Tool Tube

tim

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. When I added the Givi top box, and decided to attach the mounting plate as far forward as I could, so that the case could act as a back support for my wife, and to keep the weight forward as much as possible. Choosing to mount the plate there meant that the old tool box was covered up. At that point, the tool tube became more of a necessity.

The tube itself is a cylindrical container designed to be mounted to a tractor, to hold the instruction manual. New design and safety rules demand that new tractors have these, so the cylinders are now available as spare parts or aftermarket accessories. A few years ago the ADV community discovered that they make good toolboxes, so now they have a whole other market.

In the US they’re sold by Agrisupply for about $US5.00. Here’s they go for about $26 plus postage via motorcycle accessories resellers. Ouch. It didn’t take me long to track down the manufacturer and make contact with him via Alibaba. At the same time I emailed a couple of local tractor and farm machinery resellers. One could get it for $16 “plus freight” and the other could do it for $18. I ordered from the latter, and it came within a few days. The manufacturer eventually got back to me, saying that there is an importer in Australia who carries stock. By then it was too late, and I don’t know if I could have got them cheaper from him.

Anyway… here it is.

The tool tube

The tube, with nut, bolt, washers and some rubber grommets

I’ve drilled two extra holes in the upper mounting plate, which will make more sense in the images below. I also found that if I mounted the tube flush against the rear subframe I could not get the ld off, to the rubber grommets will be used as spacers.

Fitting the tube

Fitting the tool tube

The position of the two extra holes offset the top of the tube toward the outside of the bike, away from the tyre. I drilled matchin holes in the plastic bodywork (an extension of the rear mudguard) the sits between the tube and the frame. I then fed two cable ties down through the bodywork, through a rubber grommet, to the tube and back again, making a loop around the lower frame.

The tube in place

A total of 4 cable ties hold the top of the tube.

I did the same with the two original holes that lined up with the ones I’d made. It’s difficult to see in the photo, but there’s a small gap behind the side cover mounting hole and I was able to feed the cable ties in behind that. Pulled the cable ties tight and trimmed them. At the bottom of the tube I used a 13mm nut and bolt, and a large washer to distribute the force on the plastic. Fortunately the KLR has a perfect mounting point at that end already.

Next, I trimmed the side cover to accommodate the tube. There was a fair bit of trial and error, but I did learn a few things that might help others trying to do the same:

  • Mark on the side cover (masking tape is great for this)where the bottom edge of the tool tube sits, and cut in, perpendicular to the edge.
  • Mark a line down the underside of the side cover, about 25mm from the outer corner/edge. At the point where the side cover extends past the tool tube, turn the line back toward the inner edge of the cover. Cutting along this line should limit the underside of the side cover to 25mm wide, and it should return to full width at the rear. See photos below.
  • I used a hacksaw blade and an orbital sander for most of the work. If I were to do it again, I would first drill a number of holes along the marked lines (as close together as possible), then cut between the holes with the hacksaw blade, then sand away the remaining material.
Trimmed cover Trimmed cover
Here you can see the trimmed side cover, upside down.
Left:At the far end is the right-angle cut to accommodate the bottom of the tube. From there, the cut maintains a fairly even 25mm distance from the outer corner.
Right: At the rear of the cover, the cut changes direction, past the lid of the tool tube.
The result

The tool tube in place.

If you’re interested in sourcing one yourself:

The US supplier: Agri Supply

The Manufacturer: Autotech International (email bill.yuan@autotechgear.com)

The Australian Importer (according to the manufacturer): Fieldquip (email rob@fieldquip.com)

The place I got mine: AgPower

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