Universal Topcase Bracket Revamp
Universal Topcase Bracket Revamp
Years ago I bought a universal topcase bracket that was made by Touratech because I wanted a topcase that I could easily put on a motorcycle and remove easily. There really wasn’t anything on the market that fit my needs aside from purchasing the topcase from Touratech and modifying a Pelican case to work with it. The system worked out really well for a long time. The universal bracket and case system has been on three different motorcycles and has covered many, many miles.
I see now that Touratech isn’t marketing the bracket as a universal bracket anymore. It is now listed as a topcase bracket for the BMW R1200GS. I’m not really sure why they made this change because the bracket can pretty easily be installed on any bike that has a flat rack area on the tail of the bike.
Here is a picture of the kit. I don’t remember some of the hardware I see in the picture but that may be specific for the R1200GS.
This picture is of the base plate that bolts to the motorcycle. This portion has the locking mechanism and is left behind when the top case is unlocked and removed. The system worked for many miles but there were some shortcomings in the design that led to the bracket developing cracks over time.
The bracket is made up of two plates as seen in the picture. Each plate is separated by six spacers. Between the plates is the locking mechanism. When unlocked you pull on the rear handle that has the locking mechanism and the case is released and can be pulled off.
The problem with the design is two-fold. If you look at the picture you can see the six large-headed bolts that screw into the spacers and hold the two plates together. The bolts only go about half way across the plate from front to back. This leaves the rear half of the top plate to flex up and down. The next flaw is the round “speed holes” and long oval holes along the sides of the top plate which only serve to allow one to secure the entire assembly to the rear of a motorcycle without separating the two halves.
The problem is that cracks developed where the top plate flex up and down over time. The speed holes only compounded the problem by making that area weaker. My original top plate was almost cracked in half all along the midline of the top bracket.
I decided to try to salvage the bracket and with the help of a good friend designed a fix to the original design. Both the top and lower plate were remade with some fixes to make the entire design stronger. In the first picture you can see the lower plate that has been separated from the top plate. You can see that the plate is longer toward the back of the bike and two additional rear spacers have been added.
This is a picture of the top plate bolted back in place. The speed holes and the oval slots on the original bracket have been removed. The plate has also been extended to allow the extra two spacers to be utilized. This system is much stronger than the original design and eliminates the top plate from flexing at its midpoint.
Here you can see how the entire system works. All you do is slide the front tabs on the case into the front slots on the bracket on the bike then lower the rear of the case into the rear hole on the bracket on the bike while pulling back on the lock handle. Once the case is in place you release the handle and engage the lock. Perfect!
I’m stoked how the final product turned out. I expect to continue to use my setup for many more miles to come. It’s so convenient to load it up for a trip and then unlock and remove the case when I arrive at my destination and carry it like a suitcase or just remove the case in a few seconds when I don’t want it or need it on the bike.