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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 19 Feb 2002
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Alternatives to side racks and alu panniers ???

hi,
i have the original BMW side racks and the "plastic" panniers on my gs.
was thinking first about buying touratech or hepco & becker equipment (side racks and alu panniers).
1- i wonder if there's a big difference between bmw original side racks and the touratech or hepco & becker side racks : relaibility, solidity ...
2- i wonder if this is the solution : i fear something breaks (fixations) in the tough roads + if i fall too, the panniers are like floating in the air attached to the side racks with a few kgs inside. So if it breaks it'll be difficult to get fixed locally again + worries afterwards

i now think about attaching a big bag (or two medium) onto/up the saddle behind me around the saddle and around the bmw side racks (they offer protections too) with bungee cords, something like that


and put a big tank bag with pockets on the sides, to avoid putting too much weight at the back (+ they offer protection)

eventually, a top case at the back to put the spare parts

nb : we had an interesting talk with grant and other travellers on bmw tech forum and on this forum there's a goog page link for gastank

the alu panniers are less easy to carry, than a big bag around the shoulder, they are safer though, they are some advantages and disadvantages in each case
it may be much cheaper the big bag option too

any experience or advice would be highly appreciated
thanks, safe travels
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  #2  
Old 19 Feb 2002
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Hai,

i wonder if there's a big difference between bmw original side racks and the touratech or hepco & becker side racks : relaibility, solidity ...
I personally don't like Touratech (there service), but I have to admit that there rack's are very very sollid and good. Really a lot better then original or H&B.

i now think about attaching a big bag (or two medium) onto/up the saddle behind me around the saddle and around the bmw side racks (they offer protections too) with bungee cords, something like that
I now use "soft" sadle-bag's and two roll's on top. I like it. Somewhere on the board is a threath with a long long discussion about hard vs soft lugage (search: hard lugage)
Lot's of info.

It's a difficult subject, both hard and soft have lot's of pro's and con's.

Maarten
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  #3  
Old 19 Feb 2002
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I have seen pictures of "pot-racks" from Australia. They are similar in shape to the engine protection guards but mount about 2 inches above the cylinders. It looks like they could hold a fair load and that load would be more balanced between the wheels.
I have never seen them in the US or Europe.
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  #4  
Old 20 Feb 2002
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That's the same basic idea as I used on mine. I then added ally boxes to go on them.

You can sort of get the idea of the result from here:



the box shape was determined by the length of the tripod...

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[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 19 February 2002).]
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  #5  
Old 21 Feb 2002
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Hi,

I also travel with a rol and soft saddlebags.

I have a tip for saddlebag-use;
Build in a weak point.

When I crossed the sahara I didn't.

I made a serious crash and distroyed the bags.
Later I changed it and let a shoelace carry each bag. It's strong enough for normal and off-road use, but on a crash it will break and safe your bags.

(don't forget the spare shoelaces)

Freek (Netherlands)
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  #6  
Old 24 Feb 2002
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hi,
i think i keep my original bmw side racks and "plastic" boxes with little weight inside
then put a big waterproof bag behind me on the saddle attached to the side racks and bottom racks
then attach everything together
then put a tank bag not too big/heavy with pockets on the sides

grant, i saw the picture above, so many boxes and weight, especially at rear ! you had no problems ?

what do you think of my solution ?

thanks, safe travels
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  #7  
Old 5 Mar 2002
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hi,
all this means that any rack needs to be reinforced
i can not do that
i'll leave without
just go with a big bag behind me (not on my back) on the saddle attached to the bike, and a tank bag, that's it

thanks for all your answers
safe travels

http://vincent.danna.free.fr/

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* http://vincent.danna.free.fr/
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  #8  
Old 6 Mar 2002
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No, we had NO problems - and it's not as heavy as it looks, the bags are lighter than Touratech et al, and I made a complete new rear subframe. It's VERY strong. The bolts never needed tightening in 15 years use. The topbox has only a tent and sleeping bags in it.

All the heavy stuff is well forward. I can easily cart any of the bags when full myself.

Two-up there isn't a lot of choice, you have a lot to carry for two people, so you live with it.

With a suitably strong subframe, and GOOD rear shock and fork springs, the handling can be very good. Ours is very impressive, no wobbles at any speed, and we have done 160kph fully loaded. Cornering is superb.

It's all about balance and rigidity. Most saddlebags systems are highly flexible due to insufficient strength, and flex terribly at speed, causing the whole bike to wobble about. Combine that flex with lousy stock shocks, and too much weight at the rear and not enough at the front and you have an evil handling bike.


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  #9  
Old 10 Mar 2002
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thanks for recommendations :-)

safe travels
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