One of the first things I noticed with the DL’s foot controls was how narrow the foot pegs are. This is probably as I’m used to the wide comfortable Fastway pegs I fitted on the Beema and the awesome Pivot Pegs (the tilting action takes a bit of getting used) I bolted on the DR. The DL’s stock pegs might be ok for general road use but their narrow width and lack of grip is way dangerous off road especially when standing. Plus I wear bigger boots (size 45EU / 10.5UK / 11US) so having a wider platform is much more comfortable, enables you to ‘feel’ the bike better and reduces fatigue on long trips.
The other issue was the height of the pegs relative to the seat meant the angle of my legs was about 65degrees which I know from previous experience on the Bonnville and other smaller bikes will rapidly lead to cramps and sciatica (numb or ‘dead legs’).
The solution to both these issues come in the form of two great aftermarket parts: new wider foot pegs from SW Motech supplied by Motorad Garage in West Australia; and a foot peg lowering kit from AdventureTech in the US.
The SW Motech on-road / off-road pegs are a typical piece of German engineering art. Beautifully made and solid (which is what you want if you drop your bike on them), they come with a removable rubber pad for on-road use which is taken off to reveal aggressive grippy teeth when in off-road mode. I’ve left the pads on as aggressive off road pegs tear your boots to pieces pretty fast if used often enough. Taking the pads off would be a 2 – 3 minute job if you use a socket wrench. Also the pegs have a high and low setting which is very useful when fine tuning your riding position.
Putting them on is very straight forward which is just as well as the instructions are in German (but the pictures are great)!
The lowering kit from AdventureTech is a nice bit of engineering and there are great instructional videos on Rick’s website so no need to go into great detail on how to put them on. Using hex sockets to remove the mounting plates makes the job a lot quicker and easier. The kit drops your foot position by a good 5cm which makes a huge difference to the angle of your legs.
Replacing the brake side mounting plate is straight forward apart from removing the tiny split pin from the lever to brake piston connecting rod. It’s mounted on the back of the bloody assembly with little space between it and the exhaust. After buggering around trying to remove it scientifically for about 10 minutes I ended up unceremoniously cutting it off with wire cutters – take that (there is a replacement pin supplied with the kit)! The hex head mounting bolts are seriously stiff to remove (plenty of Locktite applied in the factory) hence having hex sockets make removal much easier. To install the kit just follow the instructions. Make sure you readjust the foot brake light switch as repositioning the peg mounting bracket lower will jam it in the ‘on’ position. This is a simple task.
Installing the gear side peg mounting plate was similar but a bit tricker as you need to fiddle around with the angle of the gear lever.
Mounting the plate in the front slots brings the gear lever a LONG way forward!
I got the kit that enables you to bring the gear lever forward if you have bigger feet but having mucked around with it I don’t think it is worth changing the lever’s location unless you have really BIG feet. I’m a EU45 which is big but not huge and if you put the mounting peg at the forward most position the gear lever practically hits the end of my boot when in a normal riding position. Bringing it to the back-most setting still has it hitting a fair way forward on my boot. I’ll try it in this position for a while and see what I think but I suspect I’ll end up putting the lever back in its original stock setting.
Be careful to adjust the position of the gear lever relative to the top of the foot peg (it’s roughly in line with it or a bit under the top). This is easily done by adjusting the linkage between the gear lever and gearbox actuating arm. Just ride around a bit and adjust it up and down till it feels right. Tighten up the lock nuts on the linkage and job done.
The new foot pegs on the low setting combined with the lowering kit make a huge difference to my riding position. Now my legs are much more comfortable and the standing position on the bike is great – not straight like on the DR but pretty close. So much so that I don’t think I will need to get bar risers as the pegs / lowering kit combo have dropped my riding position so much. Great!
Postscript: I’ve been using the bike a lot since mounting the kit and will definitely move the gear lever back to the stock position.