The day before the awful January weather hit, I managed to get a nice afternoon ride-out on the Capo. Stopping part way along for a coffee break, I paused for a moment to put helmet and gloves in the top-box – forgetting I had a bungee-cord still attached between the lid and side cases. With my mind wandering away on other things, I flicked the latches and began lifting with finger and thumb. In a heartbeat the cord snatched the lid out of my hand, slamming it hard against the hinge-stops bending the hinges and shearing two rivets. Oh well, after 10 years I guess it could do with a bit of TLC, now it definitely needs it!
A couple of weeks later, after the snow had finished having its wicked way, I managed to get around to doing a complete strip of the top-box in an uncomfortably cold and damp barn, first straightening the hinges then rebuilding it all with new 4mm stainless steel rivets instead of the feeble aluminium 3mm ones. While I had it stripped down I remembered that I’d had a little 3D printer idea regarding the top-box and now was the perfect time to do it.
Something that’s always bugged me with the Hepco-Becker top-box is the lateral play in the mount which allows the box to be fitted off-center – around a half-inch or more (>12.5mm) either way. To take this slop out two plastic blocks modelled on the shape of the existing mount have been added using the same size self-tapping screws as on the main support. These blocks don’t take any load, that’s still handled 100% by the original support, their only job is to ensure the box lines up perfectly every time it’s refitted ….. no bumping, shuffling or tweaking it into place, and this most certainly pleases my mild OCD!
While doing all this, the bottom galvanised steel support plate was measured and a larger improved design drawn up. The original 1.5mm thick plate has too much flex for my liking (built to a budget) so the idea is to fit a slightly thicker 2mm stainless steel one for improved support, looks and weather resistance. After all this, the top-box should be good for another 10 years + …….as long as I don’t screw up the hinges again that is! 😀
And finally, the January backlog of post and parcels are starting to trickle through and with the first batch came the 8mm OD stainless steel sleeves and a couple of Honeywell 1GP7001 speed sensors. So the sensor and case are now assembled and tested. Only the cable strain relief sleeve is missing before I can fit it permanently to the bike. Fingers crossed they’ll be in the next batch of post!
Just got around to fixing my ‘breakdown’ – the new latch (Hepco Becker Part No: 700101 00 01) arrived today and after a hearty breakfast I set about changing out the broken one. The kit is a ‘universal’ one for all HB panniers and so a whole bunch of the bits supplied are immediately resigned to the waste bin …….. I’d have been happier with just the latch and a few quid off to be honest!
So out with the foam liner, off with the bottle rack and remove the five countersunk bolts/washers/nuts and pull the aluminium box away from the frame. Next, drill the heads off the four solid rivets using a drill bit approx 6mm or slightly larger. Then lever the old latch away and separate it from the spacer. Job done …… now for the rebuild!
The latch as supplied comes with 3mm rivets and is drilled to suit, unfortunately the Alu Exclusive luggage was put together with 4mm solid rivets because of clearance between frame and case. No worries, down to the hardware store and a bag of 4mm Dia 10mm long stainless rivets are on hand to do the business. Once in, the heads are ground down a smidgen with the Dremel to achieve the same clearance without compromising shear strength.
Rebuild is a straight reversal of strip-down, but everything gets a thorough clean, grease and general pampering to make it feel good. The pannier is now solid once again and if I get 13 years out of this lock and rivets like the last set, I’ll be a happy bunny.
Thanks go to Griff at hepco-and-becker-luggage.co.uk (web face of moto bins) who chased up key numbers with me and made sure the latch was on the doorstep in Oxford the next day – excellent service.
(AR) – Augmented Reality, the overlaying of graphics, data etc. on real-time video or imagery. Nothing new really, it’s been done for years ……. but not in my back yard it hasn’t!
I’ve been playing with an Android app called ‘Augment’ which in combination with its website, allows 3D models to be uploaded and then selected from your smartphone and overlayed/inserted into the real-time image from your phones camera. These stills and video were taken after uploading a basic model of a pannier/water bottles I knocked up last year. The bit of paper in the pannier frame is a target I printed out from the website – it’s this that the model is oriented and locked on to.
And here’s a couple of stills taken via the app. I must say I was bloody impressed with how well it stayed in position … I could move round to quite severe angles to the target before it lost position lock. Even moving the camera around quite agressively didn’t seem to phase it much.
Since playing with the pannier, I’ve tried a few more models – coils, various brackets and brake caliper bits …. it’s fantastic fun just sitting at a table looking at various Capo parts over a cup of (real!) coffee.