Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Equipment, Travel > Equipment Reviews

Equipment Reviews Post YOUR REVIEWS of ANY Motorcycle, Camping or Travel Equipment and accessories. Tell us what worked and didn't work for you!
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Parts & accessories for adventure touring motorcycles including GPS mounts, panniers, luggage, protection, dry bags, camping gear, tools, books & DVDs.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28 Oct 2005
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: GENT Belgium
Posts: 508
Ali Boxes.... Indian Style

Hi guys,

Just had a thought, I'm off to India in the morning (with-out bike), my first night I'll be staying in Karol Bagh area famous for its "Enfield" bike shops.... we'll I'm after some ali boxes crunch crunch the brain is working ..... cool buy them in India !!!!

Anyone brought Indian made Ali boxes? ideas of prices ? quality ?

I'll let you know the out come ...

Reply With Quote
Old 28 Oct 2005
Matt Cartney's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Posts: 1,351
You could probably get some tailor made extremely cheaply. There are metal workers shops all over the place.


*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Oct 2005
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Nantes, France
Posts: 397

Generally, these metal shops use low quality steel. Whereas aluminium is the first choice for bikers because of its lower weight.

While every shop will say "yes yes, we can do this for you, no problem", you will find that not many of them stock aluminium. Insist that this is what you want - you'll waste less time this way.

I had some made in Cochi, in the south. On the good side: they were cheap yeah. I think 25USD each. They were handmade, without welding, each corner being tucked-in by little flaps and hammered. They were perfectly waterproof. There must have been twenty hours work in each box. Easily.

But be aware, this hand-made method only works on 1mm aluminium. Any thicker and the worker need tools beyond a hammer.

Aluminium welding - necessary for the thicker stuff - costs money for the gases. So the price may not be as competitative as you hope.

Generally, I would say 1mm is too thin for any box of size - just not strong enough. The larger of my boxes developed splits.

I would recommend 1mm for smaller boxes - for tools perhaps - in places that are not going to get big impacts when you drop the bike.

Touratech use 1.5mm, but every long distance biker I ever met with TT boxes had had to re-build them 'cos they are too thin.

Also, the quality of the ally will be lower in India most likely.

If you can find an aluminium welder in India, then you are in luck - they can weld to any width. There must be some, although I never found one. Try airports and boat yards would be my advice.

A 2mm thick ally box, with a reasonably fitted lid will be fine, although I would make the inside side (where it attaches to the rack) out of 2.5mm for extra strength, particularly if the boxes are big.

Lastly, remember that any design/discussion/fabrication/purchase process is going to take a week or two in India. Like most places in the world, India works on the 'top of the pile gets first attention' system. So it is best to check in daily on the shop, or your work will go down that pile.

Is this how you want to spend your holiday?

Hmmm, a bit too negative this post - that wasn't my intention when I set out, but it is best that you know your options.

So happy welder hunting,


[This message has been edited by Simon Kennedy (edited 28 October 2005).]
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
Reply With Quote
Old 27 Nov 2005
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: GENT Belgium
Posts: 508
Matt & Simon,

Thanks for your replies, just back from India and well what a crazy place. Didn't buy any boxes but they we're all very helpful. we ended up in Enfield alley they could only sell me a massive steel rack to hold soft luggage, these rack's must weigh a ton, look like a cattle feeder !!! anyway they couldn't help but put me a toc toc with instructions to take me across town to a "all ali" shop, they had everything including boxes but not the right shape and only 1 mm thick.

So its back to the drawing board, I'll make my own up and use TT rack fittings.

Safe riding

Kind regards
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:21.