12 years ago, when Lynn Hodges needed a cargo rack for his bike he spent his spare time designing what would be his first billet aluminum cargo rack. It turned out he wasn't the only one impressed with the way the billet rack looked and functioned. Seven years later, at the start of 2004, the motorcycle division was split off from parent company Production Automation to become Pro Moto Billet Incorporated. The new name brought a new 25,000+ square foot facility and double the production capacity. Two years later Pro Moto Billet acquired Fastway Performance (and their amazing footpegs)--but that's another story. For more about the Fastway Pegs, see HighFive's review >>here<<. The moral of the story is when you do something really well, it's contagious and people tell other people.

So, what is this cargo rack that started it all? Take a look before we dig into the install.

The quality of this piece of farkle is only surpassed by how awesome it looks! The packaging and shipping was more than adequate to make sure the rack arrived safe and sound. The guys at Pro Moto Billet were great to deal with and got the rack to me pronto. A few things jump out at me about the design of the rack. Aside from the first in class looks of the rack. The fasteners are stainless, and like other options out there aluminum spacers are used to lift the rack above the plastic rear fender--however, PMB made two of the spacers shorter. Just a small example of the attention to detail in this design--it allows the rack to follow the lines of the bike that much better by dropping the front of the rack a skosh. Now let's take a little time and bolt this baby up.

Who's this guy? Get away from my Lil' Blue, mister!!!!

 

Here's the naked tail, begging for some rackage.

 

After removing the appropriate pieces of plastic, you can see the four bolts that will be removed to allow for the rack mount points. Note that these bolts are holding up your tail light assembly also, but you'll have fun lining up the spacers and bolts in a few minutes. First, look at the underside of the rear fender, and you will notice four circle molded into the plastic. How nice of Yamaha to anticipate us needing to punch holes in this expensive bit of plastic.

 

The weapon of choice for me was a 5/8" hole bit with a pilot. *NOTE: You may want to read further ahead before running out and buying an oversized bit.

 

It punches such nice and neat holes. And exactly where you want them, right?! Well...

 

Well, not exactly.

 

Now, please note. This is not Pro Moto Billet's problem. Well, not entirely. The OD of their aluminum spacers are 5/8", just like the hole I just punched. If they had gone smaller, I would have had some slop to fit it up--but then they would have not have had as strong a standoff to mount to. The better option for me would have been to buy a 3/4" hole-in-fender maker--but I was already too far into this and didn't want to run to Lowe's for a larger bit; so break out the Dremel!!!

 

Now that's better!  Man that looks awesome.

 

The mounting is solid. Rock solid. I was a little concerned with the four bolts being inboard on the rack--but after some experiences we'll cover in more detail later, I'm convinced this mounting method is sound provided they are torqued properly with blue locktite and checked periodically (as all fasteners should be).The rack is rigid as can be.

Gonna have to wait for daylight for some glamour shots...

I am stoked about this rack. I have been since I first saw one. Now I got one on my Lil' Blue and it's not coming off.