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  • 1 Post By Walkabout
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  #1  
Old 9 Nov 2012
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Can you comment on these panniers?

I've found a nicely priced single F650GS with 10k miles on the clock which comes with some panniers pre-installed. It seems the perfect starting point for my jaunt around South America which I plan to stick to covered roads 90% of the way, with the rest being gravel.



However, I can't seen to recognise these panniers, and I wonder if they're any good. Does anyone recognise them and if so can you comment on how well they may withstand the obligatory spills?

Thanks in advance for any help.

PS. Soft luggage peeps - yes, yes, I know. Lighter, safer etc.
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  #2  
Old 9 Nov 2012
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They are the standard BMW panniers, available as an optional extra for that model of bike.
IMO they are tougher than they look - the outside "aluminium look" covers the same black plastic material of the rest of the panniers.
The inside arrangement is expandable (the same BMW system that is used on other models) which can be handy if you are packing less kit (the overall width can be minimised in that case).
They have a two hook arrangement that goes over the lower fitting bar and a single attachment point at the top; so three fixing points per pannier feels OK for the security of the system.
Like any panniers, if you drop the bike onto them enough times, and hard enough, and at a fast enough pace, then they are going to break; it's the laws of physics and materials technology after all
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Old 10 Nov 2012
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Thanks Walkabout. That's helped me look them up. Looks like they could use an additional strap around each pannier to help avoid spilt guts when they fall off, and if I feel resourceful enough to cross brace at the back to help the 15mm subframe. But doesn't look too crazy an option for the trip I'm contemplating. Thanks again.
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Old 24 Nov 2012
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I have these on my GS. Well-made, tough and stable in operation. The only drawback is that they are very small inside, even fully expanded. The cut-out to allow for the exhaust (shown in your pic) takes a lot of space out of them. They are very useful for my needs (daily driver) but I would reckon they are only good for long distance if you travel very light.
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Old 24 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackDogZulu View Post
I have these on my GS. Well-made, tough and stable in operation. The only drawback is that they are very small inside, even fully expanded. The cut-out to allow for the exhaust (shown in your pic) takes a lot of space out of them. They are very useful for my needs (daily driver) but I would reckon they are only good for long distance if you travel very light.
True, but that does encourage discipline in packing
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Old 24 Nov 2012
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I travelled with a guy who had them on his. They were okay for the road but oddly shaped inside.

They literally self destructed on poor roads. They became the laughing focal point of our whole trip. They would always fall off the road, pop open, crack etc.

And they are a real PITA to take on and off.

If you're cruising nice roads, they will be fine. For any decent travel, they're terd...
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  #7  
Old 24 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Like any panniers, if you drop the bike onto them enough times, and hard enough, and at a fast enough pace, then they are going to break; it's the laws of physics and materials technology after all
Personally, during my riding of a 650GS I liked the fixing system which worked easily for me.
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Old 24 Nov 2012
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These panniers were on my dakar when I bought it and easily survived 3 months around the Baltic sea. The awkward internal shape is only a problem for the first few days, you will quickly learn what goes where. When using the side stand remember that the left hand pannier is "facing downwards", so you will quickly learn to pack all the stuff that you use the most in the right hand pannier. Other tips, once expanded I duct taped over the joint and get a mountain bike inner tube, slit it open to make a giant elastic band and use it to cover the lock and the lid seal. Even five days of norwegian rain didn't get in.

They happily survive minor falls. Bigger falls tend to bend the central locking pin (I can only assume that was the problem with Touring Ted's mate's panniers). But nothing that can't be cured with a large rock. Bigger falls at speed...... should you ever find out, let me know.

I admit, if the panniers hadn't come with the bike I would of bought top loading panniers straight away instead - they are easier to use, but does make the dakar a bit of a wide arsed bike.
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Old 24 Nov 2012
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This is my bike
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Can you comment on these panniers?-dscn1664-n008.jpg  

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  #10  
Old 24 Nov 2012
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These are not really suitable for sustained use on anything except good surfaced tarmac.

A weak point is the two plastic 'hooks' (part of the rear moulding) where they go over the mounting frame. They fracture or break off in a fall or when overloaded on vibrating or jarring surfaces. I have seen home made reinforced metal brakets pop-rivetted on to support the hooks - but they came off with the entire hook section when the whole moulded side broke up on a nasty spill.

Best for commuting, easy touring and displaying stickers at the pub.
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  #11  
Old 24 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s445203 View Post
I plan to stick to covered roads 90% of the way, with the rest being gravel.





PS. Soft luggage peeps - yes, yes, I know. Lighter, safer etc.
"I plan to stick to covered roads 90% of the way, with the rest being gravel."
-- that's pretty much how I used them.
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Old 26 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
True, but that does encourage discipline in packing
My first thought when I saw them

Ackcherly, they struggle to contain even a fully-loaded official BMW pannier liner. The shape is awkward, with a lot of space at the bottom and a thin space at the top. On the plus side, they are very easy to get on and off, and have so far a been 100% waterproof. I saw a few drops inside after a pressure wash, but nothing in normal rain, even torrential downpours.

As others have said, great for commuting, shopping, everyday use and perhaps civilised touring. The fact that the lower fixings are moulded plastic suggests that they would not survive a rough thousand miles, but if you are planning that kind of trip you would probably be looking for aluminium gear anyway. They are certainly a million times more convenient than soft panniers. I'm happy with mine.
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  #13  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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10% gravel in SA?

It would a pitty to do only 10% of your trip on gravel!!!!
The most beautifull parts on our trip where on the ripio!!
It is most of the time a little slower, but much more fun.

Go see our pics!
www.kisstheride.blogspot.com
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  #14  
Old 30 Nov 2012
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I went for a strom instead which came with Touratech plastic panniers. Having seem them both (and without riding a single mile - so can't comment on sturdiness) I can relate to the size issue - the BMW pannier shape is such that the useable volume is considerably smaller than the roughly equivalent sized Touratechs due to exhaust shenanigans.

Personally I'd rather have the space and not fill it, but I'm sure that's highly subjective. Thanks all for the great help and happy riding.
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