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  #1  
Old 16 Feb 2002
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original bmw side racks on r100gs pd

hi,
i plan to buy alu cases (2 panniers, 1 top case)with touratech or hepco & becker, don't know yet
i have the original bmw side racks
to avoid spending some more money, i was thinking about keeping them.
is there a major difference between bmw side racks with touratech or hepco & becker : reliability, solidity, ... ?
what do you recommend ?
thanks, ride safe
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  #2  
Old 16 Feb 2002
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Hi

I changed the standard BMW racks and panniers on my GS for Touratech ones. The racks are made from larger diameter tubes (18mm vs 15mm I think) and also have a brace across the back (under the number plate).

I'm very happy with the Touratech kit, so far!


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  #3  
Old 17 Feb 2002
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Check your BMW manual, it may say something in there about the max load - 18 pounds if I remember right!

The standard racks break occasionally with 18 pounds and standard saddlebags. 'Nuff said.

NOTE well that the standard rear subframe on R80/100G/S/GS breaks with larger loads - such as would usually go into aluminum saddlebags for a long trip. It MUST be braced carefully or it WILL break.

Many braced subframes have broken anyway, so obviously what someone thought was adequate wasn't - so you've been warned!

I made my own - see our trip story and the Bike page.

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  #4  
Old 17 Feb 2002
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I've tried both - stock racks, and well braced home built jobes on my latest bike. I wouldn't recommend putting much wieght on the stockers. As Grant says, made for light weight on smooth roads. Put heavy aluminium bags on and some rather interesting handling issues surface, and yes, breakage down the road. Not a good place to save either weight or money.
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  #5  
Old 17 Feb 2002
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hi,
thanks for your answers
grant, i try to enquire with bmw
by the way, i saw their clothes, waouh !
i'm a bit worried with side racks and alu boxes : there's always a risk, as you said.
i'm looking for an alternative, like putting a big bag or 2 medium bags fastened around the saddle and the side racks and a top case at the rear. how fasten , i'm thinking about it !

a few + and - i was thinking about :
- less safety though, but more practical , only one or two bags to carry around the shoulder when we stop.
- should be easy to fix too, not too much expensive, shouldn't fall if well fixed
- easy to repair if there's a problem, the kind of elastic ropes (don't know the name in english should be very fine)
- if a side rack or a pannier or the fixation between them brakes, it should not be fun to get repaired
- less heavy too for the rear suspension
- less easy to take someone on the bike

any ideas about alternatives alu boxes ?

thanks, safe travels
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  #6  
Old 18 Feb 2002
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Vincent,

ANY weight you attach to the saddle or panniers will overload the rear subframe. So attaching bags to the saddle is no improvement. Top case is very bad as it is far back.

Are you travelling solo or two-up?

elastic ropes = bungee cord (pronounced bunjee)

Soft bags help as they are lighter, but have their problems too. Problems are solvable with a little work, but the real problem always to be remembered is the total weight behind the petrol tank.

There is a link on the links page to reviews of alu boxes. "Carlos Pannier page" I think.

In the end, if you are travelling solo with only 15 kg total luggage weight, plus a tank bag, the stock system is "probably" fine. On good roads. If you're lucky. And pray frequently.

OR, brace the frame properly, do a good job, and you won't have to pray, you'll know it's good.

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[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 17 February 2002).]
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  #7  
Old 19 Feb 2002
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hi grant,
thanks again for your good advice,
i'm travelling on my own, but some friends may jump on the bike

the alu panniers : they will be like "floating in the air" attached to the side racks, with some kgs inside, i fear that something breaks (the fixations) + if i fall
it must be quite difficult to get them fixed again locally + worries afterwards i guess.
So, i'm not confident about that + they are quite expensive and not easy to carry compared to a big bag around the shoulder (big bag is less safe though).

so put a big soft bag (or two medium) onto/up the saddle, attach it around the saddle and around my original bmw side racks (they offer protection too), could be an alternative, if well fixed, for example with bungee cords, maybe 15-20 kgs weight
in the top case, i was thinking to put my spare parts and 2 tyres around, really such a bad idea ?!?

i have a wp suspension at rear
i was thinking getting a big tankbag (there's a perfect link on equipping the bike!), much choice offered.
the advantage of those big tankbags, is to put some weight at the front and with the pockets on the sides, they offer protections.

maybe there are other advantages and disadvantages i don't see yet (lack of experience).

thanks, safe travels


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  #8  
Old 19 Feb 2002
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Quote:
Originally posted by vincent danna:
compared to a big bag around the shoulder (big bag is less safe though).
NEVER wear a pack - very dangerous in a crash, and also more tiring than you think.

Quote:

so put a big soft bag (or two medium) onto/up the saddle, attach it around the saddle and around my original bmw side racks (they offer protection too), could be an alternative, if well fixed, for example with bungee cords, maybe 15-20 kgs weight
in the top case, i was thinking to put my spare parts and 2 tyres around, really such a bad idea ?!?
yes. you have lots of weight there, two tyres are very heavy and a long way back, also tools/parts are at the very back of the bike, the worst place possible. Your rear subframe will break.

Quote:

i have a wp suspension at rear
Good!

Quote:

i was thinking getting a big tankbag (there's a perfect link on equipping the bike!), much choice offered.
the advantage of those big tankbags, is to put some weight at the front and with the pockets on the sides, they offer protections.
Don't go for the high bag, too top heavy. I've shrunk the size of my tank bag over the years and every time I'm happier. My current one is only 6 inches / 15cm high.

Bags that hang down the side of the tank are great, get as much weight in there as you can - all sorts of heavy bits forward and low is the aim.

I carry my tools just above the cylinders. Perfect spot.


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[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 18 February 2002).]
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  #9  
Old 20 Feb 2002
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grant,
i meant carry the bag around the shoulder when i leave the bike,
thanks for the advice for the weight at rear, have to find a better solution : only put a big bag 10-15kg, avoid the top case too and not sure then to bring tyres
thanks for the advice for the big tank bag : i saw one not too high with large pocket on the sides, i can put the spare parts in it : i think it is hg tuareg (forum equipping the bike-gastank)

i let you know my decision

thanks, take care
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  #10  
Old 23 Feb 2002
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Grant (et al.),

I'd like to get the rear subframe on my '92 R100GS strenghtened. I believe that HPN might make a kit with the brackets to be welded onto the bike. Unfortunately, they don't answer e-mail. Can I simply take the bike to a custom builder (e.g. a Harley specialist) and ask them to buffer up the subframe? Is a specific kit necessary, or is this a procedure that would be easy for any good bike frame welder?

Thanks,
Kevin

[This message has been edited by kevinmichigan (edited 29 July 2003).]
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  #11  
Old 23 Feb 2002
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Any GOOD welder should be able to do a great job. Just make sure he really understands that the sub-frame he's looking at is made of paper thin metal. And they BREAK ALL the time, even with gussets, so it needs to be well done.

A triangulating brace from the left rear past the muffler down to the frame tube just below the swingarm would help a lot. I put one on mine, and I'm sure it helps significantly, by reducing the sway and flex you normally get. You may have to dent the muffler - no problem - and make sure you can unbolt it easily at both ends.

I will be posting more detailed pics of what I have done with mine in a few weeks, so keep in touch. Read the story on my bike for an idea of what I did, and some pics.

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  #12  
Old 24 Feb 2002
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hi,
i think i keep my bmw original side racks and "plastic" boxes with little weight inside
then behind me on the saddle, a big waterproof bag attached to the side racks and bottom racks
attach everything together
then a tank bag not too big/high and two pockets on the sides

it's too difficult to do my own side racks and expensive too + buy alu side boxes

hope it's good

safe travels
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  #13  
Old 25 Feb 2002
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The BMW racks have an optional brace that goes from rack to rack and mounts to the rear fender.

Are they solid enough? Most will tell you no, but I have a friend that toured north and south America and then Europe and Asia with them and amazingly they stayed in one piece despite some crashes, some very rough roads and quite a load. Go figure!

The Touratech mounts have a wall thickness of 2 mm (so they claim), and as already mentioned, are 18 mm in diameter.


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  #14  
Old 5 Mar 2002
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hello,
all this means that any rack needs to be reinforced !
i think i'll go without then
put a big bag behind me on the saddle attach it somehow and go !

bmw say 15 mm tube and less than 5 kgs on each side
touratech is 18 mm yes
but what's the difference inside ???

the best is probably do it yourself rack but i can not :-)

thanks for your replies
safe travels
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  #15  
Old 5 Mar 2002
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Hi Vincent

I was also put off by the price of Touratech panniers. I thought it would be too hard to build my own - but it's not.

You can buy or borrow a cheap DIY welding kit and spend some time with an experienced welder who can help you learn the basics, or enrol on a college course (which is what I did).

Ammunition boxes are cheap and waterproof (and cost less than £6 GBP = 10 Euros) and made of mild steel, so they are stong (but 3 times heavier than Aluminium). The rack is easy to build and metal is cheap or free (mine is made from old table legs).

The downside is that it is heavier (so the sub frame will also need strengthening) and it takes a lot of time to get the skills, and build a good rack.

If you have time, I'd recommend building a home-made rack - it's very simple.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do...

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