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  #1  
Old 24 Jul 2009
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Alpos boxes - any good?

I've seen a couple of people talk about these, but mainly it seems to be posts saying "Look at these cheap panniers" and not "I bought these cheap panniers and they're great!!" Does anyone have them, and have any feedback.

I'm wondering as I've been in contact with them and we're talking about me being their agent over here, so don't want to saddle myself with quality issues, and complaints.
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Old 26 Jul 2009
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inundated with replies i see?
i have no experience of them myself but ive seen three bikes with them, all have said the boxes are great value but can be a bit flimsy at the attachment points and need a bit of support because the side walls are just thin ally. all three had put thicker plates either side.
i dont know if alpos do their own frames now, the ones ive seen have been a diy frame, touratech universal frames and i think givi frames with the lugs taken off and touratech style fittings put on (the black plastic discs with bars over the rails).

none of them complained about water getting in or general falling apart.
hope this helps a bit mate
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Old 26 Jul 2009
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Ive a set of them, both i think 48ltrs so something and they are cheap, but there are draw backs. You have to buy a fitting kit for givi panniers or others which is extra or you end up being cheap like me and making your own rack and fitting system.

I ended ip with 4 holes in each box with reinforcing aluminium around the hold and then rubber mounted to the frames to make them 100% waterproof
.

They are weak looking and i wouldnt want to try them much off roading but they are doing the job for me so im not worried.

So all in al yes cheap, good panniers but not overly strong.

I read a Vstrom report about 2 guys who when round the world with them and they complained that any drop bent them about and cause them to leek but they had never done any off roading before so probably hit the ground pretty hard and also they did say there bikes where way over loaded to very heavy.
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Old 27 Jul 2009
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Alpo boxes

With my husband we spent a year round south america. We both had Alpo boxes. No wrong things to report.

I dropped my bike many times in the 1st few months and the panniers were fairly bullet proof. But in the end we had to get the support frame strenghthened as the MoTech frame (and my bike's farme!) took such a battering as a result. This was easy and very cheap down a metal workshorp.

I had to abandon my panniers in Brazil after my bike was stolen. The police found the bike but not the support frame. By then I had probably dropped the bike about 10 times (!)... well you know some trails ARE tough!
Anyhow, nothing bad to say about them.

My husband's one did all the trip. And now the bike is sold with the panniers on, and going around the world...

He dropped his bike couple of time. No damage to frame or panniers.

So in conclusion, they are good quality and cheap. If they get out of shape (as a result of dropping the bike!) they are easy to hammer back into shape.

I like the fact you don't have to open the panniers to take them from the bike. Useful when surrounded by lots of curious locals. Just undo the padlocks and remove the box. Easy.

cheers,
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Old 31 Jul 2009
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if you read the thread "metal mule prices go up again" then alpos cases look even better value...........
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Old 2 Aug 2009
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had them on my 1150gs when i brought it, i thought they were preety good ,they did every thing touratech ones do,but at a fraction of the price,
i know have touratech panniers on my 1200gs,but i brought them second hand,i certainly wouldnt pay t/t prices, alpos boxes are ok
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Old 3 Aug 2009
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Thanks for the feedback, it looks like it could be summed up as "good, but you get what you pay for". Maria, interesting to hear about the problems with the Motech frame, I've always thought they looked a bit flimsy.

Alpos only make the boxes and don't seem to have any interest in making either frames or even attachment kits for commonly used frames, so I guess they're always going to be a bit of a "buy it and then modify it to fit" case.

Still worth knowing, like I said, I've been approached about being their French agent, but I didn't want to risk it if they were no good.
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Old 3 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Thanks for the feedback, it looks like it could be summed up as "good, but you get what you pay for". Maria, interesting to hear about the problems with the Motech frame, I've always thought they looked a bit flimsy.
My "problem" was that I dropped my bike too many times. I am pretty sure that any frame/pannier system would suffer. None of them are designed for such abuse. Considering, it was pretty tough (both panniers and frame).
The problem was that every time I dropped my bike something has to absorb the shock, and it was the tail end of my bike frame along with the supporting motech frame bending. Also the attachement to the frame was becoming weak as my panniers were so battered.
.
A good idea would be to get a bracket joining the panniers'frame by the back (behind the number plate) or above the back wheel.
On the f650 I had only 3 points of the motech frame joining to the bike's frame. A 4th point woudl hav been good if you see what I mean.

In Peru we got a fixe made by a metal worker. you can see the result here: http://www.franglais-riders.com/imag...f_IMGP0880.JPG

cheers,
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  #9  
Old 14 Sep 2009
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I had them on my Dominator, and even crash-tested them for everyone

Hit a truck on the Jaufren pass/Passo di Giovo:



The bike ended up on it's right, as I was ejected down off the side of the road between the trees:



This was after getting a little exuberant on some other passes and the back wheel lifting off the deck as I ground the front corner of the pannier As you can see by the pics, I fitted the panniers too low on the H&B frames, really

I might buy them again when I change the Africa Twin for either another Dommie or the new Tenere.
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Old 26 Sep 2009
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Those panniers look to be a bit roughed up. But at least they are still attached to the bike which goes to show the actual strength of them

Positioning the panniers is hard as youve no reference to go by so i just placed mine as high as possible so the lid was running level with the seat. Saying that ive touched my panniers down twice but only a we scuff.
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  #11  
Old 26 Sep 2009
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yes i agree, some bikes look a little odd but i would mount the boxes so the top is level with the rear luggage rack (if you have one, or at least the pillion seat), then you have a large flat base to strap things down on.
i broke some tent poles once strapping the tent down too tight across the "hump" and the bike bouncing around broke two of them. luckily it wasnt on a trip but a practice run
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