Another Dead AltRider Luggage Rack

MileageMonster

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Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
80
Location
Netherlands
Bumot, strongest there are. Thickest wall, 100% WATERPROOF, so no wet gear when you want it dry..
Bombproof, used by many world travellers, no squeeks, no rattles, one key operated and fully powdercoated.
Which means no dirty content, no need for inner bags. And no, I don’t have interest, just done my homework…
 

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RCinNC

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Joined
Aug 30, 2014
Messages
1,866
Location
North Carolina
It's hardly "boohooing" to report your experiences to other people who might be interested in a product that the product seems to have an inherent problem. These aren't the first posts on forums that I've seen regarding this, so it's obvious that some sort of problem exists. Alrider charges $229.00 for this rack; at that price, you shouldn't have to engage in a DIY home project of reinforcement in order to repair a potential design issue that should be fixed by the manufacturer. Sometimes, the only way to compel a company to look into a problem is to make the problem well enough known that there's a potential for a loss of sales, and that's what's happening here. BMW would have ignored their fork separation problem had it not been for people in the field publicly complaining that there was a problem that BMW tried to pass off as misuse (although it took years of complaining for BMW to finally address the issue). Some companies will respond to problems because they have pride in the product they manufacture. Others have to have their feet held to the fire with the threat of loss of sales in order to fix a problem that they likely already know about, but won't fix because it cuts into the bottom line.

You'd think that they'd want to at least examine some of these racks that appear to be breaking in a consistent manner, just from a quality control standpoint. They've dismissed some customers with the explanation of "overloading" (though I can't find anyhwere on Altrider's website or their online instructions for this product that lists a weight limit), and they've been flat out unresponsive to other customers who contacted them about the cracking issue. Why should anyone pay premium prices for a product just for the pleasure of a company giving you a big middle finger when you report to them that their product is not functioning properly?

Yes, some customers are lowlifes, and will abuse a product mercilessly and then insist on a free replacement when they product finally goes belly up. There may even be some of those type customers with regard to this luggage rack, but I don't believe that every person on this and other threads about this topic is misusing this rack. It's already been pointed out by others that the way the screws are countersunk into the aluminum can be causing stress issues. I looked at the rack design, and there are some pretty serious bends in that aluminum. Bending metal can put all kinds of stresses into it if it's done incorrectly, or the metal is intolerant of that sort of fabrication. Some aluminum alloys need special treatment before it can be bent safely. Based on what I've read of the various peoples' accounts of these racks cracking, and the consistent way they fail, I'm far more inclined to believe that there's a manufacturing process behind these failures, and not because of overloading. I made a luggage rack out of 3/16" aluminum plate (the same thickness as the Altrider one), and the OEM support structure under the rack will fail long before my rack does. 3/16" plate is not flimsy.
 

PhilPhilippines

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Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
861
Location
Philippines
It's hardly "boohooing" to report your experiences to other people who might be interested in a product that the product seems to have an inherent problem. These aren't the first posts on forums that I've seen regarding this, so it's obvious that some sort of problem exists. Alrider charges $229.00 for this rack; at that price, you shouldn't have to engage in a DIY home project of reinforcement in order to repair a potential design issue that should be fixed by the manufacturer. Sometimes, the only way to compel a company to look into a problem is to make the problem well enough known that there's a potential for a loss of sales, and that's what's happening here. BMW would have ignored their fork separation problem had it not been for people in the field publicly complaining that there was a problem that BMW tried to pass off as misuse (although it took years of complaining for BMW to finally address the issue). Some companies will respond to problems because they have pride in the product they manufacture. Others have to have their feet held to the fire with the threat of loss of sales in order to fix a problem that they likely already know about, but won't fix because it cuts into the bottom line.

You'd think that they'd want to at least examine some of these racks that appear to be breaking in a consistent manner, just from a quality control standpoint. They've dismissed some customers with the explanation of "overloading" (though I can't find anyhwere on Altrider's website or their online instructions for this product that lists a weight limit), and they've been flat out unresponsive to other customers who contacted them about the cracking issue. Why should anyone pay premium prices for a product just for the pleasure of a company giving you a big middle finger when you report to them that their product is not functioning properly?

Yes, some customers are lowlifes, and will abuse a product mercilessly and then insist on a free replacement when they product finally goes belly up. There may even be some of those type customers with regard to this luggage rack, but I don't believe that every person on this and other threads about this topic is misusing this rack. It's already been pointed out by others that the way the screws are countersunk into the aluminum can be causing stress issues. I looked at the rack design, and there are some pretty serious bends in that aluminum. Bending metal can put all kinds of stresses into it if it's done incorrectly, or the metal is intolerant of that sort of fabrication. Some aluminum alloys need special treatment before it can be bent safely. Based on what I've read of the various peoples' accounts of these racks cracking, and the consistent way they fail, I'm far more inclined to believe that there's a manufacturing process behind these failures, and not because of overloading. I made a luggage rack out of 3/16" aluminum plate (the same thickness as the Altrider one), and the OEM support structure under the rack will fail long before my rack does. 3/16" plate is not flimsy.
Damn right. Customers should complain more not less. Class action suits for poor engineering and the company not responding with a solution is the way forward.

My Husky had the (normal these days) lean idle stumble, that was potentially lethal - eventually Husky held their hands up and the ECU was recalibrated foc. Same with Ford Eco DCT recall, etc... Took time though
 

ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
3,512
Location
California
AltRider carefully designed these racks and warned clearly on their instruction manual to the use warranty. Suddenly they crack and now we got customers complaining. Go figure.

As per clearly written in plain english instructions:

"AltRider is not responsible for any damages arising out of the installation, improper or otherwise, of the Product. No warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, is made regarding the safety of this Product.
To the extent allowed by law, AltRider shall not be held liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special or consequential damages arising out of, or connected with, the use or misuse of this Product. Buyer assumes all risks and liability arising from use of this Product."


The reality is they are in no way responsible for damage to the product. I knew just by looking at it that it would not hold up as well as the OEM carrier.
 

RCinNC

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Aug 30, 2014
Messages
1,866
Location
North Carolina
I'm not a civil attorney, Chris, but I believe you're misinterpreting what that disclaimer is saying. It's not a warranty. They aren't saying they aren't responsible for defects in the product; they are indemnifying themselves against any damage that the installation of their product, whether installed correctly or not, causes to your motorcycle when you put their rack on. They are also saying that, unless the existing law forces them to be responsible, that they aren't responsible for anything bad that occurs to you or your bike or to anyone else if you use their product, even if you're using the product in the proper manner. Like, say that another rider is following you and hits you from the rear accidentally, and is ejected from his bike and lands on the rack, severely injuring himself. Altrider is claiming that, absent and laws to the contrary, they aren't responsible for the injuries caused by hitting the rack. It's a liability disclaimer, not a warranty.

This is their product warranty from their website, that covered the actual parts they sell:

Hard Parts Warranty
AltRider stands behind all products we sell with regards to manufacturing defects in workmanship and material. We will repair or replace any components that fail in normal use within 1 year of purchase. Such repairs or replacements, including parts, labor and return transportation costs will be made free of charge to the customer. The warranty does not cover failures due to misuse, abuse, accident, incorrect installation, or apply to altered or repaired products. The entire part, including hardware, must be returned for evaluation unless otherwise noted. Warranty applies to the original purchaser only. Shipping costs for any warranty return are only covered for the country the original purchase was shipped to.

But, like most warranties, they're only as binding as the integrity of the company itself. If the company has no interest in investigating the actual cause of the cracking racks, and simply reverts to the "if it cracked you must have misused it" response, then relying on a warranty from the company is pointless. The only remedy after that is a lawsuit, but that's a big stretch for a product that only costs $229.00. I have a set of Altrider crash bars that I got on a scratch and dent sale, and I don't have any complaints about those, but just seeing how these racks are cracked would keep me from ever buying one. That's one reason I think threads like this are valuable to a consumer; if you think that the complaints are overblown, then that's cool, and you can feel secure buying the product. Alternately, if you're someone that becomes aware of the issue because there are photos posted on a forum, plus you get accounts from other riders as to how the company responded to their complaint, and feels that it's a problem, then you can use that info to guide your decision whether or not to buy one.
 
Last edited:

PhilPhilippines

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Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
861
Location
Philippines
I'm not a civil attorney, Chris, but I believe you're misinterpreting what that disclaimer is saying. It's not a warranty. They aren't saying they aren't responsible for defects in the product; they are indemnifying themselves against any damage that the installation of their product, whether installed correctly or not, causes to your motorcycle when you put their rack on. They are also saying that, unless the existing law forces them to be responsible, that they aren't responsible for anything bad that occurs to you or your bike or to anyone else if you use their product, even if you're using the product in the proper manner. Like, say that another rider is following you and hits you from the rear accidentally, and is ejected from his bike and lands on the rack, severely injuring himself. Altrider is claiming that, absent and laws to the contrary, they aren't responsible for the injuries caused by hitting the rack. It's a liability disclaimer, not a warranty.

This is their product warranty from their website, that covered the actual parts they sell:

Hard Parts Warranty
AltRider stands behind all products we sell with regards to manufacturing defects in workmanship and material. We will repair or replace any components that fail in normal use within 1 year of purchase. Such repairs or replacements, including parts, labor and return transportation costs will be made free of charge to the customer. The warranty does not cover failures due to misuse, abuse, accident, incorrect installation, or apply to altered or repaired products. The entire part, including hardware, must be returned for evaluation unless otherwise noted. Warranty applies to the original purchaser only. Shipping costs for any warranty return are only covered for the country the original purchase was shipped to.

But, like most warranties, they're only as binding as the integrity of the company itself. If the company has no interest in investigating the actual cause of the cracking racks, and simply reverts to the "if it cracked you must have misused it" response, then relying on a warranty from the company is pointless. The only remedy after that is a lawsuit, but that's a big stretch for a product that only costs $229.00. I have a set of Altrider crash bars that I got on a scratch and dent sale, and I don't have any complaints about those, but just seeing how these racks are cracked would keep me from ever buying one. That's one reason I think threads like this are valuable to a consumer; if you think that the complaints are overblown, then that's cool, and you can feel secure buying the product. Alternately, if you're someone that becomes aware of the issue because there are photos posted on a forum, plus you get accounts from other riders as to how the company responded to their complaint, and feels that it's a problem, then you can use that info to guide your decision whether or not to buy one.
Good advice. The only reason the ECU on Husky TR650s were reconfigured is due to pressure from sites with documented histories of the dangers to their riders I believe.
 

ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
3,512
Location
California
if you think that the complaints are overblown, then that's cool, and you can feel secure buying the product.
I would not even consider getting one of those racks after looking at them. AltRider makes some outstanding products. This on was just under engineered is all. Great design and product for 99% of the customers. Not so good for those that are cranking down straps and loading down massive top boxes and duffles.

Cold bending/cutting/drilling aluminum is a very difficult process to do properly. Counter sinking holes in thin aluminum is a big no no on weight bearing surfaces exceeding the design parameters.

Also how many customers were using a torque wrench and properly torquing fasteners to 28-32nm? It is clearly lined out on any torque chart.

I'm willing to bet there are many more happy customers who have followed the Yamaha manufacturers manual and kept the weight at 22 lbs total when removing seat. I'm sure not going to blame Yamaha for my OEM rack or subframe cracking because I have 25 lbs+ loaded on my rack.

Even the best of engineers make mistakes. I'm guessing they did not consider the end user refusing to completely read, comprehend and follow the warnings and guidelines in the owners manual.

As quoted per page 3-32 of the Yamaha XT 1200Z owners manual:

! WARNING

Do not exceed the standard car-
rier capacity of 5 kg (11 lb).

Do not exceed the additional
carrier capacity of 5 kg (11 lb).

Anyone who exceeds this weight and expects the rack to function and hold up has no one to blame but theirselves for failing to follow simple instructions.
 

lund

Active Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
118
Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada.
Didn't see this mentioned; the problem is how close together the bolts that mount any rack to the bike are and the amount of rack sticking rearward acting as a lever with weight on it. If you can add an extended layer you can minimize the flex causing the fractures. All this boohooing, sheesh. The material is thin, beef it up. Yes, the manufacturer should have done it. Just about any material this thin will fracture when flexed millions of times with a load bobbing up and down on the lever given enough time.
This is the best explanation why these crack, put a Givi box on it and expect it to crack as explained above.
I have thousands of kilometers on mine with zero issues with cracking, i love this rack because of the sizing, use it as intended, no issues. Weight limits need to be observed, so does hanging a a box at the rear causing flex and vibration. I carry a 1gal rotopax on it, full 9lbs no problem.
Owners need to THINK before doing, unfortunately the product now has a bad rep. for stupid owners.
NO you can't put 20lbs in your Givi hanging out the back.........LOL...in fact the Givi almost exceeds the load capacity. The mistake ALTrider did is provide a Givi mount and no warning on the rack.
 

RCinNC

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Aug 30, 2014
Messages
1,866
Location
North Carolina
Where are the weight limits specified for this rack? Not the Yamaha specs, but the Altrider specs for the rack itself? I can't find them on their website.
 

lund

Active Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
118
Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada.
There is non and maybe that is where Altrider made the mistake, maybe they should had put in big red letters "DO NOT EXCEED LOAD CAPICITY OF MOTORCYCLE". Eitherway the rack is mounted to the subframe which has a load limit, Altrider leaves it to the owner to know his motorcycle which include knowing the carrying load limits. These racks are strong enough to do that, problem arises when exceeding the load limits. Exceeding the load limit can lead to two things, in this case an Altrider rack cracking, or worst a subframe failure.
Installing a Givi box on these racks will take up nearly 50% of the load limit, plus hanging it on the unsupported portion of the rack is a guaranteed failure.
Givi box's weighs in at 8-10lbs generally empty, that doesn't leave much room for cargo.

So ya you can put a sturdier rack i guess at the chance on seeing the subframe fail if you overload.
 

Tenman

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Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
1,427
Location
Natchez Ms USA
My Alt rack lasted probly 40k miles before it gave it up. It had been stuffed with 2 gallons of milk and everything else I could stuff in it a 1000 times. I can't really complain. Got a Bumot now. It's been stuffed to the gills many times. It's still holding up.
 
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