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Thread: Hard cases for < $150

  1. #1
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    Hard cases for < $150

    So I am taking more long trips (> 3 days) with dad, brother, friends and they all ride > $30k Harley and Indians. I refuse to spend that kind of money for a bike that cannot handle the mountains well. So, this is one of two mods made over Christmas (forward pegs was the other).

    Materials:
    Generic hard cases with locks from ebay ($125)
    2 - 1/4" x 1" x 3' mild steel flat stock (also labeled welding steel)
    3 - 3/8" x 2" eye hooks
    1' 3/8" threaded rod
    Extra LED brake / turn signals of your preference
    Selection of nuts, washers, and bolts (I used stainless steel)
    1 large can of semi-gloss Rustolium.

    Tools:
    A decent table vice
    Dremel tool for cutting
    Decent hand drill

    Having now sorted out what I want this to look like, I estimate it would take about 8 hours to fab this up with general house tools.
    Note: I intentionally used cheap hand tools that anyone would have. An angle grinder with a cutoff wheel, drill press, steel forming equipment, etc. would shorten this to < 4 hours.

    The basic idea is that the case do not hang from the cast magnesium turn signal holes (looks like they do but that is an illusion). There is an inverted bow brace that mounts between the existing turn signal wire holes under the seat.



    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/attach...8&d=1641169885
    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/attach...7&d=1641169864

    This brace has two holes at the ends that align with the exterior turn signal holes. It mounts between the cast magnesium holes for the turn signals and the bow points up (ends point up). 3/8" rod runs from one exterior turn signal hole, through a hole in the inverted bow brace, through an upward positioned eye bolt (that goes through under the seat), through a downward eye bolt (that then passes through the same inverted bow brace at the center of the bike), through a second upward facing eye bolt (the other under-seat mount), through a second hole in the inverted bow brace, and then through the other external turn signal.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/attach...0&d=1641169921

    When tightened, the load path is through the bow and 3/8" rod to the eye hooks. The 3/8" rod is actually pushing up on the magnesium turn signal holes rather than hanging from the holes. You may skip running the bar through the cast holes altogether if desired. I did it this way for cosmetic reasons (capping the holes).

    To this inverted bow, the main case mounting bar is attached. This is a simple U shaped bar that the cases mount to. Just push the bar out far enough to allow proper wheel travel.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/attach...6&d=1641169817

    To keep the cases from flexing outward, a second mounting bar runs across the license plate bracket and bows forward. With these additional constraints, one of the two bows would have to twist to allow significant movement of the cases. 1/4" bar stock does not twist easily.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/attach...9&d=1641169903

    The remainder is simply adapting the wiring and adding any additional signal indicators you may want. I used some cheap automotive harness connectors from ebay (GM style connectors). But there are other options.

    Since I will end up riding in the rain, I also added a plastic shield that also hides the added braces. This bike roster tails in the rain quite badly.


    In my particular case, I can even have a second rider as the rear pegs are clear. Not that this happens often. But it also means that I can still get to and use tiedown holes for center luggage box in the future.

    Happy riding all.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by moarant; 01-10-2022 at 02:41 PM. Reason: enable photos in post

  2. #2
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    Nice job, they look factory.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by njloco View Post
    Nice job, they look factory.
    thanks. how do I get the photos to appear with the text? I could only link them for some reason

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Well done, they look solid. Does being that far back lighten up the front when they're loaded up?

    To post pics (and let them be right side up, use a picture hosting site like Flickr and post the IMG code right in the text where you want it.

    Like this:


  5. #5
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    Thanks Cooter. If I get the chance I'll update the post and include the pictures as images.

    I have not noted any serious balance changes so far (I used test ballast in the cases for short trials). But then again I used to have > 25 lb. of gear strapped to the rear seat using bungee cords (prompting the need for the cases). That is worse for inertial effects and it did not bother me either. My bike is an SS so I can have > 30 lb. shift just from burning the gas down. Also keep in mind I am riding with a group of 900 lb. Harleys and Indians. I am still the nimblest bike there.

    I also use a small soft shell case on top of the rear seat for the heavy stuff (air compressor / tools) and leave the side bags for clothes (cases are water tight). That also limits the low frequency vibration (structure can handle load but it is a set of open bows). People are most sensitive to frequencies below 20 Hz.

    First long trip is planned for April 29 - May 2. I'll update on how well things went.
    Last edited by moarant; 01-03-2022 at 10:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moarant View Post
    Thanks Cooter. If I get the chance I'll update the post and include the pictures as images.

    I have not noted any serious balance changes so far (I used test ballast in the cases for short trials). But then again I used to have > 25 lb. of gear strapped to the rear seat using bungee cords (prompting the need for the cases). That is worse for inertial effects and it did not bother me either. My bike is an SS so I can have > 30 lb. shift just from burning the gas down. Also keep in mind I am riding with a group of 900 lb. Harleys and Indians. I am still the nimblest bike there.

    I also use a small soft shell case on top of the rear seat for the heavy stuff (air compressor / tools) and leave the side bags for clothes (cases are water tight). That also limits the low frequency vibration (structure can handle load but it is a set of open bows). People are most sensitive to frequencies below 20 Hz.

    First long trip is planned for April 29 - May 2. I'll update on how well things went.
    Take pics! Of the trip! And post them!

  7. #7
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    Amazing mate!! and very cheap thanks for the tutorial



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