The Bikers Den

Increasing the Spyder F3 Storage Capabilities for $75

In my Spyder F3 writeup I was very critical of the limited storage of the Spyder.  I found a cheap, good quality and versatile storage add-on for my Spyder F3 in the Dowco Rally Pack Luggage System for only $75.  Do not get confused by the “4 piece” description- it is really just 2 pieces and accessories such as an inner liner for the roll bag, plenty of straps and a cargo net.  The bags are sizable at 17″ x 14.5″ x 10″ for the jumbo pack and the roll bag 9.5″ round and 14.5″ long.  Both fit nicely on the passenger seat and between backrests if you have them.  There are many different secure points to tie down the bags depending on your seat configuration.  If you are pure stock in your setup everything can be secured to the passenger grab rails.  With a passenger backrest in place the main bag easily secures to it.

Dowco rally pack bagsThe roll bag velcros to the jumbo pack and has a waterproof liner that velcros to the inside of the bag.  The bags are not waterproof but I plan no spraying them with a sealer to give them a bit of protection.  The jumbo bag itself sticks up just a bit higher than the driver backrest and is even with the passenger backrest.  With the roll bag secured on the top it is over the backrest but does not obstruct any of the views from the mirrors or turning back to look.  I am really pleased with the bag capacities and can put a good 4-5 days worth of clothes, shoes and toiletries in the bags with no problems.  I plan a trip using the bags in a few weeks and am not concerned with storage any longer.



Can-Am Spyder F3 Cross Country Saddlebag Lock Fix

I have the Cross Country Saddlebags for my Spyder F3-S.  As I wrote in my F3 Report I hated the locking mechanism.  The key inserts were difficult to get a key into, they didn’t turn and latch well and I was annoyed in how the keyholes were not aligned with each other when in the same mode (locked or unlocked).  I solved this by replacing them with 5/8″ Combi-Cam Locks.  These solved all of the problems and eliminated the need for a key altogether.  They come in either a chrome or black finish and have 4 different configurations- 3 number, 4 number or either with an added key override.  I went with the simplest- the 3 number lock in chrome finish.  I would have to say the chrome finish is not as buff shine and the rest of the chrome on my Spyder and if I had to do it over I would have chosen the black locks.  Still, I am very happy with the locks.

Installation took about 5 minutes total and only required a screwdriver and pliers.  I removed the latch from the existing bag locks by removing the screw at the base of the lock.  Set these aside as they will be reused.  I then used the pliers to loosen the nut holding the lock cam in the bag.  The can then pushes up and out from the bags.  The Combi-Cam then slides into the opening with the included spacer washer being placed on the cam first.  This will bite down into the bag and become a spacer between the lock head and the bag so it turns freely.  I then placed the securing nut and tighten with pliers.  To the end of the cam I secured the latch taken off the old lock and the install was complete.  It should be mentioned that the latch arm hole is a bit larger than the cam square.  I used a few drops of lock tite and it does not seem to be an issue.  Do the opposite bag the same and you are done.

The Combi-Cams do not come with instructions which are only needed to set the lock combinations.  A quick search on the net results in a YouTube video showing you the simple process.  While the lock is unlocked at the default all 0’s  you insert a pin in the set hole and turn the numbers to your new unlock code; pull out the pin and the new combination is set.

I’ve been asked of other replacement cam locks will work.  As long as they are 5/8″ cam length and have a similar head to hold the existing latch arm they are good.  Most of the cam locks I’ve seen do not have the shutter eye of the original locks so they may not withstand the same exposure but I can’t say.  I welcome peoples comments and experience.

combi-lock on F3Combi-Lock on Spyder

Why no one gets my money until I get my wheels

Simply said I have become quite disenchanted with the “pay me now” get you stuff later (maybe) sales model many innovation companies have taken.  I will not be the first, but I am here to say- “No one gets my money until I get my wheel(s)!”  Ryno, Elio, Inventist and so on have taken advantage of the crowd funding craze and used it to raise capital for development, research and infrastructure setup.  The public is taking on the financial risk, and effectively tying up its money where venture capitalists have traditionally invested their cash.  However, unlike the venture capitalists the public will never see great reward for assuming great risk- instead the best they can hope for is delivery of their product.  Yep, it might have a special edition color or badge the individual “investor” can brag about but this is a high cost for such high risk.  I will not be part of this public “investment crowd”.

I am certain that sometime in the near future the US Fair Trade Commission will step in and nip this flourishing branch of the financial tree.  Not soon enough I say though.  By plopping down your hard earned cash through a “deposit” or Kickstarter pledge” you are given few guarantees.  The fine print is quite clouded and enforcement of terms lax.  Simply put, the fuzziness of what you get for your deposit or pledge is nothing more that a thank you and addition to a mailing list.  The updates you are given as an “early adopter” are marketing driven propaganda that would never pass the stringent requirements a true publicly held company is held to by the securities and exchange commission (SEC).  In other words- they can say just about anything they want.

I bit my tongue wanting to give examples I’ve experienced being a pledger and deposit provider for various things that still have not seen the showroom floor or reached a single consumer.  I’ve pulled all of my deposits and unsubscribed from the emails.  In many cases the task of doing this was so difficult I needed to track down the head of the company to get this accomplished.  It was so contentious I have pledged these companies will never receive a single dollar of my money and I will not support their products.  For the others, I make no promises, no pledges, no investment in your dream-  I only offer a tidbit of advice: Don’t upset your customers before they even truly become a product owning customer.  If you want to have me as a customer please be patient and wait until you deliver your amazing product to my hands that are still warm from handing over my hard earned cash.

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