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Old 5 Nov 2002
AliBaba's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,374
Jesse luggage

I’ve got some emails concerning the Jesse luggage so here is the story:

1) Before I ordered the boxes I wrote an email to Jesse explaining my type of bike (R80 GS Basic) and that I had a BMW rack mounted (flat one for sleepingbag and so on…) . The Basic was not on his “list” so I wanted to know that everything was okay. He told me it was.

2) I order the stuff

3) Four months later I get it….

4) When I start to mount the system I have to use both a Dremel, an angle grinder and a drill to make the parts fit. My BMW-rack doesn’t fit and I have nowhere to put the indicators.

5) I send a email (with a picture) to Jesse Luggage and ask him what to do. He told me that they doesn’t have bikes like that in the US. Well, that was why I asked in the first place (#1)….

6) After modifying the BMW-rack it fits and I also get a place to mount the indicators.

7) When I start to use the system it doesn’t take long to realize that they are not dustproof or even waterproof.

8) The rack starts to rust. (No rust elsewhere on the bike)

9) There is a piece of steel going from the right footrest to the rack and the rack breaks where it is attached. This happens in Norway shortly before “the big trip”.

10) Both of the locks that lock the boxes to the rack break. I chang them with 16mm bolt. This happens only a few days before my departure.

11) In Algeria I got the same problems as in #9 twice. I realize that the piece of metal that goes from the right footrest to the rack hits the cardan so I modify it slightly to avoid that problem.

12) The locks for the lids get full of sand so I have to clean them at least once every day. The lid has to be tight to avoid too much sand in the boxes and it stabilizes the box. Every time I opened the box I feared that it would not close again because the lock was full of sand. So that’s why I don’t have any pictures from Tam -> Agadez 

13) The locks fall apart, I start to use belts to lock the boxes. Not a major problem but it means that everyone can open my boxes and I still have 45 kkm to go…

14) I decide to get new locks send to Nairobi. They will probably last longer when I get out of the dessert. I check the Jesse’s webpage to find that there is no email-adress anymore. There is a phonenumber but I’m in Chad and I don’t want to spend a fortune. I don’t know the time-difference and I don’t like to walk around in Djamena after dark to find a phone that works… There isn’t even a faxnumber. That’s not very traveler-friendly service, or?

15) The left box starts to crack around the area where it’s locked to the rack (on top). I make it stronger with some steel. It looks like the box was to week for the weight. 15-20kg.

16) There is a U-shaped piece of steel that is connected to the subframe (indicator holes) and the main rack on both sides. A welding on this piece brakes and it leads to that the right box hits the cardan and that the U-shaped part that connect the left and right side (under the rearlight) brakes. Some bolts are also broken.

17) Same problem as in #9, got it welded again.

18) Same problem as in #9, got it welded again and modified it so now it works! No more #9!!!

19) The holes for the bolts that attach the right side of the rack to the bike are far too big. A lot of steel is missing….

I inspected all the bolts regularly and repaired any problems as fast as possible. Most of the welding was a bit like “roadside engineering” but that’s life in Africa. I used more time on fixing the rack then I used for servicing the rest of the bike and it’s off course hassle when it brakes again and again in the middle of nowhere.
But I like the design of the boxes, so if I fit new locks and do some more work on the rack it might be a good setup. Inshallah...


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