I use my motorcycles mostly for commuting to work. So the minimal I need to be able to take with my is some clothes, shoes and a MacBook. This is how I fixed that on my Energica SS9. A combination of the Energica specific case rack with custom cases.
Before I always had a top case covering that. But since I swapped to electric, with the Zero SRF first, I’ve been using a backpack. Downside of that is the extra weight on your back plus safety concerns on crashes. Well even worse, because with the backpack I can’t even wear my self inflating airbag jacket.
On my Zero I fixed that by getting the top case rack and using that to strap my backpack on. Using rokstraps, those things are really great. They aren’t expensive at all and you can tie down almost anything thanks to the design.
What this doesn’t resolve is that I still had to wrap my backpack in the rainproof cover on rainy days and there was still no way to carry more than what fits in that backpack. Plus having anything on the back of the SRF while riding through the rain has that exposed to all the mud the SRF rear wheel picks up.
And then came the Energica SS9, the problem with that solution is that the Energica charge inlet is underneath the seat. So every time I need to charge I have to lift up the seat. That’s why I installed the Energica side bags. I did test fit them at my dealer before buying. And… Well they sort of fit a MacBook if you use them extended but it’s still not ideal.
At least at this point I had a solid rack on the rear for mounting cases to. Above is a very quick video I made from that installation. The only somewhat complicated part is that you need to remove the license plate holder. But still an easy task to do yourself at home with minimal tools required.
It’s also a very well made rack constructed from 10mm steel rods. The only downside is that they don’t have a flat mounting surface. Instead the bottom section moves inwards, closer to the wheels. Probably to have some extra room in the cases. In practice that extra space is rather limited and mostly unusable due to the odd shape of the bags. If only they didn’t cut so many corners in that design (literally, in the shape of the bag) a macbook would have fit.
The cases or bags are made from a fabric that is formed with steam (at least I think that is how they do this) so there is not waterproofing on the bag itself. Instead it comes with an outer liner that you can wrap around it to make it water proof. Experience learned me that you can be unlucky having one of those bags fill up with water holding that water in your bag instead of out.
So I just bought a cheap peli case like product that would fit my macbook. Also not bigger cause I don’t need to carry much more. I found these cheap 51 EUR cases from a brand INNOX with dimensions 370x270x160 mm. Next I designed a bracket to mount these to horizontal top bar and a spacer to mount to the bottom bar. These files can be found on thingiverse.
On the bottom the piece is only a spacer and I have 2x M6x70mm long bolts going through the holes in the frame that normally fit the studs for the original cases. On the top I currently have 2x M6x40mm bolts pressing the bracket around the bar on top. That is v0.6 of the files I have printed.
I also made a version 0.7 where the top bracket is mounted with 3 bolts making it even more secure. Not that I think that is really needed. I thought of reusing the plastic mounting plates from the original bags. On the inside there is a zipper that allows you to take the backing plates out. Those have the benefit of the locking mechanism. I would then just have to put the spacer between the case and the plate.
However the hardware on that plate is just mounted with some self tapping screws in the plastic parts. It didn’t look strong enough to me for holding the extra weight of the case and the extra volume in luggage. So I didn’t, but in theory you could easily adapt those parts also.
For the inside I used some plastic covers so that the bolts don’t damage anything you carry. Those have the added benefit that you don’t need any tools inside the case to mount the hardware. On the outside I used M6 nuts with nylon inserts so that they don’t come loose. Spring washers should also work for this, even combined with wing nuts if you want to be able to remove the case more easily.