I have just finished installing the new Motech Evo-style (tubular) Side-carriers on my wee. I selected these racks because I was looking for a system that was rugged and could take a bit of a bashing. What? No panniers in my future? Well, let's just say that I have been known, on occasion, to, ahem, allow my wee to take a horizontal position on the trails. I knew starting out that I would be heartbroken if I were to do that with $1,000+ fancy hard cases on the side. Anyway, having Motech frames on my wee still leaves me with the option of mounting hard cases in the future. In the meantime they are serving as added protection should I take a tumble again - the wee at least. Oh, yes. I am using soft bags at the moment. They cost a fraction of what the hard cases do and there are some really good cheep buys available from just about every web store.
Anyway, I had an unexpected complication when I began the installation. This model of Motech's requires that the rear signal lights be moved further to the rear because the cross bar running under the stock tail rack puts the signal housings in the way. Two bar extensions are supplied to permit their relocation. I just shook my head in disgust that the fine German engineers at Motech could not have found a more elegant solution.
Since this "solution" puts the lights further away from the connection point inside the back fender, Motech supplies two 10" pieces of 14 guage 2-wire cable and eight(yes) butt connectors of considerable girth. I cut the original cables in half and kept the small box connectors for reattachment to the end of the lengthened cables. Then I realized that the rewiring with two connection points in each cable extension was going to put at least one of them outside the protection of the fender housing. So, I made damned sure that each connection point was hermetically sealed by using two stages of heat-shrink tubing - smaller size tubing over the wires up to the connectors and a larger diameter as a finisher over the whole darned thing, including the two connectors at each junction. The tubing wasn't shrunk until I had applied a liberal amount of dialectic grease inside and around the connector ends and some of the cable. I have learned the hard way over the years that these things have to be really tight and closed off to keep moisture out. The end result is a couple of bundles of fat cable, as you see.
The instructions were to feed these now bloated cables through the ever-so-skinny space that exists between the opening in the back of the fender and the tail light module that occupies that space. You can see from the picture that this proved easier said than done. There just isn't an adequate gap in this area to push the cable through without distorting either the fender or the tail light or both. And it looks uglier than sin, as the picture shows.
With All due respect to Mike "TheWall" I wasn't too keen on his "solution". So, I chose instead to go a different route. I was reluctant to start drilling holes in the side of the fender but I eventually found an area on the sides that would allow the minimum amount of cable to show externally.
I obtained some 1/2 inch rubber grommets to place in these holes to give it a more finished look.
I would have preferred 1/4 or 3/8 inch grommets but the cables were just too darned fat to get through these smaller diameters. But, I think the end result was worth the extra aggravation of the install.
Not perfect, but, hey, it's just a wee Strom that will probably end up showing a lot more scars over time. I plan to get the most out of her and so she's gonna get a little bit beat up, but, isn't that why we bought them in the first place?
Also, here is the link to my Picasa Web Album which has all the pictures I took of my particular project:
Picasa Web Albums - Alan Gordon - SW-Motech Sid...