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Homemade solo bag
Old 01-27-2017, 10:06 AM   #1
Motheelectrician
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Homemade solo bag

Well, After several months of trolling SR for information and ideas, I decided to join and share a few things that I've done to my '07 Spirit. I promise to try to keep the noob shit to a minimum!! I get a good deal of satisfaction from building things myself...which works out good, because I tend to have more time than money! Have to give credit where credit is due - I got a lot of inspiration from a couple of threads posted by AcedIt and decided that I should give some of my ideas a try. Here are the final results of my first attempt at building a solo bag for my scoot, so please be gentle....yeah right, asking for gentleness on this sight! Anyways, whatcha think?



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The details....
Old 01-27-2017, 10:20 AM   #2
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The details....

So as I said before, I learned a good deal from AcedIt's posts....and personally think that reading "Road to Rod" and "Road to Bob" should probably be some sort of prerequisite for becoming a member of SR, but hey....what do I know? Just a noob. The main thing I guess I realized was if you have an idea and can't find exactly what you're looking for or in my case, don't really want to spend all of your beer money on parts, just build it. Figure it out...look around...USE THE SEARCH BUTTON!! So my quest for a solo bag started. I started looking for something that I could use for a sort of shell to give the bag some shape without being a flimsy pile of leather. After several days of looking at every store that I could think of....I found it at Walmart....I really hate that store and avoid it like the plague, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. An $8 plastic file folder in the office supplies section. Had a nifty little plastic clasp on it and everything. Bought 2 of them because I figured I would jack at least one attempt up.

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Old 01-27-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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The picture above shows one of the folders intact and the first general shape of the bag that I was going to use. It was basically as big as I could make it after cutting away a corner to clear the shock. I just ripped the accordion sides out and used some electrical shears to cut the outer plastic. The plan was to use rivets to somehow secure the sides that were missing after tearing out the original flexible sides. After looking around my shop for something that I could sacrifice for sides (Again credit to AcedIt...he used an old trash can...I used a lid...same difference) I ended up using a lid to an old plastic storage container that I had. Measured, cut out a strip, BAM!....sides.

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homemade L brackets
Old 01-27-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
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homemade L brackets

Again trying to keep costs down, I ended up making my own L brackets instead of buying them. This did a couple of things - saved me enough money for like 1 - 1.3 adult beverages and also kept the weight down. I realize that metal brackets wouldn't have weighed that much, but they add up. I used the same plastic lid and cut some strips about 1/2" X 1" or so with my trusty electrician shears and folded them in the middle with a pair of pliers. Found some aluminum rivets that I've been holding on to for a rainy day and started marking, drilling, and riveting. The plastic shaped easily to follow the curved edges of the file folder that I cut.




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Not quite...
Old 01-27-2017, 11:03 AM   #5
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Not quite...

Experimented with some different mounting locations and orientations, but after seeing the general shape of the bag after it was assembled, decided that I really didn't care for the overall shape. Can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like about it, just not what I had in my head. Back to the drawing board.


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Take 2
Old 01-27-2017, 11:15 AM   #6
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Take 2

Remember when I bought 2 folders just in case..... So after looking at every image the google monster had for solo bags (keeping in mind that this was going to be a homemade job and my experience and skills as a solo bag builder were a touch on the light side...it's important to know your limitations) I came up with another design and decided to give it another go. Homemade solo bag, take 2: Learned some lessons on the first go 'round about where to cut the file folder to make it easier to reassemble with the rivets and additional panels. Tried to picture in my head what it would look like unfolded, marked and cut accordingly.


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Old 01-27-2017, 11:25 AM   #7
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I spent a little time thinking about where the rivets would go and what side should be secured in what order to be able to get the rivet gun onto the rivet. Kinda hard to explain in words, but if you're not careful with this step you will end up not being able to get the rivet gun inside the bag or not being able to see to mark the holes in the right spot to drill out for the rivets. I'm pretty detail oriented (my wife calls it OCD, but she's weird) so it was important to me to try to get the L brackets in the right place to keep the gaps to a minimum and keep things symmetrical. So I kinda folded and looked and decided where I would have to rivet first to keep the last rivets to be secured on the outside. I hope the pictures will help explain what I'm talking about...I'm struggling here! If anyone has any questions, just shoot me a message. Maybe I can explain better.



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Old 01-27-2017, 11:36 AM   #8
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These pics kinda show what I was trying to explain in the previous post. You can see that I attached the rivets to the folder part all the way around while it was still flat. Then I would fold up the corners and mark through the L bracket for the 2nd hole, unfold, and drill. If I would have done that any other way, I wouldn't have been able to get my marker in there straight to mark the holes. If you start riveting before marking and drilling all of the holes, you can't get a drill in the bag and will have to try to line up the drill from the outside and do your best to hit the hole just right on the L bracket. Probably a hundred different ways to do it, the point is there will have to be some thought involved with this step. I'm sure that most of the people on here or reading this thread (if anyone reads it at all!!) will probably have enough DIY skills to figure this out.



You can see here where I used the plastic from the container lid for the sides.



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Starting to come together
Old 01-27-2017, 11:39 AM   #9
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Starting to come together

A little testing on the latch to make sure everything is still geehawing....

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Old 01-27-2017, 11:49 AM   #10
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When this idea first popped in my head, I had every intention on covering the shell with leather. Sigh....again have to admit I got the idea from AcedIt (Swear I'm not a stalker dude!!). I always pictured my flat black bike with saddle leather brown seat and bag. Don't really know what the color is called, Bay maybe? Brown....I wanted it plain old brown distressed leather, but I also wanted some sick tooling. I researched and did some skulling and realized that leather is expensive and I didn't have any tools for working with leather...and those are expensive too. So I found some super funky embossed vinyl that some of you may have noticed in a previous picture.



$20/yrd at Hobby Lobby......oh yeah baby.....
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