Why is this the best multi-day luggage setup?

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
For a big, multi-day motorcycle trip, there are literally hundreds of ways to carry your gear. It's important to get it right.


RIMG5729 (2) by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr


Having done quite a few of these big trips, I look carefully at how others carry their gear and think how I can improve on the way I carry mine too.




Important criteria when choosing your luggage configuration

1. Waterproof. Whether you use dry bag liners or the luggage is waterproof itself, it has to be waterproof.

2. It has to be efficient. When you get somewhere, you're tired, you want the minimum fuss in removing the gear & clothes you need for the night. Also quick to reload.

3. Safety. Whatever you leave on the bike unattended is at risk, being able to lock what is left on the bike is a huge bonus.

4. The luggage shouldn't hinder you maneuvering ability.

5. Strong/ well made. It HAS to be SECURE (do not underestimate this).




The best setup



From years and years of digesting all this and as usual, nothing is perfect, so below I think is the best compromise. It does have it negatives.


The setup below has a top quality, lockable top box. DO NOT buy a cheap top box configuration, they will cycle too much and snap off. When we rode to Russia, every top box snapped off on the pothole roads apart from my home made Pelican box. Buy a Touratech/ SW Moto etc......with decent mounts. Everything that doesnt go to the room every night can stay in the top box locked. Tools, spares, chargers, shoes etc.... can all stay in the top box. Get a quality 25 liter - 40 liter roll top waterproof bag, the one where the top rolls shut rather than the end and attach that on the pillion/ passenger seat. This will contain all the things that will go to the room every night. Two straps and its undone. Tank bag can contain all the valuable things and unclips quick. Easy place to charge your phone from too.

This setup does have negatives:

- Center of gravity is high with the top box

- Not easy to mount the bike, you cant swing your leg-over, you have to do the hop-skip-and-a-jump to get on.


_DSC0480 (2) by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



You can add a cargo net on top of the bag to quickly store a rain jacket, water or gloves.


_DSC0741_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Another interesting configuration is small lockable panniers. Small panneirs are ok as they are only as wide as the bike so dont hinder your lane splitting ability. Big, wide, panneirs and you can't split the traffic. If you're the only one in the group with them, you hold the whole group up. Again, all the gear that doesnt go to the room can stay locked on the bike & a roll top bag for the room. The Givi plastic panniers can be bought with frames for around 7,500 Bht.


_DSC0491 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



Givi by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr


Giant Loop style bag will fit any bike and keeps the center of gravity low. It doesnt need any racks, fits in the pillion position. Problem is that you can't lock what you dont take to the room and taking it on and off every day becomes a chore.


RIMG4445 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



This style of bag hugs the bike nicely and keep you narrow


RIMG4458 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Apart from losing your lane splitting ability, the other problem with wide panniers is that the exhaust side either loses huge volume or sticks out too far. One option is to use a small bag on the exhaust side and take it to the room at night. So you're adding some hassle with packing and loading unnecessarily.


_DSC0789 (2) by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



The beauty of hard panniers is that the are as robust as hell, lockable and if you drop the bike will protect your legs.


Exhaust side below with the smaller, thinner soft bag


_DSC0456 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



_DSC0451 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Hard Panneirs make it easy to get on and off and keep the weight low down. If you keep the volume the same both sides, you become very wide.


_DSC1047_edited (2) by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



Following the hard panniers


G0090850_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



They need to be able to flex (like airplane wings). These were flexing a bit too much so some safety was added.

_DSC0734 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



Large soft panniers are nice. For the same capacity they tend to be thinner than hard panneirs and you keep the COG low. They are usually a pain to remove with straps everywhere. Giant Loop have some neat soft panniers that have a cassette arrangement and disengage from the bike in seconds.


Giant Loop soft panniers below. Looks like they could be made to hug the bike better.

panniers by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr



Generic soft panniers are good. You need frames, you cant take them off quickly, best to use bags inside to take to the room. What stays on the bike isnt locked. Some cover the panneir bags with Packsafe wire security netting.


_DSC0984 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





So there you have it in an nutshell, something to think about next time you're about to pack for a trip.


_DSC0619 by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Mosko Moto's Reckless 40 liter with removable waterproof bags is a great setup but again in Russia you'll have to take your tools upstairs to your room every night.


 

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 950SER & EXC, BMW R90S & Dakar, MZ250, BSA B33, Norton 16H, Honda - 500 Fs & X, DRZs, XLs XRs CRFs CT110s etc
I think that the supposed security advantage of hard panniers is an illusion. If anyone wants "in", they'll get in. A decent sized screwdriver and they're in... and the pannier is rooted. They might protect your leg sometimes... they'll break it other times, like if you get your foot caught in a hole.. bike keeps going and bang, there goes your leg.

I like the Giant Loop because it's easy to attach, easy to carry. Cross the two bottom straps and it's over your shoulder and away. Two minutes to re-attach to the bike in the morning... and away.

I think the best security device is your attitude. If the locals like you, they look out for you.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
1. Opportunists arn't interested in a alum. locked top box, risk-reward not there, so I think changes the odds big time. If someone wants to get in because they can see something then they will. Hard topbox cant see anything, makes less interesting. If someone wants to steal your locked car they will.


2. China - Russia, many hotels with no elavator. For 3 weeks, I dont want to carry inner tubes, tools, spares, spare shoes, spare elec chargers up and down 4 flights of stairs every day for 20 days.


3. Giant Loop attachment straps get filthy, every day when you need to get ID out, money out right after taking the bag off.
 

bill

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Location
Cambodia
Bikes
KTM 500 XCW
There's some lockable soft pannier options aimed at sports tourers and retro bikes. Lockable as in it makes it harder for the casual thief to walk away with your soft panniers when you leave the bike unattended for 5 minutes...

Hepco and Becker have the C-bow mounting system. This can be attached to any soft pannier that has a hard plastic inner panel.

2016-09-26.jpg2016-09-26 (1).jpg

http://www.motomachines.com/Oval-Street-Soft-Bag-Set_p_5088.html

Klickfix is another one and is what Ducati used for the oem bags on the GT sport classic. Easily adapted to other bags

Klickfix.jpgKlickfix-2.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JO0W6OU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Pacsafe make various mesh covers and bags
I have a Pacsafe Travelsafe which fits a Surface Pro 3 perfectly.
To be honest, its a bit bulky if you're aiming for minimalist packing.
Anyway, the cable can run within the 3 folds of a roll top bag and be locked to the bike frame. So they can destroy your soft pannier but it will take some more time to cut through the stainless mesh/cable.

2016-09-26 (3).jpg

http://www.pacsafe.com/travelsafe-5l-portable-safe.html

My setup, style taking precedent over functionality.
I would like a secure (stay attached overnight) top box if I can find something that suits the bike

20160601_165509.jpg
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Question:

With soft pannier bags that stay on the bike unattended overnight, contents being tools / expensive spares etc.... You are in some opportunistic countries say Russia, China, Venezuela, KL Malaysia, Myanmar, Mexico, Basildon Essex UK.

By adding pacsafe wire nets and locks to a fabric bag, does that make you more likely to get robbed, it is a draw/ red flag (IE highlighting there is valuable things in there) or does it deter the opportunist as he can't be bothered with the extra hassle?


pacsafe by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

bill

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Location
Cambodia
Bikes
KTM 500 XCW
Question:

With soft pannier bags that stay on the bike unattended overnight, contents being tools / expensive spares etc.... You are in some opportunistic countries say Russia, China, Venezuela, KL Malaysia, Myanmar, Mexico, Basildon Essex UK.

By adding pacsafe wire nets and locks to a fabric bag, does that make you more likely to get robbed, it is a draw/ red flag (IE highlighting there is valuable things in there) or does it deter the opportunist as he can't be bothered with the extra hassle?


pacsafe by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
I also have the exo-mesh cover shown in your pic.
For the reasons you suggest, I wouldn't be comfortable using it to protect soft bags on the bike overnight. It's maybe ok for scenarios where you park the bike in a public area, next to a food stall, ticket office etc, to explore points of interest during the day.
I use mine for securing soft-bags in the hotel room when I go out for dinner. When not in use its folds up pretty small.
 

bill

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Location
Cambodia
Bikes
KTM 500 XCW
The exomesh is a PIA too, if you want to access the soft bags during the day.
My idea would be non valuables in the waterproof soft panniers with one of the quick release locking systems I posted up. No exomesh cover. Remove at night (or just remove inners). Keeps the width and weight down compared to Alu boxes.
Lockable hard topbox for valuables.
Money belt on me at all times with the stuff I really need if everything goes south.

The other thing is the constant tweaks to minimise what one takes on a trip.
 

TB-Racing

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2013
Location
Red China
Bikes
various
Personally never been a big fan of them alloy / plastic (hard panniers) boxes and top box (pizza delivery hot box style). Prefer simple functional gear like Kriega http://kriega.com for backpacks (R12/20/25, they are the absolute best in my personal opinion for biking, hiking, bicycling) and bike packs. AndyStrapz (Australia) has some good gear as well incl. stretchy straps = http://www.andystrapz.com and let's not forget ultra simple Ortlieb = https://www.ortlieb.com

Somehow can't get my head around all them recently released MoskoMoto soft luggage with all the loops, straps and extra complicated addons - might have to test one of the sets to get a better understanding about fitment / function and the way they are supposed to work. Got a MoskoMoto Backcountry 40L Duffle ~ yes, very happy with the MoskoMoto dufflebag ad transforms easily into a backpack for multi day trips. http://mosko-moto.myshopify.com

Opinions vary as usual and the thread might end up like a never-ending oil & tyre discussions, everyone has an opinion - going riding.... 'nuff said....
 

thaigs800

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Bikes
GS1200 / GS 800
IMG_0719.jpg

I have seen the Kriega soft paniers yesterday at Intermot and they looked really good. Distributor in thailand is Pandarider. But they are brand new, they told me that
Pandarider might not have seen them yet.
 

CraigBKK

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Location
BKK, Thailand
Bikes
Honda CRF 1000L, 300L, SH 150
Kind of related to this thread as luggage options are mentioned along with a few other tips and tricks.

[video=youtube_share;36v27vmtQOI]http://youtu.be/36v27vmtQOI[/video]
 
Top Bottom