The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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If you can produce bags that are secured and won't spill all over the place when dropping the bike, you will get a winner! I hope you succeed!
I use now Andyz soft panniers but it is, as mentioned by others, an absolute pain to faff around with packsafe mesh!
Hi Maria ta for the comments - Hows the tipi still serving you well I hope. As for the stab proof material I have had several different types some very expensive others not so, however they are designed for a totally different application and will easily resist a slash from very very sharp knife - what they will not do will resist a slow force cutting action all have failed high abrasion tests and cutting tests. I am currently talking to the company in Hong Kong who make pac safe to try to get some pac safe mesh built to fit into the build of the panniers.
Just to let you know My initial plan was to build in pac safe type of mesh - this is the ideal security solution - but I am finding it very hard to find a supplier of the mesh wire system - but am still looking and if I can find it it will be top of my list to fit. Also I have tried several kevlar materials however I am finding them disappointing in actual tests. Even the best one that has been given rave reviews by the manufacturer (at £45.00 meter) is just not up to the job and has failed some of the high abrasion and cut tests that I would want it to pass for an exterior layer. However still working at getting the right combination of materials so just bare with me and keep your requirements coming in and I will try to pool the ideas into one quality and affordable product.
Many thanks for the feedback so far
You could try and look into the working clothes made for forest workers. They are chainsaw proof !!
Mesh is working in tension to prevent cutting, the strands support each other. In an abrasive "attack" a single strand can be ground down. The slow cut prevents the other strands moving to support. The engineer in me says consider a more plate like material. I'd be thinking something like a medieval jack, it's a leather jacket with small plates of metal sewn on. The leather (mesh) is good in tension against cutting attacks, the plates spread blunt forces and help stop sharp objects getting a purchase. Don't forget any "armour" relies on it's backing, give the mesh freedom to flow and move but in a supported way and it'll be stronger than if it's held in place too much.
I hope you can find a commercial material as it avoids a hideous amount of work, but failing that maybe think plastic/ceramic/foil "plates" in the layers? Simple hard plastic corners could really help IMHO, but it is a while since I was doing "squaddie proof" stuff.
Once again thanks for the comments - the facts are that all panniers be it alloy boxes or soft luggage are not really secure almost any alloy box can be opened and or removed from the bike with little effort and very basic tools the alloy boxes have the mental impact that they are strong fortresses to protect all that you have but at the end of the day they are simply a box with a lock on that in most cases a knife or screwdriver will break open. As for soft luggage it is not so different it can be cut / removed / opened however if i can add a simple deterent to make it a little more difficult to just walk away with them or open or access the luggage then really that seems to be the limit that can be achieved. I can not go down the road of super secure armoured panniers there is no real point - I also have to try to keep real these are soft luggage with as much build quality and strength I can design in but there are limitations - so far the pac safe mesh system seems to be about the most versatile / secure and simple system that I can find - the problem is production quantities they are willing to supply at and if it can be done within a costing that these poorly funded travellers are willing to pay.
Still the research continues Tchus Jake.
Must be waterproof, roll top closure, steel - lockable buckles, perhaps an 'easy attach' mechanism for pannier rail mounting (with optional, detachable shoulder straps to make a rucksack), extra abrasion resistant material at potential contact points.
Slash proof material would be a bonus - don't some curtain-siders (wagon trailers) have a HD slash proof material - slash theft is a big problem for hauliers.
Incorporating a slash proof layer unseen within layers of material would still result in the tough outer being slashed if someone was going to?! I would think it would have to remain visible to be a deterent, but making how it opened and sealed up again to work with the bags lid perhaps?
How about having mesh only built in to the backing of the bags on the side against the bike and exposed everywhere else? When I used pacsafe on a bag on the back of my bike it rubbed against the bag so much it developed a hole. Laminating a mesh between layers of rubber on the back and exposing it on the front could provide visual deterrence factor and protection from rubbing holes in the material or scratching the bike.
Just a thought...
The slash proof curtain sides have been checked out - very heavy duty and difficult to work into a pannier construction - you need serious investment in the gear to make welds that will last in the pannier application (heat gun welds are not strong enough - you need a press and die heated sytem to form shapes and secure welds). As for exposing mesh in places and not on the backs I can see where your coming from but try and design that into a buildable design becomes very complex but I will look into it. However so far pac safe exomesh don't seem to be interested in supplying unless I make a massive order which would be impossible for me to do - further research needed at present.
Perhaps a compromise would be to deal with some of the drawbacks that a pacsafe present. I've never used one but I think that perhaps some attachment points built into the back and underside of the panniers might help. Also, some way of storing a pacsafe on the outside of the pannier so it's ready for use instantly might be good. Perhaps a 'pacsafe pocket' or something. This would keep the cost down, especially for those who may not be interested in pacsafe type security anyway.
(Pigford, please check this message for spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. )
All the ideas you proposed seem sound and worthwhile, certainly any material that makes the panniers more resistent to damage be it accidental or malicious.
As optional extras, have you considered offering the sort of padding and arrange-it-yourself, velcro supporting, compartments that are used in camera bags? Perhaps not through out, but in a given section as required by the customer.
Although a pannier is not the safest, nor most practical place for a camera, most travellers do take a camera of some sort with them, and some more than one.
It may be that in certain cases tankbag space is not available...
The built in "pacsafe" style security would be brilliant and make your product really stand out in a competative market !!
Put it on the outside so its obvious..
BIG, STRONG ZIPS are a must. So many bags fail due to this. Obviously have zippers you can use with gloves on.
Rivited & sown bags add to the strengh.
A heat proof section would be great too..
I think you need to decide if you want to make and sell bags to overlanders (it works but might not look great) or make bags for the "wanna be" 1200GS owners who want it to just look pretty and hardcore.
Like in all good designs... FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION !! Not vice versa.
I would love some bags like you're talking about to be available and British made. I'd buy some as long as you don't go down the Metal "fool" pricing plans !
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