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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 1 Nov 2007
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Panniers - metalmule v pelican v zega v a.n.other?

hiya folks,
i'm looking for panniers to fit my Super Tenere (XTZ850)
i've read loads of the threads on here, but is anyone able to give me a direct comparison of the most common ? pro's & con's etc

plastic v alu
metalmule v touratech
ammo cases & others

the bike is being kitted out for a UK -- europe -- India -- africa trip
so needs to be able to cope with the usual rough terrain and drops
i only have experience of givi plastic and soft luggage on road, neither of which are gonna be suitable for my needs

thanks in advance
Tony.
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XTZ750 91 - overland touring toy
TDM850 91 - main bike & commuter
TRX850 97 - sunnyday twisty toy
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  #2  
Old 1 Nov 2007
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Hi,

I CURRENTLY have the Touratech 41lt Zega's and their rack installed on my bike but I would gladly swap then for the MetalMules becuase they are not that good, so there you go a simple users point of view.

If you want more confirmation then see Charles site here Kazakhstan
There are a few good pictures near the bottom of what happens to these panniers and remember that these guys are riding the very same type of routes that most of us are going to ride.

So Touratech get another one of these I'm afraid
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  #3  
Old 1 Nov 2007
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Another vote for Metal Mules. I've heard of a few people upgrading from Touratech Zegas to Mules, never heard of anyone going the other way.

Customer Service. Two extremes from Best (Mules) to worst (Touratech).

Strength - Mate dropped his bike at 5 mph with Zegas and lids were twisted. Mules are much stronger. Mules are 2mm vs 1.6 mm I think. Downside is slightly increased weight.

Repairs - Mules are riveted and can be more easily repaired.

Security - Proper locks on Mules not Mickey Mouse catches on Zegas.

Mounting - Simple, quick and secure system on Mules. Fiddly system on Zegas.

Costs - Mules are more expensive to buy but last a life-time. They can be had anodised or powder coated to prevent markings.

I can't recommend Mules highly enough. Last positive is that they make you a nice cup of tea whilst you get them fitted.

Sid
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  #4  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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Touratech

I am currently using Zegas for my trip between the UK and Oz.

I have had nothing but problems with them, they leak are not dust proof and are far too thin. Mine have twisted and ripped along the line of the frame.

If you want my opinion I would remove them from your list of options. Untill Touratech come up with a better product their are far more better made panniers these days.

Cheers

Jim
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  #5  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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Hi Tony

I am busy looking for panniers for my DR650. I will probably go with the Pelican cases - they look to be well made at a reasonalbe cost even though I have to import them to New Zealand. The contact e-mail address is - info@adventure-motorcycle.com

I think they go under the name of 'adventure motorcycles'

Peter
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  #6  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
Hi Tony

I am busy looking for panniers for my DR650. I will probably go with the Pelican cases - they look to be well made at a reasonalbe cost even though I have to import them to New Zealand. The contact e-mail address is - info@adventure-motorcycle.com

I think they go under the name of 'adventure motorcycles'

Peter
Hi Peter,
I can't believe what I am hearing from a Kiwi. There must be a man in a shed somewhere near you who will knock up some panniers for you.

Burt Munro will be spinning in his grave.

Steve
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  #7  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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after feedback from here and other forums touratech are crossed off the list
i like the caribou boxes, which are just pelican cases with added fitting kit, but they dont do top loading cases
so that would mean using standard pelican cases (eg 1440) and making my own mounting system
i even enquired about buying just the mounting kits from caribou but was told
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Pioszak
Adventure Motorcycle Equipment
Boulder, CO
(303)786-8947
info@adventure-motorcycle.com
Our bracket system does not fit the Pelican top loading cases.
what a shame
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XTZ750 91 - overland touring toy
TDM850 91 - main bike & commuter
TRX850 97 - sunnyday twisty toy
"Never argue with an idiot. They just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience"
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  #8  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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anyone have any experience of these?
Caja Sahel
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XTZ750 91 - overland touring toy
TDM850 91 - main bike & commuter
TRX850 97 - sunnyday twisty toy
"Never argue with an idiot. They just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience"
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  #9  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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Hepco and becker....Craaaapp!!!

Dont buy hepco and becker!!!!!!!!
They were the only company who could deliver frames for my xl 600. They did not fit! The instructions were in german, there were no pictures, they suck!
I had to bolt the top box on to the frame of my bike. Never mind the fact that i paid £150 for the top box mounting frame alone. You dont want to know what i paid for the whole lot!!!
CCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPP PPPP!!!!
Orrin
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  #10  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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I tried for months to get two sets of Touratechs for my two Transalps and got everything from "we lost the order" to "it will be next month before we can ship them" etc and I finally gave up. I ordered the Mules and they shipped them within a week and are awesome cases. The frames fit perfectly and are STRONG. Cases are strong well-made and spacious even though I went with the narrow 31L ones.

I also took clear adhesive vinyl and lined the insides so they don't turn everything black from the aluminium.
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  #11  
Old 2 Nov 2007
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Hi Steve

I am sure I could find someone to knock up a set of panniers but the cost would not be worth it. Others have tried and by the time you are finished it is cheaper (and easier) to buy ready made.

Peter
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  #12  
Old 3 Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
If you want more confirmation then see Charles site here Kazakhstan There are a few good pictures near the bottom of what happens to these panniers and remember that these guys are riding the very same type of routes that most of us are going to ride.
Re: the 'Kazakhstan panniers'. Do we know what sort of weight was being carried in them? I'm not defending Zegas here, just wondering.

There is a product available (made by Jon Ladd) which might help prevent Zegas tearing around the locking nut. It's here; and, yes, I bought some and they do what they say.

I bought my Zega panniers before Metal Mule came on the market. To be fair, they have been fine and stood up to a couple of off-road, low speed drops well. However, if there is ever a next time, I will buy Metal Mule. Touratech customer service is so bad, I will only buy when there is no alternative, e.g. GPS mounts, and even then I will use eBay and avoid that waste of space outfit in Wales.
Stephan
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  #13  
Old 7 Dec 2007
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TT ok but steer clear of caja sahel

i have a set of caja sahel panniers sitting at home in the shed. they just didn´t make the team to go travelling. and along with that they cost me GBP500.

why?
- within 5000km the welds had begun to split. the boxes are corner-welded which means the inside welds, both front and rear, bear the weight of the loaded panniers.
the company claimed that this failure hapened because i had them anodised, a process which exposes the boxes to mild heating, and that the heat had damaged the welds. this despite the fact that they were cracking well before the anidising process.
in reality this failure is due to a design fault. with TT panniers, for example, the only welds that bear weight are those holding the base of the box on, a far easier task.

- the seals are exposed rubber ones, rather like the ones on car doors, and because of the poor finish and sharp edges in the corners of teh boxes, they were cut to bits in no time.

- the aluminium from which they are made is not of high quality. looking at the boxes with a hand lens you can see that the welds themselves are far more stable than the wall material, and in fact it´s at the join between weld and wall that failure has occurred.

- the boxes were supplied with an exhaust extension and racks. the racks are of flat steel and seem strong. however i had to hit my original equipment exhaust with a hammer, making a dent about 3mm deep, to allow the racks to fit. this was what the caja sahel manufacturer recommended to me, along with using up to three 1,5mm washers. also, the mount on the supplied exhaust extension did not meet up with the corresponding mount on the rack. by about 20mm, or 3/4''. so i had to weld the extension to my exhaust too.

- the mounting bolts are stainless steel. looks good but given that this material is known to be more brittle than mild steel i wonder why bother.

- the closure clips on the caja sahel panniers are good.

i´m now travelling with TT and they are alright after around 30,000km. they seal, for both dust and water so far, and this despite two (admittedly small) get-offs. i got the inner bags too and find they work well. lined the inside of the panniers with plastic to avoid the oxidisation / discolourisation issue.

that said, touratech´s customer service wasn´t too great in australia either. adn the clip closures are easily bent, meaning the lids don´t seem to pull down and seat as well as they should. however they do still seal.

i needed to get the TT's in a hurry after my disastrous experience with caja sahel, and with more time would probably have got metal mules instead.
thankfully, the only sign left on my bike of my experience with caja sahel is the dented exhaust. the panniers themselves are in storage in australia. anyone want them?

cheers,
andy.
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  #14  
Old 7 Dec 2007
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Panniers

Well, if it is of any use, four bikers were sitting under the Syrian stars the other night and as biker nerds are wont to do, we started comparing pannier systems.

King of Sark had the Metal Mules, great feedback as stated previously by others. Strong, not easily bent out of shape and great attachment system and closing mechanism. Strong enough to prop the bike on the middle of the cases while taking the back tire off and not think twice about bending it.

Prince of Mince had the Touratechs along with his better half and thumbs down. Thin, not dust proof and after one crash they are bent out of square never to return again. They have taken to carrying around a rubber mallet to beat the panniers into shape. Quite useful really, they used the mallet on tent pegs and no doubt could be used in a pinch on some relentless touts in Africa.

I have the Caribou system, the Pelican boxes are great, very strong on dumps and crashes. The Caribou racks are great as well but the attachment system of the boxes is a bit weak for around the world travel IMHO. After a couple of low speed dumps messing around in the sand in Jordan, the attachment swivel bends and has to be bent back into shape otherwise the bag isn't tight against the frame and rattles. It is very convenient for taking the bag on and off but probably is better suited for on road trips. I would use the Pelicans again in a second, you can buy the Caribou bags only which have a lock and inner straps inserted. I would use these with a standard attachment system from somebody like Happy Trails or even the Touratech one.

The Pelicans used are the 1550s. Side loading and you can get quite a bit in them (30L?) but the best way to do that is to take them off and load it when it is sitting like a suitcase. Too much cramming when it is on the bike and you get a bulge which makes it hard to close.

Hope that helps.
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  #15  
Old 8 Dec 2007
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yeh thnx guys
those posts (& a chat with the vendors at NEC show) have settled my mind on Metal Mules
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XTZ750 91 - overland touring toy
TDM850 91 - main bike & commuter
TRX850 97 - sunnyday twisty toy
"Never argue with an idiot. They just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience"
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