Hard Or Soft Luggage For F800GS ?!

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Trippelke, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Trippelke

    Trippelke BMW Adventurer

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    Hellow Hellow,

    First sorry for my English but I'am from Belgium.
    I drive a BMW F800GS for a year now.
    I want to learn the world a little bit more.
    First Europe and after Europe my big dream Africa.

    Now I have some question's about luggage.

    First I wanted to buy the Giant Loop Great Basin for my bike because It's a little cheaper then panniers.

    But what are the pro and contra's of soft and hard luggage?

    I was thinking about Touratech Zega Pro panniers but is it easy driving with it and do you really need al that luggage when you go on a trip of a month or 2.

    Regards,

    Trippelke :D
    #1
  2. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    Welcome! This topic has been discussed in various other threads.

    For all F800GS related topics you can find them in this sticky:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=415604

    For luggage threads you have these to read through:
    Hard Luggage: Panniers & Top Boxes
    F800GS Pannier Design Considerations inc. Pictures of all options
    F800GS Metal Mule Panniers
    F800GS/F650GS Micatech cases coming soon!
    F800GS top cases

    Soft Luggage: Tank Bags & Tail Packs
    F800GS Tank Bags ... Got one you like? Tell us about it!
    BMW F800GS & F650GS (twin) Moto-Sport Panniers Luggage
    Giant Loop Moto "Great Basin" Bag for Beasts (on a F800GS)
    800GS Tail bags - What're you using?
    #2
  3. Trippelke

    Trippelke BMW Adventurer

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    I already have printed those topic's for studying it but I don't know with to take. Hard or Soft?
    #3
  4. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    Personally I would go either with soft or pelican cases. I've heard to many instances where a crash mangles a hard aluminum case. Sure a small drop will probably not due much damage but how many people actually plan the way they are going to drop the bike?

    The other area of concern is loading your stuff. Aluminum is usually top load and pelican are side load. People don't like the side loading cause things have a tendency to fall out. However, side loading cases will usually have a elastic retention straps in main cavity of case hold your gear in place. So again its all personal preference.

    For commuting I don't want to have racks attached to the bike if I'm not running the side cases. There are the SW Mototech racks that can be easily removed so you can enjoy the clean look. Personally I don't like the look of a top box since it makes the bike appear like a pizza delivery scooter. Again, all personal preferences.

    You need to determine what you like and dislike about each. What type of riding are you going to be doing and how much gear you will be carrying. I was in fact just looking at this last night. There are so many options and price is certainly a consideration. Right now I'm leaning towards soft since I won't be doing anything longer than a month.

    I was looking at the giant loop and kriega soft with the caribou hard luggage hot on their heels. You will get a lot of opinions as to what people think is the best but ultimately it comes down to what you want! :freaky
    #4
  5. Zacharia_11

    Zacharia_11 11th Assassin

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    As another suggestion, take a look thru some ride reports of others doing exactly what it is you want to do. What do they have? Perhaps they will mention some of the troubles they had with the system they chose...
    #5
  6. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    I have a set of Jesse's for my F800GS as well as the Giant Loop Great Basin. Loaded, the Giant Loop weighs about the same as the Jesse's when empty. I use it for rides where I'm going to do a lot of off-pavement riding. The Jesse's are great for pavement, especially in an urban setting where you might want to lock things up. They're OK off the pavement, but I don't want one landing on my leg and I don't want to carry 40 pounds that I don't have to.

    The Giant Loop bag feels like part of your bike when you're riding, the Jesse's are definitely and add-on, and one that can be in your way.

    The Jesse's carry more, the Giant Loop makes you think twice about everything you bring (that's a good thing). The Jesse's are watertight, the Giant Loop fabric is waterproof, but you will get some water in the zipper and maybe through the seems. On my last trip, a friend with Jesse's crashed a couple times with some minor bending damage to his rack. This won't happen with a Giant Loop.

    In the end, you have to decide based on where you intend to use the luggage and how much stuff you typically carry. On an F800GS with a rack plate, there is room behind the bag for a small duffel. With the Jesse's, you have nearly unlimited ability to lash stuff on (that may be a bad thing).

    Can't decide? Consider the Caribou solution with Pelican cases. I thought about it seriously and decided I'd go the other two directions. As a middle ground, it seems hard to beat. I like the idea of nearly indescructable cases, I don't like the side-loading system so much.

    Hope this helps you. I think I worked through a few issues while writing it :lol3
    #6
  7. iphorde

    iphorde Obviously I'm bored.

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    I have some hard luggage (Motorad) I'll sell ya cheap.

    #7
  8. guzzimike

    guzzimike Long timer

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    On Road - Hard
    Off Road - Soft - Hard luggage can be an ankle buster when you fall, and you will.
    #8
  9. Law Dawg (ret)

    Law Dawg (ret) Been here awhile

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    I have the Happy Trails panniers for the F800GS, the set up is ongoing. For my Suzuki DR650 (when it begins to get set up) the Giant Loop Great Basins will be what I use. My thinking is that the Great Basins will serve double duty on the F800 as well. Both have their place and positive/negative aspects too.

    Hard cases tend to be more weather proof and I like to keep things minimal to fit inside. They also can make hard trails more difficult with the added danger of trapping (possibly breaking) a leg. GBs will make for better balance for riding those tough trails. They are limited for space and not as weather proof.

    You will need to make your own call as to gear but I would suggest that before you decide you make a few short duration trips to get a feel for that. One or two months is a long time to live out of luggage when roughing it. Try it for a weekend and begin to expand the time. Perhaps some waterproof canoe bags to strap to the bike for now (they will invaluable later anyway).

    One thing I learned from backpacking was to lay out all that I wanted to take along. Then I seriously worked at cutting that in half in such a way as to keep essentials. Short trips helped me to learn how to adapt to minimal with lots of dual purpose items and then longer duration trips honed that. Enjoy your preparation!
    #9
  10. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    Bienvenue/welkom Trippelke.

    Soft luggage is lighter. Hard luggage has better security. I use Touratech Zega panniers and Ortlieb Rack Pack waterproof soft luggage (one small on on top of each pannier and one large one of the rack behind the seat) when on long trips. Just the panniers on weekends away.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Dr JM

    Dr JM Been here awhile

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    I have used Metal Mule for almost 3 years and found them great, totally waterproof, easy to take on and off the bike and very robust. This photo was taken after a spill down a Romanian road which detached the left hand pannier. Once bike and rider were upright the pannier was reattached - the only tools needed were a 10mm spanner and an allen key.

    I also like the security of walking away from the bike and not worrying about someone stealing a soft bag strapped on the back, all I have to do is carry the tank bag.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    If Trippelke is not interested, I might be ...e-mail me details? :ear
    #12
  13. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Soft Luggage all the way!!!!

    [​IMG]

    The reasons I bought them:

    -Very lightweight
    -Totally Waterproof (not all soft luggage is, the stuff I have is waterproof though)
    -Expandable and compressible to fit the volume of stuff you have.
    -Low profile, they feel like they are not there.
    -Easily removable with no bulky frames left behind.

    The reason I would recommend them: I took a reasonable spill in deep sand and my leg got trapped under the soft luggage because I tried to dab on that side. I'm sure if I had hard luggage I may have broken my ankle or at least had some bad bruises. I was always skeptical about the possibilities of injuring yourself on hard luggage but now I know it is true. I travel solo on rough trails and the last thing I need to worry about is my bike attacking me!

    The down-sides:

    -Not very quick access to the contents, hard to get stuff at a moments notice.
    -Can be stolen when you are not looking
    -Requires a bit of organizational skill to balance the load and fit stuff appropriately.

    Edit: Also those two bags can probably fit 100L fully expanded, just as much as the biggest hard cases, maybe more.
    #13
  14. Trout

    Trout Been here awhile

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    What he said (see above post).

    I started with a Pelican system. Now I'm running Giant Loop - soft was the way to go for me. I felt like the the bike is overburdened with hard cases on it.
    #14
  15. Trippelke

    Trippelke BMW Adventurer

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    So you guy say to me that you get all gear in those bags for a month or 2 months riding and living?

    I really like the giant loop but I just hope that it don't make the wrong choice buying it.
    #15
  16. Sydney Rider

    Sydney Rider Been here awhile

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    Hi,

    Last Monday I met two people who had been on the road from Sweden http://www.bcprod.ch/ for 18 months with only the hardware you see in the picture on their front page.... and they didn't have any problems in their opinion with the luggage they used (look at http://www.bcprod.ch/weltreise/australien/australien_tagebuch.htm - they also use a tank back that contains their sleeping bags and their tent... somehow) but then everyone is different.

    Tony
    #16
  17. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

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    Im currently using 3 of these bags on a homemade rack.
    #17
  18. nevermind

    nevermind sLOW Rider

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    They won't be the last bags you buy. :D From my experience, I'm always looking for the perfect system and so far, I've been through 4 different systems.
    #18
  19. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    What 4 and what didn't you like about them?
    #19
  20. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    I don't own the 800 but follow it closely...
    I have not seen much mention of the Moto-Sport panniers.
    They offer a soft bag option with aluminum backing plates to mount.
    Any experiences?
    Rack strength or pannier strength (cordura)?
    #20