For my ADD friends…. The short story here is the Kaniwaba Pedal kit v2.0 is the one to get. Forget purchasing the Sur Ron pedal kit. If you are interested in the story that led me to come to this conclusion, the sorted details follow…
I have owned my Sur Ron for 28 months and put just over 5200 miles on it riding in the dirt, on fire roads, bike paths and single track. I estimate that the OEM pedal kit I ordered with the bike has about 4980 miles on it. And I’ve run through many improvements on the OEM pedal kit to make it better, yet…well it’s still the shitty pedal kit. The entire reason I’ve kept it is it allows me to ride literally anywhere because of the pedals. Make no mistake the pedal kit CANNOT PROPEL THE BIKE. Sure if you want to use the stupid 28 tooth rear sprocket SR supplies so you can pedal the bike at 8 MPH and lose all of the torque you can technically pedal the 110 pound bike. I ran my own test, GPS measured by riding as hard as I could for 50 yards on flat ground. 4MPH was my maximum speed with the 48t rear sprocket. So I got off and pushed the bike and achieved 5MPH!
My Pedal Kit History
Because I’ve used the pedal kit for almost the entire time I’ve owned and ridden my bike I’m used to it. I have ridden the bike with the pegs too. And there was a time I would ‘pretend pedal’ to off road areas and then remove the crank arms and put on the pegs. But I got lazy and just stopped doing that and road with the pedals. I got accustomed to the pedal positions too, but could never accept the very poor execution in the building of the kit. One of the largest negative aspects of the OEM pedal kit is the rider becomes part of the bike’s unsprung weight because the kit is attached to the swingarm. Even though the pedal tube is located close to the swingarm’s pivot point when seated the rider’s weight is not a huge factor. But when standing all 180lbs of my fully geared rider weight becomes unsprung weight. More on that affect later in this post.
Like many others I had tried to fabricate an alternative to the Sur Ron OEM pedal kit for quite some time. I tried using the OEM foot peg hanger holes with threaded rod through them, but it just never worked. I could never figure out how to make the pedal cranks stay fitted to the rod without them rotating around the rod while under stress. I tried drilling a hole in the threaded rod and placing pins to keep the cranks from rotating. But the pins would either sheer off or the threaded rod would break. So I shelved the idea of replacing the OEM pedal kit. On August 27 2020 a man from Columbia wrote to me to ask if he could send me his version of an altered pedal kit based on reading my Sur Ron site. I agreed only if he understood that my assessment would be candid and he agreed. I often receive requests to review items in my professional job as a photographer. I’m not a YouTuber who makes money off of clicks, likes and subscribes so advertisers pay money for eyeballs. Writing reviews takes loads of time so for the past two years I wrote my reviews to help other users. I’m changing that to a subscription based model where users pay, not advertisers. I’m no longer interested in offering free support for the makers/retailers of the Sur Ron. Not even a simple thank you from any of them in the two years I offered this information for free. I never expect anything other than a simple thank you. Not expecting free shit or a discount on stuff, just thank you. And for those users who don’t wanna pay a monthly subscription, that’s OK.
He initially mentioned that the kit would use modified peg hangers with a spindle and sprocket installed. I told him that if a sprocket was part of the spindle/peg holder as the swing arm compressed the chain would tighten as it traveled through its arc. He didn’t believe it would until he tried it and found out the chain did tighten as the swingarm compressed.
So I suggested that he simply remove the sprocket all together since it does not serve any useful purpose.
Here is a comparison of the OEM pedal kit and the Kaniwaba pedal kit v1.0 which used a blued steel spindle with circle clips. V2.0 uses a stainless steel spindle and a set screw collar.
The weight measured in ounces.
I’ve included the OEM pedal kit sprocket because it’s part of the kit’s weight.
Unlike the OEM’s caged loose ball bearings the new kit uses high quality sealed cartridge bearings.
The photo above illustrates how the pedal kit v1.0 arrived.
Because all SR’s vary a bit in width between peg hangers he has included circle clips so the distance between the hangers can be adjusted. The bearings and the spindle are pressure pressed into one another. The distance can be adjusted by gentle tapping on the hangers while the spindle is in a vice. I had to adjust mine wider than how it arrived to have it fit snugly onto my frame. The hangers are anodized aluminum, the fasteners are stainless steel and the spindle is blued steel to prevent rust.
I’m not sure if the maker ‘pretend pedals’ consistently while riding his SR like I do or ride off road much. Whenever I’m riding on a public road or a bike path where others are present I pedal. My morning route is 18.2 miles round trip. As I was approaching my home I noticed what I felt was some drag on the pedals. Normally was buttery smooth. So when I got home I noticed the left side pedal crank had moved inward toward the center. It was rubbing on the hanger.
So I again removed the unit and readjusted the spindle so that both sides were equaled distant and went out for a shorter test ride, about 11 miles. Upon returning home the right side had crept inward. My belief is since the sealed cartridge bearings and the spindle are pressed into the unit the can move laterally. My first attempt to resolve this issue was to use stainless steel hose clamps and tightened them against the circle clips on the spindle to prevent creeping.
Alas this did improve the spindle creep, but not well enough since the hose clamps do not fit flush against the bearings inner races. So at that point I added some aluminum tubing I cut so as not to remove one of the hangers from the spindle since I had no idea how they should be properly removed.
This did allow the tubing to sit flush against the inner bearing race, but because the hose clamps were not strong enough to keep the tube from moving I still experienced spindle creep. Much better than his circle clip design, but not enough for my comfort and riding style.
As you can see the tubing slid on the spindle due to the insufficient pressure of the hose clamp.
So next up I purchased split steel collars for the spindle which would have enough pressure (I hoped) to hold the spindle from movement.
But then what I found before doing a road test is the new collars caused binding against the bearings. So…
I got so pissed about doing all of this I just hammered the fuck on the right side hanger until it came off the spindle I then fashioned two non slotted pieces of aluminum tubing that matched the inner race of the bearings. The right one is slightly longer because the right side had these two opposing flat spots on the spindle because apparently the maker ‘hopes’ to one day include a sprocket and I wanted that collar to be on the round portion of the spindle.
No more binding or spindle creep. Based on my suggestion to use collars rather than circle clips (he was thinking the same at the time) v2.0 is a much better design.
My following suggestion when installing v2.0 which is not mentioned in Kaniwaba’s video. Do not tighten the collars down when installing the kit hangers. Keep the spindle installed along with your pedal cranks. Tighten down the hangers and your cranks. THEN adjust the spindle left/right so that the cranks are equal distant from the hangers. THEN slide each collar against their respective bearing races and tighten down the set screws. Because I had already purchased split collars before they send the new ones I use mine to back up the Kaniwaba collars. Why? Well I’ve had experience before with single set screw collars and for ME they are not as secure as the split collars. Just Boy Scout shit.
Unlike the OEM left hand thread this kit has a reverse thread on the left hand side counterclockwise to tighten – the proper way for the spindle to be threaded so as not to loosen while pedaling. In addition the nut is a 15mm which differs from the 14mm side. Very nice touch so as not to confuse sides but I still color code mine
It’s apparent here that no silly pedal sprocket is on this kit which results in NO wobble or loosening/tightening of the chain as the swingarm travels through its arc.
Simply by removing the pedal crank arms you can easily install the footpegs and the spindle does not impact or interfere with the spindle. And since the spindle is not spinning there is no danger of getting anything caught in the spindle. I use fuel line hose to protect the threads on the spindle when the cranks are not attached.
Small Suggested Alterations I Sent to Kaniwaba
This is where I discovered one of the design elements I suggested be changed. He uses mushroom head M4 bolts as the anti-rotation pins for the footpegs. Due to their rounded heads when bolting down the pegs it does not allow the nut to be flush against the hanger. I countersunk the hanger and used countersunk M4 bolts.
Here you can see the small anti rotation bolt/pin between the two footpeg holes. The OEM footpegs have corresponding holes to prevent peg rotation.
The mushroom heads as supplied with the kit does not allow the peg nut to sit flush against the hanger.
Kaniwaba adopted the countersunk anti rotation bolt in v2.0 so the footpeg nut now sits flush to the hanger. Note that these photos are when I modified v1.0 to use a countersunk head. Kaniwaba’s is cleaner.
New vs. Old Kickstand Pivot
In their video for installation of the system they do not mention the use of the kickstand retaining collar that was included on my SR. It prevents the kickstand from being removed unless the shouldered collar is removed. But more importantly it provides a secure shaft for the bolt that travels through the kickstand and the kickstand hanger. I found after installing it per their instructions that the kickstand would not automatically retract all the way up unless I ensured to lift it all the way to the up position. Notice in the photo that my bolt does not have a shoulder.
So I simply drilled out the kickstand hanger hole so that the collar fitting would fit. And now my kickstand retracts fully once it gets within two inches of the top.
The maker made me aware that SR altered the design for the kickstand collar. He designed the unit based on his more current version which uses a shouldered bolt. So it will depend on which unit you own to determine if you will have to use my method or theirs. My SR is Gen 2 so I imagine Gen 1’s also use the same system as mine.
The other issue I found is the two very small M5 bolts that secure the kickstand hanger portion to the peg hangers. The bottom bolt’s hex head was a bit stripped and the actual bolt was loose. I noticed this as I was lowering and raising the kickstand. The kickstand portion would wobble. So I replaced the lower stripped head version with a larger hex head M5 bolt. I ordered 35mm length M5 bolts and nylock nuts to place on the opposing side.
I had replaced both of these bolts with Phillips head 35mm M5 bolts. I would have preferred hex heads but could not find them in 35mm length.
Kaniwaba was kind enough to send me several 35mm hex head bolts for my bike to replace the 35mm Phillips head units.
Because the back of the plate is angled I made stainless steel spacers that are beveled at the same angle of the plate so that when I tighten the M5 nylock nuts they remain flush to the spacers and don’t bend the bolts. Even though I had used Locktite on the original bolts prior to making this change, when I examined them today after my ride they had loosened. Now that I have made this modification they have never backed out of the kickstand bracket. Kaniwaba stated that v2.0 solves this issue without the need for my DIY shims. y feeling is the vibration of the kickstand being raised and lowered may cause the bolts to back out. Keep in mind that I have modified my own kickstand extending it one inch due to my 21” front rim. It was necessary to keep the angle of my bike safe when parked.
Left, original kickstand length. Right increased the kickstand length by one inch. No matter why I experienced the two bolts backing out doesn’t matter to me. I like to resolve things so that I don’t have to worry about them later….or worse, lose a part!
My stainless steel angled spacers I cut to match the angle of the kickstand bracket.
Nylock nuts to ensure the bolts don’t back out.
I was not certain what the small countersunk bolt’s purpose is at the bottom of the hanger. The maker explained it to me, “The bolt located in the lower part is to avoid the part that holds the side stand to move away from the hanger when you raise the side stand. On the previous version when the side stand was raised, it did a lot of torque (lever) on this part and it moved it away from the hanger, so we had to implement this screw in order to avoid the part from moving when the side stand was raised.”
Like all first gen aftermarket products there are some zits on its complexion. The creeping of the spindle is the most troublesome to me. The loosening of the kickstand mounting screws is a small thing, but something that should be corrected.
Most may think that removing the rider as unsprung weight will only be felt going over bumps. That is just one of the benefits of a pedal kit not being attached to the swingarm, but a MUCH MORE SIGNFICANT improvement is in turning. When I was racing my RC51 I owned a set of Dymag carbon fiber rims that I only used for racing. Whenever I installed those rims my bike felt as flick able as a 125cc two stroke road racer instead of a 468lbs 1000cc vtwin. So as I rode my SR on my normal trails, as I stood on the pedals and began transitioning left and right the bike was completely transformed from what I was accustomed to while riding. Not only was it smoother (duh I’m not a part of the swingarm anymore!) but flicking from left to right was effortless compared to the OEM pedal kit! I’m sure that non pedal kit SR owners have no idea what I’m talking about. But trust me the lack of me as unsprung weight made a huge difference.
The robust build quality of the unit is first rate. The maker has been receptive to my assessment of his kit. No “Yeah but…, but what about…” bullshit feedback from him. Just thank you or this is what that’s for. As the SR grows in numbers having aftermarket small companies who take the time to improve upon an already great product (well the OEM pedal kit is NOT a great product! LOL) is important to its longevity and evolution. At this point though I am done trying to improve the product because of the amount of time and thought I have put into it already. Oh and if you’re thinking “Well you got a free pedal kit.” Gimme a fucking break. I’d happily pay $129.00 and then do all of the improvements I’ve made without having to document all of this!
I also don’t believe any company should begin selling products until it is FULLY VETTED by having people beta test the products. I understand being excited and going to market right away. But what happens when PAYING CUSTOMERS encounter the issues I uncovered while testing the unit for Kaniwaba? Granted the issues I found may not be experienced by others simply because we all ride differently and in varied locations. But then again that’s how Sur Ron produced a shitty pedal kit isn’t it?
And if that sounds harsh keep in mind that I’m not trying to make money off of products. I do this to support aftermarket makers of aftermarket parts I find improve the Sur Ron. It takes a TON OF TIME to evaluate a product THOROUGHLY, photograph what I’ve done and write up my thoughts.
One other huge advantage with this kit is it now works with Luna’s belt drive system! My personal belief is most of the belt drive riders are primarily street riders. So to have pedals on the street makes the bike more acceptable to others who see you on the SR. Just my thought….
I highly recommend this pedal kit and thank Kaniwaba for taking the time to produce it. Even though it took me loads of time to evaluate and give them feedback I’m happy I was able to do so since I’m never without my pedal kit.