bit more work on the vulcan …

Regular readers of the Blog will know my wife and I bought another bike a few weeks ago – the Kawasaki Vulcan S. I wrote about our purchase here and then posted some early/first thoughts here.

We’ve been out and about on the new bike a few times and as we plan to do a few trips on , we’ve had some work done on the pillion seat to improve comfort and most recently we have added a back rest and rack to add a bit of practicality really and also thinking ahead towards a few trips next year.

The back rest and rack we opted for is the Hepco and Becker one and although this link takes you to an American site, we actually ordered ours from a company based in Belgium (KGL Shop). There are a few options available and a backrest can be purchased without a rack, but thinking ahead to trips away our choice seemed the most sensible as it will provide another luggage option and allows us to add the Hepco and Becker side panniers later using the C Bow system.  We haven’t got to the point of deciding which panniers we will get but these are contenders for when we do make our purchase.

Fitting the panniers was fairly routine and I’ve written this Blog post mainly for those who might be considering the back rest/rack as an option.

The starting point is to remove the covers on the side of the bike that allow for fitting of the OEM parts (Kawasaki’s KQM system), although if you go down that route you’ll pay handsomely for it – the OEM backrest alone is priced at £375!

Once these are removed the factory bolts (x4) are removed and two 20mm holes needs to be drilled through each of the plastic covers. Only one paper template is supplied, so before I drilled the first one I simply made myself a second paper template.

You don’t need to worry too much about the edges of the 20mm hole being perfectly neat as these are covered as the backrest is fitted.

Once drilled the longer bolts supplied with the backrest are fitted and to all intents and purposes other than physically mounting the backrest and rack, that’s it – job done.

The Hepco and Becker backrest and rack look to be really well made. My only gripe is that the nuts that secure the rack are chromed, which is fine except our bike is the matte grey version and I would have preferred black nuts to top of the bolts, but I suppose at some pint I can replace those. The rack itself can hold around 5kg which I reckon is plenty enough (with panniers) for a couple of weeks on the road.

All in all we are happy with the addition of the rack and rest.

Finally don’t forget if you want to read about one of my recent European Road trips you can get the book ‘What if You Don’t Break Down – here

I’ve posted some more pictures below and clicking on the first will open a scrolable gallery