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Old 11 May 2010
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That's a funny video! Of course, I've dropped my bike repeatedly--never at speed, however--and haven't had to do anything at all to my (Happy Trails aluminum) panniers. Probably that's just a Touratech phenomenon (insert favorite grinning smilie here). I don't have an aftermarket shock to blow out, either (insert second favorite grinning smilie here).

I think the suggestion to worry less about specific gear (and farkle, and tire, and oil, and border crossing) choices is generally correct. But that's probably because I've already made my choices, and in the places I'm riding I usually just take what I can get. For example, I'm about to mount a road-oriented rear tire (Sirac) even though what I really want is something suited for the mud I'm anticipating shortly. It'll be fine, and I'd rather be riding than waiting for just the right kit for conditions which might never materialize anyway. Wrestling with long lists of choices is mainly done at home, before the trip begins. That's fine, but it might be helpful to keep it in its proper perspective.

What was the original question? Oh, V-Strom panniers. I've got Happy Trails on my Strom, too: strong, durable, reasonably convenient, not too expensive (relatively speaking). Get the powder coat, or at least paint them yourself to prevent ugly black oxide coating on everything you own.

Hope that helps.

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Old 11 May 2010
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The suzuki panniers for the wee are rubbish - I know - I have them!
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Old 12 May 2010
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
The suzuki panniers for the wee are rubbish - I know - I have them!
I know! When I was buying my wee last year I was offered these as a bundle deal but they just didn't do it for me. The GIVI set I bought just to give Bo more info cost me £700 - that's including the 2 paniers, topcase, top plate for the case and the givi rack.

The decision is yours

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Old 13 May 2010
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I am late to this thread, but I have first hand accounts of some info.

I used the old Happy Trail panniers and was extremely happy with them. They took quite a number of drops and one medium speed crash in the desert. Yes, the panniers did go out of shape, but a bit of banging fixes that. The important thing was they stayed on the bike and protected my legs, so they acted as crash panniers, a very important point imho. Since I have been back home, I bought the new quick release HT system and they are frigging useless, they fell off the bike as soon as they touched the ground, both times at medium speed in a desert over here. The metal bent and twisted rather than just pushed in, so they were now not water proof. The worst part was, I was trapped under the bike because the panniers fell off.

I will still recommend the HT system, but get the old, screw on type of system, not quick release. In fact I never used to take the things off anyway, only once or twice when I could not get through the hotels front doors did I have to take one off, the rest of the 11 months they stayed on the bike anyway and I just unloaded what I needed. That could have been because they were a pain to get off, but still, that is the way it was.

Tyres, I ran a TKC80 pretty much all the way from Prudhoe bay to Ushuaia, except for a small stint with an MT60, this tyre will give great grip through the mountain twisties of Colombia as well as the rocks and sand of the desert.

For the back, I tried a number of tyres during my run south, but in the end scored an Anakee 2 and if I had my time again, I would run that all the way. If you are doing a lot of USA slab runs, then a harder wearing ME880 would be my choice.
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Old 13 May 2010
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Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post

The important thing was they stayed on the bike and protected my legs, so they acted as crash panniers, a very important point imho..
That is true and since you've mentioned it that's one of my main concerns with my plastic GIVIs...

We're just gonna have to wait and see I guess!
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Old 13 Nov 2010
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I know I'm very late on this thread, but sure all info may help someone down the line. Anyway, I've a set of Jesse Luggage panniers on my Wee, and I've gotta say they're pretty damn good. Solid. They've taken a few decent bangs and only a few scratches on the paint is all you'd know of it, and that's easily fixed. Anyway, maybe not the cheapest out there, but still, two big fat thumbs up for JL panniers.......
We're here for a good time, not a long time...
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