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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 31 May 2013
sander.en.marianne's Avatar
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Trax Pannier probs, how to solve (in Africa)?

We are experiencing some issues with our SW Motech Trax panniers. They leak!
After laying (no crashes or hard falls) the bike down a couple of times, they are not waterproof anymore.
We knew before we left that these panniers weren't the most well constructed panniers. And we reinforced them. But it doesn't really help. Even with silicone applied they still are leaking.
So now we are looking for a more permanent solution, which doesn't involve waterproof liner bags or wrapping stuff in plastic garbage bags. In other words how knows a place where we can get a proper set of panniers? Right now we are in Ghana, heading towards South Africa.
Thanks for any help!
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Old 1 Jun 2013
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but my experience is that 'all' panniers leak. I've had metal mule's and touratech ones. I've made my own as well which luckily didn't leak but they lead an easy life, relatively.

By then I didn't rely on the panniers for water proofness anymore. Best thing is to try and get decent roll closure bags for the items like clothes and sleeping bag that can't get wet.

If you know where the crack is you can use heaps of 2 part epoxy on the inside.

For waterproofing you're better off with soft bags like ortlieb or wolfman. But even then I never rely on that. Once bitten...
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Old 1 Jun 2013
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I've used a pair of pelican 1550s .. there are still waterproof.. but they will flex if given enough load - like a fall at 50mph into deep soft sand .. found heaps of sand inside after that... but they don't leak after that in subsequent rain/water.

Having said that .. I still use waterproof stuff sacks inside them for anything I want to stay dry. The principle is - if one thing fails you need a backup for critical stuff. These should be different colours so you can tell what bag you are picking up - pants and shirts in one, toilet paper in another etc.

Inorder for your al bags to leak there must be a seam/hole/cut somewhere. Sealing it with silastic should work I'd go over your bag again and remove as much of the old silastic as possible (use a knife), Then clean/roughen it with scotchbrite and reapply fresh siastic. Do that on both inside and outside - should keep most of it out. Put it in a bathtub if you want to test it.
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Old 1 Jun 2013
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I siliconed mine and they were pretty waterproof after that. Are they leaking at the plastik cornerpieces? I think that with carefull preparation you can get them reasonable dry. The only big motorbike shop between Ghana and Namibia is Toni Togo (KTM).
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Old 6 Jun 2013
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I think you are going to have to wait till you are in Namibia or SA to actually buy anything.

HOWEVER. when we were in Accra, my panniers (homemade ... did not leak) had a lock come loose, I just found a local welder hand he help me fashion some new locks. I have kept em even though we are back home they work that well. Better then the commercial one i had on.

So to fix your problem you should be able to find some silicone calk and some of the rubber tubbing to seal your edged in the local market. They are great at bodging and fixing what you need down there . So find a local metal worker and talk to em.. I had a great afternoon working with them (and then showing them how bad of a welder i am...)

Good luck.. let me know if you need it and i will try and find the name of the welder.. If i ever got it..
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Old 26 Apr 2014
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pick-up (Bakkie) Liner the spray on Polyeurathane stuff, goes under various brand names, but it virtually indestructible. and definitely waterproof.

in reality just use waterproof bags inside the panniers
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