Abba Skylift 2

Just to show the lift being used in a simple up and down configuration. It takes the same time to lift it front up (wheelie) or rear up (stoppie) mode.

Love this thing!

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A new toy for the garage

For a couple of years now I have used a flat bike lift in my garage. They are rated at 450 kgs which is big enough for just about any bike on the market.

These are produced in China and come with a huge variety of names on them. I did a little strengthening on the front of mine and had it bolted down to the garage floor. It was quite stable.

As I moved through bikes, centre stands seem to have disappeared, so a chock stand was bolted to the front of the lift to make life easier. The trouble is that without a centre stand the rear wheel cannot be easily removed. A new solution was needed.

At the beginning of November I flew to the UK and then onward to Milan, Italy, for the huge bike show called EICMA, with a UK based biker mate. The show was huge and well worth the ticket price, but I could not find anything there that took my fancy in the way of garage equipment.

After Milan I flew to the UK and went to the UK bike show at the NEC in Birmingham. This show is about a quarter of the size of EICMA with a larger entrance fee and disgusting food on sale.

I happened upon the Abba stand and remembered them from last year. They had the amazing Abba Skylift on offer for £399. Delivery to France was a further £35, so I bit the bullet and bought one. If you want to see what this stand can do the have a look at some of the youtube videos for it, it is nothing less than amazing.

The delivery was a bit of a pain, I had been told 10 days, but it was 23, not a real problem, just involved a number of phone calls to Abba in the UK. The stand needs assembling which is a very straight forward job, providing that you have some big spanners. Everything was very well wrapped for transit. The assembly time took about 3 hours, but I was being very careful, and squirting ACF50 inside the various tubes as the immaculate finish of the outside did not stretch to the inside. To be fair, the insides of square tubes would be difficult to paint.

The adaptors that were part of the kit were the same on the swinging arm mount for both the Monster and the Supersport but the adaptors for the rear strap were different, both were included in the kit. My Supersport was on it as soon as I had had my cup of tea.

 Nose up
Level
Level

Fir the first time in her life the Supersport has had the chain properly cleaned and lubed.

This is a great tool for the home user and is so solid the you can sit on the bike while it is in the air. I just hope that brexit does not ruin any European sales that Abba has in the pipe line as I am sure that friends are going to like this when they see it.

Supersport LED rear indicators

Just a short post. I never liked the huge rear indicators on the Supersport, and do not like the fact that they are the only two incandescent light bulbs on the whole bike. So I searched for something different.

To change the indicators to LED, no resistors are needed in the cabling, they just need to be electrically connected and the flash rate will be correct. The small tray needs to be removed from under the tail piece, 5 screws, and the original indicators will fall out. If you want to preserve the original Ducati plugs the an adaptor to bullet connectors is needed, and two indicator blanks are needed to fit the new indicators.

 

These indicators are sequential, that means that the light flows from inside to outside rather than just flashing on and off. I made a little video with the hazard flashers on to demonstrate. As can be seen from the above picture, the indicators are rubber mounted so are not easily knocked off.

 

Something new

My wife and I went for a drive today and ordered a new bike to add to the stable. A black 2018 model Ducati Monster 821. We will keep the ST2 for now as it is comfortable with the Supersport, the 250 single and the BMW K100RS in the garage.

The new 821 comes with some interesting updates, the same 110 bhp engine, but things like colour TFT screen and riding modes similar to the Supersport, improve the bike. She is having the higher “comfort” seat fitted due to having long legs.

When Judes niece comes to visit on her red version of the same bike, it will make interesting outings.

Some of the things planned at the moment are: A noisier lighter exhaust which might include elimination of the catalytic converter, perhaps flatter bars to alter the riding position, a small screen to improve the looks of the bike, exhaust flapper valve removal, and other things.

Watch this space.

Test of the R&G heated grips.

Well it is a chilly 8c here in this part of France today, but the roads are almost dry. Time to test the grips.

Togged up with my thermal merino under garments (thank you Trish) and my 15 year old BMW gloves, off I went. I set the grips on four out of five LEDs showing, so not the hottest setting, and was rather surprised that after abut half a mile the heat was coming through. The controller is a push button that goes through the sequence of one to five LEDs and is very easy to operate with gloves on. If you leave them switched on when you turn the ignition off, as I did to refuel, then they will be switched off when you turn the ignition on again. This is a very useful feature as they are not drawing power when you want to start the bike.

In use, with the extra insulation of a pair of hands inside gloves wrapped around them, they are both of about equal temperature.

I took power for the grips from the bluetooth module plug under the seat on the Ducati Supersport as I am never going to have a bluetooth module fitted on my bike. There are four wires in the plug and the black and the red ones are earth and power that is switched with the ignition. I used the inline fuse that R&G supplied with the kit, but cut down the very long cable that came with it.

When fitting the grips the right hand plastic throttle tube needs the bulge trimming off the end as per R&Gs excellent instructions. R&G also supply individual parts such as just one grip should one get damaged in use.

I must say that I am very happy with this modification and am impressed with the quality of the parts.

R&G heated grips

This was intended to be a post about fitting aftermarket grips, complete with pictures and wiring routes.

R&G is a UK company that supplies many aftermarket parts for Ducatis and other bikes. I looked at their stand at the recent Motorcycle show at the NEC, and saw the many products that they sell.

I bought the R&G grips because they had a good write up in Ride magazines tests, but I would not recommend them myself. After very careful fitting I found that the left grip was noticeably cooler than the right grip. I removed all the connectors and refitted them only to find that it made no difference.

I phoned R&G in the UK, but there is no one to answer the phones, All options end up with an answering machine. No problems, I sent them an email asking if there was anything that I should check to see if I had a faulty grip. Ten days later I am still waiting for an answer.

Conclusion: Steer clear of R&G products as there is no after sales support.

UPDATE:

I managed to contact someone on their Facebook page. It seems that the left grip being cooler than the right is quite normal as the left is fitted to the metal clip on, whereas the right is fitted to the insulated plastic twistgrip. This means that when initially switched on the left will be cooler until the metal underneath warms, and then after a while they will both end up being the same.

I will sort the photos and post another thread with the fitment instructions at a later date.

My niece has just ordered a Ducati Monster 821 from Ducati Winchester. She also ordered the R&G tail tidy to be fitted on delivery. When her bike arrives and I have looked that the tail tidy, I might order one for the Supersport too and will do a post about fitment.

Thank you R&G.

 

A small experiment

I say experiment because I have known of these items for years and at last decided to try them. They are Grip Puppies. These things fit over the standard grips in a bike and do a number of things, they make the grips thicker and more comfortable and they add padding so that vibrations are damped when wearing thin summer gloves.

I bought them from ebay LINK, and they were here within a few days. They take 10 minutes to fit over the existing grips with a little soap and water and then are left to dry.

I went out for a ride with them fitted and was instantly impressed with the feel of them.

My wife likes them too so another set will be ordered for her ST2.