My wife and I are getting ready for a three day trip this summer through Utah’s Paiute, Fremont, and Pansaugant trails. In prepping to do so, I decided to outfit my Rancher with front and rear boxes, fuel packs, bags, and GPS. She and her family all ride sport quads – I’m the only utility quad, so I will be the mule.
I chose the new Kolpin rear (93201) and front (93101) trail boxes mostly because they looked good and were priced right. They seemed to offer good storage area without being too ugly. And I wasn’t disappointed. The rear box has a 10”x 29” mouth and has a depth of 10” (the “pockets” on both sides add a couple of extra inches forward), and handles the stuff I take on our one-day rides really well. The lid seals nicely and keeps out dirt and moisture. I purchased the top rack (93202) for the rear box with the belief that I’ll need the extra storage on our longer trips. The lock feature on both boxes is also nice. As for the front box, the mouth is 6”x 26”, and is 5” inches deep. The box interior adds another 4 inches forward once you get through the mouth. However, I do have a few “improvements” to offer.
First, the bottom of the boxes are not reinforced – which is not an issue with the shorter front box, but more of a concern for the taller, rear box. I didn’t like the stock u-bolt mounting system on the rear box because, IMHO, is just didn’t give enough stability and solid mounting. So, I fabricated larger 2x4 steel plates from 16 gauge metal, and also added slightly larger rubber pads to go underneath the plates to keep them from cutting into the plastic bottom. (I cut smaller pads for the stock plates on the front box. The stock mount plates work just fine on the smaller front box.) I didn’t use the sealing washers the manufacturer supplied on either box – I think my system of larger plates and flush rubber pads seals the box just fine and distributes the stress loads much better.
But even adding large plates wasn’t enough to keep the rear box from rocking forward slightly. So, I cut a portion off of a u-bolt to make a threaded “J”, and hooked it underneath the rear rack bumper bar, and tied it into the interior lip. I also replaced all of the standard nut/lockwashers with nylock nuts, and cut half of the threaded portion off of each u-bolt. The manufacturer supplies rubber caps to cover the part of the bolt that is sticking up after installation – I chose to cut it off. It makes for a cleaner installation without leaving metal rods sticking up in the bottom of the box. I also added a closed-cell foam floor.
As for the rack, it was of ok quality – even though the welds looked like they were done by a beginning welding class. And the center support cross tube has open ends – perfect for wasp nest building. So, a couple of 7/16” plugs from the hardware store finished it off properly.
I didn’t use the stick-on reflectors on the boxes. I didn’t see a need for them, so I didn’t use them, which was good since the rear box came with two left-side reflectors, instead of one left and one right. (They are not interchangeable.) Again, not a big deal to me – just a minor QA issue at Kolpin.
The Kolpin fuel packs (89185) are nice, heavy-duty plastic cans that hold 1.5 gallons when filled to the bottom of the spout neck. I ordered two packs with the round wall mount, rather than the rack mount. I was going to try and figure out a way to build a metal mount to attach the cans to the sides of the rear box. But after an hour of trying different options, it dawned on me that the only option was to use the rack-mount system on the sides of the rear rack. So, I ended up using my wall mounts and fabricating rack mounts out of 3/16” steel. The rack materials cost me about $20. Even though I saved about $20 by building them myself using the wall mounts, if I did it again, I would just skip the extra work and buy the Kolpin rack mounts straight out.
The CARB-compliant pour spouts on the fuel packs are interesting… And they worked fairly well and did not leak. However, I put a small amount of grease on the neck seal and the valve o-ring, and cleaned up the lip of the fuel pack, since there was a little flash left from the molding process. I highly recommend taking the time to do this to get a good, solid seal.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the Kolpin equipment. I’ve been using the rear box now on a couple of our rides and have tested the front box and fuel packs and mounts on a local test loop down in the creek bed. So far, everything is working very well. I am looking forward to using it all on our trip this summer.