Mounting soft bags to Happy Trails racks - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-27-2014, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Mounting soft bags to Happy Trails racks

Back when I used the CL850 soft bags while touring, I didn't like to have to undo the velcro straps every night to take them into the motel (and worse, trying to get them re-strapped to the bike the next morning when they were loaded). I made an attachment system so they could attach to my Happy Trails racks. The bag is held to the rack by a single socket head bolt, but when they are on the bike, you can kick them and they won't come loose. I'm including the link to the photos of the system here, in case anyone wants to adapt it to their own use.

https://www.stromtrooper.com/members/...se-system.html

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-29-2014, 10:08 AM
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RC, that's another fine job of fabricating something usefull! Could you tell us how you attached the aluminum angle to the slidey part? Epoxy? weld? (see attached photo)
Also, once the bag is mounted to the rack, do you tighten the socket head screw or is spring tension enough to hold it securely?
Again, good job.

latch1.jpg

'73 Penton Jackpiner
'73 BMW 600/5
'72 Norton Commando
'03 Harley FLHTCUI
'12 VStrom 650 w/ Parabellum w/s, Happy Trail panniers, Terry Adcox seat,BarkBusters
Still have 'em.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-29-2014, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Willy. The aluminum angle was attached to the sliding part of the clamp with Alumiweld (an aluminum soldering product). That stuff is really strong, but to be sure I also used two small screws as insurance. I doubt if they were necessary. Based on my recent experiences with JB Weld, that would probably work as well as Alumiweld.

Eventually I replaced the socket head bolts with some handwheels I made, so I wouldn't have to use a hex wrench to get the bags off. These are older photos I put in the album, from before I made the handwheels.

The clamps are tightened once the bag is in place. You just squeeze the top and bottom together and tighten the bolt. The spring was mainly a safety device; it kept spring pressure on the clamp to keep it closed in the unlikely event that the socket head bolt (or the handwheel) loosened while traveling. Eventually I took the springs off, since I never had any issues with the handwheels loosening.

If you find yourself wanting to do something similar, let me know and I can take some additional photos. I still have the bags, though I'm not using them at the moment.

And thanks!

Oh, and I added another photo album to my profile, showing the construction of my luggage rack. I've been trying to consolidate all these various projects into photo albums, rather than having them spread throughout the various threads.

"No matter where you go, there you are."

Last edited by RCinNC; 03-29-2014 at 12:02 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-30-2014, 11:45 PM
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RC, thanks for the more detailed explanation of how you fabricated the latch and subsequent modifications. I know that woodworking supply stores such as Rockler have ready-made knobs with threaded studs for a couple of bucks that you could use in place of bolts. 5-Star Jig Knobs-Through-hole insert - Rockler Woodworking Tools Did you go that route or just make your own?

At the present, I have the Happy Trail panniers, but no soft luggage. However, I like to keep mods like this in the back of my mind in case I want to go to soft luggage in the future.

You do nice work and I'll look forward to seeing any future projects you might post.

'73 Penton Jackpiner
'73 BMW 600/5
'72 Norton Commando
'03 Harley FLHTCUI
'12 VStrom 650 w/ Parabellum w/s, Happy Trail panniers, Terry Adcox seat,BarkBusters
Still have 'em.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-31-2014, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Willy: I made my own knobs. They were just 3/4" thick discs of ABS plastic with handholds cut into them with a rasp. The bolt was threaded through them and glued in place with JB Weld. Basically, they looked like the photo I've attached.

At the moment, I have nothing else on my drawing board; the powered tank bag was the last winter project to finish up. I'm not sure what's next.....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Knob.jpg (76.2 KB, 11 views)

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