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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to fit a top box, but I would like to find some way to give my wife some added stability while she rides pillion. Is anyone aware of a low passenger seatback that could be mounted to the luggage rack?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So since it doesn't seem like this exists in the market I am considering working with an upholsterer to design a pillion seat back that doesn't require replacing the passenger seat or fitting a top box. Is this something others would be interested in? If so, I'd love to hear thoughts on the following?

1. How high should the seat come up?
2. What kinds of adjustment would be desirable?
3. Should the seat attach to the stock load carrier, or one of the interface plates from Givi, etc.?
4. Any other suggestions?

Thanks for any and all feedback!
 

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1. How high should the seat come up? - that really is up to you and your offering. These dont need to be too high to offer pillion comfort. Look at the height of the OEM offering on the top box if you want guidance.
2. What kinds of adjustment would be desirable? All depends on what you want people to pay. A simple 5-10% movement on its axis point might be reasonable for minor comfort adjustment. If you do that you will want a locking mechanism to keep it in place once adjusted. I reckon most people will be happy with with no movement at all (like a pad mounted on the front face of a top box).
3. Should the seat attach to the stock load carrier, or one of the interface plates from Givi, etc.? - once you start that you will end up with 10 different designs and compromise other uses of the plates for which there were originally intended. If it goes on the stock carrier you may of ust lost half of your addressable market because they are using it for something else
4. Any other suggestions? - have it self contained, see if you can fit something under the rear seat to come up the back and up without affecting anything else.

I mean this in the nicest possible way, if you are asking a forum for advice on this type of thing you are probably not best placed to embark on this design/supply except on a hobby type basis. It needs considered design, load factors considerations, (e.g. forces of pillion weight due to acceleration), intelligent material selection for strength and longevity, and I could go on and on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean this in the nicest possible way, if you are asking a forum for advice on this type of thing you are probably not best placed to embark on this design/supply except on a hobby type basis. It needs considered design, load factors considerations, (e.g. forces of pillion weight due to acceleration), intelligent material selection for strength and longevity, and I could go on and on.
Thank you for the feedback. I'm an engineer, so the process of designing and selecting materials for an application are not foreign to me. The approach I was taking was basically a mini user study, designed to understand the scope of the problem in order to frame possible solutions (whether I build none, one, or a couple dozen).

I'm aware this idea isn't going to kick off a hundred million dollar company, and I know that I could build just one for myself. But if others have a similar need I don't know of a better place to solicit their opinions. You are absolutely correct that there is a long road between user feedback and a sellable product, a road that winds through Design, makes a right at Engineering, and gets stuck in traffic in Risk Management. But I think it's gratifying that we have seen other members of these forums identify a market need and then successfully deliver a solution that helps people enjoy their bikes more.
 

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This may help--but it isn't inexpensive!
I sold a 2014 GS but kept my awesome BAK-UP backrest. BAK-UP is a company that makes backrests for a few bikes--they use a stainless steel nicely finished base with a robust back pad and hinge mechanism. On the GS this thing was an exactly cut fit. 1st class workmanship. I set it on the back of the Africa Twin and it was really similar to the rack on the GS. So, I lined it up and marked the spots and drilled holes (into the backrest base--not the AT!). Four spacers and some bolts and DONE. Easy to remove when not in use and doesn't mark up the rear rack. Even looks sorta cool! Wife says it's comfortable (it does have adjustment) and she is much more secure.
I'll try to post some pictures later if anyone is interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This may help--but it isn't inexpensive!
I sold a 2014 GS but kept my awesome BAK-UP backrest. BAK-UP is a company that makes backrests for a few bikes--they use a stainless steel nicely finished base with a robust back pad and hinge mechanism. On the GS this thing was an exactly cut fit. 1st class workmanship. I set it on the back of the Africa Twin and it was really similar to the rack on the GS. So, I lined it up and marked the spots and drilled holes (into the backrest base--not the AT!). Four spacers and some bolts and DONE. Easy to remove when not in use and doesn't mark up the rear rack. Even looks sorta cool! Wife says it's comfortable (it does have adjustment) and she is much more secure.
I'll try to post some pictures later if anyone is interested.
Hadly, great suggestion. These look close to what I wanted, though the seats might be a bit higher profile than my ideal. I see a bunch of different GS options; can you tell me which of the models on this page is the one you have? Thanks!

EDIT: The model for "F-800GS Passenger/Luggage Rack (FA)" looks pretty good.
 

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I have the one in the very top right--water cooled GS. If you click on the picture you can see the shape of the base. It really is close to the ATwin's rack.
I'll try and put a couple of profile pics plus some front and back this evening.
 

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Here you go: https://dynamicmotorcycleaccessories.com/collections/honda

Having said (or linked that,) I did a trial with my wife last weekend as we are doing a shorter (300 mile) trip and she has never ridden further than around the block.

I attached a duffel bag full of clothes to the rack and on the rear of the pillion. She was able to feel the duffel on here back and to said she was pretty comfortable. We went about 45 miles of country roads and she liked it.

Now I am getting a nicer back for this purpose. I am getting one that has a little structure to it so it will be fine on the rear rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here you go: https://dynamicmotorcycleaccessories.com/collections/honda

Having said (or linked that,) I did a trial with my wife last weekend as we are doing a shorter (300 mile) trip and she has never ridden further than around the block.

I attached a duffel bag full of clothes to the rack and on the rear of the pillion. She was able to feel the duffel on here back and to said she was pretty comfortable. We went about 45 miles of country roads and she liked it.

Now I am getting a nicer back for this purpose. I am getting one that has a little structure to it so it will be fine on the rear rack.
Looks great, thanks! Though I'm not clear what you are saying; are you getting the backrest you linked to, or something else?
 

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I got the stock plate and panniers, so here's what I'd want:

1. Attaches to the motorcycle/plate independently of the top box, with anchors that give 100% secure peace-of-mind. Nothing plastic.
2. Does not interfere with opening, mounting or dismounting the top box.
3. A few inches of vertical adjustment.
4. A rigid stock with small mount of tilt-play in the cushioned part (pitch).
5. No hard edges which could scratch anyone or anything (especially the back near where the plastic top box is nearby).

Having said that, I see the prices for these back rests are $162 for the cheapest and up to $427. To me, those prices range from "a little too much" to "insane". I understand that a ton of R&N goes into these. Plus materials, plus manufacturing, plus insurance (must be a lot), warehousing, shipping, general operations, etc., but I think the price point needs to be $100 to $150. The market is a catch 22. You can't lower the price until there are more sales, you can't increase sales with the high price point. Such is the dilemma of many great ideas!
 

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My solution for now is to mount my top box and put a $6 back rest on it. This works GREAT and I can carry water and all the things we motorcycle Boy Scouts carry.
 
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