See what I did there? 😂
Ok, so the bike came with a set of luggage racks (yay). The bike didn’t come with the proper mounting bolts (boo). I knew I was missing some spacers but wasn’t sure how many so I stacked up a few stainless washers and bolted the racks on. That was like the second day I had the bike. On the third day I called Touratech and had them send me the proper bolts and spacers. Can I just say, what a wonderfully nice company they are!!
I knew I needed extra fuel and that usually means a Rotopax. I have a 2.5 gallon one for the back of the 950 but thinking I need to do this bike a little different.
We’re trying to build it lighter, lower center of gravity kind of thing. I think both Tomm and I had the same idea of mounting them vertical on the side racks. I think we also both had the idea of doing a 1 gallon instead and since that was the way, why not put a water on the other side for a good balance?
The problem was how to mount the mount to the racks. The rack design has a big old rectangular hole right about where the mount would need to be. Problem # 2 is that my racks are not simple steel, they are stainless.
Luckily Tomm has a relative, Ryan, who welds and does some pretty incredible stuff. We consulted with him and based on what he said I bought a piece of 16 gauge 304 Stainless to fit. We figured a 4″ wide bar down the middle of the space would be strong enough to hold the mount.
We pulled the racks off the bike and dropped them off at Ryans.
If you are going to have something welded up, why not personalize it? You know I’m a DeadHead, right? So is Tomm and as it turns out, so is his nephew Ryan. Ryan has access to a water jet. That’s a machine that can blast a super small stream of compressed air, water and sometimes an abrasive material and cut steel into any shape. So I did a little sketch of what I was thinking of and told Ryan to do whatever he could with it.
I knew that you can’t just make a simple outline or you would end up with a hole in the metal in the outline of a bear.
A couple of days later, Ryan said it was all done! I zipped over to his house and picked it up.
Exactly as I had imagined! Ryan, you rock! I know you can’t see it, especially when the cans are mounted but it’s the little things, right?
I then mounted the racks using the bolts I got from Touratech and then worked on mounting the Rotopax Mounts. I placed the empty gas can right where I wanted then had the wife scribe the circle inside. I then matched the mount to that circle, figured out where the holes should be, drilled, and then mounted the mounts (using locktight of course).
After doing both sides I made sure they were even and equal. Not sure why, after all what would I have done if they weren’t?
They were equal and just about perfect!
a pint a pound, the world around…
16 Pounds later, I now have 3.2 gallons in the tank plus the 1 gallon as a back up. My 1st tank of gas on the bike yielded 46.875 MPG which then gives me a possible range of 196 miles. Of course, conditions and riding style will make that number vary.
I’ll also have 1 gallon of hot water on the side plus the 3 liters I carry in my backpack. We’ll see how that goes. Hey, isn’t there a drinking fountain kind of thing you can put on the end of your rotopax? I’ll have to look into that.
Once again a huge thank you to Ryan. Seriously. 👍