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Discussion Starter #1
Well Gang,
I've read a few dozen threads about racks, who makes them, what's good for what and all that. Way back a few months ago, one of the members on here took on the project of making a rack. Well, I followed it for a while then, not sure what happened but, I don't think I ever saw the end product. So, with all the different ones available, I just couldn't make up my mind on which would work best for me. One of you actually had a great idea that, your rack encased a rotopax gas can. I thought that was outstanding. So, I set out to build one just like it. But, in the middle of my thought process, I backed down and just decided on a single level rack for now. I can always re-think it and encase a Rotopax if I think that's a better game plan.

I cruised on down to my local metal supply store and picked up some remnants tubing. I got a total of about 75' of 1/2" and 5/8" square tubing. I also picked up a junk bracket that was in the junk pile figuring it just might work for the behind the seat mount. I was gonna have to build a square tubing bender for the corners. But, while I was in the office getting ready to pay, they had bins of specialty parts. In one of those bins was some square tubing that was bent in 360 degree circles. Well, I thought, I could just get a couple of those and cut them in quarter circles and those would be my corners. Yahoooooo. No bender needed.

Anyway, enough blabbing. Here's the start of my project. It's basically 12" x 14". The wall thickness is .040. Yeah, not very thick but, I'm not planning on hauling sacks of cement on it. The main structure is built and, the seat bracket is in place but, needs to be trimmed and adjusted for final placement. It's just sitting in place right now. Tomorrow I'll put more cross beams in the structure and create my side brackets. I'm gonna try and come from underneath with them so as not to place any weight on the sub frame. I'm not a fan of tying into the turn signal mounts. More to come, stay tuned.
Scott
 

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Looking good, Scott! Headed to the store for popcorn.

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey Gang,
I most certainly appreciate all your nice comments. Along with being a fireman for over 35+ years, I became a fabricator in my early teens. I've built tons of stuff over the years. Truck lumber racks, trailers, storage racks for construction companies, aluminum water tanks, and a zillion other things. I came really, really close to purchasing a rack for the Dub and, even had one or two in my cart many times. And the reason I was gonna buy one was 'cause I could. But, I've also got probably around $3500 worth of welding and metal working tools hanging around.


So, I figured why not just make one? Don't be so lazy. It's lot easier to push a button and, You have placed your order pops up on the screen. Well, I had to clear out the cob webs in the few working brain cells and put them to work. In some cases, working with round stock, whether it be tubing or solid, can be easier, especially if it requires bending.

But, I myself, like the looks of square tube projects vs the round stock stuff. Bending square tubing requires a more technical bender than round stock. No biggie. I'd just have to construct the bender, BEFORE I could get started on the rack project. But, also, in both round and square bending, some pretty tight and calculated measurements need to be adhered to. Not that I can't do tight measurements but, I'm sure you can picture that same rack, with ONE PIECE of tubing, and all the bends.

So, when I found those little metal, pre made circles, that little stroke of luck sure made making this rack a whole lot easier. Now, in case any of you might be thinking along the same lines, with the same potential supplies, well, I'm sure you can find smaller square tubing in any metal supply. But, those pre-made circles, I don't know if those are a specialty in certain parts of the country or what? Since Amazon can supply what seems like anything on the planet, it's maybe possible you can get them there. Or, maybe ebay.

Now, TW_in_BC asked about weight. Well, as I stated earlier, this is .040 wall tubing. It's pretty thin stuff. And, the outside dimensions are 12" x 14". There will be some additional bars of course, in the interior. The under-seat bracket is also really thin. Now, my dilemma right now is, just where to tie into the main frame for the main mounting brackets. I got a few ideas on that. So, even though there will be a few more pieces added to this project, due to the thin wall thickness, I'm maybe thinking it might end up around 5 lbs, plus or minus. We'll see.
Scott
 

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nice start! if i can suggest something while you are still in the building stage. i'm a fan of the cyclerack and i have had 4 of them and found that as nicely built as they are, they need some kind of tail support to get rid of the deadly bounce that will break things. since supports that go the subframe are not your cup of tea, then the only other way that i have found to support the rack was to make up and install a second set of bars down to the food peg hangers. this worked great, i could hang the back of the bike from the rack without it moving at all
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a couple of alternate ideas for the supports on the rack, besides the seat mount one. I'm even thinking of welding some tapered plate to the two frame tubes with a welded nut on it. Tougher to explain than it is to see a picture. But, if I end up doing it this way, the rack will be getting its main support by the frame, in both places of attachment, without going all the way down to the passenger foot peg mount bracket bolts. The trick is gonna be to make that front support arm tweaked enough to emerge from under the plastic/sub frame and latch onto the rack. Working on it.
Scott

Here's some progress so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well gang,
We're about fed up with this Corona V stuff so, we're heading up to the hills for about a weeks worth of camping. I'll be back on the rack construction and install, in about a week.
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok gang,
Time for an update. After a week camping and getting away from the Virus paranoia, I'm back to the rack project on the Dub. In my last post concerning design technique(s), I was thinking of welding some braketry to the two tapering tubes (main frame) just under the seat, in order to create attachment points for supports for the rack, without putting a load on the subframe in the rear.

Well, I decided that might not have been in the best of plans. While it would have worked, I came up with an easier solution but still utilized the main frame. As you can see in the pics, I fab'd up some small brackets to attach to the seat retainer brackets. The bolts that hold those brackets on, do not interfere with the bolts that hold the seat on. Then, I created more brackets that are attached to the same area where the subframe attaches. As seen in the last pics, I have a main front bracket that will utilize cross piece of the main frame, just under the rear section of the seat.

So far, all attachment points are taken off the main frame and, put absolutely no load on the sub frame yet, they are for the most part, completely concealed. I just can't get my head wrapped around those long arms of a Cycle Rack. I know that their intent is good and that's why people use them. I could have built the same design but, I thought I'd try something different. I may, at a later date, incorporate some arms coming from the passenger foot peg brackets, to attach some side panier totes. But, I don't do long, overnight camping off the Dub so, at best, I'd create something to hang off the side to carry a tad bit of fuel, maybe a Rotopax like I'd asked about in an earlier thread.

Anyway, here's a few pics. I think I'll get it completed today.
Scott
 

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With regard to the seat mounting bolts as a grip point to the rack, Manracks does it this way, but if you feed the bolt upwards through the rack, then through the sub frame, then into the seat, this moves the potential stress point directly onto the sub frame in cases of “bounce”

Done this way, any downward forces on the rack are met by the subframe, and I think, (though I am not sure) that cycle racks does it the same way

The trouble with Cycleracks, is that the size of the things lead to over-loading. Just because it looks as though you could land a Helicopter on it doesn’t mean that you should try. With the Manrack, simply by the dimensions of the platform, it doesn’t “encourage” over-loading. With the Cyclerack, I’ve seen a picture of a full size deer draped over the back of the bike, but what most people miss, is that the majority of the weight of that deer is on the rear seat

Nine times out of ten, any failure of the Cyclerack can be attributed to user error, sure, they’re big, so stick a sleeping bag on it, not the kitchen sink

Your build is looking good, and if you want to double down, consider reinforcing the subframe now, rather than waiting for it to potentially fail. The heaviest thing I’ve ever asked my Manrack to take the weight of, is the bike itself. I’ve picked that bike up when it’s gone over, and regularly lift and drag the arse end around trying to get it to line up in the garage over winter. Without a rack, that would prove “slightly more problematic”, so factor that in ….
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Purple,
I surely will take all your experience to heart here. As with many lighter, combo (dual sport) motorcycles, there's not a lot of structure back in the a$$ end to tie into/onto for things like what I'm doing. So, cantilevering is the name of the game here. So, we'll see when I finish the product. At present, I've got a whopping $35 in metal which, at present, I've used about a dollars worth in what you see. So, if, for some odd reason, I have to scrap the whole thing, all I'm out is, about a dollar and some of my time which, I have plenty of. Stay tuned, more to come. Thanks again for your time and experience here.
Scott
 

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Very cool rack project it's always nice to see new ideas in TW racks it is still an area that needs improvement in the TW200 world

Over the years I have seen some custom racks usually take offs on the cycleracks design and usually downsized. Forum member ToyAnvil made a series of custom racks usually about 4" narrower than CR and the one I had was 4" longer than CR with a flat tail. ToyAnvils rack was incredibly well made and one of my all time favorites

More recently another forum member also made some beautiful custom "mini" CR style racks I can't recall his forum ID but I want to say it was VanillaGorilla but I may be wrong it has been a few years. He was nice enough to build about 10 for forum members and I was lucky to get one. The workmanship was stellar and I remember the way he packaged them for shipping was almost as incredible as the actual rack build you could probably drive a Sherman tank over his shipping package. These racks were about half the size of CR and were perhaps the optimal size for that mounting method

I remember a logger from Lewis County WA who bought a 2006 TW from me with front and rear cycleracks and he weighed 350 lbs plus and he would put 1/4 elk on the back rack and a huge rock on the front rack to keep the front end on the ground!

I've toyed with the idea of billet aluminum. stainless and even fabricated steel racks for the TW because there is a market for a super strong rack system and if it's done right TW owners will pay a stout price if it's the best there is !

I dunno if I'll ever get to it but I have a pan for a modular rack that would start with a sturdy subframe possibly even replacing the factory rear subframe / rear fender support which would be almost invisible to most and then a quick release upper rack and or pannier section could be added and removed in a few seconds allowing anything from a small rack the size of factory Yamaha rear racks to a huge rack and pannier set and if you wanted you could run with no rack at all

I always imagined picking the TW up from this rack mount using a track hoe and swinging the bike around 360 degrees to show it's strength

I've been thinking about that design since around 2005 and it's not even started yet so I love to see others coming up with new ideas for the TW racks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you Placerload for your nice comments. Well Gang, it's primarily done. I say "Primarily" 'cause all I need to do at this point is add some footman loops and or Hammock hooks on the bottom side. The footman loops, in case you're not aware of what they are, are linked. Those will hold some webbing that will have both a female and make buckle. They will be placed under each side. The Hammock hooks, will also be installed on the bottom side to be used for any fashion of rope or bungee system I choose to use. By utilizing those two types of systems, there's no need to disrupt the flat plane of the surface of the rack with bungee hooks etc. Kind-a like Yamaha did with their little nubs on the bottom side of the sub-frame for use when tying things down.

Anyway, here it is. While I really didn't keep track of the hours, from start to finish, I think I've got a grand total of about 10 hours in it. I originally bought a bunch of scrap square tubing, some 5/8" and some 1/2" and some 1/2" diameter round stock which, I didn't use any. Of all that tubing, about 12-15 lengths of 60", I only used 2 of them for the rack. Since all that metal was labeled as scrap (it's new metal only, it's cutt-offs from a big job and they sell it as scrap which, is considerably cheaper than NEW stock) I have a total of about $35 in all of it. So, to make this rack, I think I used about $2.00 worth.

Of course it helped that I already had the plasma cutter and MIG welder to do the work. Anyway, take a look at the finished product. There are two sections. Obviously, there's the rack itself and, there's also the lower mounting system/bracket that is used to mount the rack. While it's most likely not the strongest rack for a TW, I think, by it's design, it's at least better than one hanging from or, being supported by the turn signal mounts, which are part of the subframe of the bike. Only time will tell and, as long as I don't carry Chevy engine blocks on it, we'll see how it lasts. I'm thinking of getting it powder coated. Hmmmm, we'll see.
Scott

Here's the Hammock Hooks:

Here's the Footman Loops:
 

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A much lighter duty one. Cheap and did what I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Chris,
Nice work. I myself have always liked the look of square tubing over round. But, it's harder to deal with square in terms of bending etc. I do like the looks of yours, it flows throughout the bends. I've bent a few pieces of conduit in my life but, with limited calculations. I just did 90's and things like that. But, to calculate a full bent rack, starting at one passenger foot peg bolt and ending up at the same bolt, on the other side of the bike and, have it all look uniform, I gotta hand it to ya, you did well. I can't wait to get mine either powder coated or, just painted.
Scott
 

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Scott,

Great job on the rack. And peeling yourself away from it for a week of camping, I gotta ask;

How many times a day did the rack build cross your mind during the camp and ride week!?!?;)

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Scott,

Great job on the rack. And peeling yourself away from it for a week of camping, I gotta ask;

How many times a day did the rack build cross your mind during the camp and ride week!?!?;)

Marty
Marty,
Well, while the camp trip was to get away from it all, the thoughts of that rack, were there, each time I fired up the Dub and took it for a put. I carry a nice backpack with a few essentials in it and, I'd like to get at least some weight out of it. So, yep, I did think about it but, it was limited. Once this one's either painted or powder coated, I'll move on to the design and building of a front rack. It will be OVER the headlight, not in front of it. I want to keep anyone and everyone that's coming at me with a vehicle, to be able to see me. And, that includes off roading too. So, we'll see how that goes.
Scott
 
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