I’m not getting a second hand bike again. Or at least if I do, it’s going to be completely stock. That’s where I was at on Sunday. And maybe still am…
The Givi gear arrived, 24 hours after ordering it. That’s amazing as it was the day after New Years when I ordered it. Got some time on Friday to install it, so out with the parts list (actually making sure I had everything) and then the instructions.
First step was to take the tail tidy off, as there is a bracket that Givi fits between this and the undertail. They provide longer bolts to compensate.
Well, it fits if, I assume, you have a OEM tail. I don’t and the steel aftermarket tail clashed with the Givi bracket.
I made a couple of calls and it sounded like it might be another $500-600 to get a OEM tail, or something similar. And it was after 5pm on Friday, so little point in trying anything else. I left the bike in pieces in the garage.
I swore I’d made the wrong decision. I swore off second hand bikes, I wondered if the other person would want to swap back… I wondered if the shop would take my specially ordered Givi gear back, it was almost unopened.
I know, I’ll fit the bobbins I bought as well, so I can sort the chain properly.
Of course then they don’t fit…. oh no, wait they do. One side installs. Can’t get the bolt into the other side. Swap them over and the first bolt goes in the new side fine and the other one doesn’t. Crap now these are no good!
So I went to the gym to vent my frustration.
Saturday I started some research and working with a friend who’s a Kawasaki nut, I figured the parts I might need, the price resolved to something a lot more reasonable. I also posted on a Ninja 1000 website I had found, about the problem. The new parts would be more like $200. I put the bike back together so at least I could ride it.
Sunday. Well at least I hadn’t planned on a ride. More research. Could be a few weeks back order so any chance of a tour next week (work trip) looked to be out.
And then the Ninja 1000 forum…. Nope, never used the bracket for the topbox. Not even fully loaded, for years…. So I went back out to the bike and looked at it. The main mount for the topbox arms are made for the pillion rails, but also for the panniers to attach. They’re a pair of 10mm, 8cm long bolts on each side. The VFR only had that for it’s top box the whole time I had it, and it’s bracket weighed a TON, and that was never a problem. The attachment point is into the subframe. For the 10kg max load in the topbox, the box itself was pretty light (things have changed since the box back in 2004!) and the brackets, I think it would be fine.
With quiet optimism I put the Givi kit on.
It is very secure. As noted, the mount point is designed as the pillion hold and the pannier mount so I’m confident it is strong.
Relief came and washed away almost all, not quite all, lingering doubt about this whole swap deal. Touring, commuting and teaching (for when I work as teacher) mode enabled.
I will still investigate getting the OEM fender. While I might not need it right now, I will feel better with the additional bracket eventually. Additionally, if I add panniers, I think the bracket will be worthwhile. Lastly, I might need the OEM tail in six months when it comes time for the rego check.
Now to decide if I should ride to Canberra for work, or drive. My heart says ride, but my head is unsure (I should figure out how much uniform I need to take, that will help). And then there is Mrs Mab to convince….
Oh and that other bobbin still needs sorting…. argh, second hand bikes!