A pivotal moment

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid rear brake lever pivot and grease nipple CAD graphicSometime last year I decided that 2015 was going to be the year that a whole bunch of parts were going to get cleaned up and recoated – engine/sump protection bars (especially the mounting brackets), headlamp guard and passenger foot peg hangers for a start.

The accessory parts seem to be made substantially cheaper than the bike parts themselves – stamped, pressed, bent and welded with a flash of cheap paint to top it off. All well and good for a couple of years, but the elements soon work their magic and the stuff begins to look jaded and rusty. No, if you want it to look good and last, you’ve got to pick up where the Aprilia contractor left off ….. Debur, remove weld spatter and radius any and all sharp edges you can find, THEN get a quality finish applied. That’s the plan anyway!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid rear brake pedal and grease nippleSo to kick off I took the spare rear brake lever and began to radius the sharp edges and smooth the lumpy stamped (or laser cut) edge … I have to say it was looking (and feeling) rather nice when I downed tools and wandered indoors for a brew.

It was while standing there aimlessly waiting for the kettle to boil that I thought about adding a grease nipple to the pivot – Aprilia have done a good job in making the bolt grooved to hold a reservoir of grease AND fitting two ‘O’-rings (OR114 – 1.78mm section / 11.11mm ID) to keep the grease in …… but a grease nipple would make packing the grease in and replacing it soooooo much easier!

In the end it only took 30 minutes ….. grinding a flat on the underside, drilling and tapping a 6mm hole and screwing in a 90° fitting. What do you think?

Rear suspension linkage – excess play

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid. Surface ground flat so a nut can be used to lock the bolt in placeLast year the Capo had an advisory on its MOT about play in the rear suspension – not much, just 4-5mm at the back wheel but enough to be picked up. The bearings, pins and seals had all been replaced only about 3-4K miles previously, so I doubted they were the problem and frankly I couldn’t feel anything when riding …. so the investigation was delayed until now.

With another 12K on top, the play hadn’t got any worse so I wasn’t too worried …. until I found the fault. The thread in the shock absorber lower mount was shot. Trying to remove the bolt simply unscrewed the thread the other way – bugger! The bolt is 10.9 high tensile into aluminium at a torque of 45nm which isn’t much, and I know I used a torque wrench to install it last time ……. hmmm.

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid. Cleaned linkage and nut/bolt in placeIn the end I carefully ground the thread ‘hump’ down to a nice flat surface and used a Nyloc nut as a replacement. Luckily the bolt is 47mm long and has a reasonable amount of spare thread on which to use a nut and sufficient clearance behind the drag-link. In an ideal world the thread should protrude 1-3 turns past the end of the nut, but in this case it sits flush. I’ll probably see if I can find a 48-50mm bolt to replace the existing one just to be absolutely sure it’s right, a flanged Nyloc nut wouldn’t hurt either … hell I might even take up wire locking again, who knows!

So everything else was cleaned, checked and re-greased. I can now certainly say that the group-buy linkage kit is in perfect condition after a total of approx. 16-17K miles. The play is gone and I just hope the MOT man appreciates my scrapped knuckles!