CRF1000 Honda Africa twin fork re-valve procedure

Ok, now that the rear is sorted, it was time to look at the front.

I looked into the pricier options, but frankly wanted to go el cheapo and try the re-valve, re-spring option.  I was also curious to the state of my fork tubes at a mere 4500km.
Link to picture gallery here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmknkQRB
You can either read the write up, or go pic by pic, in order. I’ve described them as best possible.

First off, a big thanks, to Motociclo (aka Mr. S) from Adv rider.  He was extremely helpful both on his on going posts, and emails back and forth to answer various newb questions I had about my first shim stack job.  Both excellent posts below.  Hopefully the below, will further assist someone else.

Fork install
http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/fork-install-guide.1250293/
Fork revalve guide
http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/crf1000-fork-revalve.1242323/

I mainly tackled this job to get better feel from the front end, and the correct springs for my weight.

You will need the following to pull this off:

  • Honda manual.  Print out pages 17-14 to 17-21, for additional help, I printed out Mr.S write up on the revalve procedure
  • Fork spring compressor tool
  • Park tools AV-5 Spindle axle vice tool (or similar)
  • 45mm seal driver.  Turns out neither a 43, or 48 mm driver will do.  A 1/1/4 PVC pipe cut in half, does the job half assed!
  • Height measuring tool.  A ruler will do the job too
  • Shop rags, preferably the micro fiber blue jobbies
  • Some amount of skill/confidence

I’ll largely base this on pictures, and shit I learned along the way.

Start with one fork.

I chose the left leg.  Follow dis assembly as per manual.
IMG_3750

Run both pre load and rebound all the way soft. leave as is. 19mm wrench
19 mm for the pre load

Tape yer nut
Use some painters tape not to f. up the fork cap.

Let the fun begin!
IMG_3751

So here’s the business end of things:

fork internals

1-compression components, 2-rebound, 3, male fork bushing

Start with the rebound valve. You’ll need to remove the oil lock, in order to free the rebound valve from the cartridge. Don’t do this: Clamp above the oil lock
Clamp the rod above the oil lock.  Use a small terminating screw driver to peel back the peened portions of the oil lock. Once that’s done, give the oil lock a decent whack and it will come off. I’ll expose the circlip shown below.
IMG_3769 Oil lock free

I’m not pulling the rebound just yet, as you need to free the compression first. Push the comp stack in a bit, to reveal circlip. Remove valve.
IMG_3764

Easier said than done. My left leg came out easy enough, by putting a 15mm wrench between the valve, and treading in the adjuster, then tapping it with a rubber mallet
A little help

It wasn’t so easy on the right leg. Luckily I removed the oil lock 1st, then simply used the rebound valve to tap out the compression valve. Here’s the compression valve freed!! IMG_3774
Here we go
Compression Valve

Mr.S gave me a suggested comp and rebound stack that would work for me. I went with a .75kg spring. Note, Race tech spring is 35mm longer than the OEM. I’ll need to cut the spacer back. White end, re drill holes for compression tool to go into.
IMG_3777 IMG_3778

You may need to order new shims to get the desired stack. I ordered mine from Rod at RMR in Vancouver. Good dude.

Pay particular attention to how the stack comes apart.  Lay it all out.  Take your time.  Don’t drink beer just yet.  Make sure that all shims go back on.  I forgot to put the .4mm last shim on my compression stack…I’ll be going back in shortly to install it.  OCD…
Here’s both OEM shim stacks
Comp and rebound valving

Here’s my shim stack, with a .75kg spring.  This will vary from rider to rider, and it’s not meant to be a go by.  You will need to figure out what works for you.  But the general idea is that by increasing the initial shims, i.e the 17 x .10 to a thicker 17 x .15mm shim this will errrmm….make thing better..Again, I know nothing.  The formatting below is a bit f. up but it will give you a basic idea.

Refer to the above picture for actual stacks.  Picture is accurate off my right fork leg.

Rebound stack.  Left leg.  Single shim/Valve to nut Stock  Shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm) # of shims new rebound  shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm) # of shims
17 x .40mm 1
17 3 17 x .15mm 4
16 1 15 1
15 1 12 1
8 x .20mm 1 9 1
12 x .20mm 2
15 x .20mm 3
Compression stack (actual) Stock  Shim OD/shim thickness  (.10mm) # of shims new compression shim OD/shim thickness (.10mm) # of shims
17 5 17 7
16 2 16 2
15 1 15 1
14 1 14 1
13 1 13 1
12 1 12 1
11 1 11 1
10 1 10 1
9 1
8 x .20mm 1
11 x.40 mm 1

Tubes.  Both fork tubes were in good shape.  Oil had metal residue but mostly from the forks.  It’s way to early for the coating to start falling apart
Fork tube

At any rate, the fork bushing has too much play, and this may contribute to the slop/wear in the outer fork tube. Cut a 0.05mm shim 19mm by 135mm. Sand the edges down. Don’t sweat it too much, it sits behind the bushing Bushing shim
here’s the link to his video. His forks had about 13k km.

We’re ready to put it all back together.
Follow OEM manual for re-assembly, except for:

  • Run rebound 3.5 turns, then screw fork cap on to rod, seating gently.  At that point tighten the nut, and pre load adjuster
  • Set oil at 50mm from top, c/w spring, fork fully collapsed.  Each leg should take about 700ml.
  • Torque all components except bottom triples.  I have mine at 12Nm.
  • Torque mark all your bolts
The sag range is about 65mm to 73 mm.
Start with 1.5 turns out on rebound adjuster. This equal to about 6 clicks. Will find 1 turn out is likely the right spot.
Enjoy your new boingers!
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2017 Honda CRF1000 6 speed, thoughts to date

Right,

so I finally got a chance to put in some proper seat time on the 2017 6 speed AT.

Richard (on another AT), Evil Greg (2011 DL 650) and Reg (2012 DL 650), Loaded up the bikes and headed south to California.
Plan was to ride roughly 80% pavement, and the rest decent gravel. It was a great trip. Will not go into detail, but fuel was burned, tires well used, wheelies well executed, to date, probably one of the best trips I’ve done to California. Link to Cali album here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhkuxCq

Below, the four Canadian muppets.
The crazy Canucks!<

On to the bike.
Before setting off, I took my sweet ass time to equip the bike.
Check my previous posts for the big ticket items.
The only thing I didn’t really write about was the Tractive rear shock. Yes the rear shock is rebuildable, but it’s a feeble little thing, and I usually default to buying a rear shock. For me it’s a good investment, and I can usually sell it on after I trade in my bike, for about half price of new. Shock was purchased from Ted and Jeff at the Beemershop. Good dudes. I’ve dealt with them on several shocks, and will keep coming back. http://www.beemershop.com/
touratech shock vs OEM<

Above, Honda OEM boinger and the Tractive shock. Notice how beefy the shock shaft is. With the correct spring, I have one or two turns of preload in, while riding with zero added luggage. The shock rides nicely.

Fork worked a treat on the trip. The bike was nicely loaded. Two 36L tin cans and my camping gear.

AT Thoughts to date.

-Ergos. I swapped the OEM bars to my flat-ish renthals. No complaints or aches after long day, getting stuck in snow, or having to detour, due to errmm…more snow
First snow in Oregon<
-Seat. For shorter days, say under 300km, the seat is really decent. But after 5 non stop days on the bike, I was in agony. The bit between your ass, and thigh…was in pain. For shorter days, I’m happy with the seat. It works well off road, if you need to stand up, shift your weight back towards the passenger seat. I’ll leave it be for the time being.
I may just need to switch the foam out to something a bit higher quality. The overall fit and finish of the seat is holding up well, and staying clean unlike the red ATs.
-Suspension. I spoke about the shock. Winner. The front forks, for road work actually did ok. A bit of dive on them, but not bad. Regardless, I’ll be tearing into them next week to fit SKF seals, linear springs to my weight, and shims to take up the slack behind the main fork leg bushing. I also have shims coming, and will re-valve the meh..OEM shim stacks (comp and rebound). There is a but…The longevity of the outer tubes remains to be seen. My buddy has issues with his tubes at 13k km. I’ll speak to it on the next blog post.
-Brakes. No complaints. They’re not brembos, but this bike doesn’t need brembos. They do the job well. Rear brake has a bit of travel, and nice wide take up. It’s not grabby or anything like that
-Motor. This motor was never going to set anyone’s hair on fire. That said, it’s good. It did great from sea level (wheelies, yes please!) all the way up to 6000′. It’s linear, and has a decent step in power around 4500rpm. Pulls nicely to the low-ish red line
-Fuel consumption. The entire trip, the bike averaged 5.4L/100km of spirited riding.
-Controls, and dash. Straight forward and easy to use. I didn’t find issues in seeing the dash, it worked well for me. Lots of useful settings on the dash, between the trip meters, avg. fuel display, and remaining liters/km’s to empty
Ready!<
-Electronics (TC and ABS)
TC. Compared to my 2012 XT1200, and my 2015 FJ09, the TC fucking rocks.
The on the fly adjustment is awesome. Additionally, the settings all do a different job. E.g. TC1, in 1st gear, pre-load the suspension a bit, and give it a handful on rebound..instant wheelie.
and up!<
For Gravel roads, and minor wash board. TC2 does a great job. TC3 work well on fast and smooth gravel. Happy days.
ABS. Good set up. I like the fact that the brakes are not linked. I played around with the rear ABS off button, but didn’t need it in Cali as we never did anything that crazy. I’ll be useful at home on the hairier shit.
-Tires. I was brave/cheap/stupid enough to keep the Dunlop OEM tires on after I fitted the Outex kit. Surprisingly, they did great on road. Wet, dry, on the side of the tire, mid corner corrections, and overall confidence. The good out of the way, they flat out sucked off road. I had so many close calls on wet gravel, that I was super happy to lever on my set of Mitas E07 dakars waiting at home.
-Lights. OEM LEDs were great. The Chinese bought LEDs did a good job too. High beam melts paints off cars.
-Exhaust. I ditched the OEM slip on for a Staintune. The baffle stayed in all of a day. Great noise with the baffle out.

Overall riding impression. Very good. We mostly road paved roads, ranging from smooth as glass, to bumpy shitty pot holed side roads. The AT did great. Off road, in California with the dunslops, it did great in the dry..tires were the limiting factor. I can report that with the E07s, the bike rocks off road. Light enough, changes direction well, and there’s a lot more confidence in the 21″ rim with deep gravel, ruts etc. Surprisingly, it’s very good at changing lines mid corner if you screw up. And I screwed up regularly.

Looking forward to logging more time on the AT.
Oh...this snow..<

 

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

Staintune.
I bought this pipe used off fleabay. Got it modded to fit my tenere (see staintune blog post here: https://thetenerist.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/rear-shaft-drive-seal-replacement-and-staintune-pipe/
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 http://www.beemershop.com/Merchant5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=402-5870 ordered up from Ted and Jeff at the Beemershop in California. http://www.beemershop.com/
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: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm8xH4qf

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.
20180205_191909_resized

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!