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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 Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  • 1 Post By AndyWx
  • 1 Post By *Touring Ted*

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  #1  
Old 10 Jun 2009
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GIVI panniers and Topcase for RTW????

Hi all,

This might sound like a very noobie question but since that's what I am I've decided to ask. I've got a DL 650 Vstrom with a rack and a set of GIVI panniers(Keyless 45l) and Topcase (Maxia 52l).

Obviously there all made of some sort of plastic. I was wondering if they would be any good to take for a RTW trip? IF we do come off the bike I guess that the bloody thing will crack and welding plastic is something you can't really do in the remote parts of the world. I don't know if anyone's ever used plastic panniers on a longer trip but if so we would appreciate some feedback.

I was thinking of maybe leaving the sidepanniers on and instead of taking the topcase put a 80l waterproof bag in the bag. What are your thoughts on the subject?

Should I consider taking these or basically just get rid of them altogether and get some aluminium ones? If that's the case should I make the panniers myself and attach them to the GIVI rack or do the rack myself too?

I've looked at the Metalmule cases but for the wee Strom they're just to bloody big for 2 up touring.

I feel a little frightened that I've spend the money in a wrong fashion but hey everybody needs to learn from their own mistakes i guess At the end of the day I can bite the bullet and get some new panniers in place and try to sell these.

All comments and advice would be appreciated.

Stay safe!
Gosia and Andy
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Old 10 Jun 2009
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For what it's worth, I have an Tenere with Givi side cases on it (E21's) and have had a couple of tumbles with them (off road), it may have been just luck but there was no damage to the cases in either instance, although on one of them the lid did pop open.

Not sure how well the would stand up to a fastish crash on the road where the bike slid for any distance, but I would say that if Givi is what you have then run with it. Maybe get inner bags so if the worse does come to the worse and one of the cases is ruined you can at least just strap the inner bag to the bike to see you through.
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Old 10 Jun 2009
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I've been thinking for months: Should I take plastic or alu??? It drove me crazy!! And I went for the plastic ones... Why? Because they are a lot cheaper and I believe (hope) that they will do the job. They are pretty rough and if they break than I'll find some local "softbags" and strap them to my rack...
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Old 10 Jun 2009
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Thanks for the response guys!

That's a huge weight off my shuolders really. I thought that I've done a huge mistake. I think I'll take a couple of inner bags or something just to have something just in case.

I agree Gert, this was also my decision making point = money. The plastic ones are far cheaper if compared to the alu ones. Another thing is that the alu ones (at least the ones I found) were so big that my wife wouldn't have any legroom - couldn't even reach the foot pegs.

I guess that you could build something yourself - cheap and built for purpose to roll these things out which I'm considering to be honest, but for now I'll leave these and see how they perform.

As far as sliding at high speed I think that when that happens the panniers is the last thing you worry about I'm happy to hear that off road slow speed "crashes" didn't crack your panniers Steve and hopefully won't significantly damage mine.

Thanks a lot for advice and I'm happy that there are others out there doing what I'm doing

Stay safe!
Gosia and Andy
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Old 10 Jun 2009
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I'd go with the Givis.
I've used NonFango plastic boxes for a long time, bought my topbox sometime around 1994. (Similar to Givi, but out of business now). Used it on trips to Moscow, Istanbul and Lisbon (amongst lots of others), all with my daughter on the back, which meant that the boxes were crammed to bursting with teenage daughter stuff, which believe me is pretty heavy as well.
The top box then hit the tarmac once pretty nastily, such that the bike was a write-off, the front part of the frame snapped in the impact. So it wasn't a 'minor' accident.
That topbox is still on my bike, and still used for continental journeys. It's scratched and grazed but still as solid as a rock and not a single crack anywhere I can see.
In comparison, people here write about aluminium boxes folding up so easily - maybe just the cheaper ones - I don't know.

Another point, maybe a bit detailed, is that aluminium boxes are all flat - flat sides, flat top, flat bottom. Whereas plastic boxes are all curves. I think even the Romans found that curved surfaces are far stronger than flat ones to withstand loads and impacts.

So with a fair amount of confidence, for a planned future trip, I recently bought a very old NonFango box secondhand, a much older model than the one mentioned above, and it looks to me even stronger (as old things often are compared with newer).

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by McCrankpin; 10 Jun 2009 at 17:03. Reason: Add a bit more
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Old 10 Jun 2009
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The Givi will do just fine. I've had some cases for 15 years or so, and have crashed on them twice on my FJ1100 (not exactly a lightweight). One got a slight crack in it, which I just sealed up with metal tape and it's still waterproof.

I bet you'd be surprised how many countries you could buy new cases if you had to, and worst come to the worst order one online and get it shipped to you.
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Old 11 Jun 2009
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Great!!

Thanks a lot for responses!

My confidence in the choice of the GIVIs is now regained I'm happy to hear that your plastic cases work fine for you all and that you've used them quite heavily as well (sorry to hear about the crashes - but in a way it's good to hear that the panniers made it through ).

It's decided - we're going to go with the GIVIs - maybe (if there is room) we will take some soft luggage with us just in case.

Thanks a lot for the advice again!
Stay safe!
Gosia and Andy
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Old 11 Jun 2009
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Use your GIVIs with confidence. Iv dropped my old Africa Twin fully loaded up a few times on givi boxes and they didn't break.

Being plastic, they actually absorb shock and deform rather than crack or break.

On the other hand, the times iv dropped my XT with really thick aluminum boxes, they have instantly dented, gone out of shape and broken brackets etc. They are a pain to get back into shape and cost a fortune too.

For really rough riding, soft luggage (filled with soft stuff) is the way to go. It acts like a big cushion if you topple and anyone can repair soft bags with a needle and thread and patches etc. Security is the only issue here which is why I would use 2 soft bags for clothes and non-valuables and small top case for fragile, valuable stuff
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