April 25, 2014
We’re in a bit of a holding pattern, waiting on pricing and samples from the factory. We’re expecting three sets of each item, plus our first round factory sample of the rackless bag, all within the next week. We’re leaving for Moab and Overland Expo next Friday, so things are really down to the wire. We’ll be able to answer the many questions we’ve been getting about pricing once we have the above in hand.
We got our first 6 sets of mounting pucks from the local machine shop this week and they look great. These were machined out of aluminum. We increased the width to 3/4″, so they look and feel really bomb proof.
The finished product next to our original wood prototype.
Hein has been working on the mounting plates. We did make one design change, in that we flattened the top edge of the wedge and mounting frame so there’s a “hard stop” when they connect. This stops the rotary draw latch from over-tightening the wedge/frame connection.
Our hand-modified prototype:
Technical drawing of same.
If you’ve been following this blog/thread for a while, you might remember that when I was down in Central America last winter I had a recurring issue with my Wolfman pannier racks jiggling use. I tried Loctite, JB Weld, duct tape… everything that I had with me, and nothing worked. I was planning to just weld the bolts in place, but then I had another idea. Assuming this works down in Moab, maybe this info can help others with similar issues.
First I took some stainless washers and flattened one side with a grinder.
I stacked this with a screw and lock washer.
Then I drilled a hole in the luggage rack, and pushed the washer up against the hex nut on the bolts (these are not the original bolts, I switched to stainless hex heads for this solution).
Here’s what it looks like with all 4 bolts in place.
The Toray and Superfabric samples arrived. We reviewed them and picked the fabrics we want to use for our first round apparel samples.
Here are the two we decided on. It’s hard to tell from this pic, but these are some really cool/tough fabrics. The Toray 3-layer has Kevlar woven into it, and the Superfabric is covered with small ceramic dots. This is going to be some awesome, high quality riding gear. Wish we had protos for Moab.
We also got samples of another fabric, similar to Superfabric, called “Iron Skin” which we want to experiment with. It has a particularly high heat tolerance.
I tested it out on my stove. The fabric backing burnt/melted long before the little dots. I had to actually light it on fire in order to get the dots to change shape. This is another option we might look into for both the bags and apparel down the road.
We’ll be repeating this heat test with superfabric as well.
We’ve been talking to Forcefield Body Armor about partnering with them to provide the armor for our outerwear. We’re impressed with this company, and they’re doing some cool and innovattive stuff. We have samples of the following on the way:
The idea is that we would offer these items for sale as an option for customers who don’t already own armor. We’re taking the above samples to Moab, and will pass them around to everyone in our group to try out and hopefully get some feedback. We’ve heard great things about forcefield so we’re optimistic this will turn out to be a good fit.
The P-38 requests continue to roll in. We ran out, yet again, and had to restock. 500 this time, since we want to hand them out at Overland Expo as well. Thanks so much for signing up for our list!
With the upcoming trip to Moab and Overland Expo, I am finally getting around to doing all the repairs on my KTM 950 SE after the crash in Honduras. We need this bike not only for riding, but also to display our bags at OE. So yeah, tinkering on my bike technically counts as “work,” ha! That’s been taking up a ton of time. That trip, the accident, and a year parked outside in a humid/damp climate took a toll.
What we really need right now are a) final factory samples, b) final factory prices, and c) firm dates for the production order. All that is scheduled to happen in the next 10 days. Things are about to get really busy.