XZ550

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    YellowJackets Custom Hard Bags are Finished!

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    YellowJackets Custom Hard Bags are Finished!

    Post  Site Admin on Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:19 pm

    All I can think of saying is......WOW! I got YJ back from Schraders Custom Cycles (the ONLY work that I did not do on YJ) where Mark Schrader custom modified the saddle bag brackets to Fit YJ. Theres some good news and some bad.

    First, the good.
    The job is done. He did a fantastic job and it looks better than factory. The way he worked the brackets to fit the bike makes them look like they were made for it. It ended up being a much bigger job than anticipated and it may be a while before I can afford a new back tire...or anything else, but I think it was worth it. If I had anyone else do the job, I would have probably died on YJ because of something I did not know about. My frame was cracked. Yup, right under the seat covered up by the rubber bumper for the tank. I knew YJ had been a little loose and thought it was due to a swingarm bearing which I planned to do when I replaced my shock.
    He ended up bracing and welding the frame and you pretty much can't tell. He primed and painted it too.
    As for the brackets, he did an interesting thing. He took the forward mounting pieces off each bracked and swapped them to the opposite side. That gave each bracket about another 2" of clearence from the frame adn allowed him to mount them without having to cut my plastic rail covers under my seat. Everythign including the wiring is done so I can remove the brackets if ever need to. I can still ride without the bags though if I need to as well. He also cut the rear tabs off and moved them forward about 4", rotated tehm 45 degrees and put a 90 degree tab in them (I think I got the math right) so the mount directly to the grab rail mounting holes under the seat. Again, it looks perfectly stock.

    The bad news is that it cost almost 3 times my original estimate of 100 to 120.00!! Most of the cost was due to the crack in the frame becasue he has to strip off most of the seat, tank, fender, battery and everything else. He's one of the only local shops that insurance companies will let do frame repair and I have a lifetime (not sure if its mine or the bikes) warranty. YJ is in it with me for the long haul.

    Heres some pics for your viewing pleasure:



















    David

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    Re: YellowJackets Custom Hard Bags are Finished!

    Post  VFan on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:07 pm

    You gotta be happy about the fact that your rails didn't have to be modified. It looks really good. It's great to have a project with such an investment come together so nicely.

    Having to pay an extra $250 plus can't be fun for this project, but you have to wonder how much you save in gas money having the option to take the 550 hauling items in your saddlebags so you don't have to take the car. My Jeep cost me $50 to fill, my excursion $120 each time. It's not that many trips to the gas station before the investment is covered.

    BTW, how did the frame break? Rust?
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    Re: YellowJackets Custom Hard Bags are Finished!

    Post  Site Admin on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:47 pm

    Not sure what caused the frame to break but the bike had sat outside for 12 years before I got it. Since I did a total strip down, I had the entire frame exposed and didn't notice any breaks when I restored the bike, so it had to happen recently.
    I noticed a little flex in the ride last year and Lucky and I decided it was the swingarm bearing. However, YJ did fall over last year in a driving rainstorm. She sunk into the mud at work last August while up on her centerstand and fell over. My guess is that pretty much finished the job.
    The good news is that Mark went over the entire bike looking for other problems and didn't find any. So, another bit of "bang" for my buck. Hes a major perfectionist. So is his dad. His dad used to own a body shop and my Acura was hit by a rock which damaged the hood, windshield and roof. They did the body work for me and when the paint did not match the rest of the car perfectly, they painted the whole car. That didn't cost me extra. When he showed me the original job, I couldn't tell the difference...until night under the orange parking lot/street lights. Could see a slight difference in the tint. Didn't make much difference to me, but his name was on the job and he wanted to make it right. Good family tradition.

    David


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    Re: YellowJackets Custom Hard Bags are Finished!

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