My BMW R1150 GSAA at Deals' Gap

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Saturday
Feb182012

KLX250S Adventure Make-over - Phase 3

After "losing" the Kawasaki-supplied rear rack during the bolting up of the Happy Trails SU Side Racks, Phase 3 activities were focused on adding a new rear rack back on the bike. My ultimate goal was to have a spot to fasten on a small Pelican case which will become a (near) permanent top box.

After looking around on the interweb for suitable rear rack replacements (Note: Very few options exist for the '06-'07 models), I settled on an interesting rack accessory from Twisted Throttle. Their SW-MOTECH Rear Rack for QUICK-LOCK tankbags (p/n GTH.08.428.100.TWT) was selected to fit the bike and as you will read here, it worked out pretty well.

As shown above, there's an aluminum plate that serves as the small, but useful (to me!) rear rack and a QUICK-LOCK Tankring Adapter that bolts on to allow any QUICK-LOCK-equipped tank bag from Bags Connection to snap into place on the rear rack.

This got me thinking that all I needed was the ring from one of those tank bags and I could bolt that up to a Pelican case and my "top box" would be easily removable whenever I didn't want it on the bike.

Since Twisted Throttle also sells the Bags Connection products, I figured they would easily be able to supply me with the part number for the matching ring I'd need to bolt to the Pelican case. After several emails and a gallant attempt on their part to help, I decided to give it up. Apparently, the only way I was going to get that ring was to buy a new or used tank bag and snag the ring off of it. I decided to leave that for later, since the rear rack itself showed promise to eventually allow me to bolt up the case.

Assembly was dirt simple. As you can see below, fit-up on the '06 KLX250S didn't require any modifications. The supplied hard plastic spacers fell right into place and all the bolt holes lined right up as expected.

Here's a shot of the rear rack with the QUICK-LOCK ring temporarily installed - just to give you an idea what it would look like. The hole in the front center of the ring is for a spring-loaded pin that locks the ring on the tank bag to the lower ring. Note: Although the tankring adapter looks like it's made out of aluminum, it's not. It's made of plastic, but does look like it's pretty strong.

You might recall that in Phase 2, I also lost the mounting location for my LED turn signals when the rear rack was removed. I needed to solve that problem here in Phase 3, but where would I mount them? A keen eye might have noticed the unused grommet-filled hole in the rear fender. This was the original location where the turn signal wires exited from inside the fender. The stubby little turn signal fit right into that hole, using the grommet for a shock mount. I could tell that the wide-flanged plastic "nut" that came with each turn signal was not going to clear the rear frame cross brace that's directly behind the mounting hole.

A quick visit to the hardware store yielded some possibly useful bits to make sure I could securely mount the turn signals in this location.

As it turned out, I used the new grommets, as the old ones were showing their age. The large rubber washers went unused, but the new nylon nuts were used to secure the turn signals in place. One side fit very nicely, allowing the flat side of the nut to snug right up against the frame cross brace. With this one, final snugging was done by carefully rotating the turn signal a bit - I got lucky! The other side was not so lined up and required a bit more fiddling under the fender to get things right.

With the LED turn signals in place, it was time to tighten the bolts for the rear rack! No sweat.

Oh, and one more thing... those LED turn signals needed to be plugged in under the seat. Oh boy. Time to remove the two bolts that held the seat in place. Now remember, these bolts pass through the Happy Trails side racks, the white plastic side panels and their associated hardware BEFORE they secure the seat to the frame. The seat came off easily, allowing me to plug in the turn signals, test them and zip-tie the appropriate wiring in place.

When it came to getting the seat back in place, it took loosening and in some cases out-right removal of side rack bolts to get it to cooperate and go back in the right spot. Another hour might have passed before I got lucky.

With all that work done, I could finally sit back and say sweeeet!!

Phase 4 will either focus on license tag relocation or the attachment of Pelican cases to the SU Side Racks.