DYI Tail Luggage - Desertwolf 4/6/09
I have to take a laptop to and from work each day and hate wearing a backpack. I had been looking for a case to hold my laptop, but they are more than I want to spend right now. This is my under $80 solution. Plano double gun case (with waterproof O ring), misc. PVC pieces, U bolts & LED lights.
Because I will be using this almost daily, I didn't design it to be removed, but to stay permanently on the bike.
(Note: for the rack to work, the bottom is bolted to the back holes where the factory turn signal\license plate bracket bolts to. This will have to be removed if you want to use something similar, or another mount point will have to be found.)
I figured with the case being further back and to add stability etc. I would need to add support to the factory rack. I decided to use PVC pipe because it is cheap, strong (in short runs), easy to work with and doesn't weigh very much. To make the rack I used about 2 feet of 3/4 pipe, 2 - end caps, 2 - sleeves, 2 - 45 degree angles, 2 - traps (the bent part), 2 - T's, and 4 - 90 degree angles. I designed it around how I wanted it to fit on the bike, cut the pieces and then glued them all together. I then spray painted it with special black plastic paint that is suppose to bond to plastic and wear better.
To mount it on the bike, I drilled and attached the bottom of the rack through the holes that were left when I removed the factory rear turn signal and license plate bracket. I removed the factory smoked rack and inserted 4 eye bolts through the factory holes and through the bottom of the gun case using nuts with nylon inserts so they won't vibrate loose. I used eye bolts so I can use them in the future for tie down points if needed. I then attached the case to the PVC rack in the back with 2 small U bolts around the PVC frame and used 2 larger U bolts around the front of the factory rack (the thinker part that runs the same direction as the handlebars on the bike). These were also attached through the case and secured with nuts with nylon inserts. I used silicon around all holes into the case and under all the washers and then again over the nuts to maximize water protection (though I don't ride much in the rain in AZ). I used a cut off wheel to level off all the bolts above the nuts in the case and then covered them with silicon. I decided to mount it this way as if locked it wouldn't be easy to remove as the nuts are all inside. I wasn't concerned with the nuts inside as the gun case came with a nice 3/4 foam piece which I plan on leaving in and they are all covered in silicon so they are not sharp. With the 4 U bolts and 4 eye bolts the box is now very secure and a solid part of the bike.
Because the new rack covered some of my LED turn signals and also to enhance my brake light I decided to add some more LED's to the case. I installed LED turn signals on the corners and a red LED strip light connected to the brake light so it only comes on when I hit the brakes. I also added some reflective tape to select areas of the case.
I have now used if for several weeks and so far love being backpack free and having the extra space. It has worked perfect to carry my laptop case and laptop along with lunch etc. to and from work each day. I will edit this if I have any problems with this long term, but so far so good.
On the bike (not bolted on yet)
PVC Rack Painted
Case Mounted (Side View)
Case Mounted (Back View)
Brake Light and Hazards (Turn Signals)