DIY Junk

Heated Grips on a Svartpilen

Or Vitpilen, I guess. Here’s a few things that would have helped me to know ahead of time. You may have a smarter way of doing some or all of this, but maybe this will help guide your solution. Read the whole thing before following any of the advice, and use your best judgment.

“What grips” is also a good question; those Oxford grips are ubiquitous but the controller is kinda fugly. I’d gone with Koso Apollos, since the controller is integrated into the left grip. They have a pretty simple means of routing where the wires from both sides lead to a little box, which goes to power. The downside is that the switch itself takes up a little bit of hand room.

Both the Oxfords and the Kosos are available in 120mm, which is what you want for the Huskys.

Routing and Plastics

The Kosos have a decent length of cabling. There’s enough length on them so that you can run them down inside the harness cover behind the headlight, then out on the left side alongside the bike’s main harness. My priority was concealing as much added wire as possible. I think you could probably run the right grip out the right side along the headlight wire, if you wanted.

You have to make two cuts to do so:

Aside from being the deepest, the first cut is to the plastic harness cover on the top “bike-left” side. The Koso’s left grip wiring is super thick, so this cut allows space for it to accompany the stock left-side switch wiring down behind the harness cover. I did this with a Dremel sanding wheel and a little file to clean it up — nothing fancy. Smoothing the edges is key, though, since the plastic Bajaj uses on these bikes (feels like PA6, although I forgot to look at the markings) can take on a remarkably sharp edge.

Here’s what that looks like once the wires have been run. Pardon the messy harness tape! Make sure not to pinch the wiring when reinstalling the harness cover or the headlight itself.

The second cut is to the leading left edge of the V-shaped cover. This cut will allow the grip wiring room to enter the cover. You can ignore that to the trailing left edge, which was to clear something else.

Here’s what that looks like when they’re installed. Hat tip to Bajaj for not welding my frame’s mounting tabs for the cover on straight; it sat like this off the dealer lot. These bikes remain so hard to find that I was not of a mind to complain about it and go back to looking.

The Koso Brain-Box Thing

The main issue with the Kosos is the big “brain-box thing”. There is basically no wire length on the downstream side of it which connects to the grips, which means that you need to install it very close to the bike’s headtube. This is kind of a problem since that area on the Husky is packed with stuff already.

My solution was to use fancy hi-temp Velcro to stick the thing to the inside of the cover plate for the passenger seat lock, which you get to by first removing the ignition coil cover then poking a 10mm socket forwards behind the cover plate. In this location, the Koso’s brain-box wiring sticks right up to meet the incoming grip wiring under the V-cover. Not ideal, but it works. The Koso has a ton of wire length on the power side of the brain-box, but I just wish the box itself sat close to power and they gave the grip side a ton more length.


You could get fancy with this part, but I wanted something that a future owner (or me, I guess) could pull off very easily. With that in mind – and because the Husky has a fuse for an ignition-switched power source – I just used a fuse tap into slot 10. It has to be properly wired to the ignition since I work at a university, which means that on occasion people will mess with the bike’s switches while it’s parked, and I did not want to come back to a dead battery.

I admit that it’s kind of weird to want an easy return to stock wiring when we’ve been cutting plastics. Two things:

a) I am a weirdo and I’ve bought and squirreled away duplicates of the harness cover and V-cover, so the bike can be returned to stock.

b) Cuts to plastics are one thing, but I hate buying anything with cut-up wiring because you never know what some moron did, and what’ll short when you’re 100 miles from home. This solution keeps me, a moron, away from the stock wiring.

Longer-term, the right move will be to find a proper KTM/Husky accessory power connecter to splice onto the Koso wiring and plug it properly into the bike’s switched ACC plug. I couldn’t find one and didn’t want to put this job off; what I might do, actually, is buy the OEM USB port addition, then just clip its connector off and re-use that. Fuse taps are kinda hokey, but it got the thing working “properly”, at the very least.

There we go! Heated grips that are only powered when the bike is, easily-removable, and with a minimum of added visible clutter. Aside from what’s covered here, it’s quite a standard heated grip installation job, which means that it’s pretty easy but smoothing down the throttle tube is majorly annoying.

They don’t transform the bike into a touring machine – and at speed, wind chill on the outside of your hand is always going to be the real heat-robber – but that extra little margin of comfort is nice. If I didn’t have bar-end mirrors I’d probably try finding a way to make the Norden’s handguards fit for some extra wind protection. It’d be cool if Husky made some to match the brushed aluminum flyscreen, too.

For now, though, this’ll do.

DIY Junk


Decided that the bow of the Floatocompo needed a rebrand. I may be poor in money, but I’m rich in dumb nonsense. There’s no way those two facts are related.

Also, it was really annoying finding a vinyl shop that could cut the outline font (Outline Sans JNL) properly. Weird.

DIY Junk

LED Svartpilen Turn Signals: Stuff

I wanted to add Rizoma Vision LED turn signals to my 2020 Svartpilen 401 because the North American incandescent signals ruin the look of the thing, but I couldn’t find good answers to a few questions.

Most of the Rizoma sources indicate that resistors are not required, and that the signals won’t hyperflash. I assume this was true on the ’18-’19 bikes, but it’s definitely not accurate on the 2020s.

Rizoma includes an assortment of resistors with the indicators (and some nice plans of how to use them), but doing it per-corner is exhausting and (particularly at the front) there’s no room to incorporate them.

Rather than doing that, you can just pick up a flasher relay and replace the stock relay under the V-shaped plastic cover. There are two relays under that cover, and the flasher is the one to a rider’s left. You’ll just need to make two modifications to the new generic relay: (a) Cutting off the useless plastic tab, and (b) Changing the pins so that when viewing the connector from the top, clip up, the black wire is on the left, the middle position is empty, and the red wire is to the right.

I swear it’s my phone trying to autostabilize it and that I’m not actually that jittery.

I couldn’t find any resources on how to get into the wiring for the back. I’m guessing that’s because, having tried it, it’s super-easy. You just undo a single Philips screw to remove the cover, and then undo the two bolts (I belieeeeve 8mm Allen?) and the whole thing drops out and exposes the connector. If you’re using the Rizoma EE114H wiring adapters, you can just bundle all those up and shove them up in the tail section.

Not as nice as the ’18-’19 rear, but… ah well.

If you shove a throw pillow between the forks, it’ll support the headlight and gauge assembly so that you don’t need to remove the whole thing entirely. A little tight, but meh. Since the electrical system of these bikes is, by reputation, persnickety, I didn’t want to unplug anything I didn’t have to.

Classy Workings™

Much better.
DIY Junk


I give you my magnum opus: the suppressed toolbox.

I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea, but it *does* work pretty well. At first it was going to be a new first aid kit for my car, then it dawned on me that the Trusco Y-280 is too small for that. Now I don’t know what to do with it.

DIY Junk


Finally got to take the baby canoe on its first trip, whereupon I promptly fell through the old cane seat. Hm. Since this was a camping trip with a fair amount of stuff that one might want to attach to a canoe, I was also a little bothered by the lack of bow and stern thwarts. Fortunately, for that there is “drill”.

“Ow, my butt” – Me.

Like a lot of ’80s-’00s canoes, it technically has a handle, but this arrangement sucks for tying to the car and there’s no place to hang a throw bag and whatever quickly. I had made little loops of line in these holes, but that’s hokey.

I can appreciate a cane seat, but I feel like a teal 25 year-old canoe isn’t the place for it. Rather than re-caning the one it had, I just used a spare that I got for my Wenonah Spirit II and thankfully hadn’t yet chopped down to size. I don’t really have any interest in using the nice backrest part, so this’ll do fine.

And for the bow and stern, I put in these rather nice handles. They were about six bucks a pop from Ed’s Canoe. They had about 2.5″ of extra material on each side, so there was a lot of flexibility on placement. Of course, for my purposes, the closer to the bow/stern the better.

Much better. I’ll need to refinish the factory thwart so that the woodwork is at least bicolor rather than tricolor, but that sounds like a January project to me. I now dub this “acceptable”.

DIY Junk


Linux Funtime ThinkPad Refresh Time! This is an X250 that was getting a little tired-out. It’s got an i5-5300U – i.e. it’s not too hopeless, but it just needed a little love. Particularly since the 1366×768 TN panel is truly and irredeemably horrible.

Get that old screen outta there, in favor of a 1080P IPS panel.
Industry-standard mustache comparison test of new screen.
New SATA and m.2 SSDs.
Clean off the old thermal crap, give it a fresh application.
Tasteful hologram cat sticker to match MacBook Pro.

DIY Junk

Making a Raspberry Pi downloader box work with a Synology when you’re dumb and impatient

All I wanted was a little box to whom I could upload torrent files that it’d download to my Synology. I know Synologys can do that internally, but I prefer to have a little more control over the downloader. As a dumb and impatient person, putting up with finicky things is rarely done. However, I really wanted this, so since I’d gone through all the trouble to get this stuff working together I thought I’d write it up. I’m not saying it’s the best way, but it’s the simplest working setup I could come up with.

DIY Junk

Revolution VI: Styrene Nacho

I’ve been working on my incredibly stupid plan to organize my tools by boxing them by type and hanging them on the wall, so I got a bunch of the littler, non-folding Trusco toolboxes. The only problem is that they don’t have divider options like the bigger ones to. The solution is 1mm styrene sheets! These are used in model-making, but they seem sort of under-appreciated for tool storage.

Sizing for the main business.
Cut & notch.
Okay to start off with. A little felt to stop the Dremel rattling.
Look, I don’t have a drill press, okay? I spent all my money on toolboxes. Well, I actually do have a thingy that holds rotary tools vertically, but it’s flimsy enough that just holding my drill did a better job.
Bits to cover the horribleness.
Pretty good start, but the top is ugly.
A little bit of square tubing cleans it up.
Last touch: so, when you use a Dremel, or at least when I use a Dremel, I usually want one of two bits. So: two strong magnets and some scrap wood…
And bam! A little quick-access dealie. The lid has enough crown that the cutting wheel fits.
All done.

I get my styrene from Evergreen Scale Models, since they have the fun box sections and so on. All you need are the sheets, an adhesive like Weld-On 3, a little brush, and an X-acto knife. I make them pretty snug, then secure them lightly with just a bit of Super Glue, so that they’re easy to rip out.

Works great for chisels, too. 2mm styrene might be the way to go; I used 1mm since it’s easy to work with, but as you can see, this one got a little tweak to it.

DIY Junk

Bunchsnacks’ Dome Imperium

Making my Osborne 1 less tired, via peroxide, mild abrasives, and general tidying.

DIY Junk

Sony AX100 in a Honda Element: Metra Stole My Pants

I put a Sony AX100 in my Element a couple weeks ago, and found a couple of things related to the install to be particularly annoying. Unlike regular annoying stuff, however, it’s actually a result of planning. This experience has only confirmed my belief that the one true way to install any car part is to forsake all installation accessories and simply see what you can find in your garage. Anyway, here’s what I done.

The main thing is that Metra “Element” kit is totally useless for the AX100. This is the kit places like Amazon and Crutchfield suggest fit the Honda and Sony perfectly. Brittle plastic mounts that put the thing way too far back in the dash, and the faceplate doesn’t fit the Sony. Like, genuinely doesn’t fit at all. There is no way that you could think “ehhh, this almost fits”. No.

The thing to do is use the Scosche HA1561TRB faceplate, which fits the AX100 and the Element’s radio surround great, and modify the stock radio’s mounts. Each has two little metal nubbins to grind off, and then the plates will attach to the side of the AX100. For the four screws, use those that came with the Sony. To mount the assembly to the car so that it fits the faceplate correctly, it must be spaced out by 2.8 mm at the top and 5.5-7mm (depending on your height) at the bottom, but then you can attach the AX100 to the same holes on the side as the factory radio. In the picture above you can see that I’ve mounted the Sony so that the bottom lip sticks out more than the top — tiling it “up”, since I’m tall. That’s 7mm. To get it even all around, I’d probably go 5.75mm.  For the spacers I used nylon rod since I had some handy, but you could probably epoxy a few washers together. The standard hardware can be re-used at the top — it has enough thread to get in there — but at the bottom I made new fasteners that are a bit longer, to fit the spacers. M5, .8. The setup fits perfectly, and holds much more solidly than the Metra stuff. Long story short, throw the Metra mounts in the trash, get the Scosche thing, and use a Dremel and a little tap and die set. Metra harness worked fine, though.

You don’t need one of those parking brake bypass things. The parking brake wire can just be grounded. I assume all forum posts saying that you need one of those parking brake bypass things are made by the same people who are selling them for order-of-magnitude markup over parts cost.

If you take out the instrument cluster (which is no problem at all — three minutes!), you can easily run the microphone behind it, so that you can tuck it under the gauge bezels. A little bit of modification of the microphone’s mount is required. I basically cut it down from “clip” to “plate”, right where the U-bend begins. Nice and out of the way. I think having it sitting inside that sort-of-cone helps accuracy a little, too, or at least that was my vague impression from testing out different locations. There’s a nice ground behind the gauges for the parking brake wire, too. Also where I shoved my garage door opener after running an external switch into it.

My AX100 shipped with the 1.02.06 firmware, and the Superdave “no warning screen” and “change bootup image” hacks work (the warning delete firmware must be installed before the boot screen is changed). If you update the unit to the latest firmware from Sony, the Superdave hacks will no longer work. However, I had no issues with 1.02.06, so that was fine. The screen doesn’t seem to be quite pixel-perfect; the new image I threw in there has a circle, which the AX100 stretched out. I just narrowed the layer with the circle in it in Photoshop, running back and forth to the garage to test it out until it looked right.

AX100’s real good. I thought about getting the AX5000, but I’m glad I didn’t. Getting the capacitive touchscreen wouldn’t have been worth giving up the volume knob. Since I commute by bike this was sort of a dumb extravagence, but for weekend trips when I do drive, it’s pretty good. Except that I’m a worrier, so now I’ll be camping while worrying that someone’s down at the trailhead busting out my window to grab the Sony. I know in my heart of hearts that nobody gives a shit about stealing radios anymore, but such is life as a worrier.

DIY Junk

Bloot Blorp


DIY Junk

Always Green, Always Green

AliExpress seller “Gamers Zone Store” has Joy-Con shells that seem to be coming off the same line as the real ones — same finish, same regulatory markings, same casting marks — and they just got right-green. So I just got right-green. Now it is always green.

Not too bad of a job — maybe 50 minutes for both, with a few fiddly ribbon cables, so it’s definitely a tweezers job — and then you pair them to your computer and use Joy-Con Toolkit to change their color in software so that they show up green on the Switch.