Mission (mostly) accomplished! At last. The bike is back in one piece, running like a charm and proving to be a lot of fun out on the trails. Far less physically demanding than riding the Tiger and vastly more capable; I’ve tackled tracks that would have been utterly impossible on the Tiger! It’s been a saga getting here though – mostly related to the air box. Oh, and my 701 is famous!
Sub Frame Bolts, Air Boxes and Amazing Serbians
In my previous post I talked about the problems I had refitting the air box with the in-line fuel filter still in place. The saga of the air box continued well beyond that. Re-routing the fuel hose to put the fuel filter outside the air box cavity was easy and it’s good that it’s easily accessible now. It’s hard to see from the photo but it’s towards the top of the loop of fuel line, wrapped up in some old inner tube to make sure it doesn’t get snagged on anything.
Once it was done I still couldn’t squeeze the air box in – despite literally standing on it and hopping up and down. The bolt-heads on the sub frame re-enforcement kit were too wide by few millimetres and nothing would get that air box in past it. I dropped Nikola at Perun an email and he had a few other customers with similar problems so I was chosen as a test subject (and a world-famous blog topic!) for some thinner-headed button-head hex bolts, sent special delivery from Serbia. Long story short – they worked; just. It was still a squeeze but once the initial resistance was out of the way the air box popped in past the bolt heads and fitted fairly well. I think the rounded shape of the new bolts helped a lot. If you want the detail check out Nikola’s blog – including my very own photography!
The restricted range of movement did, however, make lining up the box with the engine air intake pretty tricky. I ended up going counter to the advice on the Perun website and pulling the “pipe” out of the air box by removing the second jubilee clip, I then attached the pipe to the air intake and put the air box on over the pipe. With the pipe folded lengthwise a little it was relatively easy. It was also markedly easier to slip it in there using a little well-placed lube. Ooooh, matron.
The longer lower sub frame bolt went in without a hitch. I can’t recommend Nikola at Perun highly enough; top guy and incredibly helpful.
Sticking with the the topic of air boxes – the UniFilter pre and main air filters are reasonably easy to install, if a little fiddly. Do I need them? No. I don’t often ride in dusty conditions but compared to the cost of paper air filters over the lifetime of the bike they’re cheap and can be cleaned in the field, I don’t see any downsides.
Fitting the Rally Raid pannier frames was a 15-minute job, the only 701-specific thing I would mention is that when you look at the instructions for the KTM 690 installation there is a circle marked out on the plastics for where you need to drill for all three bolt holes. On the 701 plastics the front plastics have the spot marked with the same circle but the rear ones only have a little “nick” clipped out of the plastic. Looks a little bit like someone in the factory has the unenviable job of nicking out a bit of plastic on every one they make. He does his job right though, it was in the right place. Also – RR recommend a 16mm drill bit for making the holes – I think 14 or even 12 would be adequate if you drill accurately. I can also confirm that the RR frames, despite the lack of a rear bar bracing them, can take a few hits – the bike has now been on it’s side a few times, including a fairly hard drop and they’ve kept their shape.
We have a set of Adventure Spec Magadan 2 panniers on Lena’s xCountry and they are, for my money, the best soft panniers you can buy. Big, tough, waterproof and with handy fuel bottle holders. I considered Mosko Moto but they put their weight on the top of the plastic sub frame and offer limited security. With the Magadans I can set them up so the weight is taken by the pannier frame rather than the seat and therefore the weight is transferred to the foot pegs. The top straps are not tight, they just hold it all in place. They are also the only soft panniers I know of which have any real concession to security, as we do leave the bikes unattended it’s a vital feature. Lena has the perfectly functional, but slightly flimsycable lock which AS sell on their site and I’ve never been completely happy with. I’ve used a set of “Steelcore Security Straps” and they are perfect for the job; in fact I have been speaking to AS and I think they might even get them in to resell. They’re a lockable cam strap with a steel core and a big, chunky, locking mechanism which is easily operable with gloves on. They’re tougher than a simple cable strap, the fabric helps protect the steel cable from wire cutters. They’re just the right length; long enough to take the bags fully stuffed and you don’t need to pull the cam apart all the way to open the bags. One key opens both. Perfect.
The Giantloop Fandango Pro tank bag was a 10min install. Makes access to the ignition a little awkward; but I will get used to that. It’s certainly a more confidence inspiring mounting solution than my old SW Motech tank ring and I really like the fitted, Velcro-in roll bag liner. Much better than those stupid rain covers everyone else makes. The handlebars do hit the bag on full lock, but it moves sideways enough that it’s a non-issue, they only just nudge it.
Finally, I like to carry a backpack with me wherever I go. I don’t just ride, I hike, cycle, picnic, kayak…. I considered getting a dedicated waterproof motorcycling one (Mosko, Touratech) but I already have Karrimor Sabre 35 backpack I find very comfortable – I have been using these bags since my student-soldier days. So I decided to Pooratech it – a couple of ROK Straps and three waterproof roll bags to line the backpack; it fits perfectly on top of the pannier racks. The racks even have perfectly positioned cutouts on top to take the ROKs. Total cost – less than 30 euros.
I’ve also picked up some double-sided Velcro from Amazon; designed for tidying up cabling. It can be used to wrap up all the loose webbing straps on the luggage. Cost about 10E delivered.
There was a distinct lack of good places to install a Powerlet socket on the 701, but I went with the left hand side of the headlight assembly, flush-mounted to the thick black plastic “box” as you’ll see below. It’s wired to the battery so I can charge stuff in my tank bag without the ignition on, if I want to. I can always unplug it when I don’t want power going to the tank bag.
Hooking in the hand guard lights in was dead easy, there is a set of switched (and un-switched) accessory spade connectors on behind the headlight. I just put 5mm spade connectors on the end of the cable, plugged in, job done. The pair with the red and black cable is switched live, brown to earth. The pair with the red and yellow cable is permanent live, brown for earth.
Attached to the permanent-on connectors behind the headlight is an electrical system status light from sparkbright.co.uk. The 701 doesn’t generate anything like as much electrical power as the Tiger did, so I thought this was a nice idea. If all is well it’ll show green, if not there are various simple colour and flash codes to explain what’s happening so if I turn on too many gadgets it’ll change colour and I will know to turn something off. It comes with the bezel mount and is self-dimming, so when it’s dark out the LED doesn’t blind you but when it’s bright you can still see it. This particular one is an “Eclipse 5” and cost me 20E; I also picked one up for the xCountry,
The Adventure Spec bash plate is a beast of a piece of kit and has already taken a few really good whacks. For it’s size (seriously, it’s huge) it’s remarkably light and I’ve certainly not noticed the added weight compared to the stock plastic one. Some folks sell a separate cover for the exposed rear brake master cylinder, this bash plate covers it anyway.
I’ve got a new set of Barkbusters metal spines installed and my old black Storm plastics fitted to them. As always they are an easy install and well worth it, a broken lever can be game-over and these things are not going anywhere in a hurry. I thought the big black plastics would look awful on my 701 but they actually look pretty good. The bolts which hold the brake and clutch levers on are bolted into the plastic holder for the stock hand guards. You can remove the white plastic hand-guard and the black holder still fits in between the BB metal spine and the lever, so you don’t need new bolts for that.
I’ll include the Double Take mirrors here as well. 5 minute install, far more adjustable than the stock mirrors for a better rear-view and vastly less prone to vibration. Throw in the fact that they are virtually indestructible – I’ll call them a good buy.
OSCO Chain Oiler
On my Tiger I had a Scottoiler vSystem which certainly kept my chain oiled but by the gods was it a pain in the ass to get “right”. Adding an additional reservoir was a nightmare, it threw oil all over the place and seemed to flow at totally random rates so I elected to go with something simpler for the 701. Thanks to The Rolling Hobo for making me aware of the OSCO; as well as a stack of other useful bits of advice from his own 690 Enduro modifications.
The OSCO is pretty simple to install but I did have trouble finding somewhere accessible to put it on my 701 because you activate it by pulling on the plunger. I ended up mounting it just under the blue plastics at the front and I used some old inner tube and a jubilee clip to attach it to the frame. There was simply nowhere to fit it using the supplied bracket. It was a touch tricky to route the feed pipe as well due to how narrow the 701 is, the pipe just narrowly misses the rear spring (which could nip it) and the exhaust (which could melt it) but I think I have it positioned safely enough. From bitter experience I did not use the stick pads included to route the tube along my chain guard, they don’t stay attached in hot temperatures. I put two extra holes in the mudguard and cable tied it on. I did need to go to the hardware shop and buy different pipe, the pipe that came with it wasn’t long enough to reach from the front of the bike all the way back; I think it’s intended to be installed mid-bike.
It does seem like a very well-made product, certainly compared with the Loobman I have on Lena’s bike. Anything will be better than that god-forsaken Scottoiler! It’s also nice that it’s designed for 10W50 engine oil… just like my engine!
Still to come… some engine side case protectors, tool tube, Husqvarna radiator guard, ABS dongle and remote throttle mode selector.