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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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Old 7 Sep 2012
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... a harness which straps firmly over and under the seat, staying in place and onto which attach the bags, probably with large side-release clips.
Under the seat is actually a good idea for any throwover, I realised. Makes them mildly less nickable, and will say put when empty.

It looks a bit 'pikey' to me (insert 'pot call kettle black' emoticon here ;-) but the great thing is it costs next to nothing to try it out, plus you can easily repair or replace on the road. I think I'd get a general purpose [dry] bag the right shape and bung all your stuff in that and then in your harness. And I'd rivet on a PVC 'bellows' front and back and use short cam straps instead of the laces to do the tension. A bit more protection.
Look forward to seeing a finished version. You could chop of out of one of these (as BoB Andy used in a cradle on his CCM) though that would be box shape not curve. if you want the more common squarer shape 30L ones, I found car washes have them going spare (ex soap), but they get a bit wide unless you can heat and reform.

I know the problem of not having the luxury of anywhere to work other than a landing or kitchen, with limits what can actually be made but encourages lateral thinking. Where I'm staying now I'm renting a farmer's workshop which helps a lot.

I've also coming round to a plate. That pipe clamp idea was a wild goose chase - see green edit on earlier post.

The way I see it a plate replicates the rigidity of a welded 18mm rectangle which most OTS racks are based on, but can be cut from a slab of ally, plastic or wood and if thick enough, bolted straight to a bike subframe, eliminating an OTS rack.
You can then trim, drill holes or slots or screw/bolt on fittings as you like. Much more versatile than a rectangle of tube.

I happened to find a broken slab of chopping board-like nylon on a beach. A bit warped but at 10mm thick ought to be stiff enough to do the job combined with my half-finished metal frame.

Ortlieb Cycle pannier system brilliant - I can testify to that - but for me way too small for moto overlanding and as BYT says, probably not tough enough for moto forces without loop strap support. It's telling their QL2 moto version only clips to 16mm tube max - as if to discourage use with most OTS 18mm racks.

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Old 13 Sep 2012
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Pikey? Pikey? Yes I know what you mean, I'm working on that. Drifting towards the idea of the plastic being shaped more like an unfolded envelope (if that makes sense?) which would give a bit more protection at the sides and somewhere to attach external pockets. I tend to thrash out every possible permutation in my head before making so it could be a while, and I'm still not certain this is any better than tweaked fabric panniers anyway, maybe just use the plastic inside a fabric pannier, after all? I'm definitely going to work on the under/over seat attachment thingy though, although it occurred to me that even easier might be to attach short pieces of webbing directly to the bike's frame with clips/buckles on the other end to attach the panniers to.

I know in my mind I'm always partly thinking "how would I put this into production so that it works on a range of bikes?" in which case it needs to be adjustable and my idea of it going over and under the seat is simpler, but for a one off then attaching directly to the bike's frame is probably better.

Mind you it's all got to be better than this, cargo nets and hotel laundry bags.

But in the meantime I stumbled across this video of a rack for fabric panniers, professionally made, and thought I'd post it up in case it gave anyone any ideas.

Chris I'm hoping the machined aluminium clamps I posted might be helpful, I've just ordered a few to see what quality/strength is like, when they turn up I'll let you know.
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Old 14 Sep 2012
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I like that low-profile platform rack, looks properly made too.
Who makes that? I'd go as far as buying and adapting that if the price was normal and dims and attachment points were in the ball park.

One idea I've had, based on how I interpreted the vaguely similar 'Angolan' rack, was adding a same ø bar above the bottom main tube (welded), or behind and above it, as pictured below (easily clamped).

That way, for less rigid soft bags you can slot in (or hinge down) a board which will be cantilevered off the added back bar and platform edge, giving you width support when needed. Should you fall or need slimness (to get through a hotel door), the board will either slot out, flip up or just come away, and should it break is the sort of thing that's not hard to replace on the road. Plus its use is optional anyway. The Angolan rack works in a similar way, but uses fixed tubing - bend prone maybe but also less likely to come away and get caught in the spokes as a loose board may do.
Tubed rectangle or wooden board, I like the idea of a cantilevered, hinge-out platform.

I know what you mean about thinking a lot before taking action, especially when resources or a location to take action are limited. You want to get it right first time. I like the idea of clips permanently attached to the pillion peg area and rear of a frame to fix the bottom of the pans and stop them swinging. One less thing to fiddle with and those clips are light to carry as spares, and easy to replace, even with a knot if you can't sew at the time.

I'm not sure how I could use those ally clamps which seem to be hose guides rather than weight bearing. Anyway, as mentioned I've ditched the clamp assembly idea and have nearly finished my slackrack which has been fun to figure out but could get thrown in a skip if something better comes along (or if it falls apart on the first speed bump...). All would be so much simpler if a proper luggage rack was available for my bike that wasn't set too far back.
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Making your own luggage rack - Any tips?-dolly.jpg  

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Old 16 Sep 2012
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That's a modified Hepco & Becker rack, the platform loop being one of the tweaks, the other being all the attachment points to fix it to a Derbi Terra Adventure. It was made in Singapore where I get the feeling there are still little welding shops down back streets who'll do stuff like this unlike the UK where you have to traipse around industrial estates.

I've tweaked my Pikey Bag idea a bit (it will forever be known as this) but am keeping the general idea of laced sides. This is mainly to suit my bike which has a high exhaust, the thought being that if my rack keeps the bags off the silencer then the bag can expand below it (think BMW Ali boxes) while still being rigid enough too not swing into the wheel.

But you and I are diverging at this point because my soft-rack if really only to prevent the bags swinging about I plan on supporting the load more like throw-over panniers, although quick release, it may even be that all I need is something like the SW-Motech system I posted on your blog ages ago which cantilevers solely off the foot pegs.
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Old 22 Nov 2012
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Just spotted a nice hinged platform rack - though perhaps a bit wide for non-vineyard applications. More pics here.


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Old 22 Nov 2012
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I dunno, 12 bottles a side if you turn the cases round, lash the bivvy bag, french stick and kilo of pate on the pillion seat and I'd be OK for a nights summer camping

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Old 22 Nov 2012
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Wine rack

You'll need berets too.

The more I look at it the more I like it - in a narrowed form. It's like the Angolan rack mentioned earlier and reminds me it's what I need on the non-pipe side of my GS-R but haven't got round to yet.

Wine rack one side, pipe rack the other. Need somewhere for the Comte.
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Old 22 Nov 2012
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Some ideas on the materials

The nylon chopping board. As purchased from super markets. I found it good at the start but deteriorates in the OZie sun after a few years making it brittle. I used it as a mounting system tongue on the bike interfaced with two aluminium bars on the pannier.

Wood. If you are going to use wood – use marine grade stuff – it should put up with water better! Particularly important if you go for plywood.

Tubing. The bicycle stuff looks to be moving to stainless steel- this is not painted, so as the panniers abrade the surface it does not eventually rust. Seams like another good idea. Tubus make the best (well one of the best) bicycle racks and have a few stainless models. Old Man Mountain looks to be offering a stainless shim to go over some of the ware points on their aluminium tubed bicycle racks. Might be a better idea - get some stainless shim, cut it and for it up then clip over your steel and painted rack to make a hard wearing rustles surface.

Tubing supplies (possibly other stuff) Like 4130 tubing, seat foam,
they have been mentioned here before (where I got it from). Pilot Supplies and Aircraft Parts from Aircraft Spruce

PS Chris that 'seat' looks too narrow for more than a 2 hour ride.
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Old 4 Jun 2014
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Made these racks recently for a Honda CRF230F in readiness for a six day trailride through northern Portugal.

I'd already extended the CRF subframe so that a toolkit could be safely carried (15mm tube bent, shoved in to the end of the stock subframe and then welded in place). On to the subframe extension I welded some 25mm x 6mm steel brackets in addition to a bracket on the stock subframe near the swing arm pivot. The racks themselves are an old pair of airhead rackets with ll of the brackets removed, I made my own to suit, welded them on, had the racks powdercoated and they worked well, strong enough to survive several falls.

Instead of full size panniers, we used Wolfman tank panniers as they're narrower but still large enough for the trip. I'm thinking of adding a Tooltube mount later in the year.

It's my partners bike, I was not responsible for the above crash, I slipped on loose rocks trying to recover the bike.
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
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