Before I went to Alaska in 2011, Prudhoe Bay to be exact, I searched for a solution to replace the fiddley bolt and support brace assembly that attaches my saddle bags to the rear support frame. Known not as bags but rather panniers on dual sport bikes. I wanted slick and quick access to remove them for repairs. Armed with enough metal shop experience in Junior High, I opted to use straight bolts, cotter pins and tons of washers.

They rattled like mad when empty, so this time I used a leftover kit of Happy brackets with oversized knobs. The knobs would pass any Arthritis Foundation tests, and they take up too much real estate on the inside of the box.

Internal shot of the panniers

How many holes can one box have?

I thought better of riding with the cotter bolts this time since I may take the panniers off to run a few of Overland Expo’s courses. Plus the clips were weakening.

I measured half assed, armed only with small hands and a sharpie marker. I made my marks, thought twice, reset the box and remeasured, and smiled wide as I drilled through the box with my new hammer drill.

Since the former bike owner patched up other holes with epoxy and Canadian coins, I followed suit but used only American currency. Hope I never get hard up for 60 cents.

I schmered some silicone on the inside washers, and contorted again to seat the new bracket to the back of the box and align my oblong drilled holes to the screw port. I was glad I changed it. With one bolt secure, the box sits so sturdy that I may be more compelled to take bumpier roads.

No other modifications are needed to my bike except how I arrange my gear. Even Ride West inspected my filthy calcium carbonate encrusted bike but it passed their integrity checks.

Ride safe,