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  #16  
Old 29 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
I'm 110% sure that soft luggage is the way to go on these bikes now..

The idea of having a smaller offroad bike is to keep it small, light and offroad capable..

I decided to build my own racks.. Cost £2

Ted, I've a question. I was looking into have a rack specially made but the guy looking at the bike said it'd be a bad idea having any rack leaning on/ putting pressure on the exhaust. Is this true?

Anyway, how does your simple design work out? Is it protection enough? If so I may look into getting a friend do something similar.

Thanks
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  #17  
Old 29 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terramax View Post
Ted, I've a question. I was looking into have a rack specially made but the guy looking at the bike said it'd be a bad idea having any rack leaning on/ putting pressure on the exhaust. Is this true?

Anyway, how does your simple design work out? Is it protection enough? If so I may look into getting a friend do something similar.

Thanks
hey bud

Yeah, the idea of the rack is to keep the bag off the exhaust. Not so much for the stresses or weight but for the heat.

I don't see why any type of rack, home made or not, would have to put pressure or lean on the exhaust ???

My design was thrown together in 20 minutes and is not properly long distance overland tested but I can't see how it will fail..

I may possobily remake them with thicker (less flexible) steel but it seems to work fine.

You have to remember that the weight of the bags is taken by the straps over the seat so the racks are only to stop them rubbing on the exhaust and side panels and maybe act as an anchor point for the straps.

The commercially available racks tend to be VERY beefy as they need to support the entire weight of the luggage system which I dont like the idea of at all.

I will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use soft bags for overlanding for reasons explained on my blog (Crash on ripio, Dec 2007)


You could always copy or buy the happy trails rack but I think its very overpriced for what it is.





Suzuki DRZ400S Original Side Racks - KLR650 & Adventure Touring Motorcycle Luggage and Aluminum Panniers
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  #18  
Old 4 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
I'm 110% sure that soft luggage is the way to go on these bikes now..

The idea of having a smaller offroad bike is to keep it small, light and offroad capable..

I decided to build my own racks.. Cost £2

Ted that looks AMAAAZING! Appears like it has professional feel about it

Haha!!

If that doesn't fall apart before Italy I'll not whine about the heat in the Sahara.
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  #19  
Old 17 Jan 2010
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Hi guys,

To give you an update I finally bit the bullet and bought a Sequoia Rack for my DRZ400sm. It cost 200 pounds (but customs got another 50 quid out of me), but it seems worth it. Here are some pics of it on my bike.







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  #20  
Old 18 Jan 2010
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Hi Ted

Afternoon Ted,

Team Cabra (my Brazilian XT225)is currently being awaiting for a few new parts, before I can get her registered and on the road. You know I prefer hard luggage and, when a customer brought a Bandit - complete with a H&B rack - and decided that he didn't want the rack, well you can guess who it went to! I reckon it won't take too much work to mod the system to fit onto my little Yammy. It gets better though, he had an unused pair of H&B Junior panniers, which are just about the right size for Team Cabra and offered them to me for £160. Yep too much of a bargain to resist. I'll let you know when I get round to doing the fit.
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  #21  
Old 18 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cameraman View Post
Afternoon Ted,

Team Cabra (my Brazilian XT225)is currently being awaiting for a few new parts, before I can get her registered and on the road. You know I prefer hard luggage and, when a customer brought a Bandit - complete with a H&B rack - and decided that he didn't want the rack, well you can guess who it went to! I reckon it won't take too much work to mod the system to fit onto my little Yammy. It gets better though, he had an unused pair of H&B Junior panniers, which are just about the right size for Team Cabra and offered them to me for £160. Yep too much of a bargain to resist. I'll let you know when I get round to doing the fit.
STILL waiting for parts ??? Crumbs reggie ! How long now... ??
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  #22  
Old 18 Jan 2010
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Hi Ted,

well I waited for three months for one of the last parts to come from Brazil (the right hand side panel) and, get this it cost £110! Of that £25 was for the part and the rest went the UPS!!!!!

So what happens when the part arrived at work? Yep, you've guessed it, the lads have lost it!

So I'm waiting for them to turn everything over, so they can find it!

Anyway Team Cabra's up and running and the only things I need to do (apart from fit the missing panel), is to change the speedo face plate for a US version that show's mph (to get her thru' SVA but keeping her looking stock, which is coming free from a mate), to put in a side light circuit and to get her inspected by the Ministry and she'll be on the road!
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  #23  
Old 22 Jan 2010
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Upgraded !!

Well, I wasnt happy with the flimsiness of the 1st prototyre racks (see abouve) so yesterday I went down to the metal man and bought 3m of 6mm flat bar.. Again, horrendously expensive at £4

It's a bit thicker than I wanted but it was all he had which wasnt in "work".. 4-5mm would be better.

Well, a few hours of cutting, bending, grinding, drilling and welding later, this is what iv made..

Total price £2 plus paint... (I only used half the steel) lol.

I'm going to drill holes in the ends to attach my bag hoops too !!

These are probably heavier than I need, if I was going to do it again, id use 4 or 5mm which will also give more flex !



Havnt had time to paint this one yet..



On the left side rack, you can see its attached to the footrest mount and only through one hole. I'm going to build a bracket which utilises both of the threads for strength.
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  #24  
Old 22 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terramax View Post
Hi guys, To give you an update I finally bit the bullet and bought a Sequoia Rack for my DRZ400sm. It cost 200 pounds (but customs got another 50 quid out of me), but it seems worth it. Here are some pics of it on my bike.
I like the nice small bags, but I'm feeling the racks and hardware add a LOT of weight. Are you certain the DRZ sub frame will hold up after a couple months on pounding on washboard, pot holes, Topes or whatever?
I also notice the left rack puts the bag (and the weight) way out board. This adds to subframe stress. Give it a good shake down, see how she goes!
Good luck!

Mc D
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  #25  
Old 22 Jan 2010
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Nice work! But will it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Well, I wasnt happy with the flimsiness of the 1st prototyre racks (see abouve) so yesterday I went down to the metal man and bought 3m of 6mm flat bar.. Again, horrendously expensive at £4

It's a bit thicker than I wanted but it was all he had which wasnt in "work".. 4-5mm would be better. Well, a few hours of cutting, bending, grinding, drilling and welding later, this is what iv made. Total price £2 plus paint... (I only used half the steel) lol. I'm going to drill holes in the ends to attach my bag hoops too !!

These are probably heavier than I need, if I was going to do it again, id use 4 or 5mm which will also give more flex !

On the left side rack, you can see its attached to the footrest mount and only through one hole. I'm going to build a bracket which utilises both of the threads for strength.
What bags do you plan to use? (photos on bike?) The exhaust side does not seem to go low enough, have you mocked up with your bags mounted?

Would it be best to have your bar go under the plastic side panel to avoid fires?

I would tie bags onto your custom bars, not add anymore weight or hardware. Design bars to follow perimeter of bags. Make sense?

I notice on the left side, that the whole plot is set quite far back. Would a more forward placement be safer? (less lever affect?)

What about using Alu bar? Much stiffer (less flex) and lighter. Of course harder to find welder, but now so many do TIG and MIG, even in far away lands! I liked the proto-type a bit better actually!

What sort of sub frame strength can be expected on the DRZ? I've not heard much. Any RTW riders having issues?

I read a Baja report on ADV, guy riding a Husky 610. The whole subframe broke clean off. He bungeed it back and got his buddies to carry all his stuff. This only on a one week ride and no panniers, just a small top bag.

I'm sure the Suzuki sub frame is stronger but what are it's limits? And for how long?

Keeping weight mass centralized really helps with de-stress the stucture. That means not only further forward, but as close to center line as possible on left and right. (Outriggers are bad!)

Let the fully loaded test flights begin!
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  #26  
Old 22 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
What bags do you plan to use? (photos on bike?) The exhaust side does not seem to go low enough, have you mocked up with your bags mounted?

Cortech 35l softbags. The weight of the bags is mostly taken by the top straps so a strong side rack is pretty pointless. It's only to keep them from burning on the exhaust and have a way to stop them from moving.


Would it be best to have your bar go under the plastic side panel to avoid fires?

The side panels are no closer to the exhaust than prior fitting ! I cant see a fire risk ??

I would tie bags onto your custom bars, not add anymore weight or hardware. Design bars to follow perimeter of bags. Make sense?

yeah, thats the plan. My bags have straps which fit nicely to the frame and keep it still.. Im planning on welding on some hoops and eyelets in the all the right places.

I wanted to keep the rack as small and light as possible.. It keeps the bags off the bike and gives an anchor point.. Why does it need to be as big as the bags ?? To be , thats just adding more steel, more weight and more stresses.

I notice on the left side, that the whole plot is set quite far back. Would a more forward placement be safer? (less lever affect?)

Well, I need my bags set far back to give me space to move on the bike. It's pretty cramped and I cant stand not being able to move. Especially as our route down to capetown is going to be a rough one. Any further forward and my legs are touching them.

What about using Alu bar? Much stiffer (less flex) and lighter. Of course harder to find welder, but now so many do TIG and MIG, even in far away lands! I liked the proto-type a bit better actually!

The whole idea of this was to make them CHEAP and functional to a point of "that will do". Welding and hammering dirty old mild steel is a dam site easier in the 3rd world.

It was never meant to be a work of engineering.

What sort of sub frame strength can be expected on the DRZ? I've not heard much. Any RTW riders having issues?

The frame is small and not well engineered for strength. I would never use a full rack system with hard luggage on it without some additional bracing.

I read a Baja report on ADV, guy riding a Husky 610. The whole subframe broke clean off. He bungeed it back and got his buddies to carry all his stuff. This only on a one week ride and no panniers, just a small top bag.

Huskies are race machines ! Their frames arnt made to carry anything. But yeah, any dirt bike has the same issue and it would be mad to carry anything too heavy on it. Hence why im using softbags and low engineered racks..

I'm sure the Suzuki sub frame is stronger but what are it's limits? And for how long?

No idea.. im keeping everything as light and unstressed as possible.

Keeping weight mass centralized really helps with de-stress the stucture. That means not only further forward, but as close to center line as possible on left and right. (Outriggers are bad!)

Again, it's all about space (or lack of it)... I needed it all set back to allow space for my ortlieb roll back and give me space to move. I hate being cramped.

Let the fully loaded test flights begin!
Crash and burn !!






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  #27  
Old 4 Apr 2010
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I've also come accross these on ebay (US) which look pretty good. Soft luggage only though
Suzuki DRZ400S Side Racks DRZ 400 KLX400S DRZ400 sm : eBay Motors (item 170459109398 end time Apr-13-10 09:22:26 PDT)

I nearly bought them as im now on my 3rd prototype of my home made racks.

Building cheap, durable racks for a fragile aluminium dirt bike is more work than I thought.

Making them crash proof (so they dont rip the aluminium tab off the subframe) is my biggest issue, followed by making them light enough without using tubing or bending gear.
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  #28  
Old 5 Apr 2010
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I've got a set of these racks for my dearly departed DR650 (RIP), used them with Andy Strapz bags. The racks were great, ideal for clipping the panniers to and never got in the way when the bags were off. Kept the bags off the exhaust too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
I've also come accross these on ebay (US) which look pretty good. Soft luggage only though
Suzuki DRZ400S Side Racks DRZ 400 KLX400S DRZ400 sm : eBay Motors (item 170459109398 end time Apr-13-10 09:22:26 PDT)

I nearly bought them as im now on my 3rd prototype of my home made racks.

Building cheap, durable racks for a fragile aluminium dirt bike is more work than I thought.

Making them crash proof (so they dont rip the aluminium tab off the subframe) is my biggest issue, followed by making them light enough without using tubing or bending gear.
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  #29  
Old 10 May 2010
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Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
Been reading this with interest.

I hope to be prepping a DRZ400S for my girlfriend's Chile trip in September 2010. Found a DRZ that's pretty much prepped. It's got a homemade rack system, I'll be adding strength by welding a strut either side from the rack itself to the lower subframe mounting points, this will brace the subframe. Luggage will be Ortlieb bags.
I wouldn't trust the subframe with much weight on the back.Mine broke near the end of the TransAmericaTrail ride 3 years ago.There isn't any good strong place to reinforce it.If you add a strut,as I did on my modification,it will be attached to tab.That strut will have a lot of leverage against it in a fall.My rack was home made.Last year I road to Prudhoe Bay and Key West with a redesigned rack and had no problems.In November I plan to ride to TDF.But I plan to get a KLR.I don't want to be in SA looking for an aluminum welder to get me on the road again.





This added a little support.But not enough for SA.

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  #30  
Old 10 May 2010
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Am I right in thinking that you've bolted your chain guard to your left hand pannier frame? If so, you've in effect, hard tailed the bike........

My racks are being blasted & powder coated at the moment (£30):

They bolt to the subframe where yours broke but also bolted to tabs welded on to the rear rack. There's also a cross brace & struts going forwards, mounting to the pillion peg mounts. From there, there's an additional strut that bolts on to a 6mm thick steel mounting tab welded to the bike's frame above each swingarm pivot. The upper subframe mounting is subject to extension forces whereas the lower subframe mounting is subject to compression forces. I believe that my additional rack mounting to the bike frame itself will help brace the subframe - only time will tell....

I deliberately avoided using the seat fastening as a mounting point so that the seat can be removed without disturbing the pannier frames.







More pics here: DRZ PANNIER FRAMES - Steve's Photos

The complete rack set-up weighs 5kg including all the stainless fasteners but not the fuel can. By locating the racks as I've done, the weight doesn't sit too far back, is reasonably low & allows room for the Tooltube.
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