DRZ 400E Adventure Racks

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by jackpiner57, May 7, 2012.

  1. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Tom and I had some deep conversations on this topic in the design phase. I was initially pretty firm on connecting them. I've come around to Tom's way of thinking now. For one, I think that many rack problems have to do with the nature of baggage people run on them. I once lusted for big, hard cases. I have them on other bikes. I will never run them off-road again. Soft bags are much more forgiving than hard cases in a fall. I've never come even close to losing one on the rough stuff. I cannot say that for hard cases. I just did a 3500 mile mixed-surface tour on my KLR with Wolfman expedition bags. I had zero problems. At times, I wished for greater capacity, but I'm glad I had to pack somewhat frugally. Extra weight was not my friend in the tough stuff.

    I think that hard cases also tend to transfer harmonics to racks in a much different way. The soft bags really can't develop much of a resonant frequency, while most hard cases do at some point. It's the resonance as much as anything that leads to cracking.

    That being said, it would be a relatively simple thing to add a rear loop. If Tom decides to offer one, I suggest it be an optional extra, which could be unbolted if not needed.
    #21
  2. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    Jeff, I appreciate the input! It's what drives me to constantly re-evaluate and improve my products.

    In Odyssey to Ushuaia, I would love to know more about their luggage and what type of racks and what materials were used. When it comes to rack cracking and failure, I think that the materials and the type of frame connections come into play here. Tubular sections that have been flattened, bent and drilled out to make a connector are prone to flex cracking. A tube welded to a flat bar is stronger and less apt to flex.


    What kind of adventure would it be if the racks didn't break anyway? How many adventurers have had to have a broken rack welded by a burly Vodka swilling Cossack in the black fly infested wilds of Siberia and then are invited to the local biker club for more Vodka, pretty girls and shashlik? We love to read about that stuff!:lol3

    I have given this a lot of thought, and I think tying the racks together would be beneficial in some cases, on bikes with steel-sub frames and hard side cases, I think it would be an asset. A fusible link is a neat idea, but might be prone to flexing and failure? I would like to make some prototypes to test that out.

    On bikes with aluminum sub-frames I'm not so sure. I recently made a set of the "independent" type side racks for a DRZ-E that had previously taken a tumble and the sub-frame was already pretty twisted from an impact on the left side. I had to straighten it out some to get the new racks to fit correctly. I wonder if the damage would have been worse if it had a box structure connected to it at the time. I've been trying to keep the DRZ-E rack system as light as possible, but I will however develop a cross brace for those that feel they might need it!

    Personally, I would never put hard cases on anything that I ride off road.
    Soft luggage is lighter, absorbs impacts and is safer for the rider's limbs too.



    That's some brilliant thinking Tim. I believe you're right about the resonant harmonics having a lot to do with stress cracking. It just makes a lot of sense.
    #22
  3. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I wish I could take credit for brilliance, Tom. I was recently reading an article by some guys who were developing a new kit-built aircraft which gave me the idea. Resonance was a huge problem for them. They were using a welded chrome-moly steel for the airframe, which is similar to the tubing on the racks. They were suffering failures at certain welds no matter how much they reinforced the structure. It turns out their solution was to make things more flexible, not more rigid.
    #23
  4. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    DRZ-E Adventure Racks
    ----------------------------------------------


    Features:

    * Works as a 3 piece system to hold all of your gear.

    * Side Racks are designed to hold any side bags including Wolfman Expedition Dry
    Saddle Bags. Their metal strap clips fit into our side rack loops to hold bags tight to the rack

    * Top Rack measures 16.5" x 14.5" andwill hold lots of gear in any type of large bag like the Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffel. The new RotopaX 1.75 gal. fuel or water pack fits right on. RotopaX ready cross plate for attaching/detaching the RotopaX Pack Mount quickly and easily with just two bolts. Has 4 large bungee loops to hold straps captive and allows Fastex type buckles to fit through.

    * Top Rack sits flush with seat to minimize injury to the lower back if you slide off the back or are rear ended

    * Easy bolt on installation with all fasteners and mounting instructions included.

    * Painted Satin Black


    $289.00 plus $28.00 shipping




    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Trust me, these work. Good, well-designed stuff, far beyond what is available for the E elsewhere. Tom is the sort of fellow that follows you around with a tube of Loc-tite and makes sure every bolt is up to spec. He's a bit of an odd duck, but his welds are art and his heart is sound. He keeps some good dogs, and appears to love his wife, who appears to love him. I have no complaint here.
    #25
  6. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    Thanks Tim!
    #26
  7. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    That will be happening within the next week!

    The size will be 16.5" x 14.5" and will have the bungee loops and a threaded mounting plate for bolting the RotopaX Pack Mount to. The plate will go all the way across which will eliminate two of the cross tubes and make it lighter.

    The price will be $149.00 plus $14.00 shipping
    #27
  8. Roll-sen

    Roll-sen Hater be Hatin'

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    Right on! I'll be watching for the announcement that they're ready and to place my order.
    #28
  9. NorthernCarver

    NorthernCarver Adventurer

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    I have one of Tom's E racks on my "E".... I have crash tested it several times now and no problems at all!
    Yesterday I used it to take my chainsaw out on the trail.
    Good job Tom!
    #29
  10. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    :lol3
    Thanks Sherm, I'm glad it's still in one piece! You can stop crashing now. The testing phase is over!:lol3 I'd love to see some pics of your chainsaw mount.

    We've gotta do some riding when I'm healed. Bill in Barnard has some gnarly stuff down that way that he's anxious to show me. It would be great if you would join us. Wait a minute, you probably showed him those trails!:D
    #30
  11. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Howdy,I had a rear rack much like yours on my DRZe,using the seat mount bolts as supports and the one leg support underneath,,it never would stay tight and eventually broke both seat mount lugs off the frame. Kinda seemed like those little seat mount bolts were too small for the smaller rack I had mounted to them. I only had a medium size tool pack on it,maybe a 6 lb load. I guess there's no problem like that with yours?

    Thanks!
    #31
  12. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    My racks don't have that problem.

    That is a common complaint with even the small DRZ-E top racks that are out there.

    With my DRZ-E top and side rack system, the side racks support the top rack. That gives the top rack 4 mounting points.

    I am currently working on a 4 point mounted top rack by itself. It will be the same 16.5" x 14.5" size and have the bungee loops and mounting plate for the RotopaX Pack Mount.
    #32
  13. jamnjim

    jamnjim Adventurer

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    I have a Jackpiner rack on my 09 DRZ SM with the Rotopax mount. Tom also added some additional hooks on the bottom for bungie hooks. The rack is made very well, mounted easily, and has held up through many rides, and crashes. It was particularly nice to deal with Tom as we emailed back and forth prior to the build discussing ideas and he ultimately built the rack adding my requested hooks into his design.
    #33
  14. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I'm Tom's field-tester for the E model racks. A couple of observations: with this, or any other rack, it's a very good idea to Loc-Tite all your fasteners and check them for tightness regularly. Tom uses hex-head bolts for connections. While arguably not as snazzy looking as Allens, they are much easier to get torqued properly, and far easier to find should you need a replacement.

    The lower left side mounting tab used for the side racks is tapped for a 6mm bolt. This should be replaced with a 5/16" or 8mm bolt as Tom and I did on my E. It's a simple matter of enlarging the hole with a hand drill and nutting the bolt on the back side. This takes about five minutes to accomplish.

    On some of the other designs, there is a considerable load on the seat mounting bolts, which aren't very stout. Tom's design shifts much of the force down to stronger and larger mounting bolts on the frame.
    #34
  15. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    Jim, I'm glad you're still happy with the rack! That one is one of a kind. Thanks for the support. -Tom
    #35
  16. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    Thanks Tim! -Tom
    #36
  17. rally roo

    rally roo the hoonigan formerly known as sevenpointsixtwo

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    I'd like to announce that Tom's DRZ-E Adventure Rack has been (un)officially Trans-Labrador Highway tested and (very much) approved! It stood up to the Great Canadian Washboard without complaint, and handled an impressive load of gear, spares, food, tools, and fuel. It's certainly due for a re-spray as parts of it have been worn shiny, but everything else held up beautifully under some pretty abusive conditions.

    The top rack mounting loops were perfect for the Twisted Throttle Dryspec system, and the side racks worked well to support some Motopak panniers. I would have liked to splurge on some Wolfman bags; maybe next trip! I will definitely have to invest in a Rotopax setup as well to make full use of Tom's awesome rack.

    Tom was super helpful in listening to my feedback on issues with mounting the rack and incredibly responsive with advice, including how to fix my damaged subframe (that JB Weld is pretty awesome stuff!)

    Thanks again! Look for a full RR coming in the near future with more details from the trip.


    In Fermont, QC after the "mini-trail" section in the rain:
    [​IMG]
    #37
  18. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    Seven,

    Thanks for posting on your experience with the racks! I'm glad to hear that all went well, and the racks were up to the task. You had her loaded up pretty good and I like those Twisted Throttle bags you have on there too. The washboard riding must have been a PIA, but at least the DRZ has the suspension to make that a little more tolerable. Kudos to you for doing such a long remote ride on a DRZ-E!! I don't think I've read about anyone else doing that.

    I'm glad the JB quick sub-frame fix got you through the trip! I can't wait to read the ride report. It was my pleasure to help you, so let me know if there's anything else you need.

    Thanks, Tom
    #38
  19. NewHampWoodsRider

    NewHampWoodsRider Tag Captor

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    Tom fabricated some racks for my KLR and they are working out great!!

    Installed these:
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    So I could go:
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    To see this:
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    The racks worked out great!
    They are very strong and have been holding up very well!
    I have tested them loaded off road, on road and they are perfect for hard cases and soft bags! I highly recommend them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #39
  20. jackpiner57

    jackpiner57 Moto-Racks.com

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    Thanks Adam! It's great to hear they're working well for you. Thanks for posting the pics of your bike! The early morning sun shot including the Land Rover from the top of Mt. Washington is awesome!
    #40