KTM 640 Adventure luggage options explained

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by stickfigure, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    I'm prepping a new (well, not anymore!) 07 for a 6-month trip through Central America. Here's the fruit of my research, an update on the current state of motorcycle luggage for your bike:

    Jesse: I have these on my F650 and I like the way they fit snug to the bike. Unfortunately they aren't made for the 640A. Next.

    Touratech/KTM: The official KTM factory luggage is rebranded Touratech. Oddly enough, the racks and cases are significantly cheaper if you buy the KTM version rather than from Touratech directly. Someone should tell the beemer guys - I'd love to see GSes with orange logos :evil Unfortunately the KTM boxes only come in 35L and 41L sizes. To get a 29L/35L combo (the only reasonably narrow choice) you have to buy the 29L from TT for about $100 more. The Zega boxes are raw aluminum, which reportedly gets black aluminum oxide all over your stuff. Plus they don't come with locks - you either use padlocks (two per case) or buy an expensive lock kit which requires drilling. After all is said and done, you're getting close to $1000, including a 30+ day backorder on the rack. Munn Racing (http://www.munnracing.com/) seems to be the best deal for the rack & 35L case.

    Motosport Panniers: The panniers are visually similar to the Touratech Zegas, basically an aluminum box, and they come in 37L & 26L capacities. For about the same money you get a lot more case - they are powdercoated (no aluminum oxide issues) and they already have integrated locks. Motosport used to make their rack for the 640A but this is no longer available. However, if you ask for it they will include a drill-it-yourself mounting kit specific to the Touratech rack. After I found multiple reports in the forums that the cases leak (plus the 30+ day wait for the KTM/TT rack) I decided to pass. Again, it's about $1000 for the whole solution. http://www.moto-sportpanniers.com/

    SW Motech: They make a bracket system that features adapters for several third-party cases including Givi, Hepco-Becker, Shad, and Krauser. http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/28/77/ Apparently the brackets themselves come off the bike, "preserving the original visual appearance and size of your motorcycle." I keep my motorcycle covered in a protective layer of mud so I'm not really concerned about that. I also never take my luggage off. The luggage options don't excite me; all the boxes mentioned are too wide and too flimsy for the abuse I plan to give them.

    Hepco Becker: If you can read german, you can probably order a rack for the 640Adv made by H-B themselves. Then you can use the german instructions to install the rack to the bike. Then you can mount the enormously wide plastic Gobi cases or the flimsy-feeling aluminum cases. No thanks.

    Happytrails: <b>Updated commentary at http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7609199&postcount=38</b> After eight months of travel, I do NOT recommend this option. Former comments follow:

    http://www.happy-trail.com/ These guys still make a rack for the 640A. They had it in stock. At $255 it's significantly cheaper than the TT rack. They sell a drill-it-yourself mounting kit for $50 for two cases (TT sells their pucks $50 per case). They also will sell you the whole kit, including powdercoated aluminum panniers, for about $900. They come in a variety of widths. The rack (which I bought) is indestructible. Their cases (which I did not) have a canyon cut (more crash survivability) and a great reputation online. However, I chose the DIY approach and Pelicans. BTW these guys are are smallish shop in Idaho and sell direct. Much nicer purchase experience than Munn talks to Touratech who probably subcontracts the manufacturing etc...

    Pelican Cases: Indestructible and waterproof. A little over $100 each, available at almost any camera store. At least one company (Caribou) makes a whole mounting system for these boxes, but unfortunately they don't make one for the 640A. That's ok, a little drilling and the $50 mounting kit will bolt it up to the happytrail rack. The question is which case? The standard (used by Caribou and almost everyone online) is the 1550 side-loader, ~34L. I prefer top loading, but the only reasonable option is the 1440, which lists an external width of over 12", two inches wider than the 41L Zega I can't stand. I think much of that may be overhang around the lip but it's still big and heavy (~15 lbs each, vs ~10 lbs for the 1550 and ~8 for most of the aluminum panniers). I chose to go with the 1550s and ordered the Caribou versions, which include lid lanyards, retention straps, and lid locks. It's $50 per case more expensive than the bargain online dealer (www.boss-safety.com) but I'll take the convenience. Caribou luggage is at http://www.adventure-motorcycle.com/

    So... I haven't mounted the rack to the bike yet (need to unbend my subframe first :(:) and I just ordered the Caribou-Pelicans. Since the 1550s are side-loading I have to make a decision about lid-in or lid-out. I'm considering lid-in on left side and lid-out on right side. The idea is that if the bike is on the sidestand, it will be leaning left. Lid-in on left side means that stuff will tend to "fall" into the body of the case as it opens. Lid-out on right side means that stuff will tend to stay in the case when opening. I'll post pictures when I get it mounted.

    Jeff
    #1
  2. Tempo

    Tempo Stumptown Native

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    Good summary. Interesting on the pricing of the KTM/TT re-brand, I didn't know that.

    I just installed the HT rack on my 640A about a week ago myself. I agree that it's quite bomb proof. I haven't really used it yet except to prop up my bike when I dumped it on the ground the other night.
    :arg But not a scratch on the 640!

    I am waiting for my cases. I went with the Teton (33L and 33" wide).

    I use HT mounts with Caribou cases on my F650, just as you plan to do, except I used a BMW OEM rack. It works pretty well. With clever puck placement you can make it really easy to get on/off yet still have a very secure pannier.

    It's not clear to me if/how the SW Motech side stand will play nicely with the HT panniers on since the side stand swings so wide. I've read here that it doesn't work well at all with Zegas. I expect to fiddle with the Teton's mount points to find a good solution.

    :dutch
    #2
  3. djchan

    djchan Long timer

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    I have the SW Motech quicklock racks you mentioned with Pelican 1550s. They are quite good. The pelicans need no introduction but the quicklocks are great for me. I like to ride where I'm going, remove the rack/bag at the same time...in 45 seconds for both sides. Go back on in 1 minute (for both). So I can have my cake and eat it too. They look good, even with the tabs left on for quick connection, and the bags are freaking bolted to the racks with bonded sealing washers each side and 1/4" hex bolts and nylock nuts. I've been through utter downpours with no leakage and dropped the bike on them several times. Think about riding at the end of the day without those giant hard bags - it feels like a dirtbike again in 45 seconds.

    Dean
    #3
  4. durtrider

    durtrider adventure sow

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    Good stuff, Thanks. I'll probable follow your same route.:clap
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  5. jamesdemien

    jamesdemien Been here awhile

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    no issues with the side stand and zegas to report.
    Has anyone seriosly tweeked their sub frame in a get off? I worry about ripping the back of the bike off in the middle of no where so I try not to wreck... So far so good.
    #5
  6. Surlyguy

    Surlyguy Guest

    I ordered the moto-sport panniers thinking that they would be as good as the Zega bags but have been pretty disappointed. I had TT bags for 20,000km on my previous bike.

    First of all the cross over bar in the back has to get supported by the license plate bracket...which the bike doesn't come with.
    The rear support cracked after being in the bike for a year and approx 5000km.
    The cross over bar is not strong enough. If you tip over the bar cannot support the back half of the bike and it bends.

    The mounting system has one bolt hole through the aluminum. When the bike vibrates, the hole enlarges.

    The tack welded nut that the bag bolts to did not line up with the hole in the bag and snapped off.

    This winter I intend to order the TT puck mounting kit and retro fit that to the moto sport rack and panniers.

    Then I need to get that cross over bar re-engineered out of something stronger (I had already gussetted it when the weld failed). I need to staighten the right hand bag mount as well.

    I emailed them twice looking to buy individual parts to replace the bent stuff but no response.

    There are some good points to these bags. The liners and locks come with them...and...I can't think of anything else at the moment.
    #6
  7. Pine Sol

    Pine Sol Been here awhile

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    my two cents....

    this is just food for your thoughts, ideas to think about, i think this is what you are after, the price looks good.

    Pelican Case 1430

    these two site seemed to have a better selection, if the above is not what you were looking for.

    All Cases

    Hardigg Cases


    if in doubt, try the link bellow and see what you can find.

    Rotationally Molded Cases

    i hope this has helped you.
    #7
  8. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Thanks.

    Unfortunately the 1430 is small. Only about 15L, less than half the 1550. It's not much bigger than a toolbox and far too small for a serious journey, even with my minimalist standards.

    Hardigg makes a number of cases that look equivalent to the Pelican side-loaders, maybe with a wider selection of sizes. They seem to be about the same price as the Pelicans. Unfortunately no top-loader :waysad

    I'm pretty sure there are no moulded top-loading cases available suitable for panniers (well, other than the Gobi). I looked far and wide to no avail. The guy that makes the Caribou luggage did a lot of research (including trying to modify the 1440s) but also came up blank. Check this thread starting about here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102759&page=33

    BTW I'm pretty sure it is possible to get the H-B Gobi mounted to a 640A. Going through the H-B catalogue it looks like they have a mount for our bikes (although it's hard to tell, nicht spreche Deutsch). Actually ordering one and getting it installed might be a challenge. The SW-Motech QuickLock mount has an adapter for the Gobi, which is probably the easiest solution for someone on this side of the pond. I would be worried about the total width of the rig. The Gobis are crazy wide by themselves, plus the rack, and unless they are careful with the adapter design it might push out the bags farther than necessary. Here's a pick of the back of one of the Gobi bags: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=592735&postcount=1

    Jeff
    #8
  9. Pine Sol

    Pine Sol Been here awhile

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    what are the exterior dimmensions that you want?
    #9
  10. HalfFastMoto

    HalfFastMoto bRad

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    I have the 1440 top load Pelican cases on my '03 Dakar. They work great and the price can't be beat!

    Purchased a NOS Moto-Sport pannier rack off ebay last winter for $69 including shipping. Purchased the Pelican cases online for $104 each including shipping and then I purchased the Moto-Sport Universal Mounting Kit for $77 including shipping, see http://www.moto-sportpanniers.com/brackets.htm#mounting

    I even put aluminum drawer pulls on the lids for convienent tie-down spots!

    Here's a pic
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    More pictures please! I've read nearly every luggage thread on advrider and I'm pretty certain this is the first picture of a 1440 on a bike. Seriously, this is a pretty big deal. I'm especially interested in a pic from the rear showing the width.

    Did you cut off the ribs on the inside of the case to mate to the rack?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    #11
  12. DucatiSoc

    DucatiSoc Orange.

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    #12
  13. overlandr

    overlandr Dystopist

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    This thread would benefit from loads of photos.
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  14. HalfFastMoto

    HalfFastMoto bRad

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    Here's a shot of the rear taken when I got home from a 1400mile 4 day BC Ride which included some nice offroad riding like the Harrison 4x4 trail
    [​IMG]
    The width is comparable to my co-riders 950Adv with Jessies!

    Yes, I used a dremel tool to remove rib material so that the mounting plate would fit flush but I don't feel the case integrety was compromised, fact of the matter is the case is soooo over designed that it would take much more than the relief of some ribs to compromise the case
    [​IMG]

    On the top of the lids I used aluminum drawer pulls for tie down points. To increase the surface area where the drawer pull met the lid I used washers to distribute the load.
    [​IMG]

    And then on the inside of the lid I used some aluminum plate.
    [​IMG]

    All through points were sealed with silicon.
    #14
  15. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Hey guys,
    If it was me I'd buy the ones that don't dump my shit on the ground when I opened them and that are easy to fix with a hammer when they get smashed,
    but what do I know.
    Also, some stuff is just butt ugly.
    That bother's me.


    [​IMG]

    Touratech's in the Gobi desert.
    Mounting racks narrowed 4 inches total because the Comp pipe allows a more slim profile.
    35/41 Liter.
    SS hasps.
    Lexan wear protector between bag and the mounting rack-3/8" thick.
    Bag width less than the handlebar width.
    b.
    #15
  16. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Thanks much for those 1440 pics! What's the total width of the bike? It doesn't look as bad as I was expecting but it's still pretty wide.

    I'm still committed to the 1550s though. While it probably won't be a huge issue out of the country, I split traffic a *lot* when riding in Kalifornia.

    Jeff
    #16
  17. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Would you provide more specifics on how you narrowed the racks? Pictures from the rear?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    #17
  18. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Hi Jeff,
    I am on a dial up connection for a couple of days so pictures are very difficult just now. I will post some ASAP-a day or three.

    If you can get a picture of any Adventure from the rear with the Touratech/Hepco Becker racks you will see that they provided plenty of clearance between the left bag and the muffler, when I added the KTM competition pipe this distance got even larger and looked odd to me.

    From splitting traffic lanes in California and Central/South America, I knew how important it was to get the bag configuration more narrow than the bars for safety's sake so out came the hacksaw, air grinder and torch.

    It was a tough job but I just hacked, heated and bent and then rewelded brackets and loops and back braces until everything moved toward the centerline of the bike and fit at the original mounting points.
    You are limited on the right side but I moved the rack in as much as possible and left a couple of inches on the muffler side.
    I tacked it together with the torch and took it to a pro for the final.
    It came OK in the end but it turned into work.

    I kept the bag width the same on both sides from the tire centerline for looks and equal wind drag.
    You can see in the pics that I had bar weights, actually the one on the throttle side is a throttle lock-made by Throttlemeister. the width in the rear was less than the stock bars plus the bar end weights.
    The optics can fool you.

    BTW I crashed the bags plenty of times, they are tough. I never broke the racks either. I have had and seen worse luck with other manufacturer's products over the years.
    This is the bike ready to go to Russia and Mongolia-Spring '07.
    I rode to Seattle from my home in Wisconsin, air shipment to Korea, ferry to Russia and overland to Europe via Vladivostok, Mongolia and Lake Baikal, Siberia, Moscow and Budapest.
    My bike is in Germany now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope these help.

    bill.
    #18
  19. BirtDike

    BirtDike Like herding cats

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    Goddammit bmwktmbill!!! I've been thinking about doing that to mine, now I'm jealous! It really irks me how far the standard rack sticks out... I'm going to be thinking about this job for the next month now.

    That is a really nice job you did there. Just how I would have done it myself... If I had access to an oxy/acetylene set and all.
    #19
  20. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Thanks for the compliment, maybe I am not crazy as it bugged the heck out of me until I fixed it.
    b.
    #20