Converting my DRZ400 into a utility vehicle

One of the BEST mods to make to a motorcycle is to add luggage carrying capability to it. A simple rack / box / bag combo instantly converts the motorcycle from a toy to a utility machine.

While I use my DRZ mostly for dirt riding, I generally dislike the idea of carrying stuff in a backpack. I prefer the freedom of not having something cling onto my back. So I went scouting for a nice rack for the DRZ so that I could find a platform to mount my Ogio tail bag.

Adding the SW-Motech Steel Rack to the DRZ.

When researching for options, I chanced upon the SW-Motech rear rack for the DRZ. I love it’s simple, low-profile design. And to increase its utility factor even further, the brilliant guys at SW-Motech have even designed it to be able to accommodate Givi Monokey boxes with the purchase of an optional adapter. Great! For $28 more, I now have the option to turn my DRZ into a grocery hauling mule!

The SW-Motech Steel Rack Givi Monokey top case adapter kit.

The SW-Motech Steel Rack comes pre-drilled with holes that would fit additional hardware to accommodate a Givi Monokey top case. That’s very smart!

My Ogio Tail Bag mounted on the SW-Motech Steel Rack platform.

SW-Motech ingenious design engineers also created an expansion rack adapter for the Steel Rack to turn it into a stable platform for hauling soft luggages such as duffles. Awesome! I want that too!

SW-Motech expansion rack adapter for soft luggage.

With these useful add-on’s, maybe I might just take the DRZ over the Sertao for my next off-road camping trip… Hmmm…..

8 thoughts on “Converting my DRZ400 into a utility vehicle”

  1. That is precisely why I have always bought BMW GS. Their aluminium panniers are so huge, but only fit on GS. My current R1250GS adventure has the black panniers. I *hate* their tiny top box so I have the largest Givi black Trecker Outback. It is designed so like the panniers. For that reason, I am *sure* it is also made by Touratech.
    I also have a large dry bag. I went wild camping last year and tent/bike cover/sleeping bag were in that. I even had room in the panniers for a spare helmet.

    I charged my emergency start (only used as a 6 day torch!) and Ravpower 28ah powerpack from a 12v socket in the top box. I even watched F1 in the tent, courtesy of my laptop/mobile and ExpressVPN.

    ….. but there wasn’t a drop of rain (8-)#

    1. I love the flagship BMW’s – the R1200GS/A and the R1250GS/A. But I’m finding them a wee little heavy to handle in trickier places. And the repair and replacement costs of parts on these machines is pushing me away from getting another R1200/1250GS(A). That said, I’m a storage horde, and the 118L of combined storage on my lil G650GS is keeping me happy for now. =)

      1. That is a good size, but a little way to go to my 140L (8-)#

        That could be a lot of weight for a 650!

  2. I own a DRZ e model. It’s a great bike, but everything is different than the s or SM models. It takes a special rack for the rear because you only have three mounting points. I have an older BMW R850r too. I have ridden the 1250 GS on a tour and loved it. The boxer motor with a lower center of gravity doesn’t feel like a 600lb motorcycle….too me. It’s my next bike purchase..

    1. The R1200/1250GS is a great bike! Loved mine while it lasted! And you’re right – once it starts moving, you hardly feel it’s weight because it’s carried so low down the motorcycle.

      1. Absolutely agree about the 1200/1250 GS. I did a 2,500 mile round trip to Barcelona (wild camping) and my then 1200 Adventure was flawless. The really great thing is it so vibration free and great riding position, that one arrives with absolutely no physical or mental aches. The cruise control also means I can get blood back in my right hand fingers, and even wave greetings in the French/US style when back in the UK (8-)#
        I really like the left hand to left hand greetings – so much more friendly than a discrete British nod.

        Mind you the drawback of the weight (for my short legs) is keeping the bike upright at rest!
        Those have been the only occasions when the bikes have fallen – slowly.

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