Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/equipping-bike-whats-best-gear/)
-   -   what size panniers would you recommend? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/equipping-bike-whats-best-gear/what-size-panniers-would-you-29306)

bruceontheloose 13 Sep 2007 11:24

what size panniers would you recommend?
I've just bought a DL650 which are coming with a free set of givi panniers and top box which i intend to use next jan, trvelling through South America and beyond..

I'm supposed to receive a set of E41 panniers (41L each) and a E390 (39L) top box BUT I've just been told there seems to be a bit of a back log (funny that..) and so I could be waiting a few months.

I have been offered a set of E21 panniers (21L) with a E450 (45L) top box which would be available *soon*.

Question: I like the idea of having narrower panniers hanging off the bike but - will I have enough room??? (that's 34L less - 121 to 87)

I'm wondering what luggage carrying capacity others have?

Note: I am travelling solo for 6-8 months. I would rather travel light and skimp a bit rather than carry 'the kitchen sink'. I plan not to have things hanging off the bike... (other than the panniers...) and I haven't gone through the fun part of working out all the gear i need to take and having to cut it down to half... (yet).

I know you can get away with carrying next to no gear but, in reality, how much DO people take??

Smellybiker 13 Sep 2007 15:18

70l of pannier space, a tank bag & a canoe bag for camping gear - and we're riding two-up !

Redboots 13 Sep 2007 15:30

Just done a trip to India and I have 41litre boxes. Will make them half that size next time. If you don't have the room you cant take it. The amount of crap that just sat in the panniers there and back.

As for top boxes. I wouldn't give one house room but that's just me - hate the things... all that weight just where you don't want it. Canoe bag on the saddle for me.


backofbeyond 13 Sep 2007 15:33

My DIY panniers are 25L each and that's as much as I'd want for solo use
on a 600 single. Add in the bags on the front and rear racks together with a full tank of fuel and the bike is starting to get difficult to control.

The temptation with more space is to take more stuff, the bike becomes even more overloaded and overstressed.

Martynbiker 17 Sep 2007 21:00

Simplw way to work out what you will need to carry.....
DO LOTS OF SMALL TRIPS....a few days to a few weeks..


with the exception of, medical kits, puncture kits, toolkit (small one)

but dont take your shed contents with you, dont laugh, I met a swiss chap with a toolbox, metal cantilever type strapped on his bike, it was so heavy he could hardly lift it! it must have contained every tool he owned, including a lump hammer and a big engineers hammer, i know this as he stopped to help me strip a carb on my BMW and i was amazed at the toolbox he was carrying!, I was grateful of course, but thought he was a bit insane..... he had ridden from switzerland to UK with it strapped to his bike.

Flyingdoctor 18 Sep 2007 05:54

I think those 21 litre givi's are the cruiser type top loaders. They may look a bit odd on a wee strom. I agree about keeping it to a minimum. I've got 2 E36 panniers and a E52 topbox a tankbag and I put a 70 litre roll bag on the seat too with my sleeping mat and clothes in. It's starting to look embarasing. When I go camping in the car in the winter I don't take anymore kit. I've got to lighten it up for next year. I've just come back from a Scandinavian trip and carried 2 sleeping bags ! one for cabins and my arctic bag for in the tent. I'm out of control !

bruceontheloose 18 Sep 2007 09:11

Thanks for the info,

I've decided to go for the E21s which were offered to me. I agree that they will probably look a bit 'odd' on the DL but I decided that function was going to be more imprtant that looks on this trip (the DL isn't going to win any beauty contests anyway is it?? :cool4: ). From my own experience (limited compared to to a lot of people on this forum which is why I like asking questions here...), in motorcyle travel and backpacking/hiking, I have learnt that small and simple is good. I now just have to decide/work out how small/simple I want to go.

baswacky 18 Sep 2007 13:17

I have two 35l panniers, a 33l top box and a tank bag. The only things on the seat are my thermarest (I like my comfort) and a small tarpaulin - everything else is in the panniers. I use the top box as a day box and there is still room for my helmet. Especially appreciated when it's raining.


Flyingdoctor 18 Sep 2007 15:07

This is my basic set up too. I have one "wet" pannier with my tent and other bits that don't matter being a little damp. (stove, pots and pans etc) and a dry pannier with my sleeping bag, food, like rice etc. This system seems to work ok. My topbox is used for stuff I need between camps. Lunch, water, wet weather gloves and my camera gear. This sounds great until you find that you've filled every little bit of space with other stuff you hardly use. I'm going to just take stuff I actually used this year, that should halve it ! The plan is Iceland on an XT with soft panniers next June so It's a necessity.

Frank Warner 19 Sep 2007 01:37

2 panniers - 30 l each. Food, clothing, cooking etc

1 small tank bag - maps, camera, sunscreen, sun galsses, hat.

Rucksack on the back - tent, chair shoes, wet weather gear, back pack(for day walks). If the tent is wet then strap it on top to dry.

so probably ... 90? litres all up. Less is more.

mollydog 19 Sep 2007 07:12

Have you seen the new GIVI V35L PLX cases? Very nice. Fit closer to the Vstrom than E41's or earlier bags. Whole new system from GIVI.

TwistedThrottle.com : ...by Brand - GIVI - Luggage Cases by Givi (all models) -

scroll down to PLX.

I ran a set of E-41's on my DL1000 for 5 years/50K miles. They worked out pretty good. SW Motec racks held then in place.

The 21's they should be fine and narrower. Don't overload your top case if your doing dirt or really rough roads. You can break in off. The side bags mounted solid on my bike using the SW Motec mounting racks and put up with a lot of tough Baja stuff. But only for a few weeks...not 8 months.

Keep in mind, if run out of room with the 21's you can always strap on an extra duffle between your top case and you....on the passenger seat. That's the beauty of the Vstrom...plenty of room.

I don't think you mentioned if you were camping or not. Camping gear takes up usually about 25% (roughly) of your space....so make sure you're in love
with camping.

Also, you'll need to fit a nice tank bag, You can fit tank panniers too, if need be, or as an alternative to a duffle over the seat. I also wear a Camel Back
for hydration, snack food, and about a 100 other small items. Invaluable.

If all else fails...go with soft bags until the E-41's come in. I did several long trips on my Vstrom with soft bags and a big duffle and tank bag.

Safe Travels,


Martynbiker 20 Sep 2007 07:32

pelican cases
I am definateley putting a pair of these on my XT600, i will make my own frames with a drop over hinged piece to lock them in place, jerry can style.
I can weld and am a cheapskate, and they arent meant to be panniers, but as a biker I have learned to be adaptable, and if it saves me money AND does the job.... they are the 1430 toploaders from Welcome to www.peli.com Peli™ Products - Manufacturer of high-impact, watertight equipment Protector™ Cases and safety approved, technically advanced flashlights the size is smaller than most people would go for but i dont carry a lot of stuff. the price is 101.95 euros each plus tax and postage. but they have a lifetime guarantee.:thumbup1:
the next size up is almost double the price! so i will become better at packing and take less. smart cases, waterproof, bashproof, almost indestructible (according to pelican) and cheap!

If your on a budget, this may be the answer to a lot of bikers prayers, the cost of getting some good frames made up ( jerry can style, just slot the cases in and drop the strap over the top to lock) will be less, including the peli cases than third of the cost of say a hepco or metal mule system. OK, im not saying this is better.. before i get shot down in flames, but some of us dont have unlimited funds, but do have limitless ingenuity and limitless patience ( for fixing pannier frames.lol) right guys?

jota 20 Sep 2007 13:20

I've got a full of Jesse's on my DL650.

Since I live on the bike, I fill them up, they are narrow, strong and have been down a bunch of times.

my bikes

michaeltharme 20 Sep 2007 21:46

Can't go past the new Jesse's - over a 100lts. Plus North Face waterproof bag strapped to the topbox. Plus a Tourateck tank bag with side panniers. Enough room even for the missuses hair dryer!!!!

StevenD 26 Sep 2007 14:26

I've got 2 DIY's of about 45 or a bit more aluminium boxes, and a small day pack rucksack on my back. Thats is.
No other bag's and things to get wet. I like my storage neet :)

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