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Old 05-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
applicant_255 OP
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Idea for an alternative to a tool tube

Right now my tools are mostly stored in a ziplock bag in my topbag on the rear rack. It works, but I'd like to take along a few more tools, and at the same time free up some space for lugging things.

I spent some time looking over all the tool tube threads, and even spent a few dollars on hose clamps, but I kept wondering what the best placement would be, and if I should go for the 4 inch tube or settle for 3.

I started to wonder if there wasn't a better shape than a tube. Something less wide than a tube, so that it's less likely to get broken off during a yard sale and taller or better shaped so that it provides as much or possibly more space than a tube.

I drew up some plans.



The shape I've settled on is shown in blue. Red line shows where the tire will go upon compressing the suspension. Green circle is a 4 inch tool tube, purple is a 3 inch tube. You can see the 4 inch tube will start to get a bit of interference with the tire if it's mounted any higher. The 3 inch tube is shown where it would be as likely to interfere as my plans - any higher and it's more likely to hit the tire, and rub a little, or worse get chewed up and spit out on the trail.

At 14 inches wide, a 3 inch tool tube provides 98 cubic inches of volume. at 4 inches it jumps up to 175 cubes.

My initial plan was to make it exactly the width of the front of the skidplate, which is 9.5 inches, which gives 196 cubic inches of space - nice, but the largest object I could place diagonally in it would be 12.2 inches. Tough fit for the motionpro spoons, and not really a signifigant improovement over the 4 inch tube in space.

The skid plate, at it's widest, is 14 inches. I decided that 12 inches wide would be okay, it would stick out a bit instead of be flush with the plate, but the volume goes up to 248 cubic inches, I can fit 14.1 inch things diagonally, and it'll still be reasonably in from the ground when the KLR takes a nap. 12 inches is also a convinient size as you can purchase plate metal in 12x18" slices.

I printed off a template and folded it together, seen below. It seems like it's not quite centered, it's a bit to the right, but front to back the placement was about right, and gives a good idea of how it might look.

















[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/applicant_255/8740150610/][/url
ToolTrap9 by applicant_255, on Flickr
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #2
Wotnext
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Eh? Nice idea

Hi
I am also trying to find a spacious tool setup low down on the KLR. I like your plan. How does it fix to the skid pan and open or close up tightly(waterproof)? Will the restricted airflow around engine be important despite being watercooled?

Good luck and let us know how it works out
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Ya I like my tube but Im always open to new ideas,I'll subscribe!
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:22 AM   #4
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What type of "access port" are you going to provide?

One of the benefits of using a tube is that you can use the threaded fitting on one end. Add an o-ring and that screw-in cap becomes (pretty much) waterproof. Not trying to be negative because you have a pretty good idea.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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I use these on the end I open often

Oatey gripper plugs.
These things
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8lives screwed with this post 05-15-2013 at 09:45 AM
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:40 AM   #6
Stan_R80/7
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My concern of such an arrangement would be the reduction in air flow and making the engine/transmission operate at higher temperatures. Also, crud and dirt collects in that location which may not be good for tools. However, these issues are speculation on my part and may prove to be insignificant. Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotnext View Post
Hi
I am also trying to find a spacious tool setup low down on the KLR. I like your plan. How does it fix to the skid pan and open or close up tightly(waterproof)? Will the restricted airflow around engine be important despite being watercooled?

Good luck and let us know how it works out
There is a U-bolt holding the skid plate to the frame - I'm thinking a lower attachment point there and a support attaching it to the engine mount higher up. Perhaps one or two extra clamps attached to the sw-motech bars that will soon be installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco638 View Post
What type of "access port" are you going to provide?

One of the benefits of using a tube is that you can use the threaded fitting on one end. Add an o-ring and that screw-in cap becomes (pretty much) waterproof. Not trying to be negative because you have a pretty good idea.
I've been wondering about waterproofing, my current setup is only waterproof on account of using a ziplock bag in the top bag. I've been planning to have the top front panel be an access door hinged to allow access, but the more I think about it I may instead secure it with bolts.

I'd also thought that should water get in, I'd like a way to drain it out without holding the whole bike upside down and shaking it, or doing a series of stoppies, so I'm planning for a drain hole on the bottom left, either with another bolt or a rubber plug.

I'm not certain I can make it water-tight, but I'll give it a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
My concern of such an arrangement would be the reduction in air flow and making the engine/transmission operate at higher temperatures. Also, crud and dirt collects in that location which may not be good for tools. However, these issues are speculation on my part and may prove to be insignificant. Good luck!
Airflow I'm not too worried about, the shape of thing seems to me like it would actually direct more air up and into the cowling with the radiator receiving a little extra air. The shape does however direct everything else up there too - dirt, rocks and water that might otherwise have been directed down will now go upwards into this area.

Dirt and mud, well the skidplate wasn't covering this area before. The radiator might see a stick or rock deflected towards it, this does concern me a little.

Water that during deep crossings would have been directed down and out will likewise be plowed up into the cowling with this shape. I don't see this as a significant problem however, as the area up there is already reasonably waterproofed, getting into trouble would require the water going much higher and further back to reach the airbox. It may slow the bike down by some trivial amount pushing water up instead of out and down, but the KLR isn't really all that hydrodynamic in the first place, and if more speed is needed the adjuster on the right hand of the handlebars can always be tightened down a bit more.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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If you are running SW Motech pannier racks (or others I bet) there is room for the larger Agri - supply tool tube behind the rack on a 2008-present KLR on the non-exhaust side.

Easy to mount.



http://www.agrisupply.com/manual-canister-large-with-neoprene-seal/p/67670/
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
If you are running SW Motech pannier racks (or others I bet) there is room for the larger Agri - supply tool tube behind the rack on a 2008-present KLR on the non-exhaust side.
No racks, just saddlebags and a second pair of saddlebags that mount up front. I was considering mounting a smaller tube there even without the racks anyway, I have a 16" breaker bar I wanted to lug along, but it won't fit in my plans above, or an agri-tube. I was thinking a 2" tube 17" long would fit right in behind the left side seat cover.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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I am honestly not sure how the mounting holes would align but have you considered MOD? I have one on my F650GS and it rocks. www.motooverland.com.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #11
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I am honestly not sure how the mounting holes would align but have you considered MOD? I have one on my F650GS and it rocks. www.motooverland.com.
I hadn't seen that before, looks nice. According to the specs on the site, it's around 2.75"x4.72"x11.4" which provides about 148 cubic inches of space - better clearance than a 3" tube, more volume. Just a little less space than a 14x4" tube, and not as wide either.

They only claim weather resistant, not waterproof. It might fit my 12" spoons, they claim exactly 11 3/8" will fit, but it makes me think with them jammed in sideways I'd have to pack everything else around the two spoons, leaving little room for anything else.

It looks like it will fit on the bike - the pictures on their site appear to be of the old model KLR - compare their shots with the green fenders/shrouds with these shots of an 02 KLR.

The price would make me shy away a bit, 135-145. For that price I might look at retrofitting a regular locking toolbox, something along the lines of a smaller version of this $18 low profile hand box.

I like that my design offers a wider opening for access, and has a flatter profile to store longer things, and offers 100 cubic inches more space. Part of it is also building it myself, not just to save money, but to actually create something. It may be just a lump of welding slag I end up with, so I may opt to buy my way out of this project, but for now I'm set on seeing this idea through to whatever conclusion it comes to.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
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Two weekends ago I finally did the doo on my KLR, last night I reapplied my skid plate and added the SW-motech bars. Restarting this project now that those and a few other little projects are out of the way.

This morning I started to work on building a frame for this project, angle iron to which I'm hoping to attach sheet metal.



Hacksaw and rotary tool to chop things up, with notes on what general lengths I need.



Taking pictures of sparks is both fun and a great way to procrastinate.



26 degree angle cut into the bottom two pieces.



Clamp into the vise and haul back until it's all bent.



This is my first weld ever. Bought a Lincoln Electric 140 two weeks ago, today was my first chance to actually try it out. Tried to spot weld this together just right before I went back over it.


Tool-Trap-Build6 by applicant_255, on Flickr

After a few more attempts, and some ugliness like on the left, and one full stop grind down and retry I started getting results more like I'd hoped shown here toward the center. In the afternoon I got distracted by beer and sunshine and other summer nonsense.

I have the bottom part of the frame together. Tomorrow I'm planning to finish the top part and add some mounting tabs to secure it to the bike before I start trying to attach sheet metal to the frame.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:28 PM   #13
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Basically finished welding the frame, time to grind away at my welds.



Added a mounting point for the skid plate u-bolt and drilled one hole for a test mounting. Went back to Canadian Tire and bought a new drill, then finished the second hole and tested mounting it. Lots of ground down edges where I've been having erratic fun with the welder.



Fits in the space well enough, doesn't look like it will interfere with the tire.



It's suprisingly sturdy with just the U-bolt from the front of the skid plate attaching it, but I'm going to add another horizontal piece across the back to bolt it to the large holes above on the stock motor mount that the stock plastic skid plate attaches to.


Tool-Trap-Build-3-4 by applicant_255, on Flickr

Just barely peeks out on either side beyond the front forks, should be well protected when the bike decides to nap.

One last mounting tab to add then it's onward to tin snips and sheet metal.

I think once it's mounted I'm going to tape a piece of styrofoam to the front and take it out for some suspension exercises to see how close if at all the tire gets to it. I'm wondering if under heavy braking or landing the front end particularly hard gets it within two or so inches. Could be a good chance for some interesting go-pro footage.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:12 PM   #14
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Question

I am sure you have considered this, but will it direct debris coming off the front tyre up and into your radiator?
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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I am sure you have considered this, but will it direct debris coming off the front tyre up and into your radiator?
I was concerned about this initially, but it seems like it's going to split flying debris into two categories, stuff that was already headed up toward the engine compartment and stuff that would have just hit the skid plate.

Rocks and things that were already headed upwards will probably get plowed forwards more than shot directly into the upper part of the cowling. You can just see above where the front fender comes down to almost touch the top of the trap, rocks thrown directly up by the tire are most likely to hit here. Anything else that gets thrown up sideways around the fender will likely be slowed down when it deflects off the front of the trap.

My plan is to throw it together and take it down the bumpiest, rockiest muddiest road I know, with and without some styrofoam on the front. With the foam to make sure it isn't close to interfering with the tire during real world suspension travel and without to get a good spray of mud to see what the spray of mud and thus likely debris will look like; This should tell me if I need a rad guard, and if I need to reinforce any parts that seem vulnerable.
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