Thursday, January 20, 2011

Of Rear Racks and Headaches

So, I had an opportunity to go eye ball the NX to see what's involved with fabricating a rear rack.  Previously, I mentioned that I already own a Givi E35 Traffic top box and E200 rack (they came with my TransAlp).  I have since discovered that Givi no longer makes the E35 and that most, if not all, of the old stock has disappeared.  I was also hoping to find a light kit for it so I could add another brake light.  The top box is more in line with a driver's eye sight than the brake light on most bikes.  Adding a light, to the top box, can only help to increase my visibility, from behind, and that's a good thing.  I did find a highly recommended Canadian company, AdMore Lighting,  but they don't make a kit specific to the E35 and their mini light bar is cost prohibitive ($130, as of this writing).  So, I may look into 3M's SOLAS reflective tape as an alternative.  Whether you know it or not, everyone has seen SOLAS tape in action.  It's used on all of the road signs you (most likely) see every day while driving/riding.  It is the main reason those signs are so visible at night.  The issue with applying tape to the top box would be the fact that the box's surface is textured.  We'll see how that goes....

As for the rack itself, I'm going to be challenged to find appropriate mounting points for it.  I know the picture in the side bar isn't the most detailed (I have to fix that) but it's obvious that the turn signals are the only appendages aft of the seat.  I need at least three points to support a rack and would certainly prefer four.  On the left side of the bike is a small tool box, forward of the turn signal, that holds the minimalist tool kit and helmet lock.  The tool box attaches to the frame, at two points, with bolts.  On the right side is the muffler bolt.  Additionally, there are the turn signals which (hopefully) have enough of a threaded stem to accept a rack support bar.  A fellow inmate, at Adventure Rider and TransAlp.Org (see the side bar for links), has used this tubing bender to fabricate racks for his (former?) NX250.  I'm thinking I may need to bend up a "U" shaped piece of 1/2" tubing that will be oriented horizontally, under the rear fender.  It will use the two tool box attachment points, on the left side, and the muffler attachment point, on the right side, to support the four vertical rack supports.  The idea being that it's completely removable without leaving holes or slots in the bodywork.  While I don't plan to carry lots of weight, I'd prefer to keep the box/rack as low as possible (for obvious weight-up-high = bad reasons).  Stay tuned.

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