Rear Luggage Carrier Project
Rear Luggage Carrier Project
by Rimshot (Ron)

  The motivation for this project was simple: I was going on a multi-day trip and needed more luggage than what my saddlebags offered to bring all my camping gear. The trip took me across the Adirondacks, through Vermont and New Hampshire, up Mount Washington (highly recommended), into Maine and back again.

Normally people who trek out on multiday trips just strap things down to their sissy bar and fashion a backrest out of all the gear. I didn't have a sissy bar and didn't want one, so making this carrier was a good, cheap option.
Materials Needed:
  1. Drum Case (its walls are a rigid pressed fibre board, not waterproof)
  2. Black Vinyl (obtained at a canvas store on Merivale Rd.)
  3. All Purpose spray on glue (I can't recall the name)
  4. 1/4 inch plywood for reinforcement of the bottom
  5. 6 eyebolts (4 for bottom, 2 for top)
  6. Several clamps
  7. Six 1" compression straps (Canadian Tire)
  8. Backrest pad (any old thing will do-see pic)
  9. Velcro
Process:

(1) Cut out the pieces of vinyl to cover the top and bottom parts of the case. The idea is to make it weather proof. The tough part is getting the curved corner neat. I basically made some folds and trimmed as I went. I could have done a better job but time was against me.

(2) Get your clamps ready and lay the top part of the case on the vinyl. Spray glue on both sides, let dry for about 30 seconds then press the pieces together, applying the clamps as you go. It can get messy.

(3) Repeat for the bottom half of the case.
Click here for full size photoClick here for full size photo
(4) Cut out a piece of plywood that will line the bottom of the case. Drop it in. No need to glue it down.

(5) Put the case on the rear pillion of the bike to see how it will line up. Then reach in and mark 4 holes where you want the eyebolts to go. The idea is to put them on the outside corners of the pillion pad. I used compression straps looped through the eyebolts and onto the fender struts. Worked like a charm and didn't come loose at all. I stuck the extra length of the straps into my saddlebags. Don't leave them hang free.

(6) Install the eyebolts to the bottom of the case.

(7) Optionally install 2 eyebolts to the top, to hold additional gear. I used a strip of plywood too for strength.

(8) I used a generic driver's cushion for a backrest, and used velcro to adhere it to the pack. With velcro I was able to adjust it up and down easily.
Click here for full size photoClick here for full size photo
Summary:

I had no problems at all with this rig. I got a few complements on the setup and some people recommended I patent the thing. (So "all rights reserved" and all that) There are other solutions, some involving a round cooler that people have thought up. I guess having a drum case lying around was really convenient for me. Hopefully this will give others some ideas on how to get more gear on their bike without spending an arm and a leg on accessories.

Rimshot (Ron)
Click here for full size photo Here's what you can fit in a 14" drum case.


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