Anyone who has installed the Detachable Tour Pak Rack Kit on their Harley Davidson Motorcycle will soon find a couple of things that could be better.
You can read an article that I wrote about installing a Premium Tour Pak on my Electra Glide by clicking here now.
Tour Pak Relocation Kits
First off, anyone that rides a Harley Davidson Touring Motorcycle will notice that on a stock setup either with the detachable back rest, or standard or detachable tour pak, that it can become very cramped when you have a back seat passenger behind you.
I myself am not fat, nor is my old lady. As a matter of fact my old lady is skinny. Nonetheless we were cramped on my Electra Glide with the detachable sissy bar or the detachable tour pak installed.
I for one don’t mind feeling my old lady behind me on rides, however when you are on a long run doing 500 mile plus days, it is nice to be able to stretch out if you want to. As for her it is nice to not have me using her as a back rest if you get the drift!
I went looking for some way to move her back so that I could stretch out, and to make it comfortable for both of us on long motorcycle runs.
I found 3 after market solutions to relocate the tour pak back.
Kuryakyn makes a 2 inch tour pak relocation kit You can see it by clicking here. They state that it is not compatible with the Harley Davidson Detachable Tour Pak Rack so the Kuryakyn solution was not for me. Besides, I cannot see spending $199.00 for only 2 inches of room!
Another after market solution that I found for relocation of the Tour Pak back, and that was compatible with the Harley Davidson Detachable Tour Pak Rack, or permanent mounted tour paks is made by a gentleman named George Anderson. He designed a mount that looked heavy duty to me, and that many guys have raved about, that relocates the tour pak back either 1.25 inches, or 2.5 inches. George Anderson’s Tour Pak relocation kit also raises the tour pak up 5/8 inches. George Anderson is an individual who designed this kit and manufactures it himself. I have heard that he charges about $145.00 for the kit. You will have to call himself if you want to get current pricing for his kit, and/or to order one. I do not believe he has a website.
Here is his information:
2925 12th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265
I was almost about to go with the George Anderson tour pak relocation kit, but I wanted more room then a measly 2.5 inches. I figured that if I was going to go through the hassle of installing a tour pak relocation kit, I wanted more than just 2.5 inches!
I then found a company called Harley Comforts that was founded by a gentleman named Jeff Erkel. Their website is located www.harleycomforts.com. He designed and manufactures a Tour Pak Relocation Kit that is compatible with the Harley Davidson Detachable Tour Pak Rack that moves that Tour Pak back either 2.5 inches or 4.25 inches. He has a patent pending on his design.
My first impression was that 4.25 inches may do the trick! My thinking was that a 4.25 inch setback relocation was a heck of a lot better then 2.5 inches. Jeff Erkel states that he designed his relocation kit to save his wife from being squashed in between the back of his tour pak and riders backrest on long trips. His website states that the Relocation Kit is made of 3/16″ high quality aluminum that is powder coated in a matte black finish. The 2.5″ setback requires a new mounting bracket that is supplied. You will need to remove the two plastic plugs that your current bracket has, and install them on the new one provided. The new mounting bracket is made of the same (or better) quality steel than provided by Harley. It is powder coated black with new holes already drilled that is required for the 2.5″ setback. The 4.25″ setback requires no new mounting bracket.
In my particular case, I had already installed a Mustang Plain Regal Ultra Touring Seat for my Electra Glide. Mustang Seat PN# 75537. I wrote a review about it which you can read by clicking here.
The passenger portion of the Mustang seat seems much bigger then stock which the old lady loves. The back portion of the mustang seat is actually so big that putting on the detachable tour pak was more difficult because the padding on the back compressed onto the back of the tour pak. There was at least ¾ of an inch of wasted seat.
After doing a lot of research on the internet forums, and after talking to Jeff Erkel who designed the relocation kit, I decided to go with the 4.25 inch tour pak relocation kit. Jeff states that “for legal reasons I have to say that you should only load the tour pak with the maximum allowable weight recommended by Harley Davidson, however I myself have put much more weight on the tour pak for 1000’s of miles with no problems whatsoever.”
At the time I ordered the kit I paid $85.00 dollars with shipping. I am not sure what it cost now. You can contact Jeff Erkel at the Harley Comforts website, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 916-660-0321.
My 4.25 inch kit was shipped very fast after I made the order. As a matter of fact I think he sent it to me by next day mail. It contained instructions, an aluminum plate, and new longer screws and bolts where needed. It was very simple to install to the detachable Harley Davidson Tour Pak rack.
It was kind of unusual mounting the detachable rack to the motorcycle with the 4.25 inch relocation kit on the first time, but I quickly got used to it. Another thing I noticed immediately was that the stock detachable rack with the tour pak installed could be set on the floor or a level hard surface, and it would stand up on its own. Now with the 4.25 inch relocation kit the tour pak would not stand up on its own on the floor or a hard level surface, but it would tilt back because the tour pak is now back 4.25 inches towards the rear, thus causing the weight to shift back. This was not a big deal to me whatsoever, because to be quite frank, I mostly ride with the tour pak on, even in local city traffic. The tour pak has become so convenient for putting things in, that I cannot believe I ever went without one; anyway. The only time this would ever be an issue would be when I take the tour pak off and set it down somewhere. I will just have to put a soft cloth, or something else underneath it to prop it up.
Now for the good part; the 4.25 inch tour pack relocation kit kicks ass! Not only does it work as advertised, but it has made my riding experience with my old lady truly pleasurable. I cannot feel her behind me anymore! We just did an 800 mile plus weekend road trip and it was an absolute pleasure for both of us. She is not crushed up against the back of the tour pak pad and me anymore. I had lots of stuff in the tour pak and did not notice any difference whatsoever in motorcycle handling. I give this 4.25 inch tour pak relocation kit the big thumbs up! I cannot believe I waited so long to install it!
There is one issue which some may not like. The 4.25 inch relocation kit does create a gap between the back of the passenger pillion and the front of the tour pak. In my case with the big Mustang Saddle it is more like 3.75 inches. Some may not like the look of the gap. On my motorcycle I got used to looking at the gap shortly because I have a vivid black Electra Glide and the relocation kit is vivid black.
I will tell you, if you are a true motorcycle rider like me, you are not going to give a hoot about the gap. The comfort that my old lady and I experienced with this kit greatly outweighs any esthetic issues which are minimal anyway. If you ride a touring motorcycle like the Electra Glide you are probably more into a comfortable ride anyway.
Aluminum Docking Mounts to Replace the Stock Harley Davidson Plastic Docking Mounts
When you purchase detachable hardware for a Harley Davidson motorcycle such as the detachable tour pak rack, passenger backrest, or luggage rack, you basically get docking mounts that are made of some kind of metal, with a plastic ring. The plastic ring is where the actual metal part of your detachable accessory makes contact with, and secures to the docking mount on the motorcycle.
There is a known bug with Harley Davidson stock docking mounts, the plastic ring that is used on the bushings is known to wear down and break off! This is a known bug. When this happens your detachable tour pak will not fall off, but it will shake, rattle and roll. Not a very good experience when you are in the middle of no where. I have heard of guys who have had to replace the docking mounts (bushings) after every long road trip, or every few thousand miles.
With respect to my bushings, I caused deep scratched on the plastic the very first time I installed the detachable tour pak!
Luckily I have found an after market solution for the stock Harley Davidson bushings that do not have the plastic rings, but are made of solid aluminum and that should last forever. Another innovative gentleman named Bobby got sick and tired of the problem, and designed the solid aluminum bushings. He also makes a great Apple iPod mount for the Harley Davidson as well You can check out his simple website by clicking here now.
When you get to his website, you will see links on the left for the Bushings and the iPod mount.
I opted to purchase the set of 4 bushings for the front and back. The cost was around $50.00 for the bushings. Some may think that this is too much of a cost to pay, but I will tell you, if you ever had the plastic ring on the stock Harley bushings break or get rubbed down, you will be glad to pay $50.00 for a solution that last forever!
Another great feature with respect to the bushings is that there is no vibration or play in the tour pak when riding hard at speed. Your tour pak goes on solid and the fit is much better then the stock Harley bushings. This was surprising to me because I think the plastic was meant to be a buffer to vibration and shock. As it turns out, the plastic causes too much vibration and play, whereas the new aluminum bushings do not at all!
These new bushings are a simple install. All I had to do was remove my hard saddlebags from my Electra Glide, unscrew the old ones with a hex wrench, and screw the new ones on. I then put the hard saddle bags back on. The first time I put the tour pak on, I noticed that the fit is a bit tighter then the stock Harley Davidson bushings. I actually became alarmed. However the fit is actually perfect and tight which is precisely what you want! The reason why the stock bushings make the detachable tour pak go on easier, is the same reason why they wear out and make lots of noise on the road; the plastic!
Now that I am used to the aluminum bushings, taking the tour pak on and off is no big deal.
I highly recommend the aluminum bushings from Bobby as a direct replacement for the Harley Davidson stock bushings. You will not be disappointed and you should never have to worry about replacing them again.
Now as for me, I am a simple Biker who also happens to be a Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer. I am not a mechanic by any means. I was able to install all of the hardware mentioned in this article on my own. I also want you all to know, I was not compensated by anyone for these reviews. I just thought I would throw out some simple solutions for those of you with detachable tour paks.
Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2008