Category Archives: Accessories

Mounting a Hoffee Carbon Fiber Case for a Gibson SJ-200 on a VFR800

After a great deal of modifications, I finally have my Hoffee Carbon Fiber Gibson SJ-200  case mounted on my motorcycle! I am so proud to be sponsored by Hoffee. The case is a tank, but lightweight and built to withstand the elements.

I thought this would be easier to do using a standard GIVI PL166 and a Caribou adapter, but after testing the components the job was trickier than imagined. The Caribou adapter eliminates the top mating nub on the PL166 and replaces it with a flat steel plate with an oval-ish hole. The new mount overlaps this plate by 2 inches. The mounting tab for the GIVI was clearly in the way.

I started out by trying to flatten the original mounting point on the PL166. After bonking it down, the bent  tab still interfered  with the fake Two Brothers exhaust can on the left side. The exhaust system on the bike routes both exhaust pipes into the right muffler, so the left can is just a dummy. I got lucky because if I didn’t have this exhaust system, mounting the guitar would be much harder. The stock system also would heated up my guitar more than I would like. I next sawed off the tab and bent my own plate out of 1/8″ steel. After all this work I still ended up removing the fake muffler. No, the bike doesn’t look as cool, but I need to carry my guitar.

Once the entire set up was installed , I believe I could remount the fake muffler if I wanted to do so,  but I think I’ll leave it off and save the weight.

Once the guitar was mounted I applied a die cut decal to the case as well as a sticker from my case sponsor Hoffee.

Popp Over America is now ready to hit the road! I am shooting the pilot episode on July 8th – 12th with a full crew made possible by sponsors and Kickstarter supporters. A big thanks to all of you. Stay tuned and please subscribe to the blog on the left side of the page.


Corbin Seats Sponsors Popp Over America!

Asking a company for sponsorship is a difficult task at this stage of the production process. After a barrage of emails to every brand I believed I would like to represent, I was disappointed by a bag full of rejections and even worse, non-responses. I wasn’t giving up, but I thought I would wait until the pilot was completed before sending another round of inquiries.

After my ride up the Hudson on Saturday, my back ached on Sunday, and was worse by Monday. I am not sure if blame could be placed solely on the  Sargent seat currently mounted on my VFR800, but during the ride the seat forced me into the gas tank much in the way the Sargent on my Ducati 900ss did. I needed to make a change if I was going to log the long miles I have in my sights.

My last bike was a BMW K75 and I had ordered a Corbin Gunfighter and Lady Saddle just before my 7000 mile trek across the USA . The seat was wonderful with a deep scoop that provided excellent support. I knew I had to get the same Corbin for my current bike, but my coffers are low after the bludgeoning of ever increasing production expenses.

I was ready  whip out the credit card to purchase the seat, but I thought, “What does it hurt to ask?” I sent Corbin and email asking if they were interested in sponsoring me or a least providing a discount on a seat. I was shocked to get a response a few hours later from Greg at Corbin offering to begin a sponsorship deal starting with a free seat!

Greg asked me to provide the specs for the new Gunfighter and Lady Saddle as well as a mailing address. I in turn told him I would be honored to represent Corbin and I will feature the seat prominently in the pilot. I have owned two of their saddles and I am sure the one for my VFR will be the difference in comfort I need.

Corbin Motorcycle Seats are made right here in the USA and I am proud to be sponsored by a product for which I have the highest praise. Their slogan is: “World’s finest motorcycle saddles since 1968.” I could not agree more.

The Corbin Gunfighter and Lady Saddle
The Corbin Gunfighter and Lady Saddle
Not getting the backrest but the pillion looks comfy as well.
Not getting the backrest but the pillion looks comfy as well.

Luggage Racks or Dude Where’s My Shim?

Now that I have the bike, the first order of business is to figure out how to carry things – a lot of things. I decided to get factory luggage and I  found a great resource for obsolete Honda parts called David Silver Spares. I bought the O.E.M panniers (or saddlebags as some say) along with the top case. The top case is a slightly different color of red (Winning Red versus Italian Red), but I can barely tell the difference and for the price, I’ll just squint a little.

I got to Ryders Alley where my bike is parked and I began the install process for the luggage racks. I had printed instructions along with PDFs stored on my iPad. I knew I was more than prepared. As it turns out, my VFR800 has a rear fender eliminator kit rendering the direction useless. I eventually got the racks for the panniers in place and secure. I used a torque wrench to be sure every bolt was tightened to factory specifications.

I slapped on my new vanity plate that reads “POPOVER.” My idea was to get a frame printed with “AMERICA” and block the “Empire State” below the letters with a license plate frame. I discovered nobody in the world sells a frame that covers this bottom section. The registration sticker also glares a big “16.” I read up on the legality of covering areas of a license plate, and realized my hiding idea would mean breaking the law. The last thing I need is another brush with Johnny Law.  So I guess I’ll settle for the plate to read “Popp Over 16 Empire State America” when I get the frame.

I moved on to the top case rack. The rack shipped with two sets of shims and the translated instructions were not very clear on which set to use. When I thought I had the puzzle solved, something wouldn’t line up. As I tested the shims, I dropped one through the rear fairing and it landed in a very tricky place. I used a small allen wrench and my prowess of Skill Crane to fish out the cursed part. I finally arrived at a solution after a lot of trial and error. Small shims all around. I seated the rack for final mounting and another shim slipped from my grasp wedging itself down next to the battery. I again masterfully extracted the annoying part.

All of the racks were in place. Now believing I’m an unstoppable mechanic, I proceeded to  install two RAM ball mounts that bolt over the clamps for the clutch and brake reservoirs. These are used to mount cameras for on-bike filming and a GPS (I can get lost going to the bathroom). The bolts were extremely tight, but I removed the two from the clutch side. The lever flopped forward and I saw the fluid window indicator go to empty. I just let a bunch of air into my clutch line! AGGGHHHH. I realized the fate of my carelessness. I tightened the reservoir clamp back up, put the bike in gear, pulled in the clutch lever, and tried to spin the rear tire. Sure enough, the clutch needed to be bled and I had nothing to complete the process. I borrowed a short length of clear hose from another Ryders Alley member. My brain flashed back to a month ago when I tried this same fix. No Luck again. I needed some DOT 4 brake fluid and there was none to be found.

The borough of Manhattan does not have any auto parts stores. I thought of the irony of the millions of cars that drive the city streets and not a single bottle of common brake fluid to be found. Wings clipped and ego deflated, I surrendered for the day. I pushed my wounded steed back into her stable. I couldn’t ride anyway as I didn’t have my helmet and it was pouring rain. The curse of the clutch follows me like an eerie ghost, but this time he will be vanquished.