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Discussion Starter #1
Hey moto pals,

I was able to pick up a lightly used pair of SW-Motech's Legend LC1 bags last year for a fantastic price. I use them for commuting and to be able to carry some tools, warm clothes, and water on longer day trips (not a fan of backpacks, generally). They look great on the bike, too.

I'm planning a 2500 mile, 11 day trip, and after strapping all my gear in a duffel onto the seat, I don't have enough room to move around on the seat and be able to stretch during the ride. So I'm building some custom cases for the bike. Since I already have the SW-Motech SLC side carriers on the bike and intend to use the LC1 bags most of the time, and just need a solution for longer trips, the aesthetics are less of an issue for me. I don't really like the way the Urban ABS cases look and the LC2 bags aren't much larger than the LC1, so for $550, seems very pricey!

I've just ordered up 2 of the the Seahorse SE630 cases, which is a 'Pelican'-style waterproof plastic case, with 19L of storage each. With metal locks, I paid $155 shipped for both.

I've reached out to SW-Motech to see if they can sell me the quick-release mounts used in their universal side plate, HTA.00.401.15100/HTA.00.401.15200. The part numbers for these brackets are BC.HTA.00.400.500.01 and BC.HTA.00.400.500.02. I plan to bolt these brackets directly to the sidecases. If SW-Motech can't sell me just those parts I'll have to buy the kits @ $90 apiece (ouch!).

So, I'll have 38L of storage for $250-350. I'll post pictures of the setup as it comes along.

Cheers!
Aaron
 

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Agreed, please post pics when you're done!

I was thinking about pretty much the exact same setup for my bike. Like, using a larger version of the cheap Harbor Freight brand Pelican cases. The Seahorse brand you mentioned sounds like exactly the size I need, since their largest Apache brand cases aren't that big.

I reclaimed my GIVI PLX side carriers from my old bike as well, so I'm trying to find someone local to cut and weld new mounts for it. I may only need one extra brace piece from GIVI's PL carriers to make it work. It should definitely be the cheaper option.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sadly, SW-Motech won't sell me just the quick-release adapters, so I bit the bullet and ordered the HTA.00.401.15100/HTA.00.401.15200 - $178 shipped.

Here's a link to the Seahorse cases - I'm stoked about these and all the extra space they will grant me... only real thing to figure out is where to attach the adapters so they clear my taillights and are level with the top of the seat, without being so far forward to get in the way of hopping on and off the bike.

The other thought I had is to bolt mounts for fuel/water (like the RotoPax kits) and tools to the metal side plates that come with the kit that I don't need for this project, so I could easily swap the quick release adapters over to those if I need more range - so I'd have a 19L hardcase on one side, and water/fuel on the other side.

Parts should show up next week, so I'll update with my own pictures then. Gotta have this all wrapped up and tested by 5/23 as I leave on my trip on the 24th!

Cheers
Aaron
 

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Awesome, that certainly sounds like a great setup!

Now you've got me a bit more antsy about my luggage options. A local buddy of mine is a welder/fabricator and said he'd be available to help me cut and reweld the PLX frames. I'm kinda nervous that we won't figure out a solution in time, since we're leaving STL for Barber in Birmingham the same day that you are. Hopefully he'll have time to meet up next week so we can figure it out. I already ordered a GIVI SR2126 rack to give me a bit of extra seat space to strap my waterproof duffel to.

I'm a bit envious though. The Motech SLC racks are way more low-profile that the Givis and look far better on the XSR.

Best of luck and safe travels!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, I finished up my cases on Saturday morning and got the chance to take them, fully loaded, for a couple hour test ride. They held up just fine and I forgot they were there! Having the weight moved from a larger duffel back down to below the seat made a big difference in the general character in the bike, and I'd say it feels about like stock now. Total weight of each case, loaded, is about 20-25 lbs. I have tools, extra fuel, a camping chair, and gear to make coffee at my campsites in one case; and all of my clothing in the other case. Tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc. will go in a duffel on top of the seat.

I used some 8x12" aluminum plates from the scrap bin on the inside of the cases, along with some stainless hardware: M5x0.8mm by 20mm button head allen screws (https://www.mcmaster.com/92095a214), along with a lock washer and #8 washer I had sitting around. On the outside of the case, I cut down the exterior ridges so the bracket could sit flush against the case.

I will note, I think I'm going to replace the 20mm long fasteners at the bottom of the bracket with 12 or 16mm ones so they don't stick out past the bracket - they may catch on something and rip it like a tent floor or even the seat if I'm not careful.

Here are some pictures of the final product, and I'll make a second post with a step-by-step of the build process for those interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
While I was doing this, I took some quick pictures as I thought the process might be helpful to somebody who has not had to customize or fabricate a lot of things. I'm experienced doing this kind of work but by no means a master or professional. If you want to treat this as an outline, please do, but it's by no means comprehensive!

Pics 1+2 - I duct taped the bracket to the case, held up to bike to approximate location of bracket relative to seat and turn signals. Moved and retaped as necessary, then clicked bracket onto mount and made sure I was happy with the final placement.

Pic 3 - I used a pick to mark the center of each of the bracket's mounting hole in the plastic case so I knew where to drill the holes.

Pic 4 - I used a 7/32" drill bit to drill each hole. This leaves some chips/shavings attached to the plastic, which can easily be removed with a utility blade. Clean both the inside and outside of the case.

Pic 5 - I duct taped the aluminum plate on the inside of the case, making sure all of the holes were covered and not too close to the edge of the plate. I used a fine-point Sharpie marker to mark the hole location through the holes I drilled in step 4. Then used a center punch to mark the center of the hole.

Pic 6 - I used the same size drill bit from step 4 to drill holes in the aluminum plate. As you can see, this leaves sharp bits all around the holes...

Pic 7 - I used a deburring tool to clean up the holes so they are smooth and not a cut hazard while I'm finishing the build

Pic 8 - Locate the plate inside the case so all the holes line up. If any are obscured, now is the time to fix it - You can put a couple of screws through the plate and case to keep them lined up, then use the drill to enlarge the holes in the plastic so they line up. I had a hole or two on each case that needed 1/16" or so shaved off as it didn't perfectly line up.

Pic 9 - I mounted the bracket in place, loosely installing the screws. From here I marked where the ridges on the case prevent the bracket from sitting flush, pulled the bracket back off, and carefully removed material with a sharp utility knife until it was fairly flat and the bracket fit flat against the case. Then I reinstalled all the screws and tightened them all down using the nylock nuts that came with the bracket kit.

I hope this is helpful, and let me know if anyone needs additional pictures of the process or the finished product.

Cheers,
Aaron
 

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Nice work! that's a good looking setup. It's also nice to see the DIY options out there being adapted to the SLC racks
 

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This is such a great tutorial! How much weight do you think can the slc side racks hold? I bought the 15L Sysbags by SW Motech, great quality and looks, but they are much smaller than I expected, so I am looking at other options. Really liking what you did here!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice work! that's a good looking setup. It's also nice to see the DIY options out there being adapted to the SLC racks
Thanks! They should be way more practical for longer trips than the 9.5L softbags.

This is such a great tutorial! How much weight do you think can the slc side racks hold? I bought the 15L Sysbags by SW Motech, great quality and looks, but they are much smaller than I expected, so I am looking at other options. Really liking what you did here!
Thanks, I'm glad it is helpful. As far as weight... well, the manufacturer says 11 lbs. I am positive that's a conservative estimate, taking into account people riding on washboard roads and such, because they don't want to be liable for people overloading it and causing an accident. I had a friend ride behind me with ~20 lbs in each case and he said they appear to move around less than some OEM luggage he's seen, but I was mostly on flat, smooth roads.

I do plan on coming up with some way to add a brace to these to prevent them from moving too much (basically just brace the bottom of each carrier against the other). But I wouldn't recommend you carry more than about 15 lbs in each without adding some sort of additional support, either an additional brace pieces, or gusset the SW-MOTECH carriers themselves for more strength.

Hope that's helpful!
Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just ordered the Givi SR2126 luggage rack and I'm hoping to fit it on top of my SLC side carriers. This would allow me to slide my duffel bag back further on the seat and also provide a tie-down point that is further back on the bike, without obscuring my taillight. It looks like the front two mounting locations should fit fine with just a longer screw, and the rear two locations would need a spacer and a longer screw. I'll update this post with what I find.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just wanted to post a quick update on these - ended up doing 2800 miles over 10 days and the sidecases and luggage rack held up great! I had found hardware and spacers to make these two play together nicely for my trip, but I will probably make turn some aluminum spacers that are the right dimensions, so that I can get rid of the funky combination of spacers and washers I had to use to get the spacing just right.

I do plan to make a cross-brace piece for the side racks just because I know I've loaded them up a bit more than they were designed for and I don't want to stress/fatigue the welds. I will add that info once I figure it out =)

Aaron
 

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Just wanted to post a quick update on these
I just asked this on your other thread! I am glad they held up well. how does the Givi rack with with the SLC side racks? Could post some pictures? I am trying to decide between the Givi and the SW Motech luggage rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just asked this on your other thread! I am glad they held up well. how does the Givi rack with with the SLC side racks? Could post some pictures? I am trying to decide between the Givi and the SW Motech luggage rack.
It worked well, I'll get some pictures tonight. What SW-Motech luggage rack are you looking at? I bought the Givi offering because I couldn't find one from them for the XSR and didn't have time before my trip to fabricate/customize a rack for a different bike like the MT-07 or something...

For reference, I had about 25 lbs on each side carrier (including the sidecase itself) and about 25 lbs of camping gear in a drybag on the luggage rack, plus another 5-10 lbs of wet weather gear in a smaller drysack strapped on top. Both sidecarriers and luggage rack were solid over the trip which included small sections (<15 miles total) of gravel road with some potholes.
 

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What SW-Motech luggage rack are you looking at?
I thought the allurack was compatible but now that you say that, you are right, it's not listed when you search by bike. hmmmm
The Givi does not look bad but I think it is higher than the back seat, is'n it? I was also looking at the hepco becker rack, but again, I don't know if it would be compatible with the SLC side racks.

Anyway, I am glad to hear the SLC racks withstood all that weight, it's good news!
 
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