Category Archives: How to and DIY

How (not) to extend your kickstand

Since I’m already on my second year of riding my motorcycle, the lowered seat height is a bit weird looking. I lifted the front and rear suspension a little bit, but then my kickstand was too short and made the bike almost fall over.

So I bought some threaded rod, some nuts and Bison Kombi Stick, a moldable metal epoxy. Cut the threaded rod to length, added the nuts and pressed the combi stick including the threaded rod into the upper and lower part of the side stand.

Voilà! An extended side stand!

It IS sturdy, believe me. I didn’t like the look of it afterwards and wanted to weld it. Tough luck, I don’t have a welder.
So I went to the car dealer that my mom and dad knew for about 20 years and asked if they could weld it up for me, they could do it, but first I had to remove the Bison Kombi Stick.

I hammered, forced the nuts, twisted and chiseled my way through the Kombi Stick, and man, that material is hard as sh*t. It wasn’t even neccesary to weld it, but since I’m already destroying it… I also prepared the metal for welding (removing paint).

They welded it up for me, but it wasn’t that good of a job, but I can’t do better than that.
But hey, “A grinder and paint makes him the welder he aint”. It needed some heavy grinding and cleaning up of the weld.

This is the result after painting it with some cheap spraypaint:

Then assemble it and there it is!

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Looks a lot better now and is finally adjustable. No need for cutting and welding ever again. The threaded rod insert is also very long which increases the internal structural integrity of the kickstand.

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Freezing my hands off, how to fix it?

The blog wasn’t kept up to date, that’s because nothing special has happened for the past months. Just the regular “idiots on the road”, and some minor maintenance on the XF650.
It was freezing cold for about a week, and I bought some GoreTex gloves, but they aren’t as thick as I thought they would be.
Already having some handguards (from plastic) I thought these would protect me from the wind chill and rain. Boy was I wrong!

My hands were freezing, and when I turned up the heat on my heated grips, nothing happened, I didn’t feel a tiny bit of heat.
Now I know, heated grips only work with thin gloves, but the windchill was so hard that I couldn’t even feel it.

I went online and searched for handguard wind protectors, but they cost around €20,00, which was too much for me (I’m a cheapskate), and delivery will take a few days.
So I took a plant tray with some thick plastic (PVC), and snipped it with some generic scissors.

I then drilled some holes in it, and bolted it straight into the existing handguards that were too small.

This is the result:

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I thought they’d flap in the wind, but fortunatly they didn’t. It kept the rain from my hands, but the wind still finds a way into the handguards, but it isn’t that bad.

The extensions don’t look homemade, and it fits the grayish color on the front cowl.
I didn’t even have to turn on the heated grips and it was about 3°C.

This was a fun little project (which took me about half an hour) that you can do it yourself to your bike when you have the same problems as me!

Go on, make something and have a nice day!

Maintaining your bike

When I bought my bike, I didn’t see that it didn’t have enough maintenance.
The seller brought it to my doorstep (which was very friendly, because I didn’t want to spend money on a rental truck), but he had shown some paperwork that the front forks and carbs were cleaned and rebuilt.

When inspecting it after he left, there was an awful lot of gunk on the rear wheel and sprocket, everything was blackened by oil and roadgrime.

After some cleaning I inspected the chain and sprockets, which were in an “almost junk” condition, but I’ve still gotten about a 2000km’s out of ’em.
Maintenance if fairly cheap, If you do it yourself.
To replace the chain, I’ve asked my mechanic (well he isn’t my friend, but I know him) to change out the worn sprocket and chain, and that costed me about 20€.

He then also checked the bike for other worn parts, and saw that my rear brake pads were totally worn out, the front ones were almost at the end of their life.
The day after, I bought a set for the front and rear. The costed about 58€ for the set.
Installing went fairly easy, but it took some time to understand how the calipers worked.
Then it was time to replace the brake fluid that was darkened a lot. It was so dark you could swear it was motor oil.

All went well till I found a big oil spot on the ground, coming from the cam chain tensioner. It’s known that the DR650, XF650 and CCM R30 have leaking gaskets around the engine, but I didn’t want to wait to replace it. So I went on and cut a gasket out of an old milk carton I found in the trash, and it worked perfectly!
It was a tedious job because I never got the holes right, but with some help of the internet, everything is possible.
I used the milk carton gasket on my orange chinese moped to close off the valve cover, and it never leaked.

Now after a full maintenance (chain, tires, brakes, oil,…) the bike still runs like a dream, except when the battery died on me because the fog lights pull a lot more power than I expected.

Anyways: Never skip maintenance on your bike, because small jobs become big jobs in the future, just like keeping your chain adequatlely lubed.

As always, ride safe!

How to make a “Peli” tankcase/tankbag

In my post “Radiosilence… Small update” I’ve written about making my own tankbag/tankcase. After reading and searching on advrider.com about people that also have made these, I went on and made on of those cases too.

The main idea behind this, is that I have a safe, theft proof box which is easily accessible for the rider (me) and is cheaper than an off the shelf tankbag.

I’m still planning on powering this box to 12v, but it’s completely optional.

Warning! This is not safe for the rider!
It increases risk of broken ribs/chest damage when you crash using this device!

Shopping list:
– SW-Motech Quicklock (1st or 2nd gen) plates, both for the tank and box
– Pelican case (I’ve bought a ripoff that is about as big as a peli 1150)
– Piece of metal plate
– Some bolts and nuts
optional:
– SAE or barrel plugs
– 12vdc to 5vdc converter

Note: You can also use the Givi Tankring system if that’s what you want.

Let’s get started!

First you need to find out in what position you want your tankcase.
You can choose between portrait or landscape, for me landscape did the trick.

Allright, now you’ve chosen in what position you want it.
As you see, the box doesn’t cover enough of the gas cap. That’s why I needed a steel plate to extend the footprint of the case.
Now to mount the steel plate to the case.

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The bolts I used were a bit too long, I cut a small lenght of them with an angle grinder.
Option: You can now cover your tankcase with some foam material to protect you from getting more injured when you crash.

On to mounting the Quicklock rings to the steel plate (or your box)!

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I needed the handlebar risers to get enough space to turn my handlebars from lock to lock.
Now you can also decorate the insides of your own waterproof, theft proof (when using padlocks) tankcase!

I also bought a roost guard/chest protector to protect my chest in case I crash with the tankcase, but normally it’ll shear off because it’s plastic.

Now you might think:
“Hey! They just take off the Quicklock and run away with your tankbag!”

Well, I have a tethered padlock that keeps the tankcase closed and secure to my bike.
It uses an “armored” spiral cord so that nothing flaps around when riding.

This is the final result!

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Happy building and remember, always ride safe!