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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got the HT Denali panniers installed with a Givi 45L top case.

Likes: The HT racks, top rack, and the panniers. They are thin and VERY strong.
The Givi E45 Case. Rugged little guy with lots of space.

Dislikes: The HT instructions. I used to laugh when people would say how the HT instructions sucked. Well, I'm not laughing anymore.
The Givi Z-255 Universal Mounting Plate. This thing is a POS! It only has two recessed mounting holes and if you drill a hole to mount another bolt, the bolt will interfere with the top case because the hole is not recessed.

Picks of what they look like follow:

First The Case Dimensions:







Opening just under 6''



If you use the pucks, the opening by the puck is just under 5''. HT gives you bolts if you don't want to use the pucks.



Opening is just under 16'' long.



What they look like on the bike:







Outside diameter to the edge of the lid is about 37.5 inches.



Outside diameter to the side of the cans is 36.5 just as Happy Trail says!



And a couple of pics with the Givi 45 liter.





The entire installation took 5 of these:



Don't forget the air hole!



And I can fit all of my biggest camping items with LOTS of room to spare.



 

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I've been considering these panniers as well. I'd love to hear further impressions on how the bike feels with them installed.

Did you look into the Happy Trail top boxes? I'm wondering if the bottom of the 47L or 58L boxes would be too wide to allow the panniers to open.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been considering these panniers as well. I'd love to hear further impressions on how the bike feels with them installed.

Did you look into the Happy Trail top boxes? I'm wondering if the bottom of the 47L or 58L boxes would be too wide to allow the panniers to open.
Both the 47L and 58L should fit with no effect on the side cases as the Givi E45 is 22" wide. I decided against the HT top box because when commuting I only use the top case and the Givi is light, tough and easily removable. I love the Givi case, I just wish that the Z-255 mounting bracket had a couple more mounting screws to fasten it down. I am sure that it is sturdy enough for any type of riding, but I worry about how easy it would for a POS meth head to pry it off.
 

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Great set up

This is almost exactly what I"m going to use.

The Givi E45 is my favorite bag. If you get it in the NJ version, it is an exceptional value. These bags are cavernous, simple to operate and hold 2 medium helmets of the several helmet models I've tried by Arai, Shoei and HJC. Not good luck with larger-sized helmets or models with wider hinges, such as those with flip-up fronts, like the ones by Nolan. As beerisgood points out, they are very sturdy and, in my experience, WATERPROOF. Again, they are a great value as they can be had for close to $140 each (as in a single topcase application) pack a lot of belongings and are well-engineered/sturdy. Lastly, I think they retain the utilitarian look and function that the V-Strom is famous for without trying to make it over with too many curves and colors. That is a matter of personal preference, of course.

The difference from what beerisgood is using and what I am piecing together is that I'm buying the SW-Motech top rack and adapter plate for the Givi Monokey system. Will let you all know how that works out when it's all together.

I have been impressed so far with the quality of HT products. Their prices are reasonable, the company is available to answer questions and concerns and they are made here in the US. I think it's important to support domestic design AND manufacture and the HT bags are both affordable and made close by in Boise, Idaho.

I wanted a narrow side bag set up and the Denali Cliff-Cuts are nearly 8 inches narrower than the Suzuki/Motech/TraX bags on the Adventure Strom version. They are taller, to compensate for lost width, but I don't think that will ever be an issue with the type of riding I do. I stay away from boulder land mines and waist-deep water. Most of the time! To be fair, the TraX bags are a bit larger (left: 45 L, right: 37 L) than the Clif-Cuts (38 L each), but I think I can live with that. 38 L is pretty big, even with a passenger and his/her belongings in tow.

One last advantage I see to the HT Denalis is that they open from the top. I find you loose a lot of usable space with side-opening designs, like the ones used by BMW on their clever Vario expandable bags. Add to that, the left Vario inside space is scalloped out to make room for the intruding exhaust. Not so with the Denalis, which offer their user more usable cargo space for almost the same outside mounted diameter of the Vario bags (roughly 35" wide on an '08 R1200GS). When I say "usable space" I'm differentiating between a published volume, say 29 L on the left Vario, and what can be used in practice, which is considerably less on those bags with the curved interior of the left side bag. As the curve is in the vertical axis, I can never find a piece of cargo to fit and stay put in that scooped out area. The Denali design, also aimed at the Adventure motorcycle segment, offers more carrying space. Just a useful comparison to those wondering what packing a 1200GS would be like and the differences between top- and side-opening bag designs.
 

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These are on sale at HT right now, but I can't find a good pic of what the cliff cut looks like. The above pics aren't loading for me. Is this happening to everyone?

Anyone else have any pics of Cliff Cut Happy Trail panniers?
 
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