Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Subtle Touches, Odds and Ends

In an effort to make the NX a little more user friendly, I decided to modify a few things.  First, I decided I did not like the stock shift lever.  It's a little short and does not have a spring-loaded, folding tip.  The folding tip probably isn't a big deal, for the street.  But, I do plan to ride the NX on dirt and gravel roads and perhaps some two-track.  The folding shifter tip will come in handy should the shift lever encounter some solid objects (like, tree roots, rocks and/or the ground).  Luckily, shift levers, from 'big brother' bikes (like the TransAlp, XR600, XR650...) easily retrofit onto the NX.

Here, I've swapped the stock unit for an XR600 shift lever.  As compared to the stock unit, the XR600 unit is slightly longer (additional leverage is a good thing) yet maintains the contours to clear the engine side case (stator cover).  With the spring-loaded, folding tip, it's capable of taking a little more abuse before the lever itself bends.

I also added a rubber flap, a la the TransAlp, to the front fender.  Unlike the TransAlp, the stock fender exposes quite a bit of the front tire, aft of the forks.  This will obviously lead to quite a bit of spray ('road rain') from the front tire in wet conditions.  I wanted to limit some of that exposure to help keep my feet dry and keep water off of the engine and exhaust pipe.  I used a six inch square piece of black rubber from the hardware store.  I'm a little concerned that the hardness (durometer) might be on the soft side and that the flap won't be able to contain as much spray as I'd like.  In an effort to provide some support, I mounted the rubber, to the fender, with four fasteners (stainless steel M4-1.00 x 16, with fender washers and Nyloc nuts).  As you can see, two of the fasteners are on the sides of the fender, creating a "u" shape.  I'm hoping this shape will provide enough structure to resist wind/water deformation.  If the flap deforms enough, it obviously won't do its job.  I can procure some rubber with a higher durometer but it doesn't come in black, it only comes in a color resembling red brick.

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