One final cold afternoon found me installing the last of what I had, and the last of what I would strip from Thumper. First on the list...
|It helps to have three hands when doing these. If you are not someone who was born that way, I recommend getting a buddy to help.|
I have these on Taz, the XT, also. When I raised the bars on Thumper, I didn't have to go far, so I used Touratech 3/4" risers. I really needed my handlebars to be in a very different place on the 700GS, though. So, I got the 2" Rox Risers and set about determining if I had enough length in my cables to install them as is. As it turns out, I did! They were a quick and easy install, and I was off and running onto the next addition.
Because of the state of my hands at the end of a work day building costumes, I have a very hard time with stock grip diameters. My hands tend to cramp if I hold onto a narrow grip for any length of time. The solution? Foam grip covers! Knowing my old ones were in bad shape this past summer, Josh thoughtfully had a set sent to me in San Diego, and I went to work installing them in the parking lot of my apartment complex. It was a hot, summer day, and I stood out there sweating like crazy, trying to get the new ones on by what appeared to be very obscene means. It was a little simpler this time, and I actually had hairspray to use. I'm getting ridiculously good at putting these on quickly, which is good as they don't last forever, especially if one rides a lot.
|A little hairspray helps them slide on a little easier, then dries to keep them in place. It's lube and glue all in one!|
|In the comfort of my own garage, I can make all the obscene movements I need to while getting the job done, with no pesky neighbors looking down upon me wondering what the hell I'm doing.|
Grips on! Let's finish the handle bars.
|The "Helping Louise's Hands" adventure would be incomplete without the addition of a throttle rocker. Can live without it on long mileage days.|
Barkbuster Storm hand guards. These are burly and more attractive than BMW handguards at the same time. If I had Barkbusters on when I hit that deer, my handguard wouldn't have been bent out of shape the way the BMW one was on the 650GS. Once again, super clear, easy instructions and a quality product. I just found out they are coming out with new ones which have led lights in the front, allowing cagers to see you more clearly when you are approaching them. If you're in the market for new handguards, they might be worth waiting for.
|The basic protective element of a Barkbuster is a super strong metal brace. I have no doubt I'll be putting it's s strength to the test later this season. Hopefully, not on a deer....|
|The toughest part of installing the handguards, making sure they were at the same angle! Also, please note I'm wearing my new Alpinestars Tech 7s to break them in. They don't really need it--they're super comfortable on their own.|
|The finished look. I'm not sure how I feel about the aesthetics of them, but then, I'm not sure I like any others any better. So, if I can't have super strong, invisible handguards, these are a good compromise.|
The last step in making my stance on the bike comfortable, both for long distance road trips and off-road handling, was new pegs. Or, in this case, old pegs stolen from Thumper. I had a set of Fastways on Thumper for the four years I had her, and I loved them. They are broad, stable, and have really good grippers on them. Bonus? They can be installed in a lower position. This was important as the stock peg placement on the 700 is really uncomfortable for me. I feel like my knees are in my armpits when seated, and that they placed me far too high when standing, forcing me to bend over to grip the handlebars. Not cool. The Fastways are the perfect solution.
|Each of those little grippy spikes screws in individually, and the pegs come with two different sizes--I like the short ones as it turns out. Pro tip--locktite those puppies! I lost one before I got smart enough to locktite them.|
I am still researching things like windshields, radiator guards, tires, and luggage--aka, making the dream list. As soon as I get all these things, I'll set off on an adventure to my nearest Starbucks for the obligatory super-clean, tricked out GS pic. I also decided on a new front sprocket with one less tooth. I'll let you know if it's as easy to switch out as the ones on Thumper and Taz, or if the neighborhood gets regaled with my complete repertoire of colorful vocabulary. Until then, if it didn't snow 8" on Friday where you live, I hope you had some nice riding this weekend. I wrote blog posts. You're welcome.