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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't yet decided what type of panniers to fit to the new Wee.
Last bike had hard panniers (GTR1000) that stayed on all the time, only taking them off when I stopped at a Motel/ Hotel.
Have a Givi top box, but on multiday trips need more storage.
The plus side for hard panniers is being able to lock them fairly securely when off for a walk etc. Down side is cost and making the bike a lot wider.
Soft panniers seem a bit too easy to open or walk off with.
What are your opinions and experience with either?
Main interest is long distance road but now wanting to mix it up with some dirt, nothing too extreme though.
Thanks for "sensible" input. :argue:
 

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One vote for soft

Sarge,

I have Andy Strapz Expedition Panniers. I can recommend them. Only damage from my "off" was stitching needed to be redone. They carry a lot, velcro over the seat holds them on, little straps and strapz keep them located.
For security, you could use little padlocks, though for short times (such as shopping), I've not found a problem. Overnight, they come in with me - so I only unpack what I want and the public don't get to see what's inside.
They're very light, so they do carry weight. Even just with the fold seal, they keep dust out (even when going horizontal) but with waterproof/dustproof liners, there is no problem.
About the only drawback is it's more difficult to place stickers on them than boxes.

Doug
 

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I have a top box but decided not to get panniers and racks. Instead I got a Wolfman large waterproof dry bag duffel that I strap crosswise across the back seat with RokStraps. I'd guess that it holds the same as both panniers together. I only use it on trips and it serves as a back rest too. It's about 36" wide so it doesn't stick out as far as panniers. I've owned several bikes with panniers but I really enjoy the narrower profile of my glee. The top box is enough storage for everyday riding for me. The Wolfman bag was maybe $150 from an ebay dealer so there's a considerable savings over racks and panniers too.
 

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I have Pelican 1520s. I was asking myself the same question when bike was new. I don't care for top boxes so anything I pick up goes in the bags.
 

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Soft Liners

If you go with hard (which is my preference) I recommend going with soft liners/duffles so that when hoteling after a long day you simply lift the lid, pull out the duffles, and check in. Having said that, the Givi side cases I had on my f800st were pretty "suitcase like" in that regard and made it fairly easy to snap off and walk with them like suitcases. I don't expect the metal boxes are conducive to walking around with.
 

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Did 17 days last May with the stock Suzuki hard sides and a 50L top box. Love the top box (go ahead and call me "scooter" cause those things are great!). I put a dry bag behind me with rain gear and dirty clothes. Had a full size laptop in the smaller side with some odds and ends and clothes in the other. Put my helmet in the top case when stopped. Kept camera and water and chain lube and sun glasses and bug cleaner and a rag and a bunch of have handy stuff in the top box as well and it still had room in it. In fact, I still had lots of room left in all three boxes. Could have left the side cases at home if I really wanted to. But the hard cases saved me about 20 minutes a day by not having to worry about tie downs and straps as the side cases kept the dry bag securely on the bike with a single strap.

It's hard to choke down the cost of hard luggage and most of the time you can make do without it. Hard sides and off road are a problem as well, IMO. But if you are on and off the bike around a lot of people, there is no substitute for the security of the hard luggage
 

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my .02...

Unless you are going to a 3rd world country or an inner city type of thing you don't have to worry about your bike being messed with. Heck I always see riders just stick their helmet/jacket/etc on the bike and walk away.

Hard bag security is overrated anyway. It would take about 2 minutes and a screwdriver to break into all the ones I've seen. Hard bags and their mounts add a lot of weight to the bike also.
 

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I have found out, after many years, many bikes and various luggage, that the best and most economical combination is a lockable hard top case and waterproof duffel bag.
For day trips is best 30 to 40 liter top case. I do not use the attachment plate or adaptor that might come with the case, I bolt it directly to the rear rack. This way it is perfectly secured and you have lower center of gravity than using plate/adaptor combination.
As for the duffel bag, you can easily pack for a week long trip (staying in hotels/motels) into 50 to 60 liter duffel bag.
 

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I have Andy Strapz Expedition Panniers. I can recommend them. Only damage from my "off" was stitching needed to be redone. They carry a lot, velcro over the seat holds them on, little straps and strapz keep them located. g

Velcro mounting is a good way to go. Just enough to keep the bags on, but they will still break away if snagged on something in an accident or thick brush.

Overbuild panniers that don't have a breakaway mechanism are quite dangerous.

Even with a good stock pannier with a breakaway mechanism panniers can throw the balance off a bike even at low speeds.

https://youtu.be/gJf-tFCCetQ

Things can get much worse with overbuilt panniers.`
 

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I use a tank bag and soft Nelson Rigg panniers for my longer trips. I may be switching up my arrangement to a top case and a duffle after reading more and more about them.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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I've had this set of Nelson Rigg bags for 10 years and they're still in good shape although I only use them a couple times a year for 3-4 days at a time.
Features:

These only cost $77 when I bought them.

Big and carry lots of stuff.

Require stuff bags because they're not 100% waterproof.

They've been "down" a few times on previous bikes and no worse for wear.

I carry a small cable lock that I can run though the zipper pulls for a bit of security if I'm going to be away for a few minutes.

If someone offered me a set of hard luggage, would I take them? You bet.

Columbia River - Oregon





White Pass with Mt. Rainier, WA - just past sunset.

 

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I have a top box but decided not to get panniers and racks. Instead I got a Wolfman large waterproof dry bag duffel that I strap crosswise across the back seat with RokStraps. I'd guess that it holds the same as both panniers together. I only use it on trips and it serves as a back rest too. It's about 36" wide so it doesn't stick out as far as panniers. I've owned several bikes with panniers but I really enjoy the narrower profile of my glee. The top box is enough storage for everyday riding for me. The Wolfman bag was maybe $150 from an ebay dealer so there's a considerable savings over racks and panniers too.
A hearty +1!!! :D

After years of white line fever/IronButt addiction with bikes that all had hard luggage (top boxes and saddlebags), when I broke the addiction and obtained a non_German bike, I opted for a large MotoFizz bag. It would hold everything my 3 hard cases did, was pretty water resistant (not waterproof but clothes inside heavy plastic bags worked great), it could serve as a backrest and with the flick of a wrist the straps were undone and into the hotel/motel/tent it would go. For added security you cold easily weave a steel cable through the various handles and that would discourage most would-be thieves. The price was maybe 175.00 several years ago, maybe a little higher now. You can see them here on the AeroStich site:

Seat and Rack Bags - Seat, Tank & Tail Bags - Bags :: Aerostich/RiderWearHouse Motorcycle Jackets, Suits, Clothing, & Gear

Hard saddlebags are nice, no question. But your profile is SO much wider, your bike's weight is higher, forget 'filtering' through backed up traffic. If the seat bag isn't for you, I'd opt for soft sided luggage. YMMV! ;-)

Cheers!

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's looking like the soft pannier side. Andy Strapz is in Aussie land so local is good.
I remember the days when all I needed was a small backpack strapped to the back of the bike.
Trying to go back and simplify things again.
I like the narrow profile of the bike, after the GTR it is so slim and light. For the versatility of easy to remove throw overs I will more than likely go that way.
Thanks Guys. :thumbup:
 

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For me it all comes down to which bike and what kind of riding we are talking about.

For on road (any kind of surfaces) riding I prefer hard cases if it's possible without making the bike wide as a bus - the profile of the rear end of the V-Strom (and the location of the exhaust) isn't well suited for hard cases in that regard.

For off road riding soft panniers is the way to go. Mostly because it's safer in case of a crash (legs/feet easily get crushed by hard cases) but also because they are better to withstand frequent low speed drops.
I prefer soft luggage that mounts on a side rack like Wolfman's Expedition Bags. The problem with that kind of mounting on the V-Strom is, that it makes the bags almost as wide as hard cases.

For my V-Strom I went with the top box/water proof duffel on the rear seat solution.

This is a picture of my set up on a 2 weeks/5.500 miles ride to Africa carrying everything I needed including camping gear:
 

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I have used the Teton's for years with satisfactory results, Recently went to the Nelson Rigg waterproof soft bags.
Always had a 45+Ltr. top box of various brands / descriptions.
I have vibration issues ( bad resonance 60 to 75 mph ) with the new 'Strom is the main reason for the change.... not a issue with the soft stuff. Also much less expensive!:beatnik:
 

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Here's a photo of the Wolfman Expedition bag I use. It's made specifically for motorcycles and has heavy D rings all over it for tie down or for strapping more stuff to it. It's a heavy duty vinylized fabric and its 100% waterproof - it will float - so no liners or plastic bags necessary. This bag could also be used with panniers and top box if you really need a lot of storage. I use my top box and Wolfman tank bag for rain gear, camera, gloves, tools, and other stuff I need to be able to get at easily on a trip.

 
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