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Discussion Starter #1
As the stock Bobber rear shock is rock hard I upgraded it to a fully adjustable Matris unit.
I also fitted the Hepco and Becker C-Bow frames so that I could add luggage. And there lies the problem.
Because the Matris unit actually behaves like a shock absorber it allows more travel of the rear wheel and the design of the C-bow frames do not account for this, so the swinging arm crashes into them on both sides when riding.
The Matris unit is set up exactly according to the manufacturers specification, and Hepco and Becker have agreed that the C-Bow frames are installed correctly.
I have entered into a dispute with Hepco and Becker over this issue and they eventually offered to redesign the C-Bow frames for my bike, at no cost to me, so that they do not obstruct the movement of the swinging arm. However they are adamant that they will not compensate me for the damage that has been caused to the swinging arm by their product, stating that the frames are designed for the stock shock only (a short-sighted view in my opinion). Nowhere in Hepco and Beckers documentation, nor on their website, do they state that the frames are not compatible with an alternative rear shock.

In this post, I have summarised the many communications between myself and Hepco and Becker over the last few weeks.
I have also spoken to other industry specialists who agree that the design of the C-Bow frames for use only with the stock shock is ridiculous.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has fitted C-Bow frames and has had the same issue running with the stock shock.
 

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Very annoying to read about such events.
But important to share!
So, thanks for sharing this info with us.
 

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I suspect that H&B will argue that they can’t design their product for every aftermarket modification scenario. And therefore it’s designed for a stock bike, and if you decide to fit it to a modified bike then you do so at your own risk..

Seems a reasonable stance to me:smile2:
 

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With hundreds of aftermarket parts for these bikes they cannot test every application. Unfortunately you were the Beta tested on this one!
 

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Wow! Glad to hear they're going to redesign their mount, and hopefully it isn't just for you, but for all Bobbers moving forward. What are we talking about here....maybe a 1/4" (8mm) shift outward to clear the swingarm? I don't understand how they think this isn't a problem for the factory shock, but is for an aftermarket one. The travel isn't much longer (if at all) with aftermarket, and I bet those of us that are bigger guys cause more flex of the factory shock that the lighter guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Enoch,
I can't say that I've not heard that before, but I didn't start this thread to receive statements of opinion.
I've been arguing the problem for over three weeks, and I have sought industry advice from other parties.
The fact is that H&B have allowed 25mm of swing arm travel before it smacks into the pannier frames, and that measurement is taken without a rider. If they had allowed for 15mm additional lateral clearance there would have been no issues.
The debate is with regards to the safety aspect of placing a restriction on the amount of travel that is available to the rear wheel and swing arm. The design of their rack simply lacks common sense.
After all, Triumph themselves offer the Fox shock as an alternative, so in my mind, at least, the possibility that any shock could be installed should have been considered.
I'll have to wait and see, but it wouldn't surprise me if someone has had the same problem with the stock shock. I weigh 14st/90kg/200lb, so not particularly heavy; a rider with additional weight might be a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you ysoslo, my feelings exactly.
I've covered your questions in the reply I just sent to Enoch.
 

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Unfortunately it's always caveat emptor with aftermarket parts.

I love my British Customs mufflers but there's not a chance in the world the person who wrote the instructions ever actually installed them on a Bobber. Had to get out the grinder and make it work like an episode of Junkyard Wars. OK, not quite that bad, but definitely F'd up enough to make you shake your head in disbelief. It's all part of our twisted little hobby, so get through it and try to enjoy the adventure.

-GPz/Gary
 

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I think I would have to agree that this is a design flaw. A significant part of an engineers job is to try and eliminate possible "what if's". That's not to say that every eventuality is obvious however.

But, Looking at the photo's, it should have been obvious, from the first fitting, that additional clearance in that area would be necessary to eliminate any possibility of interaction between those parts. A simple measurement of maximum possible swing arm travel, regardless of shock/spring deflection, would have proven that.

Again, just judging from the photos, there doesn't appear to be any significant design, or engineering, limitation with those particular pieces, that would have prevented them from adjusting the length of the curved piece attached to the c-bow end the few mm necessary to ensure swing arm clearance without compromising the strength of the bracket.

My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great Black North...thanks for your input, and I agree entirely. I guess this is why H&B agreed (eventually!) to change the design and send me the new version at no charge. I should receive them next week, so I'll post an update once I've had a chance to do a comparison and fit them. In hindsight I should have checked them myself, but I never considered that there could possibly be any issue; after all, this is a mass market product not a custom one-off.

Bakulaw...funny you should mention that, because I did consider it. On reflection though, I decided not to for the following reason: H&B clearly state in the installation document that the spacers should be fitted unless the rear rack is also being fitted (in which case the rack mounting points provide the clearance). As I knew I would have a battle on my hands with the manufacturer, and until the situation is resolved (!?!), I decided to leave the installation as prescribed. The irony of this is that when I ordered the pannier frames, they arrived with the spacers missing; had I not contacted H&B to post them out to me and waited until I received them for the installation, this problem may never have arisen!
 

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Hi Johnny,

I'm pleased they are sending you a new set. It's a bummer your bike got damaged but I'm sure we have all been there one time or another. Looking forward to the update and at least you have had a hand in the future design and will now have a little part in it's history.

Let us know how you get on mate?

Cheerio,

Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fitted the modified frames on Saturday and did a lengthy test ride on Sunday over some very bumpy roads with no issues.
I've attached some photos that compare the original with the modified frames:
- On the bench, the hanger on the left is the modified one. Notice that the bend in the tubing at the top mounting point has been removed as far as possible.
- The second photo shows the modified hanger fitted to the right side with the original still on the left, demonstrating the increased clearance from the swing arm.
- The final photo shows both modified hangers fitted.

I hope that this is now the end to this issue.
I have mailed Hepco & Becker this morning to find out if they are going to apply the modifications to the hangers on all future manufacture of this specific product. I'll post the response if and when I get one!

The most surprising response I have had related to this problem was from the TUV in Germany. I mistakenly believed that they would be responsible for enforcing the quality standards that manufacturers subscribe to. This is the reply I received having described my issue to them. Quote:

"Dear Johnny,

Thank you very much for your interest in our sevice.
Just like for you, it is important to us that there are safe products on the market.
Our customers include manufacturers and importers etc. who voluntarily submit their products to our tests and certifications.

We regret to inform you that we can not offer the inquired Service, we are subject to the rules of neutrality.

Freundliche Grüße/Best Regards
Jasmin Müller
Vertrieb/Sales
[email protected]
TÜV Rheinland LGA Products GmbH
Am Grauen Stein 29
D-51105 Köln
www.tuv.com/safety[/I]".
 

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