Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear?
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 James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

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


Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats



Like Tree9Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 31 Aug 2019
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Belper, uk, EUROPE
Posts: 542
Fixing panniers to a frame

I am reasonably certain that I will be making my own panniers rather than buying a set - purely because I know what I want them to do - for instance they will have a solar panel on the side to charge batteries. They will also have the capability to have a 5 litre can for extra fuel attached occasionally. Neither are features on any pannier I have seen to date.

So, given that I am able to design them to suit my needs the thing I keep stalling on is the attachment method. I would like to be able to remove them within, say, 20 seconds each but for them to be secure as they can really be if they stay attached. What systems do people use / suggest? The frame will be round tube of around 20mm diameter. Attachment points can be added to suit on the frame and on the panniers.

Thanks for your help
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 1 Sep 2019
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 2,105
There's all sorts of fixing options around but for the half a dozen sets of panniers I've made for myself I've defaulted each time to a simple, easily 'blacksmithed' method that I cribbed from the 1970's Craven approach

Basically you weld two upright pins about 5cm long to the centre of the top rail of the loop. Craven originally used 1/4" (6.25mm) pins but I've been using 8mm - sourced from two cut down long bolts. The 'female' receiver part on the pannier is made from 8mm i.d.fuel injection hose clamped tightly into a two part strip steel mount. This assembly is bolted at each end to each end of the pannier. How far apart they are determines how far apart the pins are. Recently I've been making them different distances on each side so the panniers can't be mixed up. A flat 'penny washer' welded to the bottom of the pins acts as a seat and if you make the pins a little longer + leave some thread showing you can screw nuts on as a security measure. They're not normally needed though. The pannier just sits on the pins under its own weight.

That fixes the top. At the bottom, where the pannier meets the bottom pannier rail, I've used a two part 1/4 turn Dzus fastener to locate the pannier. This bit doesn't take any weight, it only locates in and out etc to prevent the pannier swinging or moving up. A short handle welded to the Dzus head - the bit fixed to the pannier frame - makes it quick release. A quarter turn and lift the panniers off the pins.

On my main set that I made around 20yrs ago that system has been totally fault free. A mini version of it has also been fault free on my little 125 tourer for the last 7-8yrs but a modified version on another bike where I clamped the top pins rather than welded them ended badly when the clamps rotated. Welding is the way to go. Drill right through the tube so you can weld the pins top and bottom.

A picture, as they say, is worth 1000 words but as I can't find one I hope the description is helpful. The system isn't particularly elegant but done properly it's close to bulletproof.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 1 Sep 2019
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 3,913
Backofbeyond, I'm curious (although may have misunderstood): are these panniers really so easily removed without tools, locks, hidden latches, or secret decoder rings? Do you worry about that at all?

I've never enjoyed the fussing necessary with my Happy Trails panniers (partially empty the pannier, laboriously unscrew two fine-threaded knobs apiece, pull and lift pannier off frame, then re-load whatever you removed to access the knobs), but at least it's necessary to have access to the inside in order to remove a pannier.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2 Sep 2019
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 2,105
Hi Mark. Yes, the basic setup as I outlined with the panniers sitting on the pins and clipped in at the bottom with the Dzus fastener is very quick release. Put your hand round the back, undo the Dzus 1/4 turn and lift them off. That's it. Putting them on is just as quick. One of my sets work just like that.

You can engineer security into it with a bit more inconvenience. One of my other current sets has a threaded part of the pins protruding a cm or so above the rubber pipe when the pannier is in place so you can screw nuts onto the pin to prevent the pannier being lifted off (unless the thief happens to be carrying a spanner). A previous set had the turn handle on the Dzus fastener extended so it could padlock to the pannier loop (or more accurately, to a welded on extension). I've used bolts in place of the Dzus fasteners before to locate the bottoms before. It increases security but slows down removal and after cursing the time it took to get them off in the rain on a few occasions I went back to the quick release option. An early experiment used wing nuts as the bottom fastener, tightened up beyond finger range with a custom made spanner - half a turn and then they'd spin off. That works ok but I prefered the Dzus route. It would be easy enough to weld matching brackets to both pannier and frame to take a padlock but I've never bothered with that so far.

I don't have an engineering background or that much in the way of workshop equipment (tools, welder, couple of drills, hammers etc) so anything I cobble together has to be closer to blacksmithing than engineering. That means my designs have to be robust and simple to construct / maintain. Anything that involves slot in locks etc is beyond my capacity to manufacture so would have to be taken from some other professionally produced source as a spare part. I recently got a set of Metal Mule type fixings for nothing so my next experiment may use those. Early days yet with that though. I do have some pictures somewhere that I'll try and find. They were on Photobucket but those have gone now.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2019
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 3,913
Thanks for the details. I'm never in favor of worrying about stuff that doesn't warrant worrying, and maybe this is an example.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 4 Sep 2019
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 2,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cholo View Post
Have a look at the old KRAUSER setup, it might give you a few ideas
I've got an old set of Krausers as well as a 10yr old set of Givis and looked at how they work the fixings but it's all too sophisticated / industrial for me to copy. Some of the stainless steel pannier to frame locks on the Krausers are nicely done and I keep thinking I should make use of them, but for 'overlanding' I've usually defaulted to systems that can be shade tree fixed if necessary. KISS as they say.

I think if I was starting from scratch now I'd be seeing if there were any secondhand industrial sewing machines on eBay and make my own soft luggage.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 Sep 2019
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Esperance, WA
Posts: 252
__________________
Squily
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12 Sep 2019
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Esperance, WA
Posts: 252
My panniers hook on to the frames with simple system - the brackets is basically a channel with a longer section that is silicone glued and pop-riveted to the body of the pannier. A single hole drilled through the frame into the pannier with a wing nut (on the inside) prevents it from being removed from the frame (for security) and a strap around the box stops it from moving when riding. 20+ years and still works
Attached Thumbnails
Fixing panniers to a frame-hpim2834-medium-.jpg  

__________________
Squily
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 30 Apr 2020
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 4
I use these fake pelican cases

https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...ox/A-p8486037e

These fake pelicans are quite sturdy. At $90 Canadian pesos each, I would have a hard time building them for less. Trouble is, nefarious people see these cases as containing something valuable and try to take them.

I have a similar setup as posted above that uses pins on a bar bolted at the top of the case drop into loops on the frame and I use a bungee around it to keep it in place. You have to undo the bungee and lift the case off. The pins that drop into loops have holes to slip a padlock through for security.

I'm of the mind that if I go down in a bad way, I want the pannier to pop off and not break the frame. Whatever protruding brackets or pins remain on the frame I want not to stick out far enough snag and break frame. If I have a go-down, I don't want to have to look for a welder to fix my bike frame. If the pannier pops off, it is less likely to get destroyed in the bumping slide-to-a-stop. If the pannier bursts and my soiled gonch are all spread out like a yard-sale and I gather my stuff into garbage bag and move on. If my frame is busted, thats a different matter. Somethings got to give. Make it not be the frame of my motorcycle.

For one-up riding, I like panniers mounted so the top is a couple inches down from the top of the seat. Then a duffel bag or pack can bungee to the tops of the panniers across the seat and be well supported side to side. If you end up riding two-up and the passenger is sitting on the hard plastic of the tops of the panniers, a rolled-up sweat-shirt or something can pad the tops of the panniers for temporary torture relief.

I had a set of Krauser quick-release bags on a street-bike years ago. They had a habit of quick-releasing at random times whenever they felt like it. Fortunately, they didn't explode, they just slid off the edge of the road all scratched up. Now a bungee goes over them for safety, and rope tied through the bag handle and the frame for another layer of safety. Bungee straps are bodgey but they work.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 22 May 2020
MEZ MEZ is offline
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Gateshead N/E
Posts: 328
5 seconds

Hi Jay, are you still looking for a fix here..?? If you are, I have a simple method that takes less than five seconds to disengage each pannier. The pannier loops are modified BMW GSA loops. If you are still looking I'll post on here what I did.

MEZ
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 22 May 2020
GPZ GPZ is online now
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 74
Hi Mez,

Don't know about Jay but I would be very interested to see these modified GSA loops.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 22 May 2020
MEZ MEZ is offline
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Gateshead N/E
Posts: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPZ View Post
Hi Mez,



Don't know about Jay but I would be very interested to see these modified GSA loops.



Thanks
GPZ, no problem, bikes coming out later, I'll do some fresh pics with an explanation

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 22 May 2020
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 5,660
Devil's advocate chipping in here.

Solar panels on the side ???

Solar panels aren't even very good when you point them at the sun on a clear day.

When they're sideways and probably covered in dust or road sh*t, I can't imagine them being very effective.

And what if you drop the bike ???
__________________
Did some trips.
Rode some bikes.
Fix them for a living.
Can't say anymore.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 22 May 2020
MEZ MEZ is offline
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Gateshead N/E
Posts: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Devil's advocate chipping in here.



Solar panels on the side ???



Solar panels aren't even very good when you point them at the sun on a clear day.



When they're sideways and probably covered in dust or road sh*t, I can't imagine them being very effective.



And what if you drop the bike ???
Agree, solar panels on a bike is verging on the 'gimmicky' side of things, fixed on a bike....?? Wouldn't bother myself and that's coming from someone who has a built in shower system on a travel bike...

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 22 May 2020
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 5,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEZ View Post
Agree, solar panels on a bike is verging on the 'gimmicky' side of things, fixed on a bike....?? Wouldn't bother myself and that's coming from someone who has a built in shower system on a travel bike...

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
Now that I want to see......
__________________
Did some trips.
Rode some bikes.
Fix them for a living.
Can't say anymore.
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
Should I go hard or soft (panniers or bags)? Wheelie TRAVEL Hints and Tips 16 16 Jul 2018 14:43
not all those who wander are lost | two earthlings ride around the world Rockwell Ride Tales 84 7 Dec 2014 14:23
DIY frame for soft panniers? maria41 Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 21 7 Jun 2014 22:06
Hard vs Soft Luggage - Our Metal Mule and Enduristan Review and Solution Pheebs Equipment Reviews 0 9 Feb 2013 09:18
Metal Mule 38l Max panniers + frame for F650GS/G650GS in France/Switzerland kickaha TRAVEL Equipment for Sale / Wanted 1 19 Nov 2012 20:50

 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

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 R80G/S.

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 all over the world with the help of volunteers; 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, or ask questions on the HUBB. 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.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 16:36.