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Old 01-30-2015, 06:01 PM   #1
longslowdistance OP
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GSW Farkle question. SW motech rear rack reinforcement

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/sw-mo...bmw-r1200gs-13

How tough is the GSW plastic behind the passenger seat? Add a 12 lb tail box case containing another 12 lbs, maybe not strong enough. Anyone have any experience with this brace? Or mechanical engineering knowledge that might apply? Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
JimVonBaden
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No experience with the brace, though I have a top box bolted to my rack:







My top box and bracket is less than 5 pounds, and I rarely carry more than ten pounds in it, so not a direct comparison. That said, if I were you, and at the weights you say (likely you are underestimating ), and if you did rough roads, I would spring for the brace just to be safe. It is not that expensive and looks stout!
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:24 AM   #3
Skyliner33
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I know if you get the BMW vario top box you replace the bit of black plastic that you can see in Jim's photo. Im guessing the new one is stronger to cope with the weight of the box.
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Old 01-31-2015, 06:01 AM   #4
Kevin Dixon
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I have a SW Motech rack without the reinforcement. Use a 52L Givi top box. Wife is always leaned back against it and on several occasions have had well in excess of 25-30 lbs. I have yet to have a problem with the plastic under the rack.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:44 AM   #5
TR250Tom
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In my inexpert opinion, if you are putting enough weight on the tail rack to require reinforcement, you are also destabilizing the bike to a dangerous degree. Top boxes are a very convenient place to put things, and I use mine 50% of the time I ride the bike. They are also one of the worst places to put heavy weight: high up and far back.

The BMW engineers who studied the problem built a rack that can easily accommodate a safe load. If you overload it, structural cracks are not your greatest worry.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:47 AM   #6
longslowdistance OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
My top box and bracket is less than 5 pounds
5 lbs total box and bracket would be great. What are you using?
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:56 AM   #7
longslowdistance OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post

The BMW engineers who studied the problem built a rack that can easily accommodate a safe load. If you overload it, structural cracks are not your greatest worry.
Good points. No intention to overload it. But I would like to use it lightly loaded on sustained rough gravel roads.
BMW engineers also designed the notoriously weak pre-LC vario side case brackets, also plastic ,which were not adequate for routine use on rough roads. ( The LC vario side case mount looks more robust and hopefully will hold up better. Maybe the rear rack is tougher, too like skyliner speculated?)

longslowdistance screwed with this post 02-01-2015 at 05:32 AM
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:11 AM   #8
Dave22
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the ADV steel top rack will fit the non ADV model. I bought one and installed it so I can say that with confidence. Better choice I think than reinforcing the plastic rack. as I remember it was around 300 bucks. Solid as a rock too.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:28 AM   #9
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longslowdistance View Post
5 lbs total box and bracket would be great. What are you using?
Emgo top case. You can pick them up for under $70.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:30 AM   #10
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longslowdistance View Post
Good points. No intention to overload it. But I would like to use it lightly loaded on sustained rough gravel roads.
BMW engineers also designed the notoriously weak pre-LC vario side case brackets, also plastic ,which were not adequate for routine use on rough roads. ( The LC vario side case mount looks more robust and hopefully will hold up better. Maybe the rear rack is tougher, too like skyliner speculated?)
I had the Emgo on my unmodified top rack 05 R1200GS for 60K miles with no issues. Keep the weight down off road and it holds up great!
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:32 AM   #11
mefly2
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The search function is your friend ...from my earlier post: 7.02.2014 ...

It is relatively easy to mount a "plate" either behind the passenger seat near the grab handles or in place of the passenger seat. If you are handy, an easily modifiable plate is available here on the forum for $30-50 ... or locally as well. Most use 3/16 to 1/4" aluminum; I chose to use stainless steel. One custom plate fabrication by me which may be mounted in either of two positions.

Aluminum plate would have made the project go much faster; however, I chose to use stainless steel for strength and no oxidation with which to contend. The OEM Vario mount comes off with 4 bolts and the adapter plate is drilled for my Roto-Pax mount as well; in addition, there are also two (which must be removed when plate is in the most rearward position) locater "bolts" and a single "pin" bolt which allows the plate to be attached to the bike via the factory seat release - instead of the passenger seat. Four bolts attach the vario mount to the adapter plate and four bolts (or two different bolts plus a fabricated "pin") attach the plate to the bike.


Total cost: under $40 for plate and new stainless (& stronger) fasteners... & several hours extra time laying out and center punching / drilling the stainless for proper fit to the bike (it is much more difficult to drill than aluminum - YMMV)...and also to lighten the weight of the stainless plate...didn't realize that stainless would be so heavy until it was cut out. You can see that I have a taper to the width dimension which allows the adapter plate to follow the natural lines of the rear of the bike as well as to allow clearance when the plate is mounted in the rear seat position. I added the BMW Motorsports medallion to finish off the plain center of the adapter plate. Some have asked about the medallion - I bought it for my R80 back in 1982 and have had it on every bike since.

The spacer height does add about 1" to the box height over the stock OEM mounting position but was chosen to give the relative angle that I wanted of the adapter plate when it is used alone / without the box or mount attached. It is often nice to have just a flat carry rack and the forward lean angle matches the seat lines when the box / mount is removed.



I like the BMW Vario top box in conjunction with the aluminum panniers because the Vario can be expanded to hold my helmet or reduced for carrying a smaller load. My wife also prefers the smooth plastic behind her as opposed to the sharper corners of most metal boxes. Besides, since no one wants to pay a realistic price for a used Vario box (and you can buy them relatively inexpensively) ...or, if you already have one from an earlier bike, why not use it!

__________________
----------------> jer-
30+ years with RTs...then to F/GS; now *Finally*
the BMW: R1200GSW, factory low seat & lower crash bars;
Touratech: Upper Crash Bars, big foot, pannier rack, ZegaPro panniers;
Fuzeblock, Rigid Dually D2 + yellow covers; Wunderlich bar risers w/ Q-adjust
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