For many of us, riding a motorcycle is a solitary event. It is how we unwind from the stresses of life and sometimes, when there are those moments where the machine and the rider become one and each corner we ride through eases not just our psyche but our very souls. It's bliss. Just you and your bike and an open road.
But for those times you'll need to throw someone on the back of your bike nothing, and I mean nothing, can ruin a good ride like an uncomfortable passenger. I know that my wife will never be happy on the back of a motorcycle without a back rest but it can be a real challenge to find one for a lot of motorcycles. Luckily Premier Cycle Accessories (PCA) has a solution.
PCA is a small business located in Mentor, Ohio. They have a nice storefront on the internet that's easy to use and they carried a lot of items. I say carried because they have been getting out of offering a huge retail line of products and focusing on their own line of accessories. Right now that consists mainly of their Sport Racks and back rests for all of the most popular ADV motorcycles. We like a company that is super focused on making the best products and PCA is narrow focusing on a few great things.
Their Sport Rack system consists of a top rack plate made from 3/16'' thick aluminum and a support plate made from 1/8'' thick steel. The racks have rolled side to increase rigidity and the entire hardware set is powder coated black. The mounting hardware is motorcycle specific and included. There is an available accessory light bar or helmet lock but you can only mount one of them at a time. They use the same mouting location on the plate. There is also a mounting kit for Givi top boxes so you don't have to drill the plate.
The Sport Rack mounts easily uses supplied hardware in the stock location holes. Simply unbolt and remove the original item and then bolt on the Sport Rack. For the Ténéré there are supplied spacers that are used. The original rack had molded legs that put the it at the proper height with the rear pillion seat. The Sport Rack comes with two sets of spacers. The longer ones to mount in the high position, and a shorter set to allow you to mount the rack lower than the rear seat. Especially handy if you plan to use a pillion rack like this one from Alt Rider. The plates also need some patience to line them up properly. They aren't difficult as they are machined very accurately, you just need to remember to line the holes up before tightening everything down. Lesson learned the hard way.
The back rest is pretty simple and that makes it rather ingenious. The back rest is from Cee Bailey and mounted to a bracket made by PCA. PCA machines a rectangular opening in the plates, the bracket goes through and mounts and attaches using three threaded bolts sandwiching the entire assembly together. This gives the entire system not only a strong mounting point but makes it fairly easy to mount. I say fairly easy because the bolt heads are under the edges of the backrest and unless you have the right length hex wrench you end up needing to buy one or cut one down and make your own wrench to work. It also means if you need to take it off on the road you need to carry that specific wrench with you. Small issue but certainly less convenient than one would like.
My wife and I have ridden over 10K miles with this setup. It was originally mounted to the Tiger Explorer and then transferred to the Ténéré with a new Sport Rack. She loves it. Plenty of back support and it keeps her feeling secure. I wish it was a quick release so it would only be mounted when she rides. I always end up kicking it when mounting and dismounting and it just looks un-sporty.
Since it mounts to the Sport Rack it eliminates the ability to mount a top box and the back rest. Pretty logical since they mount in the same locations but for those looking to do both this isn't your solution. What you can still do is mount soft luggage with the back rest. I have a medium sized Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffel for our camping gear that mounts perfectly. Weight balance is a little far back but with the passenger it is not an issue. When riding solo I would mount it to the rear seat or take the time needed to remove the back rest.
If you ride with a passenger and also need to carry bags or any other items on the rear of your motorcycle you can't go wrong with the Sport Rack. It's strong enough for any use, the finish is durable, and for the Ténéré they even laser cut the bikes name in the side. Conveniently these cutouts are great bungy mounting points.