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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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  #31  
Old 9 Apr 2011
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luggage set up

@tmotten ... thanks

Yeah, this setup was cheap and worked for 70000km in North- and Southamerica.

The rack was made from scrap aluminium, just bend and some bolts and screws. I also used an exhaust pipe from an oven as a heat shield to protect the saddle bags.

Altogether, less than Euro 30.- and about 5kg (incl. saddlebags)

The bike went down twice, once heavy rain and the centerstand was gone ... and once the wind in Patagonia .... nothing happened

The tank bags were sewed by a friend, she is a pro and I gave her Euro 100.- (incl. some other minor stuff to fix) for her excellent work

Next trip we use alu panniers, we`ll see how that works in Africa

Greets Thomas
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  #32  
Old 9 Apr 2011
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With most boxes the security is almost entirely psychological. You could get into mine in 20 seconds with a big screwdriver or similar jemmy. My locks are v. similar to those found on Touratech cases, by the way.

I'd go with soft bags for most of your stuff and a really tough top box for valuables (like a peli case).

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  #33  
Old 10 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-Traveller View Post
Next trip we use alu panniers, we`ll see how that works in Africa

Greets Thomas
Why????? I'd think Africa is exactly the place where you'd want soft luggage. The more off road you expect the lighter you want it to be. Sound like you found your winning formula, so why change it?
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  #34  
Old 10 Apr 2011
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weight

Yes, I know .... the setup would make sense for Africa,

but we reduced the bike weight

Honda XRV 650 -> 220kg
Kawa KLR 650 -> 175 kg

KTM -> 150 kg

we are not riding technical stuff and even in Tunisia with soft sand the KTM handles much easier than the AfricaTwin.

btw..... I need some space for all the stickers

We will give it a try, a change is always possible

Greets Thomas
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  #35  
Old 10 Apr 2011
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Aren't you going to Namibia? Off road heaven. It's also the cost. I'm surprised that you don't mind the handling of a loaded 150kg bike. The DRZ in the picture is 160 wet and I don't like the handling at all with that weight. And it would be worse with hard luggage and racks. Just doesn't steer because the balance is all off. The lighter the bike the less you can bring before it ruins the handling. This is why my target weight of my Dakar is 180kg wet. The added weight will change the bike less.
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  #36  
Old 10 Apr 2011
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@tmotten

Yes, Namibia and the whole east coast ....

After riding the Africa Twin with a lot stuff (I guess about wet and full loaded 275kg) on gravel in Southamerica, the new KTM 690 is like a mountain bike

In 2003 I rode a Tenere (3 AJ) with about 53 liter gas and 25 liter water plus all the stuff for surviving through Algeria !

I guess about 240kg - 250 kg .....

Everything had to last for 4 days (incl. 20% safety amount) and the first day the bike was almost unridable in the dunes . After a couple of days and 1000km + I got used to it (somehow)

The only really nasty thing I don`t like is mud, which is slippery like soap

Greets Thomas
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  #37  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Out of Curiosity

When was the last time anyone had someone break into his/her soft bags while touring Africa?

If its such a big security issue to take soft bags, there must be examples of having stuff stolen from them all over this forum by HUBBers who have crossed Africa ...

I am unfamiliar with any such stories so would love to be enlightened. If we have real examples including the circumstances of the theft we can start to get some idea of the risk of soft bags in terms of theft. But I strongly suspect the risk is imagined ... with little or no real evidence supporting the view.
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Last edited by colebatch; 11 Apr 2011 at 01:40.
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  #38  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Security for soft bags:

To increase security (or at least perceived security) for your soft bags, I have used pacsafe wrapsafe locks:

Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags & Travel Security Products

Just a cable that goes around the bag to stop it being opened and stop it being taken off the bike
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  #39  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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That's the good thing about the GL. No one knows how to take it off. Just saved my self 30 bucks right there. I've had my map case stolen off my bars once in Georgia. Maybe I should make an ali box for it.

Also interested about it. I don't really leave my bike out of sight with hard or soft luggage. Interested to know about knife cuts into the bags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-Traveller View Post
The only really nasty thing I don`t like is mud, which is slippery like soap
This is the last type of surface you'd want hard luggage one. We suffered that in Mongolia on our first trip. Bloody dangerous. Africa has plenty of this if you're unlucky.
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  #40  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Aren't you going to Namibia? Off road heaven. It's also the cost. I'm surprised that you don't mind the handling of a loaded 150kg bike. The DRZ in the picture is 160 wet and I don't like the handling at all with that weight. And it would be worse with hard luggage and racks. Just doesn't steer because the balance is all off. The lighter the bike the less you can bring before it ruins the handling. This is why my target weight of my Dakar is 180kg wet. The added weight will change the bike less.
Exactly !!!!
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  #41  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Good point Walter

Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
When was the last time anyone had someone break into his/her soft bags while touring Africa?

If its such a big security issue to take soft bags, there must be examples of having stuff stolen from them all over this forum by HUBBers who have crossed Africa ...

I am unfamiliar with any such stories so would love to be enlightened. If we have real examples including the circumstances of the theft we can start to get some idea of the risk of soft bags in terms of theft. But I strongly suspect the risk is imagined ... with little or no real evidence supporting the view.
Thomas
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  #42  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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I can only speak for myself. I leave my (hard) panniers on the bike a lot: out of sight, often overnight, sometimes even overnight on the street. I'd be reluctant to do that with soft bags of any sort, no matter how they were locked, cabled, or encased in mesh.

The original question related to traveling solo. Traveling with a group, or even as one half of a couple, there's always someone to watch the bike. Solo, I'm out of sight of the bike dozens of times per day--to pee, to conduct business, to eat in a restaurant or check my email, to ask for prices at hotels, to take photos....whatever.

I do occasionally hear about people having bags slashed--mostly in Latin America. I've read about this on HU and ADVrider. But to me the point is that having hard cases allows me a degree of freedom I wouldn't have with soft bags. When I've traveled with soft baggage I don't leave it on the bike and I don't turn my back on it. Some of you have traveled with soft baggage: you don't let it out of sight. I think that's why you never hear about baggage getting slashed. But maybe I'm wrong about this part.

That whole issue about which is more dangerous seems like a wash to me, too. My cases have kept the bike off me in slow-speed falls (the only kind I've ever had) quite a few times. One (1) time a case clipped my ankle. I wear motocross boots, and I hardly noticed.

No doubt: mileage varies, and there are no black and white answers. I like the way I do it because it sure seems to work for me.

enjoy,

Mark
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  #43  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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I've used alu-boxes through Africa twice and except for very short trips I will still use them.

Some people might argue that cost might be an issue, but mine has lasted for 150kkm so I don't see that as a valid argument. But there are a lot of badly built systems out there and some people who have bad experiences with a certain brand transfer their "knowledge" to all types of hard-boxes.

I've parked the bike everywhere because I like to walk around in the cities, no problems so far.
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  #44  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
I can only speak for myself. I leave my (hard) panniers on the bike a lot: out of sight, often overnight, sometimes even overnight on the street. I'd be reluctant to do that with soft bags of any sort, no matter how they were locked, cabled, or encased in mesh.


I do occasionally hear about people having bags slashed--mostly in Latin America. I wear motocross boots, and I hardly noticed.


enjoy,

Mark
One of the best advantages of soft bags is that you don't have to leave them on the bike. Throw them over your shoulder and straight into the tent or hotel room.

Although, I NEVER keep valuables in my soft bags as border crossings, going for a pee at a petrol station etc is still a risk. Although, I never have or ever heard of anyone's soft bags getting ransacked.

Bags slashed ???? I think I read something on ADV rider about that too. Mostly Americans in Mexican border towns though right ??? Risky whatever your luggage system.

And yeah... Anyone who doesn't overland in tough MX boots is asking for trouble. Not just from panniers...
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  #45  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Good points, markharf. I agree, not that my opinion will change anybody else's mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Solo, I'm out of sight of the bike dozens of times per day--to pee, to conduct business, to eat in a restaurant or check my email, to ask for prices at hotels, to take photos....whatever.

This is exactly why I finally got hard bags as well. There have been times with soft bags when I pulled in some place I wanted to wander around and didn't because of the security issues. For instance , the parking area to an overlook in Mexico was empty except for three 18-20 year old boys with apparently nothing to do but sit and throw rocks at the trash can. I wanted to walk the quarter mile to view point but was uneasy leaving my stuff there. With hard bags I would have felt a lot easier about it. It's true that the ease of breaking the locks makes the safety of the hardbags an illusion, but it's an illusion that works in your favor: if the miscreants have never tried to get into the bags before they don't know it's easy either.

That whole issue about which is more dangerous seems like a wash to me, too. My cases have kept the bike off me in slow-speed falls (the only kind I've ever had) quite a few times. One (1) time a case clipped my ankle. I wear motocross boots, and I hardly noticed.

I agree here as well. I have seen a friend get his heel caught underneath a hard bag paddling through the sand, so I know it's a risk. What never gets reported is the non injury when the cases keep the bike off of you. I mean, who reports when nothing happens. In fact, instead of hearing that the case saved your ankle, we are more likely to hear grumbling that the damn thing bent when you dropped it.

Anyway, I don't care. I use both, like both and see advantages/disadvantages either way.

.............shu
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