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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 8 Mar 2005
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Touratech panniers - are they any good?

Hi all

I realise that this may be a controversial question...! I'm in two minds as to which panniers to get. I have a Touratech rack on my XT at the moment, but I'm not convinced as to the quality of the Touratech panniers (not seen them in the metal). Other places like Metal Mule seem to be of much higher quality?

We're travelling LA - Buenos Aires for about 6 months - probably on roads most of the way so the panniers won't have to take THAT much punishment.

Are the touratech panniers going to fall apart on me, or are they actually quite good? Anyone got any experience of fitting locks etc to them - touratech seem to want me to buy the locks and fit them myself?!!

Cheers!

Matt
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  #2  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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matt-I have a set of Touratech panniers on my KTM.The panniers are made by Zega in Switzerland,and are of top notch quality.So far,they have survived 21k miles of hard use.The boxes are dented and dinged up,but are still water/dust proof.I would highly recommend using either the integral locks or a basic padlock,both for security and to hold the lids on when the claps become worn.I also have gas and oil cannisters attached to the outside of the panniers.
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  #3  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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Hi Matt,

I have Touratech boxes on my Tenere and they are excellent. Mine are modified by Ernie at Overland-Solutions to be fixed and locked on to his racks (Touratech don't do racks for the Tenere) but otherwise are standard. No problems with quality. They are strong, waterproof and easy do get things in and out of on or off the bike. They also make good seats/tables/backrests or whatever else you can think of!

[This message has been edited by greynomads (edited 10 March 2005).]
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  #4  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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I agree, Got Touratechs on a F650, 60,000km. No issues. Even hit a deer in Canada at 90kmh and slid on the righthand case down the highway. Hammered it out, and good as new, almost. Can´t comment on the other system, but I am happy the TT.
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  #5  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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Can't say I'm too happy, though I think the main weak point is the mountings. Mine worked loose to the point that they rattled and I eventually ended up with cracks in the boxes round the mountings. I think it comes down to too much strain over too small a surface area if the boxes are fully loaded. A better mounting system would spread the load around, perhaps including some of it underneath the box as well.

Other than that they are totally waterproof - though for some reason not sandproof.

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  #6  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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Cheers guys - advice much appreciated!

Sounds like the TouraTech ones might be the ones to go for. Does anyone know of a showroom or somewhere I can see them "in the metal" before I decide to invest??

Thanks again!

Matt
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  #7  
Old 10 Mar 2005
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just a tip if you are using aluminium panniers (e.g. the touratech's) then it's worthwhile using the inner bags - whether you buy theirs or make your own.

Without inner bags anything hard rubs against the aluninium and grinds up a very fine black powder - which turns every thing in the boxes black (and if it gets damp then slimy as well).

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  #8  
Old 11 Mar 2005
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Before you buy them, you should go and see Ernie at Overland Solutions in Sheerness (1 1/4 hours from London). I was down there today, top bloke and great kit.

I have the Zegas on my old bike, I reckon I'll end up with Ernies on the new one.

Nick.

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  #9  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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Thought people might find this useful...

The mate I'm off to south america with has bought some Metal Mule panniers for his XT600E. I had a look at them last week and they are superb - extremely well made, solid, and with the little touches that show they've been thorougly thought out. The locking mechanism in particular is ingenious, simple, effective and durable.

I spoke to the chap at metal mule who was most accomodating - and they're going to move the mounting blocks on the panniers to fit my touratech racks (very similar to the metal mule racks but not as well finished).

Superb company, recommended!
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  #10  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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I’ve decided that I also want the TT Zega panniers. Since there are no local Touratech agents in South Africa I wondered if I could riddle you this…

Has anyone ordered the pannier and mounting set and have them send it to SAfrica / Australia / China …or any country with no local TT agents?
Does it cost a small fortune in duties and take 11 months to deliver? Will customs officers completely dismantle it for hidden narcotics and trash it in the process? Does it come in a crap box that leaves the panniers all banged up before it even reaches the bike?

I know I should probably mail TT with the same questions but I’d like to hear what you guys experienced?
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  #11  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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Before buying my TT (in UK) I also looked in SA. The KTM dealer in Joburg was selling KTM branded panniers that to me looked exactly the same as the TT's, just with a KTM logo.

They were more expensive in SA, but they were available. Check with the KTM dealer in Cape Town to see if he can get them in for you.
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  #12  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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Metal Mule are riveted together, not sure how flush the rivets are inside the case? If they're not flush, they could tear the contents up.

MM also have hinged lids, not a great idea if you're carrying a luggage roll that extends over the pannier lids, you'll have to remove the luggage rol to access the pannier. TT, along with Jesse & Verns panniers, have lift off removable lids that can also double up as a tray for food or bike parts if working on the bike.

Jesse's are meant to be very good but expensive. Search here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/

Verns panniers also have a good reputation. Search here: http://www.ukgser.com/forums/
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  #13  
Old 15 Mar 2005
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We are on our way to Argentina from Alaska, have the full Touratech setup, panniers and Zega boxes. Driving me nuts.

1. if u drop the bike (my wife likes to do it), the pannier frames are too small for the boxes, the boxes bend inward. works one or two times, but larger frames would make things better. i attached steel plates in the size of the box, that helps but makes the boxes much heavier.

2. In Central and South America u often push ur bikes into the Hotel reception or courtyard. to dismount the boxes u have to open the lit of each box. Do open ur boxes with clothing, food, maybe some electronic devices in front of the 10 kids who are always staying around ur bike and explain them that u are a poor traveller while they are starving whatching ur food.

3. If u have a large bacg with tent, sleeping back, matraze etc. crossing the seat laying on both boxes, it is hard to open them for the military checkpoints if u have to. so u have to dismount the bag first....annoying.

4 without the inside bags all stuff is getting dirty from the aluminum. even with, the bag rubbs on the aluminum, so after 6 month u just have to touch the boxes inside and u are dirty. so u have to put some stuff over it (tape or folie).

I have seen the overland-solution panniers with modified Touratech boxes (how to dismound and open), would be my first choice now.

Hepco & Becker is also an alternative.
Good luck
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  #14  
Old 24 Mar 2005
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ZEGA boxes aren't hard enough to ride with them in hard terrain like rocky desert. I was test it with my friend on rocky pistas in Marocco. After 4 weeks ZEGA boxes was tottally crashed and smashed. The are pice of junk now.
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  #15  
Old 24 Mar 2005
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Have just mounted a set of TT Zega panniers to my F650GS. Think they are great. Thinking about them, if you destroy them in 4 mo, I don't think any other pannier would not even be with the bike! Would hate to think what my bike would look like. Others have said they would take the panniers off if in real bad off road travel.
Has anyone painted or Powder Coated the inside of the panniers to stop the black powder problem?
Norm
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