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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #16  
Old 19 Oct 2008
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good advice there. the magnets are good but i remember they don't hold true easily. yeah the baja looks great; good luck with the project, don't forget to coat the mild steel (if you use any) as it will rust in no time.
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  #17  
Old 19 Oct 2008
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Here's one I made earlier (about 18 months ago actually) for my CCM. I've previously made two luggage systems for my XR600 and used them trans Sahara so this was done with the benefit of that experience.



I have welding equipment (and can weld reasonably well), pillar drill, grinder etc but no tube bender so the corners have to be done by cut and shut. The tube is 15mm diam, 1.0mm wall thickness and 12mm /1.0mm for the rack and rear brace. Thinner wall tubing can be tricky to weld without burning through with my diy level mig welder. There is an addition, not in the pic, that goes on the back to support spare tyres that was made from 12mm thin wall tubing from B&Q that I happened to have lying around and that is full of repaired burnthrough holes.

The whole thing (including the rack) weighs in at a bit over 3kg.

The other posts have pretty much covered the construction side but there are a few points I would make:

Cost. If no one make luggage for your bike then you don't have much choice but to make it for yourself but I posted elsewhere on here that it took about 20 hrs construction and set me back over £100 to do this one.

Last minute changes. As soon as I step back and think "right, that's that done" thoughts of altering / improving it crop up. I always want to add more loops for straps, brackets to bolt other stuff to (in this case a 2L fuel reserve bottle and a diy chain oiler), triangulate this and that (just in case). Don't paint it until you've done this bit. Think it through before you take the design to the welder as he'll get pis*ed of with you coming back every 5 mins saying "can you just weld this bracket on here" for the tenth time.

Paint. I used 2K paint on mine as I had the paint, experience and equipment. It gave a great high gloss tough finish (better than the rest of the bike!), but 2K paint can be dangerous to spray and the alternative, rattle can paint, always seems to rust after a few rainy trips. Best bet is powder coating although it's going to cost a bit. You'll really make a mess of it if you want to weld something else on after powder coating.
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  #18  
Old 19 Oct 2008
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backofbeyond, that is one nice rack you have built. Impressive work!

Here are a few more pics of the racks with the cans on, and one with the bike loaded. I added a tool tube that was originally an owners manual tube off a tractor that you can buy at any tractor dealer or tractor supply house.







I used the square tubing for the main framing because I had some on hand and it is 1/8" wall thickness. For bending the smaller square tubing I just tacked one end closed and filled it with sand, that way it won't collapse. Then I heated it with a torch and bent it around a small jig I tack welded to my welding table. If everything is done correctly a weld joint should be stronger than the base metal you are welding, so you really don't have to worry about it cracking.
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  #19  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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I was able to get a good quality rustproof paint in a pressure pack when I did mine. If you find some and are going to use it make sure you put 3 or more coats on cos Ive noticed in the areas where I didnt spray enough its started to rust.

Just a note
Crimping the ends of box section tubing is also possible you just have to be sure the seam is on a flat side. Its holding up well on mine.

Ive found those magnets actually effect the arc produced.

Enjoy it and give yourself plenty of time.
Its not a job to rush.
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  #20  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
Here's one I made earlier (about 18 months ago actually) for my CCM. I've previously made two luggage systems for my XR600 and used them trans Sahara so this was done with the benefit of that experience.



I have welding equipment (and can weld reasonably well), pillar drill, grinder etc but no tube bender so the corners have to be done by cut and shut. The tube is 15mm diam, 1.0mm wall thickness and 12mm /1.0mm for the rack and rear brace. Thinner wall tubing can be tricky to weld without burning through with my diy level mig welder. There is an addition, not in the pic, that goes on the back to support spare tyres that was made from 12mm thin wall tubing from B&Q that I happened to have lying around and that is full of repaired burnthrough holes.

The whole thing (including the rack) weighs in at a bit over 3kg.

The other posts have pretty much covered the construction side but there are a few points I would make:

Cost. If no one make luggage for your bike then you don't have much choice but to make it for yourself but I posted elsewhere on here that it took about 20 hrs construction and set me back over £100 to do this one.

Last minute changes. As soon as I step back and think "right, that's that done" thoughts of altering / improving it crop up. I always want to add more loops for straps, brackets to bolt other stuff to (in this case a 2L fuel reserve bottle and a diy chain oiler), triangulate this and that (just in case). Don't paint it until you've done this bit. Think it through before you take the design to the welder as he'll get pis*ed of with you coming back every 5 mins saying "can you just weld this bracket on here" for the tenth time.

Paint. I used 2K paint on mine as I had the paint, experience and equipment. It gave a great high gloss tough finish (better than the rest of the bike!), but 2K paint can be dangerous to spray and the alternative, rattle can paint, always seems to rust after a few rainy trips. Best bet is powder coating although it's going to cost a bit. You'll really make a mess of it if you want to weld something else on after powder coating.
Neat! I'll have to go and do mine better now!
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  #21  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
A trick I learned when using round tube, pinch the end a bit rather than try fabricating and welding an angled join on a joint. Also every one welds in a compressive support from teh footrests. but why not a tensive support from on high at aboutthe rear of the fuel tank to the rear bottom edge.

Caminado.. oddly I have a Nordika I bought here also...Nice to weld now without getting shocks
Maybe we have an eye for a bargain!
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  #22  
Old 22 Oct 2008
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Here is my attempt: Suzuki DR 650 SE pannier rack

I do have to straighten it every time the bike falls over, though!
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  #23  
Old 22 Oct 2008
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Looks good beddhist. I like the hinge mount, simple, strong, and quick disconnect. Well done.
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  #24  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironheadziggy76 View Post
I like the hinge mount, simple, strong, and quick disconnect. Well done.
Having never looked closely at what methods Metal Mule / Touratech etc use to mount boxes onto the frames what have all you diy guys come up with?
I've been using a copy of the old Craven panniers method where two rubber 'cups' on the box sit over upright metal pins on the frame for the top mount





This takes all of the weight but obviously also needs fixing at the bottom to stop it flapping / jumping off and I've used a kind of giant Dzus fastener that I think is genuine Craven stuff that I had lying around.




It's worked well over two Sahara trips (hence the rust!) with no breakages.
Anyone know where I could buy a few more of the bottom Dzus type fasteners? Are they used for anything else? Craven's are long gone so no chance of going back to them
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  #25  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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Just one more quick question

If you don't all mind and thanks for all the great contributions so far, maybe when we're done we can turn this into a guide so it doesn't just fall off the bottom?

It's about the frame to bike mounting "legs". People have said don't use flat plate, which makes sense cos it'd bend, but then you're left with a problem. Anywhere it meets the bike you'll need a bolt, and that means you'll need a flat bit to put that bolt through surely? So are people flattening then ends of their tubes for this, of have you all come up with something I'm not thinking of?

Looking at the picture gives some idea of what I've got to work with (although actually it's not the right bike). On this it'd seem logical to use the existing top box/hand-hold mountings. And it'd make sense to sandwich the side racks under the existing bits. So would just crimping tube be OK? Or would maybe filling the ends and drilling be better?
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Making your own luggage rack - Any tips?-rack.jpg  

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  #26  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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bit late?

Sorry if this is too late.. but here is my completely differnt take..

I decided that the entire "loop" design was not the only way (and ugly). As long as you have a 2-3 point fixing than you dont need the "loop" we all just got stuck into that idea..cus it does works but I did not like it... So I looked at different concepts. and Jesse's boxes had a great one.. so i stole it (well kinda, I based mine on it)..
I dont have detailed images of the rack.. I will take some this weekend (i hope) and post em.. but i have posted some picks of the panniers that go with em here
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...4-6#post200571

you can see how the boxes on the inside are "odd" shapes.. thus the rack was desgined to fit the bike and the the boxes to fit the rack.

Basically i am saying think outside the box.. why go flat and square...
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  #27  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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I've not gone for flattening the ends of the tube and drilling because:

Firstly, it looks a mess (IMHO!).
Secondly, there are times when the end of the tube meets the next bit at an angle so you need to both flatten and bend. I've had breaks at this point in past constructions.
Thirdly, with thickish tube unless you've got a big vice (or a big hammer) it can be quite hard to flatten the tube completely.

Welding steel strip to the end of the tube and drilling this for the bolt is what I've done. It
does take forever though if you've lots of little bits that bolt together (as my CCM rack does).
I've no idea what the correct engineering approach is (I trained as a biologist!) but it's worked
so far.
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  #28  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
Here is my attempt: Suzuki DR 650 SE pannier rack

I do have to straighten it every time the bike falls over, though!

Wow Beddhist.
Your system is very similar to ours.
Only ours isnt using a door hinge just simply 2 flatbar fingers sliding over the ends of a tube under our rear rack.
The securing post connects the whole lot is bent and is secured/locked with the panniers box lid lock.
Amazing we came up with such similar ideas.

We are happy with this method... Very quick and easy to unpack.

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  #29  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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I found this somewhere in the net and I have it now in "my favourites"
Maybe in this same HU page.
Sorry but I can't remember.
It is useful anyway


rtw.xtz660 - Home made aluminium boxes
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  #30  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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backofbeyond, here is a link to a company that carries dzus fasteners and others. They are used in aircraft, and auto racing applications just to name a couple. If you check Ebay Harley-Davidson's use these to hold their saddlebags on and you may find some there. My Road King saddlebags set on a lower frame rail and they are attached at the top mount with two dzus fasteners. My Ammo cans are just bolted straight on with a small rubber washer in between the can and frame to keep water out. I used some large fender washers on the inside of the can to spread the load of the fastener. I am going to use stainless steel button head allen bolts with nylon locking nuts for the final installation before I head to Alaska next summer. The button heads will keep things from snagging when loading and unloading.

Southco - DZUS

Alexlebrit, I agree with backofbeyond about attaching a flat plate for your tab to bolt through. Have your welder "slot" your round tubing with a wafer blade attached to an angle grinder and slide your flat plate into it and weld it up. That makes for a very strong attachment point and looks very clean. You can just crush it flat and drill a hole, but sometimes your tubing may get in the way of mounting. I used a heavy piece of round tubing in the mount on mine that attaches under the seat that just has the end flattened and drilled. This is a piece I cut out of a rear crash bar from a Harley-Davidson dresser. It had the end flattened from the factory and the tubing was at least 1/8" thick and looked like it was done in a very large press!
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