Author Topic: yet another horn upgrade/install  (Read 15114 times)

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Offline postrucks

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yet another horn upgrade/install
« on: August 21, 2012, 04:33:54 am »
Hi fellas, recently installed a stabel nautilus horn. Here is a couple of pics. Boy is it loud! Its mounted on the left side, next to the left lower fairing. All I used for mounting was just a "3 piece of strap with a couple of holes. Used one of the secondary support frame bolts to mount it. Wiring was easy. A fused 12 gauge wire from the battery to a relay, then from the relay to the horn positive connection. Then from the horn negative connection to ground ( the same mounting bolt). Then use the orignal horn wires to trigger the relay. Installed the relay next to the relays mounted on the upper left side. Very happy with the 139 db loud sound.

Offline postrucks

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 04:41:08 am »
oops the pictures didn't make it the first time

Offline reid53

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 09:34:31 am »
Very nice.  I love my Nautilus. :great:
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Offline Bruiser

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 02:02:21 am »
Nice place to mount your horn.  When I got my new C14, boy was I surprised at the puny little horn.  I got a self contained air horn, called a Bad Boy, and was able to mount it under the right side plastic just in front of the gas tank.  It rests on top of the right side intake plenum...it is LOUD!  The really nice thing about it, is it's a plug and play, and only cost $35
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2012, 11:44:04 am »
I mounted my compressor in much the same place as OP, but since I split the plastic horns off, the compressor is in very tight to the subframe:



Using a simple L bracket made of aluminum flat stock, I mounted the plastic horns to the same bolt hole the OEM horn had mounted. The L bracket is a bit more than 90 degrees, so it tilts the bottom of the plastic horn just slightly back towards the radiator. This way, it projects the sound right out the front for maximum effect, and its not too loud in the cockpit.

Ran a hose from the compressor up along the heat dam, to the plastic horns. I used Murph's harness and just patched the leads to the compressor to be longer, since I left the controller on the right side close to the OEM horn harness leads.
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Offline TJ

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 02:21:07 pm »
Nice place to mount your horn.  When I got my new C14, boy was I surprised at the puny little horn.  I got a self contained air horn, called a Bad Boy, and was able to mount it under the right side plastic just in front of the gas tank.  It rests on top of the right side intake plenum...it is LOUD!  The really nice thing about it, is it's a plug and play, and only cost $35


Looks like the Bad Boy is now offered in a louder version.   Hmmm, may be a future project.
http://www.wolo-mfg.com/air.htm

Offline Big-Al

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 07:39:35 pm »
I mounted my compressor in much the same place as OP, but since I split the plastic horns off, the compressor is in very tight to the subframe:



Using a simple L bracket made of aluminum flat stock, I mounted the plastic horns to the same bolt hole the OEM horn had mounted. The L bracket is a bit more than 90 degrees, so it tilts the bottom of the plastic horn just slightly back towards the radiator. This way, it projects the sound right out the front for maximum effect, and its not too loud in the cockpit.

Ran a hose from the compressor up along the heat dam, to the plastic horns. I used Murph's harness and just patched the leads to the compressor to be longer, since I left the controller on the right side close to the OEM horn harness leads.


How did you split the compressor from the horns? I have the Wolo Bad-Boy and want to do something similar to what you did but can't find a way to split them. Your compressor looks like a Wolo without the graphics. Maybe our horns are a different design?
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Offline Big-Al

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 11:47:41 pm »
Bump...

Does anybody know how to split the compressor from the horns on a Wolo/Stebel?
2012 Kawasaki Concours (Arabian Red) (1400cc)
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2014, 03:48:15 pm »
I mounted my compressor in much the same place as OP, but since I split the plastic horns off, the compressor is in very tight to the subframe:



Using a simple L bracket made of aluminum flat stock, I mounted the plastic horns to the same bolt hole the OEM horn had mounted. The L bracket is a bit more than 90 degrees, so it tilts the bottom of the plastic horn just slightly back towards the radiator. This way, it projects the sound right out the front for maximum effect, and its not too loud in the cockpit.

Ran a hose from the compressor up along the heat dam, to the plastic horns. I used Murph's harness and just patched the leads to the compressor to be longer, since I left the controller on the right side close to the OEM horn harness leads.


How did you split the compressor from the horns? I have the Wolo Bad-Boy and want to do something similar to what you did but can't find a way to split them. Your compressor looks like a Wolo without the graphics. Maybe our horns are a different design?


I used a screw driver  to pry the plastic part off. Found pictures showing it on Google. Mine was a Stebel. Then I cut the channel part of the plastic loose and put it back on compressor since it's part of the intake. Attached hose to that too, routed it up behind heat shield foam, and glued a microphone mesh ball over the end of the hose to act as a filter.
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Offline Justin726

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 12:24:28 am »
Bump...

Does anybody know how to split the compressor from the horns on a Wolo/Stebel?
There should be some kind of plastic loop near one end of the horn that basically connects to the metal frame of the compressor.  In the picture you can barely see it.  It's right above the big round disk .  That little loop.  Break that or pry it off and the horn will split from the compressor.  That's how the Stebel was and I'm assuming the Wolo will be very similar or almost identical.

Then you can cut the snorkel off of the horn and reattach it to the compressor.  I used just a bit of silicone and a couple zip ties.  Then mount the horns where ever you want and run a hose between the compressor and horn unit. 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 12:27:32 am by Justin726 »

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2014, 01:24:08 am »
There should be some kind of plastic loop near one end of the horn that basically connects to the metal frame of the compressor.  In the picture you can barely see it.  It's right above the big round disk .  That little loop.  Break that or pry it off and the horn will split from the compressor. 

Then you can cut the snorkel off of the horn and reattach it to the compressor.  I used just a bit of silicone and a couple zip ties.  Then mount the horns where ever you want and run a hose between the compressor and horn unit.
Sweet tip :great:

I just picked one of these up and that looks like the way to do it. Mount the compressor and horn away from each other, put the horn up where the stock one is.

I just pulled it apart, now I need to get my lazy a** in the garage and install it. At least the kegerator is full in the out there.  :beerchug:

Offline Justin726

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2014, 02:08:22 am »
There should be some kind of plastic loop near one end of the horn that basically connects to the metal frame of the compressor.  In the picture you can barely see it.  It's right above the big round disk .  That little loop.  Break that or pry it off and the horn will split from the compressor. 

Then you can cut the snorkel off of the horn and reattach it to the compressor.  I used just a bit of silicone and a couple zip ties.  Then mount the horns where ever you want and run a hose between the compressor and horn unit.
Sweet tip :great:

I just picked one of these up and that looks like the way to do it. Mount the compressor and horn away from each other, put the horn up where the stock one is.

I just pulled it apart, now I need to get my lazy a** in the garage and install it. At least the kegerator is full in the out there.  :beerchug:
I was able to use the stock horn mount with the new air horn.  I did have to throw the bracket into the bench vice a few times just to tweak it and get the angle right to keep the horn from rubbing the radiator, but with a little trial and error it really didn't take all that long.  Obviously just get your air line tip threaded into the horn before putting the horn on the bike.

The compressor I mounted above the coolant reservoir like others do.  I used a little bit of silicone to attach the snorkel back onto the compressor and threw on a couple zip ties just for good measure.  Made a quick bracket to mount it and ran the air line.

Offline Big-Al

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2014, 03:32:19 am »
I mounted my compressor in much the same place as OP, but since I split the plastic horns off, the compressor is in very tight to the subframe:



Using a simple L bracket made of aluminum flat stock, I mounted the plastic horns to the same bolt hole the OEM horn had mounted. The L bracket is a bit more than 90 degrees, so it tilts the bottom of the plastic horn just slightly back towards the radiator. This way, it projects the sound right out the front for maximum effect, and its not too loud in the cockpit.

Ran a hose from the compressor up along the heat dam, to the plastic horns. I used Murph's harness and just patched the leads to the compressor to be longer, since I left the controller on the right side close to the OEM horn harness leads.


How did you split the compressor from the horns? I have the Wolo Bad-Boy and want to do something similar to what you did but can't find a way to split them. Your compressor looks like a Wolo without the graphics. Maybe our horns are a different design?


I used a screw driver  to pry the plastic part off. Found pictures showing it on Google. Mine was a Stebel. Then I cut the channel part of the plastic loose and put it back on compressor since it's part of the intake. Attached hose to that too, routed it up behind heat shield foam, and glued a microphone mesh ball over the end of the hose to act as a filter.


Appreciate you bumping such an old thread. I used to have it mounted (whole) behind radiator on left side. Recent installation of canyon cages forced me to move it back to stock horn location with a custom bracket so it clears suspension travel and radiator. Much louder in front but I wonder how weatherproof it will be... even with the horn pointed down.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 05:11:26 pm »
That's why my compressor is separate, over where it is shown. The plastic horn has no moving parts, and when you trigger the horn, the air pressure will blow it out if any water got there. I've had mine installed for 2 years now and ridden in raging thunderstorms and dusty conditions and everything in between and not had a minutes problem with the horn working.
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Offline Big-Al

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 05:49:47 pm »
That's why my compressor is separate, over where it is shown. The plastic horn has no moving parts, and when you trigger the horn, the air pressure will blow it out if any water got there. I've had mine installed for 2 years now and ridden in raging thunderstorms and dusty conditions and everything in between and not had a minutes problem with the horn working.

Separate because of suspension travel issues, water, or both? I would like to split them but Rostra takes up right top side, maybe can find room on left top next to glove box/relay area... have to check it out. Not anxious to remove any side plastic after just installing canyon cages... hope I can find someplace on top left for the compressor. What type/size hose did you use and where did you get it?
2012 Kawasaki Concours (Arabian Red) (1400cc)
2008 BMW K1200GT (1200cc)
2004 BMW K1200GT (1200cc)
1998 BMW K1200RS (1200cc)
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1986 BMW K100 LT (1000cc)
1980 BMW R100 RT (1000cc)
1975 BMW R90/6 (900cc)
1972 BSA Lightning (750cc)
1970 Norton Commando (750cc)
1969 Triumph Bonneville (650cc)
1968 Harley Davidson Sprint (250cc)
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Offline Justin726

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2014, 09:11:22 pm »
Once you separate the horn from the compressor then just take the compressor into any local auto store. They usually have a good selection of hose and you can get an exact fit.

You will need a hose end for the horn since the compressor has the male end and the horn has the female end. The auto store might even have the right air hose adapter to screw into the hole in the horn. If not, then a trip to the hardware store might be needed for this piece.

Offline JC

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2014, 12:36:57 am »
If you can mount the entire horn in front, and it's pointing to the front (or down, but not behind or to the side), that would be my preferred method. The entire unit is weatherproof folks. It'd also get water in a downpour wherever it is.  Could folks with the entire horn installed in front post pictures please ;D?

Before I continue, what the hell is 'canyon cages'? Have heard those freaking words many times and don't know what it is. Curious. Thanks ;D.

Now back to the airhorn. Keep in mind these things folks:
1. Every inch of extra hose from compressor to horn is going to delay reaction time. A couple of feet might not be that much, but you're wasting precious time when you might need it the most.
2. You want the ABSOLUTE SHORTEST wire from the battery to the compressor, for the same reason as the hose. So if you have wire left over in your installation, rather than bundling in loops, cut it to the exact length needed, and you'll have better compressor spooling too.
3. Mount compressor in a RIGID place. If it's just ziptied, it spools slower too.

The above things are not mandatory, but if you could minimize or eliminate them, it'd be better.  If I find the space to mount it in front, I'd do it too. Otherwise maybe just a dual electric horn arrangement. Take care.
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Offline Justin726

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2014, 03:16:25 am »
Just be aware the compressors are designed to be mounted vertically. This keeps the air snorkel in the vertical position as well which makes it more difficult for water or rocks to be sucked up into the compressor. The more horizontal the unit is mounted, the easier it will be for debris to enter the compressor.

Maybe the entire unit can be mounted up front in one piece and in the vertical position, but it would be very tight.  If anybody has accomplished this please share. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 03:20:13 am by Justin726 »

Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2014, 05:30:22 am »
If you can mount the entire horn in front, and it's pointing to the front (or down, but not behind or to the side), that would be my preferred method. The entire unit is weatherproof folks. It'd also get water in a downpour wherever it is.  Could folks with the entire horn installed in front post pictures please ;D?

Before I continue, what the hell is 'canyon cages'? Have heard those freaking words many times and don't know what it is. Curious. Thanks ;D.

Now back to the airhorn. Keep in mind these things folks:
1. Every inch of extra hose from compressor to horn is going to delay reaction time. A couple of feet might not be that much, but you're wasting precious time when you might need it the most.
2. You want the ABSOLUTE SHORTEST wire from the battery to the compressor, for the same reason as the hose. So if you have wire left over in your installation, rather than bundling in loops, cut it to the exact length needed, and you'll have better compressor spooling too.
3. Mount compressor in a RIGID place. If it's just ziptied, it spools slower too.

The above things are not mandatory, but if you could minimize or eliminate them, it'd be better.  If I find the space to mount it in front, I'd do it too. Otherwise maybe just a dual electric horn arrangement. Take care.

Some problems with this.

1) Trivial, the length of hose we are running causes no effect. I press the horn button, the horn blows the second I press it. Having said that, all air compressor based horns take a split second to come to maximum loudness. Unless you run an air tank to hold pressure close to the horn, which some air horn setups for tractors do.

2) The length of wire is more a matter of resistance (heat) than horn response. Electrons travel at virtually the speed of light.

3) The compressor would "spool" just fine hanging on a string from the handlebars, it doesn't matter to it.

But I agree, there are several good places to mount the compressor so you can detach the plastic horn and hang it where the OEM horn used to be, to get maximum sound projection out the front.
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Offline Flat-spot

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2014, 09:08:54 am »
JC,  for Canyon Cages go to mcenterprises.com   Or Amazon, I bought mine there...I think.  There are other sources I can't remember.

I mounted my horn(s)  a bit different than most.  Suspended from the black plastic panels on both sides of the fuel tank.  Stebel on the right,  Fiamm Freeway blaster on the left, ('08-no glove box there).  Stainless button head bolts w/fender washers and nylock nuts.  And no, they are not heavy enough to sag those panels.
However, I realize most of you won't want holes in that panel with stainless heads visible there. :(
There are plenty of better methods and locations but I saw space there and went for it. ::)
Just thought of this...when I finally get around to INSTALLING the Canyon Cages I might have to move the horns...don't know, hope not.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 09:30:06 am by Flat-spot »
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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2014, 12:23:22 pm »
Fred H.


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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2014, 08:30:19 pm »
That's why my compressor is separate, over where it is shown. The plastic horn has no moving parts, and when you trigger the horn, the air pressure will blow it out if any water got there. I've had mine installed for 2 years now and ridden in raging thunderstorms and dusty conditions and everything in between and not had a minutes problem with the horn working.

Separate because of suspension travel issues, water, or both? I would like to split them but Rostra takes up right top side, maybe can find room on left top next to glove box/relay area... have to check it out. Not anxious to remove any side plastic after just installing canyon cages... hope I can find someplace on top left for the compressor. What type/size hose did you use and where did you get it?

If you cut your mid-fairing per instructions found on this and other websites you can remove your side plastic without bothering the Canyon Cages. I've had mine off several times for "upgrades". Look above at my photos, the compressor tucks away very nicely beside the coolant reservoir, and mine seems to like it there, as I've had no problems despite some awfully hot and awfully cold and just darn torrential rainy riding days.

I didn't want to put the one-piece Stebel hanging where the OEM horn had been for several reasons. First reason is as you surmise, suspension travel. I could see no way to keep the compressor off the back of the front fender during hard braking. Maybe it is possible, I just didn't think so. Second reason, weight. That's more weight than I want to hang off the OEM horn wishbone bracket. If you did put the compressor where it could get wheel spray then you'd have to put a snorkel on the intake. I did that anyway, even though mine is fairly out of the weather over by the coolant reservoir, just to be sure.
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Offline Big-Al

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2014, 10:19:10 pm »
That's why my compressor is separate, over where it is shown. The plastic horn has no moving parts, and when you trigger the horn, the air pressure will blow it out if any water got there. I've had mine installed for 2 years now and ridden in raging thunderstorms and dusty conditions and everything in between and not had a minutes problem with the horn working.

Separate because of suspension travel issues, water, or both? I would like to split them but Rostra takes up right top side, maybe can find room on left top next to glove box/relay area... have to check it out. Not anxious to remove any side plastic after just installing canyon cages... hope I can find someplace on top left for the compressor. What type/size hose did you use and where did you get it?

If you cut your mid-fairing per instructions found on this and other websites you can remove your side plastic without bothering the Canyon Cages. I've had mine off several times for "upgrades". Look above at my photos, the compressor tucks away very nicely beside the coolant reservoir, and mine seems to like it there, as I've had no problems despite some awfully hot and awfully cold and just darn torrential rainy riding days.

I didn't want to put the one-piece Stebel hanging where the OEM horn had been for several reasons. First reason is as you surmise, suspension travel. I could see no way to keep the compressor off the back of the front fender during hard braking. Maybe it is possible, I just didn't think so. Second reason, weight. That's more weight than I want to hang off the OEM horn wishbone bracket. If you did put the compressor where it could get wheel spray then you'd have to put a snorkel on the intake. I did that anyway, even though mine is fairly out of the weather over by the coolant reservoir, just to be sure.

I am aware of cutting the fairing but choose not to do so at this time. First, canyon cage R&R isn't that difficult with the right tools. Second, side fairing removal situations can often be side-stepped by removing top plastic, side/back fasteners and flexing (and bracing) the side fairing (backside) allowing for quite a bit of space to fiddle around in. I have made adjustments to Rostra linkage and other minor mechanics by doing this. Saves lots of time over complete fairing removal. Of course, forward access (radiator area) requires complete removal.

I have tried various bracket modifications to mount the complete Wolo horn unit in the stock horn location. Finally, I made a compound bracket using both bolt holes and mounted the Wolo sideways and slanted backwards towards radiator. Horn works OK and suspension travel gap (bottomed out without hitting fender) is about 2". Problem is I don't like it... I don't like it so close to the radiator, and I don't like (as you mentioned) hanging so much weight in that area. BTW... why would you try to use the stock wishbone bracket... much easier to fabricate a proper bracket that incorporates space limitation geometry, yes?

So... I separated the horn today, tapped the compressor to accept a threaded nylon hose barb, and extended the nipple on the horn. Found (I think) a good compressor location next to the Rostra at top/right location. I like it better there (much easier to get at with very short path to horn) and won't have any temperature considerations. It will be mounted horizontally as I believe that is not a problem.

I will post some pics soon showing the compressor/horn mounting I use in case that creates new ideas... many ways to skin this cat.
2012 Kawasaki Concours (Arabian Red) (1400cc)
2008 BMW K1200GT (1200cc)
2004 BMW K1200GT (1200cc)
1998 BMW K1200RS (1200cc)
1991 BMW K1 (1000cc)
1986 BMW K100 LT (1000cc)
1980 BMW R100 RT (1000cc)
1975 BMW R90/6 (900cc)
1972 BSA Lightning (750cc)
1970 Norton Commando (750cc)
1969 Triumph Bonneville (650cc)
1968 Harley Davidson Sprint (250cc)
1967 Honda Super Hawk (305cc)
1967 Honda Cub (65cc)

Offline JC

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2014, 01:45:49 am »
JC,  for Canyon Cages go to mcenterprises.com
Okay, so they're crash bars. Didn't sound like that. He he. Thanks for the info man. And no, I didn't like them ;D.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: yet another horn upgrade/install
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2014, 03:40:24 am »

I am aware of cutting the fairing but choose not to do so at this time. First, canyon cage R&R isn't that difficult with the right tools. Second, side fairing removal situations can often be side-stepped by removing top plastic, side/back fasteners and flexing (and bracing) the side fairing (backside) allowing for quite a bit of space to fiddle around in. I have made adjustments to Rostra linkage and other minor mechanics by doing this. Saves lots of time over complete fairing removal. Of course, forward access (radiator area) requires complete removal.

Every time you take those bolts out, they weaken. The Kawasaki service manual is clear about limited reuse of engine mount bolts. For at least one of them they require service personnel to replace with a new bolt each time it is removed. I'm sure MCE says something about it somewhere.

I know many will chime in and say "oh I take mine out all the time....." and I agree, there is a serviceable life to those bolts beyond recommended usage. But why push it? All you have to do is make two trivial cuts that can't even be seen and make no difference to panel stability, and you never have to remove an engine bolt again.

I too have done some work by just removing fasteners in the "back" and pulling the panel(s) outward to do something simple. But you could never hang a compressor beside the reservoir without removing the panel completely.

YMMV
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