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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I know I've got some baggage..

When looking to fit a topcase on my newly acquired FJR1300, the FJRforum was invaluable in discerning whether to go with the Givi 357 full rack, or just use the universal plate adapter. Based on feedback regarding stress to the rear subframe, I decided to go with the perceived strength of the 357 (for more details on this history, search the FJRforum), but was worried a little about looks in replacing the color matched tail rack with a rather industrial looking rack. I've always been a "function over form" person so I wasn't too worried, but couldn't find a lot of photos that revealed to me exactly what I might be in for. So, here's some "before and after" photos so others might benefit:

2007 FJR1300 in stock trim

Stock rack removed, Givi SR357 installed

Givi SR357 with E460 topcase mounted
 The install was really pretty straightforward. Based on comments online about the rack not fitting well and stressing the subframe, I did check the fit of the rack mounting bolts as I went along. It was curious, that when loosly fitted, the rack touched all mounting points squarely with no gaps or binding. But as soon as I started to tighten down the bolts, some gaps and subsequesnt binding appeared. Not a lot, but due to the "dry" fit, more than I expected. After several mounts and unmounts, I couldn't determine why this was happening, and eventually shimmed the rear-most center boss, as well as the two under-seat bolts with a single washer and that solved the stress. After that, everything snugged up fine with no resistance. I blue-locktite'd all bolts for good measure.
The following sequences show stock vs SR357 vs SR357 with topcase mounted from various points of view:

The topcase is my old Givi Monokey e460 Topcase that's been mounted on my Concours for over 12 years. While the case is fully functional and holds a watertight 46 liters of storage, it is more than a little faded and worn from years in the weather. Not wanting to drop another 3 bills on a new case, but also not wanting to put a faded and beat case showing all 12 years of wear on a new-ish machine, I decided to try "Turtle Wax Premium Grade Trim Restorer" on it to see if it would "bring back the black" as it were. Products like Armour-All are pretty nasty stuff and will actually accelerate fading and drying out of rubber and plastics, so I was looking for something different that would help this case look better without drying it out and lending to its demise.
First impressions - the stuff was easy to apply, its clear and very thick, and buffs out well with a microfiber cloth after its saturated in for a few minutes with none of the slick greasy feel that other silicone products leave. 
I did eventually treat the case three times on the very top as that was very faded, and while no one would mistake it for new, the improvement to the case was dramatic. You can see from the photos above that it appears in pretty good shape.
Sorry I don't have before and after's, but will treat my Concours bags soon and will post those results.

In the future, I also plan to do a side-by-side comparison between the FJR1300, and the bike its replacing, my 2000 Kawasaki Concours C10. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. For some reason I always pictured you with an old school bike like an Indian. I like the looks of this bike. I have never had the urge to own a motorcycle, but Annette has. I told her she should get one with a sidecar. She can drive and Bo and I will ride along in the sidecar.