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Old 04-12-2009, 11:00 PM   #1
outpostbabu OP
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Installing the SW-Motech EVO rack and Pelican cases on an F800GS

This a repost from my blog post. I've put it here because I used a lot of information from other people's sites to determine what to buy for this project and how to put it all together. Maybe those thinking of installing Pelican cases will get some use from it.

----

One of the most important items needed for my Montana trip are sidecases. I originally wanted Caribou Cases, which are a specialized rack plus Pelican cases, but I discovered that I could create my own by purchasing the SW-Motech rack and a pair of 1550 Pelican cases, providing my own hardware, and drilling the cases.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 045
The shop.

The first step was to install the rack that would mount the quick disconnect sidecarriers.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 002

Here the original rack is removed.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 003

And the SW-Motech rack is put in its place. They're virtually identical racks except the SW-Motech version has flanges to connect the sidecarriers.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 006

f800gs_pelican_case_install 004

Next some arms were installed to provide another attachment point. There's one per side and they fit into pre-existing holes on the bike.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 010

I'm not sure if its absolutely necessary but the SW-Motech kit includes brackets for moving the turn signals back. That means removing the turn signal housing, disconnecting the light, making an interconnecting wire and plugging it all back up. I was surprised this worked the first time through.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 012

f800gs_pelican_case_install 013

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Splicing the wires, getting them the right length, and crimping them was the most tedious part of the install.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 016

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Here's the end result:

f800gs_pelican_case_install 034

f800gs_pelican_case_install 033

The left was done first so its not as flush. The right was perfect.

Next came the tail bracket. My bike had this license plate adapter with reflectors that was incompatible with the bracket from the SW-Motech kit.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 035

f800gs_pelican_case_install 036

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This part I found confusing. The original bracket used the 3 threaded holes. But the instructions for the new bracket indicated the lower holes should be used but they're way larger than the provided hardware and no nuts were provided in the kit for the bolts. I used some washers and nuts from Ace Hardware to make it all work. I'm still not sure its right but its correct as far as the instructions indicate and the legs from the sidecarriers match up perfectly with the holes on the adapter plate.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 047

Here's the finished bracket with some rubber washers where the license plate will go. Use what's on hand, you know? :)

f800gs_pelican_case_install 041

I was also not certain why a washer (number 7 on the SW-Motech instruction sheet) had to be installed on the bushing that holds the exhaust cannister.

Now all the parts are in place to connect the sidecarriers.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 049

There are 4 spring-loaded bolts per side. You insert the bolt and twist it to lock it in place.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 055

f800gs_pelican_case_install 056

f800gs_pelican_case_install 050

These washers are meant to be placed between the metal connecting points of the sidecarriers and the rack. That seems like a hassle to keep up with when disconnecting the system frequently so I didn't put them in. Will this be a problem?

With the SW-Motech rack in place it's time to modify the Pelican 1550 cases so they'll attach to the sidecarriers.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 057

The first victim is chosen and marked with tape to make sure we keep our orientations right. The nail polish was used to mark where we would drill holes, using the sidecarrier as a template. To make the markings we places the case on the floor and flat up against the wall. We places a straight board on the floor against the case. The width of the board will determine the offset of the sidecarrier from the bottom of the case. Jen then held the sidecarrier in place while I marked each hole with nail polish. The small pink/purple marks on in the image above are the points where we will drill.

Some people sand down the raised feet and vertical lines on the case. I think this is unnecessary. We arranged the sidecarrier so it wasn't near any of the raised bevel but flush with the front of the case.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 060

1/4" hardware is used to secure the case to the sidecarrier. 4 bolts are used per case, each with a nylon washer (on the inside of the case). The two bolts that aren't near case beveling have a large rubber washer and stainless steel flange washer. Fingers-crossed that its waterproof!

f800gs_pelican_case_install 059

This is the sidecarrier attached to the case.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 065

The first test fitting. Setting the sidecarrier flush with the front of the case and about 2" from the base (using the board mentioned above) gave a perfect fit. The top of the case is just about level with the rack and seat.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 066

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The other case was done exactly the same way.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 081

Attaching the left side.
And finally, the finished product.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 091

f800gs_pelican_case_install 092

f800gs_pelican_case_install 101

Once I knew the setup was right I slapped the thermal shielding on the back of the left side case.

f800gs_pelican_case_install 102

Here they are after the 80 mile test run. But there is still work to be done on the inside of the cases. I want to add lanyards to protect the hinges when the lid falls down and I was thinking to add elastic bands like you see in suitcases to hold in the contents, or potentially cover the back of the case in velcro and stick items to it. That's all to be figured out this week and implemented next weekend...

Here are some links that I found useful while researching the install:

http://auslander.smugmug.com/photos/21857533-O.jpg
http://auslander.smugmug.com/photos/21857527-O.jpg
http://www.beginnerbikers.org/forum/...d.php?p=425667
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355830
http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=20660
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:04 AM   #2
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Great writeup, outpostbabu. Two things: 1) Those washers that you omitted on the connection points for the side carriers are spring loaded. Once you attach them, they stay nicely on the quarter turn fasteners. And they help keep the fasteners snug when mounted. My guess is that you'll get some rattling if you leave them off. 2) One of the good things about the Caribous is that there's a thin, triangular aluminum plate inside the bags that keeps the attachment bolts from pulling through the case under heavy abuse. You may want to find a way to similarly reinforce the bolts in your cases.

OK, three: 3) I don't know if you care, but I was able to reattach the license plate bracket after attaching the rack. I'll post some pix if you're interested.

Oh, and four: 4) You didn't have to use those turn indicator extensions. That's something German law requires. Our nanny state is less strict. (So far.)

David
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
outpostbabu OP
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David, thanks for the input! I'll try those washers out. Putting in metal bracing is a good idea as well. Do you think the metal makes more of a difference than using large flange washers at each bolt? I didn't put them on the inside because I was concerned about water proofing. I'd like to see the pics of the re-used license plate. I've already drilled some new holes in the license plate but I'd rather have all the nice reflectors that the bracket provides.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outpostbabu
Do you think the metal makes more of a difference than using large flange washers at each bolt? I didn't put them on the inside because I was concerned about water proofing.
I think you'd be much better off putting the large washers (or other backing plate) inside the case, outpostbabu. Depending on the amount of weight you put in the case, and the external forces (read: crash) you put on it, I could easily see those bolt heads pulling right through the plastic case wall. If you're concerned about waterproofing, you can squirt a little silicone in the holes, or sandwich a thin rubber washer between the large washer and the case wall (or both!)

Here's what Caribou's backing plate on the inside of the case looks like:



And here's the ALS hardware on the other side that attaches the case to the SW-Motech rack:



Quote:
I'd like to see the pics of the re-used license plate. I've already drilled some new holes in the license plate but I'd rather have all the nice reflectors that the bracket provides.
I'm not sure if you case see what I did from these pix, but I used some leftover hardware I had lying around to fasten the SW-Motech rack, and then used the old license bracket hardware to fasten it on top of the SW-Motech bracket. I should really get around to trimming those bolts someday:




And here's what those washers look like on the quarter turn fasteners. As you can see, once they're on, they stay on.



Hope this helps,

David
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:30 AM   #5
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Oh, and one more thing. If it hasn't already, the sharp tip of the quarter turn fastener above the plastic panel on the left side might gouge the plastic. Mine did, but a few swipes with a dremel tool and Bob was my uncle. Too late, of course, but still...

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:40 AM   #6
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Washers

Don't those washers keep the twist locks from falling off when the rack is removed as well?
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoriley
Don't those washers keep the twist locks from falling off when the rack is removed as well?
I believe you're right, Motoriley. It looks as if it may even be their primary purpose.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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Right...

Now I'm screwed. I only get to be right once or twice a year and I just used one up and its only April.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks
I believe you're right, Motoriley. It looks as if it may even be their primary purpose.

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Old 04-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for the pics! I'll mess with it again this weekend hopefully.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks



And here's the ALS hardware on the other side that attaches the case to the SW-Motech rack....

David
David:

"ALS" hardware?
Is that from Caribou?
I like it... can I get it separately?


On waterproofing:

What I have used in the past has been a smear of silicon between the fender washer and the case and then put a "sealing washer" between the fender washer and the head of the bolt... overkill perhaps but the sealing washers are not expensive:
http://www.bestmaterials.com/washer-624.html

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden
David:

"ALS" hardware?
Is that from Caribou?
I like it... can I get it separately?
Yeah Jim, but checking their web site, I guess they call it DIY kits now. They sell it either with the cases, or if you already have them, as a separate kit. I bought mine with their 36L Hardigg cases. They're pre-drilled, with the lid lanyards and internal straps already attached, and putting it all together was a snap.

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Old 05-20-2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for clearing that up, I got lost there somehow
I gotta get on the luggage deal... right after I get a better seat!

JRWooden screwed with this post 05-20-2009 at 05:39 PM
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:55 PM   #13
outpostbabu OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden
David:

"ALS" hardware?
Is that from Caribou?
I like it... can I get it separately?


On waterproofing:

What I have used in the past has been a smear of silicon between the fender washer and the case and then put a "sealing washer" between the fender washer and the head of the bolt... overkill perhaps but the sealing washers are not expensive:
http://www.bestmaterials.com/washer-624.html
Jim
Well I'm still on my trip with a few thousand miles remaining but the cases have held up spectacularly on pavement, on dirt, on washboard roads, and in the rain. My only complaint is two of the quick fasteners seem a little loose. Eventhough they are quick-release don't expect them to last with daily removal. It's not been that big a deal since I have the "extra" fasteners that lock. Overall I'm very pleased with them.
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