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Old 14 Aug 2003
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Location: Seattle, WA - USA / Oltenita, ROMANIA
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KTM Adventure Panniers

Does anyone have any suggestions, cautions, or other information they would like to share on panniers for the KTM Adventure?

I have a 2000 KTM Adventure R.

Choices of systems that I can find:

The Touratech Zega system from KTM dealer - $800 or so with no coating so you need to use liners

Happy Trails - under $800 with canyon cut and powder coating + shipping

Jesse - over $1000 with nice canyon cut and coating

Motosport - around $850 with coating

My analysis so far:

Touratech - too wide and no coating. It would take a lot to convice me to get these

Happy Trails - good size and canyon cut and coating and price. Remember seeing someone say they are happy with them on the net, but had somebody else tell me in person that they are utter junk and to get the Motosport panniers (this from a guy that was running Jesse panniers)

Jesse - Expensive but I like their build and size. Not available now though and will not be until winter according to Jesse.

Motosport - too small but quality does look good to me

Please let me know what you think.




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Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius - William Blake
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Old 14 Aug 2003
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Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
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I've decided to get the Touratech panniers. The only problem was when I called my KTM dealer here in Denver, he estimated the price to be around 1,200.-US$ for the entire system!!! So I called Sommer-KTM in Germany and even with shipping to Colorado, I was able to save a few hundred $! And yes, they do come with liners, which I find very convenient.
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Old 14 Aug 2003
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Of the panniers you mention, I've got personal experience with all of them except the Motosport. Here's a few of my observations.

I used the Happy Trail bags/racks on my KLR through Copper Canyon, Baja, and Colorado. The racks are relatively strong and the bags are good size. However, both bags began splitting at the seams. The welds are not strong and the flexing of the bags causes the seams to split. I had the seams rewelded and reinforced - we'll see how long that helps. If they start splitting again I'll reinforce the back of the bags to prevent flexing.

I used the old style Jesse bags on my G/S in South America and Colorado. The racks broke twice from the loads and the pounding of ruta 40. I had the racks rewelded and they've held to this day. The bags are large and sturdy. However, I mounted the new style Jesse racks/bags on my PD and removed them almost immediately. I didn't like the single rail rack - doesn't seem as strong. I also didn't like the flimsy hinges and proprietary mounting hardware, latches, etc. How could I replace/repair these parts in some far away place?!

I had the Touratech racks/bags on my PD until recently. I like that the the bags use a single piece of aluminum attached to the base - seems like less seams to split (see above!). I also like the quick release on the Touratech bags - strong and fast. The racks seems strong, but the mounting hardware is slightly undersized. Also, the bags are on the small size (36 and 45 liters) and are a little "boxy".

I currently mounted the Tesch bags/racks on my PD. These racks are strong and the mounting hardware (which I purchased to match the mounting tabs/holes) is oversized. The boxes are large and easy to get into. There are no hinges and only a simple lock/latch so there's less to break. On the downside, they do not have a quick release system and they are not coated/lined. I'll be giving them a true test soon.

I've found that there is no perfect luggage system. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Decide what features are important to you (i.e., strength, simplicity, size, quick release, aesthetics, etc.) and go for those. Or get one of each like I did and switch them continually :-)

Story
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Old 19 Aug 2003
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Thanks for your replies! I didn't think I'd get a reply from someone who had tried nearly all of them! It looks like all have their strong and week points. I decided to go with the Happy-Trail panniers despite the splitting seams. I'll let everyone know how they turn out after some battle testing.

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