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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 20 Nov 2004
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Attaching Panniers- Quick Release or Fixed?

I am slowly but surely prepping for a long moto journey. I am trying to decide how to mount my boxes. I have Touratech racks and "other" panniers. The easy option is to use TT mounting pucks ($100). I am fairly handy and for about $20 and spare parts around the garage I can make a very durable mount, but they will not be quickly removable. I can use bag liners to hold the gear.

So my question to others who have gone on extended tours is ... How often do you find the need to remove the boxes from the bike? Every evening? Shipping? Maintenance? Daily? Weekly? Never?

How does it work for you?
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  #2  
Old 21 Nov 2004
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Depending on where you go and how wide your bike is with panniers you may need to take them off frequently. Say the hostel owner offers you to park the bike inside, but you have to get it through the narrow front door.

When camping I like to use them as seats.

I borrowed Off The Road's attachment design, using two hinges per pannier to attach them at the top. A stainless steel rod pushed through the hinges attaches the top of the panniers to the frame. Very simple. See here: http://www.off-the-road.de/enduro/koffer.html

Note: I liked and use their old panniers, but the locks are junk. I made my own frames and attachments from flat steel.

For more on how Off The Road does business see here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000541.html

[This message has been edited by beddhist (edited 16 February 2006).]
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  #3  
Old 21 Nov 2004
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Hello. I recently built my panniers this year and decided to mount them solid. After a trip to Mexico and back this arrangement worked very well. The panniers held my tent, sleeping bag, food, cooking supplies, spare clothes and parts. All my daily stuff was in a waterproof bag strapped to the rack with my sleeping roll and chair. The rest stayed with the bike locked up securely. The boxes are held on with four bolts each and come off in a couple of minutes with the right tools. I feel the biggest benefit is the boxes become a stressed member in the frame structure, greatly increasing the strength and rigidity required to carry this extra weight. All bolts attaching the sub-frame and boxes are plated grade 8, very importand!
Hope this helps
Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 21 Nov 2004
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i use hard plastic cases on a pure road bike so its not exactly the same as for you guys, but in my experience of touring the topcase almost never comes off the bike and the panniers are off and on like a whores knickers.

so dont waste money on a fancy system for the top, bolt it on and leave it, but a quick and easy system for the sides is well worth it.

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  #5  
Old 22 Nov 2004
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Thanks for the input. I really like the hinge concept that beddhist pointed out.

Keep the comments coming ... I am leaning toward a quick release system.
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  #6  
Old 22 Nov 2004
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We had 'Touratech' panniers and 'Overland Solutions' racks. With this set up the panniers are easily removable, but in the five months, or so, we were away I only took them off of the bike three or four times for maintainance and servicing. We bought rucksack liners and put all our gear in them. If we were staying somewhere we just took them out. The panniers were so filthy and the Touratech panniers don't have carrying handles, so it was just easier to leave them on the bike.
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  #7  
Old 4 Jan 2005
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I have just tried out my pannier set up in Morocco and use a similar case to the german ones linked to above but with touratech mounts. The mounts were very expensive but I think worth the money as I was able to take them off for all the reasons listed above, as well as easier access for chain maint and greasing suspension etc.

The touratech mounts are proven and solid and get my vote. The bike is very wide with the boxes fitted so I needed to remove them to park in the court yards of some hotels.

http://groups.msn.com/UKTenereOwners/charliesaharatrip.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=1 80

http://groups.msn.com/UKTenereOwners/charliesaharatrip.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=1 78

[This message has been edited by braindead (edited 05 January 2005).]
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  #8  
Old 5 Jan 2005
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I also used "other" boxes and the TT mountings (and hoops).



I was delighted with how well they performed, apart from this, following an accident:



As you can see, I rivetted / siliconed a plate of rigid ally to the back of the boxs before mounting them. Great idea of mine.




I took the boxes off all the time (often to go and scount very difficult dune field crossings, or when people offered to carry them for me in 4x4s.

I reckon you would regret fitting them permanently.

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  #9  
Old 5 Jan 2005
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I reinforced the boxes a well butt did it on the inside to give the box more rigidity and strenght in case of a off . I will post some photos.

Charlie
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  #10  
Old 5 Jan 2005
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I'd recommmend making htem EASILY removable.

Times when easy is important:

-As noted, parking the bike inside a hotel etc
-When fully loaded, and it falls over - which it will - it helps a lot if you can take a sadlebag or a top box OFF to reduce the strain on your back.
-Crossing a nasty river - take them off to cut the load when you fall down
-Flat tire repair at the side of the road, or any repairs.
- just something as simple as washing the bike
-and I'm sure there's more reasons...

Additional strength as Ron notes is indeed a good reason for permanent mounting, but not enough imho...

My boxes are removable, but the racks they mount on are not (they were built/designed in 1986 after all!) - takes about 3-4 minutes to remove them. Maybe - well, probably - I'm lazier than the average, but I NEVER took them off, even when it would have been a good idea - it just wasn't worth the aggro.

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  #11  
Old 18 Jan 2005
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I was using Panniers on my Enfield until I found out about something called a Cramster. Pretty easy to load and unload the luggage. Makes life a bit easier.

Check out www.cramster.biz

[This message has been edited by Eashars (edited 18 January 2005).]
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  #12  
Old 22 Jan 2005
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Easily removable yes, Grant is right. But not necessarily instantly. Unless you can find a super tough mechanism that can be repaired with next to nothing: such a device doesn't exist as far as I know.

All the fancy instant systems I have seen are not overlander standard. They will break. And you will be stuck.

The compromise for me is wing-nuts. I am surprised that more people aren't using them. They are relatively quick to get off; easy to find (or replace with anormal nut if in a spot); simple, and hey, never go wrong.
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  #13  
Old 22 Jan 2005
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IMO, though I'd go back to soft next time, hard removable is the way to go for many of the reasons given above and a few more besides - but not too easily (like TTech, which is not that strong as many know). Various ways of doing it better DIY. The way I see it, have the weight/locating taken on one solid surface (narrow tray) and the q/d system elsewhere and 'unload'

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  #14  
Old 22 Mar 2005
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FWIW, a mate has just bought some metal mule panniers with the q-fit system and it's the neatest system i've seen for locking/releasing panniers in a long time...well worth a look.

the panniers are a LOT more solid than the touratech items too.
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  #15  
Old 22 Mar 2005
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We had panniers fixed with wing bolts. Neat idea, but two disadvantages:

I found they can work loose, so you need to secure them with pins, etc.

If they are inside they protrude a long way and can damage the contents. I used allen key bolts on mine for that reason. Ideally, try finding allen bolts with round heads. If they are on the outside they are too easily removable.

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