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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2005
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Soft or Hard Saddlebags for the KLR?

I'm planning a tour of Latin America on a newly purchased KLR 650 and was wondering if I should get the soft or hard (metal) saddlebags??
Thanks,
GB
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  #2  
Old 30 Oct 2005
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A little more info would help. What type of riding, where, what are your requirements, etc.
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  #3  
Old 30 Oct 2005
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More info coming up. Basically, most of the riding will be road and about 10% off road.
When --> Starting mid-november of 2005 and going for as long as it takes to get to tip of south america. Could take over 2 years given that we're not pushing it.
It'll be two of us on two KLR's.
Thanks,
GB
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  #4  
Old 31 Oct 2005
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Sorry forgot about the requirements.
Nothing specific, but we'd like to go light and we will be doing some camping so we will have tent and sleeping bags as well as some camping equipment like pot and burner.
Basically, I'm probably going with the softbags but my buddy is thinking of the hardbags since he's considering the safety of the contents so that he doesn't always have to take the softbags off everytime we stop. We will be stopping very often, we're in no rush.
If you do recommend softbags can you recommend a brand.
Thanks again,
GB
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  #5  
Old 1 Nov 2005
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Personally, I have hard side and top boxes on my KLR, for the security reasons you mentioned. The only real negative I have found is when you are dabbing with a foot off road it is easy to run over your ankle with the boxes. On road I haven't found any negatives, except cost. I also have soft throw over panniers for the fuel tank, but I carry way too much crap when I travel.
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  #6  
Old 1 Nov 2005
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Just curious, what kinda tent you guys using?

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this msg..
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  #7  
Old 3 Nov 2005
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The tent: A North Face, Rock 22. Its a two man, 3-season tent. Not the lightest tent out there but good quality.

As for the saddle bags. Thanks Andy for your input. We're still on the brink of deciding, although I'm heavily weighted towards soft.
Can you just confirm which hardbags you put on? Was it the mule?
Thanks,
GB
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  #8  
Old 4 Nov 2005
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For what its worth:

Tried Ortlieb panniers last year on a 2200 mile trip around Morocco - mostly off-road. Bike was an XR600R. Ortlieb's worked perfectly in keeping things dry and clean. One day had 40 or so river crossings. My gear was bone dry. My friends (using Oxford Sports) had everything soaked through. I paid GBP 116 for the Ortliebs, then sold them on return for GBP 60 on Ebay. They had a few scratces, but otherwise were in excellent nick.

A couple of weeks ago I took some Andy Strapz Expedition Panniers on pretty much the same trip (slightly easier in fact). These also had a few kg less kit in them than I had in the Ortliebs. The Andy Strapz leaked, they wore through where they touched the side panels of the bike and two securing straps fell off. Seams on some of the bigger straps (the ones you use to cinch up the panniers) were also weak and were coming loose. I would not use them again. I can't sell them because they are broken now. They cost GBP 160 in the UK. Waste of money. Nice idea, but poorly executed.

Go with Ortliebs of you go with soft luggage. They are pig-ugly, but they work.

Mike

[This message has been edited by Cugel (edited 03 November 2005).]
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  #9  
Old 4 Nov 2005
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Go to KLR650.com. They have a good looking set of alum. panniers for $281 a set. You'll need to get their mounts, unless you're handy, for $232 a set. They have many other well priced accessories as well.
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  #10  
Old 7 Nov 2005
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I decided on Happy Trail Owyhee hard bags & SU rack for a KLR ride to Tierra del Fuego and was glad I did. Other than the old pros & cons of security vs. weight (which can be a dog for real rough off road riding)...

The lids were useful time and again for keeping tools and nuts & bolts straight during maintenance & repair. With a couple bungees you could pack extra stuff atop the pannier if needed. Never had to lug in a pair of panniers into hotel at end of a long day.

The rear pannier was an ideal place to mount up a small jerrican for fuel (see pic link below). And of course they're ideal for that sticker collection...

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a27...nezuela083.jpg
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  #11  
Old 8 Nov 2005
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I'd go with hard bags, every time.

Its not just the security of the stuff you're carrying, they also offer better protection from a side impact (happened to me in Brasil).



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  #12  
Old 14 Nov 2005
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I am going for a compromise of sorts. Using Pelicans 1550 cases with SU rack and quick release pucks. JC Whitney makes a liner bags that fit perfectly.

http://photobucket.com/albums/c178/n...t=53a19385.jpg
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  #13  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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My two cents -

I´m currently in Mazatlan having come down from the Canadian border on the Great Divide Route (2,000 miles of dirt for those not familiar) and then across many fun dirt roads in Baja. I am running the Happy Trails (owyhee, I think - their big) and have been very happy with them. I´ve dropped the bike on multiple occasions and there is only one small dent to show it. Plus their easy to use and provide great security. The only downside that I´ve found is the weight (10 pounds each, plus the rack) and the safety. As others mentioned it would be very easy to break a leg when you catch it in the dirt. Fortunately my riding boots have protected me so far. Hope that helps.

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