Someone on the KLE Pics thread asked me to describe how I made the pannier racks for my 400. So here it is. Before I go any further I just want to say that this may not be the best way to fit racks like this, but it works for me and maybe someone else may find it useful.
I wanted water and dust proof pannier bags with as little zips and clips and pockets as possible. So after much research I settled on Ortlieb bags (this is the US site: http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/...st.asp?scat=12
) I bought them online and had a friend bring them to Cambodia for me. I've used them only a couple of times, but so far I am really pleased with them. Seeing as the KLE has the high exhaust I didn't want to get the throw over kind, so I bought the kind which hook onto a racks.
The rack had to be made from round tube, maximum 16 mm diameter. I could not find any tube that small in the metal shops here, so I bought a couple of beat-up old racks for the local commuter; Honda Dream. These racks were the right diameter and roughly the right size.
First I cut them up and re-welded them to be roughly a 330 mm x 210 mm rectangle. The little lugs on them were hooking points from when they were Honda Dream racks. I thought they may still be useful so I left them on... But now that I see them on the bike, they kind of look menacing and I'm not sure if I like them. I'm worried that if I drop the bike and the rack bends, they may cause unnecessary damage to the plastic... so I may cut them off.
Next I had to figure out how to bolt them to the bike. I decided to use the rear rack fixing bolt just near the seat. This is to be the main holding bracket so I needed it to be as strong as possible, but not too big and ugly. I found a length of 30 mm x 30 mm angle iron and trimmed down one side to be 15 mm. I then fashioned the bracket and drilled a hole for he bolt (I didn't have to take off the rear rack, I just took out the bolt and squeezed the bracket in place). This bracket made from angle iron will be stronger then one made from flat bar.
The rear bracket was made from 20 mm x 4 mm flat bar. I put a twist in it to help stiffen it and to make sure it is welded at the strongest possible angle to the tubing. To attach it to the rear rack I drilled a hole in the side of the rack to fit a 12 mm nut & bolt. If anyone else does this; make sure you measure carefully where the hole goes. If you get it in the right spot, the nut fits very neatly in the back of the rack (see photo).
Once this was all welded up and bolted to the bike I pulled and pushed on it thinking I would need a third bracket. I found that it was flexing, especially with a heavy bag on it. A lot of the flex was not from the brackets, but from the rear rack. The rear rack was twisting... so I made a bar to connect the two pannier racks along the back of the bike. This stiffened up the rear rack really well. There is still some movement of the whole rack set up (just a couple of millimetres), but this is because it is all rubber mounted to the bike. This horizontal bar along the back was a bit of an afterthought... and looks it. When I have more time I will replace it with some round tube I think.
The whole set up is mounted a little further back on the bike than I would have liked. When deciding where they would go I had to keep in mind the hooking points of the bags; so I couldn't put my bracket in the way. Also I needed to account for my wife's legs. I wanted to leave enough room for her to move around and therefore be as comfortable as possible for those long rides. The up side is that they provide good protection for the rear signal lights and they're good handles for pushing the bike in and out of parking spots.
I'm fairly pleased with the result... it works for me. If anyone has any comments or suggestions I'd be keen to hear them. Or if anyone has done something similar please share your set up with the rest of us.
Cheers and happy riding,