Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Suzuki Tech

Suzuki Tech Suzuki Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to Suzuki riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 31 Aug 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ottawa
Posts: 12
vstrom panniers

I am purchasing a new vstrom 650 for a trip down the central americas. I need to purchase some panniers for the bike and wanted to get some advice... The factory panniers, plastic, are fairly small and dont look very strong.... though I am sure they would do... I also have an existing soft top bag... Would this be sufficient, or should I look into some aftermarket, stronger, metal boxes or something of the sort? Does anyone know where to find some good aftermarket cases? Should I just make do with the stock ones?
Thanks in advance...
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 31 Aug 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Walsall, UK
Posts: 171
A member of my club (IMTC - International Motorcyclists Tour Club) kitted his V Strom out with Wunderlicht gear from Germany. It really looks the business although I'll bet it's not cheap.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 1 Sep 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 742
Hey Bo,

There is a ton of options out there for panniers for your bike. Pick up a luggage thread here or over at one of the strom specific sites ( eg. V-Strom Riders International Group, etc) and all the info can help you narrow down your deliberations.

To answer your questions, most people do indeed go for aftermarket. The exact options depend on whether you go soft vs. hard, metal vs. plastic but some options would include Caribou, Jesse, Hepco & Becker, Happy Trails, etc. Not all panniers fit all bikes and racks but you'll be able to narrow down choices that meet your needs pretty quick. I assume that you have already thought about skid plate, crash bars, hand guards etc. For a good sample of some of the many add ons you could consider for your bike for this trip, one site to check out is Adventure MotoStuff LLC - Your Motorsport Adventure Outfitters - Home. Click on the bike specific link for additional ideas on farkles. Hope that helps.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 1 Sep 2009
ozhanu's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 797
i use touratech and i am quite happy with them. recommended.
__________________
ozhan u.
website under construction
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Moosejaw Canada
Posts: 73
I bought a bike with pelican cases on it . They are very resonable in price and very durable. Capable of falling and still looking and operating fine.
Bill
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2 Sep 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ottawa
Posts: 12
thanks for the responses... a couple other questions, though I'm sure they are posted elsewhere... for mexico baja and copper canyon... would anyone recommend a more dirt oriented tire on the vstrom? 50/50.. or what?.. and would you use a gps in mexico, CA? or is it just a waste of money?
Thanks again...
so many questions as I get closer to my date...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2 Sep 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,610
I´ve got Metal Mule 38L panniers on my K7 Wee, and they seem to be about the best money can buy. Very tough, with
durable and safe attaching system, and easy to use. Rode with them from Europe to Australia, plus a few other trips in 2 years, and if I´d wash them, they´d still look like new. The bike once tipper over, and that did not even leave a mark on the pannier. Expensive, but quality costs.


Regarding the tyres, the Wee will be more or less a streetbike (tall and top-heavy) no matter what rubber it has, so I´d concentrate more on mileage rather than dirt ability... and go slowly in the dirt. Michelin Anakee/Anakee2, as well as Metzeler Tourance seems to suit the Wee fine, and I´ve got pretty good mileage out of both. I use a bit (maybe 10%)higher than recommended pressures, if riding on tarmac with a heavy load on board.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2 Sep 2009
apapadop's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 119
I've got Touratech Zega's on my K7 Wee, reasonably happy with them. Their problems are:

1. Unpainted/treated aluminium creates silver/black muck that gets EVERYWHERE and makes a nasty black mess of all clothes/equipment.

2. Putting them on the bike/frame and then taking them off is difficult when you're tired, requires the panniers to be open (i.e. exposed to rain) and not fully loaded (otherwise you can't reach the disk that needs to be unscrewed to take them off). Not very practical. Also, sometimes due to vibration/temperature it's simply a nightmare to unscrew the disk and one feels the skin of the hands is going to come off while trying.

3. Durability - I dropped the bike once, from a stationary position (i.e. zero speed) on its side and that basically bashed in the one pannier. It still held all the stuff in it and the lid on it, but it required some serious banging/welding/silicone filling to become straight, safe and waterproof again.

4. At least when/where I got them (Greece, mid 2007) there was no special frame for the Zegas to fit the DL650 and I had to use a Kappa frame which is quite flimsy.

Some pictures here: http://www.moto.gr/forums/showthread.php?threadid=53810

Alexandros
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 2 Sep 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Red View Post
thanks for the responses... a couple other questions, though I'm sure they are posted elsewhere... for mexico baja and copper canyon... would anyone recommend a more dirt oriented tire on the vstrom? 50/50.. or what?.. and would you use a gps in mexico, CA? or is it just a waste of money?
Thanks again...
so many questions as I get closer to my date...
Hey Bo,

It's just general advice and all options work fine so I wouldn't worry about it too much, but for tires you may find it useful to run a knobby tire (i.e. TKC80) on the front if you think that you may be riding a lot of off-highway or off-road. The added traction makes quite a bit of difference. And you'd be surprised that the handling on pavement is not affected that much.

As for the rear, a somewhat standard approach is to run 90-10 tire as others have mentioned (eg. Tourance) on the rear and a knobby (eg. TKC80) on the front again if you plan on riding off road a fair bit. You'll get roughly the same mileage out of both before they start wearing too much. A knobby rear works well for off highway and off road, but the tradeoff is that they wear down much quicker so aren't that feasible for longer trips, unless you know you will be going through areas where they will be much prefereable and in that case you can carry a spare on the back and swap for those critical areas.

If you have the stock tires (Battlewings, etc.) still on the bike, you may want to consider riding them down to near the US/Mexico border and swap to a TKC and a Tourance there. Assuming you are riding straight down to get to the foreign lands quickly, that way you put the flat spotting miles on your old tires and then get to put on new treads when the riding gets interesting. As you know, tires are cheaper in the US anyways and if you want I can pass along some mail order sites that'll have your tires waiting for you at a pre designated spot or you can call ahead and order from a dealer on the way

As for a GPS, they are pretty useful in big cities where getting in and out can be a big issue when street signs disapppear and old roads run in curved lines. It'll save you a lot of time. Hope that helps.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 Sep 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 15
We are on our way to Nepal on a Vstrom and we went with plastic Kappa K40 sidecases and a GIVI topcase. This was an economical choise though. We bought everything second hand... There are loads on offer on ebay. We dropped the bike once and the sidecase is still fine. Just a few scratches. They are pretty sturdy i think (or hope)...

Good luck on are trip!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 14 Sep 2009
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Plano Cases

I just bought an '09 V-Strom 650 and the side cases are really poor, really hard to close with big internal latches that interfere with loading and the shape really makes them inefficient to pack. I would not recommend them. They will take a tip over with nothing more than a few scratches (don't ask). The top box is much better in all departments. The racks themselves are very good, appear sturdy and between the left case and the wheel there's enough space for a tool box. I've just sized mine up for a set of Plano (formerly Doscosport) AW Series CE108030 (~36 liter, 21.5" x 17" x 9"). The Planos are very much like the Pelicans but they have four toggle latches, the top two lock and they're a tad cheaper. They're a lot taller and a bit narrower than the stock cases. They will bolt right on the frames using the screw holes that held the mounts for the stock cases.
I've used the same earlier Doskosport cases on my KLR for five tough years and the bike's been down hard quite a few times. The cases still look fine. In fact they've saved the bike's plastic more than once. If you wanted to go that way, I bought my original cases at Le Baron's (they have an Ottawa store) and the web site is showing the locking Planos. Hope this helps and good luck.

Harry
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14 Sep 2009
rhinoculips's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dillon, Colorado USA
Posts: 73
I have Happy Trails Panniers and absolutely love them! Waterproof. Simple construction. Bulletproof.

V Strom DL650 - KLR650 & Adventure Touring Motorcycle Luggage and Aluminum Panniers

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 2 May 2010
Contributing Member
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 9
I use the Caribou Cases system which use Pelican boxes. The Pelicans are light, waterproof and near indestructible. The racking is pretty durable and there is awesome customer support. I destroyed my rack in Tijuana, and Roger at Caribou had a new set sent out to me a couple of days later.

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2 May 2010
holodragon's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: On the road.
Posts: 165
Suzuki panniers/top box

I bought the K7 with Suzuki top box & panniers,I find these are ideal for hostel hopping as they are easy to fit & remove from the bike but would not recommend them as their shape is far too restrictive when packing & they are side opening which is not very practical,also they are not very aerodynamic.
The top box is very roomy but also is an odd shape & you have to take it off every time you want to get to something under the seat as it stops the seat from lifting back & up.
They are fine for a weekend away or as "suitcases" but for any other trip I would suggest different boxes/bags.
Personally I am getting some Steel Pony Gascoyne bags later in the year but thats another whole can of worms
__________________
Andy L

From the midnight sun to the silk & rhubarb roads, 2014
I am not an adventure rider, just a biker that has adventures.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11 May 2010
AndyWx's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 148
hey Bo!

We're leaving for a RTW trip on a wee two up in August. It's like with every other thing - there's as many options as many people there are touring. I'm gonna tell you what we're taking for our trip.

Starting with the panniers:

We're taking Plastic GIVI Keyless panniers on the original GIVI tubular Rack. All that topped of with a GIVI Maxia topcase. I think that alltogether they provide abour 134L of baggage space.

Why plastic? Obviously after seeing other people we thought about going for aluminium panniers by Metal Mule or Touratech - problem is they're so bloody big there was no room for the wife in the back and also they're (in my opinion) overpiced. I think that putting them on and off the bike seems to be too much hastle: with Givi it's about 5 seconds - all you hear is "CLICK" , "CLICK" "CLICK" and they're on - you're ready to go.

OK they're plastic BUT let's say that we end up on the ground with the bike (I'm sure this will happen many many times on our trip). If you're carrying aluminium panniers they usualy end up out of shape - you must spend a lot of time putting them back to order - because it's not that easy to bend aluminium you will need a nice hammer and blacksmithing abilities Here I would like to show one of my favourite films on youtube:

YouTube - Lovely Day in the Congo

If you see yourelf doing what Geoff is doing with every fall go for aluminium.

Ok with the plastic ones you might end up with them broken up - they won't loose their shape though - so all you need is duck tape them on both sides and you're sorted. 5 minutes job and you're on your way. That's my take on the subject and our life on the road will verify this statement, but I'm not worried...

When it comes to tyres we're going for anakee/ anakee2 kind of tyres - we're not in it for racing or big time offroading - WE WANT the tyres to last as long as possible and that's our main priority. I think tourance type tyres will last the longest when used both on tarmac and gravel.

We've been where you are and to be honest with you I slowely stop caring I don't really care anymore what kind of tyres we're gonna take what is going to happen to the panniers etc. These are all "what if's" that don't really matter I think. People tend to get too focused on the GEAR factor. I wonder sometimes how did people manage these trips 30 years ago? Now you have ATMs in every larger town, you can get any part shipped to you in a matter of days sometimes weeks so at the end of the day the emergencies become just costly inconveniances...

Final thought: Take whatever you fancy and feel safe / good / comfortable with and GO FOR IT BUD!!!

Stay safe!
Andy
__________________
"...and in the end the journey is the destination..."
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Vstrom 1000: not stable RPM. bhrcrdni Suzuki Tech 6 13 Nov 2007 14:27
Dakar and vstrom... can u advise? sadoblazo Suzuki Tech 7 1 May 2007 17:06
Suzuki 650 Vstrom Maurice Which Bike? 1 6 Jul 2005 14:04

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

  • South Africa: Nov 13-16
  • Thailand: Jan 9-11, 2015
  • NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12
  • NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16
  • Germany: May 14-17
  • Canada Ontario: Jun 18-21
  • Ireland: June 26-28
  • Colorado: July 17-19 TBC
  • Canada West: Aug 20-23
  • USA California: Sep 24-27
  • Aus Queensland: Sep 24-27
  • USA North Carolina: Oct 8-11
  • Aus Perth: Oct 9-11
  • Germany: Oct 22-25

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Circle to Circle by Brian and Shirley Rix.

Circle to Circle - a journey through the Americas and beyond. by Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix

"Well written, funny and informative."
"Thoroughly entertaining!"
Available NOW from the authors' website!

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:40.