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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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  #106  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by T.REX63 View Post
Yup, I know, that's why at home I only use aluminum... The advantages are unsurpassed...

Thomas, kevlar reinforced carbon fibre coffee cups are the future.
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  #107  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by big ben View Post
do you think the to bm boys were amateurs when they went the long way round ?
In terms of what?

In terms of never having done it before and never seeking any advice, therefore no knowing what to expect in terms of riding, or how badly a heavy bike will impact handling (your initial question), yes, they were naive. Completely naive. And if you watch LWR, you see that in Mongolia, and you see it on the Road of Bones. At one point they admit as much when unloading about 30 kgs of luggage each at a hotel on the Lena Highway. They admitted they had no idea what to take and had taken way too much weight.

On the other hand, they aslo claimed the hard panniers had saved Ewans life when a car rearsided them in Calgary. Maybe thats true. So you can take out of their experience whatever you like; for hard panniers or against them, but your original question was how does loaded hard panniers impact handling in particular. And obviously the answer is negatively. And more negatively than if it were with loaded soft bags.

I suggested earlier that you really need to look at all previous threads related to soft vs hard and all get all sides of the debate and all types of opinions, and them make your own mind up, because just by asking that question on here you are opening the forum up to a debate it has already had many, many times before. Plenty of us here have many wide and varied opinions on the subject. As you have just discovered. Dont take the actual debate too seriously - its just a bunch of those varied opinions coming out - we have been here before and are used to it - its part of the circus .... but you need to look at those opinions and take out of it what most strikes a chord with whatever type of travel you have in mind.

How crucial it is to you to have the best possible handling depends on your own personal preferences. But you also need to be open enough to consider that any preconceived ideas of 'how it should be done' are not necessarily the ones you will have once you have finished your first big trip, with whatever challenges you want to put in them. Every single bike traveller / adventurer I know has different tastes and priorities. Thats why there are few simple answers to questions.
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  #108  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by deenewcastle View Post
... what it is that has been getting me down, it's been the 'willy waving' posts which say things like "only amateurs use hard luggage"
I am guessing you are addressing that to me?

To be fair, no one actually said that on this forum. I mentioned I knew a Russian guy who used to say that. My quote was actually

"My experience is probably more like ... the experienced increasingly use soft bags, while the inexperienced are more likely to begin using metal boxes".

And in fact that is my experience of what I have observed in others, so I stand by that 100%, and think its a useful observation and opinion for anyone looking into the debate. Its certainly not the only opinion, which is why in the exact same post I recommended the O.P. look into other sides of the debate by doing research into other opinions on previous threads.

- - -

[edit]

I have said it before and I will say it again. The forum is a place for exchanging advice. So its inconceivable that people do not offer opinions on the forum. There would be no reason to have a HUBB if opinions and advice were not sought and given. You cant have a situation where people in a position to offer advice do not offer advice on the grounds that 3rd parties reading the thread may take offence at advice being given, because it doesn't suit their own opinions. We are all a big broad family here and no one should be taking offence at the opinions of others. As in any family, identical twins are very rare ... so there are always going to be different opinions, sometimes very different opinions. At worst it is brotherly squabbling and needling.

I have had plenty of disagreements with AliBaba here, sometimes quite heated. But that doesn't stop me admiring his travel reports, and he has said in the past he enjoys reading mine. The fact that we have sometimes different (and strong) opinions on everything from bikes to luggage, doesnt stop me recommending people read his opinions on things like hard luggage, precisely because they are different to mine, and as I said above, it certainly doesnt stop me enjoying his reports and his pictures.

Similarly, I have been conversing with T-Rex for the past 18 months about his upcoming travels to Russia. I know he will take a big bike and hard luggage, and he knows I am not a fan of either. Big Deal. It doesnt stop me one bit enjoying my series of discourses with him or admiring him for taking on what I am sure will be a fantastic and challenging ride. Nor does it stop me planning to hit his blog site for refreshes several times a day once he gets underway.

In this case, the OP, Big Ben, DID ask for opinions on hard luggage ... and he DID ask for opinions on why it impacts handling. So there are going to be opinions expressed. Some of those opinions will have a lot of conviction behind them. Many of the opinions WILL be different to your own. As most of the people with the strongest opinions are the people with the most experience, expecting them to be half hearted and therefore less than genuine with their opinions (for the sake of not offending people with differing opinions) would significantly devalue the whole process, and the forum would not get the full benefit of their experience.

We are all one big bike travelling family, and there will be disagreements, but there is no value in getting upset about it and no value in disrespecting someone else's travels simply because he or she doesn't like the bike you like or the luggage you like.
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Last edited by colebatch; 13 Jun 2011 at 18:47.
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  #109  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Please, for the love of god, don't let this turn into a E&C thread....

Although, hard vs soft is almost in the same category these days !!!


And yes, I'm as guilty as anyone !
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  #110  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Maybe just a quick reply to the original question: as many others before have said, it's mainly the weight and it's distribution which affects the handling of the bike. Whereas the distribution of the weight generally is not too different between hard luggage and soft luggage many hard luggage systems are heavier than many soft luggage systems. But it may make a bigger difference what you pack in there and how you pack it in.
The way it affects the handling of the bike is by moving the centre of gravity away from the point it was designed for the bike. If the centre of gravity moves higher it will make your bike harder to balance and therefore rather 'wobbly'. Moving the centre of gravity further towards the rear of the bike will increase the effort you need to put in where surfaces get rough or soft or steeply uphill.

The handling of the bike is only one aspect of the consideration between hard or soft luggage though. Some others are your take about security, safety, waterproofness, easiness to get on or off the bike, look and also the price.

However, both systems work and have worked many times before. So you can't really make the wrong decision.
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  #111  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingMarco View Post
Maybe just a quick reply to the original question: as many others before have said, it's mainly the weight and it's distribution which affects the handling of the bike. Whereas the distribution of the weight generally is not too different between hard luggage and soft luggage many hard luggage systems are heavier than many soft luggage systems. But it may make a bigger difference what you pack in there and how you pack it in.
The way it affects the handling of the bike is by moving the centre of gravity away from the point it was designed for the bike.
Yes, distribution of the weight is a major factor and I think a lot of people mess this up. Heavy topboxes and heavy drybags are two common ways to do this mistake.
I usually pack the heavy stuff in front of my panniers, water-canisters in the inside and petrol-canisters on the outside. We might talk about 20-30 kgs of petrol and water so it makes a huge difference where it's located on the bike. When the canisters get empty I move them somewhere else. Back in post 87, there is a picture of my bike with the canisters in front.


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Originally Posted by BikingMarco View Post
However, both systems work and have worked many times before. So you can't really make the wrong decision.
True!
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  #112  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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TELL/SHOW ME MORE!!!!! Is there a route to follow through those dunes?
The picture is not from my lonesome summer-crossing, I would guess it's from oct-nov and I was riding with a friend.
There is no route through the dunes. We had a waypoint at the other end of the dunes but the waypoint was totally wrong. Nowadays there are probably tracklogs available so it should be easier but sadly the area is closed for travelers now.

The route is in Algeria and goes from H Bel Guebbor to Illizi and is around 650kms. The area with the dunes is called Gara Kranfoussa and it's a beautiful place. There are some wells in the area but there is no guarantee of water and the wells can be extremely deep. We found water at 30-35 meters depth and it made our trip easier. This route is described in several books and it has been used in the Dakar-rally. I found the entire route fascinating with a lot of variations. There are several longer routes in the area and hopefully the area will reopen soon.

It's a pretty quiet area but we met this two guys at a well:


Crashing with boxes (to keep it on-topic):
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  #113  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Ok here I go, I have gone back to the start of this thread, it can get very confusing & lots of good replies but all by differant people some are very experianeced & lots of distance others not so much.

(example me, been riding 35+) years some legal some not so
a large preportion of my riding has been in the EU on Road from UK.
when I first started riding we never had all these metal panniers, but did have saddle bags, top & box or dispatch rider bag.

so when i did my first trip from UK to Germany, I had a 125 I had saddle bags bungeed to rear suspension to stop them from lifting up my top box had a few bits and bob's only. on a return trip 1 year I even had a Bergen on my back, till i got to the ferry then when in europe I layed it down between me and top box so I had a back rest, worked for me.

I have done dispatch riding when on leave on my GT550 2 top box's 1 behind me, with the heaviest parcels & the lightest in the rear box.

I would say to answer your question you have to ask your self the following,

1) Do I have a pillion with me?
2) Will I be doing off road, if so what what type tarmac, sand dirt gravel, (if yes how far shara?)
3) How far am I going
4) If the answer to 1 is yes (will depend on size of bags and or Boxi's)
5) Camping

Answer these questions may help you, but my suggestion is go out to the local bike cafe see the guys with the bikes with boxi's, (I think you can see the type of guy I mean) ask him, probably cost you a cuppa wow, if your lucky may let you have a go of his bike, bet he always carries spares in the box, just like I will be, look out for the wannabe Adventure Rider the bike with all the bells & whistles only going to the cafe and home!

last thing look at the HU dvd Achievable dream CD 2 called Gear Up good section about hard or soft panniers
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  #114  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
The picture is not from my lonesome summer-crossing, I would guess it's from oct-nov and I was riding with a friend.
There is no route through the dunes. We had a waypoint at the other end of the dunes but the waypoint was totally wrong. Nowadays there are probably tracklogs available so it should be easier but sadly the area is closed for travelers now.

The route is in Algeria and goes from H Bel Guebbor to Illizi and is around 650kms. The area with the dunes is called Gara Kranfoussa and it's a beautiful place. There are some wells in the area but there is no guarantee of water and the wells can be extremely deep. We found water at 30-35 meters depth and it made our trip easier. This route is described in several books and it has been used in the Dakar-rally. I found the entire route fascinating with a lot of variations. There are several longer routes in the area and hopefully the area will reopen soon.

It's a pretty quiet area but we met this two guys at a well:


Crashing with boxes (to keep it on-topic):
love the pictures
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  #115  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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Yep, that last one is pure gold. Probably wouldn't happen with a nice set of GL's. Although you would have probably had to resort to drinking your own piss. Although, Dromedary bladders flung over the seat make a nice water carrying system.

I think this thread sadly has run it's course.

Conclusion:

A = Any luggage ruins the handling of a motorbike. If you don't understand that ring your old physics teacher and tell him that all his efforts to stop you from looking down the shirt of that hot chick a row over to try and teach you a thing or two was wasted on you.
B = Bring as little as possible. Leave the jeans and loafers and laptops at home.
C = All left over crap that you want to bring will require a bag. If you feel this bag is to heavy to carry, remove more crap. Moral.... less is more.
D = All this stuff NEEDS to go in some piece of bag. Soft is obviously better because you really wanted to bring those loafers and that laptop. But you went through all that trouble to reduce weight. Just look at what the easyrider boys did.

But than you look through the touratech catalogue and the stuff they flog is nice and shiny. They look like they know what they're doing, so this stuff has to be good. Yep, lets go with that. Now, what did I do to my loafers again?
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  #116  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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+ 1
re pix brill love the rifle on the first camel, never fun seeing someone fall off unless on TV & you see them get up but well hay ho at least this time it is on warm/hot soft sand
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  #117  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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There is a rifle in there? All I noticed is how that little fella is grabbing his own rifle.

With my riding mates falling is often a source of amusement. Mostly in mud patches. It's usually low speed anyway. With creek crossings it's a race to cross first so you have time to get the camera out.
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  #118  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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Coffee implants

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Thomas, kevlar reinforced carbon fibre coffee cups are the future.
Actually I believe slow release caffine implants (coffee enema) are the present future because they are here already... They are used to treat cancer patients and provide bowel evacuations, it also avoids the need to have a coffee, a cup, a pot, stove etc

But takes away the morning ritual of coffee drinking
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