Panniers Question

Hello all, 

So, While my bike is quietly resting in Spain waiting for the trip to Morocco in April, I have nothing better to do than to burn money on the fatty. The off road bits have been purchased and naturally the next thing is to get the panniers (hard case).

I’ve found a guy in Spain that makes them for a fraction of the price of any new set of the well known brands, even cheaper than getting second hands panniers and rack. 
Pretty much the guy does it on demand and he will copy any model you tell him to with the rack included, for £350 quid. (It’s a fucking metal box end of the day).

The question is,what should I be looking to when purchasing aluminium side panniers? handles to unload and load them? 27L? 37L? 45? what’s a good size? Shape? Colour? hinges?

You can see the guy’s work here (that’s on a vstrom like mine, thought they look massive)  GS Triumph Tiger

Anyway, if you have experience with these kind of panniers, let me know what comes handy and what not. Thanks

I’d be asking what is the load rating and I’d also want to see reviews from past customers.

Although there’s a European ride out report on here somewhere by a guy called Rod (one passport, two motorcycles and three eyes) . Rod made his own luggage rack and fuel can carrier from old school chairs, passed the test of European touring too.

edit: Here’s the YouTube video, skip to 5:00 for the school chair to rigid rack part, if you haven’t read of Rod’s exploits I found the 9 videos entertaining, he’s a proper maverick!

Not wanting to derail the thread but did they ever make it back from Morocco? The video series stopped when Sniper crashed in the desert.

Generally, I find that the bigger my panniers the more crap I take, and the smaller my panniers the less I need so I’d err on the small side :slight_smile: Do you already own all the stuff that’s going to go in them?

Lots of people say to keep the total width of the panniers at less than the width of your bars for reasons I don’t really understand - generally, if they’re more than a few inches wider than your legs or the bike immediately in front of them, you’re likely to find filtering annoying. I’d always tend towards tall and preferably long over wide.

How frequently do you plan to remove them? If you’re staying in some sort of walls-based accommodation and envisage carrying some tin boxes of your stuff in with you then you’ll want something easy to remove and easy to carry (like the metal mules which can be removed from the outside and have handles everywhere, rather than the touratech style where you need to reach in to remove and often there’s no handles). Personally, whatever you get I’d just use a bag inside the box rather than lugging the box all over the place. You’ll pay extra for the complexity of the MetalMule style, and I don’t think it’s worth it.

The removeable-lid style (again, touratech) is handy if you’re ever likely to want a separate metal tray (very useful when fixing bikes, as a place to put tools and removed parts), but less good if you’re likely to forget to secure it and leave it somewhere on the M62. I like the hinges on my MMs, but I do miss the handy tray occasionally.

Otherwise, I think they’re much of a muchness. I don’t really take security into consideration, since I’ve never really locked panniers and nobody’s even tried to get in, but I tend to stick to the more ‘civilized’ bits of the world, and whatever you end up with you’re likely to just deal with :slight_smile:

Whatever you do do, though, fit some Martin-style bottle cages. They’re “Topeak Modula” and you can get them from a bicycle shops.

Good point on the weigh load capacity.

Within a 12 day trip I plan to remove them at least in 5 occasions. I kind of own everything that would be going on them. Good point on the bag inside box too, on the tray bit, well I don’t own a triumph so I’ll be ok with the fixing :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the feedback 

Was it the triumph that dropped a centrestand on the way to Germany? :slight_smile:

Was it the triumph that dropped a centrestand on the way to Germany? :)
Big Red S

Travel light. That’s my top tip. You don’t need half of what you think. Light is more fun.