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'07 BMW G650 XCountry

Mod: Weld up a Tool Box designed to protect the XTank from a Mosko saddlebag:

The Goal

I recently purchased the XL size XTank from Hot Rod Welding. I also purchased the fantastic Reckless 80 luggage system from Mosko Moto. However I do not have a large rack like the XRack or the Hepco Becker. In fact I do not want a large rack, I wanted to keep the lines clean on my XCountry as most of the time I will not be running the R80 bags. I already had a small BMW tail rack, but something is needed...

So the main goal of this project was to find a way to protect the XTank from all of the weight of the R80 rackless bag system. Most of the R80 weight sits on the passenger area of the seat, but once you strap down the sides tightly a lot of weight wants to sit on the leading edge of the XTank. This is especially true if the bike is laid down on its right side.

The XTank is mounted by 2 bolts along the front edge and 2 on the top and I wanted to design a small rack or simple standoff just to keep the weight of the luggage off of the XTank. The 2 top mounting bolts are difficult to align with both the XTank holes and the tail rack holes at the same time, and the top holes that go into the square aluminum subframe are not very strong. Also they are located far back on the aluminum subframe and I don't want to put weight there. So I really didn't want to tie this standoff into the 2 top mounting holes. I also wanted to make it independent of what kind of small tail rack I used in case I wanted to change it.

I always had an idea that I didn't want to drill any holes in the aluminum subframe but rather find a way to distribute the attachment of the standoff along the subframe by making one that simply clamping around the square subframe instead of drilling into it. That was how my idea got started.

The Design

The basic design idea was to take a piece of square steel tubing that fits snugly over the aluminum subframe that is exposed between the OEM main fuel tank and the XTank. Then clamp this onto the subframe and build up a standoff from there. Because the rear tail rack extended along the passenger area and effectively spread out the width of support for the R80 up by the seat, the R80 really only laid on the leading edge of the XTank so that is really the only area that needed to be protected.

So first I had a machinist mill off the 3rd side of the 1/8" square steel tubing and cut out areas for clearance on the subframe. Then I grinded it smooth and added another plate on the upper area to stiffen it back up:

Next I had 1/4" mounting plates with bolt holes welded at the top and bottom along with a pair of movable rear plates with nuts welded onto them. There is not much clearance between the standoff bracket and the main fuel tank so I had to be careful there. Then the side plate that is welded to the side that will provide the standoff of the bag from the tank. At this point you can see below how the standoff plate sticks out just enough past the XTank to provide the support. My original plan was to now simply weld a 2" wide plate onto the end of the standoff plate to distribute the load against the R80 bag:

However it dawned on me there is just enough space here to make an enclosed box that could fit all or most of my tire changing tools so that is where the design went next. The basic outside dimensions of the box are 1.5" x 4" x 11" (11" along frame, only 10" on outer edge):

I worked a lot on what kind of lid to use. In the end I made a lid that was held onto narrow side with 2 bolts. I had 2 tabs with nuts welded on and the lid had a tab on each end with metric bolts that pull the lid on. There were small spacers inside the lid to keep the lid from sliding front or rear as it was attached, you can see in a later picture. Then I had it powder coated:

I could have used the removable right passenger footpeg to strap the right side of the Mosko R80 to, but the location was not ideal. I made my own design out of ultra thick 1/4" plate that bolts right onto the 2 holes for the right passenger footpeg mount, with a thinner 1/8" U shaped plate with holes in it for a hitch pin clip, for ease of removal to access the main gas tank at a gas station. I mocked it up with cardboard until I got it just the way I wanted it. Then had it powder coated as well:

Another small design feature is a small rod of wire welded inside to the back wall that I could run a tool strap through to cinch up the tools, I use a small velcro strap for this. To finish it off I glued in sheets of inner tube into the entire toolbox, just to keep tools from rattling and make it easy to pack and unpack:

The toolbox holds everything I need to change a tire except the inner tubes. For everyday use I plan to include the Enduro Star Trail stand, but for longer trips I leave that out in a separate pocket for doing chain lubes on the road, so then the tool box will fit more CO2 cartridges (4 20g's and 1 15g).

So here is how it looks without any bag mounted over it:

It provides just the right amount of clearance past the XTank:

I even came up with a way to drill 2 holes near each of the bolt holes in the lid and insert a lock in a way that the 2 bolts are not accessible by an allen wrench so the lid cannot be accessed:

I just logged a 2800 mile trip on it including rough off road and the toolbox did its job. It also provides a great place to hide any special cards like a credit card or whatever.

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