Build Your own Hard Bags
Just a note on the luggage front:
Looked into all the options, mostly for aluminium bags and finally settled on building our own. So far the material cost has been low ($250 USD for 2 sets of bags, with racks for 2 different bikes - BMW GS and Yamaha XS400) but there has been lots of labour involved. While welding aluminium is beyond the skill and equipment of most people, cutting the aluminum to a pattern that can be bent in a brake then welded is time consuming (saves $) and can be done at home on any table saw, or even with a handheld circular saw. Even pricing bags to be custom built at a local metal shop was the same price as the cheapest bags I could find on the Net (about $380 USD for one set of 40litre bags). The advantage in doing this is that you can get exactly what you want (custom length, height, width, cut-outs, etc.). I previously had a set of standard square bags on my BMW GS and found that the lower front edge and corner tended to hit the back of my leg when I was 'paddling' rough stuff - very painful. The set I just built have a beveled cut-out on the front edge to diminish this problem. Anyway, custom building locally is a definite option that I would recommend you look into. With a bit of research on the web, you should be able to direct a compentent shop in building a usefull set of boxes. Just a note, re-reading my message I am wrong about the cost (that pesky US to Canadian conversion). Total cost for two sets: $250 Canadain/ $160 USD.
[This message has been edited by Timo (edited 16 December 2001).]