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Old 02-21-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
! Danimal ! OP
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Altoona, WI
Oddometer: 124
Question DR650-Happy Trail panniers pic request/help

Does anyone have any useful pics for Happy-Trail Owyhee panniers vs. Tetons on a DR650.

I really want to send these guys some money and I am having a hard time deciding between the two in the 7.5" width.

I run the lowered suspension (because I'm short) so my major concern is that the Tetons will be too large, clumsy looking, and will be more problematic off road (read: fireroads and two-track). However, I don't know if this is true or not because....i can't find pics for visual reference. I can deal with either as far as volume goes but more is better if I can keep potentially keep weight off of the top and down lower. I'm just trying to find that perfect balance so-to-say.

I've searched the whole damn internet trying to find decent pics at useful angles (front/back/sides) and have come up with nothing....especially with a lowered bike.. I know they have pictures on their website however, the pics on the website are about useless for any comparisons, as different widths and are shown and at weird angles.

If anybody is able to help, even by posting pics of their bike at "cardinal directions" it would be much appreciated. (Happy Trails if you have magic pictures sitting somewhere in your files of these panniers at the specified angles on a lowered DR....I'll buy your Mohave bags too.) As this is another conundrum... Mohave vs Wolfman on HT racks.

Feel free to chime in with anything even anecdotal advice.

Thanks everybody!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:06 PM   #2
The Cameraman
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Lancashire, England
Oddometer: 218
Mornin' Dan,

I can't comment on the DR but I used to have a lowered BMW F650GS and fitted it with the largest Hepco n Becker alloy panniers.

Pro's - I could carry anything I wanted.

Cons - I grounded both sides whilst doing a somewhat gung ho ride in Norway, with 180 deg switch backs and the fact that it simply didn't look right.

They may have been OK on a standard bike but on the lowered it simply looked odd.


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Old 02-22-2013, 06:40 AM   #3
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Redmond Oregon
Oddometer: 993
I like the look and rounded corners of the Pelican cases. They are less likely to break your leg in a crash too which is a bonus and the reason I would NEVER run hard bags. I think its the 1430 Pelican series everyone seems to use.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
Adventure Touring
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Just a Plain City in Utah
Oddometer: 287
happy trails

I have the Owyhee on my klr and love them ! some worry about getting hit by a hard box and I can understand that, but I hit a deer at 40 mph and went down and had the boxes on and i feel that the box kept the bike up off of my leg as i went down ! still I busted my collar bone I know the owner of happy trails and some of the workers and they are great folks to deal with. have gone on some of HT Sponsored rides and always had a ball

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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Location: Redmond Oregon
Oddometer: 993
I would use hard boxs if I never went off road with them on. I rarely avoid dirt so soft bags only for me.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
! Danimal ! OP
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Altoona, WI
Oddometer: 124
Thanks for the pics and advice! I will have both, likely the soft bags will get packed to "base camp" and soft bags from there on out for short runs/dirt runs/long expeditions to foreign lands etc.... Unfortunate reality of where I live is if i ran with soft-bags on all the time I would come out to a bike with bare racks eventually. I commute everywhere 3.5 seasons out of the year.....I want/need to be able to lock stuff up. Thanks for the pics on the's better than what I have been able to find thus far.

Keep the pics coming, I'm getting PMs with people that want the same pics if I get them PM'd to me or emailed.... apparently this is a bigger issue than just me.

It's a shame sometimes you have to work so hard to spend money...
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
Oddometer: 5,279
I put a set on my GS a few years ago. I screwed up and let them drill the mounting holes (for free, promotion). the holes were about double the size they needed to be. plus the aluminum was pretty soft. they were fine until I got to about mile 60 of the first gravel road I ran (McCarthey) & then they were so loose on the rack I thought they were going to fall off. the alu sides were distorted too.

look at the size of the holes they drilled!
(the little ones are mine... I started work before taking any pix & then thought better)

I riveted in a strip to reinforce the hard points & redrilled:

they have been fine for many miles.... like 20k... and they don't leak. on the other hand, other bits I got from them were a bit funky as well.... the racks, the turn signal relocate bar, the kit to drop exhaust. the mounting holes were too big & still did not always align. the turn signal thing did not work at all. anyway, point is that the construction is not on par with Jesse & such, but then they are half the money.

the bottom bracket holes I drilled big enough insert a washer. this brought the hole back to the right size. then a wide area washer on the inside to capture that one. the bottom was stiffer because of the side walls & didn't need the reinforcement. who knows... maybe I got the only funky one they ever made

Beezer screwed with this post 02-22-2013 at 11:49 PM
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
! Danimal ! OP
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Location: Altoona, WI
Oddometer: 124
anyone else?
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: PDX
Oddometer: 43
The opening on the owyhee is just to narrow to get some of my camping gear thru.
I ended up going with the Tetons and couldn't be happier. Plus, the extra width makes it easier to pick up the bike off its side.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Fulltiming in an RV!
Oddometer: 2,029
I have their cheaper set -- the Givi E21's. They're 21 liters each, plastic, and take a beating. I've dumped by bike I dunno how many times and they have yet to crack, break, come off, etc. They're also a lot lighter than the metal ones and have built-in locks. I think they're about $400 for the set including the racks. I'd definitely buy them again. And I'm the same boat as you -- short. My DR is lowered 2-1/2" over stock.

'12 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
'96 Suzuki DR650
'10 Kawasaki KLX351S #320
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #11
Unstable Rider
Beans n brats
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: 10,000 Lakes
Oddometer: 2,304
B & H Camera
Pelican Hardigg Storm Cases IM2600

$116.00 each/per side

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:52 AM   #12
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: USA - Florida and Ohio
Oddometer: 228
DR650 panniers

Here is a link to my DR650 build and I used the Happy Trails panniers. I reinforced them before installation at the mounting points, as well as the frames.


I have been satisfied with the panniers after I made my modifications. One of the posters on your thread showed the mounting point metal distortions. I agree but it is a relatively easy fix.

Good luck - Dave
Prudhoe Bay Ride Report: Click Here

DR650 Adventure Bike Build: Click Here
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:04 AM   #13
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Binghamton, NY
Oddometer: 1,550
I had the Tetons on my DR650 at first but they're big and they ended up going on the 1050 Tiger instead. Still trying to find an extra rack so I can use them on both bikes but I really wouldn't use the Tetons off road, just too close to my heal.


Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just God when he's drunk.
Tom Waits
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