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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 2 Oct 2008
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SW Motech quick-lock pannier frames

Further to my question in the Caribou Cases thread, does anyone here have experiance with the SW Motech pannier frames, specifically the quick-lock ones...

I imagine this sort of thing is primarily for on-road touring use - has anyone actually used these frames successfully off-road for long periods/many miles?

I'm intending to fit Pelican 1550 cases to the frames which are more than strong enough - it's the frames I'm more worried about, and the locking mechanism for the quick-detach part particularly.

All info gratefully received...

JennyMo xxx
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Old 2 Oct 2008
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I've only done 200-300 miles on gravel with mine and that isn't the same as prolonged off-road. I can say though that they're made from steel which means you can get them repaired anywhere and they seem very good quality. I've had the weight of the bike on them a few times when I've lost my balance when stationary and there were no problems.

However I think the main reason for picking these carriers over any others is the fact that they are QR so you can remove them from the bike when you've carried your camping gear to the campsite and ride without them each day. So if you don't need this function I'd go for some more permanently attached frames.
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Old 2 Oct 2008
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Hi Flyingdoctor - thanks for the info. Yes, the reason I was interested in these quick release frames is because if I use standard Pelican cases, they need to be bolted directly to the frames - so the whole lot being removable would negate the problems with having the boxes permanently attached to the bike.

Caribou Cases do offer a quick release mounting kit for their modified Pelican cases that attach to the SW Motech frames, thus allowing the boxes to be removed independently too - however, not only is that another potential 'weak spot' in the chain, their boxes are significantly more expensive (although they do add key-locks, lid retention straps and also elasticated straps inside to hold your gear).

I'm not trying to do this on the cheap, but am slightly irked by the fact Caribou don't see the potential in developing their own mounting frame for the new Tenere to accept their standard quick release mountings of their Pelican cases - this would be the ideal solution as its proven very trail worthy in the USA.

Of course the bike is not available in the US yet so I can understand their reluctance to invest time and money on the new Tenere - but it is a global market out there, and I'm sure their luggage system would appeal to many owners of more dirt orientated machines? Especially as I happen to be over here with my UK Tenere and will be passing through Colorado... but there you go... (I consider my spleen vented x)

I can buy bog standard Pelican cases for $99 over here, so bolted together with the SW Motech rack, it would be a very cost effective set up compared to the price of the Caribou system.

xxx
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Last edited by JMo (& piglet); 3 Oct 2008 at 01:34.
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Old 2 Oct 2008
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with your cases mounted as described, directly to the carriers, they would work quite well as they're fairly flat and have loads of pre-drilled holes in them. It would just be a case of drilling through the cases and putting the bolts in.

One problem may be gaining access to the Zeus fastners (1/4 turn Quick release bolts) to release the carrier from the bike with the box fitted as they're designed to be removed from the bike with the cases off. I use a short stubby screwdriver when I'm on the road but they can be a bit stiff to undo using this. Some stubby screwdrivers come with a hole through the handle so you can put a bar in to give you more leverage. I'd look for one of those or drill a hole yourself.

You do realise you're going to get mobbed riding a new Tenere in the States!! Ha ha.
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Old 2 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
You do realise you're going to get mobbed riding a new Tenere in the States!! Ha ha.
Tell me about it - I've got a rideout on Saturday with a forum bunch over here in Nevada, and they are already salivating! I reckon the first one to offer me more than $14,000 gets to keep it...

Mind you, I'd be reluctant to sell it at any price... I've just taken it across some desert trails and it's awesome - plush, stable, and the standard Tourance tyres are actually surprisingly good on sandy gravel/rocks... fitting some MT21's on Monday, then heading out west for some serious action!

Back on topic, thanks for the info about the quick release fasteners - I wondered how easy they are to access (from a security point of view, although I know SWM do locks for them too). When you say Zeus fasteners, I presume they are oversize and not the puny ones that hold fairings etc on?

xxx
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Old 2 Oct 2008
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Yes the Zeus fastners are industrial grade. I have 2 of the locking ones fitted to mine. You need them otherwise anyone can take the racks off the bike with a screwdriver.
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Old 3 Oct 2008
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I have Motech QR on my V-Strom but have only used them on a couple of trips and not any off road stuff yet. They seem strong, I would say at least as strong as Touratech. My wife made some liners for the bags so we can just open the Pelican Case take out the bag and go to into the Hotel or tent.
I drilled oles in the cases and then mounted them to racks using four existing holes. I used the largest washers I could find on the inside of the cases. I used some rubber washers between the rack and the cases with a little silicone to seal them. They are totally waterproof.
I don't think you can really beat them for price. The only problem is that they are side opening but that was solved with the liners.
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