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Old 20 Dec 2004
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Rack and panniers in UK ?

I need to get a solid rack and aluminium pannier system set up on my bike(KLR 650) asap for a U.K. to Ghana trip. On racks - am I better off getting someone to build one for me as it can be more solid than a pre-fab one, and if so who? On panniers I've come accross Touratech (expensive), happy trail, Jesse and Tesch. They all seem to be located in the US (except touratech who don't seem to do a KLR rack) and I can't find a dealer nearer to home which I would prefer. Who in england can get my rack and luggage sorted without it costing me the earth? Any ideas and previous experiences very welcome.
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Old 20 Dec 2004
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Buy whatever aluminium boxes you feel are best or what you can find second hand & get racks made to suit.
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
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Old 20 Dec 2004
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Personaly I like the Touratech Zega panniers as they are simple in design, lighter than some others and don't have hinged lids. Other travellers have their preferred brand for their own reasons. As for racks I had mine made by Ernie at 'Overland Solutions' (link at top of page) They weren't especially cheap but, they are very well made and strong and he can custom make them to include tie ons etc. Have a look at the website and/or give him a ring he's approachable and very helpful.
\"Bon Chance\"
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Old 21 Dec 2004
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As you l'm seeking cheap boxes for my ténéré and l've found
Daerr box (german) 90 € per box and 3 different sizes available
they seem great cause:
round corners, good to keep your legs if you fall !
slide off cover
quick release system available for H&B racks!

type "daerr box" on google for their site
then use a translator to english

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Old 21 Dec 2004
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Tesch panniers are strong.

I'm not sure that Darr or Touratech would survive a bad fall, they look fairly flimsy and easy to bend. I did a lot of research on panniers a couple of years ago and finally went for Tesch. Jesse are very expensive and some people have had problems with them when having a spill. I don't think I've ever heard of Tesch panniers breaking... but maybe someone out there has?

There's also Hepco and Becker 'expedition' and they now do a great looking plastic Gobi pannier - these are available from Moto-Bins in Surfleet, Lincs if you want to have a look

Tesch are solid, and reasonably priced for what you get, I reckon they'll last for ever.

There's also metal mule panniers, made in the UK that look pretty good.

But I like the Tesch panniers - BIG, light, strong and simple - which is all you need really...

[This message has been edited by Fuzzy Duck (edited 21 December 2004).]
Fuzzy Duck
(I\'m quackers about bikes)
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Old 21 Dec 2004
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Thanks a lot for your help so far. At the moment the main problem is the rack for this bike. Did a Sahara trip last year and found to my cost that when it comes to racks "any old job" won't do. I'll give Ernie a call and although I've only ever heard good things about his work, I dread to think what it will cost! Anyone have any contacts for good rack builders in the South West?
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Old 22 Dec 2004
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It might be worthwhile to email Happy Trails inquiring as to the total cost of their rack and pannier set shipped to the UK. It certainly may be that the cost of shipping would make the overall cost non-competetive with what you can get locally, but perhaps not.

Happy Trails owners Tim Bernard and his wife are good people who make a quality product and provide excellent customer service. Tim's email address is tim.bernard@happy-trail.com.

I can highly recommend their panniers, and I have no affiliation with the company other than being a very satisfied customer.

Good luck and have a great trip.


[This message has been edited by liketoride2 (edited 22 December 2004).]
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Old 25 Feb 2005
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Have you tried any of the big Army Surplus places? Ex-Army ammo boxes are strong then have a word with Givi about a Universal kit for your bike. You maybe able to find some Ali boxes as well. Most of the Givi kits are the same its just the bolts etc that seem different.
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Old 10 Mar 2005
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ive got the touratech boxes. the boxes themselves are great, very waterproof, easy to use and easy to bash back into shape. the rack is not so strong. i was carrying a lot of stuff though on v v v v v bad roads.
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Old 13 Mar 2005
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have you tried metal mule? they are a UK company

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Old 13 Mar 2005
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If u have ever seen the rack and panniers from overland solutions, then u know a new word for good stuff. we have seen it on an Africa Twin and after our trip I will throw my Touratech stuff away and get theirs. www.overland-solutions.com based in UK
Martin and Katja Wickert
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Old 14 Mar 2005
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I'm with Matt on this one, The Daerr boxes served me and the XT well during 18 months in Latin America, dents were easy to bash out again and they stayed waterproof the whole time.
Although they look flimsy, the design makes them stronger than the TTech ones. As with any aluminium pannier, make sure you line them, to avoid getting your stuff covered in alu dust. Clear sticky back plastic worked for me.
The Hepco Becker rack was not so great though, next time will get a custom made one.

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