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Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by eakins, Jan 31, 2010.
You mean like these?
I wanted to mount a Rotopax can to the left side of my KLR650 with Wolfman racks. One can run the can and the bags together this way with a few strap adjustments. There is an aluminum plate offered for this purpose, but it's pricey. I wanted to see what I could come up with on the cheap with stuff from the shop. I am, after all, a KLR owner.
I didn't have any appropriate aluminum in the shop. I'd thought of phenolic sheet, but I didn't have any of that, either, and it's very costly. I'd considered welding a piece of steel to the racks, but that would spoil the powder coat.
Walking through my favorite discount store, I spied this:
Hmm, high-density polyethylene. Won't rust. Acoustically dead. Easy to mill. And this was 3/8" thick, easily up to the task of supporting about ten pounds, even over the rough stuff. Also, it's a nice match for my new translucent IMS tank, and cost less than the shipping on a similar piece from MSC.
In the shop, I cut a 5 1/2" square of the stuff, and carefully fit it inside of the "racetrack" on the racks. It's a snug fit so things won't move around. I drilled the plate for the quarter-twenty fasteners slightly under size, so the fasteners will actually thread into the material. No tapping needed, a steel screw will tap the plastic. This should avoid fretting.
A couple of strap clamps later, and this is what it looked like. At this stage, it's still a sort of mock-up. The supplied fasteners were a little short. I need to get longer ones tomorrow so the nylocs bite properly and I can put a washer under them.
The can mounts right up. I'd use a safety strap as shown for use without the bags. When used in conjunction with the Wolfman bags, that gas can ain't going nowhere.
Total investment (less the cost of the mount) well under ten bucks. Nearly fifty miles without stops -- priceless. Tell you how it works soon.
LOVE that Rotopax mount!
Also, I emailed Wolfman about racks for the 2009+ KLX250S and got this response:
Just got it all bolted together and stress tested. It's hell for stout. The Rotopax is squished against the rubber bits of the strap clamps, and the former cutting board is wedged tightly within the Wolfman "racetrack." I have no doubt it will take a hit. Will in never break? Can't say that much, but if I yard on the Rotopax, the entire luggage rack flexes. Confidence is high. Buying new stainless fasteners doubled the cost. If I drove down to Fastenal, I'm fairly sure I could have purchased a box for the cost of the twelve I used. Had to ride to see my honey, so Fastenal wasn't on the way.
Just bought Expedition Dry line Duffel bags for on the top on the weekend but haven't tried them out yet. Look nice a strong though. I have had the side racks for a while and they are great. The RotoPax fits perfect.
Thanks for the tip. I used your idea to mount my fuel pack to the wolfman rack on my xr650l. I mouunted the fuel mount before mounting the side racks but look forward to seeing how they work. I expect it to work just fine.
I have a bunch of miles on this set-up. I had to make some strap extensions for the left bag -- you can either buy these from Wolfman or cook up your own from parts from http://www.strapworks.com
This year, my expedition dry bags hit the Roaming Rally in Ontario, ran from there to Michigan and up around Superior on the UPAT and the Circle Route, and did a number of camping trips in Maine in between on both my DRZ and the KLR. No problems with wear or wet gear, only a sometimes worn and wet rider. These things have my vote.
I had my first trip of pretty bumpy rocky stuff and it held up fine. I am pretty happy with it. I am a bit concerned about how the mounting piece will deal with a fall on that side without the gas can attached to it ( or with the gas can attached for that matter). Have you had any " unscheduled dismounts" on that side of your bike?
Maybe I should learn how to ride better but my favorite trails usually result in a tip over or two.
I never fall over. Perish the thought. I am simply that good. However, if I had fallen over on this set-up, it theoretically would have held up pretty well.
It's actually better to keep the Rotopax on under most circumstances. It protects the whole left side of the bike and rack.
Good to know they are up to a fall... if that ever happened. I bolted on the mounting piece using t nuts http://sheastern.en.made-in-china.com/offer/EqinFUoBYRcG/Sell-T-Nuts.html . They stay in place without having to access the back of the cutting board so I think it would be easy to remove the mounting piece if I wanted.
I never have to put my foot down for balance on a rocky sandy downhill , but if I did my leg would hit the gas can. It will be good to have the option to remove it when I don't need the extra gas.
Thanks again for the cost saving idea. It feels clever to use a do it yourself idea, even if it is not my idea.
Well, I have fallen off a few times with this rig. But mostly a tipover when I catch air with a foot dab. Probably not so durable in a real crash.
But still, what are our alternatives if you want soft bags? Wolfy is a good solution. Maybe the best for people who travel several days.
The above post was very much tongue-in-cheek. It's a KLR! It's made out of materials from the upper end of the periodic chart. I've ridden it through some rigorous off-road. Anyone who hasn't had a drop on a KLR is either a far better rider than I am, or isn't going far beyond the pavement. After I got the KLR armored up with skid plate, proper hand guards, and the lot, I've never suffered anything more than a few scratches to the exposed areas of the bike. In my experience, when you suffer a drop, it's most likely a low-speed affair. I have seen plenty of damage to hard cases from events like this, but not to the Wolfman bags.
I also use the bags on my DRZ400E with Jackpiner57's excellent rack system. I've dropped that one also. Wolfman has chosen his materials and design carefully. As a matter of fact, the only damage I have ever seen to a Wolfman dry bag was when someone's chain ate through one and sucked a t-shirt into their sprocket on this year's Roaming Rally. I don't know of any soft bags that will resist a chain for long.
I make a distinction between crashes and tip overs/falls. I have never crashed but have tipped over and fell quite a few times. I was on a trip with lots of water crossings and big rocks and stuff, and where I fell down was turning around to see how the rider behind me was doing in the crossing.
Plus it is less alarming to my wife to tell her I tipped over instead of crashed.
Thread Resurrection time...! I'm now looking at the Wolfman racks(they are the least expensive racks I've seen,yet appear well designed!) and thinking towards DIY way to avoid the cost & some sellers features for Pelican style case mountings to them. I like the lower mounting that Jesse luggage uses- it is a Delrin (acetal plastic)machined rectangular channel that rides over the top of the lower horizontal rack rail. That material is not only strong but also moisture proof,vibration friendly as a great bearing surface-thus quiet & allows for easy on/off all while being a good brace for the plastic case back (with an alu piece behind it too). They also have a apparently well designed quick clamping piece that retains at the top of the case with a neat clamping thingy at the top. Their rack also has to large rubber doughnuts on the rack itself that prevent case vibration , rather than case against the rack issue. I've seen no other rack/ case arrangement that is has as well overall design IMO, of course!
I may just buy their case hangers separate & use the Wolfman rack-anyone tried that already? The tubing looks the same size?
I'd like to see your DIY Pelican type case attachments-Thanks!!!