Wednesday 10 July 2013

CBR 1000F - Lower Pegs

Motorcyclists, in general, like to tinker with their machines. Sometimes the motivation is to make the bike faster, lighter, better handling or better looking. Or maybe they just want to personalise the bike so it's a little different to everyone else's.

Touring motorcyclist tend to fixate on making their bikes more comfortable. Commonly, tourers modify fairings, handlebars, seats in the interest of comfort. And sometimes taller riders lower their foot-pegs. 

Generally, lowering the foot-pegs takes some of the bend out of the rider's knees, allowing for better circulation, reduces pinching at the knee when wearing lots of layers and is generally considered more comfortable. On an adventure bike, lower pegs also makes it easier and less tiring to make the transition from seated to standing when driving off-road.

So why don't bikes just come with lower pegs? Well, bikes are built to suit 'most' riders whereas only taller or older riders generally want lower pegs. And there is a trade-off with ground clearance when cornering. Sports bikes have higher rear-set foot-pegs to allow them to lean more into corners before the foot-pegs touch down. This isn't such an issue for touring bikes which tend to be driven more gently.

The standard riding position on Big Honda was a little too aggressive for me - I bought the big sport/tourer very much with long distance riding (rather than sport riding) in mind and I found the bars were a bit of a stretch when driving in traffic. So I replaced them for higher bars off a 1989 VFR 750 and it improved the riding position somewhat (although I'm still considering replacing the VFR clip-ons for some proper high and wide handlebars). It's not that the bike is uncomfortable, it's not - it's the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. It's just that there's room for improvement and I can't help trying to fix things...

So yesterday when my welding came to a halt I took a look at the foot-pegs on Big Honda. It struck me that the RHS foot-peg hanger carries the brake light switch, brake master cylinder, foot-peg and brake pedal and that it looked pretty straightforward to lower the whole assembly and not just the foot-peg. A quick look at the LHS revealed that that would be even easier, as the hanger only carries the footpeg - the gear shift assembly is mounted on the motor.

So I took some quick measurements and did some sketching and the whole thing looked like a pretty simple proposition. So how low should I go? Well at least 20mm - Anything less wouldn't be worth the effort, but it looked like I could go to 32mm without modifying anything else.

So, using an angle grinder with a cutting disk and some 10mm aluminium plate that I had lying around, I hacked out a couple of adapter plates, drilled them, tapped them and fitted them up to the bike. 

It took a couple of hours, but it wasn't difficult. Everything went to plan and now the pegs are 32mm lower than they were before. I went for a ride, and it's a noticeably more relaxed riding position.

Happy out!

Mercenary Garage - Honda CBR1000F - Lower Peg Modification
Blanks cut out of a sheet of 10mm aluminum with an angle grinder, ready for drilling. The mounting bolts are 64mm between centres and the new holes are offset 30 degrees and 32mm - In retrospect, 25mm would be a better fit.

Mercenary Garage - Honda CBR1000F - Lower Peg Modification
Adapters have been drilled, the holes at back are 8mm diameter, holes at front are 6.5mm and are being tapped M8

Mercenary Garage - Honda CBR1000F - Lower Peg Modification
The completed pieces, filed, sanded and finished with a coarse Scotch-Brite pad. I'm not too particular about the finish, partly because this is just an experiment, and partly because the adapters are hidden underneath the bodywork and won't be seen.

Mercenary Garage - Honda CBR1000F - Lower Peg Modification
RHS bracket and foot-peg assemble in situ. A 32mm drop puts a very slight tension on the front brake line (This CBR1000Fs has linked brakes). It's not a problem. I think a 25mm drop wouldn't have this issue.

Mercenary Garage - Honda CBR1000F - Lower Peg Modification
LHS gets very close to the standard exhaust silencer, but not a problem. A 25mm drop would be better in this case too. Interestingly, I didn't make any adjustments to the gear shifter but it's easier to use now.

#CBR1000F #LowerFootpegs #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

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