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I have a question for you guys riding with aluminum panniers. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to invest in a set or not. Do you find the bike handling is altered so significantly that in alters the joy of the ride? Is it like having two large sails on the side of the bike? Is the additional weight and width worth the convenience and usefulness of the racks? I know every ride and rider are different. I just wonder, generally, if you are pleased with the setup? Thanks.


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Mine are big , and I would say yes , I can feel them. Would not prevent me from getting them again though. I mounted them as quick release , so I can ditch them when wanted.
 

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The bags are going to affect handling loaded and unloaded. Some of us tour with gobs of stuff we need and fill the buggers to the brim.
Others fore go the bags to look more aerodynamic.
It depends on your needs. I have plastic 37 liter bags to restrict the amount I carry and I can lane split in Calif. I got a set of Aerostitch tank panniers, tank bag and a top box to make up for the lack of wide alunimum bags. Oh, yeah the U-pack on the back seat. Don't wanna leave anything home!
 

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I hardly notice mine, and that is even with them loaded up bigtime. The big Vee still tears up the twisty roads no problem, and is very stable on the slab.
 

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I'm very happy with mine. 145 liters of top loading, lockable, weather-tight storage. It makes the Strom into sorta an SUV- able to carry most anything.

Do the big bags affect the bike. Sure, a little.

- slightly harder to kick a leg over the bike, and the boxes have some scuff marks from my boots.

- more room = more stuff = more weight. Fully loaded you notice it a little at slow speeds and emergency maneuvers are definitely harder because the weight.

- My HT bags are 40.5" wide, which is slightly wider than the bars. Lane splitting is difficult. But on the plus side, the extra width means I'm easier to see from behind (I use lots of reflective tape).

- Windy conditions... I suppose the bags do affect performance but that would only be in extreme wind or in the case on on-coming big trucks pushing alot of air in front of them. Most times I don't notice the bags at all.


The benefits far outweigh the negatives for me.
 

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I have the happy trails Denali cliff-cut panniers and top box. The panniers are 42 liters each and hold a ton of crap. They are very narrow but very deep. With the quick release pucks I can take them off in 10 seconds, but I usually just keep them on. Empty or minimally loaded, honestly I do not notice they are there and they do not impact the sportiness of the bike. Now loaded is a different story because of the weight. Once rolling, the weight all but disappears, but if you slip a foot at a stop and she starts to lean, forget about it, she's going down. The weight also impacts the action of the rear shock and you must increase the pre-load to compensate. Even then it will still bottom easily. I'm currently eye balling a Wilber's shock from Blair at SVR. When camping, I like to be comfortable and I carry a ton-o-shit......
 

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I built my own out of steel, so they are not particularly light. When they are full of stuff (40 litres each) and you have tent and more gear, you notice it at slow speeds. I haven't really noticed them when it comes to wind however. I would suggest that a good portion of them are hidden behind your legs anyway.
 

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I have a question for you guys riding with aluminum panniers. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to invest in a set or not.

I was originally looking only at aluminium, for looks mostly I spose,
but something made me consider Pelican cases, its really a no brainer IMHO, my Caribou system with 1550s was 2/3 cost, they don't dent, rip or tear open in a crash

I can't tell the difference with luggage on or off, but I don't have stock suspension either



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For those who answer, is there a noticeable effect on mpg (loaded, unloaded)?
 

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I don't notice them (9" HT Tetons) at all whilst on the highway or around town. Maybe a little decrease in fuel economy but that's it. Now a top box, I feel that, unless I am riding two up.
 

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MPG?
Not a lot. Head winds and higher speed fully loaded make the difference for me. Putting around long miles at 55 on the back roads the MPG is still good.
 

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Only time I notice(d) them was banging legs my on mount / dismount.
 

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I have the full Trax setup and I hardly notice they're there to the point I'll run into things with them in tight spots. The only time I notice a drop in mpg is when they're full loaded for a trip.


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I went with 30mm ammo cans instead of the other options, I was concerned about cost. As others have stated, you know they are there but don't notice any effect on handling, comfort or enjoyment. My mileage was reduced by about 2mpg. I can deal with the minor drawbacks of size, weight, width and mpg loss for the large upside of carry space and convenience.
 

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I have the full Trax setup and I hardly notice they're there to the point I'll run into things with them in tight spots. The only time I notice a drop in mpg is when they're full loaded for a trip.
When I first put on the panniers a few years back, I hit the metal protection post on the left side while pulling up to get gas.......twice. Made a decent size dent in the front but I was able to pop it back out when I got home.

Same here on the MPG, only notice a difference when I'm fully loaded. If I had to guess I'd say for camping I probably carry 50 lbs of chit...... I weigh 175, so that's 225 loaded. Yup, I plan to pull the trigger on a Wilber's next week before I head to Colorado in June....
 

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I've got HT Denalis

As other said, they make getting on/off harder, and I did notice getting a bit less gas mileage when I loaded them up, but they are big.

After I put the racks, panniers, nerf bars and foot pegs on my wee, it sure feels a lot heavier to me, but then I only weigh 150.

I have to keep the size of them in mind cause I once pulled up to close to my buddy's FJR and accidentally hit his nice, painted plastic side cases with my heavy duty aluminum ones. Yikes.
 
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