Advice needed. R100GSPD Panniers

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by nolleman, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. nolleman

    nolleman Child Prodigy

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    Western Wisconsin
    So, I'm thinking about upgrading from my stock BMW cases to something newer. Which way to go? Are Zegas worth the money? I like the black Gobi's but have not heard much about them. I don't like the Jessies at all. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    #1
  2. jdmetzger

    jdmetzger Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,384
    Location:
    DC Metro
    I went with Caribou cases a while back. I got lucky and have the custom rack for my GSPD that they no longer produce.

    They now offer a Hepco Becker-mounted system for their bags that should work on your GSPD since those are Hepco racks (they show a photo of a PD with mounted bags in their Hepco Becker ALS system PDF though I'm sure they can quickly verify that it will work for you). That means you can use your existing rack and save some cash. They have a few different case options on their site.

    I've been happy with my cases - no leaks or anything like that, and they don't dent when you tip over off-road... not that it's even happened to me. :augie
    #2
  3. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,047
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've got the Zega's on my 1150. Along with the internal bags for gear and you will want to coat the Aluminum. They are great for getting things in and out, but I strongly prefer a hinged lid to the latches. Tops are replaceable when you lose one... yes you are likely to lose one and they're overpriced when you do.

    (I've lost lids. With the internal retainers that TT sells, with cables that I've put in place to what TT sells, now using an external Safety wire from stage lighting that I swiped off a... well you get the idea. Now I can't loose lids.)

    There are cheaper versions available that are as functional. I've a friend that used Alpos boxes for a PanAmerican trip... they lasted just fine. I've got two forty something liter of them in my Garage should I ever create a rear subframe for the R80 to incorporate them. Let me know if you'd want them. They are hinged on one end, can be used with locks, impossible to lose the lid... did I mention that you won't ever have to buy an extra lid?
    #3
  4. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    31,934
    Location:
    Shawangunks
    I have Zega, and like em, but some will say they are expensive crap. I've managed to not comletely destroy them, and thats saying something, for me. That alone should be their marketing strategy. "Hey Stagehand didnt competely trash them in ten minutes" :lol I've lost lids, too, but tether them, now. :bluduh They hold a ton of crap. I use them as my racing tool boxes, malles moto style. They are poundable back into shape. I like em for touring, they are great camp seats, and tool trays, camera platforms.
    If I had to do it again, I might consider soft luggage for the one time that the things trap my ankle :uhoh

    They take stickers well, also.
    #4
  5. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,360
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    A few questions of personal preference may get you started down the decision tree:

    1 - Top-load or side-load? Some people have strong preferences and this decision eliminates a number of possibilities. Side-load offer better access but can be a bit more awkward loading, etc.

    2 - Material? Also dictates top or side-load for the most part.

    3 - Complete system or home made? By home made, I'm suggesting the idea of taking an existing box of some kind (Pelican, etc.) and adding mounting hardware to attach to your BMW racks.

    I mounted Samsonite suitcases and then a Pelican top case on my bike and used them for 80K miles - they survived some crazy abuse. I recently converted the side cases to Pelicans but still think about going with top-loading aluminum cases.

    On the Columbia river...

    Attached Files:

    • bags.jpg
      bags.jpg
      File size:
      54.2 KB
      Views:
      648
    #5
  6. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,761
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    #6
  7. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,473
    Location:
    Madison WI
    I had some happy trails on my 93 gs. I liked them alot. Nicely made!

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,609
    Location:
    Chico, California
    I would go with the Caribou luggage. Hepco Becker's have weak latches and they make the bike really wide.
    #8
  9. nowhereman

    nowhereman I'm lost -don't follow me

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    386
    Location:
    Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
    here's my review of the Happy Trails panniers. I like mine fine. If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably use the Touratech racks with the Happy Trails bags. If you read through my review, you'll see why.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=378754

    And here they are with a liberal application of Reflexite railroad tape - I'm bright as the sun now (and I look like a chuckwagon commercial)

    Day time :

    [​IMG]

    Night time :

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Country Doc

    Country Doc Wanderer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,791
    Location:
    somwhere north of Kingston, Ontario
    I went through a few iterations of alu panniers and ended up back with the stock ones (when I had my GS... :lol3) Easy on, easy off. Surprisingly rugged for what the bike is capable of.

    If I was going more off-road, more remote than "normal" for a GS, I'd personally stick with soft luggage, as the weight penalty and potential crash damage is just so high for the hard-sided stuff. Andy Strapz, Wolfman, something like that.

    I have also trapped my ankle underneath low-hanging alu panniers and it did not feel good.

    If your bike is a road steed with some gravel road time only, then my favourite hard-sided panniers that I've seen yet are the Micatech ones. Buddy of mine has them on an R12GS and I'm very impressed by the build quality, access, looks, etc. Not sure if they make racks for old airheads, but they are a quality piece of kit.

    dc
    #10
  11. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    31,934
    Location:
    Shawangunks
    wow! thats reflective.
    #11
  12. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    31,934
    Location:
    Shawangunks

    After some reflection, I've decided thats too many stickers.
    #12
  13. tennessee thumper

    tennessee thumper Don't Text Me Bro

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    927
    Location:
    Arkansas Ozarks
    #13
  14. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,698
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA

    There are a bunch of threads on the KTM forums about the Gobi's having their weak latches break... they aren't held very to the frames IIRC

    I would second the use of the Touratech racks, which are the sturdiest ones out there (save for Tesch and the Aussie version of the Tesch racks) and the Happy Trails panniers.
    #14
  15. elmontanero

    elmontanero Practicing...

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,047
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I'm using the HT panniers too. But I really have to say that I dislike the lip on the tops and they need to come with the Locking Southco's as a factory option.

    I swapped them into mine, but had a brain fart and have one bag that's too tight and the other that'll pop open if you lean on that side and push the latch.

    No bag yet is set up for real security that I've seen, maybe the micatechs or jesse's with the heavy flush locks. I know any determined thief can get in, but I'd really like to find something that's above screwdriver safe. Maybe a Jesse lock with a round key?
    #15
  16. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    878
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Depends on what your idea of "shape" is, I guess.

    I managed to trash one of mine in a little 10 mph tumble on ice, and try as I might I couldn't get them to properly close again. Those curves are really hard to get right, and the edges crack with too much hammering.
    [​IMG]

    Still like them enough that I bought a new one. They're fairly narrow on the bike for the amount of space they give. Briefly considered getting some Daerr boxes, but they were too wide, didn't fit with my rack/seat.
    #16
  17. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,835
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    I have happy trails boxes mounted on touratech racks with touratech pucks. Truly bomb proof. In June I got back from 30,000 miles of on/off road riding in central and south america over the course of 9 months with 6 other guys (2 others on GSPDs) and our luggage included Zegas, Jesses, Happy trails, Caribou and Alpos. Mine and the Alpos were the ONLY ones that were not getting repaired CONSTANTLY on the trip.

    The Jesses and Caribous faired the worst, not due to the boxes, but the mounting systems. The caribou rack for the GSPD just disintegrated completely on numerous occasions. The way the jesses mounted they caused the subframe to break over and over again. The Zegas crumble in crashes. Also the seams are riveted and sealed with silicone so after your first crash all your gear gets wet the next time you ride in the rain. The happy trail boxes are not the prettiest but are truly bomb proof. Mine sustained several crashes, one with a car, and show nothing other than a nice smear of red paint from the car. The happy trail mounts that two of the other guys used came apart a few times and required some welding. That and the little metal hooks they use for attachment aren't the nicest solution. I'm VERY happy with my setup. The touratech racks are SERIOUSLY sturdy. For what they cost, they damn well better be. The Alpos boxes were on an XT600 and were held on by a home-made rack that was probably TOO sturdy. It did the job nicely though.
    #17
  18. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    31,934
    Location:
    Shawangunks
    I managed to massage this back into a working lid:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The racks indeed are sturdy, and so far have never flinched, nor broken the subframe. I agree, the aluminum bags are fairly flimsy, and the system has its disadvantages.


    Did I mention they take stickers really well?
    #18
  19. Cigars&Scotch

    Cigars&Scotch My eyes are up here

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,096
    Location:
    Fancy Pants of North Moran
    Take a look. Expensive, but have had zero trouble with them.
    Plus stickers

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,457
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    I like the Happy Trails fairly cheap, a guy sells some similar ones for $299???, you have to supply the mounts. HT mounting has issues with turning and dropping a bag, this can be cured though. I have a friend who lost one. The upper mounts can pivot loosing grip. I've tested mine on the highway sliding on pavement at 50-55 mph till stopped by a guardrail. The bag was removed, but was able to beat it back in shape to reattach.

    You can keep the mount from rotating by adding rollpins to the top mounts and drilling little locating holes in the bag.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #20