Bikers Workshop Series

Fitting an Elman box to a GL1800.

By Steve Saunders.


Elman Goldwing Equipment are based in Italy and they make fibreglass boxes for the GL1800 and GL1500 Goldwings that fit behind the saddlebags and under the trunk. The one for the GL1500 gives an extra 75 litres capacity and the one for the GL1800 has 83 litres. They can be bought colour-matched or unpainted. The supplied instructions are not the easiest to follow, but using the scanned line diagram along with my own installation pictures might make the job a bit easier.

Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.


First jobs are to remove the saddlebag lights (three 8mm dome nuts inside each saddlebag) and the number plate, plate bracket and painted panel. The bolts to remove are highlighted in green in the first picture. Elman provide blanking panels to cover the holes where the saddlebag lights previously lived and the panels have turn signals which connect to the existing blocks on US models. You will have to splice the wires on European models, like the one here. If you want the option of removing the Elman box later on (it's held on by four bolts and easy to remove), you can buy an extra set of OEM lights for the Elman and leave the original ones in the saddlebags. Mck Wilson, who owns this 2001 GL1800 reckons he won't be taking the box off at all.

This is the side view with the blanking panel fitted. They are quite a good fit for fibreglass.

  Now you need to remove the rear 12mm head muffler mounting bolts, left side shown in the first picture. The U shaped mounting frame A for the Elman (bottom of the second picture) will bolt on here. Second picture also shows the existing tie bar being removed from the rear of the Goldwing, you won't need this again as it will be replaced by a sturdier crossbar.

The first picture shows the mounting frame A bolted to the outside part of the left muffler, do the same on the right side but don't tighten the bolts up just yet. Second picture shows the back of the frame A lined up with the crossbarB (which replaces the tie bar you removed earlier). The green dots show you where to bolt them together, after you also have lined up the back part of the frame E and bolted the three items together (see diagram at top of page).

Now loosely fit the bar C shown in the picture behind the bikes frame downtubes and let it rest there.

The other bar D bolts toC, at the rear-most part of the downtubes. The two small bolts at each end clamp the bars tightly to the downtubes. The two highlighted holes are where the box will be bolted to the  rear of the Goldwing.

Now you need to splice the supplied wiring hitch to the Goldwing. Unplug the red and the white connectors and splice the colour-matched wires into the ones on the bike. The wires are marked so you can't go wrong.

The supplied template should be fitted to the two studs in the rear panel, and two 8mm holes drill in the marks highlighted in the first picture. These two holes are where the box bolts through to the clamped bars mentioned earlier, and the base of the box is bolted through the bar E. With the back panel refitted, the wiring hitch should be visible as shown in the second picture.

The two pictures here show the box bolted up. It isn't really heavy and I was able to lift it up and bolt it in place without assistance. The box opens at the back, the spoiler forms part of the lid and it opens downward. The number/licence plate screws onto the outer part of the lid.

These three pictures show the box fitted and GL1800 Goldwing on it's way home.

Here are some more pictures of the finished item.