A Sturdy Mean Streak Backrest and Luggage Rack

An Alternative to the Fire and Steel Backrest

If you have a Vulcan Mean Streak (2002 - 2008), you'll find that the options for a made-to-fit backrest are limited to the Fire and Steel backrest. Though this one works great, there are a few issues:

  • They're hard to find
  • They can be expensive if you do find one
  • There is no luggage rack available to fit them

Additionally, the existing luggage rack options for the Mean Streak either a) rely on the stock strut covers and won't work with saddle bag brackets or b) mount to the helmet lock brackets which aren't exactly sturdy.

So where can you turn if you want a sturdy backrest/luggage rack setup? E-Bay, of course! Or, more specifically, Honda. It happens that the Honda Shadow VT600C and VLX600 (1999-2007) backrest fits just fine on the Mean Streak if you're willing to drill just one hole in each side.

You should use spacers for this. If you already have the Fire and Steel backrest or billet strut covers, you can use the spacers you already have. Otherwise you can make spacers.....

Honda backrest on a Mean StreakThis sample shows the installed backrest using the existing rear bolt holes. New holes were carefully drilled in the front of each bracket to match the mean streak's bolt pattern.

Mock up the installation by removing the rear fender bolts, inserting the spacers and bolting the backrest in place loosely. Adjust the backrest to your desired position, see where the holes should be drilled and mark them. Drill the holes from the outside ("good" side) to minimize the appearance of any flaking chrome. To make sure the brackets matched, I first drilled one bracket, then matched them up good side to good side, clamped them, and drilled the second.

Some of these are on Amazon, but check Ebay and you might find a better price.

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