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Tuesday Edition


MetalSports Billet Tour-Pak Rack

Simplest Tech in the world, with a couple of twists

By Bandit with photos by Sin Wu
6/11/2010 3:42:41 PM


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This is wild. Some of the most precision shit in life is magnificently simple. Motorsport makes this popular tour-pak rack from a ¼-inch plate of billet aluminum, the masters of billet wheels, but I'll touch on them in a minute.

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Metalsport's Contoured "Billet Tour Pack Rack" is available in show chrome, Black Chrome and Raw polished. They fit H-D FLH Tour Packs 1984 to present.

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The slab of T-6 or 6061 aluminum is billet-machined and then pressed to contour stock H-D Tour-Pak lids. This was the boss's notion. Ron Loynds owned several manufacturing facilities for decades, and now he's making products around a sport he enjoys, motorcycling. In fact, this is his bike. Ron's companies are capable of building almost anything. Since I met him, with longtime associate, Kim Hotinger, I've sent them a couple of guys who needed their product notions manufactured in the United States. Actually Ron built bike parts since he tinkered with his first bike, a Mustang, at the age of 15, while working at his dad's machine shop. In the '70s he designed and manufactured springers for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's trikes. He continued to work with Roth throughout the '70s, and various other builders, such as Matt Hotch, currently, while making parts for the aerospace industry. Recently he started helping custom car wheel manufacturer, MHT, build motorcycle wheels. The car guys decided to unload their Metalsport wheel line and Ron jumped on it.

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They make an extensive line of 2D and 3D wheels, plus clear wheels like this one. They currently build Chip Foose-designed wheels, and private-label wheels for Custom Chrome and J&P. In the near future we will examine the difference between 2D and 3D wheels and some cheaters called 2.5D wheels.

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This is the Metalsport wheel we plan to use on my son's Frisco'd, single-loop, FXR.

Ron's front wheel center is 1-inch thick Lexan and clear as a bell. He's also working with 360 brakes and building components for these revolutionary stopping systems. Ron's dresser has dual 360 brakes mounted up front, similar to airplane brakes.

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These puppies are amazing.

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The Lexan appears to be ¼-inch thick, but actually it's a full 1-inch.

Unlike wheels involving a myriad of sizes, applications, axle sizes, tire dimensions, and multiple configurations, these racks come in one size, one configuration, one application, and one easy way to mount. The product may be built behind highly complicated machining process, but after Ron found the finest quality chromer in Los Angeles, and manufactured the stand-offs, the customer is faced with the easiest install on the planet.

Next, Ron plans to make luggage racks for saddlebag lids, and fender racks.

"The saddlebag lid racks are in the programming stage right now," said Kim Hottinger.

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So what the hell did we do? We rolled over to Fullerton Harley-Davidson to ensure that a factory-trained and experienced technician would handle the install. Matt has a 12-year career rolling with Fullerton. He's been installing Metalsport billet luggage racks on dressers since Ron introduced the lightweight item. Often, trained mechanics, who perform a given function thousands of times, make a process look easy. In this case, there were no special tools; but just one.

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This ratchet made a one-man operation easy.

Custom Chromelogobanner
Custom Chrome carries MetalSports racks and wheels.

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You can buy Metalsports products on line through J&P, just click the image.

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Stock unit.

Plus, if your bike has a tour pack lid rack, it's simply a matter of taking it off and installing the Metalsport rack. It comes with all the necessary fasteners and standoff spacers. Let's get to the slippery meat of this chromed business.

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If your bike has a tour-pak antenna, open the lid and measure how close the lid gets to the antenna as it swings past. Write the measurement down.

If you don't currently have a tour-pak rack, put masking tape on the underside of the rack everywhere the rack might come in contact with the lid paint.

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Position the rack on top of the tour-pak. Center the rack side-to-side. Position the rack front-to-rear, making sure that it isn't too far forward and contacts the passenger. If your bike has a tour-pak antenna, make sure that the back edge of the rack isn't too far back, or it will hit the antenna when you open the lid. Make sure that the Motorsport rack isn't rearward past the back edge of the lid, more than the measurement you wrote down, minus ½-inch for added clearance.

Once you've determined the position, raise the Metalsport rack and place masking tape where you will drill the four holes. Reposition the rack on the lid and mark the Metalsport rack hole centers on the tape. Remove the rack.

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The marks you just made are not accurate for drilling. The stand-offs need to be at an angle to the rack or they won't stand flat on the top of the lid. This means marking new centers. See the diagram supplied with the instructions.

The two rear marks need to be moved 1/16th- in. forward, and 1/16-in. toward the center of the lid from each original mark.

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The two front marks need to be moved 1/16-in. toward the center of the Tour-Pak lid from the original mark.

Drill ¼-in. holes through the new marks. Remove all of the masking tape from the lid.

Carefully mount the Motorsport rack to the lid with a rubber washer under each standoff and a metal washer between the inside of the lid and each locknut. Matt used a tiny drop of super-glue to hold the standoff washers in place during assembly.

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Matt also noted that one of the fasteners on the bottom of some models is designed for a taillight wire.

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Matt used a drop to Super-glue to hold the washers in place during final assembly.

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Now you can see how the Super-glue came in handy.

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Matt installed the rack with Loctite but just snug. Then he shut the lid and made sure the Metalsport rack was positioned perfectly. Then he tightened it down.

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That's it. I've used Pledge for years to polish chrome. It's non-abrasive and protects areas you can't reach with a rag. Okay goddamnit, was that simple or what?

http://www.metalsportwheels.com/

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Sin Wu made a special SPAM lunch to celebrate this tech. She loves that shit.

k and g website banner
Here's another hardworking retailer who sells Metalsport products.

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Reader Comments


Very nice lookin' rack! I see there is a 'kick' at the back....I'm concerned that there is not one at the front.

Any special pricing for CVO Eaglerider members?

How much to ship to Canada? and do you ship with USPS?

Thanks, Dan.

Dan Dayne
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Friday, July 27, 2012
Editor Response Drop me a line to Bandit@bikernet.com, and I will hook you up with the answers. Or drop a line to info@metalsportwheels.com. Tell Jason Bikernet sent ya.
--Bandit
Nice rack, how much are they for a road glide ultra 2011.

jack Nunez
Daytona Beach, FL
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Editor Response The price is $289.95, chromed or black anodized. The also have racks for saddlebag lids.
--Bandit
I love your billet trunk rack. Have you considered making these for Victory bikes such as the Cross Country, Cross Roads, and Vision? I think there would be a great market for these due to what Victory gets for their Kuryaken made racks. Thank you.

Greg Masters
Flanagan, IL
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Editor Response I'll pass this on to the boss of Metalsport.
--Wrench

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