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 Mark Newton, Mexican camping

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


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 3 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: santiago, chile
Posts: 124
metal panniers v/s soft panniers

hi everybody, Im still planing my pan-american trip (starts on march 2008).

I don't have much money so I've thinking on a hand made metalic panniers (probably of inox steel) or a couple of denier soft saddlebags of ebay.

you guys have so much experience than me... can you please help me to make the better election? thanks!!!
__________________
Santiago-Ushuaia-Alaska Right Now!!!
america2ruedas.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 3 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Salisbury, UK
Posts: 119
There are alot more people out there with alot more experience than me - however ....
I'd go for metal rather than fabric saddlebags as they are mure durable and can be locked. If you do metal then obviously the lighter the better. I don't know what inox steel is - but it sounds heavy!
Also, metal boxes should be more waterproof (if properly designed/made) and you can use them as seats, bike props etc.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 3 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: santiago, chile
Posts: 124
thanks mermaid. I don't think that the heavy weight of the inox steel panniers. I will try to find a "hospital" kind of inox steel.

I'm worried about the noises product of vibrations. I can't use a "branded" kind of pieces to fix the panniers, like touratech for example, so may be a cheaper solucion will be a problematic noise making machine
__________________
Santiago-Ushuaia-Alaska Right Now!!!
america2ruedas.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 3 Sep 2007
baswacky's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 127
Am I right in thinking that inox steel is the same as stainless steel? If that is the case you might end up with rather heavy panniers. You would probably be better off finding someone who can make up some aluminium panniers for you.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 3 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: santiago, chile
Posts: 124
aluminum here in chile is very expensive. yes, Im talking about stainless steel, but I don't know... I don't think that will weight to much, imagine those liver shaped hospital recipients... you can make an a idea...
__________________
Santiago-Ushuaia-Alaska Right Now!!!
america2ruedas.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 3 Sep 2007
Vaufi's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Munich, the beer capital
Posts: 1,057
Pros for soft bags are they are safer if you drop your bike (and get your boot stuck under them eg.) and they are cheaper. And some are really robust & durable.

Cons are they can be slit open easily and they offer less volume.

I prefer alu panniers for the above mentioned reasons. You get them in 1,5 and 2mm strength. And IMO even the 2mm alu is alot lighter than 1mm stainless steel.
__________________
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 3 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 4,343
Density matters

For what it is worth in this discussion, steel is about 2.8 times more dense than various Aluminium alloys.

Therefore, panniers made of 2.8mm thick Al would weigh the same as stainless steel panniers at 1mm thick, all other factors being equal (fixings, size etc).
Put another way, panniers of 1mm stainless would be quite a bit heavier than the 2mm Al panniers and about twice as heavy as the 1.5mm variety.

BTW, there are many different types of stainless steel and some are corroded by chlorine, as found in salt!

Magnesium alloy is the way to go!! (not really, it is easy to damage but oh, so light!).
__________________
Dave

Last edited by Walkabout; 3 Sep 2007 at 17:07. Reason: Better calculator!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10 Sep 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26
naysayers

hey zaplaje,

if you ride aggressively when you're off-road, you should probably use saddlebags. if your bike isn't already heavy, saddlebags are also better.

i don't have much money, either. i used cheap army surplus bags from new jersey to colombia. they weren't very big or waterproof, but they worked. while i was teaching english in Tunja, Colombia, i had these metal boxes made:

FOTOS: las cajas amarillos de dunkee, hecho en Tunja, Colombia

touratech's aluminum boxes cost more than my bike. these boxes (including the rack) cost less than $300 USD to fabricate. steel boxes are fine, i think, as long as you don't make them too big. and they can be repaired (riveted or welded) almost anywhere, if necessary.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10 Sep 2007
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,085
I would not use stainless steel , it is expensive and harder to weld / repair than mild steel .
If you want metal panniers use mild steel if you can't afford aluminium .
You should be able to have them fabricated locally for a reasonable price .
Make some out of cardboard first to your own personal design , try and avoid sharp corners [they can break your leg] , check out the Jesse design it has 45degree corners that make the pannier stronger and will help avoid injury to you .
Don't make them too big .
Use square tubing for the pannier frame ,it's very easy to work with .

Metal panniers will give security but if you are not worried about theft ,them go for soft bags .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10 Sep 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 241
I heard a lot in favour of soft bags and would be tempted to try some, esp. regarding the weight (my Tesch (aluminium) boxes rack weigh more than 20 kg alltogether).

The one thing is: I can lock my boxes and leave a lot of my luggage on the bike instead of carrying it around all the time and worrying about safety.

I think I would simply be too lazy to use soft bags (especially since I already got my aluminium boxes, of course)

Lars
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10 Sep 2007
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 994
one idea....

Stainless steel is a bitch to weld indeed! Mild steel painted with red oxide lasts well, has a good home-made, i.e. cheap look to it and easily repaired.

Some great panniers I have seen were large metal jerry cans, cut the top off, weld a lip around the inside of the lower part so the top part fits over, cheap rubber door type seal and some latches and padlocks. Strong, waterproof, dentable without splitting and looked great!!

I will be going for soft bags on my next trip but we will have a 4x4 with us to take valuables/electrics, the required guide in places, and extra fuel..... I know, I know - 4x4 'support' is a cop out etc....but god will it make life easy, and therefore we will be able to fill the gap in the comfort zone with some fiercer riding!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12 Sep 2007
romeo one's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mallorca Spain
Posts: 18
panniers

I made these out of 16mm mild steel tube £9 for 6 meters,and two ammo boxes of ebay for £2.50 + postage.
Sorry but the picture file for the ammo boxes is too big but the sizes are 44cm x35cm x20cm ,they look about 30 - 35 liters,used them at the XRV National last weekend they were great.
Attached Thumbnails
metal panniers v/s soft panniers-picture_010.jpg  


Last edited by romeo one; 12 Sep 2007 at 20:33.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 13 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: santiago, chile
Posts: 124
thanks to all for the tips.
I don't know yet what kind of material I will use... now i'm thinking on plastic.

I will tell you when I'll decide
__________________
Santiago-Ushuaia-Alaska Right Now!!!
america2ruedas.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 13 Sep 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Australian-traveling the World
Posts: 94
Done the hard case and now doing the soft. I love the soft 'Andyz bagz' water proof and tough. Can be locked with the use of steel netting covers made or bought at camping stores. The thing about hard cases is your always needing repairs, especially if u do off road stuff, u will drop the bike at some stage, and if u dont damage the hard case, youll do the racking, if not that youll do an ankel. Soft bags like Andys are real tough, im using them on my Africa trip now. For possible repairs i carry a stitching needle set bought at horse/saddle shops. Ive layed my bike down several times with no damage to soft bags. Each time u lay down hard cases it weakens/damages the case, locks, water proofing etc. All the best in what u do. Brian B
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 14 Sep 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 992
My opinion is...

Hard bags can be dangerous off road.
Hard bags and their supporting system, as mentioned above, can get beat and mashed to hell.
Hard bags provide a false sense of security - again, just my opnion.
Hard Bags are relatively heavy compared to soft bags.
Hard bags are relatively expensive compared to soft bags.
Hard bags are harder to carry/handle than soft bags.
Hard bags can beat your junk into submission if not packed tightly.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 26 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 26 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
Hepco and Becker Metal Panniers maxwell123455 Equipment Reviews 8 19 Sep 2007 00:40
Metal Mule 38lt Panniers for sale!!! Giles4060 TRAVEL Equipment for Sale / Wanted 1 27 Jul 2007 14:16
Soft Panniers for a 12GS ?? george t BMW Tech 5 24 Aug 2005 08:03
Panniers - plastic or metal for trans Africa SandiGS650 Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 5 17 Jul 2005 05:42
Panniers - Hard or Soft? NickG TRAVEL Hints and Tips 5 28 Jan 2004 18:58

 
 

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:

2025:

  • Queensland is back! Date TBC - May?

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 03:17.