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How-To: Sub-$200 Rear Rack & Top Box


octane25
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I recently put together a nice budget-friendly storage solution for my bike, and thought I would share with everyone here in case anyone else is interested.
 
I took a chance on the Chinese-made Savage/Aliexpress/Amazon rear luggage rack for the FJ-09 based on positive reviews in another thread, and that in itself I am very happy with. Free shipping took only 4 days, the rack seems very sturdy and well-made without being overbuilt or too heavy. Install was easy with the included hardware. I paid $109CDN.
 
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I decided I wanted to have a small "trunk" of sorts, something which stays on the bike most of the time to hold some tools, straps, or whatever I happen to pick up along the way (read: beer, sushi). Although I use my bike for multiple week-long camping trips every year, I tend to pack very light by means of a small soft bag strapped to the passenger seat. I also use it every day for commuting, and for me having huge side cases or a massive top box that can comfortably hold two full-size helmets is a little excessive. After all, IMO this bike is more "sport" than "touring" and I don't want to compromise that. I'm probably the only FJ owner under 25 and most of my friends still ride crotch rockets that I have to keep up with... At 6'3", it's as close as I can get without being uncomfortable. 
 
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I chose the Pelican Storm im2075 sight-unseen, based on looking at a few pictures and seeing if the dimensions would work. As far as I know the Pelican 1300 is roughly the same size, and may work just the same or better. I got the version without foam, and paid $71 CDN. For what it's worth I think it's just about perfect for this application, and the quality of these boxes speaks for itself.
 
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It it pained me a little bit to drill through a brand new case, but if you take your time and mark your holes carefully it will turn out just fine and retain 99% of it's waterproofing. I used a 5/16" drill bit.
 
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I picked up up some hardware at Home Depot, 4x M8x20mm bolts, 4xM8 nyloc nuts and 8x flat washers. Total cost approximately $8. The bolt length and diameter ended up being absolutely perfect for this application.
 
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The top plate of the  rear rack came off to use as a template for drilling, but has to be installed before installing the box. Simply push the 4 bolts through and drive them home with a 13mm socket + wrench, and you're all set. I think the end result looks pretty good, and should suit my needs perfectly. 
 
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Hope someone one finds this useful, cheers and ride safe everyone!
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Nice write up and what I've been thinking about. I'm leaning towards a Pelican 1500 series though.
 
 
Thanks for sharing.

"It doesn't matter who walks in, you know the joke is still the same"  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. USA

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I've used duratool boxes in the past, slightly bigger. I's suggest using much larger washers inside your case, or even some strap plates. After 5 years on a tenere my box showed large fatigue cracks even with 25mm (1") washers.
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I've used duratool boxes in the past, slightly bigger. I's suggest using much larger washers inside your case, or even some strap plates. After 5 years on a tenere my box showed large fatigue cracks even with 25mm (1") washers.
That's a good call, thanks. I actually bought some 5/16", 1" diameter fender washers but couldn't get them to sit flat with the bolts being located so close to the recesses at the bottom. I'll borrow a spot facing tool from work and lightly remove some material around the holes to allow for the bigger washers. I can see it being a problem over time, especially once loaded up.
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  • 1 year later...
This is what I am looking for. I went to look at a Yamaha rear rack and top case and while the top case was roomy and not heavy the Yamaha rear rack seemed excessively heavy. I think I will try this option. Nice write-up.
 
Do you think you can use this Aliexpress rack and a top box like you have and mount Shad SH36 side cases? I wouldn't fill the top box and side cases t capacity with heavy things, but would like to use all three of these options sometimes.
 
How heavy is this rack? Some links say it is 2.5 kg and others say 1.77 kg. I am hoping it is lighter than the Yamaha rear rack.
2017 FJ-09 - Yoshimura Y-series Exhaust / MRA Sport Screen / Evotech Rad Guard & Fork Sliders / Custom LED Rear Tail Light / Lowering Links / Mirror Extenders / Low Seat / Tail Tidy / Shogun Swingarm Sliders - Touring mods > Madstad 20" screen (on standby) / SHAD SH36 Hard Cases / SW-Motech Rear Alu-rack - Mods not yet installed > Fender Extender - Mods on the way > MT09 Adventure Pegs / Sargent seats / Knuckle Guard leds / Speedtech Photon Flush Mount LED signals / SW Motech Frame Sliders
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  • 3 weeks later...
This is what I am looking for. I went to look at a Yamaha rear rack and top case and while the top case was roomy and not heavy the Yamaha rear rack seemed excessively heavy. I think I will try this option. Nice write-up. 
Do you think you can use this Aliexpress rack and a top box like you have and mount Shad SH36 side cases? I wouldn't fill the top box and side cases t capacity with heavy things, but would like to use all three of these options sometimes.
 
How heavy is this rack? Some links say it is 2.5 kg and others say 1.77 kg. I am hoping it is lighter than the Yamaha rear rack.
Sorry for the late reply, I just saw this now.  
I dont think it will conflict with side cases at all, as it retains your factory luggage  mounting brackets - just spaces them out very slightly. I use an SW Motech Drybag 700 so I can't say for sure however. 
 
I couldn't tell you exactly how heavy it is either, but it didn't strike me as being 2.5kg - that may be the gross shipping weight including packaging. Certainly not excessively heavy for what it is, and it's solid enough to justify whatever it weighs. Lately I've been using it to carry tools and it seems to be holding up just fine. More than a year later and I'm still very happy with this setup, I just added a small 3-digit combination Master lock which fits perfectly.
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I chose the SW Motech Alu Rack and I guess it is what it is. I think 7 lbs but it replaces the hand rails. I may check against other racks like the ali-express.
 
I think the weight issue isn't so much trying to be a weight weenie to win a race, but to keep the load down with gear, pillion and luggage.
2017 FJ-09 - Yoshimura Y-series Exhaust / MRA Sport Screen / Evotech Rad Guard & Fork Sliders / Custom LED Rear Tail Light / Lowering Links / Mirror Extenders / Low Seat / Tail Tidy / Shogun Swingarm Sliders - Touring mods > Madstad 20" screen (on standby) / SHAD SH36 Hard Cases / SW-Motech Rear Alu-rack - Mods not yet installed > Fender Extender - Mods on the way > MT09 Adventure Pegs / Sargent seats / Knuckle Guard leds / Speedtech Photon Flush Mount LED signals / SW Motech Frame Sliders
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  • 3 months later...

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