Africa Twins Only - CRF1000 Engineered Enhancements

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by spartanman, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    01-19-19 Update: We're preparing to take preorders for a new batch of ATO racks.​

    11-12-17 Update: We're taking preorders for a new batch of ATO racks.

    06-27-17 Update: The ATO Engineering website is live! http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...f1000-engineered-enhancements.1171785/page-31


    03-19-17 Update:
    We're ready to build racks! Here's how to pre-order:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...f1000-engineered-enhancements.1171785/page-10




    I picked up the prototype rack Friday afternoon from the fabricator! This morning we checked fit on arrcrussel's AT and discovered a few areas that need tweaking. Hey, it's a prototype. The plan is to get all the kinks worked out on it, build a pre-production version for final fit up, then go into production if there's demand. More on that in a minute.

    Our story: Numerous AT owners, including arrcrussell and me, feel the factory grab rails stick out way too far. The rails prevent throw-over luggage from fitting properly. And you can catch your boot on them when getting on and off the bike. Chopping off the rails (arrcrussell got impatient waiting for the prototype and Sawsall'd his off!) compromises structural integrity of the rear rack and looks like crap. And the factory pannier mounts, though probably OK for road riding, seem less than secure and durable for the more extreme conditions ATs will likely see. Our ATO rack fixes these shortcomings.

    No modifications are required; remove the OE rack and bolt on the ATO rack. It's made of precision cut, folded and welded stainless steel. We haven't weighed it yet, but I'm guessing it's about a pound heavier than the OE plastic rack. A bolted interface replaces the factory pannier rack pockets. To this interface will bolt our lightweight throw-over luggage supports or pannier racks, and hand rails. The hand rails will be less obtrusive than the stock units but still fully functional. The rear rack retains the factory four-bolt pattern so it's compatible with rack extensions from other vendors. We're also making a rack extension that bolts in place of the passenger seat. The prototype is bare metal, though the production version will be black oxided, which on stainless steel has a durable satin black finish.


    Any AT owners here have an interest in a rack setup like this? If so, what would you expect to pay? Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!


    Thanks,
    spartanman

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK I ride to both find and forget myself...

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    I like design of the second photo. No oversized grab handles whilst maintaining the ability to add 3rd party racks to the rear of the seat. Good job
    #2
  3. mslow

    mslow Faccia Brutta

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    Great idea and thanks for putting in the work to design it.
    You may want to reconsider the angled slots on the rear rack, most straps would be straight and that could place a lot of stress on the straps and possibly cut them.
    Also, maybe integrate a mounting slot for rotopax.
    #3
  4. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Yeah, the fabricator shrunk the slots. We had them sized to accommodate Rock Straps. We'll correct in the next iteration. Thank you for the input.
    #4
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  5. Michagander

    Michagander Adventurer

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    Looks great guys. Keep me in the lop on this one. Its the one complaint I have with the bike. No good mounting option for the soft luggage.

    I will be ordering up new Jesses tins and rack when they are released. In the mean time Id love to get a Mosko 80 to fit correctly for the rest of the riding season. Any idea on how long before your ready to sell?

    Thanks,

    Keith
    #5
  6. mslow

    mslow Faccia Brutta

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    Just my 2 cents, don't be afraid to go a little heavier on the material. The weight difference should not even be considered. A weight gain of even a few pounds wouldn't affect the ride quality of the bike and having the confidence that it will not fail when out in the middle of nowhere is much more important. If I could use Black Dog Cycle Works as an example, their skid plate is big, bulky & heavy...and I would absolutely chose it over any other skid plate on the market because it does exactly what it's supposed to do. Function before form.
    Good luck, and again, thank you for putting in the time to come up with a solution to a problem a lot of us are faced with.
    #6
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  7. arrcrussell

    arrcrussell Gimme Dirt

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    Guys,

    We’ve reached the point of no return.

    We’ve received the 1st prototype from the fabricator and it was pretty darn good. Spartanman did a great job of designing the rack system, giving it the features we wanted and making it fit the AT. As some of you have indicated – it’s a complex component and the design required a lot of time and precision.

    We had to make a few adjustments to the first prototype and we’ve also taken a few suggestions from some of you and added a few more features. These changes and enhancements have necessitated the build of another full prototype. We want to build a first class product and ensure it will fit before we reach the production phase.

    With the additional features and the need for another porotype, our initial set up costs are more than expected and the final cost to produce the rack is as well. All this means that the final cost of the rack with grab rails will be in the $450-$500 range – OUCH!

    We love the design of the rack and would love to get this thing produced – for ourselves and for others. However, were not drowning in cash and we’re beginning to question if this project will be a money pit. Although each of us have been motorcyclists for more than 40 years each, we have no idea whether this product will sell in sufficient quantities and what price people will be willing to pay for it – marketing ain’t my forte. Our initial production run will require a build of 20 units.

    So guys, any thoughts on how many of these things we can sell and if the price range of $450-$500 is palatable?

    We set up a Survey here ...

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/africa-twins-only-rack-build-survey.1172317/

    to help us gauge the market.

    IMG_1485[1].JPG IMG_1487[2].JPG
    #7
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  8. Crazy Dan

    Crazy Dan Dan

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    Great idea, brilliant design, however I would rather see a price of around $250.
    #8
  9. mslow

    mslow Faccia Brutta

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    This would be perfect if it could be molded from ABS or Acetal plastic.
    #9
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  10. SGTMacGyver

    SGTMacGyver Adventurer

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    I could see $400 for this. Very nice! Now here is an idea that I had. Most of us will not be having passengers and the need for the passenger seat is not really there. You could eliminate a bunch of fab by eliminating the passenger seat all together?
    #10
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  11. mslow

    mslow Faccia Brutta

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    That's actually a great idea, turning the rear seat into accessible storage even
    #11
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  12. jyrays

    jyrays The Wanderer

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    I am in!
    #12
  13. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    UPDATE: I'm about 75% done incorporating design changes and enhancements to the rack CAD model. When completed, the plan is to build a final prototype for fit check, which should happen in the next month or so. We fully expect the prototype to fit and function perfectly. The rack manufacturer employs cutting-edge technology; quality of the final product will reflect this. The next step is less clear. We initially planned to make 20 units, but polls here show demand may not be there. arrcrussel and I aren't rolling in dough so we're not willing to risk it. For those who are interested, we may offer the racks on a pre-order basis. Here's how it could work: We collect intend-to-buy commitments until we reach 10 customers. At that time, you buy the rack and we place the order. Figure about a month for delivery. (FWIW, such pre-paid arrangements aren't unusual. I recently paid up front for a set of carbon-fiber tank protectors and had to wait over a month for the company to make them. It was worth the wait!) At 10 units, cost breaks start kicking in. Speaking of cost, we'll have a firm number when the final prototype is done. What do you think? We'd really appreciate the feedback. Thank you.
    #13
  14. Nikoutdoor

    Nikoutdoor Been here awhile

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    I am interested. Looking fwd to see what the final prototype looks like.
    #14
  15. Assfault

    Assfault Exposed Member Supporter

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    Put me on the list pending pricing. Thx
    #15
  16. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Four riders so far have shown interest in possibly purchasing the ATO rack. We'll keep you posted on progress with the prototype! Thank you!
    #16
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  17. abj

    abj Adventurer

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    I'm also interested!
    #17
  18. ScooterNoMore

    ScooterNoMore Been here awhile

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    When I eventually buy an AT, I'll buy one!! Nice work!
    #18
  19. NorthernStar

    NorthernStar Hardly Working in Progress

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    Am looking forward to see the finish on the final product and at what price point. Do you anticipate this fitting the 2017 model?
    #19
  20. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    Great!
    #20