Over the last weekend I finished (v nearly) installing the Rally kit for the KTM 790 purchased from Aurora Rally Equipment based in Athens. Ordered last November and delivered three weeks ago it was always going to be the most complicated piece of work on the bike. If you’ve looked at videos from Aurora, also one or two from YouTubers (sorry I can’t find the link now), you can see the most scary moment of installing this kit is when the old front headlight cowl is completely removed and a spring of mad wires and connectors greets you, all needing a new home. Not only do you have to remate them to their original partners but you have to cram them all into the new narrow space of the new tower. It turned out that all 14 of these cables each have their own unique connectors so impossible to reconnect wrongly. I had written sticky labels on each part to avoid later disaster but most of them fell off.
Here’s before and during:
I worked methodically, over a few weekends and watched Aurora’s installation video, stopping, rewinding and starting scores of times. I was determined not to panic or surrender to my familiar catastrophising thoughts so their soothing voice-over and background music definitely helped. Even their stamped out ‘Never give up’ slogan on one of the metal plates helped – though I presume the never giving up they had in mind was some tough enduro race, not actually installing the kit.
My only mistake was not bolting the tower properly onto the incredibly strong and perfectly engineered spider/head clamp. Somehow I had located the top bolt though the hole properly but at the bottom I missed it completely and the bolt sat just pinching the side of the mount – and somehow survived being tightened up to 25Nm. It was only when I got to the ‘tightening the tower’ stage that I realised that the handlebars no longer moved. The back of the tower was jammed against, and gauging out lumps of plastic from the steering lock barrel. And once I got it sorted the whole front dropped down about an inch and now bumped against the fender. This was the low point, followed shortly after by thinking I had stripped the heads of two of the bolts – but I was just using the wrong tool. After this things calmed down. And mysteriously the fender was no longer in the way.
About an hour later I plucked up the courage to put the key in and turn on the ignition. Everything worked. And the lights – I kept the super-bright Baja Squadron headlight – were blindingly bright.
Its only the side panels left to fit now and the stickers to get onto them without crease or bubble. My thought – apart from thinking it looks great – now is to wonder how much rain will get inside the tower from the front and top onto the masses of -in-theory-all-weather-sealed wiring. I think I might fashion some waterproof material to fit inside behind the back plate. I’m awaiting Aurora to send the CanBus adapter for the headlights – though all works well with the temporary fix that they sent.
Overall I am hugely impressed with the quality, organisation and communication of Aurora. In particularl the all important spider clamp – important because it is the one piece that holds the tower onto the bike – was an absolute perfect fit into a complicated space.
Once complete I will go for a ride and report on how it works once rolling – and I need to adjust the headlights properly…
On Sunday I went for a quick spin and to fill up. It was so nice to be back on the bike even for such a short ride. It sounded and rode so well – with a nice rough edge. All seemed to work well though I haven’t checked that the 12v socket works as it should plus there is the HDU warning as expected till the final canbus piece arrives from Athens.