Wow! Here we go again. Another Dime City Cycles sexy mod. (I’m starting to sense a pattern here —DCC is my new BFF!)
After installing their sweet “Speed” Clubman handlebar (which, I must say, completely transformed the look of my Bonneville in one fell swoop), I entered into an email conversation with Herm at DCC (as an aside, check out his personal bike. Double WOW!). Before I could count to ten, I received a stunning rear set. The package was stuffed with, what I thought at the time, numerous “just in case” hardware but I ended up using most of it. No worries there. I’m a trouble shooter by trade and love these sorts of challenges. Truthfully though, as I pieced parts together, a lot of thought had obviously been put into assembling this rear set for a Bonneville T100.
One important note to get out front and center: this mod will NOT work with the right side stock pea shooter. I was replacing the stock exhaust this same weekend, so I wasn’t concerned. For the sake of this post, I decided to put on the rear set first just to see how well it fared with the stock pipes. Good thing I did. I’m sure that this is an important bit to know for many of you out there.
I spent time visually dissecting the stock setup and pieced together the DCC pieces as a dry run the night before in order to be prepared for the actual install.
This actually proved to be a smart idea (I have them sometimes). I was able to install my pre-assembled kits in place. I think it helped. Obviously, if you’re a seasoned mechanic who has done numerous rear set installs, you can chuckle at this.
Okay. Saturday morning arrived and I walked over to where I keep my bike, kit in hand, tools in my NYC toolbox (knapsack).
Unbeknownest to me at the time, I decided to start with the much more involved side – the right side, rear brake. As such, I went ahead and labeled the important bits in the below photo. Oh, while I’m at it, let me apologize for the dirty bike. We had rain a few times this past week which splattered the bike with dirt. I didn’t think to clean it beforehand. (Besides, I live in New York City. It’s not like I have a driveway where I can pull out the garden hose and wash off the bike.)
In a nutshell, what needs to be done is to remove the stock rear brake control assembly, outrigger and all, replace it with the Dime City Cycle Rear Set, and relocate the master cylinder. Ouch. Saying that out loud, yeah, it does sound complicated.
First remove the sprocket cover as it is currently holding the push rod and the main outrigger clamp bolt hostage.
Now remove three bolts – the main clamping bolt and the two frame bolts.
Remove the clipped pivot bolt that is holding the master cylinder push rod to the brake lever. The clip is in the back and easy to remove by simply using your finger to lift its flange and slide it off.
(BTW, notice the 18T sprocket? Future mod – 19T. I do a lot of highway travel.)
Pull off the outrigger with brake lever attached.
Place in the DCC kit as previously assembled. You’ll notice that the stock push rod is hanging way down and nowhere near where it needs to be.
This is where the serious modding occurs. We need to reconfigure the set up so that the rear brake can be functional and this requires relocating the master cylinder onto the new outrigger, adding in a brake line, and extending the oil reservoir tubing. Ha! you thought this would be easy. No, this is a rightful proud mod that you can hang your hat high on.
Remove the “Bonneville” labeled cover. It’s the one with a “coin” screw – in other words, its holding bolt has a long slit with which you can use a 25 cent piece to unscrew. (in a highway breakdown, you’re more likely to have a quarter rather than a screwdriver – that’s the thinking behind that bolt.)
Got the cover removed? Holy cow, now that’s a mess of stuff. You’ll see the master cylinder in all its glory. Kind of small to be called a Master, if you ask me. Anyway, what you need to do is undo the two bolts attaching it to the frame, remove the oil reservoir tubing (making sure to spill oil onto yourself), and release it from the banjo bolt. (FYI, banjo bolts are cool little pieces of hardware that have holes tunneled through them, thus allowing oil or air to flow through them while at the same time providing a seal to the outside.)
What happens now is that we’re going to reuse the stock master cylinder but remove the stock push rod and replace it with the DCC supplied shorter push rod so that the whole assembly can fit on the new DCC supplied outrigger.
Removing the stock push rod was something that I was not prepared for. There is a circlip which necessitates using circlip pliers to remove which I did not have. There was a bicycle shop next door and so I went to them thinking that maybe a bottom bracket tool would work but it didn’t. They had to force out the circlip which slightly bent it. I was able to reuse the circlip but I don’t think it provided the proper seal. I’ll talk about this further down in this post. I recommend having circlip pliers on hand before performing this mod. I have since ordered a pair from Amazon (free Prime Shipping, baby!)
Once you’ve removed the stock pushrod, put the DCC pushrod in its place. It is EXTREMELY important that you ensure a good seal otherwise air gets in your line thus negating the functionality of your rear brake. I’m speaking from experience which I’ll address in a moment.
Now that the master cylinder has been fitted with the DCC push rod, here is the part where those of you making this mod with stock pipes will scream in wide eye horror. The oil reservoir flange on the master cylinder will prevent it from being able to seat properly on the outrigger. As previously noted, I planned on switching out my pipes the same weekend, so I wasn’t concerned (and all worked well, new post to come). If you plan on keeping your stock peashooters, think twice. Perhaps there are those out there who can weld some sort of configuration to support the master cylinder – I leave that to you. I have no experience in that area. Perhaps there is an aftermarket master cylinder that could work, I don’t know. Let me know if you know of something.
So, in my case, since I was already planning on replacing the exhaust system the same weekend, I simply removed the silencer. With it removed, attaching the master cylinder and push rod was easy peasy, piece of cake. Make sure to attach the pushrod to its receiving hole on the brake lever. When I placed in the DCC rig, I pushed the pin in from behind and clipped it in from the front as you can see in the photo below – just for easier access but also to be able to easily notice if it had shaken off.
Guess what? Now that the master cylinder has been placed in a position far away from the stock configuration, it is necessary to adapt it. Dime City supplied the necessary ingredients – two banjo bolts with accompanying screws and crush washers, a 6″ brake line, and a thingy that I’m not sure what to call it. (The banjo bolts are so called because if you lightly tap them, you’ll hear washes of bluegrass music.)
Attach a banjo bolt (and crush washers) to the master cylinder, attach the brake line to it, attach the DCC thingy and banjo bolt to the sensor rig, and run the brake line up to it.
Finally, the oil reservoir needs to be hooked up to the master cylinder. For this you’ll need a much longer length of tube than the stock piece. DCC didn’t supply one, so I went across the street to an auto shop and bought a two foot length of tubing – 8mm but I’m not sure. We eyeballed it and it worked (though it was too thick to clamp – I plan on replacing it very quickly with a proper piece of bike tube.)
It is IMPERATIVE that there are no leaks or air. Air is bad because air will compress whereas brake fluid won’t. With air in the system, engaging the brake will transfer no pressure. This will render your rear brake useless. I had issues after relocating the master cylinder. My rear brake was very spongy. If you notice in the above photo, I only used one crush washer per banjo bolt. This was a mistake. I should have used one on each side. As I pumped the brake, I could see brake fluid seeping out – not good. Also, remember that circlip that I mentioned earlier that was bent upon its removal? I think that is preventing a proper seal. I’ve ordered some new crush washers and circlips and will replace those. As an ex-fixie rider, I’m okay with just using the front brake but that’s really not smart on a motorcycle going high speed.
Finally, top off the reservoir with brake fluid. The top is bolted down with two philips heads. In order to gain access to them, it is necessary to remove the seat. Screw that. I was too tired at that point. Instead, you can remove the reservoir from the frame by its attaching bolt and then unscrew the top from there. You’ll need to hold it in hand while filling, but that’s easy enough to do. Once filled, screw the top back on and then reattach it to the frame. If you want to remove the seat, go for it. I just thought that was too complicated.
[Insert photo of completed right side, all pieces in place.]
Alright… let’s move on to the left/clutch side. You will NOT believe how much simpler this is. We got the hardest part out of the way. 10 to 1 easy.
Note: while the right/brake side was not able to be done with the stock silencer, the left/clutch side doesn’t present the same problem. Just an FYI.
There are three hex bolts to remove. Two from the frame and the clamping bolt.
Pull off the outrigger with attached foot peg and move on to the gear shifter. The bolt head is accessed from underneath.
A little FYI… this bolt must be removed completely. It actually serves as a stop. It fits into a groove and prevents the gear shifter from slipping off, even when the bolt is extremely loose.
Now take the left side assembly that was so fortuitously put together the night before and seat into the frame.
Once that is seated, go ahead and fit the shifting clamp (with gear rod) onto the gear shift shaft/spline. (My apologies, I’m not sure as to their correct terminology. Please correct me in the comments section.)
An extremely nice benefit of this DCC rear set is the ability to fine tune position. The hub underneath the lever has numerous receiving holes, so you can position the lever to your liking. After seeing this, I wish that DCC had provided this same functionality on the brake side – not sure why they didn’t.
Note: You may need to adjust your clutch. Be prepared beforehand to know how to do so.
And that’s it. Bob’s your uncle. Was I right? This side was WAY easier.
This Dime City Cycle Rear Set is KILLER!!! With the stock Triumph setup, I found myself constantly moving my feet around. I would brake or shift, and then move my feet back. Then when it came time to brake or shift, I would have to move my feet again. Even worse, I would get caught up in pegs several times each ride. The pegs would adhere and kick back with my boots. With this new rear set, I barely have to move my feet. They are in a perfect position. More so, they look COOL!
Plus, I think that they shaved a couple pounds off the bike (sorry, it’s a British bike – a kilo.)
Here are a couple of full frontal shots. I shot these inside the garage and they’re not good. I’ll replace them with better shots ASAP. In the meantime, I thought that these would be better than nothing.
One question I have for Dime City… can you fabricate custom outriggers? The supplied Triumph outriggers are heavy cast iron. Surely something lightweight can be machined. I’m not a metallurgy expert but I think that they could be improved.
Regardless, these things ROCK!!! (Insert heavy metal air guitar solo.)
UPDATE TO COME: I plan on working on the rear brake. Looking at what I have currently, I’m going to reroute the brake line behind the frame, replace the circlip in the master cylinder, add new crush washers to the banjo bolts, and add a bleeder. Stay tuned.