the locknut.Levers

You will need to fiddle around with the freeplay to get it right, so don’t rely on a straight swap without adjustment. 

Take it for a test ride and you might find they need another adjustment tweak to et them just right.

You can adjust the length of the levers through quite a range. The six-stop wheel adjusts the reach of the lever to suit your hand size.

My first ride with the new levers provided a noticeable improvement in feel over the original levers. The only negative was that the brake lever had some up/down freeplay in its mounting. 

Personalising your bike is fun and this is one of the simplest and low-cost mods you can make to the look and feel of your bike.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bar Cuffs make bike transport easy

These clever Bar Cuffs not only make it easy to tie down your motorcycle for transport, but are also guaranteed not to scratch your chromed or powder-coated handlebars.

The multi-patented Bar Cuffs cost $US49.95 (about $A75 plus postage) and are made of stainless steel so they won’t rust like many tie-down hooks.

They feature rubber inserts to prevent scratching and slipping and save you the hassle of putting something soft between the nylon straps or hooks and the bars.

Bar Cuffs

Adam Ewles says his invention will support up to 900kg of strain, so they should be suitable for all sized scooters and motorcycles.

They are also able to be locked in case you are storing your bike on a trailer overnight.

Bar Cuffs come in a pack of two with extra inserts in different sizes to accommodate various sized bar diameters.

You can also clamp then right over the bar grips and the eyelets will self tighten.Bar Cuffs to transport motorcycle

Note that you will still need nylon straps to tie down the rear of the bike.

Click here for tips on how to safely transport your bike.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Andy Tool for motorcycle travel

If there is no room in your luggage or under your seat for a toolkit, you can still rely on this handy Andy Tool from Andy Strapz.

This multi-tool is 18 tools in one small stainless-steel device that slips inside a handy pouch that you can attach to your belt, slip in your pocket or under the seat.

Australian motorcycle accessories and luggage experts Andy Strapz have some clever and useful gear for motorcycle travel and this magic little combination Andy Tool is no exception.Andy Tool from Andy Strapz

It is made of #420 Stainless with 48HRC hardness and includes the following features:

  • Flat Screwdriver
  • #2 and #3 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Bottle Opener
  • Box cutter
  • 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 14mm end spanner
  • 4, 5, and 6mm Allen key
  • 1/4- and 7/16-inch end spanner
  • The Chinese-made tool costs just $18 with free untracked postage and comes with a pouch and a five-year warranty.

“It won’t rebuild a basket case resto but it might just get you out of trouble,” Andy says.

“Tightening a loose screw or bolt is often left because pulling out the tool roll can be a pain.”

This handy Andy Tool may be the easiest alternative!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle seat slides with the rider

Imagine a seat that slides with the riders when they move sideways out of their seat for corners or forward and back for aerodynamic effect.

Now Finnish engineering company Etteplan has received a patent for a seat that slides sideways and forward and back with the rider.

The seat has been tested by disabled Finnish racer Ulla Kulju who was paralysed at 15 in a snowboarding accident.

sliding seat slides
Ulla

She works as a Senior Design Engineer at Etteplan and is the world’s first paraplegic female motorcycle racer, coming sixth in the disabled world championships 2017.

Perhaps it would be useful for disabled riders, but we’re not so sure it would be useful for other riders.

What would prevent it sliding around and upsetting the rider’s control?

The company says the invention would be useful for all racers and helped Ulla improve her lap times.

Not only has the patent been granted for the seat, but also the manufacturing process as it is 3D printed in one piece.

Printing motorcycle parts on 3D printers looks like being the future of motorcycling for precise and cheap manufacturer.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What happened to motorcycle centre stands?

What has happened to motorcycle centre stands which are often only available as options (like on the above Kawasaki Z900RS) or provided as standard on just the biggest motorcycles?

When I started riding in the ‘70s, most road bikes had them.

Honda CX500 with standard vinyl seat
1980s Honda CX500 had a centre stand

Even some modern bikes regarded as touring bikes don’t have these utilitarian stands and if you want to buy one, they cost several hundred dollars.

Benefits of centre standsHonda Africa Twin CRF1000L main stand

A centre stand is vital for any chain-driven motorcycle heavier than, say a 400cc bike.

Here are some of the advantages of centre stands:

  • They will allow you to securely park on soft ground;
  • They make it easy to clean and lubricate the chain;
  • They allow you to fit your bike in a narrow space such as in your garage or within parking line markings; and 
  • You can sit or even sleep on your bike when it’s on a centre stand!

The only option is to buy a paddock stand which often also requires the owner to fit pick-ups. But of course you can’t take these with you on tour.Anderson Stands centre

Reasons for omission

There are three main reasons manufacturers don’t provide centre stands as standard equipment on most modern motorcycles.

The first is to make the bike appear cheaper.

It’s a competitive industry and price is a huge bargaining tool.

Most buyers are more interested in the power of the engine, the bright colours and hi-tech features, often forgetting about practical things like a centre stand.

The second reason is that they don’t look sexy!

I can’t recall one motorcycle brochure or promo photo showing a motorcycle on a centre stand even when they have one.

I’ve seen motorcycles on paddock stands, but not a provided centre stand.

MV Agusta Superveloce 800
MV Agusta Superveloce 800 on a paddock stand

The third reason is emissions regulations.

It is becoming more and more difficult for manufacturers to reach the ever-increasing standards of European emissions controls.

So they try to keep the bike’s weight down to improve engine efficiency.

Centre stands are heavy, often weighing several kilograms, so jettisoning this extra weight allows manufacturers to reach emissions targets.

Even many modern side stands are now made of a light alloy rather than a substantial steel or iron for weight-saving reasons.

Consequently, they bend and can develop faults with the engine cut-off switch. You should never stand on the pegs to mount a tall bike while it is on its side stand for this very reason.

Weight-saving and emissions targets are also why fuel tanks are getting smaller on modern bikes … but don’t get me started on that!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Corbin seat for Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Famous seat manufacturer Corbin has introduced a new seat to soften the hard ride of the new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

If the mark of a successful model is the number of aftermarket accessory companies that provide premium parts, Royal Enfield is on a winner with the new Interceptor and Continental GT 650.

Swedish premium suspension company Ohlins was the first with full suspension upgrades for the twins.

The FSK145 fork springs cost $A399 and the RE911 twin shocks are $A1129 or $A949 for the RE912.

They will be followed by full suspension for the 400cc Himalayan adventurer. Prices are expected to be $A399 for the FSK 144 forks and $A1395 for the RE 907 shocks.

American engine giant S&S Cycle has followed up with 750cc and 865cc big-bore kits, mufflers and various other parts for the twins. (See end of article for a full price list.)S&S Cycles big bore kit for Royal Enfield 650 camshaft-kit-royal-enfield-650

Corbin seatCorbin seat for Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Now Corbin has joined the parts rush with a $US497 Gunfighter & Lady seat.

It is made with Comfort Cell foam and accepts an adjustable removable passenger backrest ($US257).Corbin seat for Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

A simple setscrew on the rear of the backrest sets the angle without removing it from the seat. Support hardware is built inside the seat to keep a clean look without external brackets.

There is also a small, plastic four-litre top box ($US393) available for the backrest to store wets, gloves, water, maps, etc.

S&S parts

Here is the full list of S&S performance parts for the new Royal twins.

Part

Price (USD)

Price (INR – For Representation only)

Dynojet Power Commander V with Calibration

USD399.99

INR27,760

High-Flow Air Intake Eliminator Plate Kit

USD23.95

INR1,662

High-Flow Replacement Air Filter

USD59.95

INR4,161

High-Compression 11:1 Piston Kit

USD492.95

INR34,211

Stainless Muffler Set

USD641.95

INR44,552

Race only Stainless Muffler Set

USD474.95

INR32,962

Handlebar Adjuster Kit (INT 650)

USD69.95

INR4,855

Performance Clutch Kit

USD399.95

INR27,757

High-Performance Camshaft Kit with Shims

USD186.95

INR12,975

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoBrite sign for roadside breakdowns

Welsh invention MotoBrite increases the visibility of motorcycles broken down at the side of the road at night or in fog with its high-density LED hazard warning sign.

The hazard sign is hidden underneath the number plate and can quickly be deployed in an emergency situation.

It would be much more noticeable than motorcycle hazard lights, especially in foggy conditions. That’s probably why Welsh road safety innovation company, Road Safety Designs, thought of it first!

Over the past year, Road Safety Designs has established distribution networks in countries such as Australia, Dubai and Mexico.

It will now use these relationships to take its latest product to the international market.

However, company spokeswoman Claire Saralis says they currently only have the one big size to fit British motorcycle number plates.

“But if demand for different sizes was there, this is certainly something we would consider,” she says.

Obviously an Australian adaptation would have to be much smaller. We can’t see any reason why it would contravene any rules.

Visible MotoBrite signMotobrite hazard sign

MotoBrite is visible up to 300m away in daylight and at night.

Road Safety Designs boss and MotoBrite designer Steve Wornham started the company after he narrowly avoided hitting a stranded motorist changing a tyre on a poorly lit road.

“We have now made it our mission to prevent this, or worse from happening again,” he says. 

“There were a number of factors to consider during the design process, the main one being limitation of storage on a motorcycle.

“Designing something that would be a permanent fixture on the motorcycle seemed to be the best solution, and being battery powered meant that the MotoBrite would not depend on the motorcycle as its power source.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

X2 motorcycle phone mount has power

This universal X2 phone mount comes with power attachment at just $36, including postage.

Many motorcycle and scooter riders now use their phone rather than a GPS to navigate, but most phone mounts won’t power your phone or electronic device.

However, the X2 will keep you powered up all day long.

It will fit just about any phone size and grips with four sprung claw-style holders plus the extra security of a rubber holders top and bottom. The back also has non-slip pads.X2 phone mount

We have tried the unit with iPhone plus sizes and the smaller XS over some bumpy country roads without the phones shaking loose.

It comes with two mounting options to fit just about any motorcycle or scooter. One is a U-clamp to go around the handlebar or wing mirror stem, the other is a bolt-down mount.

The holder has ball-link points to rotate the unit 360 degrees allowing you to position it so it is easy to see, but does not obscure your bike’s instruments.

There are many other similar phone holders on the market, but this is the first we have seen that is also powered.

It comes with 1.3m of cable to attach to your ignition or directly to the battery.X2 phone mount

The built-in USB charging port will allow you to keep your phone or other electronic device charged while you are riding.

This is important as navigation and Bluetooth connection can drain a phone quite quickly.

However, we warn riders not to use the phone screen while riding to check your Facebook status our any other distracting function.

The X2 phone mount comes standard with the clamp mount and bolt mount, two spare claws, anti-slip pads and rubber holders.X2 phone mount

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Anderson Stands struggling with demand

After reopening in 2018, famous Australian motorcycle stand business Anderson Stands has been struggling to keep up with the strong demand from customers.

New owner Michael Jeffery has replied to several of our readers who have expressed concern that they cannot contact the company and feared they had gone out of business again.

“We are still in business and the business of Anderson Stands is growing from its new start up quicker than I have been able to keep up with,” says Michael, a passionate Sydney-based motorcycle racer.

The mechanical engineer, fitter, machinist, welder and fabricator bought Anderson Stands more than a year ago after founder Chris Anderson decided to wind up the business.

Michael says he wanted to keep alive the iconic Australian brand and its quality product line.

“These are a quality made stands and a staple in the Australian marketplace,” he told us.

Anderson Stands struggling

Struggling to keep up

However, it has been hard work and the company is struggling to keep up with the flood of orders.

“The unfortunate result of this is we have not yet been able to get ahead in our manufacturing and the stands are selling quicker than we can produce them,” Michael says.

“The fallout from this is we have been unable to engage with every customer enquiry as we look to find the balance between the manufacturing and our customer service.

“Please let people know that we are working day and night to get ahead and re-establish Anderson Stands back into the motorcycle market place.

“I had intended to re-establish Anderson Stands initially with a low profile so that I could get some products into productions.

“The unfortunate result has been our low profile has only generated more interest towards Anderson Stands and everyone is chasing to have one.”

Anderson StandsAnderson Stands struggling

Bright red powder-coated Anderson Stands have been used by road riders, professional racers and race teams for more than 30 years.

They have an enviable reputation for quality and performance.Anderson Stands struggling

The original stands claim several firsts: adjustable width and interchangeable attachments; Big Wheel design; height adjustment; Castor stands (dubbed the Spacesavers); and a front Under Fork stand.

“They are Australian made with Australian steel and Australian quality and manufactured right here in Sydney,” Michael told us last year when the company relaunched.Anderson Stands struggling

“Chris designed, fabricated and manufactured these stands to be functional and lifelong, with no compromises and we will continue to manufacture Anderson Stands true to these values.

“We are not going to compete against the Chinese market, we do not build Flat-Pack stands.”

All their stands are fully seam-welded and powered-coated.

Click here to see their product list and prices.

And please be patient!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

S&S big-bore kits for Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield is on a winner with its 650cc twins as American engine giant S&S Cycle has now added 750cc and 865cc big-bore kits.

This follows the recent announcement that premium Swedish suspension manufacturer Ohlins has developed suspension grades for the twins and the Himalayan.

S&S also have other performance parts for the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.

They include clutch kits ($US399.95), mufflers ($US474.95) and handlebar adjuster kits ($US69.95).

But the biggest news is the 750cc big-bore kit at $US630.95 (about $A900) and 865cc kit ($US634.95).

S&S usually only make big-bore kits and performance gear for Harley-Davidson and Indian V-twins.

This is the first time the Wisconsin company has produced performance parts for any other specific motorcycle.

The company stress that the performance gear is for “closed-course competition use only”.

While they do not yet reveal power and torque output for the kits, they have released the following tech details.

750cc big-bore kit:

Stock

S&S 750 Kit

Bore X Stroke

78 x 67.8mm

83.5 x 67.8mm

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

11.0:1

865cc kit:

Stock

S&S 865 Kit

Bore X Stroke

78 x 67.8mm

90 x 67.8mm

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

11.0:1

The kits feature comprehensive engine upgrades including larger cylinders and pistons in addition to new head gasket.

Royal Enfield’s 648cc parallel twin produces 35kW (47hp) and 52Nm of torque. Output should increase about another 17kW to around 52kW.Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 arriving bore

Here is the full list of S&S performance parts for the new Royal twins.

Part

Price (USD)

Price (INR – For Representation only)

Dynojet Power Commander V with Calibration

USD399.99

INR27,760

High-Flow Air Intake Eliminator Plate Kit

USD23.95

INR1,662

High-Flow Replacement Air Filter

USD59.95

INR4,161

High-Compression 11:1 Piston Kit

USD492.95

INR34,211

Stainless Muffler Set

USD641.95

INR44,552

Race only Stainless Muffler Set

USD474.95

INR32,962

Handlebar Adjuster Kit (INT 650)

USD69.95

INR4,855

Performance Clutch Kit

USD399.95

INR27,757

High-Performance Camshaft Kit with Shims

USD186.95

INR12,975

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com