If you intend to install farkles, a dashboard shelf is a very useful place to start! Almost as soon as I got the bike, I started planning to install a music source. Unlike previous bikes I'd owned, the ST1100 has a plastic handlebar cover, which I initially thought would limit the installation of any accessories in this area. I later found that it was an ideal location for my radio remote control. Also, the curved top of the instrument panel does not really lend itself to the installation of any accessories here, so some sort of flat surface needed to be installed.
Having researched several options, I decided to make my own dashboard shelf from some scrap sheet metal I had lying around.
First I made a template out of cardboard. When I was happy with the shape, I transferred the outline to the sheet metal and cut out the shape with a jigsaw. I carefully bent the two back "legs" to the correct shape, and then the front brackets were folded down.
I then covered the bare metal with black vinyl sheet.
Some 50,000 miles later I considered replacing it with a new one. The existing one has had several holes drilled into it from various brackets which I had attached and then later removed. Also, when I first made it, I did not add a stiffening bar under the front edge. However, I decided against making a new shelf from scratch. To stiffen the front edge I found a strip of thick aluminium, and riveted it in place. It does need strengthening here, because without it there is a fair amount of vibration in the centre. This is especially noticeable when the GPS is in place. It's now nice and solid.
Prior to building the shelf, a friend had pointed me towards the
Ram Mount system - they make all sorts of brackets. But I prefer my own dashboard shelf!