From steel steeds to beasts of burden

Van stalen ros tot pakezelPeter and I take quite a bit of gear on our trip, about 35 kilo (77 pound) on each bike. We carry all that gear in bags that are attached to the bike: a tank bag on the tank, two bags next to the rear wheel and a duffel on top. In addition, we take a fuel jerrycan and a tool tube on each bike. We have turned our steel steeds into real beasts of burden.

On our old bikes we had mounted aluminium cases. Those cases are not suitable for the CRF250L, because they are heavy and would damage the bike when we fall. Therefore we chose bags for the RTW-trip. The bags (Magadan Bags developed by Walter Colebatch and Adventure Spec) are made of Cordura, with a Kevlar lining. The Kevlar ensures that the bags can not be cut open just like that. Van stalen ros tot pakezelAround each bag we have attached a cable with a lock, with which we hope to keep out most thieves. The bags have a waterproof bag inside.

We cannot just throw the bags over the back of the bike, they have to be mounted on a luggage rack. The stock CRF250L does not have a luggage rack. As it is a relatively new bike, there were not many suitable after market parts. We decided to have a luggage rack made.

Through Raymond (the seats ) and Bas (the suspension) we got in contact with Erik at Hot-Rod Welding. Erik had already developed several parts for the BMW G650XChallenge, including a great luggage rack. That rack had already proven itself (with Magadan bags).

Late last year (2012), Peter sent a detailed email to Erik about our plans. Peter and Erik soon agreed that a new rack had to be developed. Van stalen ros tot pakezelAfter some email correspondence, we took one of the bikes to the workshop in Zwaanshoek at the end of last year. We were warmly welcomed by Erik, closely followed by his dog, Storm.

During the period that followed, we extensively discussed the technical possibilities after which Erik started designing a luggage rack of steel. It was clear that he is a biker himself who knows the possible weak points of a travel-bike. Erik designed the rack in such a way that the greater part of the bags (and thus the weight) is in front of the axle of the rear wheel. As a result, the drivability of the bike is not affected too much by the weight. He also designed space for a fuel jerrycan and tool tube. He regularly sent us pictures through WhatsApp to keep us informed of the developments.

Van stalen ros tot pakezelWe tested the first prototype during a trip in the Netherlands and a week-end in Germany. After some changes here and there, the design was approved and the second rack could be welded, blasted and powder coated. We are very happy with the result, two beautifully made, sturdy racks, that are suitable for a long trip around the world.

All in all we made ​​a lot of trips to Zwaanshoek the past year. Not only to discuss the luggage racks, but also for a custom side stand and a custom gear lever. And even if Erik was busy (and busy he was!), there was always time for coffee!

Click here for the pictures.


3 Reacties (Comments) - From steel steeds to beasts of burden

  1. Jan

    Nou bikers, dat ziet er professioneel uit.
    Op naar de ultieme test !

  2. Honey

    Ziet er goed uit!! het rekje ziet er uit alsof het bij de motor hoort.

    Laat de reis maar beginnen!! :-)

  3. Mariët

    Jeetje Leonie dat klinkt goed, je kan zo een colum schrijven voor een of ander motorblad! Dikke kus.