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  #51  
Old 1 Week Ago
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Fastace fork install

When I first decided to buy the Sur-ron I had resolved to get the Fastace forks as they were the "Premium" for at the time. Unfortunately when the bikes were available Sur-ron had discontinued using the Fastace forks due to quality issues resulting in the coatings on some of the forks to fail. I didn't do my research enough and thought that the DNM forks were the next best thing, so chose them over the RST forks. I have since learned that the DNM forks do not have the best reputation when it comes to performance and are jokingly referred to as "Do Not Move" forks. DOH!

Fortunately Adam had a spare set of Fastace forks and offered me an opportunity to try them out. They came in a box with a complete set of new triple clamps and an axle. I bought a new headset bearing kit too as there have been a couple of reports of the stock headsets loosening up because of a plastic spacer being used. Adam reckoned the newer bikes come with an aluminium spacer now, but he wasn't 100% sure so advised that I get the new Matrix Headset bearing kit given they are only $15 and at some stage I was likely to need them. That turned out to be good advice as you will see.

The headset bearings on these bikes appear to be the same as mountain bike ones, and they are quite different to motorcycle ones I've worked on in the past. Rather than having a nut on the stem that you tighten, there is a screw on the top of the stem that pulls against the handlebar mount to sit the headset firmly. The Sur-ron has a nice little rubber plug in the nut that needs to be removed first.


With that out the bolt can be removed and the stem cap taken off. Notice how the stem sits a few mm below the top of the handlebar bracket? That is important so that the cap presses down on the top of the handlebar clamp and pulls the stem up in order to hold the bottom steering stem bearing in place so the triples are nice and solid.


With the cap removed, the handlebar mount slips off to expose a spacer that is about 10mm tall in order to have the stem sitting the few mm below the top of the handlebar that is needed.


With the triple clamps removed the cap covering the top bearing is exposed and can be removed. Under it is a spacer that has a beveled edge that pushes down on the top bearing without binding it. With those removed the bearing is exposed and can be knocked out using a long punch, working around the bearing a little at a time until it pops out.


The bottom bearing can then be punched out too using the same technique. When that bearing dropped out I saw that it is not a sealed bearing, but it wasn't too badly greased at least.


I cleaned up the steering head with a bit of 800 grit sandpaper, then using a plank of wood and a "knockometer" I prove the new sealed bearings from the Matrix headset kit into the steering head - to and bottom.


On the left is the new Matrix headset kit, and on the right is the OEM headset and the stem spacers that I removed. I didn't realise it but the Fastace stem is a bit longer than the OEM one for the DNM forks, so when I first put everything back together there was a lot of play in the headset no matter how much I tightened the cap bolt. That was because the stem stuck out above the top of the handlebar mount so no tension could be put on the stem. My options were to either cut the stem, which I was NOT keen on doing, or replacing the 10mm spacer (in the red box in the image below) with a taller one. I went to the local bike shop and fortunately he had one which was 13mm, so I bought that and user it in place of the OEM one.


The next "challenge" I was presented with was that the Fastace triples needed "star-flanged nut" to be installed in it in order to give the cap bolt something to screw into and pull the stem together. The Matrix headset kit included a new star-flanged nut, but it is quite significantly larger in diameter than the internal diameter of the stem tube. That is so it can bite into the stem when put under tension, but that means it needs to be driven into the stem straight to the right depth using a special tool... which I do not own!


Undeterred I resorted to Google and found a guy who had a genius DIY method using a long 11mm quarter inch socket that you put the head bolt into, screw the flange nut into, and then drive into the stem. I was reluctant to strike the socket with a hammer, so I drilled a hole in a block of wood I had and inserted the socket into it so that I could smack the wood with the hammer and not risk damaging the socket. It worked a treat! The flange nut makes horrible scratches on the inside of the stem tube, but I guess it has to in order to ensure the nut is nice an secure when it is put under tension by the head bolt.


With that done, I put the triple clamps in the head, placed the beveled spacer on the stem then put the cover on.


After that all I needed to do was put the spacers and handlebar mount on the stem, place the new stem cap on and tighten the bolt firm enough to hold the stem in place without any play (with the top triple clam bolts and handle bar mount clamp bolts still loose so that the stem cap could pull the stem tube up). With the head secured without play I tightened the top triple clamp bolt, lined up the handlebars so the front wheel was properly in line, and then tightened the handlebar clamp bolt. All set and ready to go!
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  #52  
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Mud protection

From the first time I even saw the Sur-ron I felt it needed a front mudguard, but there is precious little out there that suits the bike that bolt right on. The mountain bike options are either too short, too narrow, and/or too thin in my opinion. Luckily I have an MCAS near me, so I took the bike in with me and the staff there let me hold up the various options they had to the bike to see if they'd work. The one I felt was the closest size was for a KTM 65SX, so I bought it. The problem was that the triple clamps don't have any bolt holes to put a fender on other than a single bolt hole at the front of the bottom clamp, so in order to get the thing mounted firmly and safely enough would require some ingenuity. What I did was cut out a cardboard template of the mud guard mounting area, then used that to up a nylon cutting board I had at home to the right size and drill holes that lined up with the ones in the fender. With a bit of Dremel work I then shaped the top of the plastic to snug up to the underside of the lower triple clamps. When that seemed to sit nicely I fashioned some aluminium plates to fit on the top of the bottom clamp so I could tighten a nut firmly to hold the fender in place. I had a few flat screw bolts that were a perfect fit for the underside of the fender so they mounted relatively flush and minimised the risk of the wheel knobs catching on the bold heads if the fork bottomed out. The top plates aren't pretty, but they do the job. Bolting it all together off the bike seemed to work well.


It wasn't until I came to fit the triples up to the bike that I realised the plates I had made were not going to work as there wasn't sufficient clearance between the back inside of the plates and the steering stem to fit up in the head. DOH! So I tried to turn them and just use the front holes, and that seemed to work fine. If I was to do it again I would just get a couple of thick washers and grind/file them to fit the front 2 mounting holes, so if you want to do this mod hopefully you can learn from my experience? I just turned the plates I made outwards and that seemed to do the trick.


Next was the rear. In my opinion the rear linkage and shock are WAY too exposed to dirt from the rear wheel. I have recently replaced the mud flap that bolts to the airbox on my KTM, so I cut that roughly to shape to see if it might work and used a couple of angle brackets I had from an Aldi kit I bough a while back. All I needed to do was drill out the holes to the right size to accommodate the bolt/screw needed to fit the threaded holes already in the swingarm, then drill holes in the flap and secure it with small nuts and bolts. It isn't pretty, but it's better than nothing for the moment - I will keep my eyes out for better solutions.


Another trick I saw Adam had done on his bikes was to turn the Sur-ron number plate sideways, drills a couple of holes in it, and fit it up. You need to bend the plate a bit up near the bracket so that the bottom of it doesn't catch on the linkage assembly, but it does a pretty good job otherwise. Between the 2 bits it at least provides some protection for the shock assembly, but I am looking for something a bit better.


With the front mudguard guard the bike now looks a lot more like a dirt bike, so I won't be able to get away with claiming it is a mountain bike anymore. I would have liked a white mudguard too, but MCAS only had pumpkin ones... I guess that makes my Sur-ron "Ready to Race" then, right? :P
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  #53  
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Arctra Arctra is online now
"The Crack Of DOOM"
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sydney (Penrith area)
Posts: 3,192
I charged up the battery and took the bike out for an hour long ride to test it out and am pleased to report the mudguard it nice and secure - no flapping and flailing around like I feared night happen only using the front mount holes. Even jumping the bike and going over small logs wasn't a problem. The rear setup isn't ideal though. I am pretty sure I heard the number plate fitting the swingarm when the rear end squatted too much, so I'm keen to find a better solution there.

Oh, and this X-controller is AWESOME! Makes the bike so much nicer to ride!
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