- 115dB, 500Hz lightweight horn is easy to install
- Perfect for limited-space applications
- No wiring harness is required
- Product ID: 1027206
- Manufacturer: PIAA
- Manufacturer Part#: 76501
Here's where I relocated it to:
Have you ever used your OEM horn on this bike, and yet this is the best thought you can conjure up?
Now meet the PIAA Slimline Sports Horn.
Any aftermarket horn is going to be larger than your OEM horn. And while you could have just plopped it into the same location as the OEM, I thought it was a bit curmudgeon looking. When installing the horn, make sure that the vents are down (so you have half a hope that it might drain out after you ford water!)
Here's where I relocated it to:
To get it there, I unbolted the OEM bracket and reattached it to the bracket near the coolant reservoir. Notice I have intentionally put the bolt heads on the "motor side", in case a bad crash they won't push into engine vital bits.
The horn does not appear to need a relay. There is plenty of slack in the OEM horn harness to get to this location. Additionally, I was able to reuse the OEM horn connector by just snipping one of the 2 webbings. Using a pair of dikes, just snip the webbing on the connector furthest from the wires. This will enable them to open wide enough for you to slide them on the PIAA spade connectors. Removing the obnoxious PIAA sticker makes the horn blend into the bike better.
There are few things in life that are illustrative as a practical example. Having recently returned from the Trans America Trail, there were two minor nits that needed to be dealt with. The first was the utter lack of power at altitude. I know you are a little bike, but really sweetie, you were completely gutless when faced with adversity nearing the summit of Imogene Pass. Yes, I do realize that it was an extreme example, but we must conquer! So, with that, I've installed a Power Commander V Fuel Injection module. The installation is a snap...well once you watch the you tube video and locate the connectors.
The main module tucks neatly under the headlight assembly, and you would never know it's there once the headlight is secured in place.
Next up was taking the chill out of the cold mountain mornings. How about a set of Heated grips? So, part of the "problem" is that folks report that aftermarket grips don't produce enough heat to overcome the heat dissipation of an Aluminum aftermarket bars. Secondly, many report that aftermarket grips are not robust enough. My other personal pet peeve is companies that don't provide a switch, or provide a switch which is not waterproof. For all the reasons, I chose to use the Oxford Adventure Heaterz. Their switch has a dimming feature, auto turns off and also monitors battery voltage.
I moved all the switches towards the center of the bike to compensate for the Adventure Heaterz, which are a bit longer than grips that were mounted on my Pro-Taper bars. Another issue I had was getting the left side grip onto the knurled bar end. It was so tight, that I didn't use any glue, but a whole lot of tire lube!
I was lucky that I previously installed an Eastern Beaver 3 circuit, and there was an open port. Which uses all switched circuits. Switched circuits are turned off when the bike is shut down. The picture on the left shows the grey connectors that Eastern Beaver provides. They are robust, if not a bit on the big side for bike work. You can also see that 3-circuit unit which is captive between the frame and the relay. The picture on the rights is the relay switch.
I've used some electrical tape to keep some same fuses with me.
My only real nit with this kit, is that since it's a universal kit, the wiring loom is too long. So, let's get to tucking those up. I've used some 3/4" heat tubing which I don't shrink to give the connectors some additional water resistance. Then I zip tie them on behind the headlight on the top.
While it could never look factory, I am pleased with the final install appearance. To keep the wiring loom on the back side of the triple tree, I intentionally mounted the controller upside-down. It is mounted to the Highway DirtBike plate with double sided sticky tape. It's important that you make sure you leave a reasonable gap (2-3 quarters thick) on the throttle side to the hand guards. Rubber expands when hot, and you don't want the throttle to be bound up on the hand guards! Also, notice how the wire routes over the top of the handlebars. This position is necessary so that that the throttle can rotate without snagging on the clutch perch or front brake reservoir. Also, the throttle will require the use of the supplied super glue (which starts curing really FAST!, but then fully cures in 24 hrs).
While Garmin is capable of making some fancy smancy GPS units, the same folks make some floppy mounts. Floppy in the sense it's possible to pop that $900 bucks right out and skip it down the highway. Here's a nifty trick.
Here are the parts sourced from Lowes:
The Hillman Group Spiral Wrist Band - Plastic Key Rings Item #: 33287 | Model #: 701304
Gardner Bender 10-Piece 1" X 1" Black Mounting Pads Item #: 292685 | Model #: 45-1MBUVL
From auto parts store:
3M™ VHB™ Tape 4910 Clear (It comes with foam tape, but I have really good luck with this stuff)
I hang the wrist band off the mirror mount. Works with both mounts I have including touratech locking mount and the stocker Garmin mount.
Here's another option I've seen, but never personally used. This is a GoPro Hero mount from Ebay.
One of the most important things about mods to the bike, is the law of unintended consequences. In this case, shortening the suspension also required the kickstand to be shortened. Now, the kickstand doesn't appear to be magically complex part (in fact it has no moving parts), so this ought to relatively easy task. Except it's not.
For one, I am sure there is some fancy smancy correlation between running length of the kickstand, bike lean angle and suspension sag, but I for one don't have the stomach to dig all those numbers up. So, instead we do the next best thing. We intend to cut the kickstand in bites to get the correct angle. This would have been a flawless method, had we not got a bit greedy, and taken that last 1/2" off.
So you ask, why does it matter that the kickstand is too short. Perhaps the most annoying thing, is that when you mount/dismount, the bike can pivot around the rear tire. Additionally, when you park it on anything, very.slightly off true flat, you'll likely barely get off to and stand up so you can watch the leaning tower of pisa. Except your learning tower of pisa actually falls!
But once you get the correct length, you can't just weld the kickstand back together. Instead, the proper way is to reinforce the hollow tube with a metal pin which provides strength, and also something to weld to. Here's the pin being lathed.
Look whose got some new 'Spench !
So the WR250 is panning out--it's now a nice modern fuel injected motor on a nice fitting chassis. It's a hare taller than the DR200, and I could probably get it lowered, but I will ride for a bit before I make the final decision to lower it some more. Bruce finally realized as long as the bike isn't too long over the tank, or too heavy, pretty much any bike is game!
We left with Height Mod 1 (Low Seat) with a little more than 4.5 inches. Next up let's see what we get from the rear shock height adjustment (Mod 2). After supporting the bike on a center block, and removing the linkage bolts, we were able to take adjust the rear. I am bit forlorn that the Mod 2 hasn't resulted in more than 1/2 inch lower. Sigh.
Mod 3 will be raising the forks in the triple tree. Ordinarily, I've had terrible results with doing this as handling is often degraded. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. And we are closing such a large gap, we'd probably have to level the front out somehow anyhow. We had intended to raise the forks until they hit the handle bars, however, we were limited as the outside of the forks are tapered 1" down. The stock position of the forks is the silver cap is level with the top of the triple tree clamp.
So many angles and dangles! This was appears to better than a 1:1 ratio! We've done some fairly low cost and simple adjustments, and we've shaved nearly 3 inches off this seat height. For many riders, this would have been plenty of height savings and they would be riding. For me, not so much. The first rally on this bike is in a little over 6 weeks away. Next week, I will mail the front forks and rear shock to Fastbike Industries for final lowering via internal modifications. I am excited as we've done a few projects with David, and all have out performed OEM 'Spench.
Mod 4 (which we inadvertently forgot until we started pulling the parts to mail out) is to take all the preload out of the rear shock (Mod 4)
I should have done a better job here, but here's the measurement from ground to the bottom of the skidplate.
Nobody ever promised that things worth doing would be easy. This bike is no exception. I've now had her for a bit over 2 months, and she's yet to provide me a single mile of smiles. Yes, she is just eating on my food bill devouring any sort of spare funding I thought I should have.
Here's me sitting on the stock suspension with the stock seat. I've actually got the bike vertical by supporting myself on the wall. We'll call this Mod 0. Whew, 5.5 inches from me to mother earth while in a neutral position. This is going to result in way too many times picking this bike up if we can't dab nor stop without vaulting off!
All those years of riding a slab of leather on a horse has apparently numbed my buttocks. So much in fact that I ride seats for 76K miles, which others couldn't get 200 miles out of. I was more than willing to get as much out of seat adjustment as I could. Height Modification #1--a low seat/shaved foam. While I've seen folks go at their seats with a vengeance and a electric turkey knife, I was lucky that Seat Concepts had already done the hard part. They provide foam which is slightly wider on the pelvic bones, but 3/4inch shorter.
I love gripper vinyl as it doesn't have the maintenance of wet leather, nor the slickness of vinyl.
There are 3 ways do this mod. Send you stock seat pan to Seat Concepts and pay outbound shipping +$20 labor, buy a pnuematic staple gun and stainless steel staples ($60) and do it yourself, or find a local upholstery installer. I went with the latter option. He thought the foam and cover was very high quality materials. I think pretty is as pretty does!
So, the age old question...did we get our promised 3/4 inches out? Yes, I believe we did rabbit!. However, still not a uber useable bike for a shortypants! We'll need to look elsewhere for another few inches.
While I have never been unfortunate enough to snap a chain, it's quite a high penalty response. Mostly, the chain recoils then binds into the engine block. It's relatively cheap to prevent that from happening, so I usually seek out case savers for my sleds.
Secondly, the OEM sprocket covers are usually plastic. As I wallow in the mud like a pig, the mud often cakes around the sprocket. I prefer metal sprocket covers that all mud to escape.
For $60 or so, Sandman is an simple, yet incredibly nice piece of kit. While I have used their stock photos to show the parts, I eventually decided to get them in silver. Ever since a purple aftermarket spring ended up next to a gold chain on a orange bike.. I've been a bit wary of 'too' much color.
I will get a nice photo of the actual bits when it's not sleeting out.
While hard bags have the allure of 'security' while parked, they certainly aren't waterproof, especially after the first crash. If you do get a case that is crash survivable such as the Jesse cases, the rack becomes the 'weakest' link.
After investing more money than a small nations GDP, I've converted into a soft-sided pannier girl. Conveniently, Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddle Bags are nicely sized at 19L each. It almost forces me to pack smarter and not take the entire kitchen sink. While I might somewhat regret the yellow color as I bought these for the other 2 'yeller ones in the stable--yellow and blue isn't so bad?
While I have been using them a few big trips, I think this mod from Big Dogs Adventures sled will be very handy! It will replace the flimsy bag liners that come stock with the bags, which should make loading the bags faster and less annoying. First, start with exactly this trashcan that hasn't been produced since 2012. As oval shape has gone out of vogue, it was tough to find a replacement...but I think I have it! The Container Store still stocks them. They were a bit sluggish mailing them, and a bit spendy, but hey I didn't have to go to every Walmart in the free market to sleuth out old stock.
5.2 Gal / 20 L
13 3/4" L x 9 3/4" W x 19" H
(073149) UPC ✓Digit: 10828-9
(073149) UPC ✓Digit: 10829-6
We used a pneumatic mini-reciprocating saw, which worked quite well. We added two more finishing steps: The edges were smoothed a bit more using a 3M Scotchbrite Wheel on the buffer. Then used use a razer blade to get any last grindings. Lastly, we put a small round on the top edge where the vertical cut meets.
Works like a champ for fit, and really I don't think you are losing much (any) loading space.
I've spent some time noodling through the things that need to get tidy up before launch date. Here's the punch list in no particular order:
The tried and true Fastway Evolution III dirt pegs are
are the next ones to consider at 2.25 f/b and 3.25" wide. Fastway is American made, and I am kinda sorry we sold off another set, as I didn't realize you can just buy the correct collar attachment and they fit most bikes.
I have always thought the Fastways were really high traction, even to the point of being boot sole eaters. But they are replaceable, and the you can arrange them in many configurations!
The real reason I am back looking at Fastways is the camber (tilt) System allows you to customize the up or downward angle of your pegs to match your skeletal and joint angles.
I am the kind of the person that crashes...and crashes a lot and magnificently! Time to think about improving the survivability of the pedals, lest we be in the middle of BFE with a crack in the OEM casting. While I don't necessarily got for more robust, I usually like to get something that is billet or pliable. I am also a huge proponent of lever tie downs, which prevent them from being ripped off the bike laterally. While I wish these were a better matched set, it's these were the only ones I was able to source. The DRC brake pedal is P/N D48-06-213 and the Driven Folding Shift Lever is P/N DASC-80.
In a galaxy not that far ago, on a bike not much unlike this one I returned from one of my first off-road forays. As pulling the clutch in just seemed to simple, I would often give the bike a big ghostie as things started going awry. Seemed kinda bad to do that, but bikes can be replaced and I lived to tell another fishing tale. In this case, the bike often ended up coming to stop often 'parked' vertically. You wouldn't think that the move was able to be replicated, but I assure it is!
Nonetheless, the top case had a rough go for the first year. Soon enough, I got 'better' and began anihiliating skiplates. I clean ripped off an OEM plastic one, mashed the mounting points beyond salvage on a second as it punctured my oil pan, and a third skidplate lives to see today. To say that I am hard on the belly of any bike is a understatement. The problem is further exacerbated by my short inseam and lowered suspension sleds.
Basically, I know I need skid plate protection...and a lot of it!
This is probably the only thing I ended up needing to 'exchange' on the bike. It came with an EVOTECH Performance skidplate. While technically the manufacturer touts it as a "sump pump plate", the plastic OEM ears will not survive long.
There are probably 2 or 3 contenders for skidplates. Flatland Racing, B & B Off Road (Australian), and Ricochet Off Road. Admittedly, I probably should have looked a bit more into this before I leapt. While there may have B&B dealer stateside, I didn't easily locate one. I didn't feel like waiting (nor funding) international postage. Flatland seems to have lovers and haters. So, I settled on the Ricochet.
For a the cost of a Benjamin Franklin, I was able to get get the Ricochet. Installation couldn't be easier as it comes with the four M6x20 hardware. They used the OEM mounting points. What I like about this design is that the wings provide a degree of front impact protection to the engine side cases.
As a strange aside, I've seen a huge increase of folks trying to skinny down their dry weight of the bike. One thing that they are (erroneously) doing is comprising protection by using Carbon Fiber. Of the few instantiations of Carbon Fiber in the moto world, I would never recommend it for impact protection.
To the left, is a buddies KTM 2-stroke expansion pipe. You'll notice that he was chasing a World Class Enduro rider through a Novice single track course, and piled into a large, immovable tree. The resultant force, smashed his expansion pipe to the point of needing to be replaced, all while the carbon fiber shield deformed (then popped) right back out. The carbon fiber shield was "good" as new though!
By most accounts, the WR250R might be the ultimate dual sport platform. And it has certainly been an excellent seller for Yamaha. Honestly, the search for a WRR came as a welcome relief to the months of searching for a 'hen's tooth" we normally encounter, when 3 years out of production we decide we covet a bike with very low production numbers. The WRR had "ample" supple to chose from. At the end of the day, $5500 and a dream can put you squarely into like new WRR.
While Bruce's mechanical talent is somewhat like a cat in the sense that he always seems to land on his feet from a freefall, condition on the bike is paramount. Every used bike will need something, but at the end of the day, Bruce will go through every bike with fine tooth comb. It is here that the a flogged like a wet horse bike will consume copious amounts of money. To this end, I won't dabble in bikes with questionable histories lest Bruce be rebuilding a top end of motor all while adding creating an additional 10%/34cc motor displacement!
We finally settle on a bike in pristine condition. Installed are the following modifications:
The cherry part of the dealio though, we found some other ads by the same seller. Luckily, we were able to help each other out and get a sort out pricing on a package deal!The uSHIP hauler had the bike at the house within 48 hours of pickup. The next weekend, we popped on all but the power commander.
One trick if you have a translucent tank. When you fill the gas tank for the first time, measure off each gallon. Then mark the liquid height with a paint marker. Make sure you stand the bike vertical off the side stand before you mark it.
The first few outtings in this configuration we a bit unnearving as the gas light comes on around 90 miles. However, the bike then gets another 150 miles before really needing a refuel. I guess what I have is a "High Fuel" warning light. So, to fix this unintended consequence, we'll move the low fuel sensor down. The arrows are showing the before and after height. The sensor is at the end of the black and beige wire. Held by two zip ties.
They say a fool and his money are quickly parted. To accelerate that, Bruce and I have have taken to buying things off the internet....and sight unseen. Oddly enough, we've yet to have a transaction going terribly south. We've also scored some amazing deals, since we are not geographically constrained. It seems weird to think that living in the Metro DC area that there isn't everything one could want at my feet, but alas it does occur.
While there is an incredible urge to buy a bike that has already had the aftermarket accessories installed, unless they are parts that you actually want it is usually a waste of time and effort. Secondly, these bikes tend to be in more a used condition.
We begin scouring our normal haunts eBay, Craigslist, Cycle Trader and ADVrider. In nearly prestine condition with only 1200 miles on the 2-year old odometer is the one that we want. Ironically, it is less than 5 minutes from a family members house, making closing this deal a snap.
To close the 730 miles from Maryland, we'll either go and visit family for the weekend, or more than likely use Uship.
And who doesn't love a pretty picture of HP and Torque (Factory is the green lines)
Torque Graph. Factory is green line.
After cogitating for a few more weeks, Bruce is forlorn that he can't sort this one out. I mean really, he doesn't sleep but a few hours each night so this problem ought to be solved. Then it dawned on him--A WR250R!
The WRR has all the tickets punched...except the seat height.
Seat Height 36.6 in
Wheelbase 55.9 in
Ground Clearance 11.8 in
Fuel Capacity 2.0 gal / California model 1.9 gal
Fuel Economy 71 mpg
Wet Weight 295 lb
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Fuel Delivery Fuel injection
Transmission Constant-mesh 6-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Here are some Dyno numbers:
27.5HP with Power commander & full exhaust
29HP with air box mods **it was ungodly loud, and this mod was reversed**
And so the journey to find one begins.
I've been mulling over a new sled for quiet some time. You see, while the Little DR200 has been been pretty much a hammer (e.g. you can't mess it up), plans to stage bikes out western US are brewing. We have a buddy out there that can store the bikes, and likely the bikes will be out there for 2 years, and ultimately get sold before returning east.
The DR has been extraordinarily good to me, but she lacks any sort of aftermarket support (despite 25 + years of production), and she's anemic. While I could handle her cool temperament on the road and settle on secondary roads, it was a bit unsettling that there was never any extra power on the trail when others were ascending with no issues. As a bonafide shortypants, there aren't many bikes that can accommodate my rinky-dink inseams. This leaves me in a quandary.
After deciding to open my wallet, the issue remains that most 2-300cc dual sport/off-road bikes are either not street legal or are intended as entry-level bikes underpowered and lacking suspension. For many months, the market was scoured for solutions. No doubt that a dual-sport bike, by definition, is a jack of all trades and master of none. The requirements I had for the bike were as follows:
Bruce meanwhile suggests all the wrong bikes. Here's the benchmark if you will:
Power 15 HP @ 8500 RPM Torque 17.7 @ 7000 RPM
Power 16.2 bhp (12.1 kW) @ 6980 rpm Torque 12.9 lb·ft (17.5 N·m) @ 6480 rpm
I am not thinking that the extra single (Yes one.single.HP) 1 HP is going to wet my whistle. Besides, the DR makes 5 more ft/lb of torque and we all know torque is what moves you!
So the XT225 rock doesn't pan out for Bruce. Next up on his "bring me a rock" is the DRZ-250
While the big brother the DRZ-400 is somwhat of a mainstay to the Adventure group, this one is not street legal. And that not to say that we didn't ponder getting one from a state that does issue titles, but we secretly knew the "Old Line State" was going to be nightmare. While the suspension is somewhat respectable, the 35" seat height will be something to grapple with. As with most Suzuki bikes, they desperately needs a good modernization. This one has been in (and mostly) out of production for the last 3 decades. And as with the DR200, it largely unloved by the aftermarket community.
On to the next rock of serious consideration. Something 'exotic'. The CCM GP450 Adventure sure does look snappy. Bruce thinks I might kill myself with a bike that weighs 286lbs and creates 40HP! But alas, it's been "processing" to come to the USA for a looong time now. And let's not forget that $10K price tag.
Toss that rock back. Back to the drawing board we go. Apparently the Beta Alp200 shares the same Suzuki Motor as the DR200. The Beta Alp 4.0 uses the Suzuki 350cc motor. Another rock rejected.
Since we are on a roll of the wrong bike, let's look at KTM offering. Pre-2008 KTM 250 XCF-W have a bit of shorty pants following. However, I guess I am just not inclined to want that maintenance head ache, as the performance gains will probably be wasted on me.
Our last sled to evaluate are some of the newer offerings coming to market. CSC Cyclone RX-3. It produces a whopping 18.5 HP and is a small hippo at 385lbs.
She's Chinese made and $3K. She does appear to have bit of street bias though.
And so the search continues.....