Newman's Own Luggage Capacity Stretcher

Leonard Newman

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How's that for being creative?  Leonard saw a need and headed to the hardware store to find a solution (gotta love guys like that).  He found it in the cabinet department in the form of a couple of drawer slides.  He attached the slides to his luggage rack, added a platform to the back end, bolted on a lightweight trunk and voila!  Problem solved.  Now, a caveat.  Leonard says there's no noticeable effect on handling but anyone doing this mod will want to be very careful about loading the trunk.  That's a lot of capacity sitting way out beyond the rear axle especially if both the trunk and tail bag are packed.  Just sayin' be careful and use a large helping of common sense here.

What You'll Need

1- Tail Rack
1- Set of 14 inch stainless steel drawer slides.  $12 at Home Depot. (14" is the shortest available)
8- Button head bolts, nuts, washers.  You'll need 1/2" bolts for the tail rack end, as needed for the trunk end depending on what you have.
1- Trunk of your choice with mounting pad.  Make it light as possible.  EBay & JC Whitney offer them.
1- Tube of Locktite 

How To Do It

We'll assume you already have a tail rack mounted on your bike.  It would be preferable to have a heavy duty rack made especially for using a trunk.  They're a lot stronger than the usual chrome aftermarket rack./files/includes/images/nl4_trunkmount.jpg (32058 bytes)

1. Place slides on tail rack and clamp in place.  Measure carefully to be sure they are perpendicular to each other all the way out.  If they're crooked they won't slide easily.  With the slides still clamped to the tail rack set the trunk mounting plate on the slides.  Adjust as needed so the slides are in alignment with existing holes in the trunk plate or plan to drill your own.  Once everything looks good mark the slide for drilling at each end. 

Check everything again.  Make sure the slides extend and retract smoothly (no binding) and you're happy with the location of everything.  Now you get to start drilling. 

2. Start with the tail rack end.  Check the photos above to see how Leonard did it.  You might/files/includes/images/nl8_tailbolts.jpg (39483 bytes) modify things a little depending on your tail rack and trunk support.  Notice the button head screws are used for the tail rack end because they sit down inside the track and won't interfere with other things when you retract the slides.  Once you've drilled the tail rack end add your bolts using a drop of Locktite on the threads of each.  It simply wouldn't do to have those puppies coming loose on the Alaska highway. 

3. So now you have the drawer slides mounted, the trunk attachment/files/includes/images/nl6_lockscrew.jpg (34038 bytes) plate is on the far end and everything slides smoothly.  Oops, as soon as you accelerate that puppy is going to fly open and your trunk is going to be sitting atop another riders front fender.  Fear not, the solution is at hand.  With the slide fully retracted (trunk atop tail rack) drill a hole through the rear of one slide drill a hole through the rear end of one slide (or both if you want) as shown at right.  With the slide as far to the rear as you want it to be drill a second hole in front of the trunk down through the slides.  With a bolt or pin dropped through the appropriate hole the slide won't move.  As with the rest of this project you may be able to come up with another solution.  There's no problem with using a Ziptie to be certain the unit is locked in whatever position you want.

4. Let's add power.  Leonard tapped into his tail light circuit to add some LEDs to the trunk. /files/includes/images/nl9_flag.jpg (35124 bytes) You might want /files/includes/images/nl7_electric.jpg (39994 bytes)to put a small light inside the trunk or??  Notice the flag added in the pictures at the top of the page?  Some states require a warning flag if a load extends a certain number of inches beyond the rear of the vehicle.  Flying Old Glory is Leonard's solution.



In case you're wondering, the drawer slides have a 100 pound load rating.  That's set vertically as intended for use with drawers.  There's no way to tell what the rating is set on their side as used in this project but it's way beyond what you'd want to put in the trunk.  As noted at the top, be careful about the load.  Don't let small children hang off the trunk and discourage your fellow riders from leaning on it during gas stops.