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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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  #46  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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It really depends how you fill in your trip. To me after years of backpacking and hitch hiking it's not about walking around town. This always used to shit me anyway, that it's all about the destination. This is why Lonely Planet is so useless for overlanding. Often in third world countries there isn't much to see in towns, and I'm more of a big picture kind of bloke rather than small detail appreciator. So I'm happy soaking it up riding around a bit taking in some architecture until I find a terras to sit and have a or two. Or a nice little restaurant where 9 out of 10 you can still see the bike. But mostly it's about finding out of the way areas with some interesting riding. If I do find a town where I want to walk around I just stay over and as Ted said I get the gear off in a second and chuck it over a shoulder to check out a room and park the bike in a lobby. Usually it's hot and taking gear on and off and leave the cross boots at cabled to the bike for a bit of a walk sucks to me.

So it really depends how you fill in your own trip. I like to pee on the side of the road.
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  #47  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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I can sign that ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
It really depends how you fill in your trip.
To me after years of backpacking and hitch hiking it's not about walking around town.
This always used to shit me anyway, that it's all about the destination.

This is why Lonely Planet is so useless for overlanding

Often in third world countries there isn't much to see in towns, and I'm more of a big picture kind of bloke rather than small detail appreciator. So I'm happy soaking it up riding around a bit taking in some architecture until I find a terras to sit and have a or two. Or a nice little restaurant where 9 out of 10 you can still see the bike.

But mostly it's about finding out of the way areas with some interesting riding.
it really depends how you fill in your own trip. I like to pee on the side of the road.

the pro and cons are said ....

In our setup the weight difference is not so big

The KTM 690 needs are rack anyway to protect the luggage from the nuclear power exhaust (extremly hot) and further more important to strength the bolts of the tank in the back

So for us, the difference between Touratech panniers (6,7kg) and
the saddlebags (about 2-3 kg) is only about 4 kg

Before we leave for Africa, I will make a diet and loose 4 kg or loose it during the trip

Because the difference between the Honda and the KTM is about
50 - 60 kg I can gain some weight by drinking a lot



Cheers Thomas
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  #48  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-Traveller View Post
I can sign that ...




the pro and cons are said ....

In our setup the weight difference is not so big

The KTM 690 needs are rack anyway to protect the luggage from the nuclear power exhaust (extremly hot) and further more important to strength the bolts of the tank in the back

So for us, the difference between Touratech panniers (6,7kg) and
the saddlebags (about 2-3 kg) is only about 4 kg

Before we leave for Africa, I will make a diet and loose 4 kg or loose it during the trip

Because the difference between the Honda and the KTM is about
50 - 60 kg I can gain some weight by drinking a lot



Cheers Thomas
4kg... That's optimism if I've ever seen it lol.

The luggage frame for boxes will weigh more than that alone. A frame for metal luggage has to be much stronger and supported (ie heavier) than one just to keep soft bags off your exhaust.

I'd guess more of a 15-20kg difference.
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  #49  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
4kg... That's optimism if I've ever seen it lol.

The luggage frame for boxes will weigh more than that alone. A frame for metal luggage has to be much stronger and supported (ie heavier) than one just to keep soft bags off your exhaust.

I'd guess more of a 15-20kg difference.
Correct ... each aluminium pannier is about 4 - 6 kgs depending on the quality, while each soft bag is about 1 kg. A full strong luggage rack for metal boxes will be a good 10 kgs, instead of 3-4 kgs for a frame for soft bags.

My experience is that 15-20 kgs is indeed a typical weight saving.

Its also important to remember that some soft bags like the Andy Straps, Steel Pony type bags hold the weight lower, closer in and further forward as well. This multiplies the effective weight savings - mass centralisation.
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Last edited by colebatch; 27 Apr 2011 at 09:37.
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  #50  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-Traveller View Post
The KTM 690 needs are rack anyway to protect the luggage from the nuclear power exhaust (extremly hot) and further more important to strength the bolts of the tank in the back


Cheers Thomas
Do you have the better quality tank bolts and bushings available from a couple of guys on ADVrider? A guy in Australia makes hi tensile replacement bolts that have a good reputation (the factory ones will break for sure after about 2000 km offroad with luggage) and a guy in the states makes much better quality replacement lower tank bushes out of delrin.

You are using standard exhaust?
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  #51  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post

Its also important to remember that some soft bags like the Andy Straps, Steel Pony type bags hold the weight lower, closer in and further forward as well. This multiplies the effective weight savings.
A very good point !!

Most metal boxes sit very high and far back giving the bike dreadful handling. They have to do this as they need to leave room for a pillion and their system isn't really adjustable without some serious DIY...

My soft bags sit low and much closer to the centre of the bike than any metal boxes could.
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  #52  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Go Light. Go Fast.: Rider Review: Giant Loop Saddlebag on KTM 690e

No racks needed. The standard type soft saddle bags mimic the ali pannier in setup, so unless you have a custom rack like I made the COG is about the same. Just less weight. I reckon with the GL mimicking the shape of the back of your leg for the bottom end where you should have the heavy stuff the COG is slightly further forward. This off course all depends on how you pack it and what you bring. I've tried the steel pony bags on my Dakar and still though that the back of the bike controlled the steering. Didn't feel that at all on my DRZ with the GL. That less gear on it than in the picture, but the bike weighs less than the Dakar as well.

Keep the 4kg of overweight on yourself. You control the bike with your own weight. It doesn't get added to the total. The less you weigh the less you can control your bike. Ask my wife or Isaac Newton about that if you like.
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  #53  
Old 13 Apr 2011
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Hi

I think, I know almost everything about luggage .... all the pro and cons, I used already everything from soft to hard panniers.

As I said, the KTM 690 has no subframe and in my opinion the rack is a must for that bike

I just don`t like the Giant Loop

Right now, the bikes are still stock ... exhaust, bolts and bushings, but I will change that before we leave for Africa and I have seen the pics from Sherry`s bike and I know it`s breaking

TT panniers, 29 liter + 35 liter = 6,7 kg
soft bags 2-3 kg

OK, I keep the 4 kg to me ... I like good food and drinks anyway

No pillion, my girlfriend is riding herself and I mounted/moved the panniers as much to the front as possible and thats why we have the tank side bags for a better balance

I think the most important questions is:

How much weights the whole thing (bike, luggage, etc.) and how good is your suspension

- the 1150 GS I rode in Marocco was about 300kg
- the XT 600 Z Tenere in Algeria 250kg
- the Africa Twin XRV 650 in North-Southamerica was about 260 - 270 kg

and now the KTM 690, I guess about 200 kg

It would be nice to be a fairly rich person, then we could stay all the time in hotels and eat in restaurants ... that would safe a lot of weight !!!

But, we sleep always in our tent and we cook our meals by ourselve .... thats why we have all this stuff with us, even chairs

and even if we were rich, we would stay in the wilderness .... much nicer

Thomas
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  #54  
Old 13 Apr 2011
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Weight is always an issue.

Weight is always an issue.

The weight of the Zega-system is approx 13 kgs incl carriers, that 's easily 10 kg more then soft-luggage.
My bike is 200 kg, when I add fuel, luggage and myself the weight is around 330 kg. The weight-difference between soft and hard is 3% of the total weight.

Do I care? No I don't... The weight-difference between soft and hard is less then the difference between my tank being two thirds full and full.

When I go to remote places I can easily add 30 kg of water and petrol to the numbers above, this makes the difference minimal. Is it possible to carry that amounts with soft-luggage?

Centering of mass is also an issue. In road-racing they have been able to reduce their lap-times with multiple seconds the last years and mass centralization has been a factor. Husaberg and Husqvarna have made good enduro and mx-bikes the last years because they have focused hard on this.
The worst thing you can do to alter the centering of the mass is to pack something behind your back. Top-boxes are one of the best way to mess this up, the huge drybag commonly placed on the seat by people with soft-luggage is another. The huge drybags often move around when you drive offroad which makes it worse.
Yes I know people claim they only pack lightweight stuff in their drybags, I pack the heavy stuff low in front of my boxes.

Yes there are many crap-designs when it comes to racks and boxes. Once I had a motorbike which broke down all the time, I didn't stop to ride motorbikes but I bought another bike.

I don't say that soft-luggage is bad. As soon as Algeria opens up again I might be on the ferry with a ultralight soft-setup with 800 km / 3 days range.
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  #55  
Old 13 Apr 2011
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Your maths is flawed. If you ride a lot of off road you know not to add your weight to the bike's weight. Say your bike weighs 200kg wet. Soft luggage weighing 20kg like it did in my picture earlier in the thread its nearly 10%. Add extra fuel to this it's even more. So and extra 10kg is massive. And what this does is move the COG back over the rear wheel making the whole bike unusable off road for any serious riding. To weigh the front we're talking serious rear suspension upgrade which makes the bike crap without the luggage. Off course this is all depending on what you look for. But if you buy an aggressive off road bike why ruin it. In the end it's all a preference, but you don't see to many hard luggage in Australia which is a off road mecca and full of cheap arses.

Personally I can't look at this without cringing, just like I can't look at my own old setups without cringing.

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  #56  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
Your maths is flawed. If you ride a lot of off road you know not to add your weight to the bike's weight. Say your bike weighs 200kg wet. Soft luggage weighing 20kg like it did in my picture earlier in the thread its nearly 10%. Add extra fuel to this it's even more. So and extra 10kg is massive. And what this does is move the COG back over the rear wheel making the whole bike unusable off road for any serious riding. To weigh the front we're talking serious rear suspension upgrade which makes the bike crap without the luggage. Off course this is all depending on what you look for. But if you buy an aggressive off road bike why ruin it. In the end it's all a preference, but you don't see to many hard luggage in Australia which is a off road mecca and full of cheap arses.

Personally I can't look at this without cringing, just like I can't look at my own old setups without cringing.


I have to agree !!

The irony is, many people buy a nice light off-road bike because they dread it when the tarmac ends and want to make it is easy as possible. That's fair enough and a smart move for over landing.

Then they turn their nice off-road bike into a wallowing pig with heavy poorly spread luggage.

In my experience and also from others who have also tried the same, a bigger heavier bike will actually handle the dirt MUCH better when loaded up with boxes and infact, better than a light Enduro bike with the same cargo.

The weight distribution is much better, the bike has the power to cope with the weight and it feels much more planted.

My DRZ400 is a lovely bike to bike off-road with very light luggage. Very forgiving and nimble. But when I load it up like I would my old Africa Twin, it drags it's arse, the front end goes VERY light and it hasn't got the power/gearing to pull me up steep banks. The whole thing feels awful..

The Africa Twin, being almost twice the weight would handle dirt MUCH better with the same luggage weight. It doesn't make sense until you try it !


In summary, if you buy a light Enduro bike you HAVE to be a minimalist when it comes to luggage or their is just ZERO point to it.
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  #57  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-Traveller View Post
Hi

As I said, the KTM 690 has no subframe and in my opinion the rack is a must for that bike

TT panniers, 29 liter + 35 liter = 6,7 kg
soft bags 2-3 kg

No pillion, my girlfriend is riding herself and I mounted/moved the panniers as much to the front as possible and thats why we have the tank side bags for a better balance

I think the most important questions is:

How much weights the whole thing (bike, luggage, etc.) and how good is your suspension

and now the KTM 690, I guess about 200 kg

Thomas
I am also setting um my KTM 690 and I agree with Thomas. I got the Touratech rack mainly for protecting the bike and I was thinking about using soft luggage with it. If you carry luggage the rack is great for not loosing the tank (I am not yet convinced that simply changing the bolt will do if you travel on rough surfaces with luggage and/or a pillion) and it protects the bike in a crash (the thing seems really tough). As Thomas said, the pipe is a furnace, so it is also useful for keeping the luggage away from it. A lot of steel, but I think it is worth it. I weighed the 690 with the Touratech rack, all Touratech crash bars at the front (engine and radiator) and an almost full tank (11-11.5l), it was about 159 kg (with the standard bash plate). Official weight is 152 kg wet.

So for the KTM690 in my opinion it really comes down to the weight difference between the actual bags/boxes (as I said, I'd use the rack and crash bars in any case), i.e. around 4-5 kg. For most trips, I'd use boxes, but I would consider using bags for riding mostly offroad.

Thomas, can you tell me which tank saddle bags you are using? I am looking for some but can't find any I like and which are available for a reasonable price in Germany.

Cheers
Peer
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  #58  
Old 14 Apr 2011
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I don't know the 690 very well other than the FI problems a mate of mine had. Which apparently isn't a one off. But has anyone actually broken the tank itself? This bike is designed for rough off road with jumps etc so there should be plenty out there being treated like it's meant to. I reckon the occasional pothole and corrugated road shouldn't break the tank with about 20 extra kg's on the back. You'll be standing up anyway. Off course this is all academic which I why I ask.
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  #59  
Old 15 Apr 2011
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Hard cases all the way with a simple padlock.

Didn´t have a single problem from canada to argentina, and there are times when you HAVE to leave the bike out of your site, it´s just not practical otherwise. The tank bag you can take with you and the rest should lock down like guantanamo
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  #60  
Old 15 Apr 2011
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In India a lot of hotels have doors with a latch to put your padlock through. Most guide books tell you to bring a padlock for this reason. One time I lost my key of the one that the hotel provided. I thought the hotel bloke would have a spare, but instead he rammed it once and the lock came clean off. No one batter an eyelid.

I think we put to much faith in pad locks. It's just a little brass edge on a steel edge about 2mm wide.

FWIW, there is a thread here somewhere where people at Iquazu falls had their helmets stolen which was padlocked to the bike parked in the public parking lot. They smashed the lock and it was gone. Security is a myth. Just don't leave stuff you can't or wont want to replace.
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