Sunday, August 29, 2010

Foot pegs for sure footing - passenger and driver alike

When riding a motorcycle, at any one time it is possible that your entire body weight rest on one foot peg. Thus it is important that your foot pegs make a solid connection with your foot. Traditionally the foot rest of a motorcycle was a simple metal rod covered with rubber. However these days the peg of a dirt oriented motorcycle more resembles a pedal of a bicycle or a small platform with protruding teethes. The foot pegs that came on my DR 350 were in bad shape. Not only where they small, and the teeth worn smooth, but they were bent as well. Foot pegs of dirt bikes are usually spring loaded and designed to fold up when the bike is dropped. This prevent the peg from taking too much damage. However, even with this design feature, over time the foot rest get pretty beat up.

The stock foot pegs on the DR are pretty small and I wanted an up grade. There are some really fancy foot rest out there with a very fancy price tag. The Fastways pegs for example are $130. The IMS super stock pegs are more reasonable at $75. But that was until I found the Ebay special foot pegs for $20 "buy now". Cheap bastards can bid and possible get them for $15. The ebay pegs are basically a IMS knockoff. I have seen them in other catalogs labeled as Volar Motor sports pegs.

Installation took approximately 30 seconds per side. Remove cotter pin, slide out pivot, remove old peg, insert new peg making sure the spring is properly positioned, replace pivot, replace cotter pin. Ok most people should budget 5 minutes per side for installation.

These foot pegs gave an instant boast to my riding ability. The foot contact is improved dramatically. It seems that my foot no longer needs to hunt for the peg, but is there when ever I apply downward force. The sharp biting teeth allow me to hang off the back or the side without fear of slipping off. A good rider might be able to ride fine on a greased up wooden dowel for a foot peg. But for those that lack the technical skill, any amount of mechanical help is appreciated.

The rear passenger foot pegs of the DR are in fact just rubber coated pegs. Upon one of my first rides I heard a loud clunk coming from the rear of the bike, as I landed a small jump. Upon closer inspection I discovered that the rear passenger foot peg was making contact with the swing arm, under suspension compression. The rear pegs are not spring loaded and do not fold up when pressure is applied. Instead they can be flipped down when in use or stored in the up position when not in use. The previous owner of the bike must have dropped the bike with a passenger on board, or simple left the peg down when the incident happened. The result was a bent right side passenger foot peg bracket and mounting tab. The bracket and tab were bent in such a way that it would contact the swing arm. I could have removed the bracket and peg completely, but I wanted to retain the ability to comfortably carry a passenger.

I removed the bracket in attempt to bend it back with a hammer and a vice. This did not work as the bracket and mounting tabs were very stout. I guess that is expected since it needed to support the weight of a person. So I mounted the bracket back on the bike and decided to give it a pull. I anchored the frame of the motorcycle to a large tree in my large. I then hooked up a "come-along" to the receiver hitch of my truck and to the bent foot peg bracket. Tensioning up they system took the most effort. Once everyhting was tight, it only took a few clicks of the hand winch to pull the bracket and tab straight. I was concerned that I might bend the frame of the bike in my attempts to bend the bracket back into shape. However the bracket and tab moved easily back into place with little force and no displacement of the frame itself.

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