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In a big push to get the Pelican luggage attached to the bike before a trip to the Delaware Water Gap, I spent a lot of evenings and a couple weekends frantically trying to finish a workable design and get it prototyped. As mentioned in the last post, I had what seemed like a workable puck design all sorted out, but the more complex latching/locking component still needed work.
I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to design it such that the Givi rack needed to be modified, perhaps with a different catch component. In the end, I decided the more interesting challenge was to make it work with an unmodified rack, and also felt this would make a better end product. So, I set off with this goal, and spent a couple of days trying out different design ideas on paper, and eventually refined them into CAD models.
The approach I ended up with would require a significant hole to be cut in the Pelican cases, for the end of the catch to poke into the case. I could have avoided this, at the cost of making the bike wider when it had luggage mounted. I deemed this an acceptable tradeoff, and knew I could solve the case breech with some clever gasketing and another machined plastic part. I ran out of time to complete this part before the trip, but with some mis-use of thick plastic sheeting and gaffer tape, I came up with a quick fix that worked fine for the trip.
Working out a locking mechanism was also a bit of a challenge, but in the end I came up with an acceptable approach which seems like it will be secure enough for the application. Unfortunately, I also ran out of time to actually fabricate the locking mechanisms before the trip I had planned, so I used a cable lock and padlocks to keep the cases secure to the bike. In the near future I will complete the locking mechanism.
Above is a video showing the simple process for attaching and removing the case. Ultimately, the design ended up being quite solid, and survived an 800 mile shakedown trip with no issues to speak of at all, aside from the inconvenience of not being able to lock them up easily. It’s not out of the question to improve the strength of the setup even further in the future with a metal backer plate, to be installed inside of the Pelican case. It’s fairly rigid as it is, using just the durable plastic of the case as support, but it may not survive multiple drops of the bike onto the cases.