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.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 20 Jan 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 10
Aluminium, plastic or soft panniers

I know there are previous threads on this but I have more specific enquiries. I'm leaving Ireland for Morocco next week and possibly trans-Sahara to Senegal and need panniers. I'm on a Transalp 650. I was under the impression that aluminium was best but here's my current thinking. Please advise.

My concerns are durability if/when I fall and security.

I know that aluminium is harder to break into but I'm thinking that I'll have to leave them on the bike. That will mean carting everythiing out of the boxes every night and back in the next day and still worrying about the panniers getting robbed at night (I'll be staying in towns/hostels at least some of the time). And when I'm based in towns I'll have to leave them on when I want to beat traffic through town. I'm thinking that the Givi panniers can just be clipped off and brought inside making life easy.

BUT I woiuld have assumed that Givi plastic would crack easily with a fall but another thread says they're les likely to break than aluminium. Any experience?

There is soft luggage but isn't water going to penetrate them and they can never be left on the bike unwatched and will be awkward to carry around?

Based on all of tht I'm leaning towards Givi plastic. Am I right?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 20 Jan 2010
AliBaba's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo52 View Post
BUT I woiuld have assumed that Givi plastic would crack easily with a fall but another thread says they're les likely to break than aluminium. Any experience?

Hehe, some Givi-information here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub.../paniers-28802
Edit: Givi, check last page.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 20 Jan 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Georgia, US
Posts: 13
Question

What about using something like Pelican Cases? Hard plastic cases. I did my own set up with Happy Trails SU racks and the Happy Trails Pannier quick Disconnects and Pelican Cases. Caribou Cases makes a Quick Disconnect set up and built in locks (I just use padlocks) for Pelicans that can mount to various racks.

This is my KLR with my Pelican 1520 Cases mounted up.


It's been on it's side a time or 2 and other than some scuff marks, they are good as new.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 20 Jan 2010
holodragon's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: suffolk,uk
Posts: 128
check out the thread "Aluminium panniers, the best ones,opinions please" lots of info regarding all types of luggage on there
__________________
Andy L

midnight sun to the silk roads 2014
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 20 Jan 2010
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Well ,if you're going next week ,you've left it a bit late to choose a pannier system .

I use those new "green" shopping bags inside the ally panniers ,just grab the two handles and pull .Heavy stuff like tools and spares is packed seperately at the bottom of the boxes ,the things I need on a daily basis are in the shopping bag .Panniers stay on the bike .

If you had soft bags ,you'd be bringing them in to the hotel anyway .

I really like the look of the pelican cases , if they had a top loader in that size ,it would be ideal for me.
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 21 Jan 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 67
There's a size of those supermarket shopping bags that is a great sliding fit inside Andystrapz Expedition pannier bags.
So I do the same, take my luggage to the B&B or whatever, in the bags and drop them back in the pannier in the morning. It saves unstrapping the bags from the bike, and saves taking the usually filthy panniers indoors.
If its too much trouble for me to unstrap them, who's going to nick a shabby looking pair of empty panniers?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 21 Jan 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 10
A lot of good info there. Thanks. It seems both aluminium and plastic run the risk of cracking/breaking. Actually met a guy in bike shop in Dublin yesterday and he recently travelled to Dakar with soft bags and said they were great. Apart from risk of theft in traffic which he got around with metal mesh and plastic covers he said they were great. No risk of technical problems beyond a needle and thread no matter how many falls, they took a minute to take on and off and were surprisingly durable and water proof. I'd put my gear inside a plastic bag inside anyway as suggested above. I'd heard they'd be unstable in the wind but this guy reckons that a few bunjy cords will solve that. As I'll be based in at least two cities for a while I also like the idea of being able to take them off quickly for zooming through traffic. Way cheaper too. Any obvious problems I'm missing? Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21 Jan 2010
klaus's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Toon City, Ehime-ken, Japan
Posts: 246
paniers

Maybe these Hepco& Becker panier would be an option to consider?

H&B GOBI

Sorry that it is all in German, but at least you can see what I am talking about. I am using the Junior ones on my Honda TA and I am more than pleased. Just an idea.
__________________
Klaus D. Orth
A German in Japan
1992 Honda TA
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21 Jan 2010
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo52 View Post
A lot of good info there. Thanks. It seems both aluminium and plastic run the risk of cracking/breaking. Actually met a guy in bike shop in Dublin yesterday and he recently travelled to Dakar with soft bags and said they were great. Apart from risk of theft in traffic which he got around with metal mesh and plastic covers he said they were great. No risk of technical problems beyond a needle and thread no matter how many falls, they took a minute to take on and off and were surprisingly durable and water proof. I'd put my gear inside a plastic bag inside anyway as suggested above. I'd heard they'd be unstable in the wind but this guy reckons that a few bunjy cords will solve that. As I'll be based in at least two cities for a while I also like the idea of being able to take them off quickly for zooming through traffic. Way cheaper too. Any obvious problems I'm missing? Thanks
You pretty much have it ... a good idea for plastic bags on the inside is super heavy duty refuse sacks, as in the one builders use for carting building rubble like bricks and timber away from building sites.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ________________
"Do NOT go wherever the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail"



Sibirsky Extreme - Adventure Motorcycling Guide to Siberia and Mongolia - on Facebook

Click here for Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26 Jan 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 41
The theft issue can be a worry, but I feel better bringing everything inside at night with me anyway, plus I think it makes the bike less attractive in the first place. Even if there is nothing in your hard cases, how is a thief supposed to know that? In any case, the best thing for keeping stuff inside soft bags is large ziplock food storage bags. Buy one-gallon freezer bags, or 2-gallon bags with a real plastic zipper. Helps to keep your stuff organized, and they're a great way to isolate stinky socks or filthy clothes.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 26 Jan 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Australia.
Posts: 666
I'm a recent convert to soft luggage after telling everyone that tried to tell me to nick off. The type of trip and riding that I'm now looking for has changed though. To me now it's more about the riding, and enjoying the out of the way places which are often off-road and less about doing the city church-mosque runs. If the latter is what you're most interested in you're better off if you're backpacking.

Even with hard luggage I usually don't like leaving the bike out of sight anyway (which is not difficult). You'd be amazed how easy it is to steal a bike or it's gear. Bike security is a joke. I always have a sensor based bike alarm, but still. Kazakhs actually like setting it off.
I took hard luggage to South America but am planning to take soft to Africa next time. I was amazed by the South American attitude of look but no touch. This is very different in all the other continents though. But still. I figured I go on a bike trip for the riding, so to me it makes sense to cater for that first before I worry about security.

Also, besides camping gear, what can't be replaced locally if something does get nicked (often if it gets nicked it's a planned theft or insufficient care was taken by the owner)? I now try to only carry that and clothes with some minor stuff. No SLR's or laptops. There is not much you can't do with a good smart phone now. 12 mege pixels means it might even be possible to get rid of a good compact camera. The phone has email and wifi and PDF viewer. But I carry that in my jacket or camelbak anyway. But if you do carry some expensive stuff (like a PMA which I do) you could always use pacsafe stuff like that mesh, or the travel safe which can be tied to the pannier frame and stuffed in the saddle bag with the wire coming out of the roll closure.

I takes a bit more planning (maybe plan which cities you want to stop over in), but you will enjoy the riding more. That's guaranteed. Particularly if you're not strong off-road. Even more so if you are.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 28 Jan 2010
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 4,281
Always soft !!

Most people who have done some proper overlanding travel will start off with cheap soft bags. They will then buy expensive aluminium boxes out of peer pressure and then when these expensive boxes start falling apart and turn your bike into something resembling an ocean liner, they wise up and go back to QUALITY soft bags !!

As for plastic.. Second best ! They take abuse much better than aluminium (they flex) but you won't look as cool as the 1200Gs/touratech underpants brigade

Done to death on this forum mate. Use the search function and you could spend the next 3 months reading threads on this subject.

__________________
www.TouringTed.com
1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

BMW Dealer Technician
Welder/Fabricator

Ushuaia - Colombia 2007/8
UK- South Africa 2010/11
India 2012
Yukon 2012
South America 2014
U.K - Magadan 2015
Reply With Quote
Reply


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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aluminium versus durable plastic panniers? MZ baghira ozzee Equipment Reviews 23 16 Apr 2009 13:51
Plastic luggages VS Aluminium ones partireper.it Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 24 1 Mar 2008 00:38
Topcase Aluminium or Plastic? Samy Equipment Reviews 1 1 Mar 2007 06:24
Plastic vs Aluminium boxes Margus Equipment Reviews 8 20 Aug 2005 12:09
Plastic / aluminium fuel / water tanks Andrew Baker 4WD Overland Tech 9 27 Jul 2005 05:20

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


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

amazon

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 07:09.