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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 20 Apr 2012
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ok another how long is a piece of string question

Ali panniers
what is the optimum size for a solo rider not to big or small

which do you think to be best ? in ltrs
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  #2  
Old 21 Apr 2012
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It varies depending on what bike you are riding and how minimal you can pack. Lighter is easier on the suspension. Less is more. Narrower is better. Especially for squeezing through guesthouse lobby doors for the night and splitting lanes in third world city traffic. After a few years of pounding on ali boxes you will likely switch to waterproof soft luggage. You could skip the ali and go straight to soft bags and save money and headaches. There is no optimum size. All riders and bikes are different.


Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 21 Apr 2012
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As small and as light as possible....

Get your kit as small as possible first and see how many litres it takes up.

Then get the size smaller and throw more stuff away...

It's the general rule my friend.


Then again, if you're anything like me; you'll carry ridiculous amount of spares and tools that you curse yourself everyday. :P
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Old 21 Apr 2012
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thanks for your replys
as stupid as it sounds i never thought of stackin my kit to see how big it was

thanks
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Old 21 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by freedomseeker View Post
thanks for your replys
as stupid as it sounds i never thought of stackin my kit to see how big it was

thanks
Nobody knows anything until somebody tells it to them.

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Old 22 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Nobody knows anything until somebody tells it to them.

Or,

"A clever man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others"
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Old 22 Apr 2012
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Or,

"A clever man learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others"
what does that make me then if i think i am gonna learn from the mistakes i might make
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Old 23 Apr 2012
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Ok then, I need to add

"A psychic man learns from the mistakes he has yet to make"
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Old 23 Apr 2012
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Ok then, I need to add

"A psychic man learns from the mistakes he has yet to make"
touch'e
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Old 23 Apr 2012
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If anyone can predict mistakes in general, would you mind telling me which 43 numbers I shouldn't pick on the lottery, I keep getting it wrong?

On a practical front, a mix of soft and hard luggage is maybe the best starting point (assuming you won't go all soft). Buy three huge tin boxes and that's the volume you've got unless you start e-baying some bit of it. Start with 1/3 or 2/3 and the rest in 30-quid canoe sacks and if it shrinks with time you can just stow the reserve volume away somewhere.

Andy
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Old 25 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
If anyone can predict mistakes in general, would you mind telling me which 43 numbers I shouldn't pick on the lottery, I keep getting it wrong?

On a practical front, a mix of soft and hard luggage is maybe the best starting point (assuming you won't go all soft). Buy three huge tin boxes and that's the volume you've got unless you start e-baying some bit of it. Start with 1/3 or 2/3 and the rest in 30-quid canoe sacks and if it shrinks with time you can just stow the reserve volume away somewhere.

Andy
i love canoe sacs very versatile, can be used as water carriers etc, i was really lookin to put ally sides on with a flat rack on that i can secure stuff to probally a canoe sac on the pillion, and a frameless rucksac (24ltr) on the tail, i like the idea of a ruck sac as i can use it for sightseeing on foot etc, cant see the point of a hard topbox. maybe a small tank bag for camera, maps, fac etc, etc,
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Old 25 Apr 2012
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I've have a good system. In the way it work's for me. Two soft 25 litter's closed about 40 zipped open, and one hard 40/50 litre's. Picture's will show. The soft will expand out if I get to ambitious in bring stuff back. Soft for clothes and food. Hard for valuables.
John933
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Old 5 May 2012
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Just some stuff to think about...

Are you kitting out for an overnighter? A week? A month? A year? Indefinitely? Is your riding gear waterproof, or will you be packing a rain suit? Shoes for off the bike? Clothes for off the bike? Clothes for on the bike? Which leads to...

Where are you going? What season(s) is it/will you be riding in? Whats the weather like where you are, where you are going, and along the way?

Are you going to be camping? If camping, are you bringing your home to the woods or are you a minimalist that basically needs a level place to lay down?

Do you need to or want to bring a laptop? Tablet/iPad? GPS, hardwired or battery powered? Paper map backups? Camera(s) and associated accesories (lenses, tripod(s), cases, etc)?

Spare parts and maintenance items... do you feel that you have to ride out better equipped than most dealership service departments, or do you carry basically nothing beyond whats needed to do an oil change if that? What tools beyond the supplied kit that comes with stock bike? Tubes? Plug(s)? Oil filters? Air filters? Chain+sprockets? Final drives and fuel pumps? Are you going to carry extra gas? How much?

Are you buying food in town all the time, or are you getting off the beaten path and eating and cooking in the woods? How much water are you going to be carrying? How much ?

Extra stuff beyond the riding itself... do you have a hobby or a job that requires special equipment on the road? There's a guy on ADVRider who carried a viola with him. I've personally had a surf board rack for my bike for a while and have seen others with one.


Again, just some stuff to think about. My summer overnight or weekend camping kit took up about 35L (Kriega US-20 tail bag, original 8L each Wolfman Enduro saddlebags) not counting my Wolfman Enduro tank bag. I did a 3 week, 6600 mile dirt road and back road trip in August in the US with 38.5L (Dirtbagz Scout panniers, Wolfman Enduro duffel) not including having my air mattress strapped to the back seat in front of the duffel.

A trip last spring, also 3 weeks and 6600 miles, required over 50L of storage (wolfman enduro saddle bags and duffel, 20L waterproof stuff sack for clothes) and strapping my tent to the outside of my bags on top of it. On my one way ride/move to Alaska this spring, my winter rated down sleeping bag took up nearly 20L of space by itself... I was probably around 60L of storage but I was moving, not just riding, so I carried more than I normally would and had to make room for my DSLR camera.

If I hadn't camped and cooked at all, I probably would have just taken a small tool roll and a waterproof duffel, probably a Kriega US20 or 30, just for layering and convenience of not doing laundry daily or every other day. In summer, a US10 would have worked for those 3 week trips easily.

cliff notes: It varies.
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Old 5 May 2012
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I know many riders do it, but NEVER again will I use the pillion seat for luggage space, made the trip so uncomfortable, getting on and off the bike was a PITA.
On a 125 Yam I have used for trips I have a pair of 'bike bins' plastic panniers Bikebins - British Born British Made

And by using a universal mounting frame loops(Touratech) on all my other bikes, so the panniers are interchangeable I use Ardcases
ARDcases | Bespoke Motorcycle Luggage I have a pair of the 8" wide, 34litre ones unbeatable price and service, if you already have mounting loops, give Roger a ring, explain the make of loop you have, and hopefully a ride to his place will see him fit them for you.
I went up there from London and received great service and honestly can't reccommend him enough.
I find that there is plenty of room with the Ardcases, with space to spare for 'duty free' or should that now be 'tax paid' items.
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Old 5 May 2012
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I know many riders do it, but NEVER again will I use the pillion seat for luggage space, made the trip so uncomfortable, getting on and off the bike was a PITA.
.
Ah, the dreaded "hoppy dance". It'd make a good Olympic sport.

The trick is get the tank bag at chin level then match this on the pillion seat. The dance is best peformed after a 16 hour 800 mile motorway run that ends at the Dover-Calais ferry (this maximises the audience and the number of dance performances required).

The dance is performed by placing the bike on the sidestand, getting the right ankle above head level then gracefully, like a ballerina doing the splits, launching gently into the gap where you are going to sit. School boy errors include falling away from the bike while hopping, hopping into the bike and knocking it over or the dreaded "nut crusher" where the left leg slips and the seat is "off target".



Andy
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