While I was on that most fun of trips in 2012, my rack broke twice. I had it welded up and it made it through the trip, but a few months after I got home the rack began to loosen on one side. I was unable to tighten it because the bolt was stuck. I had it tight by using a few zipties between the grab handle and the rack. It worked since I didn’t take any serious trips and very few pleasure rides in 2013. It was a strange year.
Paul tried a variety of mechanisms to get the bolt to turn by grabbing it with various tools. None of them worked. It was firmly stuck in place, so he cut it off at the mount point.
Then he drilled the mount. We both had a hearty laugh after I showed him this picture. He has a lot of experience working with metal and it was impressive to watch him twist and angle the drill around to get all of the old material out. Like watching a sculptor at work.
After making a near perfect hole by hand, he then tapped it with a helicoil kit and them hammered out the end of the coil to allow the new M8 bolt to seat fully.
I tested both sides, and was really impressed how much smoother the new bolt hole was compared to the original on the other side. We lubed them up with some anti-seize to reduce the chances of future issues. The rack is as good as new now and properly tight, so I can use the side cases again. A HUGE thank you to Paul for his help! You can check out his moto creations at Manic Salamander.
The bike is ready for a long trip and so am I. Where should I go?