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Old 02-18-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
Geek OP
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Location: 8000ft, Twin Spruce Gap, Colorado
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Review: Highway Dirtbikes "big bike" kit for the 950.

Disclosure: HighwayDirtbikes.com is located near where I live in Colorado. I know the owner of the company, Paul (he is an ADV member), and consider him a friend. I have paid for my 950's HDB system and am not being compensated for this review. Please find the facts as they are and take my opinion as just that. If the product was crap I wouldn't review it.. but I'd still drink beer with Paul.

Amarillo Texas on Feb 9, 2010. Temperature: -4 degrees Fahrenheit :



As some of you know, I bought my new-to-me 950 two weeks ago in Atlanta and rode it 1700 miles home to Colorado (sorry about causing that 2000 mile wide blizzard everyone.. ). Since snow is forecast the next 4 days here, it is time for me to get to work on my new mistress installing some of my preferred creature comforts

My garage right now:


In the following review I'm going to show my installation of the www.highwaydirtbikes.com new "big bike kit" on my 950. Highway Dirtbikes (HDB) makes a set of hand guards that cleverly incorporate the mirrors into the hand guards making them virtually indestructible. The guards have matured into an "adventure system" which incorporates many features beyond just the hand guards / mirrors. You can even get integrated turn signals, etc if you are installing them on a dirtbike to turn it into a dual sport.

One of my personal pet peeves with any bike that is going to be used offroad is the way they mount the stock mirrors. On my 610, the right-hand stock mirror screws straight in to the Brembo rear brake reservoir. I don't know what genius thought that was a good idea.. but I have no desire to snap my reservoir off my handlebars when I break a mirror

The 950 is even worse:

In an accident your right mirror can break off your brake reservoir...

...and your left can break off your clutch reservoir.


No good.

In the past I've used various solutions like the (horrible) plastic bolt on acerbis mirrors and the worm-clamp mounted dual star mirrors both of which solve the stock mirror issue but neither of which let you see very much behind you. The HDB setup solves both issues.

I already have the HDB setup on my Husky TE610 and love it. I installed it almost a year ago now. The mirrors work well and they can take a beating (I have even back flipped my 610 with the system and the mirrors just fold themselves in on impact).

In this photo of my 610 you can see the mirrors safely folded in to the guards:


In this photo of me on the 610 you can see the mirrors folded out. The fact that they pivot out beyond the end of your handlebar means they are out past your arms and elbows so you have an unobstructed view behind you:


The mirrors both pivot (in and out) and fold (rearward on impact).

When Paul told me he was coming out with a new big bike kit for the 950s and GSs, I ordered a set without hesitation. The big bike kit has bigger beefier frame work in the guards.

He called me today and told me my kit was ready and I ran over and picked it up. The kit includes (plus a bunch of hardware):


In my case I've had the following upgrades added over the basic guards:
-two power outlet mounts built into my top mount
-3.5" total height risers (taller than stock)
-custom engraving with my name on the top mount
-billet remote control mount platform for my ipod/iphone wireless remote
-black anodizing of all parts to match my sexy mistress

The top clamp also features 4 switch mount holes where I'm going to wire in my off/on switches for my electrics, etc.

So tonight when I got home I started pulling things apart.


In about 10 minutes I had it looking like this. After pulling off the stock handguards and the GPS mount I put down some towels to protect the fairing and pulled off the glove box lid to protect it from me slipping with a wrench and scratching it. Then I basically undid all of the handle bar housings and then slid the bars out of the throttle tube (since the throttle cables weren't long enough to allow removing the tube off the end of the bar in its stock location).


The only part of disassembly that remains is removing the stock bar risers. The problem is I've gotta figure out how to get a socket onto the bottom of the triple clamp to hold the nut while I turn the bolts... then I can begin reassembly.

...to be continued (hopefully I'll get some time tomorrow night or Saturday)

cheers,
Edward





...to be continued

edited to fix a spelling error

Geek screwed with this post 02-18-2010 at 08:04 PM
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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footnote: I didn't have to remove the handlebar completely to install the HDB system - but I'm also installing some KTM heated grips, etc so I totally removed it to make my life easier.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for doing this geek.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:17 PM   #4
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nice, want.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:38 PM   #5
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Thumb Triple clamp removal

Long 3/8 extension, socket, & ratchet work well. 18 V cordless impact works better, have to twist the forks side to side, remount a little harder but a can do.

R 08' 990A stock handle bars considered fat bars? 1-1/8" OD
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:42 PM   #6
bikyto
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awesome description
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:22 AM   #7
mountain eagle
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I hope to get a set for the 950SE in black shortly. I actually can't imagine not using the HDB system on any dirt or dualsport........ Hell I'm trying to get my friend to put them on his RC51 streetfighter...........
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
Gimme 2
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take the front triple tree off if your on your own , heaps easier.

Just chock the front wheel, so it does'nt slide out or move side to side.

Also easier with the cowls off, if you don't want to take the tree off.

Nice write up!!
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:33 AM   #9
Dan Alexander
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I've been in discussion with HDB on this very set up for my SE and want to mount two Gerbings temp controlers in the top clamp along with the Powerlet plugs and ipod remote. Just have to make sure it fits with the Scott's tripple and damper. I didn't know the the hand guards come in black, cool.


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Old 02-19-2010, 04:46 AM   #10
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How's the vibration of these mirrors when driving?
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:38 AM   #11
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Looks good man!

Note on the KTM heated grips. I had these on my SE for a while and although they work great heat wise I was not very impressed. The grip service is not very aggressive and if they get muddy or wet they are slickery as hell. I ordered a set of grip wrap heaters from aerostich for $17 dollars so I could run true off road\MX grips. You may be able to get away with some form of grip wrap but I thought that the KTM heated grips were already to thick.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:24 AM   #12
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plumbtired: Yes the 1"1/8 stock bars on a 950 are considered Fat Bars. Most non-fatbars have the little cross bar to reinforce.

plumbtired and gimme2: Thanks for the tips on the riser removal. I think I can get them off with sockets and extensions BUT I think I'm going to pull the entire nose off of the bike for two reasons:
1) It'll make wiring in my other upgrades easier
2) I'm curious as to see what is in there. I might pull the entire bike apart this weekend just to get to know her a bit better

wacky joe: on my Husqvarna, I have no vibration in my mirrors whatsoever and can see clearly behind me.
On the 950?
I will find out!
One of the cool things about Paul is he is a perfectionist. If I find there is vibration in the mirrors I have no doubt he'll come up with an anti-vibration solution.

Hooliken: yeah I was worried about that. On the 610 I have to run Kevlar grips because I wear them out so fast. I keep telling myself I'm going to be nice to the 950 and I'm not going to take it stupid places like I do the 610. Somehow I don't believe me

In Colorado we can use the heated grips literally every day of the year as we go up and down with altitude extremes so I stayed away from the "removable wraps" just because I'd be constantly putting them on and taking them off. That said, I suspect in the end I may be doing the same thing I've done with dozens of bikes in the past.. shrink wrapping the left bar and using the stick-on-under-grip elements. If that's the case, I'll pull the KTM grips off and put them on my street bike.

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Old 02-19-2010, 08:39 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comprehensive write up Geek. Eagerly awaiting pictures of the end result here!
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #14
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Thanks Geek, looks like i need 2 order a set then.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Removing both side fairings will make easier to disassemble bar risers.

...And maybe you won't waste a couple of hours recovering a washer from deep inside the engine....
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