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CaribouCases 10-28-2005 05:52 AM

New Pelican-based Luggage System
Introducing Caribou Adventure Motorcycle Luggage Systems. The world's toughest and most waterproof motorcycle luggage, and the Original Pelican-Based Motorcycle Luggage Company. The beginning of this thread is updated regularly, so please read this part first.

Current Product Line:
Complete side luggage (pannier) systems in 25 Liter, 35 Liter, 36 Liter, and 40 Liter case sizes, both top loading and side loading available.
Complete rear top case systems in 25 Liter, 26 Liter, 34 Liter, 35 Liter, 36 Liter and 40 Liter sizes.
Side Case systems designed for Hepco Becker, SW Motech and Givi side luggage racks in 7 different case sizes.
Caribou Rear Cargo Plates.
Do It Yourself (DIY) mounting kits for side luggage and top cases.
Accessories including our Custom Case Liners, Inner Bags, Tie-Down Brackets, ROK Straps, Tool Kit Cases, SOLAS Reflective Tape Kits, Lid Organizers, Top Case Back Rest Pads, Rear LED Brake and Turn Signal Light Bars, Moto-Tote Bags and more.
Storage solutions for Scooters.
Attachment systems for Pelican cases on Vehicles, RVs, Trailers, Boats, Fighter Jets

Our luggage fits most Adventure Touring and Dual Sport bikes including BMW GS bikes, Kawasaki KLR 650 and Versys, KTM 950/990 and 1190 Adventure, Suzuki V-Strom DL650/Adventure and DL1000, Triumph Tiger 800/800XC and 1200 Explorer, Honda NC700X, Yamaha Super Tenere and many more. Our side luggage kits will fit just about any bike with Hepco Becker, SW Motech EVO and Givi Monokey side luggage racks. Order turn-key complete systems with racks, cases, mounting hardware, lid locks, lid lanyards, elastic retention straps, and optional case liners pre-installed by us. The back of the cases are pre-drilled for a no hassle solution, just bolt things together and go. Or if you prefer, order just the cases, or just the mounts, or any parts that you need to create a luggage system that fits your budget and style.

Product Details:
Caribou Luggage is based on Pelican an other military-style cases constructed of ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin featuring heavy-duty watertight o-ring lid seal. They will not crack or shatter like hard plastic or deform & leak like aluminum – even in extreme temperatures. With heavy-duty hinges and latches, caribou cases are nearly indestructible and guaranteed for life. You break it, we replace it free (except shipping costs).
We integrate waterproof lid locks with our own heavy duty catch hardware for security and pry resistance, no generic off-the-shelf cheap parts here…

Dual lid lanyards keep the lid from swinging all the way down when the case is opened. Elastic straps with a center clip to hold your gear into the main cavity of the case. All standard features of our complete systems, pre-installed for your convenience….

Our Lid Lanyards have a snap button so you can disconnect them and open the lid completely for easy packing

<!--?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /--><o:p>OptionalCaribou Case Liners give you the best of both worlds of top loading and side loading motorcycle luggage – when you open the case nothing falls out, you can see and access all of your gear easily, and you can leave long items strapped across the rear seat and still get the case open. These liners are made of a strong, weatherproof, mold/mildew and UV resistant material that resists creasing so it doesn’t get caught in the lid seal when you close the case. Snap buttons on the liners and case lid allow you to lay the case flat with the lid fully open. They are pre-installed when ordered as an option/accessory with a new set of Caribou side case luggage, and they are retro-fittable to existing Caribou side cases. </o:p>
<o:p>Optional inner bags make packing and carrying your gear a cinch. High quality ballistic nylon with 3/4 length zipper, one outer mesh pocket, one closed outer zip pocket, and handle…<o:p></o:p></o:p>
<o:p>Other accessories include Tie Down Brackets, ROK Straps, SOLAS reflective tape kits, Lid Organizers, LED Brake and Turn Signal Light Bars, Foam Sets and more...</o:p>
<o:p>The cases remain totally waterproof after all of our modifications, tested to the extreme submerged in an ice-cold mountain creek for 30 minutes and not a drop inside…</o:p>
All cases have heavy duty handles with rubber padding. Waterproof air valve automatically equalizes pressure as you change altitudes.

The Caribou latch has a key lock for security that is matched to the lid lock key. A 180 degree turn of the wing knob creates a dual action that holds the case completely tight to the luggage rack. No movement or rattles of any kind, and unlike “puck” or spring-pin fastening devices, the Caribou latch is adjustable to account for normal wear and keep cases tight over many years and many thousands of miles. Turn the wing knob and lift the case off, it is that easy. All heavy gage steel, no flimsy plastic parts holding the case to the bike.

Caribou side rack and latch... Hepco Becker side rack and latches....<o:p></o:p>

Understand that if you crash hard, these cases are not going to break, they are simply too tough. The force instead is transferred to the luggage rack and the bike’s sub-frame. Therefore, we designed the latch to break-away upon high impact and be field replaceable. Better to break an easily replaceable $25 part than the expensive luggage rack or even more expensive sub-frame of the bike. No other luggage system offers this feature. This is critical when using super tough Pelican Storm and SKB cases…

Today many of our complete side case systems come with German-made Hepco Becker racks, they are the best designed and strongest racks you will find. We still make Caribou side racks for a few bikes including the KLR 650, R1200GS/A and V-Strom DL1000.
The Caribou side rack system is designed for a clean look. All four corners of the case are supported, and a rear crossbar creates strong box-like structure.Caribou racks are TIG welded and powder coated 3/4" square 14ga steel tubing - the largest and thickest walled tubing used in the industry and much stronger than the 5/8” round and thinner 16ga tubing typically used for motorcycle racks. Easy bolt-on system, no modifications to the bike required. Our racks have super strong butt-welded and gusseted bolt-on points rather than the weaker crimped and drilled tube where cracks and failure usually occur...

Caribou luggage is designed to allow plenty of room for the passenger’s foot and leg for comfortable 2-up riding …

All Caribou side luggage systems are designed to hug the bike’s frame for a narrow width 35” to 38” side-to-side across the cases (depending on bike). Note that our side case systems for Hepco Becker, Giv and SW Motech side racks vary 36"-39" for side loading cases, and our 36L top loading cases add 4" to that overall width…

Caribou Top Case & Cargo Plate systems feature internal QFS™ quick attach/release, integrated waterproof case lid lock, strong steel support brackets, and a rigid aircraft grade aluminum cargo plate. This is the strongest and lightest rear top case solution on the market and helps reduce weight up high in the bike...

Our 34L Rear Top Case holds a full size helmet with room to spare for a mesh jacket...

You have lots of options because we make side luggage panniers designed to fit Hepco Becker, SW Motech EVO, and Givi Monokey side luggage racks. All of our case and mounting systems have the same industry leading features: rugged design with steel parts, quick attach/release, lockable, field replaceable break-away latch. This offers a significant luggage upgrade that is very affordable, especially if you already have one of these racks. Our side luggage case mount system is also available separately as a DIY kit..

Caribou Side Case Pannier Mount Hardware for Givi Monokey and SW Motech EVO Racks...

Caribou 35L (Pelican 1550) side luggage on Givi racks and the Versys...

Caribou Side Case Pannier Mount Hardware for Hepco Becker Racks...

Our 36L Top loaders with Hepco Becker side racks...

We don’t just cobble together off-the-shelf parts or attempt to cheaply copy other manufacturer's designs. Caribou Luggage is professionally engineered, tested and manufactured for reliability, quality and safety and is proudly made here in the USA...

Caribou luggage has been tested tough over hundreds of thousands of miles by riders all over the world including our own real-world product testing in Colorado and the brutal back roads of Baja Mexico. When it comes to protecting your gear and your safety, stick with the Pelican Case luggage professionals – Caribou Luggage Systems…

Please visit our web site at for more information and to order. You may call us at 303-786-8947 from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday thru Saturday Mountain Time. Also check out our You Tube video at

Thank you!

Roger Pioszak/President

Here is our FAQ so that you may save some time reading the many pages in this thread, and if you still have questions please post them....

Caribou Luggage Systems
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The Caribou name is often used synonymously with Pelican. Exactly who makes the different cases, and what does Caribou make?
A: Pelican makes our 25L, 35L and 36L cases. A few years ago Pelican acquired Hardigg Industries, so the Hardigg-Storm cases are now Pelican-Storm cases and come in 25L, 26L, 32L and 35L sizes. SKB makes our 40L cases, Seahorse makes our 26L cases, and B&W makes our 34L top case. As you can see we have several case suppliers. We design and manufacture side luggage racks, side case brackets & mounting systems, lock and latch systems, cargo plates, our QFS top case mounting systems and most of our accessories. We use Hepco Becker Side luggage racks for many of our complete side luggage systems. We integrate custom lid locks into the cases along with lid lanyards and retention straps and we pre-drill the cases for our complete systems.

Q: What are the differences among the cases you offer?
A: All of the cases we offer meet stringent MIL-Specs for impact, submersion and UV/chemical resistance and have a limited lifetime guarantee, so all of them are very tough. The Storm, Seahorse and SKB cases are about 1lb lighter than the regular Pelican cases due to having a thinner wall construction and different material formulation. The Storm and SKB have push button activated latches instead of the snap down latches of regular Pelican cases, and they both have a smooth matte black finish. The B&W 34L top case is made of a harder ABS plastic rather than the softer co-polymer plastic of the others. The inside and outside dimensions and weight for each case we offer is on our web site (scroll down to the bottom of the item description). Also see our YouTube video for more information.

Q: There are so many choices, what cases should I get?
A: If you ride two-up, or carry a lot of gear and need lots of space, then the 40L side and top cases are appropriate. If you ride solo (or ride two-up and pack light) then the 35L or 36L side and top cases will work fine. If your main criteria is a top loading case, then certainly get them, but consider the lighter and narrower side-loading cases with our liners. We recommend the top loading 36L cases for 800cc and larger bikes only, but our 25L Top Loading Storm cases work great on any size of bike. If you like to run errands around town on your bike, then our 34L top case that fits a helmet is handy so you don’t have to carry the helmet into the store or fiddle with helmet locks. If you are on planning a long trip, then the rear top case will probably be full of stuff and you won’t have room for the helmet anyway, so you may as well go for maximum space.

Q: What side luggage racks should I get?
A: With the side luggage racks you really get what you pay for. The strongest and best fit are the Caribou and Hepco Becker racks with heavy gage tubing and superior design. Go with either of these two for Adventure riding on/off road where a few crashes are almost certain. The easily removable Hepco Becker "Lock-It" racks are becoming very popular. SW Motech racks are mid-range in terms of both price, durability and fit. Givi racks are the lightest-duty and least expensive and work fine if you ride mainly on pavement and don’t expect to crash often. Note that we do not make mount kits for racks other than those noted above. Since our cases are nearly indestructible and won’t crush like aluminum cases on impact, the force is going to be transferred to the rack, so choose your rack to match your needs. For fully loaded touring on surfaces ranging from smooth pavement to brutal washboards and technical trails, we recommend Caribou or Hepco Becker. Remember, it only takes 100 feet of bad road surface on a 1,000 mile trip to ruin your day, so a few extra bucks spent on a stronger rack will be worth it.

Q: What is the weight of the side case system and top case system?
A: The 35L, 36L and 40L side-loading side case system weighs 35-37 lbs depending on the bike and case selection. The Top Loading 36L side case system weighs about 38-40lbs depending on the bike. The top loading 25L side case system is about 36 lb. The top case systems weigh 12-14 lbs depending on the bike and case selection.

Q: What is the overall width of the side luggage on the bike?
A:Our 25L Top Loading Storm, 35L Pelican, 36L Storm and 40L SKB side cases have the same depth, so they are the same width on the bike - about 38” (.89m). Our Top Loading 36L cases are 42”-44” (1m-1.12m) at the top of the case and a narrower 38”-40” (.97m-1.07m) at the bottom of the case depending on the bike. Our 25L and 26L side cases are about 36” across on the bike. We find that under 40” width is preferred when you are negotiating tight spaces and need to have a good feel for how wide your ride is.

Q: Should I put a narrower case on the exhaust side and a wider case on the other side of the bike to create a balanced system? Do you offer racks that are “balanced.”
A: The Caribou racks we build, and the HB racks we use are focused on keeping the cases closest to the frame of the bike for strength and narrowness. All of our side luggage cases except the 26L/32L combo have the same depth, so on most bikes the exhaust-side case will stick out about an inch or less further than the non-exhaust side case. You won’t notice this while riding, and most adventure touring bikes have a single-sided exhaust, so trying to achieve a balanced or symmetrical look is not possible anyway. We suggest focusing instead on keeping overall width at a minimum. The most important factor in balancing your side luggage is to have about the same weight in each case, and we also recommend keeping cases close to the bike’s frame. There is no need to sacrifice space in the exhaust-side case when what really matters is equal weight. Likewise there is no need to stick one case out further from the bike’s frame than needed thus sacrificing strength.

Q: I know the cases are tough, but what about your luggage racks & mounts?
A: Our overall product field failure rate is less than 1%, and we have thousands of luggage systems being used all over the world by all types of riders. We make it a priority to continually improve the crash-survivability of our luggage systems based on field data and our own testing. Realize side luggage takes the brunt of the impact in a crash and nothing is truly crash-proof. To help protect the bike’s subframe and the luggage, our systems have a built in field replaceable mechanical fuse (compression latch) that allows the case to eject in a hard crash, but every crash is different and damage to the luggage or the bike may still occur. The most important factor is for the rider to check for damaged, loose, or missing fasteners and parts after a crash or tip-over before venturing onward. This applies not just to the luggage system but the whole bike. Failure to do this will most certainly lead to problems down the road. Check those fasteners with a wrench periodically!

Q; I’ve read about an internet blogger that claims Caribou side racks are not strong, but I also see lots of posts on bike forums that Caribou racks are great and hold up under major punishment. What is the real story?
A: Stories of motorcycle side luggage racks failing abound because the side rack is what takes the brunt of a crash. Reports of our racks (or any manufacturer's racks) failing are usually light on details such as how many crashes occurred, mileage, load carried, and other important information that does not serve the bloggers intent. These bloggers are riding KLR 650s heavily loaded over some of the worst terrain in the world for tens of thousands of miles, crashing often. No luggage system will survive this. For example, about 5 years ago we did have a poor fellow that crashed his way to South American and back destroying our system and a couple of our competitor’s side luggage systems as well, in addition to breaking his leg. Unfortunately an attempt was made to extort a free set of replacement luggage from us and we declined and the rest is blogger history. We suggest buyers read our customer’s testimonials on our web site and the many internet forum threads that give a far more honest opinion of our products. The products we make today have undergone significant changes and refinements over the years (such as using heavier gage tubing in our side racks) and our Caribou side rack failure rate today is basically zero. The Hepco Becker racks we offer for most bikes today have a zero field failure rate. If our Caribou side racks exploded while riding down a smooth road as some bloggers claim, we would have been out of business a long time ago. However, nothing is truly indestructible, and if you crash often, fail to check for loose bolts and missing parts, and keep on riding tens of thousands of miles with damaged equipment, you will certainly have problems. We stand behind our products and if you have a problem we're here to help get you back on the road.

Q: How much weight can you put in the side cases and top case?
A: Each make/model of motorcycle is unique. There are limits to the weight that a bike’s rear sub-frame can support, and there are motorcycle handling issues to take into consideration. The weight limit for the OEM-supplied luggage for your motorcycle is a good reference to follow. Do not exceed the weight & load limits specified for your specific motorcycle. Generally speaking, top case loads should be kept to 15lbs or less, and side case loads should be kept to 20lbs or less.

Q: I have two bikes and want to swap one set of side cases between the two bikes, so can I buy just the rack for my second bike?
A: Yes, please call us at (303) 786-8947 to order just the Caribou rack that bolts to the new bike. All Hepco Becker side luggage racks are available on our web site. For Givi and SW Motech side racks please contact your nearest dealer.

Q: I don’t see my bike listed, and/or I want to build my own racks, and/or I have my own cases, so can I buy just the quick attach/release latch system that fits to the back of the case?
A: Yes. We have DIY mount kits that attach cases to Hepco Becker, Givi or SW Motech racks with a strong, lockable and quick attach/release mount. Essentially you buy HB, Givi or Motech racks for your bike and then buy our luggage system for that rack (or DIY kit if you have your own cases) and you then have a complete and affordable luggage system for your bike.

Q: Can I use cases other than those listed on the Caribou website?
A: Yes. Our Do-It-Yourself kits will fit any case with a flat back and at least a 10” x 10” flat area on the inside back panel of the case. Our DIY kit for Hepco Becker racks requires a 7”H x 14” L flat area on the back and inside the case. DIY kits work with plastic, aluminum, or steel cases.

Q: Will the Caribou Top or Side case fit a helmet
A: Our side cases do not fit a helmet, but our 34L top case does fit a full face helmet.

Q: Are there any modifications to the bike required, turn signal relocation or exhaust relocation?
A: A complete Caribou side luggage system with Caribou racks requires no turn signal or exhaust relocation. Hepco Becker, Givi and SW Motech racks used with our luggage may require turn signal relocation depending on the bike (such as the V-Strom 650), and all parts needed to relocate turn signals are provided.

Q: Do you offer a top loading case?
A: Yes, we offer the 36L Pelican 1440 case as a top-loading system (note that this case is recommended only for 800cc bikes and larger). We also offer a Storm 25L top loading case.

Q: Did you ever try the Pelican 1430 top loading case?
A: We experimented with these cases and found the 1430 at about 25L is too small capacity for the majority of the market, and the back of the case does not fit our racks or any others well.

Q: I’ve noticed that other aftermarket companies are now offering Pelican cases, what makes yours different and better?
A: We are the original Pelican-based motorcycle luggage company with thousands of systems in use by adventure riders all over the world, so our systems are the most refined and tested in the business. Our latch system is the best and most advanced in the industry including the OEM products. We offer more sizes and configurations of Pelican, Pelican Storm, SKB, B&W, and Seahorse cases than any other company by far. We design and offer more accessories specifically for our cases than any other manufacturer by far. We offer the best customer service in the industry when you have issues during install or at any time, and you are likely to get the President of the company on the phone when you call, even on weekends. All emails are answered promptly, usually within an hour. We have first-hand familiarity with every bike we offer products for and are very experienced riders, so if you have a question about a particular application we are there to help. Finally, we are one of the most innovative companies in the industry and you’ll continually find new products being offered that make a big difference in your riding experience.

Q: I read on an internet forum that when you open a side-loading case everything falls out on the ground, but I see lots of people using and loving your cases and report this is not a problem. How do you keep things from falling out?
A: The answer is a lot easier than some on the internet will lead you to believe. First, we offer inner bags that take care of everything. Secondly, we install lid lanyards keep the lid from swinging all the way down thus creating a tray to catch anything loose, and we install internal retention straps hold your gear into the main cavity of the case. Finally, we offer our Caribou liners that create fabric walls along the sides and bottom gap so nothing can possibly fall out. Having a center stand on your bike makes packing any luggage a lot easier.

Q: Can I get the cases in a color other than black?
A: Pelican 35 liter case colors other than black and gray (yellow, orange, desert tan, OD green) are special order and require a 2 week lead time. All other cases are black only.

Q: Can I get the racks and brackets in a color other than black?
A: All of our Caribou racks and brackets are powder-coated black. The Hepco Becker side luggage racks we resell come in silver and/or black depending on the bike as noted in the product description.

Q: Can I get all the locks on my cases to match so there is one key?
A: Yes. All of our systems are “one-key” so that you don’t have to fumble with different keys for the different locks on the cases and latches.

Q: Does the original manufacturer’s guarantee apply to the case even though it has been drilled by Caribou Luggage Systems or by the DIY’er when using the Caribou DIY kits?
A: Yes, the original manufacturer’s limited lifetime guarantee applies. We handle the replacement of the broken case so you do not have to contact the manufacturer, all you pay is the shipping costs (return and replacement).

Q: Do you have everything in stock, and what is the lead time?
A: We normally have everything in stock, and typical lead time to ship is 3 days. If we do not have something in stock, or if lead time is extended, it will be noted on our web page or we will contact you.

Q: Can I get items such as the Pick-n-Pluck foam inserts for the Pelican cases?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you install a Caribou system on my bike if I stop buy your shop?
A: Sorry, we do not have the manpower or insurance coverage to wrench on customer’s bikes.

Q: Will you do custom work?
A: We accept RFQ’s/RFP’s for large volume/contract work. Please call 303-786-8947

Ritten 10-28-2005 05:58 AM

Beautiful system and it looks like they'll be durable as all hell too!!! Great job on the R&D.

AFekete 10-28-2005 06:11 AM

Very nice!!!
Good job Roger!

Nicely integrated and the locks look great!


SQD8R 10-28-2005 06:16 AM

Excellent work. Love the mounting system.

Steverino 10-28-2005 06:19 AM

Need a product tester? I'll let you know how durable they are...:evil


TomN 10-28-2005 06:20 AM

Looks great, looking foward to the KLR system

Bigger Al 10-28-2005 06:36 AM

Makes me wish I had a GS just to have that beautiful set up. Well done!!

Ed@Ford 10-28-2005 07:28 AM

Please proceed with all haste for 2003 F650 Dakar hardware! A fine setup!

bmwhd 10-28-2005 07:37 AM

:thumb :clap :bow :bow :bow :thumb

Those are going to sell like hotcakes!

I've used Pelican stuff for a couple of years and swear by it now.

MNRon 10-28-2005 07:48 AM

How far out do you suppose you are for the 650 V-Strom? I'm not in a rush, but hope to have a system in place my late March. I'm looking at some Givi knock-offs that are "OK" (I have one for a tail trunk) but these look like they're a lot more durable.

Keep this list posted on the progress.. I am VERY interested. (Maybe for the KLR too...)

MulletWhip 10-28-2005 08:02 AM


I'm impressed. Both with what you have come up with and with the Pelican company for being so responsive at a grassroots level. It looks like you have a good product at a good price and I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with for KLR's. I am currently running soft bags and ma pretty happy with my setup but I could be swayed. By the way, any idea what size bags for the KLR? As much as I like the capacity of the 1550's, I think that the 1520's are probably a better fit. Anyway, they look great.


azabeemerboy 10-28-2005 08:45 AM

Very, Very Nice. I really like the nice clean "beefy" racks :D

Boojum 10-28-2005 08:45 AM


Originally Posted by Steverino
Need a product tester? I'll let you know how durable they are...:evil


That's a BIG ROGER! on the Above Comment! If Steve-O can't hurt them, Nobody can! .........Seriously! :evil


norton73 10-28-2005 08:59 AM

Nice job :clap

Curmudgeon 10-28-2005 09:08 AM

I've been waiting for years for something like this. BMW, TT, Jessie, and HB should be crying right about now! Excellent work. I'll be ordering mine come February. Thanks for giving us a better option than over priced Aluminum.


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