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Old 19 Nov 2011
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 13
R1200 GSA side cases/paniers advice...

I've narrowed my choice to the 3 following side cases:
1-Touratech - the ones built for and sold by BMW
What is ur experience - both pro AND con with these cases?
I'm actually more interested in any problems u might have had, and how the manufacturer supported you!
Thanks, Ness
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Old 19 Nov 2011
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Far North Queensland Australia
Posts: 80

Hey Ness

I ride a 2005 1200GS here in OZ and a 2004 1200GS in Europe. On my bike here in OZ I run with both the GS vario panniers and the GSA aluminium panniers. I change them to suite the area/conditions. In europe I use just the GSA aluminium panniers as I use them as my luggage when flying.

I find that the GSA panniers are easier to pack as all edges are squared off, unlike the vario panniers.

I bought my panniers from BMW Zentrum in Hamburg while there in september and had great service from them. I fitted the racks and panniers in the carpark out the front in about 20 minuites and the only problem I had was that one of the stainless steel bolts and nuts gawled up and had to be cut off. This was done by friendly technician all with no cost and they supplied me with a new bolt.

While coming home from europe the airline broke one of the plastic protectors on the corner of the lid when they threw it through the oversize/unusual shape luggage hatch. I obtained a replacement from a BMW dealer here in OZ and all is good.

I recomend the BMW GSA (touratech) panniers.

An idea comes suddenly and in an intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier experience.
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Old 19 Nov 2011
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Posts: 47
Hello Ness,

i have the BMW panniers for the ADV and the are very easy to use.But never i have used them off road.Maybe with sand and dust the closing mechanism will make some problems.On my other bikes i used allways the Zega panniers,even in the Sahara.The problems with them was only that i had to open the panniers to take them off the bike.

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Old 20 Nov 2011
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Location: Arzlohe
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I have the original BMW panniers.
You have to consider that the original BMW panniers are built by Touratech but are not the same as the Zega or Zega pro.

The locking system is more or less the same. After a week in Morroco in the sand it still works fine. The top cover of the original BMW is plastic the Zega is Aluminium. Maybe easier to repair.

Anyway a car hit me in Morroco and the BMW system is still working. I guess the biggest advantage of the BMW is you could take them off when closed.

After 43000km on myR1200GSA the original BMW are still fine.
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Old 20 Dec 2011
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Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 68
I've the BMW Alu ones currently and they are quite good. In the past I've had TT Zega panniers, and I'd most certainly say that they are more substantial than the BMW ones, however the BMW ones are not weak in any way. The plastic parts are purely "caps" on the corners, the cases are all alu.

Long trip or long track work I'd use Zega's, otherwise the BMW Alu panniers seem fine
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Old 21 Dec 2011
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Originally Posted by Ness View Post
I've narrowed my choice to the 3 following side cases:
1-Touratech - the ones built for and sold by BMW
What is the reason for not considering Hepco&Becker more closely?

We've been around the world with them on our 1200GS '07 model and couldn't be happier. Espeically when our mates TT's and Jesse cases started falling to bits!!
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
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Old 22 Dec 2011
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Location: Fort Lauderdale,Forida,USA
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1200 pannier

On my GS I first had the oem and they OK but not for very long trip , I had the jesse and they very good built with a narrow profile and very resitant to shock and simple to put on or off the bike . The only problem with them is that the narrow openong make it difficult to load and you end up having to fight your bag to put all your stuff in.

The touratech are great as far as quality and size but to me they need a little reinforcement to be more resistant .

Happy trail is a very good choice for a lower price.
Hendi Kaf


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Old 23 Dec 2011
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Northern Arizona, USA
Posts: 96
I have used Jesses on KTM 950's, Elefants, and 1150GSA, and in all the typical back country places. Indestructable! A friend T-boned us in China, had it pounded out and still works and still waterproof. I use Helen Two wheels liners and they work quite well with the narrow styling of the Jesses. The narrowness of the bags is one of the more important points. As is the simplistic mounting systems.
I do have a 1200 GSA with BMW's Alu system. I do love them and the BMW liners (very drybag like). They came with the bike or I would have put Jesses on it. No complaints on the System's functionality, but do feel the cases are vunerable in a crash (not done since I got the bags in '06!). The alu is much lighter weight and might crush, but like my Jesses could be pounded back, but maybe not so straight???
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Old 18 Jan 2012
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I would like to say that people can get too paranoid about a pannier that is "very strong" and built from thick material. Rigid structures can fail before a flexible one, if the structure has a little bit of flex in it and designed correctly it it will have a longer life because the stress if dispersed. Look at airplane wings for instance and lorry chassis.

I use the BMW ally panniers on my GSA with their inner bags and I think its a great system and user friendly. On a recent trip I was hit from behind and one pannier took the full force, yes it deformed, but absorbed a lot of the impact force so I stayed on the bike, a rigid box pannier may have seen me and the bike on the deck !!

To repair the pannier all I did was remove the lid, get the box somewhere back to normal shape, then clamp the lid back on with the latches. Job done, not too pretty but the inner bag kept everything dry so no problems.

Just my thoughts

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Old 19 Jan 2012
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hi Ness

I just went through all this last year.I ride a 07 r1200gs.I looked at all options
and went for happy trails tuton panniers.The are very well made waterproof
and the cheapest.I went for the free: powder coating and lid locks and premounting.They have great support and mounting was good.They are updating their install sheet.They had poor pictures but were very helpfull on the phone,They are aware of this and probably have fixed them by now.The first day I had to ride through a monsoon for 4 hrs.I thought this will be a test and I
had 0 leakage.
Barry from Vancouver Island
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Old 20 Dec 2013
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Location: Sahuarita
Posts: 7

Bought an 09 BMW GSA 1200 new and decided on the Jesses over the BMW bags. They are slightly bigger seem stronger. I've dropped the bike 20+ times - very slow speed falls in the sand, dirt and sometimes pavement. Ridden over bad washboard roads in the states and Mexico. loaded em up to about 40 pounds each. The connector "pipe" on the bike has broken twice. They fixed it free both times. Great service!! Huge capacity. Very happy with them. Oh,-- don't try to install them yourself, unless if you have about 4 to 5 hours and a ton of patience.
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Old 21 Dec 2013
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Location: Shropshire UK
Posts: 20

We use Touratech Alu as sold by BMW on our 2010 GSA. I think the LH side is 37 (38?) litres and the RH side 45. No water gets in even on the wettest day and blasting down a motorway/autobahn. Couple of low speed spills, no damage. Easy as pie to fit/take off. Inner bags by Touratech are good - just grab 'em out and go at the end of the day. Only used them for road riding. We always travel 2 up. The little dust caps break off the locks though. Key matched so ignition key does all the pannier locks. (Also useful the lash down points on the lids and you can disconnect the wire that stops the lids being 'free' and take them off completely). Great panniers but never had them bashed in yet so don't know how they'd fare.
If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right
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Old 3 Jan 2014
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Location: Heber City, Utah, USA
Posts: 17
Happy Trails Teton on my 1150GSA. Very sturdy and we'll made. Have protected me on a couple of low speed spills with no damage. Worth consideration. And quite affordable.

Roborider - 1150 GS Adventurer - Galax VA
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