Fully Custom Panniers - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Fully Custom Panniers

First time posting, so some background first: I rode motocross for a couple of years before a scare put me off. My dad bought a VStrom in 2009 that I have stolen from him as he's moved to an R1200GS. I'm an engineer that loves tinkering and designing, hence the following questions.

I have a 2004 DL650 with Givi Monokey E21 saddlebags. I don't like the look and the volume is pretty limited, so I was looking at the Tusk Panniers for my DL650 and realized there was no good way of mounting them in a way that was a proper quick-release. It all involved tools from the inside. I started figuring out a quick-release mount for the Tusks when I realized the Tusks were not much more than bent and welded sheet metal. Where I work does nothing BUT metal work, including bent&welded sheet metal, including heavy-duty priming and painting. I started designing some fully-custom metal panniers (including quick release mounts for the Monokey racks) and am just about ready to start cutting and folding...but I had some questions.

I've done searches and haven't found anything, so I'll ask here. Has anybody built their own fully-custom hard panniers? Has anyone come up with a properly clever quick-release method for something like the Tusk panniers? I can't imagine I'm alone.
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post #2 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 05:11 PM
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I didn't design from the ground up but mounting any box on an existing frame has the same concerns. By bending some flat strap I made hangers that supports the box on the lower frame rail. The top can be disconnected with a threaded knob or a clevis pin. I did both to one side to see which I preferred and I prefer leaving the bags on the bike so I don't mess with it.
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post #3 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 06:13 PM
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My friend a street rod builder as a hobby.He is the smaller guy under the bike.He has made a good nuber of the boxes like the ones on this 1000 on ourAlaska trip.He starts with a full sheet of aluminum,cuts ,puts aides in brake to bend to what he wants and welds up at needed places.Lids on most he puts a latch on each end a reck on top.They use them to hold stuff at camp sites when no tables in the lots of no real camp grounds we are at.My friend that like me has a 2011 We went for hing on one end as we doint like idea of a fall off in road if you for get to latch one or both ends.Most paint them like this one but some of us leave them natural and spray clear over that.Mine are five years old now and bike has 56,000.Boxes are fine.One set has been to Alaska three times and no repairs and still no leaks.
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post #4 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 06:18 PM
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Here are the tops being used while at camp.In the back ground on the white wee is another set he made in natural finish.How wide and deep is all marked out before he starts.
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post #5 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 06:43 PM
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Not too long ago I ran across a posting about making your own metal panniers. I've saved it because I'd like to build my own panniers but lacking brakes and other special tools, I felt it wasn't going to happen. After reading this guy's posting, making panniers is on my to-do list. https://sites.google.com/site/rtwxtz660/alluboxes
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post #6 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 07:31 PM
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You see a lot of Army amno boxes made in to them, they are a little heavy but strong.
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post #7 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome! Y'all are making me thinking that this is totally realistic.

My current plan, I think, is 14ga steel. Total weight of about 20lbs per box. Splurging for Alu would be about half that weight but I can get steel drops for free at work.....so I'm leaning towards steel. I've got the look I want but I'm still not sure what lid-style I want for the top case. My plan is quick-mounts on the side cases and permanently mounting the topcase. However, my current plan for the lid for the side cases is fine but not as convenient as I want for a topcase. I've gotten spoiled with my dad's topcase as being storage for things I need quick access to: drinks, wallet, etc.

I can post some renderings of the first attempt if anybody here is interested.
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post #8 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 09:48 PM
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Yah, but there are a few plastic boxes out there, like Sea Horse, that are ready to mount and work pretty well on the cheap...comparatively.
But if building your own is a factor, build away!
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post #9 of 74 Old 06-26-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I know it's not what you meant, but it's a pretty good idea to go with a Pelican-style case for the top case. That'd solve a lot of my issues with my current topcase design.

Now I'm looking for pictures of bikes with a combination of Alu sidecases and plastic topcases.
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post #10 of 74 Old 06-27-2017, 07:04 AM
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if it is photos you are seeking, head over to the Iron Butt Rally page at Iron Butt Association - "Worlds Toughest Riders". Scroll down and click on the photo link on the right column. The IBR just started Monday morning with 107 bikes (I think) and beginning about page 4 of the photos they snapped a shot of each bike under way. You'll see their set ups and gather many ideas. Yeah, OK, no V-Stroms photographed but loads of good ideas.
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