Join Date: May 2011
Location: Missouri, south of Kansas City
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Hard Bags... Decisions, Decisions....
For the past two weeks I've looking, searching, reading about hard bags for my 2011 Versys. The more I read the more difficult the deciding is becoming... I really don't want to compromise on a good system just to save a few bucks... I also don't want to buy a system that is overkill for my needs...
My primary uses are for daily commute & frequent adventure travel (2 days to 2 weeks at a time) self-contained. Maybe even a TAT journey. I am semi-retired (work 3 days per week) & have time to ride with a desire to do more long-term, long-distance adventure travel...
Personally, I don't want Givi or Kawi OEM hard bags & I already have a full compliment of Firstgear & River Road soft bags on my cruiser... all of which I could use on my Versys if I had to...
I want to put hard bags/boxes on my Versys... I want a good sturdy side carrier rack that fits my bike well, is secure & can be used for various brands of boxes/cases/panniers if my needs/wants change down the road... Here I'm leaning toward Hepco Becker or Happy Trail side racks. These both appear to be pretty sturdy & can be used by multiple case/box/pannier brands.
I have looked at Caribou, SW-Motech TraX, Happy-Trail, Jesse, Pelican, Storm, and Seahorse boxes/cases/panniers. The more I look the more I'm leaning toward an aluminum pannier system... The Pelican/Seahorse option looks good but I like the looks & lines of a metal box... & the inside vs. outside dimensions on the metal cases offer more storage capacity with the smallest outside dimensions (helpful since the Versys has a shorter length, wheelbase than other adventure touring bikes).
While cost is always a factor it is not the primary deciding factor. It seems that anyway I go its going to be between $600 & $1000 for a two pannier system... unless I go with plastic cases/boxes that do not have an seamless locking system installed other than adding my own padlocks.
I know that each of the systems has their pros/cons as far as strength. quality, useable storage capacity, security, ease of install, ease of uninstall, least modification to my bike/lights & cost...
Based on what I've seen & read I'm leaning toward a Happy-Trail system... but I'd sure like to have opinions on the pros & cons of all the systems...
Anyone else who has worked through this decision process care to share how they decided & whether or not they are happy or would do things differently...
2013 Suzuki V-Strom
2013 Honda CRF 250L
2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650-ADV
2011 Kawasaki Versys
2008 Yamaha TW200
2009 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Suzuki GS425 (long gone)
Last edited by Kankujoe; 08-10-2011 at 09:14 PM.