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In My Garage:

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  1. TL/DR: If you’re getting Shad luggage for your 6th gen VFR, you need to get a top case if want to build a tail rack, their soft side luggage system won’t work on the 6th gen VFR, and you’ll want the side opening hard cases if you’re running a top case too. Also, be prepared to add some extra signal lights. I recently bought a full set of Shad side case racks, top rack, and soft saddle bag supports. My initial intention was just to get the racks to make for better tie down points for soft luggage that I already had. Ultimately, due to the fit of the racks to the 6th gen VFR specifically, and after one frustration after another, I ended up getting hard side cases and a top case. Before I get into, I want to clarify that although I hit a number of frustrations with Shad’s products, I am ultimately very pleased at the final result. It still isn’t perfect, but life is full of compromises. I chose the Shad rack system largely because the previous owner of my VFR installed a fender eliminator, and the Shad system was the only system I could find that didn’t seem to use the stock fender as a mounting point. As a result of this design, I feel it’s one of the more inconspicuous rack designs, especially the side racks. I’m coming from a position of making my VFR a more capable commuter, and the occasional long-distance sport-touring. I run smaller saddlebags and a largeish, but far from massive sized sissy bar bag on my other bike, which has proven invaluable in general usability of the bike. I did run a large tail tunnel bag on the VFR for long time, but mounting and dismounting, although far from difficult, was kind of tedious. Additionally, I didn’t have any storage options other than a backpack and a tank bag if I ever took my wife for a ride on the VFR, since the tunnel bag mounts over the passenger seat. I also was leaning towards soft luggage in consideration of lane splitting. Soft saddle bags tend to be slimmer, and in the off event that I a bag rubs against a car (we are talking about CA drivers here), it less like to cause significant damage to the car, and the bags will most likely be unscathed. Unfortunately, with the way Shad’s racks fit the VFR, soft luggage isn’t really an option without some fabrication on your own. Top case/rack: Starting with the top case racks, they’re more like mounts… The top case mounts replace the grab handles beside the passenger seat, as two separate, larger, looped grab handles, with mounting points for a Shad top case. The mounts don’t connect at the rear to form a rack, and you’re pretty much required to buy one of Shad’s top cases, which come with their respective platforms. Shad cases utilize two different sized platforms, depending on which case you have. It is possible to order one of the platforms by themselves, to complete the whole rack assembly, but I went ahead and went full tilt and ordered their expandable 58X top case, which is excellent. Soft bag supports: I also ordered the soft bag supports, but what I didn’t realize when I ordered them (nor was it clearly shown by Shad), is that the supports mount to the TOP case racks, which run along side the seat, and over the turn signal light housings. It is IMPOSSIBLE to mount the soft bag supports on the 6th gen VFR. Further, the soft bag supports are cut to fit only on the top case racks, and do not fit on the side racks. So, ultimately, you’ll have to use Shad’s hard cases all the way around for the 6th gen VFR. Side Cases: I went with the Shad SH23 (top opening) side cases, trying to keep the overall profile of the bike as narrow as possible. I also prefer saddlebags that open at the top as opposed to the side for ease of loading/unloading. Unfortunately, the top opening cases are partially impeded by the top case (at least for the wider top cases). There’s enough flex in the plastic, where you can work the corner around the top case to open and close them, but it did make me scratch my head at the lack of polish. Brake Lighting: I did buy the additional LED brake light that mounts under the top case to compensate for the partial obstruction of my tail/brake lights. I also replaced my running/brake lights with LEDs. The Shad brake light is not a running light, and only comes on as a brake light. Also, it’s not really all that bright. It’s visible in daylight, but they’re more on par with the brightness of the stock incandescent running/brake light bulbs. I’m glad I bought the extra lights, but by simply changing the stock tail light bulbs with LEDs’ would probably be sufficient to compensate for the obstruction from the cases. Turn signal lighting: The side cases mount in such a way that they completely obstruct the turn signals from the sides of the back, and are really only visible if you are completely behind the bike. Admore lighting has some lighting solutions for some of Shad’s top cases and side cases, just not the cases I bought. Most likely I’m going to order a pair of LED strips to mount on the sides of the side cases, and splice them in with some sort of quick disconnect wiring rig. I’m also going to replace the both the front and rear turn signals with LED’s sooner rather than later. I planned to replace all the stock bulbs with LEDs as they burned out, but in the essence of safety, I definitely want to prioritize visibility since the cases significantly impair the turn signal light visibility. I plan on making an overview video in the near future, and will add it to the thread for reference.
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