Installing The Rider’s Rest Motorcycle Hammock

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We went to the Cycle Source garage one day last month to install a Rider’s Rest Hammock on Chris Callen’s 2003 Ultra Classic that he rode in the Hoka Hey last year.

I invented the hammock specifically for riding in the Hoka Hey. I wanted a place to sleep up off the ground away from the creepy crawlies. Just me and my motorcycle, go wherever we want to go, pull off on a back road, campground or truck stop, anywhere you want and you have your bed right there with you. You can get yourself a few hours sleep without paying for a motel room. The expanded unit fits right inside a parking space, sets up in just a couple minutes and the next morning it tears down just as fast. A quick shower at the truck stop and I’m on the road again. So we figured that we should put one of these on Chris’s bike and show you how easy it is to install and go over all the tools you need and the parts that come in the kit.

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Here, I have a Rider’s Rest kit open. This kit fits the ‘97 – ’08 FLH frame. This bike has the lower leg fairing so in addition to the normal assembly we will have to use a pattern that comes with the kit to cut a hole in the bottom of the right side lower to accept the front pole.

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These are the tools that will be needed to complete installation. A cordless drill, a 1/4 and 3/8 drill bit, deburring tool, 1 1/2” hole saw, black touch-up paint, Phillips and straight screw drivers, 3/8 Allen wrench, thread locker, T-40 torx bit, rack of ratchet style Allens, 7/16, 1/2 and 9/16 sockets. A 7/16, 1/2 inch, 9/16 and 3/4 open end wrenches, 9/16 and 1/2 inch open end wrench, a Sharpie pen for marking our pattern, a punch, a pair of scissors, rasp file, various extensions, a couple 3/8 ratchets and a deadblow hammer.

First step is to take off the lower and floorboard on the right side of the bike. We will also remove the lower crash bar bolt as this is where the front mount of the hammock goes.

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Some light modification is needed for this model to clear the brake line. A small notch must be drilled into the front mount. Start with a pilot hole and use the rasp to open it up.

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You can see how it slides in behind the lower crash bar mount. Attach it with the hardware provided and reassemble the right side.

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Here we are using the template that came with the kit to locate the needed hole in our lower fairing. We cut this out and line it up to the fairing.

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A quick pass with the hole saw and the lower fairing is ready to be re-installed. You may need to elongate the hole a little according to your fitment.

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We re-install the lower, and check the new hammock mount for clearance with all moving parts and to see that the pole will fit. Then we move on to the back of the bike.

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The rear mount is very similar to a trailer hitch so to start we remove the saddlebags, pipe supports and the three side plate bolts.

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With the hardware out of the way, we slide the rear mount into place between the rail supports and the side plates. It will fit right up against your existing bumper.

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With the new mount in place, we re-install the hardware with some thread lock, button up both sides and replace the saddlebags.

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The new powdercoating will make the receiver a tight fit for the actual mount that must be slid into it. It may need tapped into place a few times at first, just to get it loosened.

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With the mount in the receiver, you can put the provided safety clip in and we are ready to give it a test run.

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You can see the whole unit fits in a saddlebag with room to spare. The total shipped weight of the entire kit is only 37 pounds and wraps up in a nice leather case that comes with it.

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Start by rolling the poles out and putting the two safety stands in the bottom of the mounts. The front stand has an additional safety clip to make sure it doesn’t slip out.

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The front and rear poles come in two pieces, slide together and then slide into the installed mounts. You can see here we have the safety stands in place and the two front poles going in.

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Once the rear pole is in position, you simply stretch the hammock across the two poles and hook the ends into them. Other RR hammocks also come with rain covers.

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Once you have it in place, simply put one side over your shoulder and one under your legs and sit back into the hammock, letting your weight pull the hammock into position.

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Swing your legs up and you’re golden. Took three whole minutes, too.

See more on the Cycle Source YouTube channel and at wiskybilt.com