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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 15 Dec 2007
Matt Cartney's Avatar
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Cheap, sexy top box?

Any one any ideas? I want something hard and lockable and not too big. Enough to carry my rather excessive tool kit, a couple of tubes, maybe a light waterproof and some medium sandwiching.

I had one of those smallish ammo boxes (not the smallest one, the one up from that) on the back of the bike but it a) wasn't big enough and b) had nasty right angled edges and corners which just seemed to be waiting to crunch catastrophically into my spine during one of my not infrequent crashes. Having walked (OK hobbled, and it was a week later) away from one broken back I'm a little paranoid about it and would like something with rounded edges.

Oh, and it's got to look cool, I hate those black plastic bubbles which seem to be the only option in my price range. I need something which goes with my artfully distressed alu boxes.

I'm willing to spend up to circa £50.

I have a sheet of aluminium in the garage but think making curves might be beyond my skills.

Thanks for any input.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #2  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
Any one any ideas? I want something hard and lockable and not too big... I'm willing to spend up to circa £50.
Matt
Have you seen Lois' set-up for her Africa trip?

It's around your price range and if it's too big they might do smaller sizes.
Stephan
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  #3  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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solution.

wrap the Ammo box in 3" thick foam from a cushion! job done, no broke back......... not very sexy though....... or you could try a look at these.... they are padded, cheap(ish) and have a way of fastening them down to a rack.( where the carrying strap normally goes) plus they don't smash YOU up if you come into contact with them during an 'Off'

Google Image Result for http://www.fishingwarehouseshop.co.uk/images/250_M_XOSC_ICGC1.jpg
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Old 15 Dec 2007
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a few ideas...

Just a few ideas...


This is simple:





this is easy to find:



this I wouldnt guarantee on waterproofing but it has round edges :


this one has interchangeable inner lining...:



this one is fun:

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Old 15 Dec 2007
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Check this item out on ebay.co.uk 260190813257 The sale is for aluminium panniers but he is also advertising 2 different size top boxes for £40 and £50 pounds.
I bought the full set of panniers and top box from him a few months ago. They look very similiar to the Altos range and the example on Lois's bike above.
You can buy a fitted lock for a few pounds extra or use a padlock.
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  #6  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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Hmm, thanks for the input guys, I especially like the mailbox. Having said that I'm not sure I want to be continually emptying my top box of free double glazing quotes and letters telling me I may have already won £20,000.
I like the look of Lois' box. It definately ticks the 'sexy' box but those edges...
Still could always try wrapping it in foam as suggested!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 15 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyrider View Post
Check this item out on ebay.co.uk 260190813257 The sale is for aluminium panniers but he is also advertising 2 different size top boxes for £40 and £50 pounds.
I bought the full set of panniers and top box from him a few months ago. They look very similiar to the Altos range and the example on Lois's bike above.
You can buy a fitted lock for a few pounds extra or use a padlock.
Hi Harleyrider,

It's difficult to see much detail of the top boxes in his picture. Are they the same as the ones you bought and if so, how do you rate them?

Cheers,

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #8  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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Matt, you had a look at Pelican cases? Loads of bracket and mounting systems available - the Yanks love 'em...

Peli Small Cases - Waterproof-Cases.co.uk
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Old 15 Dec 2007
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I was looking at petty cash boxes to use as a tool box the biggist I saw was 12" not sure if they get much bigger, cost under £20
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  #10  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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Hi Matt
I answered this post originally without realising it was you. If I remember correctly you bought some Altos or similiar panniers for your trip to the East. From what I've seen these panniers/boxes are very similiar to those. The material is quite thin (less than 1mm) and they are very light. I also think the panniers are too wide. When fitted to mine the bike is only a couple of centimetres short of 1 metre wide.
The material strength is not so important for the top box, so I actually think the top box is a better buy, but you do need to reinforce the base with some offcuts of aluminium when attaching to the rack.
ps Sorry to hear about your back injury. Is that something which has happened since you got back from Iran?
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Last edited by mustaphapint; 15 Dec 2007 at 20:58. Reason: grammar
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  #11  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by harleyrider View Post
Hi Matt
I answered this post originally without realising it was you. If I remember correctly you bought some Altos or similiar panniers for your trip to the East. From what I've seen these panniers/boxes are very similiar to those. The material is quite thin (less than 1mm) and they are very light. I also think the panniers are too wide. When fitted to my mine the bike is only a couple of centimetres short of 1 metre wide.
The material strength is not so important for the top box, so I actually think the top box is a better buy, but you do need to reinforce the base with some offcuts of aluminium when attaching to the rack.
ps Sorry to hear about your back injury. Is that something which has happened since you got back from Iran?
Thanks for that, I have emailed the guy to see if he can give me any more info.

No, the back injury was a long time ago, due to intemperate snowboarding.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #12  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by Dan 23 View Post
Matt, you had a look at Pelican cases? Loads of bracket and mounting systems available - the Yanks love 'em...

Peli Small Cases - Waterproof-Cases.co.uk
Hi Dan,

Yep, I'd thought about peli cases a while ago, and they seemed ideal except for the price. That link has some good discounts though, will take a closer look, thanks!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #13  
Old 15 Dec 2007
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have seen a few use short sections of plastic drain pipe (pretty tough), with end caps. with your existing ali you could mount a small supporting bracket to the rear of your pannier. Some metal loops to prevent it being removed, could even loop into your pannier (though would need water-proofing) or onto the bike.

straight-forward to add some lock-able end caps. and weld an end on. I guess you could use the plastic piece as a template to make a decent curve out of your existing all, and just weld the seem. Or smash the insides out of an old metal flask?

There's all sorts of metal tubes in builders yards too.

if you are filling up two of those, then take less stuff :-)

Doug
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  #14  
Old 16 Dec 2007
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Thanks for the input folks.

Have gone for the slightly expensive option and ordered a small peli case, which still allows for some bodging fun as I will have to make a bracket for it.

Hi Dougie, how's tricks? How did your trip on the V-Strom go?

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #15  
Old 16 Dec 2007
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v-strom is fine, thirsty and slow (and crap handling), but fine. it's even more SUV than a 1200GS. give me back an AT any day. never made it to Turkey or Libya in the end. girl problems...

considering cycling in SA next year. fortunately i'm doing a couple of days a week in barcelona at the moment, which is helping the spanish (my spanish, not THE spanish).

where are you off to with your shiney new top box?
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