Home > 1990 Yamaha FJ 1200 > Hard Cases not included

Hard Cases not included

My beautiful, big bike is 18 years old and accessories are not easy to find. I really need some hard luggage to do any serious touring. This fact has become very clear as I had to carry my gear in a bag all over the Folk Festival on Saturday. On Sunday my daughter arranged for me to stash my biking clothes backstage, so it wasn’t so bad. Now it is time to get serious about this issue. I must get custom bags.

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Right now I have a piece of local motorcycling history, Skookum bags made in Vancouver many years ago. They have a lot of good features, including a plastic cover in a velcro pocket on the bottom that covers the bags in the rain. They have been sturdy and durable, but I have to be careful to keep them off the pipes or they will get damaged by the heat. The biggest problem is lack of security as they really can’t be locked. I was inexperienced in the world of big bikes and touring when I bought this motorcycle, but now I would not buy any bike that does not already have suitable luggage. This has been a difficult and expensive addition to my wheels.

I am showing measurements now for potential replacement bags, so here is how much room my Skookum soft bags use. The tape measure is resting on the exhaust pipe and it is 16″ to the top of the seat.

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Stuffed full, they add 12″ to the width of the bike on each side and hard case mounts will increase the width. I am showing this detail because I know I can live with these bags and something this wide will not be a problem.

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The photo below is the length of the bike from the footpeg to the signal light,19″ to the middle of the support . The footpeg is folded up for the measurement as when it is down, there is more room. The rear signals have already been moved back from stock to mount the wire frame that keeps the Skookum bags off my spokes. [For those who did not ride in the previous millenium: spokes were used to keep the wheels together back then] The original mount is at the 16″ mark.

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This is a shot of the height of the bare bike.

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The maximum width of each bag is 12″, the maximum height for the mount will be about 10″ off the pipe and there has to be some clearance due to heat. The bags can extend past than the mount, but it would be nice to keep the ability to carry a passenger, so they can’t impede the handholds, shown starting at the 13″ mark. The mount will probably keep the bags far enough away from the handles so that they could be used even if the bags were taller. They shouldn’t extend much past the seat height. The maximum length would be about 18″ with the footpegs up and possibly longer with them down, although a foot and leg emerging from the footpeg area must be considered if bags and passengers are to be compatible.

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Pelican bags are another scuba diving product that I think might be able to be converted to a motorcycle use, but I will have to see if they will fit and if Simon can craft some way to keep them securely on the bike. I was able to take some pictures of Simon’s FJ with the bag mounts mounted on his clean machine. He just came back from a trip and despite that fact, his bike is *shiny*. Mine (above) has been ridden in the rain and really looks grimy. The scrape on the pipe from my fall is visible too. It is raining again now, but next sunny day — I will wash it.

Simon’s FJ luggage system-rearSimon’s FJ luggage system - back

Note: The really cool custom rear wheel and wider, low profile tire Simon has on his FJ. His bike is in beautiful shape as he is an expert at improving and maintaining the breed.

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Categories: 1990 Yamaha FJ 1200
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