I decided to get a tail tidy for my bike to reduce weight and make the rear look a bit neater. So after searching on the net for a few days, I bought a R&G tail tidy for the KTM Duke 125/200 on ebay from RideOnDirect for ~US$ 158.
I installed it last Sunday, but found that the process wasn’t completely hassle-free, so I’m writing about it to let other KTM Duke 125/200 owners learn from my experience.
After paying for it using Paypal, it was shipped within 2 days and about 2 weeks later, arrived at my office. That explains their 99.7 positive rating on eBay.
No complaints here and the shopping experience was pretty smooth.
The package came with English and French instructions and was acceptable in clarity (not super clear). The pictures were pretty small and were in black-and-white. I think if you use my pictures together with the instructions, you’ll have a much easier time.
So starting with the first step, I removed my seat and the 8 screws and bolts for the under-tray.
The next step was to disconnect all the electrics – left and right turn signal, brake light and license plate illumination light. All male-female connectors were colour matched, so it was all very clear. However, if yours are not, write them down or take a photo before disconnecting so you can refer to them later.
I recorded the colours for your reference
- License plate illumination light – Red
- Left and Right signal lights – Green and Grey
- Brake light – White
Next, I unscrewed and removed the brake light shroud from the bike, and all four lights from the shroud. They all came off pretty easily. So far, all this took all of 15 minutes.
To start transferring the lights over to the new shroud, I decided to test fit the brake light on the new shroud first.
This is where I noticed a problem; the brake opening for the new shroud did not quite fit the light. It was too small and the edges were different angles from the light. This caused the screws to be unable to sit properly in the screw holes.
Since I didn’t have a Dremel tool or file at home, I had to use sand-paper to file the edges out to enlarge the opening. (Note to self, buy a file or a Dremel tool in future). This was very tedious and took me about 60 minutes.
After an hour, I managed to get the light to sit in the opening. I purposely took more time here because I didn’t want to accidentally remove too much material.
When I finally managed to get the brake light in, I then realized that all the filing had caused the light to shift to the right and sit higher. So I had to drill and enlarge the bracket holes (using a hand drill) in order to mount the light.
The tail tidy comes with its own license plate illumination light which has more closely spaced mounting screws than the original, so you will not be able to use the KTM original.
The new illumination light also has different connectors (why didn’t they sell it with the same one?) so I cut the red connector from the original illumination light and spliced it on to the new light.
That’s when I realized the hole for the wire to pass through was too small for the red connector. (If the manufacturers knew this before-hand, why didn’t they design it with a bigger hole??)
I did more drilling to enlarge the hole for the connector to pass through.
The right and left indicators went on without any additional modification (thankfully), and after 90 mins, I transferred all the lights on to the new shroud.
I thought installing the new shroud and under-tray on the bike would be a 10 minute affair, but I was wrong.
The shroud went on to the bike with no problems, but the new under-try was not well-designed – it was it was bigger than the original – and did not sit flush in under-tray channel.
I had to mark out the protruding plastic areas with a marker, file them down slightly, and then test fit it again. It took me 3 ‘file-test fit-remove-refile’ efforts before the under-tray finally fit the bike. Time taken ~ 60 minutes.
So what’s the conclusion?
The R&G after-market tail tidy is definitely not a drop-in fit on the KTM Duke 125/200.
The brake light shroud is too small for the brake light, and the shape and angles of the opening also do not fit the existing brake light well. It has to be filed to fit.
The under-tray also doesn’t fit the bike properly and needs to be filed to fit.
All this modification turned what should have been a 30 minute job into a tedious 3 hour installation for me. If you’ve got a Dremel tool, you would probably save some time, but I imagine you would still take about 90 minutes or so.
Another thing is that all this filing causes the fit of the items not to be a good as the original, you get fairly large gaps in the brake light shroud and the under-tray also doesn’t fit snugly in the channel.
I’ll email R and G with my feedback and post an update if they reply.
As a small person (165cm, 58kg), it really is hard to find clothes that fit well. I mean, I have to buy cycling jerseys that are XXS or a XXXS if it were American cut. Add a preference for rather fitting apparel, and available options narrow by another 80%. And that’s just clothing in general, if we look at the hyper-focused jacket/motorcycle/textile/vented sub-category, I probably have 5 options in the world.
So, when I tried a Zentex size 42 and found it fit perfectly, I jumped for joy, only to realise that
1. Dainese had discontinued the Zentex
2. Dainese will be stopping size 42 for future models
See how hard it is to find a black textile vented mesh motorcycle jacket from Italy for a small person who likes fitting clothes?
Fit – Super. Because it’s so hard to find
The ventilation is great, and by great I mean good enough for me to wear everyday to commute to and from work in 27.0C (81 F) 80% RH weather. That’s similar to the Amazon.
Responsible for this ventilation are 4 panels of boomerang mesh at the chest and inner arm sections. Of course, while waiting at the lights, you will still start to sweat – after all you ARE between cars pumping out hot exhaust fumes – but when the lights change and you start moving, wind flows through the mesh and cools you right down.
The ventilating mesh continues at the back with another 2 large sections that stretch from the shoulder blades to the kidney area, and allows wind that’s entered from the front to grab a bit of heat from your hot but hopefully not sweaty body and exit through the rear. It’s like giving the rider behind you a warm free gift.
Ventilation – No sweat. Effective cooling in tropical weather similar to the Amazon forest
If Dainese protection is good enough for Valentine Rossi , its good enough for me to pootle to work at 55 km/h. It has CE-rated armour at both the shoulders and elbows. What this means is that the protection has passed stringent EU consumer standards.
You can also buy an optional G1 back protector and insert it from inside the jacket. This is where I think a fitting jacket makes a difference, as it pulls in the back protector, making it rest snugly against your back. On a looser jacket, it would be hanging off your back and swaying inside the pad pocket with movement.
When I compare the Zentex with the Taichi (jacket, not exercise) I used to wear – the Zentex wins hands down in the protection department. The Taichi shoulder and elbow guards are made of density foam and not rigid like the Dainese. The back protector is also made of foam and pretty soft. The exterior material is heavy duty nylon, which Dainese call Piston Textile. This sturdy stuff, when combined with the rigid armour, lets the jacket keep road rash off you when your body says hello to the tarmac.
Protection – Good enough for Rossi and better than the Taiwanese
Saving the most important point for last, and also related to fit, is that something always happens when I put on the jacket. In my mind, it’s as if I transform from a slightly short Asian motorcycle loving blogger to this.
I think it must be because the jacket is
2. Italian (though Romanian made)
3. Slightly tight (Thank God i’m lean)
So for all the ventilation and protection, at the end of the day, it really does come down to that ‘I ride a bike’ feel when you throw a leg over and twist the key. #shallowme.
Here’s a shot of how a fitting jacket makes you look good on and off the bike. Not like the guy is anybody special, it’s the jacket. Really.
Compare this to how you end up looking if your jacket was slightly loose, non-black and not Italian.
Transformation capabilities – makes you feel like Steve Mcqueen and look like George Clooney.
So there you have it, my 100% objective review of the Dainese Zentex Textile Jacket.
I’ll be using it tomorrow for sure.