Winter is Coming
October 26, 2014
I’d planned to be out riding this weekend, but opted for a rain check instead. So I finally had time to install the new skidplate, foot pegs, and tail rack I ordered from our friends at Black Dog Cycle Works. Not sure my 950 will ever fully recover from 3 winters in Central America, but it feels good to put on some shiny new parts.
We have two new Reckless prototypes ready for testing, one at 60L and one at 40L. We needed to make some dry bags for the smaller Reckless, so Andrew took it up to Chip’s new shop in the Dalles, which has a killer view.
These sewn-seam protos are just for testing and sizing, the final bags will be welded. Here’s what the smaller Reckless looks like so far.
The smaller version has 4 double-strip molle panels, and the larger one has two external pockets, two double strip molle panels, and one large molle panel.
Here’s the large Reckless from the top down:
The external pocket on the large Reckless fits two MSR-style fuel bottles on each side, for carrying up to 4L of extra gas.
We added two pockets to the inside of the rear beavertail: a) a mesh pocket (good for toothbrush/toothpaste and other wet/dry stuff) and 2) a clear pocket (good for maps, bike paperwork, etc).
On the side dry bags, we added a clear panel to the front, so you can see what’s where inside the bag when you take it off the bike.
The side bags have a removable stiffener in the back which helps hold the shape, and makes it a lot easier to get the bags in/out of the harness when they’re packed.
We also added this handle to the bottom of the side bags so you can reach up through the opening at the bottom of the harness and pull the packed side bag into place when mounting it on the bike.
On the bottom of the center dry bag we have this large velcro panel that keeps the dry bag in place when the beavertails are opened. That way the center bag doesn’t slide off the bike when it’s on the side-stand, for example if you want to tuck your riding jacket under the beavertail during the day.
In Moab we had some issues with abrasion on the bottom of the bag, so in the new version we changed the bottom material from vinyl to hypalon. Hypalon is a lot more expensive but it’s also totally bomb-proof. This is the stuff they use on heavy-duty inflatables and RIBs.
We’re experimenting with these removable aluminum stiffeners on the legs, to add rigidity and reduce movement while riding.
We’re also experimenting with a new way to attach the bottom cam straps, so they automatically adjust to the lowest point depending on how/where the bag is mounted.
Overall these designs are looking good. Now we’re up against a tight timeline to have them ready by Spring. In the next week or two we’ll get them out on the trail for some additional testing, and then they’ll go back to the factory for revisions.
Our biggest obstacle on the BMW mounting plate adapters right now is finding bikes to test them on. Here’s what the right side looks like on the F800 mount so far (left side was in last week’s post).
We got our sample of the new Jesse Luggage soft plate system and it looks great. Again, we just need to find a bike to test it on. We have a line on a bike with some Jesse racks on it here in Hood River, so hopefully we’ll get to try it out this week.
The soft plate tool box has little rotating doors on each side for access. This is a really nice piece of gear.
We received feedback that the screws connecting the HDPE mounting plates to the bike can potentially be over-tightened when mounting, causing damage to the plates. Screws have the ability to deliver a lot of force when they’re cranked down, squeezing the HDPE between the metal bolt, rack, and puck. We’re working on a new washer design that should reduce the risk of this happening (the new washer is the oval-shaped one in the center below). The new washers are currently in production and should be ready by the end of the week.
We’re also adding this “hand-tighten only” instruction to the mounting hardware. If anyone has experienced this issue just send us an email with a pic and we’ll get your wedge swapped out for a new one.
Hey, the sun just came out!