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Old 06-18-2006, 09:36 AM   #1
FatChance OP
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Pelican/Moto-sport Panniers for a DR650

Next fall, FatWife and I are planning on riding our two DR650s to Baja and we're getting them geared up. For this step in the process, I mounted some new panniers on my DR650. I didn't want to spend a lot of money and wanted something that was secure and as rugged as I could find. I looked at aluminum panniers and soft cases and they didn't offer the right combination at the right price, so I decided to piece together my own system.

I looked at a lot of systems and decided on the Moto-sport racks. They seem to be as solid as anything out there. After a little "persuasion", they mounted up easily enough. Not slick as snot bolt-on, but not too tough, just a little bending of the mounts. Besides, this showed me what kind of abuse they can take. Besides their rugged nature, the advantages of the Moto-sport system are that it is easy to mount cases with the mounting hardware they sell separately, it looks like they would provide solid crash protection, even without panniers mounted, and Moto-sports has the best softcases and some good aluminum cases that will mount right up if I ever decide to go in that direction.

After seeing some of the setups others have done with Pelican cases, that seemed to be ideal for my purposes. They are more rugged than aluminum, have more security than soft cases, are cheap, and there are a variety of colors and sizes. I really like the Caribou Cases products, but they don't have one for the DR650 yet. I settled on the 1520 size. If I were mounting them on a bigger bike, the 1550 size would be perfect. I chose the gray since they would be cooler than black, although they are also available in tan and orange. Plus, there are ready made soft cases that fit perfectly inside to make packing/unpacking as simple as can be.

The whole system was reasonable. I paid $189 for the racks, $39 for the case mounts, and $150 for two 1520 Pelican cases for well under $400 total. It took about 2 hours to get the racks mounted and about another hour to set up the cases to mount to the racks. All in all, I think this is a great setup. The only thing I don't have is a quick mount system, but it only takes about a minute to unmount each case from the mounts. I can live with it.

Here are some pictures of the side views showing the cases mounted:




From the rear, they are 33" wide:




This shows the inside. The three screw heads mount the lower channel support. They're fully sealed with silicon. Two allen screws mount the cases to the rack. I put small O rings on the screws between the case and rack and that should provide water protection. I can't imagine they would leak short of riding into a lake, and even then, I doubt they would leak.



Here are two side views showing the racks and the backs of the cases:




This shows the bare racks from the rear.

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FatChance screwed with this post 06-18-2006 at 09:45 AM
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:46 AM   #2
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!!!!!!!



Best setup I've ever seen for a DR. Wow!


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Old 06-18-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
dmrrallen
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Thumb My hat is off to YOU!!

Awsome!!!! That is exactly what I was looking to do. Do you know if those racks work with the ProMoto Billet rack??

FWIW...The only suggestion I would make, from my experiance with my Pelican top box, is to run a piece of 1.5 to 2 inch wide by 1/8 thick piece of aluminum flat stock on the inside of the case between the screw heads and the case (counter sink allen head screws work great). Sort of like what you did with the large washers for your top screws...except all the way across and for top and bottom. It'll spread out the weight across the case a little more. I was running large dia. fender washers (four corners) with my top case and found a crack at one of my mount holes after a day of fire road riding.
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:41 AM   #4
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I'll look into that aluminum flatstock modification to the mounting system. That makes a lot of sense. As far as the billet rack, I'm not sure if it would work because I don't recall how it mounts. Does it use the same mounting points as the Suzuki rack?
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Old 06-18-2006, 11:19 AM   #5
DRZmaui
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My friend has a similar rack for his DRZ. On our trip thru Siberia and Mongolia, the tubular construction becomes weakened at the bends, weld and especially where it bolts to the subfame.

You might want to consider reinforcing the weak points. Most troublesome was the lower front bar attaching to the sub frame.

I chose the Happy Tail system, built like a tank. No problems what so ever.

Another consideration in the subframe bolt. You might want to get a longer bolt, and place a locking nut on the inside. If you plan on riding long distance on dirt, these bolts take quite a bit of abuse.

Just some ideas

Test the happy Trail rack out on Siberian mud





Mongolia, and our rigs

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Old 06-19-2006, 12:19 AM   #6
davorallyfan
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Neat system Mr Fat.

I have the MSport racks and the soft bags.

So....are these pelican cases lockable?
Hmmmm getting ideas.
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:17 AM   #7
KaceCoyote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davorallyfan
Neat system Mr Fat.

I have the MSport racks and the soft bags.

So....are these pelican cases lockable?
Hmmmm getting ideas.

They are, and beyond what most folks consider waterproof.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:46 AM   #8
FatChance OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davorallyfan
So....are these pelican cases lockable?
Hmmmm getting ideas.
You have two options. First, there are metal re-enforced locking tabs on the two corners that will accept padlocks. Get locks that are keyed alike and it should work well, that is what I'm going to do. This shows the two locking hole tabs pretty well (up on the top two corners:



Or, if you purchase the Pelican cases from the Caribou Case fellow for about $50/case more, he installs a lock that is in the center, under the handle (he also includes some "lanyards" that keep the lid from opening all the way as well as some retention straps to hold your gear in the case. Like all locked panniers, locks really only protect from honest thieves...

BTW, here is a link to the soft case that fits inside the 1520 Pelican: Link

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Old 06-19-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
arroyoshark
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Well done Dale!

Looks like you arrived at about the same system as I did for my DRZ400, except you used Pelicans and I chose Doskosport boxes. I have ridden with mine several times now and I am pleased with the overall set-up. Your set-up should serve you very well.

I might not modify your mounting with the flatstock. Will make mounting very substantial and your sub-frame may become the weak link in any biff situation. Better to lose the box mounting, and then emergency strap it back on than to deal with broken sub-frame long way from home.

The only other recommendation would be to affix some retaining straps to the lid to hold it open, rather than stressing the hinge and lid stops.

The seat on your DR650 looks more comfy than the wedge on my DRZ.
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:15 AM   #10
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Hiya Chuck! Good logic on the case mount. I really appreciate the value of all the biff experience you have! Besides, that option means I don't have to do anything and that is the kind of work I like. The seat is a Corbin. I don't think the stock seat would be much more comfortable than the one you have on the DRZ.

You showing up in BV for Westfest?
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:26 AM   #11
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I hadn't signed up for this one. I do plan on being in Colorado that week...moto-camping on the DRZ, but may not reach the BV side of the mountain. Going up to CO this weekend with Gordy & Empedrado. A dinky DRZ in a field of KTM640's.
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Old 06-19-2006, 02:17 PM   #12
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Great job FatChance.

The asymmetric location of your mounting holes within the cases means that you can swap the cases around (left for right) resulting in them being more forward mounted -this would locate the weight of your luggage more between the axles -resulting in better handling on the road.

You probably mounted them farther back to allow for pillion leg space. But if you are riding solo, it would be better to mount the cases as forward as possible (assuming of course that you still have sufficient space to manoeuvre around whilst riding without hindrance).

If you try the forward mounted position, let us know how it works out.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:57 PM   #13
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Excellent setup

A couple questions. Regarding your racks - I read why you chose the Motosport panniers racks but do you think that maybe the Happy Trails one would be a bit sturdier? They have the piece that goes between the two racks for added stability. Also, I noticed that your muffler side case sticks out further than the other. Some other racks space them the same distance out and I suppose thats to keep it balanced, do you know of any DR mounts that are like that? I thought it would be neet to mount a tool kit, or maybe one of those Koplin fuel packs behind that pannier.

Great setup though! I really wish Caribou cases made a system for the DR's
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:58 AM   #14
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Pelican liner

Here is a link for a less expensive liner bad. This size would be better suited for the Pelican 1550.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/I...D:100000141850
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:21 AM   #15
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Question Update ??

Hey FatChance ....

Great job ...

I just got a DR650 and I'm trying to decide between a set-up just like yours or the Happy-Trail racks.

How are the Moto-Sport Pannier racks holding up for you ??

Thanks - Larry
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