46 BMW 1983 R100RT Install Cloth Fairing Pockets

I converted this 1983 R100RS into an RT by adding the RT fairing. The RT fairing comes with hard plastic side pockets, but they are much too close to the gas tank for my taste.

R100RT Fairing Interior View Showing How Close Plastic Pockets Are To Gas Tank

R100RT Fairing Interior View Showing How Close Plastic Pockets Are To Gas Tank

So, I decided to install a set of cloth bags that provide storage and don’t get very close to the gas tank. I used Fairing Pockets from “Kathy’s Journey Designs”, that are designed to work with the RS fairing. The bags are designed to mount  on the middle fairing bracket using a wide piece of  Velcro to attach the bottom of the pocket to the bracket. But, that part of the RS, and RT, fairing is narrow and the bag rubs against the side of the fairing and the gas tank.

Kathy's Journey Design Fairing Pockets [SOURCE: Kathy's Journey Design]

Kathy’s Journey Design Fairing Pockets [SOURCE: Kathy’s Journey Design]

Kathy's Journey Design Fairing Pockets Come In Different Colors; Mine Are Black

Kathy’s Journey Design Fairing Pockets Come In Different Colors; Mine Are Black

I bought a set of Kathy’s bags and mounted them on my 1977 R100RS. Unfortunately, the material is rough and it scuffs the clear coat on the RS gas tank and the matte black paint on the inside of the upper fairing panel. To fix that, I glued a smooth piece of vinyl on the sides of the bags that touch the fairing and the gas tank and it stopped the scuffing.

I decided to mount the RS fairing pockets on the RT fairing using the existing bushings that the plastic fairing compartments mounts to. There is enough room between that part of the RT fairing and the gas tank that the bags won’t touch the gas tank when they are mounted.

To attach the bags, I use a grommet kit I have for installing grommets in tarps. I picked this up at my local Army/Navy store several years ago. The idea is to attach the bags to a three of the six bushings on the side of the fairing using M6 bolts through the grommets. I plan to use the top front bushing and the top and bottom rear bushings to secure the bag. The top rear bushing is shorter than the other two, but the bag is flexible so it will fit on that bushing without any modifications to the bag.

Side Of Fairing Showing Bushings For M6 Bolts Used To Mount Plastic Fairing Pocket

Side Of Fairing Showing Bushings For M6 Bolts Used To Mount Stock Plastic Fairing Compartments: Note Rear Top Bushing Is Shorter Than The Others

Grommet Installation Kit

Grommet Installation Kit

Grommets

Grommets

To get the layout of the grommets to align with the holes in the bushings, I use a piece of 8-1/2 x 11 paper and lay it against the fairing bushings and press my finger on the front top and the bottom rear screw holes in the bushings to create an indent in the paper. I poke a hole through the indents with a pencil and then use a white paint pencil to mark the holes on the outside of the pocket so they are about the same distance from the side, top and bottom edges of the bag.

Use 8-1/2 x 11 Paper For Hole Template

Use 8-1/2 x 11 Paper For Hole Template

Poke Holes Through Paper Template

Poke Holes Through Paper Template

Use White Paint Pen to Mark Hole Location On The Back Of The Bag

Use White Paint Pen to Mark Hole Location On The Back Of The Bag

Next, I use the tools in the grommet kit to punch a hole through the bag fabric and then install a grommet in the two holes.

To get the correct location of the hole in the shorter rear top bushing, I use the paint pencil to put some paint on the boss. Then I mount the bag on the fairing with M6x10 hex bolts and stretch the bag and press it against the lower rear boss transferring some wet paint to the bag to locate that hole on the bag.

Using White Paint On Upper Rear Hole To Locate It On The Bag

Using White Paint On Upper Rear Hole To Locate It On The Bag

I remove the bag and install the third grommet in the upper rear hole. I mount the bags using three M6 bolts with a flat and wave washer to the side of the fairing.

Back Of Bag With Three Grommets Installed

Back Of Bag With Three Grommets Installed

Bag Mounting Hardware: M6-10 Bolt, Flat and Wave Washers

Bag Mounting Hardware: M6-10 Bolt, Flat and Wave Washers

M6x10 Bolts Installed Through Grommets In Bag

M6x10 Bolts Installed Through Grommets In Bag

Bag Mounted On Inside of Fairing Leaving Clearance Next To Gas Tank

Bag Mounted On Inside of Fairing Leaving Clearance Next To Gas Tank

To keep the bag expanded and the bottom flat, I cut some foam board to fit the bottom of the bags.

Piece Of Foam Board Cut To Fit \Bottom Of Bag To Stiffen It

Piece Of Foam Board Cut To Fit \Bottom Of Bag To Stiffen It

Foam Board Installed In Bottom Of Bag

Foam Board Installed In Bottom Of Bag

There is space between the bag and the gas tank so the bags won’t rub against the tank. I think these will work well for holding a variety of items such as gloves, oil containers, spare parts, extra cables, etc.

Kathy's Journey Designs Fairing Pockets Installed Inside RT Fairing

Kathy’s Journey Designs Fairing Pockets Installed Inside RT Fairing

Revisions

2021-07-18  Correct some typos.
2021-07-04  Corrected section number to “46” for Fairing.

5 thoughts on “46 BMW 1983 R100RT Install Cloth Fairing Pockets

  1. Brook: Great way to have some storage and stay clear of the tank, if somewhat insecure. On a long trip in a strange place, it would be interesting to see if someone were tempted to mess with the bags.
    When “on the mainland,” I use the “Traveler” moto cover from EZ Touring to keep my bike covered and “out of sight”

  2. Hi Brook – I’ve been waiting for this since you finished your RT conversion – I’m adding an RT fairing to my 85 Mono and also don’t like the stock storage boxes – thanks for posting – Jim

  3. Good idea Brook. I have Kathy’s fairing pouches on my RS and after reading your article, I plan to remove the OEM hard pouches on the ’89 RT that I just bought. Thanks.

  4. Howdy Brook, I’m in the final stages of resurrecting my 1981 R100RT, and I like your idea of not having the OEM glove box rubbing against the new paint I have on my tank. My concern is the open air vents, what with me being in Wisconsin and cool/cold weather, along with riding in rain. Were you going to figure out a way to close off the vent? I’m kicking around the idea of cutting the glove box off the forward vent box, then mounting the air vent box along with a homemade glove bag. Right now its just an idea, and if I try this out (and >IF< it works!) I'll send you pics. Thanks for your advice, you take care.

    • Hi John,

      I haven’t worried about closing the vents. If you come up with a way to do that, please share it.

      Best.
      Brook.

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