Luggage Rack Platform and Camping Gear - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Luggage Rack Platform and Camping Gear

Hey everyone –

I’ve been throwing around an idea in my head over the winter and haven’t been able to find any old threads on the forum of anyone doing it. I want to do quite a bit of camping this summer, and was just imagining how I plan on strapping down all the equipment. With that in mind, I had the idea to build a “quick-release” platform that sits on top of the luggage rack. Basically, the set-up would be really simple: approximately 15” x 24” wood platform attached to the luggage rack with U-bolts. Then, I would drill holes around the perimeter to fasten various bungee cords. I’m wondering if anyone has done something like this that I missed or just advice and/or suggestions? The end product would look similar to this (without being so atrocious and removable with the U-bolts):



Also, I just started getting together my camping equipment (see attached link below), and wanted to know what everyone’s MUST-HAVE motorcycle camping item is? I camp frequently, but it will be my first summer on my bike. Appreciate it guys and gals.

http://vn750.wordpress.com/
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:36 AM
Ndr
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I treat camping on the bike about the same as I do going backpacking. I take as little as possible to still be comfortable.

sounds like you've got a neat idea for carting your gear around. I've seen similar setups before.

as far as my gear goes, I of course have the standard tent and sleeping bag. This year, I've added a small backpacking cot to get myself off of the ground a little better.

for cooking, I either cook over the fire (wrap the food in aluminum foil and toss in the coals) or I use this little stove:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Pe...-Stove/4722923

Had this one for about 6 years now and the ONLY time it has let me down was one winter when it was about -15*f and the butane/propane mix just couldn't evaporate fast enough to keep lit.

......I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere then in any city on earth.

*2014 VN900 Custom (16,200 miles and counting)
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Ndr,

I would love to see a link to the backpacking cot!

And for cooking, I actually found something very similar to what you recommend there:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I actually had enough in my Amazon points, that it was free! Should come in handy – just need to get some fuel for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndr View Post
I treat camping on the bike about the same as I do going backpacking. I take as little as possible to still be comfortable.

sounds like you've got a neat idea for carting your gear around. I've seen similar setups before.

as far as my gear goes, I of course have the standard tent and sleeping bag. This year, I've added a small backpacking cot to get myself off of the ground a little better.

for cooking, I either cook over the fire (wrap the food in aluminum foil and toss in the coals) or I use this little stove:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Pe...-Stove/4722923

Had this one for about 6 years now and the ONLY time it has let me down was one winter when it was about -15*f and the butane/propane mix just couldn't evaporate fast enough to keep lit.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 09:14 AM
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Just ordered that burner. Nice and light, every single ounce matters on the appilachian.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 10:30 AM
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There are two basic obstacles to building a platform on the luggage rack... One is obscuring the tail lights. The other is placing weight that far behind the bike.

Due to the stock seat set up with the passenger "backrest" and tool box, the only way you can move the platform more foreward is to build it higher so it clears the back seat.
Placing weight higher is not that good either. Ideally, the stock seat and sissy bàr thing should be removed, and if you're not planning on taking passengers, build a platform that covers the passenger area and goes back from there.
You can even incorperate a back rest for yourself...

So first off, get a set of huge saddlebags so you can pack heavy items in towards the bike and low. Get a tank bag to put some weight towards the front, and use the passenger seat area (if possible) first before building extentions that hang far off the rear.
And..
Add another set of tail lights/brake lights if you end up partially covering the stock one.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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I had not yet considered the tail lights. However, I do have lighted hard saddlebags (which eliminates the possibility of getting bigger ones to load with stuff) - which should take care of the obscuring the tail lights issue.

I won't have passengers with me, so I was planning on strapping my sleeping bag and tent directly behind me to centralize some of the weight, and it gives me a make-shift back rest. Anything heavier on the platform, I would push it as close to the passenger seat "backrest". The rest of the stuff on it would be relatively light, such as a mess kit and etc.

I like the idea of a tank bag, however. Are there any particular bags you recommend over others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
There are two basic obstacles to building a platform on the luggage rack... One is obscuring the tail lights. The other is placing weight that far behind the bike.

Due to the stock seat set up with the passenger "backrest" and tool box, the only way you can move the platform more foreward is to build it higher so it clears the back seat.
Placing weight higher is not that good either. Ideally, the stock seat and sissy bàr thing should be removed, and if you're not planning on taking passengers, build a platform that covers the passenger area and goes back from there.
You can even incorperate a back rest for yourself...

So first off, get a set of huge saddlebags so you can pack heavy items in towards the bike and low. Get a tank bag to put some weight towards the front, and use the passenger seat area (if possible) first before building extentions that hang far off the rear.
And..
Add another set of tail lights/brake lights if you end up partially covering the stock one.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:17 PM
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"Are there any particular bags you recommend over others?"

I like the midsized bags. The Vulcan has a small tank and the bigger bags don't seem to fit well. I have had no problems with the newer magnetic bags over the strap down kind. Only problem might be storing stuff in the bag that can be effected by a magnetic field...(credit cards, SD drives, etc) although I've kept a wallet, phone and camera in my bag and not had a problem. (But I lined the bottom of mine with foam so nothng rests close to the magnets, except my gun)
Mines a Fieldsheer, but there are many on the market so can't really pick one over another....but good ones cost a bit more..

Newer ones have windows for GPS units or cell phones. (The clear windows used to be for paper maps...remember those?)

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:14 PM
..have a vulcan good day!
 
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I have used a tank bag for years, canvas type material, magnetic mount .....never had ANY issues what-so-ever, keeping it mounted or Credit Card/phone issues.The four strong magnets are on the lower flaps....I kept CC/phone in (upper) front pocket near seat.


I Forget the brand, AZ sun faded my Black bag to a grey color....material still holding up just fine.

hth


'86 VN750 13,700 mi -Stock
-Purchased 2008 w/8800mi
Replaced ALL Cables . Kuryakyn LED Voltmeter
SilverStar Ultra 9003/HB2 H4 Headlamp, Jardine Fwd Controls,
Iridiums DPR7EIX-9 & Wires, Tuxedo Mod, Coil Mod, P/U Sensor Mod, Fork Seals,
Splines Lubed - 11/4/2012 - MF AGM Battery
Additional Flashing LED Brake Light on Trunk
Dampers went out @ 13+K !
After TOC MCCT's..... so amazingly quiet I discovered a rattling heat shield on my stock exhaust !
...have a vulcan good day!

Last edited by WilliamTech; 05-22-2014 at 01:16 PM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 02:25 PM
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Yeah I don't think you'd have a problem with electronics or credit cards.....as you'd really have to move them back and forth across the field seveal times for there to be any effect. The field inside the bag is likely weaker than the outside.
I only mentioned the possibility as there have been a "few reports" by riders that had issues.

The biggest problem really is the magnets picking up some tiny metal debis and scratching your tank. Just be careful where you sit the bag down when it's not on the bike. Mine has side "wings" that I can fold in to keep the contact surface from touching anything else. Always pick up and place down the bag straight off the tank ...

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 02:45 PM
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right KM, don't slide them.. even if you cant see dirt/debris on them, you can bet your gonna scratch your paint..

now if your paint looked like mine, a couple of good scratches just adds character

2005 VN750

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