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Old 02-26-2012, 07:43 AM   #151
inbred
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Just got my Wolfman rack and Expedition Dry Packs. Appeared to have bomb proof construction but ended up deciding against keeping them. In my opinion the designer placed the greatest emphasis on making a truly waterproof pack which stays securely on the equally durable rack. Obviously that is the bottom line for many adventure riders. In the end I decided I wanted something which was a little more user friendly in terms of getting into the packs and being able to easily see the contents. Obviously I will have to sacrifice some of the waterproofness in doing so. I can say without hesitation that the actual workmanship of the racks and packs were top notch.

In making the return to Wolfman, they were pretty decent about it. They did spend time trying to get me to reconsider my decision and were quite interested in my assessment of the packs. I hung the phone up thinking they were quite interested in knowing what makes their customers tick (and not tick). It was also clear that they believe in their products 110%. In the end a debate occurred about whether initial shipping should be refunded. Wolfman ended up reimbursing me for initial shipping even though they felt their policy as stated in their website forbid such reimbursment. This was another sign the company places ultimate customer satisfaction high on their priority list.

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inbred screwed with this post 03-29-2012 at 06:34 PM Reason: revision
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #152
Dan Alexander
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Kinda picky aren't ya.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:39 AM   #153
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Quote:
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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Old 02-26-2012, 09:47 AM   #154
Dan Alexander
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The condescanding sig line doesn't help the image either

#4 You saw the bags online before you bought ... didn't you notice then that the logo was prominent?
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:51 AM   #155
Tonopah
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Come on guys! I for one thought his review was fair and thoughtful. He pointed out some areas that might be improved. At least he's thinking and willing to share.

I have the Wolfman bags on my F650GS twin and like them a lot. I did have the option of installing a cross brace for that bike and I did it even though it is not required. He wishes he had that option for his bike. I also think that the Expedition Bags are sort of hard to see into but my yellow bags are better than the black ones in this regard. I did put the Sterilite containers inside the bags and this both maximizes space, eases packing, and also makes the inside of the bags easy to see as the containers are white. Downside (as has been pointed out) is that the bags would flex less in a crash and are therefore more likely to be damaged.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:53 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Alexander View Post
The condescanding sig line doesn't help the image either

#4 You saw the bags online before you bought ... didn't you notice then that the logo was prominent?
I think I covered that in the "don't be a pussy comment"
And, yes, I don't get the sig line.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:47 AM   #157
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I guess I am glad I bought the yellow . I was wishing that I had the black to match my black GS .Now I feel better .
I just got some Givi racks from another inmate. They work better that the jerryrigging that I had to do with my old Happy Trails racks.
I took the stiffeners out of mine . I want them to conform to what ever I put in them ,which is usually compression bags ,walking shoes , hatchet,shave kit,etc.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #158
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Tha'ts wonderful that you have been alive almost as long as I have been riding . Take care of yourself and then you can join AARP .
As far as a DRZ getting away ,you might get away from me ,but I know some riders that would give you a run for your money .
Since you invited us to a lynching party ,would you mind bringing your own rope
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:47 PM   #159
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inbred ,i have no problem with your post.
Thanks for taking the time.If I get these saddle bags I'll get em in yellow
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:50 PM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inbred View Post

1) I'm not above utilizing a bit of self deprecating humor.
2) Like I said, I've used dry bags, and panniers before. These things are like a black hole, compared with anything I've used before. Ever notice how some pole barns are built with translucent panels in the roof? Notice how when you go inside one, it's easier to see than one which is completely sealed off? That's what a window would do in these packs. It would let ambient light in right at the top portion of your gear. I understand your comment about hard bags and other bags letting light in. But what I failed to take into consideration is the fact that the dry bags "roll portion" extends up 11 inches. The bags you're making reference to do not have this 11 inch portion rising upwards like a mushroom cloud. Remember those green canvas ARMY duffels marijuana smugglers fancy? Imagine one made out of Black Rubber. Imagine all your gear is in the bottom 14 inches of the bag. Then imagine bending over opening the bag and looking for gear deep within. That's why I included the photos to illustrate the point. On a scale of one to ten for efficient gear retrieval, I rate these a 3. That's significantly lower than any other bike pack I've owned. Given I'm closing in on half a century of living and 44 years of riding, that means something. At least to me. A window would do WONDERS washing light over the gear right where it is needed. I recognize I could be wrong, but I'm a pretty smart guy.
3) I'll suppose I'll take your bet. This summer I'l post a video of my gnarliest hill climb while fully loaded down trying to get to that amazing high elevation campsite. You then post yours. Well let the inmates decide. Loser sends a bottle of booze to the winner. I suppose this is where you'll make your exit. :

I know a lot of folks revere Wolfman. It's a decent company. I certainly am not trying to disparage them. But I spent a lot of time researching this set up and obviously overlooked some things. Like the Gigundo, bright-yellow Wolfman patch centered on the pack, screaming to the world, "I am Wolfman". But if I overlooked these issues I am confident others may as well. Maybe by reading my INITIAL thoughts they will have a bit more info to consider.

Good thing I held back a little on my thoughts. Looks like there would have been a public lynching if I really said my piece. Of course, if the posse were riding them heavy adventure bikes I could've lost them easy-like. I mean no disrespect. Just giving a few honest observations. No amount of public scorn will suppress my valid thoughts, however.
I appreciate all opinions. The issues that you have would not lead me to the consideration of selling them though. I don't have the black ones so I guess I would have to say that I really can't comment on the light problems. Try the little trash can mod and I guarantee that will help!
I will take your bet. No way would I back down from that one. Even if I do have to send you some booze. Either way it will be fun! I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities when I do my cont. divide ride this year!
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #161
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Thanks for the helpful review, as it represents what YOU found out. Helpful. All this penis waving is giving me a headache though. I can't wait to take off my heavy aluminum coffins and put on some of these light softies and take less in tour, so I can try some dirt with my heavy GSA.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #162
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I got the Wolfman racks and Expedition bags for my WR and can only say: I hated them. The racks were nice enough, I hated the bags mainly for their attachment system. A gazillion straps and those stupid things going over the seat itself ... my, that's not for me. Takes forever to get them on / off and are a pain to use overall.

Have to admit though I'm a hard bag with liner fan. When I'm moteling it takes about 30 seconds to get the liners out and into the room, no dirt, no crap, no fiddling, no swearing, no pushing weird straps with ice cold fingers, ... Just a different world.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:53 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by cug View Post
Have to admit though I'm a hard bag with liner fan. When I'm moteling it takes about 30 seconds to get the liners out and into the room, no dirt, no crap, no fiddling, no swearing, no pushing weird straps with ice cold fingers, ... Just a different world.
Can't you do basically the same thing with soft bags? Or is removing the soft bags themselves an anti-theft measure? it sounds like that wouldn't be a problem with the Wolfman bags.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:30 AM   #164
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4 buckles per side on the bags . Easier than my Happy Trails panniers that didnt have locks .
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:42 AM   #165
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I use stuff bags inside the Wolfman bags. When I get to a hotel, I unroll the bags, take the stuff bags out, and roll the Wolfman's back down. I remove the GPS from the bike, cover the bike with an Aerostich cover (http://www.aerostich.com/aerostich-u...ke-covers.html) and hope for the best. I just carry the stuff bags into the hotel. So far, so good.
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