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XR650L Designing custom rear rack

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Hey all, the XR is starting to come together. I'm preparing my bike for a 5 day trip of straight riding in Colorado. My roomate has a welder and offered to help me weld a rear rack. He even has the metal already. We don't have a tube bender, so I'll be using square steel. It's heavy, but I don't imagine this stuff failing. I anticipate packing light.

 

The best starting point I have is to build a rack out of cardboard, then we could simply replicate that design. However, I have no artistic/creative talent for stuff like this, and I'm struggling to design the pieces I need.

I'm looking to build  left and right racks copying this design, a top rack with a similar simple style, and the subframe reinforcement (which is a big concern). I'll have a chance or two to test this rack but the trip starts in the middle of July, so not much time to field test it. While I can design a left & right rack easy enough, combining that with the subframe & top rack gets me a little worried.

Also considering copying this crash bar design, which looks a little simpler and puts the weight closer to the middle.

 

Anyone have ideas on designing this? Anyone done it before? Any assistance is appreciated. Below is a picture before I started modding itcreekxr.jpg.020bd3f2a2ccd8404fb9be52c98f2700.jpg

Edited by audaciousgoat

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The sub frame is not the strongest on the XR,..............

Since you have a new idea and welder......

Try to incorporate the passenger foot peg mount holes into your rack for strength.

The seat strap mount holes may come into works as well depending on your design and weight

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I made this from stuff laying around the shop. A  bolted together. Would have been better welded.

Honda_XR650L_rack.jpg.5fc70526d00497eb496a039e80319843.jpg

rack2.jpg

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If you'll be putting a different pipe on there, try to build something that won't interfere with it.  I had a rack on mine for many years with a White Bros pipe.  I switched to an FMF Powercore 4 when the other one started falling apart and I had to remove the rack because it wanted to be in the same place as the pipe.  The FMF pipe is much more tucked in than the other one.  I even had to trim a bit of the fender away to get it to fit.

Another thing to consider: can you make it strong enough that you can grab the rack to pick the bike back up when you dump it?  As has been mentioned, if the rack connects to the footpeg mounting point(s) it will be much less likely to break something else.  Put in lots of points where you can attach straps such that they can't slide around at all.

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The design you linked to looks like the Tusk pannier racks. I have the Tusk top and pannier racks (they work together), and I love them. I have tubing benders, mig/tig welders, lathe, mill, etc., and I don't think you can build anything better, cheaper or easier, let alone painted, personally. Unless you just 'want' to build something because it's a cool project, I would buy the Tusk setup, and get their panniers too- I have the soft panniers. I have zero complaints about anything I have purchased from them. Just my 2 cents, I certainly understand just wanting to make something for the fun of it too.

IMG_1879.thumb.jpeg.50936e5787713aa08fd584f16185e7a7.jpeg

IMG_1880.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, Aaybich.Eighnwun-99 said:

The design you linked to looks like the Tusk pannier racks. I have the Tusk top and pannier racks (they work together), and I love them. I have tubing benders, mig/tig welders, lathe, mill, etc., and I don't think you can build anything better, cheaper or easier, let alone painted, personally. Unless you just 'want' to build something because it's a cool project, I would buy the Tusk setup, and get their panniers too- I have the soft panniers. I have zero complaints about anything I have purchased from them. Just my 2 cents, I certainly understand just wanting to make something for the fun of it too.

IMG_1879.thumb.jpeg.50936e5787713aa08fd584f16185e7a7.jpeg

IMG_1880.jpeg

That is way too bulky for trail riding imo. Cycleracks incorporates the foot peg mounts and turn signal bolts.

Edited by Beamer1001

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2 minutes ago, Aaybich.Eighnwun-99 said:

Maybe, but I don't see how you are gonna get any 'less' bulky and clear the swing arm an exhaust with pannier racks that wont get ripped off on the first bush or tree. That's just the nature of panniers- they're bulky.

 

20190919_171206.jpg

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14 hours ago, EarthCruzn said:

The sub frame is not the strongest on the XR,..............

Since you have a new idea and welder......

Try to incorporate the passenger foot peg mount holes into your rack for strength.

The seat strap mount holes may come into works as well depending on your design and weight

 

On 6/25/2020 at 12:03 AM, audaciousgoat said:

Hey all, the XR is starting to come together. I'm preparing my bike for a 5 day trip of straight riding in Colorado. My roomate has a welder and offered to help me weld a rear rack. He even has the metal already. We don't have a tube bender, so I'll be using square steel. It's heavy, but I don't imagine this stuff failing. I anticipate packing light.

 

The best starting point I have is to build a rack out of cardboard, then we could simply replicate that design. However, I have no artistic/creative talent for stuff like this, and I'm struggling to design the pieces I need.

I'm looking to build  left and right racks copying this design, a top rack with a similar simple style, and the subframe reinforcement (which is a big concern). I'll have a chance or two to test this rack but the trip starts in the middle of July, so not much time to field test it. While I can design a left & right rack easy enough, combining that with the subframe & top rack gets me a little worried.

Also considering copying this crash bar design, which looks a little simpler and puts the weight closer to the middle.

 

Anyone have ideas on designing this? Anyone done it before? Any assistance is appreciated. Below is a picture before I started modding itcreekxr.jpg.020bd3f2a2ccd8404fb9be52c98f2700.jpg

The subframe must strong enough for luggage and you if its got pillion footpegs. Square tubing does have advantages over round section - It`s FAR stiffer size-for-size (So you can use less of it -  lighter gauge/smaller section) easier to cut and join (it don`t roll away and joints are simpler) 

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Thanks all for the great advice. The subframe reinforcements are built, will post pictures soon. However he's gone until I leave for my trip so I'm going to end up buying either crash bars or side racks from dirtracks.com since they're decently priced right now. Can't weld myself, and I'd like for him to be there while I design it.

 

The subframe reinforcement just required cutting, bending, & then welding the bends so they don't bend again. They feel extremely strong, I don't imagine these things ever failing. The rack I buy should fit on top of it well.

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On 6/25/2020 at 11:01 PM, Beamer1001 said:

 

20190919_171206.jpg

I get that you like your top rack, it's a nice design, I looked at that one several times before I went with the Tusk racks. But to be clear, those tiny bags are not panniers, and my comment was about the picture AUDACIOUSGOAT posted that indicated he wanted side mounts for panniers that looked like the Tusk racks- since that's what he posted. My only point was that I thought he'd be better off just buying them, rather than trying to make them, nothing more.

The Tusk mounts also have subframe support that you cannot see, attached to the same points the rack you picture is, under the plastic covers, and using the rear turn signal bolts, putting all the weight on the frame. The subframe supports can be used with just the top mount and no pannier racks, in fact I had that setup first.

Are they bulkier? Yup, the pictured saddle bags definitely are. Are they easily removable? Yes, in a matter of seconds. Can I haul a massive amount of cargo 250-300 miles safely and keep it dry between gas stations? Yup, if I need to. Am I going to race supercross with them on along with that huge gas tank? Nope, that's why I have a DRZ400. I also didn't spend $20K on a GS1250, which is far heavier, less reliable, and a lot less trail worthy even if it does have a lot more highway prowess. Everything is a compromise.

Edited by Aaybich.Eighnwun-99
grammar
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Received input my handiwork is not up to par apparently, will have to buy a subframe brace when I can find one in stock. The brace I made myself apparently is junk. Can't delete this so here it is.

Edited by audaciousgoat
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