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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.
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Old 28 Jun 2008
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Tenere 1995 Pannier system - hardcases and pelican topbox

Hi everyone

Looking for advice on Pannier system for 1995 Tenere. I carry pro camera and video equipment so hard-cases for me this time, maybe with Pelican top case, and hard side cases. Plastic or allu is fine, but top-loading is an advantage, as is locking ability. Also is there models that account for muffler? i think i've seen them on BMW F650 ...

How do people modify pelican cases to fit rack? easy to remove and securely attached.

I'm in Australia, but that shouldn't matter much.

Budget is always a consideration.

Any advice welcome

Thanks in advance

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Old 1 Jul 2008
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www.cariboucases.com should give you some ideas of the using Pelicases.

I have been working around a similar concept, using a Surplus military ammo cases for the side panniers. Trying to keep it under £40! And then get a Peli 1550 for the topbox to carry 70-200 17-40 and 50mm and twol bodies.

(I have not suceeded with a good system yet...)
Personally considering my camera gear I would do alot more to insulate your cases from the engine vibrations than Caribou offer. This is the biggest damage causing issue to camera equipment. Here I used Engine mount rubbers from a jetski This has done the job quite well.

The other type of shock I am trying to insulate against is the harder judder from the bumps. Here I have been trying various methods including cork and Silicon. But basically you need a longer travel suspension system for this.

And then the Pelicases dont work too well if you just bolt them through, the holes widen up quite quickly with rattles and vibrations. I got around this with a square plate screwed into the Pelicase, and centrally bolted to the engine mount.

Obviously my attempts do not have a quick disconnect system, but it could sort of be achieved with a bicycle axle lever locking nut. and having this inside the case under the rubbers.

Then you get onto what to use to hold your camera gear away from everything. This is really tough. I started with the pick and pluck foam, but this would not be sufficient for off road trips. So I used 1cm high density foam around the whole of the box and then used the pick and pluck foam. this was about the best so far.

Then wrap each individual item in a very thick protection/cleaning cloth. After all this you must remember that each item must be sufficinetly insulated from the other items as well, which all eats up loads of space.

Currently I am using a crumpler back pack! but still trying.
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Old 2 Jul 2008
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Thanks heaps - here's what i was thinking.

Hey thanks heaps, seems like you have tried a few solutions already ... with some success i am sure.

For the top box i was thinking of having my LowePro Compu-trekker Plus AW in the Pelican case, this way the LowePro bag would provide the protection and could be lifted out as an entire unit or just unzipped for quick access to the camera gear (once off the bike). But i want to be able to remove the pelican case for booking onto planes and for taking into accommodation and the like.

But it is an expensive option ... but at least i have already bought the LowePro bag. It carries the computer as well ... but makes it heavy to carry around.

Maybe a rubber mount would reduce some vibration .. but i guess i'm hoping a combination of good robust equipment and good insurance might cover inevitable vibration problems.

The problem is that i am wanting to travel with DSLR Camera and HDV camera euipment ... and it is kind of heavy ... but top box seemed best option i think.

I think a should bag would be good once off the bike ... for carrying camera gear ... cause i get sick of taking the backpack off everytime i want to change lens.

The side panniers can carry everything else with the exception of a DSLR body and and lens in the tank bag for easy access (whilst sitting on the bike). Maybe with a tent and sleeping mat on the front ... somewhere.

How did the ammo-cases fit? i think i like this option as it might do the job and actually be a lot cheaper then proper motorbike cases ... probably more durable as well i guess.

Did you make your own rack? or buy one that fits?

I guess the backpack is best solution for the equipment as your body is the shock absorber if you are wearing it ... but maybe you have it on the bike? Wearing it would be good for the gear but hard on your back i assume.

Be god to hear how you go and it these ideas are practical.
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Old 2 Jul 2008
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I'm on the same wave length... but with problems

The "Lowepro Omni trekker Extreme" I feel would be the answer for you in an anything other than off-road motorbike world.
It fits into a Peli 1550 and has its own rucksac, plus it also becomes a top loading sling shoulder bag. - thats a pretty impressive set of credentials.

Only snag is the level of (and type of) padding between the case and the gear is insufficient to protect against heavy judders.

to give you an idea I am thinking of the Dodoma road before the rains, or anything around Isiolo. This is where most of my experiments have come undone.
If you are on tarmac roads then this is all overkill and the lowepro peli option is sufficient provided you protect against engine vibration.

What lenses are you using? in the Pelicase 1550 a Canon 70-200 f2.8 will not alow sufficient room to not get jarred, whereas the f4 version is fine. likewise a full sized body should not be stood upright. Got to admit that most of my experiments were with nikon manual focus lenses, which were extremely robust, yet still died!

Mixed results with the Ammo cases: Everything I am doing is home made... Initially I had 4 Nato grenade ammo cases, two on each side, one on top of the other inside a "cage" which gave me good compartementalisation. But it was heavy and diddnt quite work as it was not versatile enough.(but very very waterproof and indestructible)
Now I've brought 2 "side" opening ammo boxes, which probably are not waterproof! They are 64x33x20 cm.
I have not made it yet, but basically I am mounting a ladder frame with support under the boxes onto each box. On the top of the frame will be a solid metal axle. this will fit into a U shaped iron on the bike frame to create a pivot for the case.
This alows the case to swing upwards so you can load it horizontally.

Then I am mounting a square support arm from the foot pegs around the rear of the bike up to the Exhaust/rack mounts, with two horizontally parralel main frame arms. On the top section I will have the U tube. which the top of the panniers fit into. and on the bottom section some form of lock, easy to do, not concernd

When the pannier swings down it will rest against the frame, and have another U shaped iron for the bottom parralel to provide verticle support in both directions. with the rest of the strain being taken up by the hinges.

....:confused1: eh?

I guess watch this space for the ammo cases. Incidently the cases cost me £19.80 including a whopping £8 for shipping! The steel so far I have got from the dump, amazing whats there, so thats been free, but I am going down to the steel merchants next week for the correct dimensions that I want... £30 including welding rods

RIGHT onto that blasted topbox.
There is a marine product called 5200, its a type of silicone sealant. I am going to be using this to attach the engine mount rubbers to the pelicase at all four extreme corners (having removed the top screw) I know it sounds daft, but I have absolute confidence in the product, (long story involving incorrect placement of a winch on a yacht...) Just remember it doesnt come off... ever. Thus there is no penetration of the pelicase for transmission of vibration sufficient to unscrew the mirror box (Nikon FE2)
A decent 1cm layer of this will provide sufficient absorption from those miniscule vibrations that rattle and unscrew lens elements (80-200 f4 Nikkor)

Then the engine mounts will be mounted onto a 5 inch long metal arm using a layer of cork and then a layer of rubber squeezed above and below the arm and washer. This arm will extend inwards to the rear rack frame. The idea here being that the arms will absorp some of the harder juddering (Tamron 60-300)

This will be my last effort at building a top box that I will be happy with. if I am still not happy, I am just going to build a pinhole camera!

I think I have used up too much time, good luck with your ideas, and give me a shout if you come up with a winner (Dont tell me if it all goes wrong.. so many cameras its depressing)

Cheers G
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Old 4 Jul 2008
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Ammo boxes arrived today!


Ammo boxes arrived today, complete with water drain holes and rusted through hinges on one box.

Here seen propped in place against the bike in its "workshop".

Just to clarify I have used a standard measuring device for reference, and I am happy to report that it will easily fit four cans of draught (20 litres in all)

I will collect the tubing next week and then commence welding...

Should probably do something about the number plate.

Will update pics once next stages have been done, but to make the point I will be painting them Hammerite Blue and then apply a tenere logo!

Cheers G
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Old 17 Aug 2008
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Cool Update on Tenere

Hi G

Sorry about the slow reply ... had to arrange some funds to pick up the Tenere .. and thankfully my friend at the bike shop held of some other bidders for me while i did that.

So ... i now have a Tenere to play ... hummm maybe that should be Pley ...

So how did you go with the Ammo boxes? they look great ... even though that are probably a bit heavier than other options, the weight is down low where is should be.

My list of dumb questions now are as follows:

?What sort of rack mounting are you using?
?Can you still take a pillion? or are the boxes too big to allow for this?
?How are you mounting them to the rack?

I used to use a top-loading Rubber sealed Ammo box in Australia, just for storage ... and these look like they would be good for a bike ... do you access the gear inside the ammo boxes whilst there are on the bike? are things in smaller bags or loose? did you consider top loading options? (+ & - on this)

I checked out the size Pelican for the video camera bag and it is the 1610 case ... looks pretty big to go on the back ... but do-able i guess. Bloody expensive though.

What dimensions are the Ammo boxes?

The only other this was a wondered whether you ever looked into suspending the back by straps to address vibration issues ... something like a rubber rings that hold the bag in a suspended way within the case? I think i have seen medical equipment transported this way. maybe with a air bag underneath ... well it is just an idea.

Go luck, be great to hear how it is going.

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Old 6 Sep 2008
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Depressingly, the weight has started to become an issue, aside from that I have had a couple of other problems, now solved with a new clutch case cover. one more problem to sole: output shaft replacement (and rebore/new cylinder whilst there.) After Winter

Started again with the pannier rack, going simple, have tried so many combinations I am looking at my rucksac again! Topbox was a success, but too heavy to be practical, I am relooking this and trying to see where I can save weight.

But the Pelicase is the way forward

Spent the morning riding some country lanes and wading through the Enysford ford, great fun and developing my skills, now need to review waterproofing the engine from drowning.

I hope that you enjoy your bike, its a seriously great machine, but make sure that you choose your tyres carefully.

So much to do so little time.

Cheers G
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