Had nice weather and some time this weekend so I installed the side cases. The cases are Duratool cases, basically imitation Pelicans, that I found out about somewhere here on ADVrider.com. Place I got them from is called MCN electronics. They come in multiple sizes, I got the biggest ones I thought would fit and they were $30 each plus about $16 for shipping to Colorado.
First step was to get out the tools so I could remove one of the side racks. I suppose you could put the cases on without drilling but it would be unneccessarily difficult and you might end up with sloppy results.
It literally took me about 5 minutes to remove the left side rack (4 bolts and out.)
Next, I used a strip of duct tape to show where I wanted the bottom of the racks to sit:
Next, per the instructions that came with the Happy Trail pucks, I placed the pucks and drilled. I had to use a small bit (about 3/16") to go through the screw hole on the pucks. Once that hole was drilled I removed the puck and enlarged it to the recommended 5/16" size that is neccessary for the bolts to come through.
Once the 5/16" holes were drilled, I was able to bolt in the pucks:
The bottom two pucks are held on by bolts while the top two have a large plastic knob. You can loosen this knob to allow the pucks to rotate when putting the rack on or taking it off.
Fitted the bag to the remaining (right side) rack just to see if it would fit. On the Metal Mule racks (and I'm guessing on most others) the shape of the rack's "hoop" is the same on both sides so the arrangement of the pucks allows either bag to be fitted to either side.
After that, I put the left side rack back on and was able to bolt on both bags:
Front view. This gives you an idea of width. Safe to say that even if lane splitting was legal in CO, I wouldn't be doing it in this configuration!
Here she is fully "geared up" with all the cases on.
So all's good, right? Well, not quite. No matter how you put those pucks on, they're going to rattle a bit. That bothers me. It also bothers me that the pucks don't "wrap around" the rack in any way. My fear is that if I were to ride over a rough surface or bumpy pavement, the upper pucks (the ones that are designed so that they can turn so you can remove or replace the bags onto the rack) might rotate enough for the bags to fall off in traffic - obviously "not good."
So, I'm going to work on it a bit more and possibly might see if I can either augment or even replace the upper pucks with one or two "J-hooks" that will positively wrap around the upper bar preventing catastrophic loss of the bag. I will also work on waterproofing the bag, probably by putting a rubber patch sealed with silicone sealant around the holes.
And of course, then I have to apply my ADV stickers to make it "official!"