Review – Motrag ETV1000 radiator protection

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Motrag radiator protection/guardYesterday a whopping 15Kg parcel of goodies from Manuel at Motrag turned up. Although the box was bursting with new toys, I just focused on the one part I’d really been waiting for – the lovely stainless-steel radiator guard. I know Motrag have had lots of interest in this, which stands to reason with the Touratech guard no longer available. The only other alternative seems to be one from Ebay that could easily be copied for an awful lot less money – after all, it’s only aluminium mesh with a rubber strip and held on by zip-ties.

This guard is made from glass-shot V4A stainless-steel (equivalent SAE316 for harsh environments) with powder coated aluminium mesh bonded to the frame and weighs in at approx 750g. It is held in place by two Scotch ‘Dual Lock’ adhesive fasteners at the top of the radiator and the two fastening points that the ‘cooler spoiler’ (AP8139628) mounts to at the bottom.

Installing the guard is very straight forward …. remove the crash bars & cross brace (if you have them), side panels and spoiler panel. I also removed the tank while servicing the bike which does make access even easier, but isn’t strictly necessary. Give the radiator a good clean and take a few Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Motrag radiator protection/guard & fog lamp bracketsminutes to carefully bend back any fins that have been damaged by stones or jay-walking deer. Then clean and thoroughly de-grease the top of the radiator on both sides. The guard has about 1-1.5mm clearance either side when in position – I used a couple of split pins as spacers to make sure the guard was nicely positioned. Do a dry run so you get it located just right and then when you’re happy – whip off the adhesive pad protection and fit the guard for real.

Next up, I had to bond a couple of spacers onto the clips where the spoiler/guard mount –  these take up the space between clip and the new guard. They can’t really be fitted when reassembling the spoiler as access is difficult – hence bonding them onto the clip first. Motrag will be supplying the adhesive in the kit! I gave it 1/2hr to dry, then began the rebuild – crash bar cross-brace, tank, panels, spoiler and finally the crash bars themselves ….. another 20 mins tops.

So, the verdict. Easy to fit with no modifications required. The fit is superb and the stainless frame is nice and stiff, so no worries about vibration induced scuffing of the radiator. As always, the Motrag attention to detail – fasteners and instructions is 100%. If there iAprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Motrag radiator protection/guard & fog lamp bracketss a negative anywhere to be found, then some may question the weight … to me the Capo is a big old lump anyway, a few extra grams won’t snap the frame!

Of course aesthetics are a personal matter, but to me it looks good and is definitely in keeping with the spirit of the Rally-Raid. That just about covers fit and form, but what about function? Well I admit I’ve yet to turn a wheel with the guard in place, but I know Motrag put plenty of miles on a pre-production one and had no problems, so I’m confident it’ll work just fine. But just to be sure, I’ll post again in a few weeks when the Capo has another 3-4K miles on it.

These guards are on sale now over at motrag.com for €64.95 including tax. That’s about half the price of the Touratech guard before it disappeared off the website!

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Airbox breather update – (almost) a year on

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid airbox breather drainJust gave the Capo motor a service. No drama, everything went according to plan. I just thought I’d share a couple of pics of the inside of the airbox – with the modified breather – straight after the air-filter assembly was lifted. No cleaning, no Photoshop ….. just as it looks after 5,354 miles. The throttle butterflies, velocity stacks and idle air control valve (IACV) are all perfectly clean.

The extended drain tube from the airbox (down below the oil filter casing) held about a spoon full of oil when drained and what can be seen in the photo was only a light coating in the bottom of the airbox. One sheet of kitchen towel had that as clean as a whistle in a few seconds. Since doing this breather modification I’ve ALWAYS run the oil level to the HIGH mark on the tank. So without the tedious job of removing and cleaning out the complete airbox, it was a pleasure to simply replace the Athena air filter and button everything back together.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid airbox breather drain

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Fix or Photoshop?

I like to keep any eye out for any Rally-Raid sales in the UK or Italy and this one caught my eye, unfortunately for the wrong reason! Spot the bodge tape covering the EFI light ….. one way to fix a problem I guess! :roll:

EFI

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Caponord meets the Amalfi coast

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Amalfi coast Italy - Villa Rina B&BThe Capo had barely started cooling down after the 24hr trip from the UK before it was given a once-over for the trip South the next day. Everything was fine with just the chain getting a clean and fresh re-lube before the Scottoiler took over once more.

The next day we stood outside the Hotel  Santa Caterina – Amalfi waiting for the guy to take us to the secure garage (with CCTV) the Capo would call home for the next day or so. The weather was warm (28C) and I was well sweaty …… mostly from the Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid GoPro image - Amalfi bus & vanshock of the coast-road ride. Tailgating (I mean inches/CM!) topped off with blind-bend overtakes and head-on riders/drivers all doing their level best to stuff us into a cliff wall or over the edge into the sea. It felt personal! I thought I knew a thing or two about Italian driving but this made Abruzzo drivers look like kindergarten newbies. Also for the first time ever, I wished I’d had a 17 tooth front sprocket instead of the 16. 1st felt too revy and 2nd bogged down – I needed a 1½ gear! And yes ….. Getting anything above 2nd was almost impossible with hair-pin bends only a few meters apart for the entire 25 Km of coast we travelled.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Amalfi motorcycle parking feesParking in Amalfi is almost none existent by the look of it, so if you do go, make sure you have it arranged with your hotel/B&B or it could be very costly indeed – €5 Car / €2 Motorbike PER 2 HOURS. Mind you that’s chump change, coaches’ pay up to €200 per 2 hours!

We stayed at a lovely little B&B (Villa Rina – 5 guest rooms) nestled in the lemon groves overlooking the sea that was about 1/2Km and several hundered steps up the hill from the garage. Luckily the garage had a bathroom where we could get out of our bike gear and into something more befitting an uphill walk in the afternoon heat! In fact we left all our bike gear with the Capo and only had the tank-bag and one hand luggage to carry which was fine – unlike the poor ladies we saw with large suitcases and high-heels looking most uninspired by it all!

Overall a smashing break with great food in a wonderful location and we managed to dodge the rain / thunderstorms on the way back as well! The Capo is now showing 97, 744 miles and really ought to have a service next week – it’s a fair exchange for a job well done.

2016-05-10-12.52Finally ….. here’s something you don’t see everyday in a service station. They certainly know how to go out in style I’ll give them that …. and it certainly looks like it can get a hustle on. Yes, a ‘guest’ was on board as well! 😯

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New sprocket and battery

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Ognibene 'silent' front sprocket 7164-16It was heaving with rain and the Capo’s air-temp readout on the dashboard struggled to make 3°C as I rolled off the Dover ferry at just past midnight, welcome back to wintery England! The worn front sprocket I hadn’t replaced before starting the journey was now noticeably noisier with an extra 1,350 miles on it even though I’d ramped up the Scottoiler to keep everything well lubricated in the face of such shitty weather. Overall a good run up, marred only by the small rip in the riders saddle caused by the zip on my Halvarssons trousers when throwing my leg over the bike …… I’m sure this damn bike is getting taller with age! As I left Dover, I flicked the heated grips on and hit the M20 thinking that this is about as bad as it gets – then the sleet and hail started!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Yuasa YTX14H-BS battery14 days later, as I rolled back up the ramp onto the same boat, it was all quite different – a warm, bright morning with the promise of a nice day ahead and the Capo running sweetly with a new Ognibene 7164-16 sprocket. I’d also treated it to a replacement Yuasa YTX14H-BS battery* as the old one was beginning to show warning signs – slightly lower standing voltage and low voltage while cranking. I’d arrived at Dover a bit early and didn’t realise they’d put me on an earlier sailing (fine in principle) but it was one of the boats I hate, with a long curved (wet) ramp up onto the car deck….. never nice on a heavily loaded Capo.

One of the perks of a bike is that folks just wander over for a chat, be it a fuel station in Switzerland or a bike park in Broad Street, Oxford and 99% of the time the experience is enriching …… but as I rode off that damn ferry I could have happily kicked the two wheels from under the overbearing, opinionated plonker who’d happily eaten up 5 minutes of my life telling me everything that was wrong with my bike and how wonderful his was – then he promptly rode off in the ‘trucks only’ lane!

The return leg was as trouble-free as the first, with the Capo rolling into the barn with 97,145 miles on the odometer. Only a near miss with a kamikaze gull which almost took out the windscreen being memorable – that and Swiss road works!

The replacement Ognibene sprocket certainly lives up to its ‘silent’ name. It was noticeably quieter even just spinning the back wheel while on the main-stand; let’s see how much life I get out of it compared to the usual Renthal sprocket I use (avg. 15K miles). It looks well made and the tooth profile is very similar to the Renthal, but only time will tell. Purchased in the UK from: biketorqueracing.co.uk for £27 inc VAT & P&P.

*Special thanks to Jim at Abbey Motorcycle Instructors for getting the YTX14H-BS battery at short notice – you’re a star fella!  😀 

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Hepco Becker pannier latch replaced

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Hepco Becker 700101 00 01 pannier latchJust got around to fixing my ‘breakdown’ – the new latch (Hepco Becker Part No: 700101 00 01) arrived today and after a hearty breakfast I set about changing out the broken one. The kit is a ‘universal’ one for all HB panniers and so a whole bunch of the bits supplied are immediately resigned to the waste bin …….. I’d have been happier with just the latch and a few quid off to be honest!

So out with the foam liner, off with the bottle rack and remove the five countersunk Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Hepco Becker 700101 00 01 pannier latchbolts/washers/nuts and pull the aluminium box away from the frame. Next, drill the heads off the four solid rivets using a drill bit approx 6mm or slightly larger. Then lever the old latch away and separate it from the spacer. Job done …… now for the rebuild!

The latch as supplied comes with 3mm rivets and is drilled to suit, unfortunately the Alu Exclusive luggage was  put together with 4mm solid rivets because of clearance between frame and case. No worries, down to the hardware store and a bag of 4mm Dia 10mm long stainless rivets are on hand to do the business. Once in, the heads are ground down a smidgen with the Dremel to achieve the same clearance without compromising shear strength.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid Hepco Becker 700101 00 01 pannier latchRebuild is a straight reversal of strip-down, but  everything gets a thorough clean, grease and general pampering to make it feel good. The pannier is now solid once again and if I get 13 years out of this lock and rivets like the last set, I’ll be a happy bunny.

Thanks go to Griff at hepco-and-becker-luggage.co.uk (web face of moto bins) who chased up key numbers with me and made sure the latch was on the doorstep in Oxford the next day – excellent service.

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CGI dashboard – 2

Saturdays lovely sunny weather gave way to thick fog and a definite chill in the air – time then to hunker down on the PC and finish the CGI dashboard and add a couple of extra bits to make it a touch more interesting on the eye.

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CGI dashboard – 1

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid dashboard, instrument panelSlowly getting more parts of the Capo into CAD/3D …. finishing the dashboard motor off (after almost 2 years!) gave me the nudge to get the circuit board done. Here’s a work in progress, only a couple more chips to fit. Then the inlay and case / lens will see it polished off. Can I keep up the momentum or will galloping apathy step in … hmm who knows! 😕

AlternatorCapo charging system  ….. a new page going up shortly with a fair bit of (new) info regarding alternator output, waveforms, voltage, current and how those are affected with the attachment of different technology regulators – plus how exactly those regulator-rectifiers do the job of producing rectified DC. Pitched at electrical newbies I’ll be running through each of the components and what they do electrically (hopefully) in a way that makes sense, including why some wires can be thin and work just fine and why some regulators get hot and others don’t.

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(UK) Replacement seals for Capo/Futura clutch system

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid & RST Futura clutch system master & slave sealsRecently while visiting the AF1 Futura forum, I saw an interesting thread about replacement clutch master / slave seals (common to both Futura & Caponord) sourced in the UK at a very good price and thought the information well worth sharing here.

The thread was started by a UK owner – Corsehf (Andy) in which he quotes replacements for all the  master / slave cylinder seals from one supplier. Seal details and individual prices are:

  • Master Cylinder Seal – Lever End: SU12-6.9-4DE-EP-S-DK101 – £2.50
  • Master Cylinder Seal – Spring End: SU12-5.2-3.8-EP-S-DK106 – £2.50
  • Clutch Slave Cylinder Main Seal: SU112078-018DE-EP-S-DK101 – £2.79
  • Clutch Slave Cylinder Piston Pushrod Seal: SS8-16-7-SC – £1.60

That’s a total of £9.39 + Vat = £11.27 plus package & post. So for somewhere around the cost of one genuine slave cylinder seal, we can buy ALL the seals needed for a full clutch system rebuild. Not bad in my books! If you’re interested, call Rebecca Pattinson at FPE Seals on 01325 282732 or email: sales@fpeseals.co.uk  If you do decide this is for you, then please drop by the thread and offer Andy your thanks …. he’s just saved you a pocket full of money!

So I’ll end with a big thank-you to Andy, then get a set on order and nip into the barn to dig out that old master cylinder and finally get it re-coated and re-sealed, then swap it for the brake fluid damaged one on the Raid ….. oh happy days! That things been bugging me for years.

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First ‘breakdown’ in ages

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid broken Hepco Becker Alu Exclusive pannier latchRemoved the right pannier the other day while changing out the rear brake pads (makes life a bit easier!) but couldn’t get the latch to close properly when refitting it …… turns out the latch has broken on one side of the pivot. It looks like it’s just fatigue over the years of bouncing (over) loaded boxes across the continent. So a new latch (Hepco Becker part no: 700.101.00.01) has been ordered from http://www.hepco-and-becker-luggage.co.uk a spin-off company of Moto-Bins. Cost should be £22.80 but they’re knocking 15% off at the moment, so it cost £19.38 delivered. I can live with that!

The latch comes complete with new lock, keys and pop-rivets to fit it. However the original is installed with solid rivets, so this is what I’ll use as well. This of course means stripping the liner out and unbolting the aluminium box from the chrome/steel frame, but it’s only a 10-15 minute job and a good excuse to give everything a damn good clean and polish at the same time. 😀

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