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Old 16 Jul 2007
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1200GSA alu pannier options

Hi all,

Has anyone been through the thought process of which aluminium panniers to go for on a 1200GS-Adventure ?

Any thoughts on BMW vs Metal Mule vs Touratech etc ?


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Old 17 Jul 2007
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alum pannier

Just got back from the BMW rally in Wisconsin and looked at Jesse bags. I have a 2007 GS adventure and I went with the BMW bags. The Jessee are bigger and I think I would rather have had them. I had heard that Jesse was having trouble keeping up but do not know if that is true or not. I looked at his new system of attaching them and it is nice. I looked at all the other bags there on bikes and either the Jesse or the BMW look to be good choices.
Larry Davis
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Old 17 Jul 2007
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I have the BMW Adventure panniers and whilst they are OK, if I was making the decision over again I think I would go for Metal Mule so that I can move them over to another bike in the future.

The one thing I didn't like about Metal Mule was the domed nuts on the inside the panniers, however I spoke to them at Ripley and this is changing.

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Old 17 Jul 2007
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Hard to say :-(

Overall I'd vote for the Metal Mule panniers for three reasons:

- excellent system to attach them to the rack (the best I have come across so far)
- they can be ordered already anodised
- they are very robust.

For ages I'm travelling with the Touratech panniers, which basically aren't bad, but in comparison to MM the the TT attachement system is absolute crap. After a while the screws get oxidised and it is a major pain to fit the boxes tight on the rack so that they have no play. Secondly TT doesn't offer them anodised, meaning that your luggage is blackened heavily by the aluminum rubb-off.

What I like about them is that the lid isn't hinged, meaning that you can remove it without having to loosen your luggage roll. Besides that, the lid comes useful as a tray to carry small stuff around (like breakfast plus cutlery ;-)). Finally, there is quite a difference in price...

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Old 17 Jul 2007
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Metal Mule - the extra cost is worth it.

As many HUBBers know, I would recommend Metal Mule over Touratech any day.

The wife and I both have a set on our XT600’s and have done in excess of 20,000 km. Our Metal Mules have been dropped, crashed (two accidents) and bashed (and still maintain there original shape, fixings, etc). A VERY strong design!

They have been subjected to 50C highs and -5C lows. They have been through torrential rain storms and excessively dust environments and are 'way' overloaded on a regular basis – they are as good today as they day they arrived.

Plus points for us are:
1. Easy mounting system.
2. Water and dust proof.
3. Extremely strong frames and panniers.
4. Anodised panniers maintain there looks and don't effect your clothes.
5. The extra handles are really useful on a daily basis - I wouldn't be without them now.
6. Extremely good customer service.

Minus points:
1. Expense - but worth it.

Whilst I don’t want to speak ill of Touratech, I have yet to see a 'square set', just look at what Claudio (long way round and down) managed to do to his panniers on a low speed tumble, (http://www.bbc.co.uk/longwaydown/journal/entry26.shtml).

In addition there is a article in this months ‘Bike’ magazine from the Bike High guys. Who have traveled over 17,000 miles with Metal Mules and love ‘em. They admit to dropping their XT660's on them in excess of 30 times!!!

At the end of the day, "you pay your money and take your choice", but for me the Metal Mule panniers are in a league of their own.
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Old 17 Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by Smokin' Lizard View Post

In addition there is a article in this months ‘Bike’ magazine from the Bike High guys. .... They admit to dropping their XT660's on them in excess of 30 times!!!
Maybe they should exchange their XT's for a trike ;-)
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Old 17 Jul 2007
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I have posted about this before but now found the pics.

I have only ever used Jesse's so that is all I can talk about but - they have been flawless. Two Jesse's hold more than the original equipment (3!!!) BM bags and they are rated at 250lbs (small print on the BM bags rates them around 15 to 20lb???). The Jesse's are very robust and recently saved my side cases from an embarassing parking lot topple with minimal damage - scratching is all. I have made some mods to the bags to make them more convenient - I added low profile sailing loops of plastic (400lb rating) meant for holding a hiking sailer in by his feet. they are smooth and low - and light. I also bought some stainless hardware for them from the sail shop and it took about 45 minutes to drill and seal and mount. I then added 1 inch nylon strapping from a local hiking store with matching plastic clip hardware. The result is a very efficient way to attach - rolls or other items to the top of the bags - while allowing you to open and close the bags at will - without taking anything off. Very secure and clean. when not in use I strap them together as noted - total time 2 hours - total cost 65$. And, no sewing as I used the plastic buckles and such to loop the excess and allow me about a 3 fold length increase when needed. I also sewed some triangulated bags with zippers for the inside of the lids - Jesse sells a metal clip for the inside lid that holds hats and gloves and stuff - but it mostly falls out and can only hold bigger items. For a glove box type of thing - I added these bags so when I open the lids - I have a nice 2-4 ltr bag to put wallets, cameras and other small items - the metal clip from Jesse holds the whole thing in and all I have to do is unzip the central zipper. These took some sewing on my part but a total of 1.5 hours and some scrap material and used zippers.

As for the overal bags - they are strong, light, hold very much, and Jesse stands behind everything - also - BIG also - they retail for around 1200.00 complete - while the BM bags are about $3200.00. I do not know about other bags but have heard good reports about touratech and metal mule. The touratech models have removeable lids - while some like that I do not - as they tend to fall off when you are opening them... in a hurry. Check out the pics and if you need any other info send me a note.

Note - I ordered my Jesse's unpainted.

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Last edited by Dean de St Croix; 17 Jul 2007 at 15:58.
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