By Joe Gresh
During the Southern California Timing Association’s Bonneville Speed Week, motels nearby are expensive and fully booked. Which leaves campgrounds. And I hate carrying camping gear on a motorcycle. When I see those BMW earth-roamer types with all the gear piled up over their heads I think, “Oh, Hell no! I’m cool as an ice cube, that’s not me.” Yet here I am. Here I am piling camping junk over my head like a Starbucks-sipping, Hi-Vis wearing, mid level manager-who-mistakenly-thinks-corporate-values-his-efforts, Beemer rider.
That’s not the worst of it. I just know the flimsy aluminum subframe on the Husqvarna is going to break. It has to. This bike was designed with two things in mind: to pop wheelies and flee from the Po-Po. I don’t have a running street bike. So, I’ve turned the Husky into a single cylinder Gold Wing. It burns me up, man.
The bike needed dramatically expanded luggage capacity, also known as saddlebags. To do bags I needed infrastructure in place that would prevent the bags from tangling in the rear wheel and melting against the high mount, noisy, life-saving, public opinion destroying Arrow exhaust can.
I chopped up some stainless tubing and took the sticks to Roy’s Welding (out by the mini-goat farm) where the fine crew stuck it all together. My Safety Exhaust on the Husqvarna is high and tight so I riveted a metal heat shield on the left side of the Super Mo-Tour. Since my buddy, Mike, loaned me his saddlebags, I didn’t want them to catch fire. All told, I’ve probably doubled the poundage of the featherweight Husky with this jungle gym hanging off the back.
A Husqvarna SMR 510 is not the best choice for a 2400-mile trip to Bonneville. Ask me how I know.
Unrelated to the luggage situation but …read more