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 31 Mar 2010
Jake's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northumberland, uk
Posts: 721
Me again, I know Chris Scott of Sahara fame was trying to use rubber like you mention and we talked a bit about its use in pannier design it has some problems of weight is difficult if you need to stitch it and glued seams may not be strong enough with a heavy loaded pannier. ( Many years ago i trained to work with these materials in liferaft build and repairs so have some knowledge of the materials) The rubber also has bias in its construction and unless you build it correctly so the bias is in neutral the bags will twist and pull in differing directions (look at the construction of Ribs and Liferafts when inflated the Biases are pulled straight and each section is in opposite bias to the next). Like I say there is more to it than people think. Plus they melt very easy in contact with hot surfaces. the base material I am using which may be of help to you is Canvas/butyl rubber/canvas laminate ie one sheet of material with rubber bonded between to layers of canvas - this I then back with a very very heat proof and abrasion resistant Kevlar rubber used as internal inining and fire shielding in armoured vehicles. The Butyl rubber layer self seals around the thread in the needle holes giving excellent waterproof finish and the canvas on each side superb strength to the stitching and seam - but this material is both expensive and very difficult to work with in tight axis and curves.The two combined give an excellent base for panniers. If you just want to use the Canvas laminate you could try getting a few meters from an aftermarket car roof manufacturer it is the stuff mercedes and Audi make convertable roofs from (Ensure it has canvas both sides not mohair one side). ps never glue seam before stitching it will cause untold problems to the sewing machine. I always seam seal after stitching. Hope this helps your project. As for the glue for Ortlieb fine for a small patch or temporary repair but it will not work in a construction role. Do you want to find your bags have fell apart when the glue has given up 50 miles ago down some backwater road ?. i think like most things in life you pays your money and get what you pay for.
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Apr 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 34
great tips

You really did do your homework! Some great advice there - i was planning to glue and then stich and never gave the who bias think a thought. Makes me wonder if it might be worth saving up for your bags. When wil you have a prototype to show all these eager HUBB'ers? Really interested now to see what a 'no compromise' style bag looks like!
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Apr 2010
Jake's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northumberland, uk
Posts: 721
Hi Pauldelft, Like I said before I am recovering from a serious injury which has really set me back quite a bit in the project. Once I am happy with my finished prototype it is going to be tested independently by a well known overland rider who is an experienced user of soft and hard luggage systems (prefers soft) and will review the panniers after testing them in various tests and riding conditions. Only when that has been done and subject to any failings coming to light in the test and having been put right I would be in a position to start selling. This I was hoping to be ready for May/June this year but due to a four month set back I think it will be much later in the year. This delay is a huge disappointment for me and an even bigger financial setback - and has put the viability of the project on the line - Once I know where I am going with it and have a product I would be happy to use anywhere in the world - then at that point I should be in a position to advertise the product through Horizons and other Websites. i am afraid development and testing time is a huge part of making the panniers right for this market. I am hoping to simplify the design and get the costs down also.
Best regards Jake.
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Apr 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
I am hoping to simplify the design and get the costs down also.
Always welcome, but in reality cost should not be a real consideration to people planning a serious trip. In the overall scheme of things luggage of this ilk is going to amount to a quite small proprtion of the capital and running costs.

Work it out - (in GBP) say, Bike 5k, tools spares & equipment 1k, clothing 0.5k. Already Jakes panniers are likely to add far less than 10% to this and we havn't even started the bike up yet. Add on fuel, accommodation, insurance, visas, ferries, s etc and this could easily reduce to 5% for a 4 month tour.

The nearest posible soft bags may be a quarter of the cost of these. So for saving less than (say) 3% of your costs do you really want to have less than something that I believe will be miles ahead of anything available.

I learned the hard way (no pun intended, but quite apt) real functionallity and quality is just not worth saving on - and Jake's bags look better thought out than anything else.

I am not promoting him (I have never met or even spoken to the guy - we just know of each other) but he does seem to have applied much knowledge, research and thought to this. I applaud it and want to start using the result.

Good luck.
(I look forward to sending a cheque!!)
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Apr 2010
Mickey D's Avatar
Moderated Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: California
Posts: 514
I thought these new bags and racks were good for ready made. They are offering an intro sale now. Buy bags, racks free. Wolfman stuff works pretty well.
Very good reputation in the US.

Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage - Expedition Dry Line

Reply With Quote
Old 2 Apr 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: on the road
Posts: 91
I use ortlieb pannier bags on the back, and am very happy. simple, strong and dry. Maybe a bit small. 100 uk pounds to buy (in the UK at least). I fell off a thousand times, miles of bad roads, and only broke the main strap when I hit a tree (with only th bag making contact with it).

For a cheap option you can try horse bags, or maybe ATV bags. Good for tank pannier bags too.
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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
metal panniers v/s soft panniers zaplaje Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 41 9 May 2013 20:10
Cheap soft panniers 6.99 argos? Martynbiker Equipment Reviews 5 20 Dec 2007 13:38
Soft Panniers for a 12GS ?? george t BMW Tech 5 24 Aug 2005 08:03
Panniers - Hard or Soft? NickG TRAVEL Hints and Tips 5 28 Jan 2004 18:58


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' 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 13:50.