Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wanting it all

Ever since I had the pleasure of beholding the Motus MST sport tourers, I've been asking myself why I spent so much time and money turning our SV650 into a tourer.
I mean, don't get me wrong, the SV is a wonderful, approachable machine that is capable of more than I am.  But I do have a supersport 600 with fully adjustable front and rear suspension, opposed-piston calipers, and gobs of power.  So every time I take the SV, I'm leaving behind a more capable bike.
I've been pondering - why tour the SV, with it's economical components, when I could instead tour the bike with top-shelf parts?  Well, it doesn't take long to come up with the first answer to that question: tour the SV because there isn't a part or modification you can't get for it.  Framework for hard luggage, hand guards, adjustable foot pegs, mirrors - just visit Twisted Throttle and tell the website you've got a 2nd gen SV.  It'll shower you with ways to throw away your income on mods and all you need is a set of sockets.  To be clear -  this is not the case for the 2005-2006 Kawasaki ZX6R.

So I've been doing some research on what is available to sport-tour my 2006 ZX6R.  I've narrowed down the list of ideal components to:
  1. Handle bar risers (clip-on risers) - comfort
  2. Adjustable foot pegs - comfort
  3. Saddle bags (hard, ideally) - storage
And here's what I've found...

1. Handle bar risers

Convertibars were the first to come to mind, and they thankfully have a kit for my ZX.

But unfortunately they want a cool $400 for it.  Yeeowch!  It may very well be worth it, as their kits are insanely adjustable.  But gosh, $400?  I'd have to seriously stretch my budget to fit these in...

Apex Manufacturing (who?) slides into first with a $219 solution that actually looks like a compelling option.

Cheap man's Convertibars, to be blunt (which is not an insult).

There is a product called the Variobar Riser Kit.  I've found little info about this, and it's one of those products where there's a basic kit, and then an application-specific part.  Kneedraggers gives some sign of what's going on, but not enough to paint a full picture.  So I'm not really considering this...

And the last option I've seen is an approach where you replace your top triple clamp with a custom part that accepts a one-piece handlebar.  I want to be able to quickly get the ZX ready for the track, so I don't really consider this an option.

2. Adjustable foot pegs

The MFW Vario Footpegs at Twisted Throttle seem up to the task.  $150 for a complete kit.

3. Saddle bags

Aside from DIY custom solutions, there really isn't a good way to mount hard saddle bags to the ZX (as far as I can find).  The product closest to solving this problem, in my opinion, is the SLS kit by The Cycle Guys.

I've covered this product before - it's not ideal, but it's a pretty slick, bolt-on solution.  I've contacted them about whether it will fit my ZX (which is not explicitly supported), but to be sure they'd have to see my passenger foot pegs.  In the meantime, I've got a Pelican 1550 on my pillion, so I can carry stuff.


I don't have one.  It looks like I can get more comfortable for ~$370, and really, that's the bulk of the problem when long-distancing my supersport.  Any thoughts from the public?