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: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm8xH4qf

Here’s what I put in for contents:
Sockets and socket driver:
8,10,12,14,17,22, and 27, a 3/8 ratchet, and 3/8 short extension.  All sockets except for (22 and 27mm) are 3/8.
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.
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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: 12operformance@gmail.com

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
IMG_3363

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..
IMG_3355

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.

IMG_3364

  • 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.

IMG_3366
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 interlude..got out on the XC after a shitty cold and long snap, great day.
20180107_121321

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!
IMG_3347

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
IMG_3379
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!
IMG_3379
Lights on
IMG_3380
Notice the fog light indicator light to the bottom right
IMG_3381
Job done
IMG_3382

Honda Africa Twin Outex install. Tube to tubeless conversion.

Right…it’s colder than cold lately, -30C this morning.  Perfect time to head to the garage, with three layers of clothes on, and do some more work on the Africa Twin.

Today’s project, install the Outex kit.  For those of you living under a rock, the Outex kit converts any tubed rim, into a tubeless set up.  Magic.
I’m not going to rant about the AT having tubes, or the pluses/minuses of tubes/tubeless rims etc..I wanted tubeless tires. I don’t want to fuck around on the side of the road by myself trying to break a bead on my rear tire, when I can plug it in 5 minutes on a tubeless and ride on. I’ll still carry tubes and irons with me in case I dent the rims badly enough to warrant tubes as a repair.

This is a blog post. The below is a rant by a semi competent half wit. Don’t take my words for it, the below is meant to be helpful, and to illustrate my experience with the Outex kit. Personal experiences will vary. The instructions are decent enough. More on that later.
If you’re lazy, or illiterate, you can oogle all the  pictures here:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsm8xH4qf

My plan was to pull the wheels off, bring them into the house, and do the work there. Even with a heater, the garage was at 5C today. The house at 18C. The house wins!

Rear wheel was first. I tried to break the bead with my motion pro tire bead breakers. Wasn’t going to happen. Yeah it’s fucking cold, even though I was working next to a 30A heater. Out came the tire changer. Used the bead breaker, and the bastard gave easily enough. IMG_3292 Peeled the rear  tire off, and remounted the rim on the axle to give it a clean. IMG_3293 Notice the nice ridge on the rear rim. Nice! IMG_3298 My first screw up of the day. I forgot to use sand paper to rough up the rim. Instead went straight to go and tried to collect my 200 dorra…muppet. Right, rear rim, tire stand (made by Borat) IMG_3300In the house for the rim to warm up, and on to the front tire. A little segue about Honda quality. Some of the bolts on this bike are really fucking cheap. Out of the six that hold the fender on, two stripped. Yeah I was using the right 5mm allen key. They are made from imitation american cheese. IMG_3304 On a positive note, the fender doesn’t have to come off! Take both calipers off (14 mm) Loosen off the left side pinch bolts (12 mm) and undo the 22 mm nut. No need to worry about the big allen on the other side, as the right side pinch bolts are on. Once the nut is loose, undo the right side pinch bolts, slide the axle out, and remove the front rim

Moar bead breaking action. The front came off super easy…not sure if that’s a good thing.. No ridge on the front tire…damn.IMG_3305OK, on to warmer locales! I’m set up in the house, got the blessing from the boss.

Do not drink beer prior to doing the work.  You are guaranteed to fuck it up royally!.  It’s tough enough to do it sober, and with someone helping you. My wife volunteered!

You will need the following stuff:

  • Tire stand. You will not have a good time without one. The one I used was my ghetto paddock stand for my enduro bike. I simply cut the middle out, and bodged up an axle holder with some conduit straps.
  • Acetone
  • 200 grit sand paper
  • Scissors (don’t run with them!)
  • Olfa knife, with a sharp blade
  • Heat gun, or blow dryer.
  • tire iron (rounded) for front rim, and a small pry bar for the rear rim
  • Clean rags
  • An assistant…this should be on the top of the list. It’s difficult to do this on your own

Right, let’s get going! Rear rim first. I’ll go step by step according to the Outex instructions IMG_3326 STEP 1: Sand paper the rim. Really only need to do the area where the tape will sit. Take your time, and be extra pedantic (read: anal retentive) around spokes nipples

STEP 2: Clean off moisture, and dirt using acetone. If you have a white rag, as you clean, it will show

STEP 3: use the round pre cut seal tape on each nipple. Top tip, use your heat gun to adhere the tape to each nipple. The heat shrinks the tape a bit, and gets the outer edges stuck to the side of the nipplesIMG_3324 STEP 4: Use heat to warm up the rim. Since the rim is warm from the ambient temp of the house, I get to skip this

STEP 5: Apply one side of two sided tape. Fuck me with a wooden spoon, this part sucked!! IMG_3325 Trying to get the tape to sit straight, and without air bubbles on the first go was a TPITB!!

STEP 6: Cut the tape at one revolution. Don’t overlap

STEP 7: What I found is that the tape is stupid strong, so with your lovely assistant helping you out, take a flat piece of metal (I used a small pry bar for the rear rim, and a rounded tire for the front), with heat from the heat gun or blow dryer aimed directly at the rim, slowly push down on the tape between the spokes to work the air out. Eventually all of it goes out. Yipeee!!

STEP 8: Cut the hole out carefully, push the valve through to the outside. Remove the valve

STEP 9: Start the tape as shown, install valve finger tight

STEP 10 through 17: Nothing to report here. Follow the instructions, go straight…Rear rim tape went on straight enough, as there’s some room. The front rim was a bit more crowded but easy enough IMG_3328
Top tip, remove the green tape at about two spoke lenghts at a time, that way the tape stays strong

STEP 18:  This is critical, it’s a re do of STEP 7. Go through the rim with both tapes on, and your overlap tape.  Have your assistant heat the rim, and the pry bar/tire spoon.  Slowly work out the air, and use the pressure of the tools to further glue the tape on the rim

You are done!  Put the beer down fozzie bear!!…we’re done the Outex install.
The tire needs to go on next in order to put pressure on the tape.
IMG_3332 I spooned on the rear tire in the house.  Went on easy enough.  Over to the garage, popped the bead on, checked pressure.  Left it at 42 PSI, and brought it back in the house.   Ditto for the front, set at 30 PSI. IMG_3334
and the set
IMG_3337

In conclusion:

  • The kit is easy enough to follow, and install. It’s made well, and there was a bit of spare material left over (kits are bike specific)
  • You need a second set of hands to do this properly
  • The heat gun/dryer is a must
  • Don’t do it in the cold as it will not end well

I’ll let the tires sit overnight, check tire pressure tomorrow, and re-install.

Drink beer!