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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  • 3 Post By mark manley
  • 1 Post By backofbeyond

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  #1  
Old 7 May 2013
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Craven panniers .

I was pleasantly surprised to see that new Craven panniers are being made by Draganfly.
I rather fancy a pair of Comets for the old Norton .

Craven Equipment - Welcome - Craven Equipment

I have no connection with the company and have not inspected any , therefore I cannot comment on quality etc .
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Old 7 May 2013
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I'm really pleased to see that. Since Ken Craven called it a day twenty five years ago the rights to the business have been passed through so many people and nobody has really done anything. With the classic world going from strength to strength I'd have thought they'd have a huge worldwide market.

A lot of my early "overlanding " was done using Craven racks and panniers and right up to the present I've been using (and reusing) either a small stock of bits I've had or making them myself for the luggage systems on at least three bikes. Nice to see that stuff I've spent hours handcrafting is now available for a few pounds.

Once they've got the classic stuff sorted it wouldn't take much to adapt the concept and produce luggage for a number of more modern bikes like Xt600s etc
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Old 22 Feb 2020
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I was just bumming around on the web looking for a good luggage fitting system to inspire me and came across the Craven Equipment website. It sounds like they are up and running again and have moved forward.

Anyway, here is the website - https://www.craven-equipment.co.uk/index.php
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Old 22 Feb 2020
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My R80G/S in the 1980s when the original owner took it RTW with bespoke Craven panniers for the Heinrich tank and not shown here a Craven top box which I still have and occasionally use, good to see that they are back in business.
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Old 27 Feb 2020
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It's nice to see Craven stuff actively back on the market. As mentioned they were the go-to luggage system back in the past and while I'm not sure they'd be my first choice for a tough overland trip these days - not if I was buying from scratch anyway - I do know at least two people with surviving sets who still use them.

I knew Ken Craven (slightly - I went on a number of trips he arranged) and he was nobody's fool. If he was around now he certainly wouldn't still be producing glass fibre panniers as his premium product. He'd have moved on to other construction methods in the same way he moved from the original hardboard and wood Silver Arrows in the 50's to glass fibre.

Lotus built their cars from glass fibre back in the 60's / 70's but times change and they've moved on to aluminium and glue. The glass fibre technology he used was cutting edge back then and the 'look' is right for bikes of that era. If you're travelling on a classic bike I think they're still as good as it gets. For more recent stuff though, take Grant's advice and buy ally or (imho) go soft.
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Old 28 Feb 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cholo View Post
I still have K Cravens book on Touring, always makes me smile when I see the pics.
not sure I agree about fiberglass, it cushions blows by delaminating (think helmets) and is really easy to repair, just buy a fiber kit from a boat shop. Ive repaired my boys dinghy loads of times (I think they used them as bumper cars); surfers will probably agree with me as well
Yes, agreed, it doesn't shatter into pieces like an eggshell when it's hit and small impacts can be field fixed with duct tape, but when you do get a serious impact there's not a lot you can do at the side of the road. Back home, yes, it's all fixable with some time, skill and a gallon of acetone to get the resin off your fingers.

I can't find them at the moment but somewhere there's a few pictures of one of my Craven panniers that came loose and was then run over by a following car. It is fixable but it's been sitting in the garage for a few years waiting for me to summon up the enthusiasm. I'm trying to work out whether it's easier to just buy another one.

My DIY solution for shade tree mechanic fixable luggage was a lightweight plastic 'inner' (I used a 20L water container) held inside a frame that I welded up from 8mm steel tubing. If it got damaged the container could be repaired with duct tape and any bicycle repair shop (it was an African trip) could fix the frame. All very crudely done but those panniers have lasted for decades and been moved from bike to bike. They're on the left of the tent in the pic below, linked together to make a kind of crude table:


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