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Old 02-26-2012, 09:39 AM   #153
I ride
fbj913's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: KC MO
Oddometer: 2,405
Originally Posted by inbred View Post
Just got my Wolfman rack and Expedition Dry Packs. As you can see my bike is a DRZ400S. The racks installed pretty easy. The definitely have some flex which causes me concern. And that's with empty bags. The DRZ sub frame is not exactly engineered for heavy weight. This rack could definitely benefit from Wolfman's Cross Support Brace. I chose the DRZ 400 because it's light, agile and dirt-worthy. I can ride the thing to thing places that Big Adventure Cruiser Riders fantasize about. Because of that the rack and bag system will be subjected to more abuse than usual. This is true of most DRZ riders. As a result, the Cross Brace should be mandatory equipment for the DRZ. Trouble is Wolfman doesn't appear to offer the brace for the DRZ. That's definitely a liability if you are considering this rack for your DRZ. Sure I can fashion one, but it will end sucking time I don't really have. Installation of the packs took about ten minutes. Nothing complicated there. Lots of adjustment straps will hold them secure, but this will necessitate more time securing them than I imagined when researching the packs. Here's what they look like on the bike:

Once I got the packs installed I filled them with bulk to see what they look like expanded. Then I emptied one and took a gander inside. When the top is opened it extends up about 11 inches higher than where the gear will be. This creates a serious tunnel effect in looking at( and retrieving) the gear. I have used dry bags many times before, most are wider at the mouth allowing light to enter. In addition, given that I chose black in keeping with my Stealth Philosophy, there is very little ambient light that finds it's way down to where the gear will be. I expected darkness and clausterphobic effect, but not this much. If I were one of Wolfman's designers I would serious explore the concept of installing a window in the packs as many other dry bag manufacturers have done. I'd pay extra for a window. As it stands if I decide to keep these things, I'm going to have to keep a flash light on me whenever I dig into the packs. I have enough trouble keeping one handy in the dark of night. This will likely end up being a substantial PITA. Of course my cat, Caramelle, with her incredible night vision, had no problem seeing deep within the dark packs and told me to quit acting like a pussy.

Seriously, I think a 10inch by 3inch window that would be installed on the outside portion of the bag just below where the point of closure typically ends might dramatically improve this issue. As it stands, it might end up being the deal breaker for me. It's is LIKELY to be inconvenient to say the least.

The packs and racks appear to be built with quality in mind. With that there can be no doubt. It's too early to confirm whether they will hold up like they appear they will. Minor Issue: I wish Wolfman would tone down the size of the logo and put it in a less noticeable place. It takes away from my philosophy of being low key and less noticeable. Yeh, I can cover it, color it with indelible ink and so forth, but I'd much rather not have to. It should be an option for the customer, not forced down their gullet.

So there it is. My initial take on the subject. All told I spent 750 bucks. Racks, packs, two fuel bottle holders, and two 24 inch dry bags. I am unsure if I will keep the racks and bags. But I have had luck with Wolfman products before and think it's a decent company. Sure would be a lot easier if Wolfman would adopt REI's Lifetime Satisfaction Guaranteed Policy. Time to do some thinking. If I keep them, I will definitely post my evolving review.
#1 your cat is correct, quit being a pussy
#2 a window? really? so should every bag have a window? do you think that hard bags, or any other bag, lets light in? if there is no light then what affect would a window have? does a window magically create light?
#3 "I can ride the thing to thing places that Big Adventure Cruiser Riders fantasize about" wanna bet?
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