Fuel cell rack using 80/20 tubing

keithu

Premier Member
#1
I think some folks might be interested in this. I just finished building an aux fuel cell rack for my FJ-09 using t-slot aluminum tubing from 80/20. We use this a lot at work for industrial machines, prototyping, and the like. It is extruded aluminum tubing with t-slot channels on all four sides. Nuts slide into the t-slots for infinitely variable attachment points along the tubes. The tubing has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, allowing you to make strong, complex structures without any welding. This rack with all hardware weighs less than five pounds, and it is rock solid. I attached it to the bike using threaded hard points on the frame for grab rails and luggage racks.

FJrack02.jpg FJrack01.jpg
FJrack04.jpg
 

keithu

Premier Member
#4
Very nice Job, What's the price tag on it?
My total bill from 80/20 was $160, which included $30 in shipping charges. I ordered a 72" long 25-series tube which was probably expensive to ship. Some other things that added to the cost:

* I ordered about $15-20 worth of extra parts that I ended up not using.

* The black anodized parts cost about 20% more than plain silver.

* I ordered most SS fasteners from 80/20. I could have gotten them cheaper (while also reducing my shipping cost) by buying them at a local industrial supplier.

* There are some other companies that sell similar material on Amazon, etc. that might be cheaper.

I think with better planning and using silver instead of black this rack probably could have been built for $110-120. This is a little more than welding up your own steel rack, but I think the lighter weight and versatility are worth it.
 
Last edited:

keithu

Premier Member
#6
This motorcycle rack sold at a reasonable price might be a good business venture for you.
Maybe, but I don't think I have the time or interest right now. The beauty of T-slot tubing is it's pretty easy for anyone with a hacksaw and allen wrenches to build their own structure.
 

keithu

Premier Member
#8
Here's a photo I took on the first ride. There is no conflict with the panniers. I have it apart at the moment because I discovered that the tank sloped aft slightly during normal riding, so some fuel gets trapped in the back corner. I'm also finishing the straps and side brackets that secure the tank. I can take some more detailed photos later today or tomorrow.

FJrack05.jpg
 

keithu

Premier Member
#9
As promised, here are a few more detailed photos. I Added another 1/2" of aluminum bar stock under the rear mount to slope the rack forward slightly. The pillion seat didn't quite fit between the front supports. I rode over to Mr. Ed's Moto (less than a mile from my house) and he quickly modified my seat so it fits. I used loop clamps to secure the gravity-feed ball valve to the rack.

I put some vinyl strips on the rack to damp vibration, and finished the rack with plastic inserts in the exposed T-slots. I have Hepco-Becker panniers on my FJ-09, and their rack provides plenty of clearance for fuel line routing. FJrack07.jpg FJrack08.jpg FJrack09.jpg FJrack10.jpg FJrack11.jpg .

FJrack06.jpg
 
#12
Thanks for the photos, when you wrote FJ09, i thought maybe the standard bike not the tracer version.
Way different subframe to the standard ol mt09
 

keithu

Premier Member
#14
Yep, rear subframe is very different. Although I think you could probably bolt a Tracer subframe onto your MT-09 if you were really ambitious.

Plumbing the gravity feed was challenging because there is almost no room to spare under the FJ/Tracer fuel tank. I had to be careful with placement of the bulkhead fitting to avoid conflict with the frame, throttle bodies, and shock mount. The MT-09 tank is different, but I would expect similarly tight packaging.