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Really good observations grommuter. More reasons I'm glad I stuck with the the stocker. I'm not near as abusive as the youtubers Brawndogrom mentioned but I'm definitely harder than anyone at my weight should be on my poor little machine.
 

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Whenever I see something broken, I have to wonder how the person was using the product.
cycling shops joke about all of the stories that begin with JRA (Just Riding Along). “I was just riding along when (fill in the blank) happened out of nowhere”. Often times you later learn that the person was abusing the crap out of the product, exceeding its design limits.
When I see YouTube videos of how some guys abuse these Groms, I shake my head in disbelief. I’m surprised they can take as much abuse as they do.
100%.

From the 2014 Takegawa thread:
Takegawa evidently replaced this one time for the customer and said no to the second replacement because it was raced. They should have stepped up given what they charge and their reputation.
I disagree with Chaddington on Takegawa "stepping up." The customer bought the unbraced version, then abused it to the point of breaking two of them. The braced version is clearly necessary for racing, jumping, stunting, etc; The customer bought the wrong product for the application, that's not a warranty situation. Hard Racing did charity by buying the second swinger back from the customer, though I think their decision to sell it back to the community on an "as-is" basis for repair was suboptimal, it should have been scrapped.

I don't doubt that abuse is the cause of many failures, on the other hand, if things go very badly when "JRA", I don't want to find myself wondering if my equipment can handle it.
 

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Agreed. Yeah, I understand where you are coming from. We’ll see what I think of the Kepspeed swingarm once it arrives. If I see a rash of failed Kepspeed swingarms, maybe I’ll start thinking about putting the stock swingarm back on. I do think it would be wise to inspect the welds every so often.

I’m pretty used to riding really lightweight stuff on bicycles. I no longer ride road bikes, but my last road bike weighed 13.53 pounds. That was with a pretty heavy wheelset too. With the right wheels and maybe a different seat post, the bike could have gone to the low 12 pound range. Sub 12 is not unheard of.

I’m what they refer to as a weight weenie...lol. I used to buy some pretty exotic boutique parts from Germany and Italy. Most of those parts felt as if there was no way they could possibly support the weight of a rider, but they did.

I’ve seen big heavy parts fail and lightweight parts hold up well. It really depends on the materials, engineering, and manufacturing, I tend to be “light” on parts, unweighting my body over big hits. It’s more difficult for larger riders to do that. So, it depends on the end user to a large degree and using the products as intended.

My favorite saying with bicycles was:

Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick Two.
 

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Has anyone with a Kepspeed swingarm had the chain contact the metal? The chain slider/protector is quite small, especially compared to the stock Honda slider. I haven’t read of any complaints, but I’m just curious.

With the chain freeplay adjusted to Honda’s recommended 35mm, it easily reaches the swingarm.
 

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I sent an email to Kepspeed.co.uk, I got a quick response from them.

Grommuter said:
I am interested in getting more information about the standard-length Kepspeed swingarms available for the Honda MSX125/Grom. There are extensive discussions of this product in the MSX125 and Grom community, and some clarifications on the design and details of your product would lead to several additional sales.
I am particularly interested in the structure of the joint between the axle mounts and the main arm. Is the vertical weld at that joint load-bearing, or does the end piece sleeve into the main body of the arm? In some competing products such as the Spyker and G-craft branded swingarms, catastrophic failures have been observed at this joint, so understanding how it was designed is important to my buying decision. If you are able to provide some information on the construction of both the braced and unbraced versions of the swingarm, this would be very helpful and I would be happy to share the information with the other potential customers.
Kepspeed.co.uk said:
I am attaching some pictures to help. Just so you know we have been selling Kepspeed parts for 18 months and sold several hundred swinging arms (mainly cub) and we have not had a single weld or bearings failure. We only have 1 silver swinging left in stock and is the one I have photographed. Our supplier is currently out of stock.
Needle Bearings in Kepspeed Swingarm

87003

87004

Regards Adam
While I appreciate the response, I am disappointed that they did not address the question. They also sent images of the wrong end of the product, which is a bit concerning.
On the other hand, the pictures do look beautiful.
 

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That’s cool that you emailed them grommuter. It’s also cool that someone actually responded quickly. I wonder if they thought you meant the “pivot axle”, when you were really asking about the “wheel axle”. I suppose you could email them again and ask about the other end of the swingarm.

If they have sold several hundred “swinging arms”, that is a pretty good amount of them out there getting used daily. I bet MotorKit in Belgium has sold a whole bunch of them too. If they were failing regularly, we would be hearing about it. People love to go on the internet and complain. Rightfully so.

My swingarm is at the UPS facility in my town right now. Unfortunately, it won’t get delivered to the BrawndoGrom Skunkworks until Monday. MotorKit shipped it out fast.

I hope mine looks as good as that one in the photo. That thing looks sweet.

I went to Webike and studied every swingarm they have listed. There appear to be pros and cons to all of them, no matter what the price is. The Takegawa looks fantastic, and it should for $600, but I don’t think is has bearings. It uses the stock chain slider which is great. I’m not convinced the end piece/arm connection is really any better on the Takegawa though, vs the Kepspeed. On the unbraced version anyway. The G-craft looks like it would be strong the way it has a v-shaped piece welded on the inside of the arm.

As I said previously, most joints on aluminum bicycles are not sleeved. Maybe they are at the rear dropouts. Not sure. They are mitered and tig welded. That makes for a really strong interface.

What would surprise most people, is just how thin the aluminum is in many places on bicycle frames. What gives them their rigidly is the fact that the tubes are oversized. Aluminum is a fairly soft metal.

I did find a little bit of discussion about the Kepspeed chain slider, over on dubSolo’s build thread in the Grom Builds section of this forum. Without seeing the swingarm in person yet, that is the only thing I don’t like. They should have just reused the stock chain slider like the Takegawa in my opinion.

On a side note, good grief I wish I could weld like that!
 

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For the bottom side slider, I wonder if you could find some adhesive-backed hard rubber or silicone that could be laid along the bottom side of the swingarm without showing/looking bad. It wouldn't hold up if the chain is constantly running over it, but it could reduce damage and noise from occasional impacts. It might be hard to find adhesive that's sufficiently weather-resistant, and also chain lube resistant.

Looking forward to your thoughts once you get it installed. Tooter mentioned somewhere that he had to add some washers when mounting, so I'm curious about that too.

I got a couple more pics from Kepspeed.co.uk.

87016

87017


I ended up ordering the black anodized braced version from Motorkit, total of $177 shipped. I'm 95% sure I'll be quite happy with it. Sorry if anyone else had their eye on that particular one, it says out of stock now.
 

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Now you’re one of the cool kids! lol.

I should get it installed tomorrow. Unfortunately, my ECU is currently away getting reflashed by Cameron Jones. Hopefully it will show up soon. I can’t test out the swingarm or any other new parts until I get that ECU reinstalled.

Someone else said they didn’t need to use any washers. After everything was tightened up, there was no play whatsoever, so we’ll see I guess.

I was already thinking the same thing about applying something to the bottom. I need to look through my stash of cycling chain stay protectors. I agree 100%, I’m only looking to protect from the occasional contact the chain might make with the arm. I’m confident I can find something that will provide some protection.

My friend had a KTM 1090 that would eat through sliders for lunch, but the Grom isn’t too hard on sliders I don’t believe. In fact, it looks like the chain misses most of the swing arm altogether.

Check out the photos of the chain alignment in these threads:


 

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I just came across a post claiming that the SF stock exhaust cannot be used with a Kepspeed, does anyone know if that's true?
Kepspeed swingarm and Kepspeed twin exhausts on my 2016 SF

You CANNOT use this type of swing arm on the SF with the standard low mount exhaust due to restricted space!

Swingarm has needle roller bearings and inserts to take up any end-float. Required two 10mm wide, 18mm diameter M12 spacers as the standard axle was too long at 305mm.
View attachment 67882
Motorkit definitely lists the swingarm for both the OG and the SF, I would be pretty disappointed if it didn't fit in stock form, I don't really see why it wouldn't though 🤔. I commute on my Grom so the catalytic converter and the stock silencer are important to me.

Also have not heard about the axle being too long, not sure how that's possible 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

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I just got my swingarm today. I’ll post more about my initial assessment later tonight, when I have more time. So far I am happy though.

I’ve read that post before too. I wasn’t sure what he meant. Now I realize he must be talking about the braced version specifically.

After looking back through old photos of my Grom when it still had the stock exhaust, I think I see what he means now. The braced version of the swingarm looks like it might not have sufficient space to clear the big boxy catalytic converter. From my photos, it appears that the cat is pretty far back, close to the rear wheel, maybe.

The unbraced version shouldn’t be a problem.

I think the axle is too long because it has to go through the entire width of the stock swingarm. The Kepspeed end pieces are not flush with the sides of the arms. My swingarm came with aluminum spacers to make up the difference. I’ve noticed the spacers in other people’s photos. That is a non issue. I think your biggest worry is going to be the exhaust clearance.
 

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Yeah, just took a close look under my Grom, no chance that the brace clears the cat. Disappointing as it is listed as compatible with the SF. I've reached out to Motorkit, but it's already been shipped, I doubt they will be willing to take responsibility, so I will likely be looking to sell or trade soon.
87024
 

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I bet you can sell that swingarm for what you paid or pretty close, no problem. It appears that desirable parts move quickly on the for sale section of this forum.

Then just reorder the one without the brace, if you are determined to keep your stock exhaust. Kind of a pain, but it would solve the issue.

I may not get my swingarm installed tonight, but I will take some photos when I do. I’ll get photos of the Kepspeed swingarm and the stock swingarm on my scale. I take photos, for future reference, of every part that is removed or installed, sitting on my scale.

When I first opened the box, I thought that the swingarm didn’t look as nice as I hoped. Turns out, it just needed to be cleaned up. It looked like it had just come out of the machine shop. I polished it up for about an hour using NeverDull.

I’m guessing it is just raw aluminum and not clear anodized. I wiped what appeared to be a bunch of oxidation off.

It looks nearly chrome now! I may polish it a little more in a couple of spots. I can’t help but think maybe I should clear coat it before I install it. That would prevent it from oxidizing. That’s what they do to polished aluminum bicycle frames. Then, they are pretty much maintenance free.

So far, I really like it. It looks blingy for sure. It does have a few stray tooling marks here and there, but nothing too bad. The hardware is excellent quality and it even came with a polishing cloth. MotorKit threw in a couple of cool stickers too.

The welds look great. I’m not worried about it breaking. It feels really strong. As long as the small chain slider is not an issue, I think I will be really happy with it. For the price it seems hard to beat.

I’m not convinced the bushing section completely makes contact with the pivot bolt. I will study the situation more when I install it.

Here are some photos. Like I said, I will post more photos after installing it. These were taken in lower light to cut down on some of the reflection.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Sorry I'm late to this thread. Yes, I got both of mine from Motorkit and it looks like they are not shipping to the US right now. I have not had any issues with the swingarm yet, but I really don't pay much attention to them. I guess I'll have to go look at them and see if they are doing okay. Haven't crashed after any jumps or hard-landing wheelies, lol.

-S1930
 

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Here's the chain contact area on the swingarm. It's about two inches long up close to the front sprocket as the swing arm is out of the chainline the rest of the way.
87033


Sorry for the shitty pic, I just stuck the camera under the bike and guessed. Anyway, I stuck a piece of 20 mil pvc tape on the spot and will watch to see how well it holds up.

I think I'm close to the first one here to get the Kepspeed because mine was only $127 including overseas shipping to the US. So far I have about 3,000 miles on it with no problems. The bike handles great and the precise chain adjusters work flawlessly.

The Kepspeed is just another part of my bike weight reduction program It's down to just 203 pounds. :)

87034
 

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Tooter, are you saying the chain does make contact with the metal, or are you saying that you put the pvc tape on there just in case?

I couldn’t tell from the pic.
 

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Tooter, are you saying the chain does make contact with the metal, or are you saying that you put the pvc tape on there just in case?

I couldn’t tell from the pic.
That white streak in the pic is where the chain physically contacts the swingarm. It's about 2 inches long and up at the front of the swingarm. That's the only place it touches. Monitoring the tape will let me know how hard the chain hits by how much the tape gets damaged. I don't believe this is a serious problem. Just something to address.
 

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Thanks Tooter. I’ll have to see what I can do to protect my swingarm in that spot.

I’d say the diet you put your bike on is working. Looking at your pic, that might be the nakedest naked bike around. I love how a lightweight bike rides.

After I finish installing my swingarm, I will have removed about 15 pounds from my Grom.

I’ve added over 2 1/2 pounds back on though. The Hard Racing engine brace added one pound, the Hard Racing shifter shaft support added a little over an 1/8 of a pound, the Ohlins Shock added 1/2 a pound, Takegawa oil pump added an 1/8 pound, Takegawa 4th crank bearing added 1/4 pound, ASV levers added 1/4 pound, and the Kitaco starter cover added 1/3 pound.
 

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Motorkit replied to my question about the incompatibility with the SF exhaust, they just asked for pictures of the problem. I sent them a side by side of an underbraced swingarm installed on a Grom, and the Grom SF exhaust on my bike, which is obviously in the same spot. That was over 24 hours ago and they haven't responded, I'm assuming they don't know what to say because it is clearly a problem with the way the product was listed on their website, but they certainly won't want to accept responsibility for a return that would cost more than the product itself. Still hoping to work out something amenable with them, but in the meantime I've listed it in the for sale section for $150 locally in the SF Bay Area. Obviously I can't ship to a buyer for the same reason I can't ship it back for a return.
 
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