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Old 06-04-2009, 11:47 AM   #33
Dog Chauffeur
DRONE's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Tacoma, WA-ish
Oddometer: 4,089

Bought a 18 liter tailbag from RKA to match the tank bag. Because the TT “large” luggage rack is so small(!), I put some stiff plastic into the bottom of the bag to keep it from slouching. Mounting it to the TT rack was not 100% straightforward but I ended up with a nice secure mount. In there I’ve got 2 liters of gas, 2 liters of water, a fairly large toolkit, a pair of ROK straps, my air compressor, a rain cover, and some toilet paper. In a squeeze, it expands 5" higher. The tankbag will do that too.

For panniers, I tried using some soft bags but they were either too small, or hung funny, or looked funny, or blocked the gas cap. So, even though I think hard bags are the wrong look for this bike (after all, it’s not a F650 GS), I broke down and bought a set of Hepco-Becker pannier racks from Adventure Motostuff.

The HB racks mount to the welded rear footpegs and to the passenger handles. I removed those handles when I added the TT “large” luggage rack, however with a little muscle power I was able to get the HB racks to mount up OK without making any more changes. One nice plus to this setup is that the crossbrace goes under the fender and supports it really well. As mentioned earlier, I don’t want a tail tidy because I ride a lot on wet roads.

The right side of the HB rack is pushed out from the frame farther than needed (8” from the center of the taillight), but it’s still not pushed out as far as the muffler side (11”). If you mount identical sidecases, you end up with the rear end being 3” wider on the left side and the bike looks lopsided. And, unless you’re real careful about weight distribution in the two cases, the bike actually WILL be lopsided!

To fix this, I bought a Seahorse 710 ($42) and a Seahorse 720 ($44) from Fuerte Cases. Both these cases are 20”x15”, but the SE-710 is 2” narrower than the SE-720. With these cases mounted, my muffler side is only 1” wider than my gas tank side, and since I can’t put as much stuff in the SE-710 as the SE-720, I have a good chance at not being lopsided. Some people might say that it looks lopsided anyway because the two cases are different depths, but this is what I decided to do and I like it. Total width is 31”.

To mount the cases, I used this really neat $50 kit from Happy-Trails. The way it works is the bottom lugs are fixed in place and carry the weight. The upper lugs rotate and are held in place with knobs. Note that the upper lugs carry no weight and are in fact mounted BELOW the top rail of the rack. The upper lugs keep the cases from self-ejecting on rough roads.

To mount the cases, you place the case on the rack using the lower lugs only, then press your leg against the case as you pop open the latches. Allow the case to open far enough to grab a knob with one hand while you rotate the lug into position with the other hand, then tighten the knob. Takes about 30 seconds per case. One caveat—when mounting the cases, make sure you mount them far back enough to let you get to the gas cap. I totally forgot to do this but got lucky—I can just barely do it.

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