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Old 05-09-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
Aanarchy OP
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Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebags – User Review

I recently mounted these bags and racks on my BMW F800GS. Here is a pic, loaded for a six day (non-camping) trip from Dallas to Big Bend National Park.

[IMG]







That giant tank bag (tank & seat bags from Wunderlich) was only one-third full, with room for overflow. In a nutshell, these bags worked great and I am happy with my purchase, so far.

When I bought the bike I thought I would eventually get hard panniers for longer trips. But first I tried various configurations of soft bags, strapped to the luggage rack and the back of the seat.

Here is what it looked like last November, 5 days camping in Big Bend, cold weather gear..

[IMG][/IMG]



The weight was way too high and all that gear was hard to strap down securely enough for the rocky bits. And picking the bike up – fuggedaboutit.


So I re-visited the pannier options: Touratech, Hepco-Becker, Micatech, Jesse, Happy Tails, Metal Mule. All of them are expensive, wide, and HEAVY. My favorite among these was the Touratech 31/38L, black powder coat. $1470, 41 inches wide, and 30 lbs including racks and panniers.


I just couldn’t accept the weight, so I looked at soft bag options. I know a lot of people love the Great Basin Giant Loop, but it still sits mostly on top and looks hard to get in and out of while on the road. So finally I opted for the Wolfman setup. One-third the weight (11 lbs by my scale) and cost of the Touratechs and only 35” wide, fully loaded.



Installation – piece of cake. The racks bolt on to the mounting points for the stock grab rail and two additional points (on each side) under the tail. They mount securely and have not budged since I installed them. The muffler must be removed to install the left side rack, but it was an easy removal and re-install, even for a mechanically challenged individual like myself.






I was a little put off at first about losing the grab rail, but it now seems unimportant. These racks work fine for strapping gear to by bungee or strap.


Although smaller than the panniers, these carried everything I needed including tubes, air compressor, tools, extra clothes. My raingear and extra gloves went in the seat bag, miscellaneous stuff in the tank bag. If I was camping, I’d carry a 35L river drybag on the luggage rack with tent, sleeping pad and bag. If I needed more gear I could replace the seat bag with another dry bag. The round river bags strap very securely to the bike and present a low profile.

When riding out of our motel base camp I carried just what I needed for the day and cinched the bags down on a reduced load. There are several adjustment straps.

The bags attach to the racks by metal buckles that fit through the rectangular brackets at the four “corners” of the racks, and you tighten the backs against the racks with adjustable straps. When I first got the bags they seemed a little “fiddly”, what with all the straps, but once I got used to the system it was a snap to tighten the bags up or loosen them to put in more gear.

There are two wide straps on each bag that go over the seat and connect with sturdy (for plastic) fastex type buckles. The bags are easy to remove and carry inside for the night – push the buckles back through the corner brackets while the bags hang from the straps, then pick them both up by the straps and carry them away..

There is enough room between the left side bag and the pipe that I was not worried about contact and burning of the bag. I checked it a number of times during the trip, and I am not the least concerned about that now.

Getting into and out of the bags on the road is easy, simply disconnect the fore and aft fastex buckles, unroll the top. Roll the top back down and hook up the buckles again.

My buddy on this trip had the 1200GSA with BMW panniers, and they are cavernous. The lids come off for complete access to your gear. The Wolfman bags are more like digging into a backpack. But the reduced weight and cost of the Wolfman bags make them more appealing to me.

We got rained on one day, but it wasn’t a downpour, just on and off showers half a day, so I can’t comment on waterproof qualities in extreme wet weather. But the bags were dry inside after that little bit of rain.

I bought mine through Berg Briggs - www.backroadsmoto.com

I spoke to him before I purchased the bags, and he was helpful.

Overall rating is an A. I’ll update as I use them more and encounter different conditions, especially the wet. As for durability, too early to tell, but no failures on this 2,000 mile trip.



More pics -









Aanarchy screwed with this post 05-09-2010 at 05:02 PM
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:13 AM   #2
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Thanks, nice review, I'm looking at buying the same panniers for my 950SE.

Can you do me a favour please? I already have pannier racks on my SE: would appreciate it if you could measure the distance between the top & bottom mounting points on the Wolfman bags, measured from the centre to the centre of each of the mounting straps that run across the outside of each bag, I'll then have an idea of where to weld the small retaining loops on to my existing racks.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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i bought same version but used provited velcro straps with D-rings to attach bags to luggage frames and they hold really well. I havent yet had time to test luggages on the road they seem to be well made and good quality bags.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possu
Thanks, nice review, I'm looking at buying the same panniers for my 950SE.

Can you do me a favour please? I already have pannier racks on my SE: would appreciate it if you could measure the distance between the top & bottom mounting points on the Wolfman bags, measured from the centre to the centre of each of the mounting straps that run across the outside of each bag, I'll then have an idea of where to weld the small retaining loops on to my existing racks.
He sells a version made for racks that aren't his. Just look at the specs on the site.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging
He sells a version made for racks that aren't his. Just look at the specs on the site.
Thanks, I'm aware of the option for other racks but have yet to see how many straps etc there are & where they mount to. I also like the system that attaches to the four corners & it would be easy to convert my racks to suit it.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
Aanarchy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possu
Thanks, I'm aware of the option for other racks but have yet to see how many straps etc there are & where they mount to. I also like the system that attaches to the four corners & it would be easy to convert my racks to suit it.
Call or email Berg, he's a helpful guy.

Or just order the bags and you have it exact.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the awesome review! I can't wait to get these racks.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:29 PM   #8
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Called the UK importer (Winding Roads), they explained that there's no difference in the mountings, each set covers all rack options.

I'll be ordering a set as soon as my finances are in order.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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I have the dry expedition bags on a set of Happy Trails SU racks for my 2006 KLR650.

I tried a mod to mount footman loops on the racks to use the loops as provided by Wolfman.

The footman loops were to big, so I just looped the straps around the SU racks on the boo.
The top rear loops I wrapped around the top bar of the rack.

I put my rain gear, an MRE, a water bottle and camera gear in the other one. Road about 60 miles here in Idaho, and so far so good.

As far as I am concerned, they are fine and will work well.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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Wolfman Dry Expedition on F650GS Dakar

Have these mounted with Rotopax water and gas on both sides. Love the bags and they rode fine for numerous 4-14 day off road camping trips. I packed tools/spares/misc on one side and jetboil, food and clothes on the other. Those combined with a dry duffel w/tent, chair, sleeping bag were all I needed. Would like to see the Wolfman Beta bag waterproofed w/zippers and partnered up with this kit. It would ride perfectly, actually sitting on top and carry as much if not more than a Giant Loop with the added expansion of rotopax. Also have two pelican style cases I drop in from time to time if I need to protect items.

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:53 PM   #11
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Has anyone had any heat issues with these bags? I ordered a set for my new R1200GS, and will be mounting them on Touratech pannier racks. I'm just concerned about exhaust heat, since the pipe doesn't go all the way to the back of the rack. I'm aware of the aftermarket exhaust extension, but if it will be OK without it, I'd like to save $100 bucks.

Heat is a concern of mine because I had a set of Caribou pelican cases that actually melted ininto the mounting rack while riding on a hot day with a strong crosswind.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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No heat issues so far but I do have the optional heat shield. You can easily have one made if needed.

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Old 10-06-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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I like your set-up. Likely will be going with this as well. Considering installing them on a Touratech rack allowing the option to run hard cases one day. Well done.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:31 AM   #14
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I like those. I kinda want to get a set for my KLR, I'm at a crossroads right now deciding.


What happened is I was using my XR650R for 'adventure' riding, nothing more than weekend and day trips. A close friend has a KLR, and we were both wondering if we made the right choice. We switched bikes for 2 weeks for testing purposes, and decided nothing. I sometimes liked the KLR, sometimes missed my XR. He felt the same way. I put my ATV on craigslist, figured I'd see what happened. Not ready to give up the XR, but now I wanted a KLR. 3 weeks later we went on a weekend ride, and I was really wishing I had some luggage. I had a dry bag bungeed across the handlebars with the necessities and was wearing a backpack. It sucked.

At this point I figured nobody was going to bite on the ATV, so I ordered a Giant Loop Coyote. A few days later a kid called me, wanted to trade a 2005 KLR even up for my ATV. Money was fair, so we traded.

So now I have a brand new Giant Loop that fits great on my XR but fits kinda weird on the KLR. It would get the job done if needed, but there is a lot lost luggage space and it doesn't quite go down far enough. The weight would all be on top I think. I don't want to sell it because it's a good option for the XR, but I hate to have to buy another new luggage set.

Sorry about the long post. Basically I still have no idea what the heck I want to do.

A thought just popped in my head about getting the racks and bags for the KLR. Buy some pelican cases and design a system that will allow them to bolt to the wolf man racks without drilling the rack. Then reverse engineer the racks, and make a new set that will fit my Sportster. At that point I could use the same luggage for either bike. Use the Hardbags for commuting, soft bags on the KLR for and and all off-road where weight is a factor, and have options on either bike for whatever is needed. I doubt I'd use the soft bags on the Sportster much, but it's hard to say.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:24 PM   #15
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Thanks, great review! I have the Touratech 31/38 that you favor in hard bags (or rather, I have the 30/35 precursor) because my bike came with it. If I went soft luggage, I'd consider your review ... I've been looking to get one of their expedition duffels as a tailbag, or little ones on top of the pannier lids ...


happy adventures!
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