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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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Old 14 Jul 2006
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Thumbs up Panniers - best for value ?

I'm wanting feedback on lockable, strong panniers without breaking the bank.
Don't need to be huge volume, just theft-proof and reliable, and easy to live with, to suit 650 V-strom and/or KLE 500.
V-strom 650, Transalp 650, DR-Z250
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Old 16 Jul 2006
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Have you tried to get your hands on some used ones? They are rear but not non-existant. Owners sometimes find that their bike amd equipment is both easier to sell and more valuable when sold separate, others has found that they need to go up or down in size... or numerous other reasons why they need to get rid of them.

Try to put in a personal somewhere for a few months and see what you find, but I advoce that you do this during the season...
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Old 16 Jul 2006
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I like my EIBC 'Alpos' boxes. They are not as beefy as some but are good value. I have had a couple of accidents where they took the brunt, but whilst dented were easily repaired.


I use them with Touratech racks.


*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 18 Jul 2006
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We used http://www.metalmule.com/ panniers - bullet-proof, easy to get on/off the bike, well made, very helpful guys. I know they're more expensive than other makes - but it's worth it. If your panniers/rack break then it's a pain in the ass.
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Old 18 Jul 2006
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Big Jesse

I was lucky enought to get a pair of second hand Al Jesse metal boxes for £400. They are in great condition and look like they would put up with a tumble or two. The frames also look very tough and the boxes are quick release too. They even have the metal racks fixed to top of the lids which are great for attaching luggage to.

The lids are hinged and lockable plus have a fair old bit of space actually inside the lids.

My advice, if you find a 2nd hand set, I'd go for it. Fleabay is a good starting point and there are always TT Zega sets on there (which usually end up going for way too much).

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Old 24 Aug 2006
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The best value are bags that fit your bike and work with your packing style.
It helps if the bags and the handlebars are about the same width so that if the bars pass thru an opening the bags will too.
The money is soon forgotten on a long trip as you pack and unpack if the luggage system is an asset.
You have to look at the bags every time you get on the bike. If they don't please you, the ugliness will continually bother you.
The more square the bags are the more easily they are repaired when you crash then...and you will crash them...unfortunately.
Look at pictures of your bike with bags installed, imagine and dream.
Then buy exactly what you want.
I rode with a Swede from Guatamala to Bogata, Columbia who had ridden around the world. He had no bags at all on his Honda African Twin.
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Old 12 Sep 2006
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Panniers for KLE

Originally Posted by Howiezowie
I'm wanting feedback on lockable, strong panniers without breaking the bank.
Don't need to be huge volume, just theft-proof and reliable, and easy to live with, to suit 650 V-strom and/or KLE 500.
Howie, hi there

just check my post in the other thread you wrote. Here again the URL I used:


Take care and safe riding,

Klaus D. Orth
A German in Japan
1992 Honda TA
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Old 12 Sep 2006
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Hey Howie Rich here from Timaru. Sorry I haven't got round to giving you a call about the kle. Still keen to try one but flat out at work. I'm in a similar situation to you at the moment we just don't seem to have the same sort of choice availible to us over here as in Europe or the US do we. I'm looking at sorting some boxes to replace my very battered alu ones that were home made in the UK about 6 years ago and 80 000 kms ago. Try having a look at the Pelican boxes they seem popular and are sold over here. We just need to come up with a quick realse system. The other option is bolt them on but have all your stuff in a bag that can just lift straight out. There doesn't seen to be any cheap option the Givi keyless stuff looks alright and is a bit cheaper but of course no one around here stocks it so I haven't seen any in the flesh.

There that solved nothing did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 12 Sep 2006
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If you are going to buy aluminium panniers ,then invest in a good set .
Some are very flimsy and are riveted and will burst if you drop the bike on them .
Look for ones that have Tig welded seams and are made of 2mm ally or thicker .
Happy Trails and Jesse appear to be very well made panniers .I don't know what is available in NZ ,but you could always have a pair made to your specification .
Make a set out of cardboard and take them along to a welding/fab shop to be copied in aluminium .
Pelican cases are also very good ,reinforce the mounting points to spread the load [broad washers or a small metal plate ],because if you drop the bike at any sort of speed the mounting holes will tear out .But otherwise the pelicans are bulletproof.
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
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Old 13 Sep 2006
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Thanks for some great advice folks - it's the old "you get what you pay for' thing again.
I have opted to go for the Givi product, mainly because I can source them locally. They won't be the strongest out there, but they are a good plastic product, and they are very good to use. On and off easily, locked when away from the bike, and weather proof, so I shall see how they go.
My requirements are for equiping rental bikes, for tourists, who will be able to use them like a suitcase - fingers crossed.
V-strom 650, Transalp 650, DR-Z250
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Old 28 Sep 2006
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Saw a set of Caja Sahel panniers for the first time recently, was impressed by the build quality and the options available. Was quoted £550 a pair for my 1150GS including pannier racks & powder coated panniers. They're not quick release but are solid. Since had a bike in at work with them fitted & a second viewing confirmed my first impressions.

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Old 29 Sep 2006
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hi Howie, I have been road/crash testing a set of Givi panniers, workign well, second hand to start with, had the bike on its side a bunch of times in the last few weeks, mud and sand stuff, slow speed. one poped open on wed with a fair bump, unloked it, closed and road off.. scratched up but funky, not super water proof, although i was using a preasure wash to test them...
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Old 29 Sep 2006
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if you have racks already look at these

they're 38 liter (18"X 14.5" X 9")

there's a couple of good reviews on advrider.com

you can mount to most any racks you have or can get

and US$300 the set is pretty reasonable
Do one thing every day that scares you. Baz Luhrmann
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Chrome don't get ya home. Rob Nye
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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Try KLR650.com, I have had severl falls and no problems.
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Old 14 Nov 2006
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I've got a pair of metal mule (medium size) in Australia if anyone is interested.....
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