Aluminum Panniers - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Aluminum Panniers

Hey all, just a quick question. I am working on gearing up my bike by September to do some touring, and I was wondering if anyone had used Aluminum panniers on their V (or other bike).

Basically, I am looking at the Happy Trail panniers, but any and all feedback is welcome. And before anyone asks, I really like the look of the panniers and am not all that interested in plastic side cases.

So, what do you all think? Do I need to get the powdercoated ones? Is black a bad idea (as in, will it turn into an easy bake oven)?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 02:02 PM
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The only knock that I have heard on Aluminum is that it bends when you dump the bike. Plastic cases don't, yes they can shatter, but in general any hit that is hard enough to shatter the plastic cases would tear the aluminum ones in half. Now if you don't plan on doing any off-road then this is not that big a concern. Have you looked on ADVRider.com? Lots of case discussions there.

Steve

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Not looking to do any off-road yet. Might start hitting fire roads next year, but I am not that skilled.

I dont' know why, but I just like the looks of those aluminum panniers more. And I plan on having the V for a few years, so might as well get the bags I like, right?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 04:00 PM
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I agree that the the Happy trails are great looking and function well. Just read too many ride reports that feature "spent 3 hours bashing my aluminum panniers back into shape with a rock."

I don't know why it is but I just assume that anything on my motorcycle will get abused at some point, and how it handles that abuse is my top priority. So that is my slant, for that reason I went with some less expensive soft luggage until I can afford something indestructible, like the Caribou luggage.

Steve

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
Hey all, just a quick question. I am working on gearing up my bike by September to do some touring, and I was wondering if anyone had used Aluminum panniers on their V (or other bike).

Basically, I am looking at the Happy Trail panniers, but any and all feedback is welcome. And before anyone asks, I really like the look of the panniers and am not all that interested in plastic side cases.

So, what do you all think? Do I need to get the powdercoated ones? Is black a bad idea (as in, will it turn into an easy bake oven)?
These probably aren't the best but they are priced right. A member on here (PO-SLOKE) told me about these. He put some on his V-Strom.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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The KLR stuff had come across my mind, but I thought the Happy Trails seemed a little better made.

As for Caribou cases, its a possibility. What I can't understand is why they are so expensive. I can get a 1440 Pelican for $125 (36L Top Loading). Is it really worth twice the price of their system vs just buying a Pelican and drilling it myself?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 12:13 PM
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Have you looked at the twistedthrottle alu case (trax). These are nice and are not as square as the others.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productlist/688/
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 12:50 PM
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I've used both plastic and aluminum on my Versys. The real advantage is being able to "bash out" the aluminum ( I've done many times on other motorcycles).

Gary

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 07:36 PM
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I have the Happy Trails on my V. They are great, and I am sure I will end up bashing them back into shape with all the forest service roads I ride.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I am back to Happy Trails and Caribou's. Might now actually end up with the Caribou's. Did some cost analysis and their price isn't as bad as I thought for the modifications they do to the cases. Not buying the insert bags though....

Chicken Little, got some pics of the Happy Trails mounted on your V? Is their rack pretty well made?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 08:41 PM
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I've had the Happy trails on my KLR, but I prefer the SW Motech TraX boxes, they cost a little more, but can be used on other bikes with the right EVO rack. Not to mention, they seem better made.

As for Givi, I've seen their racks break under a moderate load, and the plastic shatter from a hit you would be able to take. If Givi says the maximum load is 15lbs, you better believe it.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 08:35 AM
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Here ya go, I have the smaller boxes, as I had them left over from an older bike. The racks are hell for stout, and the turn signal relocation is pretty clever.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 09:53 AM
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A less expensive case would be a Seahorse. Looks just like a Pelican, but cheaper.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 09:31 AM
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Add some larger washers

I have the Happy Trails Teton panniers and love them. They're very stout and are easy to mount and dismount. The one thing that I'd suggest though, is to replace the washers that come with the panniers with some that are wider and heavier. That will give a lot more support to the aluminum in case of a drop. I put some that are about 1 1/2 inches in width on mine, inside and out. That gives a lot of support to the metal.
Most of the major brands of panniers are well-made,whether aluminum or plastic, but in a crash, they're gonna get damaged. I like knowing that I can bash the aluminum back out if needed, or even replace a panel if the damage is severe. On the other hand, the top box that Givi and some other brands make are better for storing large stuff like helmets.
To me, it comes down to whatever floats yer boat in regards to how they look. Both Givis and HP are pretty easy to put on and remove, though it takes an Allen wrench to pop off the Happy Trails. You loosen two bolts with the Allen on each pannier, then loosen the hand knobs on each and they slide right off. The Givi is a bit quicker.



Oh, one more thing - the Happy Trails hide your turn signals from the side unless you remount them. The signals seem to be a lot more visible when using the Givis.


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 08:18 AM
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There're many aluminum panniers there.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 08:19 AM
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 04:30 PM
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I have the HB 40 liters. Really like them and it would take a tank to crush them. The aluminum look better to me. But...here's what I don't like about the aluminum compared to the HB:

1. I like the fact that I could open the side to get to things rather than the top. A side open allows you to get things at the bottom or top of the bag rather than working your way down.

2. The HB tops are about even with the top of the rear seat. This allows me to get my dogs' 50 lb dog food bag, my wife's big bags of garden dirt, and most important, my huge camping gear duffel bag and just lay it across the back seat as the bags support the rest.

3. That said, on many trips I carry my large duffel bag that is wide enough to cover the tops of the HB bags. They not only offer support from the tops of the bags, but they allow me to still open the bags because they open from the sides. A top opening bag means I have to take off the duffel bag to get into the side bags.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
The KLR stuff had come across my mind, but I thought the Happy Trails seemed a little better made.

As for Caribou cases, its a possibility. What I can't understand is why they are so expensive. I can get a 1440 Pelican for $125 (36L Top Loading). Is it really worth twice the price of their system vs just buying a Pelican and drilling it myself?
The Pelicans are not the costly items. The template and the engineering going into the locking attachment to the GIVI/HB/SWMotech racks are well worth the $$. Of course, the caribou system comes with the racks and Caribou performs the key alike service. So, ifyou parse out all the individual costs, it's not all that pricey. But YMMV.

Look at your stimulus check and decide...

Peter
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 AM
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Bag Inserts for Caribou

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Well, I am back to Happy Trails and Caribou's. Might now actually end up with the Caribou's. Did some cost analysis and their price isn't as bad as I thought for the modifications they do to the cases. Not buying the insert bags though....
For the insert bags, go there: http://www.jcwhitney.com/REMOVABLE_S...;0;0;2002415;0

These JCWhitney bags work great. Just find the correct size in their pull down menu.

Peter
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2009, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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The more and more I look at it, the more I can't deny how much I love the look of aluminum Panniers. So I think I am ending up with Touratechs on the sides and a Pelican on the rear. I know the aluminum is pricey, but it just looks too good. Thinking I am going SW Motech Evo for the racks. Now I just need to come up with 1300 for all of this....
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