Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Pelican

My wife has the more reliable and efficient of our bikes - a 2007 Suzuki SV650. It's a beautiful black and red beast with 2 spark plugs per cylinder and fuel injection! I'm so easily impressed by modern automotive technology...


Anyway, we aim to turn that bike into a touring machine. If we want to two-up on a trip to visit family (maybe to save on gas or to add excitement to our many 200-300 mile trippers), then we'll have a bike that's up to the task. The first requirement that comes to mind is luggage space. In my opinion, the simplest solution to sturdy, lockable luggage is a top case. I previously mounted a top case on my first-generation SV650 by mounting a Pelican 1550 directly to my passenger seat. I've been really happy with the result, but my barbaric approach rendered my passenger seat useless. Unfortunately, mounting hard luggage while still retaining use of the passenger seat means spending more money (because I'm not interested in manufacturing a complete solution myself). So I purchased the SW-Motech ALU-Rack from, with the intention of mounting a Pelican 1550 to it. The SW-Motech ALU-Rack is supposed to be used with a conversion plate specific to the kind of case you are going to mount (like a Givi case or other motorcycle-specific container). However, the rack happens to have three conveniently-spaced holes:


All of my plans were first okayed by the bike owner. While I can take credit for most of the ideas here, an exception can be found in the color of the Pelican case. But hey, that's cool! To each her own.

Installation was quite simple - little was left up to assumption given the single picture in the ALU-Rack manual. Aside from having to grind down 2 aluminum spacers and losing one of the provided nuts, the rack was assembled without issue. Mounting the Pelican 1550 was also a simple task. I went with the very straight-forward method of bolting the 1550 to the ALU-Rack via the 3 available holes. After drilling 3 holes into the case and picking up the necessary hardware, the case and the rack became one. The final product looks acceptable and, as expected, does not prevent use of the passenger seat.


The question is, will the rack support the weight of a Pelican 1550 (~10 lbs) full of traveling gear and supplies (? lbs). Only time will tell, and I plan to test this setup tomorrow when I head to work. Should this arrangement prove useable, we plan to incorporate the SW-Motech Quick-Lock side racks. With two top-loading Pelicans on the sides, we may have enough room for a weekend trip!

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