The title of this post describes pretty well mounting exercises pertaining to motorbikes, going on for the past few days. No weeks actually, I’ve had so little time to get things done.
Once upon the time I had coordination, patience plus not the least, a (minor) degree of talent for dismantling, screwing, mounting and repairing. Also motorcycles actually. Not sure but it might have been in 1977 I basically took my Honda CB100 apart. Most of the parts, plus screws found their rightful place during mounting and building.
Somehow, a bewildered conviction this talent still lingered, woke up a little after I picked up riding again. Did not take very long before realizing this talent had gone to (deep) sleep. Right now it appears the awakening will take time, hopefully weeks instead of months and years.
The ease of shopping stuff
By far has surpassed my comprehension of the amount of work it entails. Though some of the umpteen items I’ve bought for the motorcycles during winter, actually did not mean a lot of work. Thank God.
Mounting with ease, or not
Some of the mounting has been fairly easy, with help from instructive Youtube clips. Though I do feel compelled to point out that it does happen there are (significant) gaps. The how to vs. the “how the hell” you might say. Anyhow….
Riding offroad you sometimes park your motorcycle in places with soft, spongy or giving, sinking ground. Even on gravel the standard areal of a sidestand might be too small to prevent a “sinking feeling”.
Last year I bought a foot extender that looked promising. With surface the size of a continent it turned out to be too big. Weight from the motorcycle caused it to bend like a banana. In other words, it was rubbish.
I probably could have reclaimed the money by filing a complaint (though I didn’t). So the next out was the CamelToe. Good reviews, appealing design and look, so I bought it. Easy to mount, solidly built, and with good proportions. I think this solution will suffice.
A plethora of “must haves” or options
For some motorcycles the number of options, accessories and gadgets is pretty staggering. Extras can be rather expensive, some absolutely not worth the investment, yet there are plenty of good examples on investments that might pay off.
Specialized manufacturers that deliver high quality products are a part of the ecosystem. BMW Motorrad motorcycles are among the most sold in the world, so the supplier market of accessories is huge. Manufacturers like Wunderlich (also a BMW Motorrad partner), Touratech, Hornig, the list goes on and on.
Sometimes you can save a lot of money not buying from these. Ebay houses thousands of options, then you have aliexpress.com. But not all that glitters is gold. Stuff that is cheap sometimes is cheap for more than one reason. Bad manufacturing, bad or cheap materials, bad crafts, buying cheap sooner or later we encounter it all.
But not always. Quite a lot of the products from even more reputable manufacturers comes from sub suppliers. Or from the same factories that others use. For instance, those you can find on online stores like aliexpress.com. I’ve bought quite a lot of stuff here and have mostly very good experience.
Then comes the question of freight, which can amount up to quite a bit. If you spend a lot freight should be free. My 2 cents.
Back to mounting, cussing and swearing
Right, well this far I’ve done the simpler stuff. It will soon get worse. But one thing I’ve had confirmed already several times: things are not always as easy as it may look, on film. Manuals and instructions can be incomprehensibly badly written. Supporting pictures or figures tells you absolutely zilch.
Then comes the process of alignment or the art of geometry. And the need for adjustments, when for every time you do, the adhesive deteriorates. Till, at the end, it will not stick at all. Avoid that at any cost!
Tankpads, yeah. First cost conscious I got a cheap set from aliexpress. They were crap. Decided they would never end up on my motorbike. So I bought a second set from Wunderlich. At 4 or 5 times the price. Very good quality, but then where was this business of alignment, or geometry.
Finally, after some minor cussing and just a little bit of swearing think I got them reasonably well aligned.
Stash the dash
Next out was a protective film for the dash and GPS. Plus a dash/instrument visor. The latter I’ve only seen on aliexpress, well made. You’d think it’s easy to put on the film but not quite. After some more cussing, plus minor swearing, these items were fixed too.
The film is still stuck, and if the visor does more than just look good I am happy!
Mud slingers I did not buy cheap from “Chinesia” even if tempted. There would be lots to save. Settled for some good looking, pricey options from Machine Art Moto. I now know they are as good as they claim to be, good materials, great design. I bought mine from Nippynormans, they don’t charge for shipping if you spend more than £45. Good service, quick delivery.
Mounting these caused a little bit more cussing and swearing. Primarily since, conveniently, the instructive mounting video on youtube only showed mounting rear mudslinger from the side of the motorcycle without the exhaust. So I fiddled quite a bit with the rear but got that too done in the end.
The rear is the most important in my opinion, as it does prevent quite a lot of dirt finding its way into and around a pretty expensive shock absorber system. if you go offroad like I do, that surely is bound to happen.
Finally, I got some neatly designed frame panel guards and plugs for open holes in the tube frame. Make the bike look better, plus may also prevent paint from getting scratched.
That was the easy stuff. Next is more more intricate mounting which will involve a whole different level of screwing, hopefully without too much cussing and swearing.