Saturday 25 February 2017

Bike Preparation Part 1

So having decided what I’m doing on the rally front this year, how am I doing it? Still on the old faithful 2006 KTM 450 EXC which is currently being revamped ready for the Tour of Portugal, largely as a result of damage incurred on last year’s Ryedale Rally, this included:
  • Lost the side panel/air box cover
  • Lost the number plate
  • Broke the rear mudguard and number plate hanger
  • Bent the side stand pivot bolt
  • Ripped the mud flap that covers the rear shock
  • I also suffered some damage to the fairing from flying rocks
  • The speedo, horn and brake lights all gave up the ghost!
I’ll confess that I lost a bit of enthusiasm over the winter but finally started the rebuild. First the side stand was sorted, an easy fix as I had a spare bolt already Then a strip down and clean, to remove those bits of North Yorkshire that seemed to be lurking everywhere! Although to be honest the more I work on the bike, the more mud I keep finding!

Then a full service; oil change, oil screens cleaned, new oil filters, air filter cleaned and oiled, new spark plug and tappets checked.

Part of the delay was tracking down some new plastics in white to match the fairing, fork guards, front mudguard and hand guards as I was a bit fed up with the white/orange/black mismatch I had previously but I finally found some on eBay. 

The mud flap and side panel were standard KTM parts as was the rear number plate hanger although I did manage to get a US Spec short hanger, that is also at a shallower angle than the EU spec version. This is important because it was catching the old hanger on the back tyre because it sits closer to vertical (despite having been cut short) that caused the damage. The downside is the number plate is at a very shallow angle rather than the “vertical or near vertical” required by legislation but hopefully won’t be a problem for the MOT. 

Also the rear light on the US model is different, so although I have already replaced the rear light with an LED one I had to remake the mounting bracket to suit. This is Mark 1 as I want to fit it a bit higher and further forward to sit a bit closer under the rear mudguard but it’ll do for the time being so i can renew the MOT.

The mudflap was a straight replacement, so no problem there: 

As should have been the new side panel. It fits with two bayonet fittings that can be troublesome to fit and as I experienced, can easily come unlatched, causing the panel to fall off! Although two new fittings were supplied with my new side panel, when I came to fit it, do you think I could find them? Of course not!

A solution presented itself before I had to turn the garage upside down to find the (very small) plastic bag they came in. I was ordering some quick release dzus fasteners for my fairing when I spotted on the Speedy Fasteners website, a kit to replace the bayonet fittings on an EXC side panel with two dzus fasteners. 

I promptly ordered it and it only took about 10 minutes to fit, the panel wasn’t quite as tight up against the airbox as it could have been so I added a couple of rubber washers to the outside of the panel and the problem was sorted. A nice snug fit and the fasteners require  a quarter turn to lock. When racing a small bit of tape over the head of the fasteners will make them even more secure. I also intend to cover the side panel with white vinyl (the other side is already done) to match the (mostly) white colour scheme.

The other dzus fasteners I bought replaced the allen bolts that formerly held the fairing on. This means the fairing can now be removed and replaced in a matter of seconds when loading the bike into the van…. Result!

To be continued....

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