Author [ES] [CA] [PL] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [DK] [NO] [GR] [TR] Topic: Fitting Rally Raid Level 3 to my 2017  (Read 963 times)

cajayhawk and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline slowrider

  • CB500X Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 500X Rally Raid
  • City / Town: Surbiton
Fitting Rally Raid Level 3 to my 2017
« on: July 25, 2017, 11:02:59 PM »
Thought I would share my experience in fitting the Rally Raid Adventure Level 3 upgrade kit.   Also fitted the Fat Bars and Bark Buster Fat Bar Guards and Storm shields.

First, why buy the CB500X, throw away all the suspension, and then fit Rally Raid.   To be honest I was going to buy an Africa Twin.  I Live in London but love touring.  I have been down to the Sahara and back a couple of times and I am in love with Morocco, especially riding across the Atlas mountains, particularly the Tiz n Test pass.    All this on a 2000 BMW R1200C.   

I am new to off roading and want to enjoy more of the beaten tracks and off road adventure.   I took advice from some really experienced riders, especially John Faulton of >>>> link hidden <<<<
Guest - The above link is visible to MEMBERS only. Please Register or Login, a great tour company and a man that has ridden everything.   It was John that pointed me in the direction of The 500X and Rally Raid.   His reasoning is that the Rally Raid version allows good motorway riding but then allows real off roading in tough environments.    Also, I will be doing some touring on my own (Riding to Helsinki and back in a few weeks time) so I wanted something very manageable that I could pick up easily if I dropped it ( I am at the back end of 50).

Also, I went on a 2 day training course at the Honda Adventure Centre in Wales  >>>> link hidden <<<<
Guest - The above link is visible to MEMBERS only. Please Register or Login   What an amazing couple of days. Instantly put at ease by the genial instructors, they could not be more helpful. Once we arrived at the off road section the instructors then graded all of the attendees by making us go up and down a gentle slalom course. They first told us how to stand on the pegs and lean to steer the bikes. I think the grading into the 3 groups was spot on. This was my first time off road and I was in the stage 1 group. Our instructor broke down the days riding into small sections. Before each section we would stop and he would go through in good detail how we should manage each section, down to road poison, gearing, breaking and traction control settings. Each section became progressively tougher, I think the progression curve was spot on. Some of the sections were designed in loops, so you could do several circuits to get to grips with technique and fine tune your skills.

But it was clear, that despite the Africa Twin being a great bike it really was too heavy for me and that was unladen, what would it be like fully loaded with camping gear etc..

So I did some more research and watched the you-tube videos made by Juan Browne and
Jenny Morgan about what the bike can do and how to fit the Rally Raid kit.   I even visited Rally Raid to meet the people and have a look round.   They are really nice people.

I am a planner and it is a good job I am.   Rally Raid have become a victim of their own success and there are some long lead times on parts.   So if you are buying then make sure you allow plenty of time. 

All the bits are of great quality.   The kit is designed to be fitted by a novice, which I am.   It is all swap out/in and the instruction as really easy to follow.   I will say that some bits are quite tricky.  I do have a great selection of tools, but I had to improvise a couple of times.

I am not going to cover the swap in detail, only some highlights (Juan Browne on you-tube does a far better job than I could ever do).

Rear Shock

My 2017 bike has ABS and this makes access a little more tricky, especially for the shock top bolt.    I ordered the shock with the Tractive Hydraulic Preload fitted.    So not only do you have a heavy shock to lift but one with two remote hydraulic units to locate.   I had to sit there for a while to make sure where it was going to fit and how to thread what in what order through the bike to get it all to fit properly.    But as I have mentioned, the instructions are great.     So, all in position and now lift the shock to insert the top pin.  Now it may be just me, but I think this is a two man job on the ABS version as it is all a little tight up there and just difficult to see and feel what is going on.  So I had to improvise.



The hammer in the photo is used to leaver up the base of the shock.   Wiggling the hammer handle with one hand allowed me to get enough movement to the top of the shock to line up the holes and push the top bolt in.

Next problem was putting the washer and nut on the top bolt.    After dropping both several times and cursing, as I had to use a torch each time to find where they had ended up in the bike, I thought to use a lost thing retrieval tool.   Clasping the nut in the claws and gently starting the thread.  Worked first for the washer.





In the instructions (at time of fitting) stated that a dent needed to be bashed into the exhaust to prevent the swing arm hitting it with the increased travel.    But the exhaust  on my 2017 already has clearance so no need to do this, Really Raid also confirmed this.

While fitting the rear shock I decided to fit a Tutoro chain oiler.   Having previously fitted the Rally Raid pannier racks I was able fix the Tutoro so that the rack can protect it.  A cable tie makes sure nothing moves around.



Front Forks

I had been dreading this bit, but it was all surprisingly straight forward. 

Once the tubes were removed the instructions said to hold them in a vice, but I improvised a little;




The only thing not covered in the instructions is that with the new springs fitted the front wheel extends by an extra 2, so the brake hose and electrical wiring brackets on forks longer fit to their original positions.   There is enough travel in the cables and brake hose, but nowhere to fix them.   As I am going to be off roading I needed to make sure they are secure, so I made up a bracket extender from a bit of aluminium.    Once fitted I made sure that there was good free movement and nothing was getting caught or rubbing.  But as belt and braces I rapped some bicycle inner tube rubber around the bracket just to make sure it would not rub against the hose.



Found some words by Jenny Morgan on the CB500X.com forum saying to take off the forks preload and then put on 4 to 10 turns each.   The preload adjusters do not come fully out and apparently you need to be careful that you do not force past the zero position.   The same forum thread also says that the pre-load on the front forks is there to adjust sag with respect to the rear sag adjustment to keep the geometry right (bike level) and does not increase the spring resistance, well that was worth reading.


Front mudguard

I fitted it no problem, but it did not look right.  There was just a few mill of clearance between the tire and the mudguard at the back near the engine.     Pulled and squeezed to see if anything was loose and then realised that I had not fitted the spacers to the rear bracket.    Rally Raid did supply them cable tied to the place where they go, but I had cut them off and just forgot about them.   Once fitted the mudguard sits correctly.


Barkbusters

I have the Barkbusters with Storm shields.   These are general purpose and the fittings allow assembly in a multitude of ways, oh, so many ways.   It took a lot of fitting and unfitting and fitting and unfitting till I managed to get them sorted.   The main issue is getting it all set up so the various cables and pipes fit neatly and also so the brackets do not hit the bike or screen on full lock.   I did fit the Rally Raid screen spacers which help a bit, but it is still tricky to do.


Sat Nav Mount

While I was at it I wanted to mount the Sat Nav in a better position, higher up so I did not have to look down to see it.

Cut a piece of aluminium tube and then filled one end with JB Weld.   Upended the tube vertically and placed a washer, same diameter of the aluminium tube, underneath.   When set did the same to the other end.     Drilled out the centre of the washers and screwed in a  threaded bar all the way through, so it sicks out about 1cm either end.  Then fixed a spare Garmin mounting bracket I had laying around.    Hammerited  it all with several coats of black paint then mounted it through the screen bracket holes.    Used a couple of thumb nuts to secure in place.






And here is the finished upgrade.


« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 09:35:15 PM by Admin »
Having fun with Rally Raid Level 3 upgrade
Toured in : 🇬🇧 🇮🇪 🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 🇪🇸 🇮🇹 🇸🇮 🇭🇷🇳🇴 🇩🇰 🇸🇪 🇫🇮 🇲🇦

Offline JMo

  • CB500X Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Bike: CB500X
Re: Fitting Rally Raid Level 3 to my 2017
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 02:09:59 AM »
Hi Slowrider - great write up, and glad to hear everything went together easily for you - I like the GPS bracket you've made, it works really well on the 2016-on screen brackets!

Just a couple of replies to the points you raised above - to help anyone else setting up their bikes:

a) The exhaust clearance - as you highlight, if you are using the OEM 2013-16 model CB500X exhaust silencer, then a small dent needs to be made in the inside face of the conical section so that the swing-arm can clear it on full travel with the +2" LEVEL 2 suspension.

Fortunately the 2017-on exhaust is a different shape so does not require this, neither do any of the aftermarket exhausts we've tried either - Yoshimura, Akrapovic, and of course our preferred option, the Scorpion Serket Taper. Other brands also seem to clear the swing arm with no problem either, it's just the earlier OEM pipe that needs a slight modification.


b) I agree the instructions are currently a little ambiguous with regard to the front brake hose once the +2" LEVEL 2 suspension is fitted. What I tend to do is just loop a zip-tie around the rubber bumper on the hose, and then loop another zip tie through it and the hole in the lower triple clamp to stop the hose flapping around too much - although in practice you can actually just leave it to hang free (I've just done this for over 11,000 miles on my own bike). You do need to remove the original hose bracket though as you say, otherwise the hose can be a little too taught at full fork extension.


c) As you've ascertained, the preload adjustment on the forks (and the shock) is for setting the rider sag - it is not a way to 'stiffen' the suspension -  a popular misconception amongst riders who are not familiar with the workings of suspension... note. It's true that on a progressive spring, adding [a lot] of preload will effectively use up the initial soft rate, so be further into the stiffer rate section of the spring - this is why Rally Raid use a linear spring, so that the sag adjustment does not affect the spring rate, and the damping from the shim valves can control the action of the spring more uniformly...

It is also worth noting that if you want the forks to feel a little 'stiffer' towards the end of their travel, then you can add a little more fork oil to reduce the air gap - but that fundamentally, the softer/longer springing of the Rally Raid suspension is what gives it such good traction and compliance, on and off road.


c) The 19" mudguard - yep, don't forget those two little spacers for the rear mounting bolts!

The 2017 bike looks great in metallic grey - and as you summarise so well in your introduction, Honda actually got so much of this bike right already - what we've done is given it the ride and handling quality [and off-road ability] of a much more expensive ADV machine, while keeping the core bike small and nimble.

Looking forward to hearing about all your adventures!

Jenny x



Offline James59

  • CB500X Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • Country: scotland
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • City / Town: Glasgow
Re: Fitting Rally Raid Level 3 to my 2017
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 07:15:40 PM »
This is a great post. It is exactly what I have been looking for. I also love the Africa Twin, but, even though I am pretty strong I am 58 and feel the Rally Raid CB500X is the answer. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Kind regards
Jim

Offline slowrider

  • CB500X Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 500X Rally Raid
  • City / Town: Surbiton
Re: Fitting Rally Raid Level 3 to my 2017
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 07:28:23 PM »
Spent today on part of the Trans Euro Trail (TET) in Sweden.   I am quite sure I would have dropped a heavier bike on some of the single tracks. 

Make sure you get the external pre-load adjuster fitted.   I know it is expensive but it makes life so much easier.   I road from london fully loaded with camping gear, but road the trail without it to lighten the bike.  So much easier to just wind it up and down with the external adjustment.    So off to get a ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki tomorrow so just a simple matter to wind the preload back again as the bike will be fully loaded. 

Having fun with Rally Raid Level 3 upgrade
Toured in : 🇬🇧 🇮🇪 🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 🇪🇸 🇮🇹 🇸🇮 🇭🇷🇳🇴 🇩🇰 🇸🇪 🇫🇮 🇲🇦

Offline James59

  • CB500X Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • Country: scotland
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • City / Town: Glasgow
Re: Fitting Rally Raid Level 3 to my 2017
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 07:54:55 PM »
Thanks for the swift reply. You have done exactly what I have been thinking even down to the Tutoro oil feed. I have been on the Silja line ships to Helsinki about 6 times, a fantastic journey. The grub was pretty good when I went though a friend went a few weeks ago and said the grub was not as good as he expected-though he travelled Viking Line.
Jenny Morgans and Juan Browns vids are great, I totally buy into the concept of the Rally Raid and don't mind paying for it...Helsinki is wonderful, I lived there for a while in the 1980's. The language takes a bit of getting used to..have fun and many thanks.
Kind regards
Jim

 


Recent Topics

victorious-backstage