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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 27 Mar 2003
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Location: Longville, MN, USA
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How big is big enough?

Being on a budget, I'm thinking of going to DIY route for making some panniers. The question is, how big is big enough? The standards seem to be 35L and 42L. I'm sure one answer I'll get is it depends on the purpose of the bike, the length of the trip, and how much I pack. well I'd like to bike to be a long term traveler, possibly several years. And I do pack light, but I plan to camp, as hotels are a waste of money, especially with my portable Zodi shower (:. Ok, that's the only unnecesary I'll be toting, and I imagine it'll bungee onto the rear rack, with my tent and sleeping bag on the seat in front of it. Anyway, how big was big enough for you? And what are the dimentions of your panniers? Thanks a lot, safe travels.


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wade
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Old 29 Mar 2003
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Location: Girdwood, Alaska, USA
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Making your own is a great project, adds personality to your bike, and can save you a ton of money. You should make then as big as you can safely. I dont think there has ever been a time that someone said "I sure am unhappy I have too much room in my panniers."

Two things

Watch out for the area behind your pegs... if panniers are too big you will catch your heels when you are walking your bike in the mud and sand. Also make sure your outside edges are not going to contact the ground when you corner on a SLOPED road.

Good luck, keep it simple, and have fun.
chuck
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Old 29 Mar 2003
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Thanks chuck! I was originally going to copy touratechs 35L dimentions, but they seemed kind of puney. So I figured I'd better check arround to see if people actually got by with these things. Hence, this post. I've noticed that enormous panniers look ok on beemers, but kinda silly on the jap dual sports, like the KLR I'll be doing this for. I suppose I'm foolish for chasing form, But I don't want the natives to laugh at me. What works for you? What are your dimentions? Can the bike be ridden two up with the bags in place? Thanks for your tips chuck. I'll follow them.

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Old 29 Mar 2003
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Location: Kansas City Missouri USA
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Unless you are intent on fabricating these yourself, there is another way to go. I haven't messured them, but I think they are about the same size as most boxes. Military surplus "Merimite Food Storage" boxes. These were used to transport hot food to front line troops. You need to remove the inner insulation and add eye bolts for locks. The boxes I have just finished their second trip to Central America and are holding up well. Send me and email if you want pics.
John
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Old 5 Apr 2003
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Big!! Very big!! Other than the cut outs for suspension and exhaust, they are 11.5 inchs deep, 20 inchs tall and 20 inchs long. I have two different sets, one for two up riding and one for traveling solo. I add tank panniers and keep everything in those 4 places. That keeps everything dry and enclosed so nothing will come undone and fall off. It also keeps everything out of view and somewhat secure. good luck, chuck
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