Author Topic: Ron Smith's Dash Shelf ( ST1300 )  (Read 5775 times)

Offline KoTAOW

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Ron Smith's Dash Shelf ( ST1300 )
« on: May 18, 2008, 03:07:53 PM »
This article written by Curt Gran, STOC #5137, IBA# 330 and the original content is at this web page:

Ron Smith's ST1300 Dash Shelf

Review and Installation

I waited a while before I decided to get Ron Smith's shelf for my '04 ST1300A. The reason was I wanted to look around at what was available and see what worked best for my needs. There isn't a lot of choices out there but Ron's design was the only one I found that did not require me to modify my bike at all which is a big requirement of mine. I never want to cut plastic or modify the bike in anyway if I can help it. Most people would prefer to buy a stock looking used bike unless you're selling it to the LD crowd in my experience so being able to remove all that stuff and still have a stock looking bike was important. You can also operate the windshield in its full range of motion (upper or lower position) with this shelf installed but it will depend on what you're going to mount on the shelf. In short I love this shelf as it gives you room to mount things above and below it, it doesn't block the instruments, and it's pretty. ;)

This installation is fairly easy and that's coming from someone who is a self-admitted clutz. I'm not going to say that I didn't have issues installing the shelf but I brought it on myself by not having enough patience which is usually my problem. Do not approach this install as a slam dunk. It does take some time to line everything up correctly so that it mounts correctly. Ron sent me instructions and I did read them but sometimes mounting is an art, not a science and describing how to do some of the install is more of an art when putting everything back together.

Here's What You Get:
    * 1 Aluminum Shelf, Powder Coated Black 
    * 1 Internal Support Bracket, Aluminum
    * 2 Bushings, Powder Coated Black
    * 2 Stainless Allen Bolts
    * 2 Channel Clips (Tinnerman style nuts)
    * 2 Phillips Self Taping Long Screws
    * 1 10mm Bolt
    * 1 Lock Washer

Here's the Tools Needed (no hammer required):
    * 10mm Socket
    * 8mm Socket
    * Phillips Screwdriver
    * 4mm Allen Wrench
    * 3mm Allen Wrench (if you have the Honda Mirror Deflectors)
    * Double Sided Sticky Tape (if you have the Honda Mirror Deflectors)
    * Some Patience
    * A towel or two

Contact and Price Information:
    * Ron Smith
    * Email:
    * Price: $85, includes shipping anywhere in the U.S.
    * This is not a business for Ron, it's just a hobby, so be patient

  First cover the tank and maybe the front fender with a towel. So if you drop the bolts or shelf on your paint you won't give yourseld a coronary. The next part is to get the windshield and the upper cowling off the bike. To remove the windshield take out the 4 phillips screws that hold the plastic covers on over the windshield mounting brackets. Now remove the 4, 8mm bolts with bushings that hold the windshield to the mounting brackets. The windshield will now come off but careful not to tear the rubber gaskets that protect the windshield from scrapping on the mounting brackets. Once the windshield is off remove the mounting brackets. To do this loosen the top 10mm bracket nuts and remove the 10mm bottom bracket nuts. The brackets will now come off. This now makes it possible to remove the upper cowling once it's been unfastened from the bike.

  The upper cowling is the next piece and this requires some patience because of the push rivets used and the way the cowling comes off. There are 8 push rivets to remove (2 are allen screws if you have the mirror deflectors). Remove the 2 rivets on the top edge of the cowling and store them because you won't need them anymore. They will be replaced with the allen bolts included in the kit. Then remove the 4 along the bottom of the cowling. If you haven't removed these types of rivets before just use something like a small allen wrench to push in on the rivet. The center post should pop in about an 1/8" and then you can pull it out. Took me a while to realize this. After that you can remove the two on the sides closest to the mirrors. If you have the mirror deflectors though use a 3mm allen wrench to remove the screws and then you'll need to get the screw insert out that is behind the deflector. I didn't want to take the deflector completely off because I didn't have any good double sided tape to reapply them so I gently removed the top part of the deflector enough to get my finger in behind it and remove the screw insert. If the allen screw won't come out because the screw insert is turning use a flat tip screw driver to get behind the mirror deflector and hold the screw insert in place by placing the screwdriver tip on it and slightly applying pressure to the rim of the screw insert. It's not tough just be careful not to slip and scratch your paint. Lastly remove the 4 phillips screws that attach the dash to the cowling. These are located on the face of the dash on either side of the instrument panel. You'll only need 2 of these screws when you put everything back together.

  Once you have all the rivets/screws out you can remove the cowling but be careful here also. The cowling has a lot of small nipples on the back that hold a rubber sheet in place. If you break them off it's going to be very hard to fix. The way I removed the cowling was to pop it out around the mirror deflectors on the sides, then work along the top edge of the cowling to pop it out along the top of the dash. Once that was done slide the cowling up at the angle it's sitting on the fairing. This will release a tab and slot in the center of the cowling at the bottom that holds the upper cowling to the fairing (in picture above). Then there are two tabs on the outside of the cowling about half way up the side. These can be popped out once the cowling has been slide up and the center cowling tab is released. Take your time learning how to do this right because you'll probably have to do it a few times. I did break one nipple but it wasn't a big issue and it probably would have broken anyway because it appeared to be rubbing on a piece under the cowling. When you slide the cowling up take care not to rip the rubber flaps on the bolt threads that are on the windshield mounting brackets. Again, you might be doing this a few times so be careful every time you do it.

  Now that the cowling is off you can finally start installing your new shelf. The first part is to put in the two channel clips. These go on where the top two push rivets went into the cowling (in picture above). They slide right on and are a snug fit like they were made to go there. When you are putting the cowling back on and adjusting it to line up these holes be careful not to put too much pressure on the cowling or these clips will move out of place a little. They are a snug fit but they're not welded in place ya know.

  Next remove the top 10mm bolt on the windshield railing to install the support bracket. There is no bolt to remove on the left side railing so put the bracket into place and then use the 10mm bolt and lock washer supplied in the kit to fasten the left side of the support bracket and the right side will be fastened with the bolt that was removed. Once you have the support bracket in place don't tighten down the bolts. You'll need to line up the holes on the support bracket with the channel clips. Although it looks easy enough you'll want to make sure that the support bracket not only lines up with the channel clips but also lays flat on top of them. If the support bracket is not laying on the clips with the holes lined up the bracket will move when the cowling is put back on. I tried doing this a couple times without modifying the bracket but in the end I used a pliers to bend the bracket slightly near the clips. I was then able to tighten down the bracket and get it to lay flat on the holes and get the holes to line up. I put the allen head bolts into the clips to see how they are positioned and to make sure the bolts are perpendicular to the clips. Once you think it's lined up correctly you can remove the allen head bolts and put the cowling back on.

  Putting the cowling back on is where things start to get tough because getting the cowling back on without the bracket moving is difficult. Remember to start with the cowling slid up on the fairing and then put the sides under the mirror deflectors, then put the tabs on the sides under the fairing. Once that is done you'll be able to slide the cowling down the fairing to allow the tab in the middle of the cowling to seat into its slot on the fairing.

  Now you'll be able to work the top of the cowling under the lip of the top of the dash. Work from one side to the other. Try to be gentle during all of this to minimize moving the bracket. I had to use some pressure along the top of the dash and cowling in order to get them to come together like they were before I took it off. It's more difficult now because the support bracket is underneath the cowling. Remember this is going to move the bracket a little so the sooner you can put the allen head bolts back in the holes the easier it will be to keep from loosing the alignment. You'll also need to look at the alignment of the rivet holes on the cowling. I wasn't able to get those holes to line up exactly but I got them close enough to put the rivets back in. Once the rivets are in and the allen bolts are screwed in temporarily for placement you may want to work the allen bolts back and forth to try and make the alignment better. If you can get it so that the bolts are straight up and they can be unscrewed easily then you've got the alignment good enough to continue on.

  Getting the allen bolts in, because of the alignment issues, is probably the more difficult part of this install so I suggest doing those first. If you didn't put the allen bolts in after putting the cowling on I would do it now because you want the alignment to hold while you start putting the shelf on. Once they are both in and the alignment of the holes is good remove one of the bolts. Now put the bolt through the corresponding hole on the shelf and then put the bushing on the bolt and screw the bolt into its clip. Just get the bolt started so that it doesn't come out while you move the shelf around to remove the other bolt. Remove the other bolt, put it through the shelf, add the bushing to the bottom and screw it into its clip. Get it started too but leave it loose until all the screws are in place.

  Fasten the dash struts to the dash using the long screws provided with the shelf. You may need to be patient here also and make sure that the screws go in straight and not cross threaded. Remember these screws go into plastic so if you burned up all your patience on getting the cowling on and the allen bolts in place then go take a break and have a beer. If the screw holes don't line up quite right the shelf will flex some to line them up. Best thing is to fasten one side but don't screw it all the way down, then use the play that is left to align the last hole. If you can't get it to align remember the strut and the shelf will flex a little but make sure the screw goes in straight. I found a couple times that there are other ways the screw will go in and seem like it's fastened only to find out that it went around the screw hole and was hanging on by a couple threads. I did say I was a clutz.

One you have all the screws and bolts in tighten them all down but don't over tighten any of them. The shelf should feel pretty solid and there shouldn't be any popping or movement from the shelf, dash, or cowling at all. Now that the shelf is in put the windshield back on and take it out for a spin.




Thank You again for your contribution Curt Gran, STOC #5137, IBA# 330
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 08:40:40 PM by KoTAOW »