Originally Posted by MWValley
Tom, Every adventure story I ever read in print, like Odyssey to Ushuaia, goes into great length over and over about how often their luggage racks cracked and failed on "independently sided" racking systems. It would seem there's got to be a connection between the two sides. Could part of the connection between the two sides be somehow a fusible link? You know something rigid enough to connect the two sides in daily use but deliberately weak enough to shear under the right circumstances?
Tom and I had some deep conversations on this topic in the design phase. I was initially pretty firm on connecting them. I've come around to Tom's way of thinking now. For one, I think that many rack problems have to do with the nature of baggage people run on them. I once lusted for big, hard cases. I have them on other bikes. I will never run them off-road again. Soft bags are much more forgiving than hard cases in a fall. I've never come even close to losing one on the rough stuff. I cannot say that for hard cases. I just did a 3500 mile mixed-surface tour on my KLR with Wolfman expedition bags. I had zero problems. At times, I wished for greater capacity, but I'm glad I had to pack somewhat frugally. Extra weight was not my friend in the tough stuff.
I think that hard cases also tend to transfer harmonics to racks in a much different way. The soft bags really can't develop much of a resonant frequency, while most hard cases do at some point. It's the resonance as much as anything that leads to cracking.
That being said, it would be a relatively simple thing to add a rear loop. If Tom decides to offer one, I suggest it be an optional extra, which could be unbolted if not needed.