2013-04-06

With Only A Motorcycle: Luggage Solution



In my previous entry I mentioned some dissatisfaction with the location of my Cortech Super 2.0 luggage.  With the positioning of the seat supports and the shape of the FZ1’s tailpiece it is not the most ideal setup for soft bags (at least not the Cortech Super 2.0).  The saddlebags and tailpiece are mounted with nylon straps and quick release buckles.  In order for the soft bags to be secure and not move around these straps have to be pulled taut and with the nature of these bags being their softness the tightening of these straps causes the bags to deform.  For example; the saddlebags are held together with two Velcro straps (one larger than the other) that are meant to drape over the tailpiece going over/under the seat.  Adjusting these two straps using the Velcro allows you to assure that the bags don’t sag in underneath the tailpiece.  For my bike, running these straps underneath the seat didn’t work very well.  They interfered with the seat supports points on the sub-frame so that when you latched the seat down it was difficult to get the seat to unlock without pressing down on the seat at the right places so the straps had to go over the seat which would make for an uncomfortable ride for Anne should she want to hop on.  There a few other issues with the luggage that bothered me:


-When you strapped the saddle bags down securely the tailpiece pressed in on the luggage reducing the inside capacity.


-The saddlebags hung down very close to where the trunk/helmet lock is located which made it awkward to use these.


-With a lack of mounting points the near my handy-rack and it’s narrowness I couldn’t mount the tailbag separate from the saddlebags which meant that I would not be able to have the tailbag and a passenger at the same time.


All of these issues added up me needing a more acceptable solution for my soft luggage.  I decided that the handy-rack would make a good starting point to add on a more substantial luggage rack/bag support system.  I detail my plans (somewhat already in process ) in the video below.


After I welded up the materials I did a test fit on the handy rack and things were satisfactory.





After I test fit the rack I made a change to the original design of the rack and used some ¼” steel dowel I had lying around and I think it worked out a lot better.


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That night I did some painting on the rack nothing special some Rust-Oleum rattle can gloss black to prep it for final mounting and fine tuning the next day.


I think the final results are quite good considering the shade-tree nature of its genesis.


I split some vacuum tubing and sip tied it to the edges where the luggage would be coming into contact with the rack for extra protection.






Now the luggage is up and out of the way of everything and can stay on the bike with or without a passenger.


I do have some concerns about having shifted the weight back past the rear axle so much.  I will follow up should that become an issue down the road.  The next step for me is going to be a push to go through and inspect the bike to makes sure it is ready to be pressed into full-time use.  There are only ten days before the shippers pick it up!  Things are happening fast so stay tuned!

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