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Lowered Motorcycle Footrests



Introduction

The Africa Twin is not built for larger-than-average riders and has no adjustment features for the seat, handlebar and footrest positions. The sharp knee angle, shown in fig 1, can be hard to cope with on longer trips.

The standard footrests are small and covered with a rubber piece to reduce vibrations trasnmitted from the motorbike to the feet of the rider. This works very well as long as you stay seated. Offroad however, the rubber quickly becomes slippery and the small surface area localizes the load on a small protion of the foot. After a couple days of riding this can become painfull.


fig 1: Knee angle.


Prototyping





fig 2: First prototypes.

I started with a simple prototype, made from a set of beat-up footrests I widened and lowered with pieces of scrap steel. After testing them myself I asked for input and determined the final dimensions (total supporting area and lowered distance). To keep cost low I need to build a small batch of footrests with equal dimensions, so some compromise is necessary.

Production

Having established the overall dimensions, the prototype is reverse-engineered and all vital dimensions taken. The parts will be laser-cut stainless steel and need to be precisiely assebmled. To do this efficiently, I convert the geometry to sheet metal and add locating features (slots and tabs) and relieved bendlines. This allows me to bend the stainless steel easily and ensures all critical dimensions are spot on.

After bending, the footrests are welded and finally get a post-weld-treatment to remove the discoloration adn restore the weather resistant properties.





fig 3: Laser-cut parts and first assembled footrest.





fig 4: Laser-cut parts and first assembled footrest.