‘SLUK Support’ rack extension Reader Test | REVIEW
After seeing all the stuff Mike Collum and his other half strap on their trusty Vespa GTS when rallying, we very kindly asked him to review the new SLUK rear carrier support. So here we go folks this handy bit of kit is well and truly ON TEST.
My first impression was how light it is, flexible but not bendy, with high quality moulding.
As it was too late for a real good test to the Weston-Super-Mare rally, we decided to load up the scooter on Sunday as if we WERE going to a rally and go for a bit of a ride.
I won’t cover old ground by describing how to fit the support (see fitting Instruction Video) but I was immediately impressed by how neatly it sat on the GTS rear carrier with all the moulding in exactly the right places. For ease of use, I stick to using just two of the re-useable cable ties supplied, rather than drill holes for the more permanent brackets (also supplied). I think that I may well prefer this method anyway, as it is unlikely I would leave the support continuously attached to the scooter during a rally.
At first I didn’t think the brackets would fit round my rack anyway, but once a screw was in place and tightened up, all was well. Although I suspect that they might scratch the powder coating after a while.
We have a big tent, and it smothers the rear carrier, the support is a fair bit wider and it allows the tent to sit more solidly, although there is no extra support rearwards as it is basically the same depth as the rack. Another inch or two out the back would be better, however that may lead to stresses that would crack the support. I’ll leave that for the Boffins at Team SLUK to think about.
Chairs and Double Airbed
On top of the tent go the chairs…two cheap, lightweight folding jobs and on top of them goes the inflatable double air-bed complete with bottom sheet and fleece to help keep us warm while camping. The saddle-bags and rucksack take clothes and quilt etc, but that’s not important here. I was also pleased that the SLUK design did not mean that I had to change the way I used my ‘bungees’, as I now have this down to a fine art.
Push and Pull
With everything loaded, we give it the “push-and-pull test” to determine if anything is likely to fall off in transit. All seems good, so off we go.
We are not venturing too far, so we head up to the A6 and ride to Lancaster. It is a bit busy with traffic, but it’s obvious nothing worrying is happening behind Jo. As is usual when we do this journey, we much prefer the Lancaster Road, so we immediately turn on to it for the return trip. There are better straights, and plenty of “twisty- turneys” that two wheel riders love. It can be quite bumpy in places too, so the perfect choice for a test like this. If anything is likely to show a weakness in the support, this return journey is it.
I was not expecting the SLUK support to affect the ride at all, after all, it’s simply a rack support that is a little wider than the standard rack. I was right. At no point did I feel anything different in the ride. As the fitting instruction video makes clear, straps should be attached to the rack for a secure fastening, not to the support. As such I didn’t expect anything to come loose.
Two Ice Cold Beers
The Vespa GTS comes supplied with an integral ice bucket for the beer, and I can see the SLUK support coming in very handy on the campsites, as they have cleverly incorporated two recesses for drinks, into the design. I like that. Although we didn’t get to use the support for a rally, if the ‘SLUKers’ allow us to keep it for a bit longer, we will take it to Kelso and see how it gets on…..Or, maybe even Vespa World Days perhaps?
The Test Of Time
I wonder if, as time goes on there may be any issues due to the constant flexing under load or where the straps come into contact with the underneath edges? This could, of course, take years, so only prolonged use of the support will show if this is the case or not. The cable ties will probably require replacing every so often, if the support is put on and taken off regularly, as it would be for us. I certainly don’t need it when I am riding to work every day and it does take up that bit more room in the very crammed garage.
In Conclusion however, I must say that I am extremely impressed with the SLUK rear carrier support. It does exactly what it was designed to do. Despite our tent being much deeper than the standard rack or the SLUK enhancement, the extra width created really does make it easier to load and carry such a big item. I thoroughly recommend it, and I suspect that the SLUK support for narrower scooters like a Lambretta GP or LI would really make a world of difference. Well done SLUK, another top product that all the big companies out there didn’t even think of.
Words and Pics: Mike Collum, Blackpool
For the full range of SLUK Supports – soon to include the new S1 and S2 type for curved racks – then here is your link to the SLUK Supports in our shop.