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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been spending the winter getting my AT ready for it's first offroad riding this spring. Between the Caribou Cases, AltRider luggage rack with 1 gallon Rotopax for fuel, pillion seat replacement rack and Moose Racing ADV1 waterproof bag I should have more than enough space for the 2-5 day trips I'm hoping to take this year. Water is the only thing I didn't have covered until now. I looked at some of the "adventure bike" solutions for this and they are just too expensive for my wallet, I needed to find an affordable solution.

While trying to find something that I could make work I found the Blackburn Outpost Cargo cage. I picked up a pair of them to evaluate and hopefully mount on the back of each pannier. I used stainless steel bolts, washers (large fender washers inside) and lock nuts. I also drilled another hole in the mounting area of the cage so I could add an additional bolt to distribute the load across the whole frame of the cage and not just the lower part where the holes are. I believe they were about $18 each and include very nice, rubber coated straps that thread through slots in the base, they don't just wrap around as it appears in the photo. It is constructed of aluminum and the welds are very good. My only concern is that the aluminum won't be able to take the pounding it may receive on the back of the bike. If these were to fail I will use them as a template and make a copy out of stainless steel rod TIG welded.



For carrying water I picked up a pair of Nalgene 48oz wide mouth bottles. I went with the HDPE version as it's cheaper and likely to take the abuse of dirt and grime better than the harder and more expensive ones. Nice thing about these is my water filter screws right on to the top so if I'm riding in a place where I need to bring a filter it will work well with these bottles. They were about $9 each at REI so no tears if they fall off without me knowing, other than having no water :smile2:



I also have some MSR water bags we use sea kayaking but not sure I'll have enough room to put them inside a pannier or bag. Roughly 3 liters of water in the bottles should be enough to at least start a trip. What are you all doing for water?
 

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I have a Perun rear rack that allows for two Rotopax 1 gallon containers to be mounted side by side. More than enough fuel and water to keep me going.

As a joke last summer I put a 4L (1 gallon) water container from the supermarket on the back and tied it on with Rokstraps. Even after a whole day of riding (mostly offroad) the container was fine and still had the water. I was surprised that it didn't burst but it worked just fine.

I usually tuck away at least one Nalgene bottle (1 litre) in my gear somewhere too.
 
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On the back of each pannier I have the Touratech 3L fuel canister, using the touratech brackets. The extra 6 litres of fuel should get me over 100km. When the low fuel light comes on I have 3.3 litres which means I get over 50km + over 100km. Where I live it would be highly unusual to find yourself unexpectedly low on fuel and more than 150km from anywhere that you could buy more.

For water I have the 48oz (about 1.5 litres) Nalgene drink bottle with Humangear capCAP. I also have 3 x 2 litre Platypus collapsible water bottles which take up almost no room, but let me go and get a decent amount of water when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Here are the promised pics, haven't been able to get it out on a shakedown run yet but hoping to in the next week or so, the weather sucks and I have been battling a cold for what feels like the entire winter (but I know is only a couple weeks).


Not full but pretty secure in the empty state, hopefully it will stay put when it has 48oz inside


I might add a bungee loop that can be hooked around the neck if it seems to move around at all once I fill it up with water. That could help keep it from bouncing up.


All stainless steel hardware with the load distributed over 3 fasteners with fender washers, hoping it will be fine.


1 gallon Rotopax should be enough to get me out of a jam if necessary.
 

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An outfit called Camel ADV products has an Auxiliary fuel tank for the AT, it fits under certain pannier racks and fuels automatically by using the vacuum system of the main tank. Quite clever, but pricey.
At 1.7 gallons is would bring the AT range up where it should be for an Adventure bike.
And no screwing around with spilling gas.
I'm actually playing with the idea of converting a Rotopax in a similar fashion.
I just don't like the idea of an Adventure bike with such a small tank, I consider 300 miles to be the perfect range for combined highway/off road capability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the idea of an auxiliary fuel tank but also like the simplicity (no lines to get snagged or worse) and relatively low cost of a Rotopax pack mounted on the back. With the low weight limit of the AT's rear rack it seems like a perfect fit there. I have 6 of their 2 gallon packs that are mounted on my FJ Cruiser and expedition trailer so i'm quite familiar with how they work. I use a camelback for mountain biking but have never liked the feeling of weight on my back while riding a motorcycle, feels like it restricts my movement even though I know it really doesn't all that much. The weather broke finally so hoping to get out on the bike tomorrow and see how it feels with the recent changes, as well as get to the shop and get a quote for tires, getting closer!
 
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