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Building the MotorBikePacking Scrambler | Lifan KPM200 Cargo Rack Installation

A rear cargo rack is the FIRST useful modification to the adventure touring motorcycle.

 

My motorcycles are not toys. My motorcycles are multi-purpose tools. I expect my motorcycle to be capable of commuting to a meeting, running to the store, taking a sightseeing trip, or carrying my gear for a camping trip. In every case, I might need to carry books, tools, groceries, camping gear – and more.

The first accessory that I install on every motorcycle that I own is a rear cargo rack.

 

Whether traveling across town or across the country, I try to minimize the need to use a backpack. Sometimes this is impossible to avoid, at least in the short term when carrying extra food and water on camping trips. But in most cases, I let the motorcycle carry the load and save my back!

 

In the past, I have NOT bought specific motorcycle models precisely because there was not a rear rack designed to fit. A rear rack can carry many loads on its own, or in combination with side panniers. (Although some panniers are designed to fit sport bikes and dual sports without racks. I still prefer the strength and stability that is possible only with a firmly mounted rear rack.)

 

When transforming the Lifan KPM200 “café racer” into a versatile adventure-capable scrambler, I sought out cargo rack options. While the rack designed for the Lifan KPM200 was not available from U.S. dealers, I was able to find a compatible rack from a supplier in China.

The following are my instructions on installing this rear cargo rack – based on my experience and trial and error – since Chinese instructions are nonexistent!


  1. The rack has three mounting points on each side of the KPM200. To access the upper mounts, you will need to remove the saddle. This is easy, just remove the three Allen head bolts on each side panel.

  2. Next, remove the trim pieces on each side. Save the hex bolts for Step 6.

  3. Install the angle brackets. The vertical leg that drops down provides the mount for the middle mount, inside the round tube on each side. I used the slightly longer Allen head bolts to reattach the cast metal trim pieces and the exposed heads did not interfere with the saddle reinstallation. Note that these support brackets might need to be bent outward to align with the rack mounting points. Test fit the brackets, then you can bend them out about 1/4 inch before installing. Leave these mounting bolts loose until everything is lined up.

  4. With the support brackets installed, now you are ready to install the rack. The lower right mounting point matches the bolt that supports the muffler. Remove the nut on the backside of this bolt. You need to pry and lever the rack into place over this mounting bolt.


5. Try to align the drop brackets with the middle mounting points. I used a tapered bar, but a heavy screwdriver should help. Install the Allen bolts with the nuts on the inside. Do not tighten yet.


6. I used 2 of the mounting bolts from the upper trim pieces to attach the rack to the threaded holes on the underside of these pieces. Add some semi-permanent Loctite and start these bolts.


7. Add the bolt on the lower left leg into the threaded hole behind the left passenger foot peg.


8. Now that you have all six mounting bolts in place and loosely connected, start with the 4 bolts on the top of the side trim brackets and tighten. There is no play in these mounting points and the rest of the mounts work off this alignment.

9. Next, I recommend carefully tightening the upper mounting bolts on the underside of these cast trim pieces. Tighten slowly and carefully to avoid stripping out the soft threads. Firmly snug is enough!

10. Then, tighten the middle mounting bolts inside the round tubes. Finally, tighten the left bottom mount, and then the largest and strongest mounting bolt at the muffler bracket.

 

The KPM200 cargo rack is now installed, and it is time to install the side panels.


There are two push tabs on the inside of each panel. Line these up and pop into place. Start with the upper front trim bolt and thread it in partially. Next, you are going to discover that the rear mounting point no longer lines up perfectly – the added thickness of the drop brackets has misaligned the threaded hole. You need to flex the plastic side panel slightly to fit the raised mounting position of the upper bolt. Once this bolt is in place, the lower bolt should line up. Tighten all 3 side trim bolts and you are done.

 

Here is a video that should clarify these installations steps of the KPM200 cargo rack:



 

The finished product is worth the hassles of the installation. It is rock solid. You can pick up the KPM200 with the rack! If you also add the optional center stand, this rack provides a solid handle.

 

The photos below show the cargo rack, and my Lifan KPM200 “Scrambler” with a soft tail bag and the soft panniers I use in overnight tours.


“MotorBikePacking” defines my style of touring. That is, my tours (especially on this 200cc motorcycle) parallel my experience with BICYCLE touring. In fact, I use virtually the same packing list for lightweight bicycle touring and MotorBikePacking. See the related articles at the GreatOutThere.online blog and YouTube channel.

KPM200 cargo rack

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