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zippie's thread on TLS Bitubo installation in frequent mods forum

861 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  zippie
Apparently I can't reply to zippie's thread on TLS Bitubo installation in the frequent mods forum, so I am posting here.

First, thanks! My new TLS Bitubo came with warranty stuff and a warning sheet and a booklet about adjusting the shock. BUT NO TLS-SPECIFIC INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS AT ALL. I can understand that for a more conventional installation, but it really needs instructions, so it was great to see zippie had also reproduced the instructions from Bitubo in his how-to thread.

I don't see any reason to remove the rear subframe and rear plastics like the Bitubo instructions say. I'm not even going to remove the right-side rearset. It might have been really easy without any scratches if I'd done it before I put the swingarm in though, but I'm not going to remove it again now.

Installing the shock is obvious, but installing the reservoir and hose, and mounting the reservoir is not! I didn't even imagine it belonged way forward where they show it with the hose in a circle; so thanks again zippie!

Everyone seemed to have trouble re-installing the engine spacer. That's no surprise, as the engine spacer is supposed to be installed and torqued down before the pinch-bolt on the other side is tightened. It's not supposed to be hammered into place! Your'e not supposed to taper the leading edge to make it easier to hammer into place!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to loosen the engine mounting bolts, then loosen the pinch bolts on the other (left) side of the bike. Then it should be easy to pry the engine over in the frame a bit with an axe handle, and easily remove the spacer. Then after installing the Bitubo I should be able to easily re-install the engine spacer, and tighten the engine mounting bolts in the CORRECT sequence according to the Suzuki manual in the section for installing the engine, and finally the pinch bolts. That should leave the engine correctly aligned against the right side of the frame and no stress, just like the engine was re-installed. All in all, it should be less work than struggling to get the right-side spacer out and back in.

Thanks also zippie for duplicating the Suzuki page for the linkage; we all should probably always replace the linkage bearings while it's apart. I wish I'd ordered them in advance just on principle. And it also shows where the washers go (which fell out as I slid out the linkage, perhaps my fault for taking it all apart before removal instead of removing the linkage intact with the SOAS.

Now I get to try the ride height adjuster with the Bitubo. My Bitubo supposedly has an 850 spring, but here's no way for me to confirm that, so I trust my vendor. It certainly came with plenty of preload, but that's good since it's easier to remove preload later than add it; the rings just usually turn easier relaxing the spring than tightening it. Thank you again zippie for noting the setscrew to lock the preload adjustment, I didn't even think to look for one! I could have really made a mess of things. I've also got the R1 shock (without spring) installed on the TLS, so both the R1 shock and the Bitubo are set for relatively light damping, which when combined should be just about right for my slightly longer swingarm.
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Admins: Please move this to the end of Zippie's thread in the frequent mods forum about how to install the Bitubo on a TLS.

If you want the remote reservoir in the suggested location it's supposed to be simplest to remove one engine mount spacer, route the hose, then replace the engine mount spacer.

Everyone has had severe difficulty getting the engine/frame spacer back in place unless you loosen ALL the engine mounts and pry the engine over, or make some kind of jig to bend the frame. Some people beveled the edge of the spacer just to get it started, which is less than ideal.

What really works well is to make a really simple expander tool. I got a 10mm fine bolt like the stock one, except that's threaded all the way to the head. Then I optionally ground down the hex faces on the nut so it took a wrench smaller than the 17mm. I put the bolt thru the frame hole, then threaded a 10mm fine nut onto the bolt loose, so that the nut is in the area where the spacer would be. Then I screwed the bolt into the engine until the head bottomed. I had loosened the pinch bolts at the other side of the frame, and I had loosened other engine bolts, but you don't have too. The gap is less than 1/16 inch too tight for the spacer to fit; if you could pry it open with the right cam-shaped tool you could slide the spacer right in, and it would be nice if Bitubo supplied such a tool. But instead, I unscrewed the bolt form the engine about 1 1/2 revolutions and then used an adjustable wrench to unscrew the nut without moving the bolt. In about one revolution the nut had pushed the gap big enough to start the spacer into place. It turns easily because it's fine thread, though it's stretching the gap with plenty of force. Once the spacer was started into place I loosened the nut (which didn't bump the spacer out of the way because I had optionally ground down the nut faces). Then I unscrewed the bolt easily with my fingers (and another finger on the nut so the bolt unscrewed from the engine and the nut at the same time).

That leaves the spacer in the gap where it belongs, but not aligned with the bolt-holes. You can pry it pretty easily, but that can also scratch up the new Bitubo reservoir or frame; it's not easy to get the correct angle to tap it into place. I started moving it by just tapping it with a large drift and a hammer, then changed to apiece of oak so I didn't dent the edge. Eventually I placed the side of the end of an axe handle against the spacer and hit it on the opposite side with a hand sledge. Then when it was close enough to get the end of a tapered drift in, it was easy to pry it into place by levering the drift sideways.

Done. Put the original bolt in.
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If you don't want to spend $2.40 on the 10mm fine bolt threaded all the way to the head, you can also use a nut against a short spacer instead. That way the nut is sill on a threaded portion of the bolt, and the short spacer pushes against the frame.

You could also make a really nice tool with a threaded thinwall spacer and a 10mm fine threaded rod, with the end slotted for a screwdriver.
Great posts cyclecamper. Yep, Zip did a great write-up with that thread.....his handy work is still performing well...I ran his old S all summer with no issues, the Bitubo has been working great too....I even got the old girl some new shoes!!

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Me too, just got the Carrozzeria wheels. Still paying for them, waiting for my 401K check. Now that I'm old enough there's no tax penalty for withdrawing. My red is darker, less orange.
Apparently I can't reply to zippie's thread on TLS Bitubo installation in the frequent mods forum, so I am posting here.

First, thanks!

so thanks again zippie!

Thanks also zippie

Thank you again zippie
Wow, I think that’s more thanks than I’ve had in the last 4 years on here! :laugh

I appreciate the feedback, I hope you enjoy your new Bitubo. FWIW if your shock looks like the one in my thread, it has the 800lb spring, the standard spring looks noticeably different.

Great posts cyclecamper. Yep, Zip did a great write-up with that thread.....his handy work is still performing well...I ran his old S all summer with no issues, the Bitubo has been working great too....I even got the old girl some new shoes!!
Glad you enjoyed the summer on the bike Ryan.

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