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  #46  
Old 27 Apr 2010
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Ditto!

Lardy GS for the Americas:


Lighter DR650 for Asia
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  #47  
Old 27 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
I think Grant could do with a long, detailed, nuetral ,well researched article on the subject sorted out !! Not a "this is better than that" but just a page with all the info so people can make their own decisions.
Neutral is the operative word....

Thing is motorcycling is dangerous, overlanding probably more so. Any crash could be harmful. Soft, hard, no luggage....

If someone can isolate one type of luggage as a significant risk of the other, then good luck to them, but given the myriad of terrains and conditions people expose themselves to, I think it's a tall order.

If it's do-able, then great.

So far, I'm happy with my choice and I don't think less of those using soft luggage, just because I use aluminium.
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Last edited by Warthog; 27 Apr 2010 at 20:51.
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  #48  
Old 27 Apr 2010
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The use of ridicule as a debating technique worked reasonably well in middle school, less well in high school. I've found it only marginally effective in my adult life, Sarah Palin's success with it notwithstanding.

I'm with Warthog; since it seems unlikely anyone will ever "prove" one side or the other, I'm inclined to respect any and all choices which appear to be based on clarity of perception, not myth. The fact that reasonable people can draw opposing conclusions from the same evidence is refreshing evidence of our shared humanity.

Besides, I happen to enjoy my sticker acreage!

Mark

(from the entirely surreal city of Brasilia)
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  #49  
Old 28 Apr 2010
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I use both hard aluminum boxes and soft bags. Both hold aproximately 38 litres, so i carry the exact same amount of gear whether i use hard or soft bags. Is one better than the other? Not really IMHO, you just need to adapt to the short commings of each one, both have pro's and cons. Can boxes be more dangerous to your legs? I supose they could, depending on design, like sharp corners, where they are placed on the bike, rigidity, etc. Then again i'm sure there's lots of documentation of people breaking their ankles and have no bags what so ever. Bones break when you fall, regardless what bags you have, dress acordingly. Weight? I have read in this thread claims of 20kg-50kg for hard luggage which i find quite exagerated, maybe they were plated in gold and filled with ballast? I build my own boxes and racks to the same standard as your typical TT equipment, they have never weight more than 10-12kg. combined, probably less. When you have soft bags, you will most likely use a rack of some sort to keep your stuff off the exhaust, so the weight you have left over is probably equal to the amount of fuel you will burn in a day, or the food and water you will pack if going into the mountains to go camping, or maybe a lap top and camera/video gear, etc...It's all relative and not an issue IMHO. If you really want to save weight: go to the gym, stay in hotels, forget the lap top, use a point and shoot camera, eat out, buy tires on the way, don't bring tools you don't know how to use and leave the spares with a friend to ship out to you.. This will only leave you your clothes and toiletries, a small bag and very light.
One major disadvantage i find with hard bags is the ability to twist the sub-frame of some bikes in the event of a crash. Soft bags will just self destruct and leave your stuff skattered all over the road behind you, preserving your precious motorcycle kind of like an airgag in a car . Soft bags are rarely waterproof, easly cut open and are less secure than locked aluminum boxes. Punching a lock makes noise and arouses suspicion, a razor blade is silent.
Aluminum boxes can be way more expensive, but there are cheap options out there if you look hard enough. My Steel Pony's cost me nearly $500 in the end, not cheap for canvas. Both aluminum boxes and soft bags are equally fixible, whether you need a hammer, drill and rivets, or a needle and thread, all of which are available anywhere in the world.
Finally, to the OP, please forgive all the childish bantering going on in this thread, instigated and followed through yet again by the same group of people. This got old along time ago, and i can't tell you how many interesting threads have been ruined by this same group, arguing with each other and taking things WAY . Give it a rest guy's, we're all tired of it. Take it to the Bar or go to Joe Mama.
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  #50  
Old 28 Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ron View Post
I use both hard aluminum boxes and soft bags......
Mr Ron sums this up pretty well, nice post!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ron View Post
Finally, to the OP, please forgive all the childish bantering going on in this thread, instigated and followed through yet again by the same group of people. This got old along time ago, and i can't tell you how many interesting threads have been ruined by this same group, arguing with each other and taking things WAY . Give it a rest guy's, we're all tired of it. Take it to the Bar or go to Joe Mama.
I agree on this one... That's why I have stopped to respond to most of MollyDog/Mickey D's post to keep the spam-level down.

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Give it a rest guy's, we're all tired of it. Take it to the Bar or go to Joe Mama.
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  #51  
Old 28 Apr 2010
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Hi
One or 2 posts on this thread have been removed. To those concerned, please feel free to continue your "interaction" via PM/email/phone/snail mail/in person or whatever, but please save us having to read it on this public forum.

Rgds
Chris
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  #52  
Old 28 Apr 2010
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Weight is a huge factor whatever luggage system you use. Having a light bike raises the enjoyment factor off the scale and reduces the risk/fear factor equally.

My Metal mules with the rack added a huge amount of weight to my XT even when empty. They made the front wheel really light, the steering twitchy etc.

I rode the Ruta 40 like this and HATED the bike. I was cursing myself for buying such a crap bike with crap suspension etc etc etc ! I didn't want to think that the £1000 I spent on luggage was the reason.

When my Mules eventually gave up on me through some ligher and heavier crashes (all caused by the weight of these boxes Im sure) I switched to soft bags... WHAT A TRANSFORMATION !! I was ripping up the dust and dirt trails of Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia and the bike became a joy to ride again !

Surely we ride bikes because they are fun and enjoyable, otherwise we'd all be plodding along in landrovers. Why turn your bike into everything you're trying to get away from ???

Hard boxes are fine for cruising the highway on big heavy bikes and I think that's where they belong. On my Africa twin I dont really notice the difference between having my plastic Givi boxes or softbags so I always use my GIVI stuff as they are more practical for road trips.

It's been said a million times (just by me), But you will find that many people make the conversion from hard to soft luggage but not many the other way round (from what I can gather on here)
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  #53  
Old 3 May 2010
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Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
I believe many riders ask opinions to hear what other riders have to say. I'm following four or five ride reports on ADV at the moment. ALL are using hard bags ... and only ONE of these riders has any riding experience beyond a year. The fact is, new riders seem to use the copy cat method of travel and bike prep.
I think thats true, but only of Anglo-Saxon riders ... from UK - US - Australia. In these parts of the world there is a real debate about what luggage is suitable. And I agree that the default setting is people start with hard luggage. Once the first big trip is out of the way, they realise the advantages that soft luggage can bring.

In the Teutonic world there is NO debate. There is no variety of opinion. In Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, the default mentality is that you tour on a large bike (almost always a 200 kg + BMW boxer, KTM V-Twin or Honda Africa Twin.) The idea of doing a long trip on a lightweight bike (or using soft luggage) has not even occurred to many teutonic riders I have spoken with. I have met hundreds of German overlanders over the years. Not a single one of them had soft luggage, and only one of them was on a bike smaller than the ones listed above ... and he was on an F650GS ... still 180kgs.

In the Anglo Saxon world there are far more people doing long trips on much lighter bikes around 150 - 160 kgs. XT600s, DR650s, XR650s etc ... For the anglo saxon world, a BMW F650 Dakar is a mid size touring bike, for the Germanic world its the lower limit of sanity. Guys like Austin Vince swear by his 115kg DR350s, that have been round the world twice, having done pioneering routes each time. Mac Swinarski's pioneering trip to Chukotka this year was done on 110kg KTM 400s, obviously with soft luggage.

This is why you get two differing viewpoints on what gear you should take. It because there are two different mentalities. I am not saying one mentality is better than the other, but for certain, one mentality is better suited to certain objectives than others. It depends on what is your objective and what you want to get out of your ride.

We Anglo Saxons are however still swayed by the marketing material from overlanding gear suppliers, many if not most of who are German. Since they had a 10 year headstart on 'us' for motorcycle overlanding most of the big aftermarket parts suppliers are German. So what the Germans deemed appropriate aftermarket parts has become the default for the whole world. Its only in recent years that Anglo Saxon companies like Steel Pony, Andy Strapz, Wolfman etc have really emerged, and begun making quality products that dont conform to the Germanic stereotypes.
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  #54  
Old 3 May 2010
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
In the Teutonic world (of which AliBaba is a part) there is NO debate. There is no variety of opinion. In Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, the default mentality is that you tour on a large bike (almost always a 200 kg + BMW boxer, KTM V-Twin or Honda Africa Twin.) The idea of doing a long trip on a lightweight bike (or using soft luggage) has not even occurred to many teutonic riders I have spoken with.
I agree that there is not much debate.
Mostly because we don't really care. If someone wants to use hard or soft, Suzuki or BMW it's up to them. We don't need other people to validate our choices.

Personally I had my first soft-bags catching fire in 1986 when driving a light bike so I guess the equipment has been around for a while.
I can't see that I recognize your opinion about scandic countries.
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  #55  
Old 3 May 2010
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I am just trying to point out why there are two opinions on it for those who dont understand the origins of this split in philosophy. It may help other people reading this debate why you as a Norwegian are inherently inclined to belong to the "Hard boxes can do everything" school of thought and why you seem to believe that there is no need to consider anything but hard boxes.

I didnt say the Teutonic philosophy is worse, but I do think the debate and thought we put into the choice of bags is healthier in the english speaking world BECAUSE there is debate about it. And because people on forums like this say that "sure you can take hard boxes, if you are sticking to graded dirt roads and asphalt, but if you are try to do a more challenging riding program, then soft bags are better" or something to that effect. Rather than just talking about whether Hepco and Becker is better than Tesch or Zega.

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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I agree that there is not much debate. ... We don't need other people to validate our choices.
I actually suspect the reason is the opposite. Its all done the same way in the Germanic countries - big bikes and hard boxes - precisely because everyone else there does it that way - therefore by not thinking about it and simply going the same direction as everyone else, they ARE using everyone elses opinions as their own, and thus using all the other Germanic bikers to validate their own choices. So in fact they DO need to validate their choices by choosing what everyone else chooses: big bike + metal boxes.

I hope I will one day meet a German touring around the world off road, on a light bike (sub 150 kgs) with soft bags, as it will force me to rethink. But that day has not come.

I will say it again for clarity because you seem to love taking me out of context ... you can take any bike around the world. You can take any luggage around the world ... if you are sticking to roads you will see in a world atlas. If you want to do 3000 km off piste in Mongolia on a 220 kg bike, with 20 kgs of boxes and rack (most aluminium boxes weight between 4 and 6 kgs each - 3 boxes plus heavy steel rack = 20 kgs), and 25 kgs of fuel, then you are probably not going to enjoy it as much as a guy on a bike half the weight, with gear that hea has bothered to think about. If you want to across Russia on the highway, or up and down the Americas on any road that appears in a world atlas, with maximum confort, carrying maximum amout of gear, then take any bike and any luggage. It doesnt really matter. Goldwing, Harley, KTM Adventure, HP2.... whatever.

If you want to be more adventurous, then you DO need to think a lot more about every choice you make. You DO need to think about what size and weight of bike is more suitable. You DO need to think about the reliability of the machine you propose to take. There is no point some guy taking his favourite WR450 around the world if he needs a full engine rebuild every 150 hours is it?

Like every Norwegian, you are probably a die-hard nationalist, so I will will give you a Norwegian example ... Amundsen was successful while Scott was not, because he DID think about the suitability of every detail regarding his trip, while Scott went along with the default settings for polar exploration. If they were going for a race to Tierra del Fuego, all the choices of equipment would not have been critical (but careful thinking can make life easier). If you are going to the South Pole, then you DO need to think about every detail. And you DO need to care.

And for people who are new to this game, then that decision making process WILL involve listening to other peoples opinions.
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Last edited by colebatch; 3 May 2010 at 16:57.
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  #56  
Old 3 May 2010
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Yes colebatch it's all about preparations.

If you are prepared you can move your limits and do remarkable stuff. I'm a big fan of preparations and by preparing trips I have done things that I thought was impossible (for me).

There are two things that have made that I have avoided a couple of destinations on my travels and it has been the ability of carrying water and petrol. The bike or luggagesystem itself has never been a limiting factor. The limiting factor has been that I don't feel comfortable with carrying petrol for more then 700 km and 20 liters of water.

But what are preparations? For me this thread has sadly nothing to do with preparations, it's just a mess. Sadly this mess have spread all over this place, which I find sad.
It looks like some people should know all about everything and even if they have almost no experience they go out really hard. A few times I have been asked if the 650 Xchallenge is a good travelers bike and I have simply told them that I don't fancy singles for traveling so I don't know, then I have given them the link to your page. There is no need for me to try to convert him to buy a twin. Why should I?
For the record I also have two singles but I don't use them for traveling.

When you refer to "English-speaking" it looks like you mean people from US or UK. Well, of course it's easier to argue in your own language but if you look at the users here they are from all over the world but it's not much Germans here. I have traveled with Germans (even a group with DR350s in Algeria) and I think it's completely wrong to compare people from Scandinavia and Germany.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
If you want to be more adventurous, then you DO need to think a lot more about every choice you make. You DO need to think about what size and weight of bike is more suitable. You DO need to think about the reliability of the machine you propose to take. There is no point some guy taking his favourite WR450 around the world if he needs a full engine rebuild every 150 hours is it?
I do think about the choices I take, but I don't give much for discussions like this.
As I said my luggage-system has never been a limiting factor. I have used it north of the polar-circle in the winter-time, I have crossed various deserts (incl Sahara in the summer) and I have been in situations where a major mechanical breakdown would have killed me in few days (thirst). I have been on trips up to a year and 50kkm duration and the system works.
I always work on doing things better and I have a few plans.


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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
And for people who are new to this game, then that decision making process WILL involve listening to other peoples opinions.
Sure, I do it all the time.

In a few weeks time we will do a test 1200GS VS SuperTenere and even if they are not the right bikes for me I look forward to it because they are both (probably) great bikes for thousands of people. What's right for me isn't necessarily right for other people.
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  #57  
Old 1 Aug 2010
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Till date I have traveled a lot, and did most of my journeys and holidays with the hard cases. I had never a problem with them, encountered as such no injuries or accidents with them. Thee might be a very low possibility of getting hurt accidentally by them, but that too is very feeble.
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  #58  
Old 1 Aug 2010
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I`ve used hard luggage on my KTM 990 Adventure
And soft luggage on my KTM 690 Enduro

If there's any hint of serious off road, soft luggage every time.

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