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The modifications start here...
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: The modifications start here... Reply with quote

As someone who has never, ever kept any motorcycle he's owned standard for more than about 6 and ahalf days (approximately), it should come as no surprise to any of you that I have started to 'improve' my Duke.

The first mod wasn't actually performed by me, it was done by the dealer after I realised that the standard bar width (835 mm) made it touch and go whether it would pass unscathed down the alley way separating my (terraced) house from my neighbour's. The wall to wall gap is 875mm and it would only have needed a fractional deviation and scraping of new paint would ensue.

The dealer managed to reduce the overall bar width down to 790mm by moving all the controls as far inboard as they would go, then chopping off the overhang. He didn't describe it like that, but that's what it amounted to.

However I noticed that the levers actually stuck out further than the bar ends, so being a fan of stubby brake/clutch levers, I ordered a set of these, all the way from China:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-Adjustable-Short-Brake-Clutch-Levers-Set-For-KTM-690-Duke-R-2014-2017-Silver/302311301825

At 16.09, I didn't really think I had anything to lose. They arrived within 2 weeks, and when I opened the packet, they looked just the job. When I came to fit them, the brake lever went on perfectly, fitted just so, looked the part and did exactly what I wanted it to do (reduce the overall width).

However the clutch lever (replacing a Megura part), was floppy and ill-fitting, with a span to the bars that was too great even on minimum setting. So I've contacted the seller giving details of the shortcomings and await a response.

While I was at it, I plumbed in a permanent charging point for my Optimate charger and generally observed how KTM build their bikes. It's intriguing to see the way that different manufacturers (and nationalities) tackle the same problems. KTM seem to make extensive use of Torx fasteners. Some fasteners are external hex bolts with internal Torx socket in the same fastener, others are Torx head bolts where you'd expect to see Allen socket heads on Italian or Japanese machinery.

So some Torx socketry/toolage is also on the shopping list. Next step is to figure out how to fit a Scottoiler to the little beastie...
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Gio
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I'm concerned anything that has "MNade in China" (notice the deliberate spelling mistake) is 99% guaranteed to be crap. This is due to the vile working conditions that they have to put up with, China is the home of the modern sweat shop.
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to think that, but some stuff (not all, obviously) coming out of China stands comparison with stuff made anywhere. I think they are fast dragging themselves out of the 18th century and into the modern era. They are the workshop for the world right now, and that means huge sums of money flowing in, some of which is improving living standards.
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fatboy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll agree with that Graham with regard to Chinese manufacturing, initially they flooded the world market place with cheap shit and the world soon learned that it was cheap and shit.
China now produces much for world wide major brand names the game has upped considerably.
Mass production, cheap labour and disregard for human rights provides us with bargains.
You'd be surprised to find out how much tech and engineering stuff comes from over there now.
Good to hear you are already on it with the new addition to the family !
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Dalemac
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that torx stuff is much easier to get out. I dread a stuck hex flange bolt these days.
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalemac wrote:
I've found that torx stuff is much easier to get out. I dread a stuck hex flange bolt these days.

Yes, there's much more drive area on a Torx fastener than there is with an internal hex fastener, and it's pretty much impossible to round off a Torx fastener in the way that you can with an ill-fitting hex head fastener.
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In between drinking, eating and farting too much, I've been exchanging (increasingly frustrated) emails with the Chinese manufacturers of the levers. They clearly have no intention of fixing the manufacturing defect and are hoping that I get bored and go away. The brake lever is fine and is well made. The clutch lever is well made, but with a couple of incorrect dimensions.

I've bought a pack of shims, 0.1 mm thick, 8mm i/d and 20 mm o/d and am just going to shim out the sloppiness, and use the clutch lever on its minimum lever span.

And give them totally negative eBay feedback...
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Greg
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love chinese stuff ... I've had a couple of DNFs but overall have been quite happy with what I've bought.

How does the bike go? pre-lever of course..
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Greg, yes on balance I'm a fan as well.

To my shame it hasn't turned a wheel, but the roads around here have been caked in salt since I bought it and I'm not prepared to take it out while salt is present.
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Greg
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good call ..
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fatboy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To my shame it hasn't turned a wheel, but the roads around here have been caked in salt since I bought it and I'm not prepared to take it out while salt is present.[/quote]

Nothing shameful about preserving your brand new pride and joy, all the shit that gets mixed with grit and salt these days makes it stick to everything/everywhere
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mangocrazy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lever saga has been dragging on, and due to the sellers absolute unwillingness to do anything about it, I've accepted a full refund. From their replies it's clear they don't make the parts themselves, they just buy it in and flog it. The clutch lever had so much play in it, it was ridiculous. There was excessive play on the main lever pivot, and still further play on the adjustment pivot, so when you combined both sets of play it was floppier than a very floppy thing (provide your own simile...)

I've also purchased a set of swingarm paddock stand spools (five quid, delivered) which were very nicely made, but the bolts supplied to fit them to the swingarm were the wrong thread pitch (M1 x 1.25mm fine supplied, required M10 x 1.5mm coarse). As I had a set of stainless allen bolts of the correct length and thread pitch I wasn't too bothered. As a courtesy I emailed the seller telling them that the bolts they supplied were incorrect.

After 2 or 3 messages exchanged it became clear to me that the seller had no idea what thread pitch meant, and they too were just buying this stuff in to resell. Asking me to send a photograph (the standard response to any query, it seems) illustrated that they didn't really understand the nature of my query.

So buying from China is not without its problems. But the stuff, for the most part is well finished and very cheap.
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Greg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plobrems surely...
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DavShill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll soon be out on and I look forward to the first road report Graham.
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Gio
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mangocrazy wrote:
The lever saga has been dragging on, and due to the sellers absolute unwillingness to do anything about it, I've accepted a full refund. From their replies it's clear they don't make the parts themselves, they just buy it in and flog it. The clutch lever had so much play in it, it was ridiculous. There was excessive play on the main lever pivot, and still further play on the adjustment pivot, so when you combined both sets of play it was floppier than a very floppy thing (provide your own simile...)

I've also purchased a set of swingarm paddock stand spools (five quid, delivered) which were very nicely made, but the bolts supplied to fit them to the swingarm were the wrong thread pitch (M1 x 1.25mm fine supplied, required M10 x 1.5mm coarse). As I had a set of stainless allen bolts of the correct length and thread pitch I wasn't too bothered. As a courtesy I emailed the seller telling them that the bolts they supplied were incorrect.

After 2 or 3 messages exchanged it became clear to me that the seller had no idea what thread pitch meant, and they too were just buying this stuff in to resell. Asking me to send a photograph (the standard response to any query, it seems) illustrated that they didn't really understand the nature of my query.

So buying from China is not without its problems. But the stuff, for the most part is well finished and very cheap.


Sorry to hear that
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