Nearly Back

Its been a bloody nightmare with ridiculous builder’s quotes. So garage rebuild has been shelved, as I’d rather spend £50k on bikes.

Managed to get the KTM home and have been doing a few maintenance jobs, but the garage has a long way to go. Fitting the door nearly killed me, as I had to do it by myself, so removing the old patio doors, what were they thinking, and then fitting the up and over door was hard work.

Next need to get shelving sorted so that I can get my tools and gear back and get rid of the bloody cardboard boxes.

Just when you thought….

Finally moved house to discover its in a worse state than expected. Ok, lets get some quotes – £24k for 10 windows and £50k to rebuild a single garage and new drive – WTF!

Need to come up with plan B as its driving me mad not having my bikes out of storage.

Did get the custom spring fitted to the Fantic XEF250 Trail though and everyone who’s tested the suspension has said how much better it is over stock, that you can actually feel the shock working instead of just fighting the spring.

Fantic XEF250 Trail spring

Its getting better – slowly

Still don’t have anywhere to live, but have bought another bike to add to the project list.

I bought the Fantic XEF250 Trail demonstrator from Haines Motorcycles.

Already started working with Anthony at Haines to make things better. The standard shock spring is way too hard for your average rider and is overpowering the shock’s damping. I’ve found a spring that we’ve tested and am getting a second one produced that will be soon available through the shop.

Stock spring
plus rider590mm
Total sag85mm
Haines spring
plus rider543mm
Total sag122mm (+37mm or 43%)

The difference from just sitting on the bike is night and day you can actually feel the suspension working rather than just rebounding. Sag settings are a little on the large side, but that was with minimum preload on the spring so can be adjusted further to suit.

We’ll get some videos posted soon as possible.

KTM – Fuel Pump Service

Fuel Pump’s filters state were an unknown, so I removed it from the tank to do a service on it using KTM’s pump overhaul kit – 61007090200.

The service is straight forward, remove pump from the tank (4 bolts) then dismantle by – gently – levering the two metal clamps outwards then wiggle the top plastic part upwards till it separates then undo the small screw for the wiring followed by two screws holding the metal clamps. The metal inlet on the plastic part does not need to be removed.

The kit has all new filters and o-rings, jsut swap them out one at a time. My pump had some dirt in it plus the filters definitely needed changing, the filter attached to the pump is a very tight fit so take care when fitting. Refitted with some new stainless bolts and a throughout clean of the tank with ACF50.

KTM – Clearing the Decks

So before getting into mods and improvements I wanted to remove lots of things from the bike – heated elements under the grips, front crash bars, rear crash bars/luggage rack, front spotlights, HID conversion, toolbox and awful stock arrow indicators.

Most of it was bolt on so easy to remove. The indicators I swapped for some KTM EXC ones that I had to hand, dead easy to swap over the only thing you require is the longer wiring out of the originals. Remove lense, bulb etc disconnect spade connectors and then do the same to the EXC version and swap the cables over then they just bolt on. On the rears the bottom of the plastic indicator moulding needed a trim to match the shape to the rear mudguard. They look SO much better than the originals.

Getting to the wiring under the rear rack is fiddly but you can always unbolt the rack and grab handles to make life easier, which I did and also blasted and repainted the grab handles, added new stainless bolts and removed the rack base plate.

There were lots of brackets that could do with a refresh so removed everything and then it was blast, paint, refit using stainless bolts – repeat.

Next step was to do a basic service and check things over and that’s when things started to go a bit wrong. I wanted to do an oil change, filters, plugs etc and to do that you have to move the fuel tanks slightly for better access and as soon as I did that the fuel house split (due to age) and I then discovered one of the fuel taps was stuck so ended up with fuel going everywhere whilst I got some pliers to closed the fuel tap.

At this stage I decided to drain the fuel and remove both tanks to make the whole job easier, I also removed the battery box and oil tank as I wanted to flush the latter through. When I removed the battery box I discovered the oil pipes are behind it which are in a perfect position to get covered in crap from the road and they were corroded and some of the wiring from the regulator just snapped off due to corrosion. I replaced both connectors with waterproof ones and used glue lined heat shrink to seal the cables.

Battery box was cleaned and its brackets blasted and repainted with new cage nuts fitted.

Standard practice – remove, inspect, clean, blast, paint, refit with new seals, bolts etc. I did the oil service at the same time changing the many filters.

I ditched the SAS kit to allow for better tuning, as I managed to get a powercommander 5 off eBay at a very good price, fitting blanking plates and dongles. If you’re removing the SAS equipment also remove the solenoid bracket off the back of the airbox otherwise you’ll cut your hand when removing the rear plug, ask how I know! Put the screws back in to plug the holes. Fitting the rear cylinder plate is easy due to access unlike the front which requires small hands or lots of patience.

I sourced a new stainless allen bolt (M10 x 210mm from Accu – SSC-M10-210-A2) for the front engine mount and replaced all the bracket bolts with stainless allen bolts at the same time, as I figure its easier to carry a few allen keys than a socket set.

I blasted and repainted the oil pipes, note they take very similar but slightly different size o-rings and its very easy to mix them up, pinch an o-ring and have to start again.

The last two photos show a nice before and after comparison.

CB500X YSS Fork Kit

The YSS kit that I bought from Brook Suspension is very easy to fit. I have the factory centre stand kit which makes life easier, so I put the bike on the centre stand and lifted the front end using a ratchet strap from a beam in the garage.

Once supported remove the right fork leg after disconnecting the brake caliper, undo the fork cap (remove an per load first) the springs are so weak it will have very little resistance, pour out the fork oil, spring and spacer then drop in the emulator and spring, add new fork oil and refit.

I used a suitable long bolt to support the front wheel when removing the left fork leg as you have to remove the wheel spacer.

all in all took about 40mins and the difference is amazing, on the old forks I had the reload adjusters bottom and it was still too soft, touching the brake would havwe the front end diving. Now with zero preload its great.

The kit is good value and has good instructions.

I didn’t have a large enough allen key to undo the front wheel spindle, but found one of my flywheel removers was the right size when used with a suitable spanner.