Gilles Tooling Rearsets: From Ick! to meh. to Weeeeeeeee!!! in 6 weeksPosted: February 6, 2010
I’ve had these puppies on the ‘Busa for almost six weeks now, and I’m loving them. I have finally come to appreciate the beautiful piece of engineering that those awesome Euros blessed The Fat Lady with. Yeah, Gilles Tooling is a Luxembourgish company. Just a little FYI for all you peeps who think they’re a bunch of Brits who decided to label their boxes in Deutsch just to keep things interesting. =D That should have been the first clue… Jawohl! But I digress… the only problem I’ve had with them so far is that the shifter rod assembly came undone and I consequently looked like a total n00b trying to make it home without having the use of first gear and with an iffy proposition getting into third. But luckily I made it before the damned thing fell off the bike and I would have been left pushing the rotund beast home and then having to have someone overnight me the parts I tossed somewhere on the road.
Note to self: Next time something feels a little ‘off’ or gives you that ‘WTF!’ feeling… pull your silly ass over and check things out. Geez! But you know how us ‘Busa chicks are: we ain’t pulling over for NOTHING and NOBODY, that would just upset the moving average! At any rate, that is no fault of Gilles, that would be yours truly getting confuzzled with those blasted lock nuts. [I’ve had several remedial training sessions. I’ve got it now, I think… (somewhat).]
When I installed my fender eliminator (another Xmas present from hubby), I decided it was time for me to stick those two forgotten spacers on the bracket that holds the master brake cylinder in its place. Yeah. I know. I can’t ever get anything mechanical right the first time. I blame this on the cold, the deadline that is imposed by nightfall, and the lack of a decent workspace. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with me being mechanically disinclined. No ma’am! It’s these horrible work conditions. Yeah, that’s it. If only the ‘Busa would fit through the front door… I’d be wrenching in the living room while watching Golden Girls reruns on the TV. See how many spacers are left over then…
Anyway, while I was down there I got this wild idea that I also need to adjust them a teeny bit. I wasn’t supposed to do that until I had a baseline for my suspension (Mike’s orders :)), but my wrists were killing me again due to my textile pants making me slide all over the place and there’s really no good way of holding on… I could slow down, I suppose… Nah! I need to find an alternative replacement for those StompGrip traction pads. Damn, those things were sweet! Too bad they really started doing a number on the inside of the knees on my leathers. Dainese vs. StompGrip? Not a difficult choice to make: the ‘shower mats’ had to go! What a waste of $45. I really need to buy a pair of leather over-pants to commute in or I could put double-sided tape on the tank… yeah… but no! I live in Georgia and Redneck Engineering is an art form around here and held in the highest esteem; I don’t even know why I came up with the idea… not really all that happy to claim it either. 😉
After fixing my earlier screw-up, I moved the pegs one column forward, but also had to move them one row down, because that was the only choice I had. The last column of mounting holes has one additional hole that is higher than all the others. That’s how the rearsets come from the factory, in the highest, most rearward position. I also took the opportunity to move the shifter on its lever one notch forward, to the center position, to see if that would enable me to gain better leverage with my toes for pre-loading the lever for those smooth little clutchless upshifts that I used to be able to do in my sleep, but haven’t done since I installed the new rearsets. I also adjusted the angle to make it slightly steeper in relationship to the peg. On the brake side all I did was a lever angle adjustment, also steeper, since I kept thinking I might be accidentally dragging the brake and that led to an awkward positioning of my foot, just to make sure that I wouldn’t.
I’ve solved my problems and gone is the initial dislike for how the new foot controls made me feel. How I felt like I was stuck relearning stuff I already knew and how it regressed my riding skill, or rather, how it made me feel like I was regressing. I took my own advice and was patient with myself and tried not to worry about it too much. Eventually muscle memory did set in. I can now shift equally well in my Harley boots or my Sidis and I’m back to not using the clutch lever while upshifting. It’s still not as smooth as it used to be, but pretty close to it. Some of that jerkiness I attribute to too much chain slack, which I still haven’t gotten around to fixing. It’s within the proper range the owner’s manual specifies, so I haven’t really bothered, but I need to take up about 5mm for me to find my groove again. I like it in the middle of its range (20-30 mm); I’m pretty smooth at 25.
I finally don’t feel awkward hanging off anymore! As a matter of fact, I think the rearsets actually make it easier to assume the proper position and get that knee out where it should be. I might just be imagining that, though. It definitely feels that way, but I have yet to get my husband to shoot some video of me cornering to look at myself. He needs to get his ass in gear and hook Miss Busa up. * hint hint *
Everything feels pretty good now. There might be some tweaking later, but I can’t really know until I do some real riding in some real twisties where I can actually string a few tight ones together. Do a little dance… then I will re-evaluate the rearset situation, but for now I’m in love. I might even go back to the rearmost position if I could only find something to glue my knees to the tank with.
The carbon fiber heel guards have also grown on me. After initial worries that they might be too flimsy to handle the way I like to dig my heels into the sides of the bike, I must say that I have developed trust in them now. That carbon fiber stuff seems to be pretty strong; it’s rock solid with just a bit of flex. I can dig! (literally)
Gilles Tooling rearsets get the Miss Busa stamp of approval and I recommend them to any (serious) Hayabusa rider who likes it on the aggressive side. Ride it hard, but ride it gentle. Be fast. Peace out!
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Continued: New Rearsets: 2nd Opinion
Intro: The Fat Lady’s Christmas Bling: Gilles Tooling Rearsets
EDIT: Well, damnit! I had it wrong, too. They are actually based out of Luxembourg, which is bordered by Germany, Belgium, and France. So now, having said that, I go assume my scroll of shame and fix that little misinformation up there. *points up the screen*