DIY V-Strom soft pannier rack (left)

As I had a bit of success with the soft pannier rack on the right hand side, I decided to make one for the left. Initially I thought to try and make it symmetric to the right side but at a better look I think it would have been a fail.

From the same 16 mm steel tube that I purchased for $15 from Bunnings (well what was left of it), I took eye measurements (again) and started bending.

Bended pipe

I’ve cut the pipe to size after eye measuring some more and testing on the bike how might look like and how would it fit. I’ve cut it, again, with the rotary tool. Best tool yet !

using the rotary tool

cut the pipe to size

With the hammer I’ve flattened the ends of the bar, making sure that the smooth end is the one that will be against the bike (well bike|washer|pipe).

sides flattened

Below is the raw end result with of the rack, mounted. Still has to be spray painted.

result without tool pipe

Of course, a soft rack would have been incomplete without a tool pipe … As such, from Bunnings I’ve also purchased a  1 meter long 90 mm pipe (this one) with the price tag of only $6. Here it is, cut to the size I wanted. The size is sufficient so I can reach the bottom end with my arm and short enough so I can open the lid.

90 mm pipe

For the tool pipe I’ve also purchased:

The gutter plug is very thick. So I’ve cut it in half using a kitchen knife.

gutter plug cut in half

fitted in the pipe

I didn’t like how the threaded cap fitted on the

pipe so I’ve cut the bit that was in excess to me. Here is the result:

threaded cap cut to fit my needs

end cap

I’ve used silicone to seal and the end cap and the threaded cap to the pipe. A bit rudimentary but it’s the best I had.


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Open up the hose clamps all the way and fit the pipe with them. Don’t over tighten the clamps or you will break the pipe. End result without the paint job:

pipe fitted

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Here is the result with the paint job done.

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end result

I must say, it moves a bit to the sides if you push the pipe but I experienced no problems what so ever with the bags over it. It gets pushed out of the way.

Total cost: $14

UPDATE after a big trip:

The newly crafted and mounted tube kept sliding towards the wheel after mounting the throw over soft panniers.

Solution: 4 zip ties to the frame of the bike, at each end. No more problems.

DIY V-Strom soft pannier rack (right)

I had the option of purchasing a rack for around $300 and was determined to do just that. But decided to give it ago and try to make one of my own V-Strom soft pannier rack.

I don’t have a pipe bender or a welding machine but I decided to give it a go anyway.

So… I asked around for a pipe bender and one of my good friends happened to have one.

I formulated a raw plan in my head about what should I do and how to do it. I thought that for $300 might as well buy a welding machine and stick with it after the project is over.

So here I am, with some ideas in my head and didn’t know where to start exactly. I went to Bunnings (a local store) and after having a bit of a look around pipe isle I decided to purchase a 16mm steel tube for $15. This is the one: http://www.bunnings.com.au/metal-mate-16-x-1-2-3m-galvanised-steel-round-tube_p1130451

First measurements
First measurements

As you can see in the picture above, I tried to take some measurements but I was hopless so I just gave it a go and did it by eye measurements.

The first 2 bends
The first 2 bends

I’ve bent the pipe twice before doing anything, just with a schematic in my head. I must admit, the fact that I purchased a steel pipe made and the fact that I was alone whilst doing this, made things pretty difficult.

This is how I took the measurements
This is how I took the measurements

In the picture above you can see how I actually measured the length of the pipe. I’ve just put some marks on the pipe with a permanent marker.

After the cut
After the cut

I used the rotary tool I purchased to build the radiator guard. Cheap and effective tool. Not the fastest but does the job.

The be able to make the holes to put the screws in, I had to made the pipe flat at the ends. Unfortunately, the only tool I had for the job was a hammer I purchased from IKEA some years ago. Again, was a bit slow but did the ob perfectly.

Where I've hit it with the hammer
Where I’ve hit it with the hammer

The part that was hit with the hammer is not as smooth as the one that was flat on the ground as you can see in the picture below.

Flat surface, where the rack will stack against the frame
Flat surface, where the rack will stack against the frame

To cut the hole, I’ve used the only tool for the just I had, an electric screwdriver, again purchased from IKEA some years ago. Not the fastest but did the job quite well. You just need to persevere with the drilling…

First hole, with the electric screwdriver
First hole, with the electric screwdriver

 After drilling the pipe, I’ve cut the excess to my needs..

After cutting off the excess
After cutting off the excess

The only screw I found in my garage was an old, rusted screw. I’ve used it for the time being just do finish the job and then purchased one for a permanent solution.

The only screw I found in my garrage
The only screw I found in my garrage

At the other end, I’ve used the same process as above. The only didfference is that I’ve used the hammer to bend the pipe at 90 degrees so I can screw it in place.

I have unbolted the pipe, added recently made rack, and bolted back using the same screws. Works awesome !

Unscrewed the heat shield.
Unscrewed the heat shield.

You can see below the final result. Looks like OEM ! So proud, I just hope it works…

Raw final result
Raw final result

Final result

This is the final result to my DYI rack. It took me about 6 hours to make it, including coffe breaks and plus the fact that outside were 40+ Celsius.

Where the rack fitsI’ve used a black spray paint to match the bike’s color. Results below.

Final result rear

Final result
Total cost to make the soft pannier rack on the right side: $16
Check the soft pannier rack (left) link. That one was for free basically, made it with what was left from this project. But I’ve also made a tool tube to attach it to the rack which pumped the price up to $14.  All in all, a good deal.