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Topics - ncroadtoad

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CB500X - General Chat / Middle Cowl Replacement
« on: September 25, 2020, 10:48:39 AM »
I need to replace the right middle cowl on my 2013. It had sustained some damage in the hands of the PO and now the top corner where it bolts down next to the fuel tank has cracked away. My question, to someone who perhaps has done this before, does the COWL SET, L. MIDDLE (TYPE2) (WL) 64400-MGZ-J81ZB at $174 come with the decals? Or will I need to order them separately? I'm assuming it comes in the right color  :034:.

Thanks for any help.

Rally Raid / Front Brake Drag
« on: August 31, 2020, 09:22:52 PM »
I posted this on ADVRider as well, so sorry if you've seen it already, or if I violated some rule that I don't know about.  :164:
But, I'm sorta desperate for good ideas and decided to cast my net across more water. Thanks

I've had "challenges" with my front wheel ever since I did the original install of my RRL2 w/tubeless wheels (RRP458) on my 2013, a little over a year ago - and it's gotten worse.
A snapshot of my problems:
* when I installed my new front wheel I was missing the replacement axle collars, either I threw them away with packing, or they weren't sent
* contacted RR and the immediately sent me replacement collars
* even with the replacement collars, the clearance between the brake rotor disk bolt heads and the right fork leg was (is) incredibly close (seems unreasonably close)
* the brakes dragged a little, but they smoothed out and I called it good
* several front tire changes, always a challenge getting the brakes to let the wheel turn freely
* yesterday put new brake pads on and the front wheel drags unacceptably bad (right side pad, pistons fully retracted)
* removed the caliper, cleaned everything, anti seize on the pin hanger, all springs are cleaned and installed correctly
* pads re-installed, same drag
* reinstalled old pads, less drag, but still isn't right

So I'm at a loss on what to do next. I've changed brakes dozens of times on quite a few bikes, so I'm not a rookie at this, but clearly I'm not smart enough to figure out why the pads are dragging. Also I just can't help but believe something is wrong with the front wheel axle collars as the tolerance between those rotor bolt heads and the fork tube is so tight. I haven't measured it with a feeler gauge, but I don't think you could hardly get a playing card between them.

I've been pleased with the RR quality and customer service so I doubt that the problem is on their end, perhaps just something that I over-looked or flat did wrong. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Riding Gear, Clothing, and Apparel / Shifter Challenges
« on: June 04, 2020, 11:34:03 AM »
I just bought a pair of Gaerne SG12 boots, looking to up my protection level. The boots are great but I can't really see any way that I will be able to get the toe under the shift lever. Adjusted fully with PivotPez, it's still not even close. Anybody been down this road? For now I guess I'll try to get used to shifting with the side of the boot, using the sole. It's awkward though.

Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / Out For a Ride
« on: May 05, 2020, 01:47:50 PM »
With the Covid lock down and all the associated travel restrictions/adjustments required, I (like I'm sure many of you  :003:) have had to adjust my 2020 travel plans. One of the things I'm going to do this year is try to visit all 34 of the North Carolina State Parks. It works pretty well as a virus plan since many of them I can reach in a day trip and those that are out of one day range offer camping either on site or near by. Camping, at least around here, is open now in places and will probably be available in the parks soon, seem a safer option to me than motels.

Yesterday, myself and a buddy did a 300+ mile day ride to visit two parks in eastern NC.

Like all my day rides these days, I try to use state boat launch areas as a place to stretch out, take a pee and have a coffee.

They are generally out in the country, mostly deserted and offer plenty space for social distancing.

The first stop of the day

So empty that I could just stop on the road inside the park.

Camping, and all the buildings, are still closed, but these new cabins will be nice once things settle down.

Back on the road to the next park

This one is probably one of the most remote parks in the state. It's really in the boondocks

This is the attraction here.  There are also lots of hiking trails and camping.

Yesterday we had the picnic area to ourselves

On the way home we ran across a snapping turtle

Rode some sand roads through farm fields

And ended up at another boat launch area

This last one was pretty urban. It was closed and I just snapped a photo and we were off to the house.

Making the most of a bad situation.  It was a good day.


Rally Raid / 130/80-17 Tires on Rally Raid Wheels
« on: March 23, 2020, 02:52:27 PM »
My quest for new tires continues. I'm finding that most (many anyway) of the tires that interest me do not come in 140/80-17 tubeless. Or in many cases don't come in that size at all.

Opinion time: Do you think that a 130/80-17 tubeless tire designed to fit a 2.50" to 3.50" wheel would work properly on a Rally Raid Level 2 Tubeless wheel?
If I can't get a 140/80-17, would I be better off running a 150/70-17 or a 130/80-17?


I decided to switch from my hard panniers to soft and after countless reviews, videos and sales pitches decided to try the brand new Tusk Highlanders. 
I've gone from this:

To this:

I just got them put together, a little more difficult than the video would have you believe, but my initial impression is that they are high quality, durable and will suit my needs very well.

I was considering the Giant Loop Coyote, but wanted a bit more storage capacity 39L vs 50L and I like the way these bags drape over the bike with the allowance of adding a third bag if you want. And the price is very reasonable.

Assembled and ready to mount

The main thing I like about these is the flexibility. I could have ordered a dry bag from Tusk for the top in a couple different sizes, but I have a bunch of them. In this picture, go light and don't use one at all.

One Ortlieb medium bag
That high spot in the front middle is due to the hump of the pillion rise. It does not affect stability.

One Ortlieb medium and a Sealline 20L

Two Sealline 20L

And them off the bike.

A few final thoughts.
Fitment is good, not great as the CB5X might be a bit small.
You will need some type of rear rack

You might have noticed that wart of a mount on my rear rack. It's for this ugly little box to use around town and day riding. Practical I suppose.

Back to final thoughts
If your travels require you to remove/install the system every day, plan on 10 minutes to install. You may be faster with practice.
The included dry bags are form fitted, slick surfaced and should slide in with minimal  trouble - I hope.

If you are in the market for soft panniers, maybe this will be useful.


Modifications, Accessories, and Appearance / Giant Loop Coyote Fitment
« on: March 15, 2020, 04:30:23 PM »
Maybe Jenny or somebody else who's used the Giant Loop Coyote can answer this.

Do you think the saddlebag would fit over a pannier rack on the CB5X?  Specifically I've got the SW-Motech EVO rack.  In looking at the bag, it looks like it's a pretty tight fit over the seat.


CB500X - General Chat / Dirt Naps and Bendy Parts
« on: March 14, 2020, 12:26:29 PM »
 As a new riding season is kicking off, I'm looking to take my 2013 RRL2 deeper into the nasty stuff. And with such a plan, the probability of putting her on her side is pretty high. So yesterday I decided to experiment with laying it over and looking at what made contact with the ground and therefore was likely to cause me problems in that Oh Sh-- moment. Besides realizing that when you purposely lay your bike down and pick it up - it's heavy, I also discovered that my muffler may be a real problem. More on that in a minute.

First, here's a picture of the bike on it's left side with my hard panniers.

Between the panniers and handlebars, almost nothing else touches

The hard panniers, Happy Trails, have been dropped dozens of times over the years and hold up very well, but the racks, SW-Motech EVO, on this CBX haven't been tested. Bending is a possibility.

For my normal day-to-day use, I will continue to run the HT panniers as they provide a lot of utility. But for dedicated off-pavement adventure, I'm looking at soft luggage options. Currently the Giant Loop Coyote and Giant Loop MotoTrekk Panniers are near the top of the list. But, regardless of my soft luggage choice, without the hard panniers, key parts of the bike hit the ground when she takes a nap.

On the left side it's really not to bad. The pedal folds up, but the shift lever hits and the handlebars keep the bike off the fairing. Shift levers cost around $13 bucks, easy to replace on the road, so I can carry a spare.

On the right side, this bad boy is the problem.

I didn't get a picture of the bike laying on it, but trust me, it lays on it heavily. I can see practically any drop, especially a moving drop, doing real damage to the exhaust. Just in my gentle lay over, the weight of the bike pushed the pipe against the swing arm. The brake pedal also strikes the ground and would likely bend, but same as the gear shifter, it's less that $15 and easy to replace.

It doesn't look to bad here, but when laid over it really get's crushed.  :013:

So any ideas - besides don't drop it, buy a real dirt bike or other pearls of wisdom  :745:

Back to the heavy bike thought. It's funny how when you drop your bike in public how relatively easy it is to pick it up. I guess the adrenaline / embarrassment thing is working overtime. But when you lay it down in your garage or yard on purpose and then try to pick it up, damn it's heavy. I had visions of the Honda CRF250L having a spot next to my CBX..


I'm selling a pair of Klim K Fifty 1 jeans for $175 USD. They are size 32 regular, but in fact run large - the reason I'm selling them. They have been worn about a dozen times, over the past year and are in new looking condition.  They fit me loose when I was a 32 waist, but now I'm a 30" and they swallow me. For your sizing purposes, they are closer to 33/34" and fit a 32" inseam fine. I just ordered a replacement pair to the tune of $312 so I think $175 shipped to conus US is fair. I'll ship anywhere else on your dime.

You can read about them here at Revzilla >

Thanks for looking

CB500X - General Chat / Incredible Fuel Mileage - Not so Much
« on: December 29, 2019, 10:29:38 PM »
Not losing the love mind you, but it's aggravating that my little machine just isn't turning those OMG mileage numbers.  After yesterday's run of around 260 miles, in warm weather on a variety of roads, I still got no better than 56 mpg (US). Yea, it's not bad, but I sure would like to see some 60's. 

Just to prove to myself that it wasn't my imagination, I pulled the data from my Fuelio app. Over the last 7,743 miles I have averaged 56.93 mpg, so I guess yesterday's ride was right on the money - sadly.

2013 CB500X RRL2 with 27L hard panniers (not much in them), Mitas EO-7 tires, Madstad 20" windscreen, Two Brothers exhaust, stock gearing, DID 520 chain. Geared up I weigh in  around 165 and my valves are good and the air cleaner is fresh. Now..., I do ride briskly. Not squid behavior mind you, I'm 65 after-all and don't have a Mohawk on my helmet, but I use the throttle and five to eight over the highway limits - might happen  :016:.

So, if anybody else has a dirtied up bike like this and isn't strictly constrained by the posted speed limit, what do you think?  Normal?

Like I started with though, the mpg is a minor aggravation, mostly from a reduced range standpoint, but I still love the thing. Pure  :001: :001:

Cheers from NC

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