Honda Africa Twin, the cheap and not so cheap add ons

Right, first up, the cheap stuff. Apologies for the crap pics. Had my phone in the garage. I’ll post up some decent pics eventually. You’ll get the gist of it.

Fork shield deflector.
I rode a buddy’s AT last year with a TT shortie, and a fork shield deflector that he made at home.  No turbulence, no funny business.  Had to build one.  Went out and got some 1/8″ black puck board.  After many failed attempts,
fork infill tries

I finally drew a shield to scale on some 11*17 engineering paper, cut out a shield that actually fit, and we were off to the races.  Went to my local bolt place, procured some not so flashy, but functional bolts, and slapped it on the bike.  Job done. fork infill finished product
It took a bit to get it right, but I got it done. On the plus side, a few versions were gifted to buddies with ATs, and I still have a boat load of puck board left over. Ride report to follow.

Rox fender riser kit.
Ordered the kit on a recommendation. Well made, easy to follow instructions. Sprung for a t-shirt as well. Install was straight forward. Pretty sure I broke a couple of the small tabs on the black parts of the fender. Oh well.
rox package

Kit installed
rox installed

I bought this pipe used off fleabay. Got it modded to fit my tenere (see staintune blog post here:
Since I sold the ST, this had to go on the AT. My buddy Richie, got to work, cut/fit, welded the staintune to fit the AT. All in, it cost me 1/10th of new. Staintune pipes are not cheap, but they last.
staintune side

He also designed a tasty bracket for the pipe staintune bracket
Will post up a vid with and without baffle on full chat!

Tractive rear shock.
Got this ordered up from Ted and Jeff at the Beemershop in California.
Not cheap, but that’s why its called a shock!
OEM shock went out without too much fuss. To make the removal easier, remove the hand wheel, and raise the rear wheel to maximum. No need to remove the wheel or swing arm, as per below.
Also, when removing the shock, keep in mind that the top bolt is slightly longer than the bottom one, mark them accordingly, or else they will not work when interchanged.
rear shock removal

Tractive shock went in with no fuss. Interestingly the shaft is 2mm larger in diameter than the OEM swinger. Side by side shot: touratech shock vs OEM
I have to change the spring in the shock. We originally spec’d a 100Nm spring, but the shock showed up with a 90Nm spring. I’m currently at max preload to get static and rider sag. I’m working with Jeff to get things sorted out. Additionally, I either lied about my dressed weight, or gainded a few lb’s as I’m 13LB heavier than originally advertised.
Stand by for more updates.


Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000 Tool kit and Tool tube

Right, I’m getting into the small stuff that needed doing on the AT.

First up: tools.
The OEM tool kit is a joke. It comes with a screw driver (phillips and flat blade), and an allen key. You do get a helmet lock loop…wow wee!
The key for my tool kit was to fit all of it on the bike. I needed to fit all the below on the bike. In the provided cubby hole, under the seat. The plastic cover got modified to slip the OEM tool pouch, in side, as well as CO cartridges.
What ever didn’t fit, went to the tool tube (spoiler, 18 and 21 inch tubes, and electric compressor)
As usual, all pics here:

Here’s what I put in for contents:
Sockets and socket driver:
8,10,12,14,17 mm, a 3/8 ratchet, and 3/8 short extension.
I orginally packed a 22 and 27 socket, and 3/8 to 1/2 reducer.  After much haruumphing, I ditched the 22 and 27 mm sockets and reducer for the front/rear axle. They were  too bulky, and the solution turned out rather elegantly. My buddy Richie is a whiz bang in autocadd, and has a local place that can cut his designs in any thickness and metal, for a nominal fee. I have a small extension that fits nicely over both wrenches.
27 mm axle wrench
Here’s the actual wrenches
22 and 27mm wrenches

Open end wrenches: 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 3/8 (for spokes)

Misc. tools:
-Needle nose pliers and small side cutters.
-Allen key set. 3mm to 10mm .
-two rim protectors (Motion Pro).
-three CO cartridges.
-12V compressor.
-valve core tool remover/fishing tool.
-OEM Clutch lever.
-Tire plug tools and snooty plugs. For those of you that follow this sorry excuse of a blog, are aware that I converted my AT to tubeless. The front tire still has a tube but the rear is now tubless. If I need to plug the tire, I can.

All of the above fits on the bike. front seat
Under seat layout
As pictured/numbered above:
Under the front seat:
OEM clutch lever
4 CO cartridges
#1 in picture: OEM tool kit, pic of contents below
#2 in picture: needle nose, and side cutters
Under rear seat:
#3 in picture: 3/8 driver
# 4 in picture: tire spoons,
Tire plug tools and snooty plugs (not pictured, between 3/8″ driver and spoons).

Below, OEM tool kit and contents.
OEM tool bag contents

Tool tube.

Once again Richard delivers. He designed a nice bracket to bolt up to the inside of the SW motech rack. My original plan was to install a small tool tube and stuff it with stuff.
Old vs new Unfortunately, it’s tiny, so it barely fit a 18″ tube. No matter, off to Home depot to get some 4″ poop pipe. You have two choices. ABS (Black thicker wall), or PVC (white thinner wall). I went with white..white bike white pipe. You could use electrical PVC pipe, it comes in 4″ variety but might have issues finding a screw on cap. Overall all length has to be no more than 18″ c/w cap. Tool tube ready to go on
The finished product holds both tubes, and with a bit of dremel work, my compressor, power cable and air cable.
Snug fit
Job done.
SW cases on
37L cases, and rotopax

Next up: Fork infill panel /fork shield panel, and Staintune pipe.

Honda CRF1000 Africa Twin Traction Control Memory module installation

Right! While the tank was off,  I installed the Traction Control (TC) memory module switch/sticky switch. You might ask what the hell I’m on about…well here’s a video:

Basically this little gem remembers the TC setting you want. Leave the selector switch on one, and it stays on one, what ever floats your boat/sinks your sub. You still have full use of your OEM TC selector switch.
I got the switch from my buddy Richard at 12’O Clock performance.
Cost $150 USD
Contact him here to get your grubby hands on one:

Let’s do it!  You will need:

  1. TC module from Richard
  2. Tie wraps
  3. Wire cutters
  4. Linesman pliers (for t-splice connectors)
  5. Heat gun (optional)
  6. Solder gun (optional)
  7. Solder (optional)
  8. Heat shrink, large and small (optional)

The kit comes with all you need.   Good set of clear and straight forward instructions.
IMG_3359 Remove the tank. Follow your owners manual. The kit suggest to run the wires on the left hand side of the bike. I found lots of real estate on the right hand side, along my gps, radar, heated grip wiring. I installed the switch 1st, and worked my way back to the ECU.  Ladies choice! Either side will work.  IMG_3362

The calm before the storm! Not really, but I usually take pictures before I dive in.  That way I remember which way the hoses go etc..

A few things I did to make the work easier:

  1. Removed the fuel line
  2. Unplugged both connectors near the ECU
  3. Undid the one bolt that holds the ECU down
  4. Cut back the insulation all the way to the large bundle.  This will make things stupid easy later, as per below picture.


  • Instructions are straight forward and easy to follow.  There’s also a handy diagram of the ECU connector to locate the two wires.
  • I used the inline quick connectors to test the wiring 1st, and grounded the black wire to the right hand side ECU tray bolt (blue arrow below).  Note:  You could stop here.  The inline crimps work well, and the addition doesn’t necessarily need to be soldered, hence all the optional tools at the beginning of the post.

ECU bolt

  • Once I was happy with the operation of the switch, I got the solder gun out, and went to town
  • Cover the wires that you are not working on with a cloth, or what have you.  Use the heat of the solder gun to peel back about 1/4-3/8″ of insulation.  Strip back the yellow and red wires the same length.  Tin both wires 1st, then solder them together.  Make sure there’s no sharp pointy things sticking out after the soldering job.

Get your 1″ long piece of 3/8″ heat shrink, cut it down the middle and slip over the wire.
IMG_3371 Grab some tie wraps, and tie wrap the heat shrink on the wires. Grab your heat gun and slowly and evenly heat the heat shrink. As it heats up, because it’s cut it will have a tendency to want to fold out. Use your fingers to glue it back together, and tighten up the ties as your’re going. Repeat the above for the second wire.  Once you’re satisfied, cut off the ties.  I also ran a longer 1.5″ heat shrink over the 1″ shrink.  Double up the protection.   Not really necessary, but whatever…I had it cut and ready to go.IMG_3375

Once that’s done, I took a large 1″ diameter shrink, split it down the middle, and cut it roughly at 1″ long.  I put that around the entire bundle of wire that  serves the black ECU plug in.  Tie wrapped it semi tight, heated it up, and removed the ties once it was set.
IMG_3376 Dress all your wires, secure the module where ever you please, and put the tank back on. IMG_3377
Plug all your connectors back in. Test the TC switch one more time before installing the tank.
Enjoy your new sticky TC switch!

Honda Africa Twin Altrider full crash bars and skid plate install. Pivot pegs too!

More stuff came in the mail.  Right around my birthday too! bonus.

Let’s get started.  First on the list.  Pivot pegs.  The OEM pegs are garbage.  They are tiny.  Likely from the left over stock of xr50 parts.  When you’re riding the bike, it feels like your legs are going to snap.
I opted for the pivot pegs due to area, and the fact that they pivot back and forth by about 20 degrees.
Crap OEM peg vs Pivot peg
The pegs are about 40% larger in area than the oem crap jobbies

Finished product below:
Finished product

Ok, on to the big stuff.
Altrider bits came well packaged, marked, complete with decent instructions.
They were all printed on black and white paper, and easy enough to follow.
All the bits ready to bolt on

Lowers went on first. Tip. Alt rider suggest to loosen the exhaust. Do yourself a favor, and remove the entire exhaust. When you get to installing the front bracket, it’s almost impossible to get one of the long allen head bolts through the AR bracket, OEM bracket and the frame.
Exhaust gone

Little out on the XC after a shitty cold and long snap, great day.

Right, back to it!

All the stuff bolted up very nicely.
I started off with the lowers, and skid plate bracket, and worked my way up from there.
Finished product!

Altrider bars and plate

I’m still waiting on my usb/battery indicator, fog light, and switch from Chiiiina so the plastics are off for the time being.

Obviously the uppers and link bars will need to come off to install the plastics, but that’s relatively easy to do.

Overall I’m really happy with the workmanship, fit and finish.  Time will tell how the stainless holds up.
The finished product c/w all plastics on
Black on white looks great IMO IMG_3382

Honda Africa Twin, fun with electricity

Ho hum…this had to be done.
Electrical bits are a necessity now in days. I had to get the following powered up on the bike:

  • The gips… Zumo something or other..had it for years, works great
  • Heated mitt warmers by Oxford
  • Cop alerter aka Gaydar  including extra bright front warning LED
  • Aux lights from Flea bay (in the mail…on the way, or so I’m told)
  • 12V USB/Battery indicator (again in the mail, aparently)

Before I dove into that ton of fun, I put on my new windscreen, small rack from Richard, Rotopax and EE whitey white hand guards

IMG_3200 Tasty, and cheap!! IMG_3202
Rear rack and Rotopax
IMG_3203 another view here IMG_3204

Went to work for a bit..
IMG_3248 OK, on to the tedious BS. Out came the repair manual, and I slowly peeled off the plastics.  Always fun to do the first time around.  Luckily I broke nothing, so all was well I was going to use the front option plug. After digging the little bastard out, I set to work. Everything came off. Side panels, tank, headlights.  IMG_3209
White hand guards…NICE!  Ignore the errand beer can.  I didn’t start drinking just yet!
IMG_3206 Meet Mr. Front option IMG_3207

Wires we’re after:

  • Green: Ground: doooh
  • Red/Yellow: 12V accessory
  • Blue/black-Fog light dash light

Ten ways to skin the kitty
IMG_3208 Naked bike! IMG_3211

That out of the way, here was my plan.  Cut the plastic tray up behind the tank, as there’s a big enough space to stuff all my electrical crap in there.  Distribution block, relay, GPS power module, radar related wiring, and the feeder wires to the front of the bike.  As always the plan didn’t work.  I ended up only stuffing the distribution block and relay underneath the plastic (pics to follow).  On a positive note, this will leave me room for tools to go in.  The GPS and radar wiring went on the right hand side, just behind the rad and fan.  I also cut the OEM Oxford wiring, spliced/extended it to go to the same spot.  I didn’t like what they give you and it looked like shit near the head stock.

Edit: All the stuff finally trickled in.  Put it all back together and presto!
Lights on
Notice the fog light indicator light to the bottom right
Job done