Friday, February 20, 2015

More Bergy Bits: DIY Lowered Footpegs on the Husaberg FE390

Lowered by 1.5 inches...screw 7mm!
One of the interesting things that all bike owners get to do is modify and customize their ride to suit themselves.  I had a DR650 which I resprung, de-weighted and lowered the footpegs on (with the help of a friend who could weld).  While re-springing the big Suzuki was amazing, lowering the pegs was the best and cheapest mod I did.  It boosted my riding ability more than any other mod has ever done before or since. It transformed my confidence on slower more technical sections and, together with bar risers, made it much more comfortable to stand on the pegs.  Of course lowering the centre of gravity didn't hurt either; in fact, it was amazing how much easier the big bike was to navigate through quite technical areas at walking speed.

The original steel pegs (ktm footpeg 590.03.041.250)
The Husaberg has much more ground clearance than the old DR, and being a very compact bike, it can be cramped in the cockpit for a 6 footer wanting to stand on the pegs for long periods of time and ride dual-sport.  Not only that, but standing on the pegs gives the impression of being in helicopter. Not that the bike notices at all; it's my neurosis.  So, after riding for a year, I decided, rather than buy some risers, a high bar, and re-thread all the cables and hydraulics, it would be simpler to buy some lower pegs.
But, on looking around there are only a few aftermarket products out there.  They are slick, look nice, come in anodized blue or orange aluminum (depending on your cool-aid of choice), but they only offer a whopping 7mm of adjustment down by using a "collar".  7mm?  That won't even defer the height gain from my new boots.  For this you pay in $189 US before shipping, duty and taxes. Call it $250 CDN, or if you like $35 per mm.


So there was only one thing for it, a pegoplasty or peg-reduction if you like.  The exact opposite of those pecker augmentation emails Andy keeps getting.  [edit:  Hey, don't knock it--those augmentation devices worked for me! ~Andy]  First, I thought about making an extension bracket that would slot into the original bodywork and hang lower, but that would be very hard to stabilize as the peg is held with a large-bore clevis pin with only split-pin securing it.  The pegs would waggle.  Not the thing when slopping through mud or balancing on that log.   Then I happened across a guy who has done the same thing on his KTM 990.  Oh yeah, they use the same pegs as all the other KTM/Husa/Husky products out there - ktm footpeg 590.03.041.250.  Actually it's stamped right on the peg.  So I looked that up...$60 per peg. That was my insurance.  I would cut the pegs themselves, get a plate welded in, and weld the peg back together.  If I didn't like it, then I could always buy original (or aftermarket - $35 per mm...ouch) pegs again without having screwed up the bracket.  

Despite what Andy's mum told him, that is what 1.5 inches looks like.  When I got the pegs back, because of where I had directed them to cut, they had these serrations on the bracket.  They would not be nice on my boots, so I ground them off.

Grinding the serrations off...Something I wouldn't have had to do if I had them cut the bracket off the peg, rather than the peg off the bracket...but what fun would that have been?  Now I can look at these in the knowledge, that in some small way, I helped fabricate them...I could over time, even exaggerate and take all the credit...No, only the Welsh would stoop.
Then I sat on the bike, pondered, measured some more and fabricated some wooden "pegs" at approximately the what felt like the right height and measured.  1.5 inches lower would do it.  My legs would be somewhat straighter, I would not feel like I was lurching over the bars when standing. Not only that, my centre of gravity would be lower.

Wish I could weld like that.  Heck, I wish could weld!
But there are other, more serious considerations to worry about: the pegs must be no lower than the bash plate, the rear brake pedal must be able to be adjusted low enough, and the side stand must clear the port peg...I turns out that lowering the pegs by 1.5 inches is the absolute maximum that you can manage while meeting all of those criteria.

A 1.5 inch plate welded in place.  Top serrations removed.
So after that long-winded ramble, here are the shots of the finished product.  Thank you Nanaimo Sheet Metal - precision cut, plate inserted and, critically, welded back together at exactly the right angle (no not 90 degrees!).  I furnished them with the link above and they did the rest.  $100 for both. Money well spent?  Only time will tell.

Grinding finished.

Above and below.  Mounted on the bike.

Above and Below: brake pedal adjusted fully low with specified 5mm play.

I haven't ridden with it yet, but I am very pleased with the results so far.  I'll mount my new rear (ouch that sounds awkward) and let you know how it goes...  Maybe some more finagling with shifter and brake, but that can be fun too!

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