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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  
Old 11 Jul 2018
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Should I go hard or soft (panniers or bags)?

Most discussions on the topic does not consider the fact that the right choice between hard or soft luggage varies from person to person and the bike/luggage combo. So, before asking the question, which is best, I will shed some light on the specifics in my case.

Some 20+ years ago I left soft bags in favor of aluminium panniers, and I have never looked back. Now I am up against some decisions that are making me rethink it all.

The number one thing I came to love about hard panniers in the first place was that I had a greater peace of mind leaving my luggage unattended, even if just for a few minutes at a boarder, on a ferry or jumping in and out of stores. Although still fairly easily broken into, it didn't make criminals out of ordinarily law abiding citizens.

The second greatest thing was the ease I could load and unload my gear at the beginngin/end of every day's ride - simply pull out the inner bag and go. No more hassle routing, doing and undoing straps, aligning bags, etc, etc.

There were other benefits as well, though not as important to me - i.e. the ease of access of all its contents throughout the day, or being able to use the panniers as a seat and table, or being able to use it as a make shift jack stand, or covering it with country flag stickers, or the ease of which I could strap down other gear on top of the panniers.

The number one draw back of hard panniers in my opinion is weight, girth, weight distribution and to some degree also the potential for personal injury when eating dirt. However, this has until now never really never been a major issue for me. The bikes I've used allways have been a bit fat in the first place. My last being a BMW F650GS Dakar (176 kg dry, eks farkles). Further still, even if I have allways been stringent on what to bring, my trips have often been such that the constraints of region/time/distance has forced me to bring lots of tools, spares and equipment - adding tons of weight. Lastly, I don't ride very fast or hard when off road anyways... slow and easy does it for me. In other words, the realtive difference the lower weight of soft bags has offerred has so far had little impact.

The question for me now is if what I am planning now will make me want to change out hard panniers for soft?

I am now in the process of planning a new adventure bike. I'm conscidering the Husqvarna 701 Enduro (based on the discontinued KTM 690 Enduro), weighing in at only 145 kgs and 50% more power than the Dakar.

The bike does not have a sub frame (the tank is the sub frame), but it is strong enough to carry a pinion. I believe that it does not need to have its sub frame strengthened to any significant degree for soft bags. I do however believe that hard panniers would require sigificant strengtening of the sub frame.

The main reason I am considering this bike is its low weight. For this reason I would be very careful about adding any farkles that would diminish this winning attribute. I would add fairings and hand protectors to keep me out of the elements, maybe a bash plate and grill protector, maybe a an auxilary tank, strengthen a few known weaknesses, change the exhaust to reduce weight even more, and if uncomfortable - change the seat. That would be just about it for mods that would affect weight. The added weight from mods would be close to nothing in the greater schemes of things. The greatest difference would come from choice of luggage.

As my next adventures will not be put under such extreme time/distance constraints as previous adventures, I will no longer need to carry as much "monster insurance" in the form of spares, tools, and gear. I've allways preferred to keep it as lean as possible, if not only to reduce clutter in my life. I like only to bring what I really need, which won't be much when I have more time on my side than before.

I am a true believer that any bike/gear combo is capable (not suitable) to get you anywhere on this planet (I have participated and completeted the longest African enduro rally on a classic Vespa PX200E Vespa, unassisted, just to prove the point (7000+ kms/3 weeks). The point here being that even though any bike/luggage combo will get me where I want to go just fine, I am looking for a "best solution" answer. I am no longer about to prove that anything is "capable". I am now reired from those sort of trials. I now only want the most "suitable" for my intents and purposes - I want comfort and peace of mind! My question to you is therfore not what will work well, but rather what you think will work the absolute best for me - is this the secure hard panniers with all the added weight or the light and soft panniers???

Like I said, the sense of security from hard panniers vs low weight is a difficult tradeoff for me. I am also a creature of habit, so I will need some convincing to switch to soft if that is your advice.

The way I see it. Although one can argue that many soft bags are harder to get into than they look - the novice thief might not know that. They may try to cut it off or cut into it thinking that whatever is bulging inside might be of value. Even if they are unsuccessful, their attempt could still truely ruin my day. I also believe that a bulging fabric bag, that clearly has contents inside, invites the attention of thieves. The hard panniers on the other hand can be presumed empty if nothing else is left on the bike - not evoking any further desire to neither investigate or get into it.

My choice will boil down to which alternative will provide me with the greatest "comfort". I am a true believer that one of the highest priorities when kitting for an adventure should be namely "comfort" aspects (rideability, riding comfort, riding style, a good night's sleep, a cold , reducing clutter, serviceability, reliability, etc, etc).

I believe that comforts, on and off the bike, makes for an alert and energized rider - one that makes fewer mistakes that could result in injury or mechanical failure. I also believe that "comforts" allows more attention to the pleasures of the trip rather than having to put an abundant ammount of energy on keeping oneself upright and going forward.

I see that the light weight soft luggage is a creature comfort when the wheels are turning, but a pain in the ass when they are not... and vice versa for hard lugage. I'm wondering how much more apparant this difference will be when riding on a lighter bike with less stuff in the luggage? Question here is which comfort to sacrifice?

Now that you know more about my riding style, choice of bike, my concenrs for security, etc, etc. What do you think would be the best option for me?

Please let me know what type of lugage that you have used, what you are using now, the reasons why. If you plan on switching... why? Have you had your luggage stolen or broken into?

On a final note. My top contender for hard panniers is Touratech. For soft, it is Green Chile (basically only a strapping system where I can strap down any type of bag, firewood, x-mas tree, groceries, crates of , tent, or deer.... https://greenchileadv.com/

An important insight is that my trips can take me anywhere from cities to the outback, in the most developed countries or the least developed countries - and often in the same trip. Sometimes I travel in groups, sometimes alone. In other words, I need an all purpose set up.

Any opinions or insights will be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Wheelie; 11 Jul 2018 at 15:47. Reason: Spelling
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  #2  
Old 11 Jul 2018
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Soft
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  #3  
Old 11 Jul 2018
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Wow - somebody actually read that long rant of mine!

Why do you think I should go soft?
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  #4  
Old 11 Jul 2018
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Wonderful, thoughtful piece! Lots of important questions presented!
You're literacy and skill in English is better than most native speakers!

You're a brave man to take the Husky. I don't know if your Husky has the revised 690 Engine (done to KTM's in 2016) but I would not go on that bike unless it has that new, revised engine.

The rocker arm issues on 701's here in USA are starting to pop up quite frequently, and not with racers. Just regular riders. The fact is ... on earlier engines ... they fail, often in under 10K miles.

I just sold a near new 2017 KTM 690 Duke, which DOES have the new engine and it was WONDERFUL! I did not fit that tiny KTM so sold it. Word is the new motor is more trouble free.

On new Engine KTM "fixed" rocker arm issues and upgraded other things. Hopefully the Huskies got this revised engine ??

I've never ridden the Husky 701 but I'm sure it will be fantastic ... moreso, OFF ROAD.

But on your ride, how much Off Road will you do? And how will that Husky be riding 10 hours on highway at 130 km? "Comfort"?

In some places finding good off road routes can be challenging. But go for it!

I hope you have a quality, WIDE seat on that bike, something you can sit on ALL DAY. You spoke of "Comforts" ...being comfortable on the bike is key, IMO.

Luggage choice is easy. Has to be soft luggage, hopefully smaller, lighter panniers. With no sub frame, hard bags and racks could overwhelm contact points ... things will break riding rough road, wash board and rocky tracks.

Been there, seen this happen in person in Baja. Low weight is key (as you know) panniers, racks and hardware add roughly 15 kg. over soft bags.

I ran GIVI bags on my DR650, switched to soft, saved 30 lbs. net. I use lightweight racks for soft bags. No breakage in 10 years.

You could go with a Giant loop (rack less system) or find light, minimalist rack to keep soft bags off pipe/out of wheel.

You mentioned "inner bags". Only way to go ... and guess what? You can use them with Soft bags too. I never remove my soft bags from the bike, just grab soft inner bags and go. Easy. Less than 2 minutes to put soft bags back into panniers.

If you use small panniers you may need a top duffel bag. I use a 20L Wolfman bag. Can hold a TON of stuff, straps to rear rack and soft panniers. Takes about 3 minutes to load it on bike. I use mine for camping gear mostly.

Will you carry camping gear? NOTE: it takes up A LOT of space! On my Mexico rides I don't bring it ... but I'm not going RTW for a year or more like you!

One thing don't think you mentioned was crashing with Hard bags on. Off road it's likely you will fall over. I've been on the road with BMW guys who's expensive hard bags got so bent up in a simple fall that they would not longer open or close easily ... and not waterproof!

You did mention possible injury, seen that too, in fact happened to me, hurt but no broken leg. Lucky.

Also, it's common for rack attach point to crack or break riding wash board type
roads with heavy Alu panniers and racks.

I think many here only use Hard panniers so they can display stickers, have a camp table. Serious? Not for me, thanks.

Can you show pics of your bike with racks mounted for your soft panniers?

My former bike with GIVI hard bags:

2009 in Baja.


9 years later, same bike, different luggage.

I could feel the difference riding off road with soft bags vs. hard. In deep sand it was much easier to manage, also tracked straighter and safer on super steep and loose down hill terrain. Weight matters!
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  #5  
Old 11 Jul 2018
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I'm hardly an expert at this and have only traveled with hard panniers, complemented with a duffel bag on the pillion seat for my camping apparel. Most of my travels have been on hardtop with small ventures on gravel. Although being a PITA, the camping gear can be replaced fairly easily if stolen and I can always find cheap lodging in the meantime. My more expensive items (camera, tools, laptop, etc) are stored in my hard luggage for relative safety.
This being said, I'm planning a longer trip mostly off-road and am thinking about reversing my arrangement. That is to say, soft side luggage (for security in case of a fall) with a Pelican style top case to store my expensive items. My decision is not yet finalized and look forward to advice that others may offer.

P.S. There are several posts on the HUBB discussing the pro's & con's of both systems. You may want to check these out if you haven't already.

Safe travels,
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  #6  
Old 12 Jul 2018
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I have not purchased the husky yet, only considering it. I am aware of the problems with the rocker arms on the KTM... but then again, it is a cheap and easily replaced item that I would conscider a service item on this bike. Same goes for fuel pump... (also prone to fail on the BMW F650GS Dakar and allways had a spare... no biggie I think. Radiator problems was also an issue with the KTM, which i think is a bigger problem.

Riding highways at 130 kmh was a pain even on the bimmer. I once did 2000+++ kms o the dakar in two days. With only the stock screen, nothing to disengage the throttle return spring, and a helmet with a pressure points, stock seat, touratech panniers dragging in the wind, a faulty clutch and riding on a flat front wheel for the last couple of hours - I think I have a pretty good ide what riding the husky would feel like on the highway. I do however believe that with a few improvements (fairing, had protectors, improved seat, throttle return spring disengator, more "aerodynamic soft" panniers with a better center of gravity, steering damper, improved grips, adequate tyres for highway riding... I think it will work ok. Put into perspective, it only takes a few days of highway riding to cross all of Europe.

As for magnitude of off road riding, it will vary. I've done trips where virtually all has been off tarmac (i.e. Iceland). Then again, most longer trips are mostly done on tarmac... though gravel and offroad is allways sought after. I seldom do very long rides of very demanding offroad riding though.

As for camping equipment:

-A light weight sleeping bag. If it is cold, I hack it as best I can.
-Compact inflatable mat

-Ultra light tarp or plastic sheet. I will bring a tent to areas with bothersome critters though, Then I bring a one layer two person festival tent without a vestibule - it is light and compact, self standing, is set up in seconds. If I am on a longer trip expect to be finished camping, and still have ways to go - I donate the tent to someone.

-Towel

-No cooker of any sort. All the cooking is done over an open fire or an improvised hobo stove if making an open fire is problematic (two cans, gasoline and a coin can be sourced anywhere). My cooking gear consists of a military style kidney shaped titanium canteen bottle, complete with a large kidney size pot that fits snugly. I can cook one pot stews in the cup/pot and liquids directly in the bottle. A titanium spork and my leatherman and I have everything I need. I often also carry a small steel thermos cup for that mid day tea or coffee.

My hygiene kit is also fairly bare bone. Toothbrush, tooth paste, bar of soap, razor, deodorant, laundry detergent, wet wipes, toilet paper... Not much of anything else.

As for clothing I carry one change of outerwear and one to two changes of underwear - all merino or low volume/weight technical stuff. I carry a shemagh, a cap, and sneakers - but not much else.

I've stopped carrying a dedicated GPS on most trips as I find it a hassle to disconnect for security and having one more item that needs charging. I no longer carry a computer or a tablet, but maybe a bluetooth keyboard for my phone on longer trips, and maybe an e-reader for various tour guides, maps and other books. If I carry camera equipment it is limited to a go pro and/or a fairly compact system camera. If I ride in groups I bring a couple two way radios in addition to coms in my helmet. I no longer carry a sat phone, but may carry a GPS tracker. Electronics is one of those nice to have items that really clutters life... all those cables, all that charging, all that valuable stuff on my mind (is it secure in the room, is it secure on the bike, is it properly stored, is it charged, what item to charge first, are all the bits and bobs on board....). In short, my electronics is minimal in both volume and weight.

My first aid kit is always plentiful, as is my tool kit. If tie is on my side I try to leave most spares at home except for those things which are most prone to fail and which can't be decently bodged and leave me stranded. I also tend to bring a crap load of bodge repair items (epoxies, tapes, cables, zip ties, fasteners and so forth).

I prefer to bring as little as possible - mostly because I think "nice to have items" clutters more than it helps more times than not. On my trip from Nice to Norway for instance, the smallest Zega panniers were not even close to quarter full and was packed an ready to go in less than three minutes. I mean, what do you really need in the civilized parts of Europe besides your passport, wallet and a single change of clothing? Unless you really want to, you don't have to cook, sleep outside or fix anything yourself. Regardless of where you are, all services are at worst only a few hours away. I can survive a few hours without being able to stuff my pie hole or have access to the amenities equipment can offer.

As for valuables and items that I like to access frequently throughout the day (cash, papers, camera, wet wipes, shades), I prefer to have those in an easily accessible backpack that I can just snag with me as I jump in and out of stores, etc. The panniers are used for stuff that are accessed at the end of the ride or in case of emergency (tools, spares). Everything else is stored in the tank bag, on the outside of the panniers or in the backpack.

As for my original question, security is my main concern for going soft. Not so much in my parts of the world, but more and more so the further south or east I travel from Scandinavia. Busy border crossings such as that found between Senegal and Mauritania, where the bike have to be left unattended while sorting out paperwork. I think I would be panic stricken if not riding in a group. The consequences of theft is a whole different matter there than here...
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Old 12 Jul 2018
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I've travelled with soft panniers, though not the latest generation and only within Europe. But from your very thoughtful post I definitely agree with the desire for light weight (in bike and luggage), though I have a few reservations about the really light weight trail bikes (including the 690/701) being great mile munchers, particularly if you're venturing far from civilisation and rescue services. As you quite rightly say, you can do it on anything, but still some bikes are better than others.

Your reasoning is also why I'm 99% sure my next bike is going to be a 790 Adventure, and I've been thinking about the best luggage to use on this. My current thinking is a rack with hard top box, because as you say hard luggage is less attractive to the casual thief. A place for laptop, camera. etc. On the sides, supported by racks, soft bags which I plan to secure with Pacsafe cables to prevent casual opening and removal. Sleeping bag, tent and maybe spare waterproofs in a dry bag in a Pacsafe net bungeed on the back seat.

Maybe that's a bit of a faff but I'm a tad paranoid about theft on the road. I know a determined thief will get in anyway but I reckon 99% is opportunist and that can be deterred.

As for seating, I'm looking at lightweight camp chairs, and as for leg protection in a spill, that steers me towards soft panniers. HTH
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Old 13 Jul 2018
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After several years of using hard SW Motech side cases on my 2012 V-Strom 650 I switched to Nelson Riggs roll top soft bags last year for one reason only. The width of bike with the hard cases mounted (wider than the handlebars) was a major irritant - no threading through long lines of traffic, worrying about clipping something etc.


The result? You're correct, soft bags can be a major irritant when not in motion. Yes, you can put a soft bag inside a soft bag but I found that the inner bag, once fully filled with various irregularly shaped items was often reluctant to squeeze back into the outer bag whereas it would have slid nicely back into the smooth metal interior of a hard case. A struggle would ensue. There are worse things in life but it was a pain.


So, my solution was (using adapters for the racks) to switch to much narrower plastic Givi hard cases. They hold far less that the SW Motechs but you can't have everything.

I enjoyed watching your intrepid Vespa adventures.
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Old 13 Jul 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normw View Post

Yes, you can put a soft bag inside a soft bag but I found that the inner bag, once fully filled with various irregularly shaped items was often reluctant to squeeze back into the outer bag whereas it would have slid nicely back into the smooth metal interior of a hard case. A struggle would ensue. There are worse things in life but it was a pain.

I recently retired a KLR650, which spent its life with Happy Trails aluminum boxes on it. Something I don't see in regard to disadvantages of hard bags is they seem to amplify vibration, where soft bags dampen it. I sometimes find my pliers and adjustable wrenches have disassembled themselves when I get them out, that doesn't happen with soft bags. That said, it is a lot easier to get things out that are at the bottom of alloy boxes, and they are more secure at border crossings and whatnot.

I personally know two people that have had legs broken in a fall with aluminum bags, so that is a major consideration to me. I just bought a Honda XR650L that came with Mosko bags. They are expensive, and I wouldn't have bought them new. They use a bag in bag concept, have the above mentioned issue of the inner bag not wanting to go back in, and are not any lighter than my Happy Trails boxes, but seem rugged and well thought out. I haven't had them long enough to have a real opinion on them.
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Old 13 Jul 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normw View Post
After several years of using hard SW Motech side cases on my 2012 V-Strom 650 I switched to Nelson Riggs roll top soft bags last year for one reason only. The width of bike with the hard cases mounted (wider than the handlebars) was a major irritant - no threading through long lines of traffic, worrying about clipping something etc.


The result? You're correct, soft bags can be a major irritant when not in motion. Yes, you can put a soft bag inside a soft bag but I found that the inner bag, once fully filled with various irregularly shaped items was often reluctant to squeeze back into the outer bag whereas it would have slid nicely back into the smooth metal interior of a hard case. A struggle would ensue. There are worse things in life but it was a pain.


So, my solution was (using adapters for the racks) to switch to much narrower plastic Givi hard cases. They hold far less that the SW Motechs but you can't have everything.

I enjoyed watching your intrepid Vespa adventures.
I just ordered the Nelson-Rigg Sierra Dry Adv bags. Haven't used them yet. Like the two other Nelson-Rigg pannier set I had before, all have inner stiffener panels ... so most times inner bags slip in OK.

Do your panniers have inner stiffeners?

My last N/R's had zipper and the whole side of the bag opened all the way up ... so pretty easy to stuff my full inner bag in, which was just a grocery store shopping bag. (Trader Joe's)

But if you OVER LOAD your inner bag with too much CRAP ... then you can't really blame the bags. You're overloaded. Lighten it up and it will fit.

Are you're new GIVI bags are plastic ones? Mine pictured a few posts back.
They're tougher than they look. I fell a couple times, whacked trees and hit a steel pole leaving a parking lot.
A few scuffs, but those GIVI's never cracked. I was impressed how strong.

But you need heavier racks to carry the GIVI's and most ALU panniers. The Jesse bags are great ... but did you ever weigh one empty? no thanks.

Some heavy duty canvas soft bags are heavy, but my Nelson-Rigg aren't too bad, about 3 or 4 lbs. each? vs. 7lbs ea for my old GIVI.

My current racks are super light tubular. 2-3 lbs. ea including steel bolts.

I try to keep all up load about 45 lbs. max. Two panniers and top duffel bag (duffel only half full) Includes clothes, rain gear, tools, bath/first aid, spare tubes, electronics, WATER, extra sandals.
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Old 13 Jul 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelie View Post
Any opinions or insights will be greatly appreciated.
Wheelie, very thoughtful post on the issues. Only a few thoughts you might consider:

I began my trip with hard panniers and used them for about a year. Then transitioned to soft panniers in Colombia for the next 2 years. No question I preferred the soft panniers!

I know security of hard vs soft panniers is a common point of contention but I take a completely different view point:

Outside of the USA, Canada and West Europe (and likely a few other locations I have not visited), secure parking is generally easy: At night, my bike is inside the hotel/hostel. During the day it is in front of a security guard or in front of the shop I am inside. No security worries. This works because those countries generally realize the importance of security and are flexible about motorcycles in order to provide that security. Borders are the same: I would simply park right in front of the security guards.

Another route to security to keep in mind: A big shiny expensive bike (The big KTM, BMW, etc. bikes) will draw attention while a smaller bike that is not so pretty is likely to be overlooked even if it is still big and expensive by local standards.

The only time in 3 years I wanted more security was in west Europe where secure parking got very expensive and was often nowhere near my intended destination.

Security aside .... hard bags are a sometimes bit more convenient for loading and unloading, or accessing one item. Soft bags were always more convenient when riding.

Of course, I also am focused on dirt riding. I sought out every dirt road I could find and quickly found hard bags a horrible experience. Yes, there are many paved roads on an RTW trip yet I still spent a remarkable amount of time on dirt. So I might be biased.....

Good luck making a decisions!
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Old 13 Jul 2018
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Mollydog, to answer your questions, my Nelson-Rigg bags are the "Adventure Dry-Survivor Edition" (there's a mouthful) model and have stiffener panels only in back. The material has the look of welded pvc (I could be wrong about that) but in any event is somewhat grippy and resistant to easily receiving a bulky inner bag into which stuff has expansively settled towards the bottom.


My Givi cases are plastic and hold only, I believe, 21 litres which is truly, non adventurously dinky.
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Old 14 Jul 2018
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OK, now I see. You have the now discontinued "Survivor" version. I have the newer Sierra 3050 ADV ones. I think N/R made a few improvements to the Sierra. It's getting good reviews.

I'll let you know how they work out for me and how it goes installing the Inner Bag.

Your new GIVI's sound like a good size.
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Old 15 Jul 2018
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If you were to decide on using soft panniers you should have a look at a Scottish company called LOMO.
Soft panniers that are getting amazing reviews for £50 ish. Seriously good value and as tough as hell.
I use LOMO and have used there bags for offshore work and for traveling on the bike, they are amazing value and amazing quality.

And No, I don`t work for them lol
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Old 16 Jul 2018
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I've been running the AS Magadans on my 701 for two years and would buy both units again.

Love the simplicity 'no thrills approach' of the Magadans, the toughness (i've hit them against lots of trees and stones), the self-adjustability of the bags to conform to any size load and the built in dampning effect.

This promo video by Lyndon who has ridden around the world sold me on the panniers and the 690 engine as reliable adventure products.

I use a pannier rack with my panniers.

I referenced this review by Lyndon before buying

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNxmdaszbY4

HTH

Riel
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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.




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