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  #1  
Old 13 Mar 2004
usl usl is offline
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Side Panniers-how much load?

Hi All ;

I loaded my side panniers and it came with 14-15 kg each.

Is it too much -normal or can still be loaded?

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 14 Mar 2004
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Good question,
I have mounted zega panniers myself and am wondering how much load i can carry as well...
Especially since i read a thread about broken (sub)frames....
any input welcome !
Gijs
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  #3  
Old 20 Mar 2004
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Off the top of my head I can't tell you the max loading. You should have that info with the bike (GVW). You probably don't want to exceed that (though I have). The important thing about the panniers that they will unweight the front end reducing stability. Those old ammo cans may look cool on a KLR but they're heavy! I've opted for soft bags as they themselves weight nothing leaving more capacity for stuff. Also they don't stress the frame any more than a passenger would since the weight is supported by straps on the seat. I've had as much as 60lbs in them, off road and on highway and the bike's handling wasn't any worse than carrying a small passenger.

If carrying much larger loads or suspending the panniers from the frame, look into reinforcing the frame or at very least replaceing the bolts that hold on the subframe with bigger ones.

One thing I learned that tank panniers help balance the load. I try to place some of the heavy items like pots and pans there and strap them on as low as I can. It seems to improve the front end's stability especially at high speeds.

Kurt
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  #4  
Old 23 Mar 2004
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My side panniers themself weigh about 4 kg. each. When loaded they are roughly 14kg. I have loaded all the heavy stuff like hand tools etc. to tank bag to avoid uneven distibution of weight between back and front like Kurt pointed out. Tank bag weights about 7 kg.

I estimated this distribution will be sufficient but this saturday i will load the bike and go for a short ride to see the result.

Kurt, was that 60 lbs. for each pannier or sum of both?
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  #5  
Old 23 Mar 2004
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That's 60lbs total, about 27 kilos. About where your at with two 14kilo panniers.

Kurt
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  #6  
Old 9 Apr 2004
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I loaded the side panniers (15 kg/each, the top case (12 kg) and tank bag (8 kg) and went for a test drive.

* 15 kg is too much. On the corners bike tends to slide. I even had a crash.
* 8 kg tank bag doesnt improve the stability with that much load on the sides.
* The back shock absorber was at level "2" which seemed insufficient.

So as soon as my broken finger heals, i will take some measures to lighten the sides. I think its best to load the tank bag as much as possible while relieving the sides.

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  #7  
Old 9 Apr 2004
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Forgot to mention it... subframe got slight disaligned due to impact.

I think the panniers weight is the reason for this.
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  #8  
Old 10 Apr 2004
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Just my 2 cents worth, but I have been on the road with my KLR for 2 months through Baja, mainland Mexico, and am in Guatemala heading towards Panama. The loads your carring are really heavey for the KLR. I am using 2 rear soft bicycle saddlebags that I´ve adapted to the bike and they carry about 15lbs each. I have a top case ( plastic lockable tool box ) that carries tools, gear and water 20lbs. On the rear seat section I have my tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. I have a tank bag 10-12lbs and a small fairing pack that carries my spare tube, pump, and patches. I estimate that I carry no more than about 75lbs total gear and I have never lacked anything. No laptop, no Gps only maps and journals. I have the stock shock on the 5 preload setting and before I left I changed the fork oil. The bike handles as good as a loaded KLR can. I have pushed it through tight twisties along the Mexican mountains and the only limit was the Bridstone trailwings. In my opinion the worst thing you can do is over load the bike. Even with my conservitive load, the bike is heavey and slow. I have gone off road through rocks and hardpack and it handles OK, but anything soft and I´m in trouble. I upgraded the subframe bolts with 12.9s, but would say the best thing is to travel as light as possible. I have stayed at hostels that let me park the bike in the lobby or courtyard and this would not have been possible if I was carring wide big hard saddle bags.
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  #9  
Old 29 Apr 2004
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You guys only take 15 pounds per box? What about all of the BMWs I see with Jesse luggage. How much do the boxes and frames weigh? I just bought two 61 litre ammo boxes for 30 bucks Canadian each and it turns out they weight 30 pounds each too. A buck a pound! A passenger weighs about 160 pounds if wearing gear so I don't see how a pair of bags would take you out but ofcourse I wasn't there so I won't dispute you. I am aiming for 140 pounds total including boxes, frames, and stuff.(yep, it's going to be 50/50 carrier/cargo! ) This is on a standard style Suzuki GS400 mounted really low, not a tall bike.

So, how much do the guys who are travelling for a really long time carry? I want to be comparrable. A laptop, a camera, and a video camera together in one box would weigh close to what you guys are carrying per box. When carrying the boxes with my new Sportster 883 shocks installed on my GS400 all I've noticed was that my springs actually compress a bit when I enter the road. Before they wouldn't squish, and I weigh 220 with gear!

Thanks, Steve
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  #10  
Old 29 Apr 2004
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There's a far cry from the R11GS and the KLR650. I don't have any exact figures but I would expect the GVW of the BMW's to be much higher. Also keep in mind that loading the bike effects not only the suspension but stresses the frame. Loading much beyond the mfg's limits can cause BIG problems not just in ridability but safety. The KLR is not a heavy hauler in stock form. To compete with the GS's some frame modifications are in order.

Kurt
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  #11  
Old 5 Jun 2004
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Kurt, could you please describe specifically what frame modifications you would suggest?

Thanks.

Mike
Idaho
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  #12  
Old 6 Jun 2004
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Hi ;

Finger has healed enough to pull the clutch, so i loaded the side panniers and made a trial.

My observations ;

* Limit for side panniers is roughly 8 kg. It doesnt bother you at all and you even dont know if they are there.
* But above this load, bike tends to slide under you, at the curves.
* Rear shock level of 3, for 8kg per side+12kg. top case, was found sufficient by me.
* If you decide for hard panniers, then i would recommend KAPPA K21. Its lighter and more compact and much more cheaper then GIVI sets.

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  #13  
Old 8 Jun 2004
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Mike,

The minimum would be larger bolts that hold the subframe. These can be had at http://www.dual-star.com/. Also, the racks that hold hard panniers that i've seen seem to consist of some cross-bracing that goes around the back of the fender and connect the left to the right racks.

Kurt
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  #14  
Old 11 Jun 2004
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I saw those bolt kits at dual-star also, but thought they were a bit pricey. I just drilled and tapped the holes out to 10mm from the standard 8mm, and haven't had any trouble. The 10mm is the biggest socket head screw that would go in the recess in the sub frame. You then need an allen wrench to remove them, but I carry those anyway, on trips. A KLR 650 I rented a few years ago had those upper bolts fail while I was using the bike, and I was not being hard on it, so I think this is one mod worth doing. Somewhere on the HUBB there is a thread about two guys travelling together who had their frame backbones break within weeks of each other, but that is the only time I have heard of that.

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  #15  
Old 11 Jun 2004
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A quality product can be found at http://www.bigcee.com/
for much less than the Dual Star bolts
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