The panniers I got are Frank Thomas Cargo Endurance. No longer made, of course, as dear old FT went out of business, but they won the RiDE magazine's group test and they look suitably adult and purposeful. The tank bag fits perfectly (as it should) but there was a small problem with the panniers. Where the panniers want to be is where the rear indicators are. This is a very common problem, and most makers of luggage provide a kit to relocate the indicators further back. It's usually included with the frames or rails that support the panniers. Try as I might, I could not track down anyone who made such a kit. I found this a little disappointing. After all, the ST in the name stands for Sports Tourer. I could understand no-one bothering to make such a thing for a FireBlade, but surely the whole point of a bike like the Sprint is to go touring, isn't it? Anyway, I decided to make my own.
After a bit of puzzling and squinting at the bike and several cups of tea (my version of detailed planning), I had a scheme. I decided to make a bracket that would sit under the rear rack, where it would be unobtrusive but would put the indicators out in the breeze where they needed to be, and several inches higher and further back than they were. I still had a large piece of aluminium sheet from when I put rear windows in the Land Rover 90, so I used some of that. Great stuff, aluminium - easy to cut, easy to work, doesn't rust. It was Land Rover Marine Blue, but that could be fixed.
First job was to make a cardboard template and then cut a length of the ally to the right size. Then using a vice I bent the ends down, drilled 10mm holes for the indicators and did a bit of shaping to fit round the rack. Two holes for the rack bolts to go through and that got me to here:
The shaping of the ends is quite important. The indicators have a small peg next to the screw thread that they mount with, to ensure that they are fitted exactly horizontally. I needed to drill a hole in the bracket to accommodate this. It was a bit of a challenge getting the positioning right, as the bike was on its stand while I was doing this, with its tail slightly in the air, so the angle between the two holes needed to allow for a different angle when the bike was back on its wheels. The notch is to go around part of the rack that sticks out. Then I filed it all clean and smooth:
The bracket sits on top of the Triumph rack like this:
and is then held in place by the Givi adapter mount which attaches to the rack. The indicators bolt in place, and it looks like this:
By this point, that sawing and filing was finished and I had given it a couple of coats of black enamel paint. The indicator cables were by now far too short, so I cut them and spliced in an extra 8" or so, which is neatly zip-tied to the rack almost out of sight and slips in under the back of the seat. The brackets are not so far out that they look ludicrous without luggage on the bike (a common fault with aftermarket kits) and, if I say so myself, the whole thing looks, if not 'factory', then at least reasonably professional.
Rear view is tidy and the indicators are clearly visible, even with the top case in place:
and here's the whole thing with throw-overs on and ready to go:
Plans for the France trip with daughter No. 2 are gathering momentum, and I'm glad to have got one more little job out of the way.
Total time, about half a day, although I worked on it a bit at a time and stretched it out over several days. Total cost, virtually zero.