Originally Posted by Don Coyote
The only Touratech item i've bought yet is the 35L tank bag system. It has a 15L tankbag and 2 10L tank panniers that attach to a base plate. The theoretical engineering is pretty impressive. The panniers hold more and are shaped better than the other ones i've seen (Aerostich or Wolfman). The main problem i ran into is that an impact on the bags usually seems to destroy a zipper (which make the system more convenient than strapped ones otherwise) and leads to a pricey replacement. The main tank bag is very nice with a large, detachable map window, zipper to expand or contract to 15L capacity, and backpack straps for off the cycle.
It is an expensive system and although generally pleased with the design, i feel justified in airing some complaints based on the snarky response i got when i emailed their customer service department. The base plate covers up the oil chamber and ends up wearing off the decals on the fairing. I was fine with these items, but when i parked outside for a half year the base plate went from a black color to a faded purple and the velcro degraded to the point where i could no longer ride with just the map window and no tank bag, an advertised feature that would have been handy a few times if it hadn't turned out to be an engineering failure. The Touratech customer service rep advised to be content with all the 'road warrior cred' i would get for having a weather faded accessory on my ride, but i never botherd to point out how much of a poser i would look like to have a black tank bag zipped to a faded baseplate. I get the idea, backed up by most of what i've read here, that the TT folks don't actually get out that much to test their equipment...?
Regardless, if you don't mind the hassle of loosening the base plate to check oil, or find a deal on a used one, the TT tankbag is pretty nice.
Hey, I had that bag too and experienced the exact same thing; base faded, but the bag and panniers did not.
All zippers went belly up during my Australia trip and I snapped one of the pannier bottom straps. Like I've mentioned before; dental floss and a needle really comes in handy for all kinds of repairs and everything was sewn back on which meant I could only remove one of the panniers after a while. I found a couple of Life Venture waterproof roll up bags to use as inner bags and if I didn't know any better I'd think they were made for the panniers - made them 100% waterproof and easy to pack of the bike and just slip in there right before take off. I used the tank bag a lot without the panniers back home both before after the trip and knowing what I know now, I'd order another bag/ pannier (VP45 I believe it's called) before a new long trip and use camping sleeping matress and aknife to create dividers and rooms so it was a bit easier to stay organized on the road.
Just a picture to show the faded base with map sans the bag, but with panniers