Review: Highway Dirtbikes "big bike" kit for the 950.

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by Geek, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    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. :freaky

    Amarillo Texas on Feb 9, 2010. Temperature: -4 degrees Fahrenheit :patch :
    [​IMG]


    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.. :D ). 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 :evil

    My garage right now:
    [​IMG]

    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. :patch 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 :eek1

    The 950 is even worse:

    In an accident your right mirror can break off your brake reservoir...
    [​IMG]
    ...and your left can break off your clutch reservoir.
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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):
    [​IMG]

    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 :evil

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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).
    [​IMG]

    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
    #1
  2. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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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.
    #2
  3. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Thanks for doing this geek. :thumb
    #3
  4. madrid mark

    madrid mark migrant film worker

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    nice, want.
    #4
  5. plumbtired

    plumbtired plunging into the farkle

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    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
    #5
  6. bikyto

    bikyto Dans le doute...gaz!

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    :clap awesome description
    #6
  7. mountain eagle

    mountain eagle terrorist

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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........... :D
    #7
  8. Gimme 2

    Gimme 2 wheels , with nobs

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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!!
    #8
  9. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander still alive and well

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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.


    :lurk :lurk
    #9
  10. Bok Befok

    Bok Befok Been here awhile

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    How's the vibration of these mirrors when driving?
    #10
  11. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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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.
    #11
  12. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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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 :evil

    wacky joe: on my Husqvarna, I have no vibration in my mirrors whatsoever and can see clearly behind me.
    On the 950? :dunno
    I will find out! :lurk
    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 :patch

    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.

    :freaky
    #12
  13. Parm

    Parm Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the comprehensive write up Geek. Eagerly awaiting pictures of the end result here!
    #13
  14. Bok Befok

    Bok Befok Been here awhile

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    Thanks Geek, looks like i need 2 order a set then.:1drink
    #14
  15. Salzig

    Salzig Long timer

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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.... :baldy
    #15
  16. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    ok.. I snuck out to the garage for an hour at lunch time :evil

    Notes:

    1) I apologize for the crappy iphone pics... it doesn't do macro very well or photos of "black things" very well so I've tried to hold things up and get some light on them (my garage lights aren't the best either)

    2) I'm going to post the photos in smaller size because I tend to post lots of pics.. if you want to view the full size pics you can browse my smug mug:
    https://topgeek.smugmug.com/Adventure-Riding/2010/Feb-18-Installing/

    3) ...of course you don't have to take the bike "this apart" to install the HDB system.



    ----

    So as I mentioned.. I was looking forward to pulling the bike apart "more than I have to" just to see what is inside :evil

    I have to say I'm pretty impressed by the neatness of the wiring job/layout that the KTM engineers did. Husqvarna could learn a thing or two from them. That said, the KTM engineers could learn something from Husqvarna: I can take my entire 610 apart with a single 8mm socket wrench. I must have had to use a half dozen different tools to pull the KTM apart this far...

    I know one of those set of wire connectors runs off of ACC1 (always hot) and one runs off ACC2 (ignition hot)... anyone know the color coding off the top of their heads?
    [​IMG]

    I assume this fuel tank vent hose design is standard where it loops up through the fairing and then drops down out the bottom? I'll have to remember if I ever do a stream crossing deeper than the headlight that I'll probably have water in my gas :lol2

    [​IMG]

    So as suggested it was easy to remove the lower risers with the fairings off using some extensions:
    [​IMG]

    ... and that allowed me to complete the removal of the stock risers.

    Et Voila!
    (that's a joke for Dan Alexander whom I used to ride with in Montreal 17 years ago :D ):
    [​IMG]

    I received some requests for detailed photos so I photographed them at every angle I could think of so here comes more than you ever wanted to know about how the system works :D :

    Mirror in billet handguard frame - extended and retracted:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Mirror in frame - extended and retracted from back:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    How the mirror "folds" back and forth if impacted while extended:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Mirror extended with shield on (Shields come in black or white):
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Mirror retracted with shield on:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    In that last photo you can see "dimples" in the top right corner of the shield - these are where the optional LED turn signals mount if you want them.

    Here is the hardware I mentioned yesterday, the threaded inserts go in your bar ends. BTW, the guards, clamps, etc are all machined billet 6061-T6 and everything is pre-tapped so that the hardware bolts right in cleanly.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I'm going to put this photo in large so it shows you how the system goes together. The kit comes with a tap so that you thread the end of your handlebar (I'll post photos in next update of doing it) and then the insert threads into your bar and the guard bolts into the insert (i.e. this system is secure and not going to move around). The other end of the guard bolts to a billet block... there are two mounting holes (high and low) depending on the fit you want, and the end of the guard is slotted to allow for adjustment. That billet block is bolted to the top of your bar risers. As I mentioned before mine have a bunch of extra holes because I asked for two power outlet holders and I have 4 switch mounts (which will also show up later in the install):

    [​IMG]

    Here is the custom engraving I mentioned.. I'm going to color in the lettering with something or other (?)
    [​IMG]

    ...and here is how the bike sits now waiting for me to start re-assembly:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    I still have to go pick up a couple of things like a power cord for my GPS that I'm going to hardwire in, etc.

    Hopefully I can get back to it as the weekend goes on.

    cheers,
    Edward


    ...to be continued
    #16
  17. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Nice writeup Geek.

    I now have about 2,000 miles through baja and here on my HDB setup (just like yours), and I can assure you that you will love 'em.

    And to answer someone's question earlier- no more vibration than the stock mirrors.
    #17
  18. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

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    Acc1 and Acc2 should be labeled as such, in that wire bundle directly over the horn (right side of headlamp).
    #18
  19. plumbtired

    plumbtired plunging into the farkle

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    Thank's for the update, I'll go cash in some cans and get the order in.

    Love the post, way to go GEEK!!
    #19
  20. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

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    Will these work with an EMIG top clamp, triple clamp and steering stabilizer ?
    #20