Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Pannier plate & tool tube

Need extra storage

I know the BMW R1200 GS Adventure can carry a fair amount of crap but sometimes when "travelling light" I could do with some extra storage; mainly for tools and bits I want with me no matter what luggage I choose to leave behind. A mini compressor, Stop & Go puncture kit and a few very basic tools live under the seat but I need space for the more comprehensive kit that usually ends up in my topbox. An upcoming trip with the possibility of some off-road riding (no topbox) meant I should pull my finger out.

I had long toyed with the idea of putting a plate behind the right-hand pannier rack to allow me to bolt stuff to it. I wasn't keen on the styling of most to the available toolboxes, especially given the prices. Most aren't waterproof in anyway either and tend to look like a cheap tin box. I couldn't bring myself to part with my hard-earned for such an item.

A medium sized tooltube (the ones everybody uses) was cheap enough, rugged and suitably sized to fit nicely in the space behind the rack with just enough clearance from the rear wheel and brake caliper when the suspension compresses. That was the theory anyway.
The plate was cut from a ~4mm thick aluminium base plate from an old power supply (hence the holes) and was cut and shaped with a very old electric jigsaw and hand files. Stainless steel M5 button-head Allen bolts hold the plate in place on the rack through holes drilled in the pannier mounting tabs. The tooltube is bolted on with M8 nuts and bolts and best of all; the theory is sound - no collisions! Tested out in Wales on part of the Strata Florida.

Look ma, no damage!
I did plug a small breather hole in the underside of the tool tube with a small plastic snap-in plug which I then fused on the inside with a soldering iron to help keep the water out.

I do quite like the new Touratech toolbox though, it's cheaper than most too.

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