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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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  #46  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Another gripe was that EVERYTIME the bike was dropped at walking pace.. The boxes would break away from the frame !!
I have never used MM's so cant really comment, BUT, the frame and mountings looks puny to me. The boxes are not welded, (looks like its just folded round and riveted), so a combination of these two things looks like you just chose the wrong kit

I got side-swiped by a pick-up truck in Pakistan while doing about 80kph. The side he hit just had scrapes and the other side that the bike landed on was bent a bit out of square and the lid popped open. Pushed it back into alignment and used a web strap on it for the rest of the trip. Rack system undamaged.
I also got high-sided on a packed desert road doing about 50kph and nothing happened to the box that was landed on.

I love my Tesch boxes and rack

John
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  #47  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
I think you can never protect against someone who is determined to be an arsehole, and I am sorry to hear lowlifes have done that to your bike. Would it have been that much more difficult though for such lowlifes merely out for a bit of vandalism, and wearing steel capped boots, to dent the crap out of metal boxes with a few well placed kicks, thus at the very least, taking away the waterproof seal.
It depends on what type of metal boxes you have , you'd have to try extremely hard to put a ding in mine .Most crooks and vandals are lazy and take the path of least resistance .Why bother to expand energy when a slash with a knife is easy ?You could cut soft bags off a bike in an instant throw 'em over your shoulder and be gone .

Another incident was when I left my soft canvas backed pickup in a pub carpark .When I came out , some lowlife had slashed that .
It was replaced with sheet metal , end of problem .

Although I always try to avoid rough neighbourhoods ,statistically I must be unlucky ,but I am a bit wiser with regard to human nature.
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  #48  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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You might think I am trying to bore the arse off everybody , but take a look at Alibaba's boxes and then take a look at Ted's .

What I see as a welder and fabricator when I look at the Jesse boxes is "strength" both in terms of a multi angle design and in the case of Alibaba's bike a secure mounting system .
The multi angle design also avoids sharp edges that will snag and catch if the bike should go down ,also there are fewer sharp edges to hurt the rider .
He's done a lot of miles with that bike and it's proven to be good, you can't argue with that .

When I look at Ted's Metal Mules , I don't see much strength , I see sharp angles, a minimum of welding ,poor mounts and a poor mounting system .
If I'd paid that much money ,I'd be as pissed off as he is .

So ,you've got to do your own research and look very carefully at what you're buying .
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  #49  
Old 24 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by chris reid View Post
i think people are too used to rubbish panniers made from cheese!Honestly i think you are basing your contempt for alloy panniers mainly on the rubbish boxes like zega etc.
My thoughts exactly! It's a shame that there are very expensive paniers for sale that are in fact rubbish. But there's no denying that there are very good alu paniers out there, that will nog break when you fall down. We could all see Mr.McGregor fall down quite a few time on LWR and even being hit by a car from behind, and they made it.
I think it just a matter of personal preference and how much you're willing to shell out for a decent set. Prepare to pay a lot for aluminium.

And for security: nothing is really safe on a bike. And since I've succesfully sabotaged an alarm system, I don't trust them either. Just keep your stuff where you can see it. There are not theft-proof bike luggage systems. Thieves are way too clever and have tools to pry open anything.
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  #50  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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Soft vs hard

Hi guys,

I am facing this dilemma also: soft versus hard. To buy alu boxes is too expensive for me so I've been considering making my own, but that will be a lot of trouble and I risk ending up with some shitty looking, hard to use, piece of crap on the back of my bike. I've used soft luggage until now (but never done long trips, max was 9 days). I am planning a 3 week Morokko trip now so I don't know what to do yet. The problem is that I can't find Cortech here in RO , but I have to admin they look good and are very reasonably priced!

Cortech :: Luggage :: TriBag Saddlebag

Do you of a shop in UK/EU that would ship to RO?

I saw that some blokes here said that soft luggage is not waterproof. Check out the waterproof bags from alpkit and I would say: problem solved:

Airlock Drybags - Alpkit Outdoor Gear Shop

Trekking equipment - living the journey - Alpkit Outdoor Gear Shop


Gday!
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  #51  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by ekkemu View Post
Hi guys,

I am facing this dilemma also: soft versus hard. To buy alu boxes is too expensive for me so I've been considering making my own, but that will be a lot of trouble and I risk ending up with some shitty looking, hard to use, piece of crap on the back of my bike. I've used soft luggage until now (but never done long trips, max was 9 days). I am planning a 3 week Morokko trip now so I don't know what to do yet. The problem is that I can't find Cortech here in RO , but I have to admin they look good and are very reasonably priced!

Cortech :: Luggage :: TriBag Saddlebag

Do you of a shop in UK/EU that would ship to RO?

I saw that some blokes here said that soft luggage is not waterproof. Check out the waterproof bags from alpkit and I would say: problem solved:

Airlock Drybags - Alpkit Outdoor Gear Shop

Trekking equipment - living the journey - Alpkit Outdoor Gear Shop


Gday!
I have those Cortect Tribags !! I got them brought to me by an American friend. They are NOT available anywhere but the USA.

They are great bags. Very durable with great zips etc !! Worked great through South America.

You could get them sent over to you, im sure !! Lot's of US dealers will ship overseas.

And no, mine arn't for sale

I have recently bought some ex military panniers for £30 which im using for Africa. I think they are brilliant. Available from a place called SILVERMANS in the U.K.
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  #52  
Old 2 Apr 2010
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Has no one here looked at the SW-Motech Trax panniers?
The lightest alu panniers I have found, good price and very tough...
Homepage - EN
If hard panniers are as bad as some of you argue why are so many experienced trotters using them, like in Globe Rider Movies.


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  #53  
Old 2 Apr 2010
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First of all... I can't believe it. After only two years I'm really writing in the HUBB again. Isn't that great.

Ok. I've to admit that I read only the first page of the answers, wanted to reply a lot but I leave it short.

There are a good couple of things to say against Tesch and his products but I really have to admit that the boxes are working.

Have them on my Africa Twin and I've beaten the shit out of them. the shape is basic, no fancy shit on them, so they are easy to repair. I had to in fact. Welding, bending... the whole thing.

Compared to known systems like Touratech, which wouldn't be waterproof after the bike tipped over standing still. Or, just for instance TedMagnums MetalMules, which needed a bike-lift and a BMW on top to bend them back into shape... and they still weren't.

BTW... the Tesch-design is easy enough to rebuild it, need just some aluminium and a guy who knows how to tread it.

So long,
Sebastian... still in argentina
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  #54  
Old 2 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by Tauradan View Post
First of all... I can't believe it. After only two years I'm really writing in the HUBB again. Isn't that great.

Ok. I've to admit that I read only the first page of the answers, wanted to reply a lot but I leave it short.

There are a good couple of things to say against Tesch and his products but I really have to admit that the boxes are working.

Have them on my Africa Twin and I've beaten the shit out of them. the shape is basic, no fancy shit on them, so they are easy to repair. I had to in fact. Welding, bending... the whole thing.

Compared to known systems like Touratech, which wouldn't be waterproof after the bike tipped over standing still. Or, just for instance TedMagnums MetalMules, which needed a bike-lift and a BMW on top to bend them back into shape... and they still weren't.

BTW... the Tesch-design is easy enough to rebuild it, need just some aluminium and a guy who knows how to tread it.

So long,
Sebastian... still in argentina
SEEEBAAASTIAAAN !! Welcome back ! Yes, funny times indeed. Dropping Shauns BMW on a bike lift onto my Metal Mules to try and straighten them hahahaha ! Dakar Motos is a fun place.

BTW, love your signiture. I feel responsible
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  #55  
Old 2 Apr 2010
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caja rubbish

whatever you do don't go near caja sahel.
absolute crap. designed with corner welds, made from shoddy chinese aluminium.
if he's still making the dodgy sh1te he sent me, he'll be out of business by now anyway.
cheers,
andrew
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  #56  
Old 15 May 2010
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Originally Posted by desert dweller View Post
whatever you do don't go near caja sahel.
absolute crap. designed with corner welds, made from shoddy chinese aluminium.
if he's still making the dodgy sh1te he sent me, he'll be out of business by now anyway.
cheers,
andrew

HEY , Everyone over at UKgser swears by them ,
There have been quite a few Major Trips undertaken using them
and i have only ever heard Praise for the Pannier set .

What happened yours ?
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  #57  
Old 15 May 2010
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Re: Metal Mules - friends have them on an F800GS & R1200GS Adventure. I notice that many of the mounts just consist of the frame tubes squashed flat & a hole drilled through. To me, this looks very weak, is this where they fracture? I deliberately avoided this design when I made pannier frames recently despite it being the easiest option by far.

Re: Caja Sahel - I can't comment on their durability but I think that the mounting system is primitive to say the least. I've seen a set on a friends R12GS, where the mounting bolts pass through the back of each pannier, the holes had ovalled. They really need to be bushed to support the weight properly.

What's best, panniers that come off in a tumble, hopefully before too much damage is done or securely bolted on panniers that stay on the bike in a crash & take the full impact?

I nearly bought hard panniers last year for my 950SE but was let down by the supplier. With hindsight, I'm glad & am now a convert to soft luggage. Louis roll bag on the back, Ortlieb panniers & a TT tankbag borrowed from my 1150.I'll soon be replacing the Ortliebs with Wolfman Expedition Panniers, Ortliebs going on to my partners DRZ.

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  #58  
Old 16 May 2010
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Well my 10p worth,
1) it would depend on your riding & where your going i.e. if all road tarmac it don't really matter of soft or hard box's, just bear in mind the speed your riding & & loss of fuel over the wait by the distance & drag factor. (not much i suppose really),
if going on some of the more adventures roads (dirt track etc) I would suggest you look @ the Ali box's full stop. they will help protect your gear & possibly the bike's wheels. I find it strange they can fall apart that easy!!
I know on the GS forum there is a guy who makes his own £300 loads of guys buy them from him as they are really good, (no i have not got any),
as for the panniers frames look @ Motohaus Powersports Limited S W Motech Side Carriers, Alu Racks and Boxes

I honestly think the only reason 90% of ppl riding any bike have used the Ali style box's because a certain 2 ppl used them good free publicity. If KTM had gave them the bikes would every one be bimbling about on ktm's probably.

Overall look at style of riding & where your going/distance, look at the amount of gear you will need/want to take.

btw I have used both & found the soft option ok for going a way for a few days or quick bit of shopping, the ali for more distance

only my 10p worth
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  #59  
Old 16 May 2010
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I would like to suggest another option. When we did our UK to Cape Town trip - my wife and I on a 1989 R100GS we needed decent luggage capacity for as my wife puts it 'living on the bike for a year'. I knocked up plywood panniers and some fairly heavy duty frames (20mm square section tube) which used the existing mounting points. In the whole design there is no attempt to save weight which may be the only downside. Everything you see on the bike i.e. panniers + contents and frames, all the other bags including tank bag, water carriers (empty) and the front rack weighed in at 91kg just after this photo was taken on our return to Devon, which I don't think is too bad for 2 people. The bike was a bit of a handful in the desert and the panniers were mounted a little low and tended to dig in on twisty tarmac roads. After a number of hard falls in the Kalahari we did manage to cause some slight damage to one pannier but this was easily fixed after a quick visit to a hardware shop in Ghanzi for a few wood screws.





It appears I unwittingly incorporated some interesting features not seen on other hard luggage:
  • Panniers are side opening. Lid is about 2/3 of the pannier height and folds down to make a shelf ideal for making a roadside brew! The bottom part of the pannier was used to store stuff we didn't need everyday. Waterproofing was not a problem although we never completely submerged them.
  • The panniers lift off the frames and make ideal camping seats. The black bar around the top is hinged and padlocked at the back to hold the pannier to the bike and the lid closed.
  • The frames pick up on the standard fixing points and are braced across the back as well and I believe this added strength to the rear subframe. I know the paralever subframe is better than the monolever but with rider and passenger totalling 150kg and 90kg of luggage it needed all the help it could get
If we have the opportunity to do another overland trip I would try to make up an improved system in aluminium with at least some attempt to keep the weight down. Definately be on the same bike.

Last edited by Magnon; 16 May 2010 at 20:45.
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  #60  
Old 16 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Civil one View Post
HEY , Everyone over at UKgser swears by them ,
There have been quite a few Major Trips undertaken using them
and i have only ever heard Praise for the Pannier set .

What happened yours ?
Major trips on UKGser usually consists of a cafe on a Welsh hill though don't they ?

Just joking, I've got no experience of them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
Re: Metal Mules - friends have them on an F800GS & R1200GS Adventure. I notice that many of the mounts just consist of the frame tubes squashed flat & a hole drilled through. To me, this looks very weak, is this where they fracture? I deliberately avoided this design when I made pannier frames recently despite it being the easiest option by far.
My Metal Mule frames showing their strength

That was a 70mph crash on sand/gravel and they still worked once they were straightened up with a metal fence post. Can't really complain there.

Touratech ones are stronger I think, they use the same hoops.

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