For an upcoming trip, (Cache Creek to Oregon) a friend graciously offered to let me use his Mosko Moto BACKCOUNTRY 40L DUFFLE/PACK. Thanks Scott!
It’s something I’ve had my eye on for a while. I’ll have a review coming soon on it. (Hint: It’s a great bag!)
But there was one problem. My Hepco Becker crash bars have a vertical bar that is used for mounting the top box. That bar is right where the soft tail bag would sit.
I was packing everything up the day before we were set to leave and my mountain biking partner came by. He’s an ex iron worker.
I explained to him what the issue was and he suggested we run down to a local metal supply shop for some plate aluminum. Since it was Saturday morning we called ahead. They were open and had some scrap pieces lying around so off we went!
10 minutes later we had a nice piece of 1/4 inch diamond plate aluminum to work with. Scrap doesn’t mean free. The scrap was much bigger than we needed and cost $46. The good news is that I have enough leftover to make quite a few other things.
Terry and I mapped out what we wanted to create. The new tray would be wider but not longer. It would generally follow the same lines as the Hepco model.
Terry took the project and ran with it. In a few hours had cut, rounded, ground and sanded the plate into the basic shape. Using the same bolt pattern it was an easy add onto the bike.
The width is 15 1/2 inches at the widest part nearest the seat and down to 12 1/2 inches at the end. The overall length is still 10 inches. You can see we created the same curve so the seat can still be easily removed.
Here’s the Hepco version sitting on top of the newly mounted tray for comparison.
Pressed for time, we were just trying to get the plate to work for the trip the next day. While he was grinding, I went off to the store looking for new bolts. Terry did a great job softening the edges all around with a grinder considering the time available.
The completed tray offered great support for the Mosko Moto tail bag. I attached the bag to the bike via a couple of Rok Straps that Scott had given me. They worked ok, but were a little sketchy so I added a few heavy duty bungee cords over the top. Mosko recommends their Cinch Straps and that looks like a solid solution.
I’m writing this after the ride and can tell you that both the bag and the new Tray worked wonderfully.
I have a few mods I’ll make to the tray still. The first is that I want to cut slots in the tray itself for attachment points. There simply wasn’t enough time to do that before. The other thing I want to do is either powder coat or spray paint it black do it blends in better with the bike.
For now the new tray will be coming off and the Hepco goes back on. I need that for when I want to the tail box on (it’s more comfortable for the wife when she rides with me).
Huge thanks to both Scott for the bag and Terry for the work. You guys rock!
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