Originally posted by Story Leavesley:
I should mention - I have the Jesse bags on my G/S and the Touratech bags on my R100GSPD. After using the Jesse bags for 10,000 miles through South America, I purposely bought the Touratech bags for the PD so that I could do some comparison. Now that I have experience with both I can offer some observations/suggestions if anyone is interested.
I asked Story about his experience with these 2 bags. Here is his response...
Pierre Saslawsky wrote:
> I am considering buying 2 pairs of panniers to go RTW with my girlfriend,
> each on a BMW F650 Dakar. Jesse and Touratech seem to be the best choices
> and your experience with both would be really useful. Could you tell me
> what you think, what problems you encountered with both?
> I also have a few more technical questions...
> - Are both bags securely locked onto the bike, or is it possible to steal
> them fairly easily?
> - Is there a liner bag that fits the Jesse panniers?
> - Is is possible to strap securely a 10 or 20 liters jerrican to these
> panniers? (in the front or underneath the panniers, not on the side)
Well since I wrote that post I have purchased yet another set of aluminum bags
- Happy Trail bags for my KLR. That makes 3 different sets of aluminum bags
that I own! Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Here's my take on the Jesse and Touratech. First off, both sets of bags are
attached quite safely to the bike. The mounting mechanisms are accessed from
inside the bags so when you lock the bags it would be difficult to remove them
from the racks. The Touratechs lock with small padlocks (or cam locks) on the
latches. Jesse bags have locks built into the latch mechanism so there's no
fumbling with separate locks. I think the Touratech lock system is probably
stronger, but the Jesses are much more convenient.
I used a set of BMW soft bag liners for all my hard bags. They just about
fill the Touratech bags, but there's plenty of room around them in the Jesse
bags. They're a little hard to get into the Jesse bags since the top opening
is narrower than the interior (fixed in later Jesse bags).
I think it would be possible to attach jerri cans to either bags though I
haven't done it. I have an Acerbis 11.5 gallon tank on my G/S so I didn't
really need more gas. With the F50 it might be nice to carry extra gas. Gas
(and jerri cans) are heavy though so consider the affect on handling and the
added stress on the racks/subframes. If you decide to try it I would suggest
that you strap the cans on the front or rear of the bags. You don't want to
compromise ground and cornering clearance by strapping them underneath.
Some strengths and weaknesses of each:
+ much larger than the Touratech, though they do have an odd shape. I didn't
find the odd shape a problem since I packed small stuff I didn't need often
into the corners.
+ considerably heavier aluminum, meaning stronger bags
- heavier than the Touratech (see above)
+ better looking than Touratech (subjective I know)
+ fit closer to the bike since they follow the lines of the bike
+ hinged lids are less hassles than the unattached lids of Touratech
+ good service from Al Jesse. I broke my Jesse racks in Colorado and Al sent
me a new rack. When the same rack broke in Argentina I had it welded locally
and it's held up fine on many miles of dirt roads since then.
+ wide opening makes them easier to load/unload
+ easier installation of the racks
+ cheaper than the Jesse ($800 as opposed to $1,000)
- I've heard that Touratech customer service can be frustrating, though I've
had no experience with that.
There's my take on the two bags. I think both bags are of excellent quality.
Pick the ones that fit your needs and go for it.