Researching Vstrom pannier rack options for Magadan bags

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by sitz, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. sitz

    sitz Adventurer

    Sep 3, 2011
    Haven't posted around here much, but have been researching myself into hallucinations. Hi!

    I'm in the planning stages of what is effectively an IBA ultimate coast-to-coast (no idea if I'll actually do the paperwork to make it official, but that's the trip). May hit the Top of the World road while I'm up there, but there are variables which need to be sorted (such as "how much time will I have to play with"). So the ride will be a lot of highway, the Dalton, possible side-excursions onto gravel/dirt. Most likely no single-track; if there is, it'll be really light.

    Looking into soft luggage for a 2012 vstrom and the Magadan bags look interesting but pictures of the bags mounted do not appear to exist in quantity and pictures of the racks are a rare beast indeed (the hotrodwelding racks notwithstanding).

    My requirements:
    * Solid rack of the proper dimensions for a large set of soft luggage
    * Steel.
    * [optional] Enough room behind the port-side rack for a 4" tool tube
    * [optional] Something compatible with a top rack which can take (or be easily modified to take) a rotopax.
    * this space intentionally left blank. I'm sure I've forgotten something. =)

    The players I know of:

    * SW-motech ($285): gets good reviews and their top rack look interesting; there are reports of installation issues on the Glee. Looks like more of a hard-luggage design, but hey; it's just hoops. Being motech, they're not cheap of course. Also not symmetrical.

    * Happy Trail($290/$340 w/inboard shelf): Looks solid enough, mixed reviews both of product (some reports of rusting and fitment issues), delivery, and customer service. Which is to say "there are both good and bad mentions for all three". Looks longer than some others. Installation requires removal or modification of exhaust heat shield.

    * PMR ($84): decent looking, but doesn't look like the right tool for this particular job.

    * Wolfman doesn't currently have a rack

    * Touratech does ($360)- they're now listing their rack as a separate part. I have no data (beyond the fairly detailed tech specs) one way or the other on that rack. Also, is it really *stainless*? Or did someone bring the writers the really good brownies by mistake that day?

    * Andy Strapz ($370 AUD): Hoops look larger than anyone else's which is nice. No rear bracing, tho.

    * Jesse Luggage Odyssey II ($300): looks longer than most other racks (in it's own way) but doesn't looks compatible with the Magadan mounting system. Opposing opinions (or actual facts!) welcome.

    * Givi ($190/$230): Two offerings, one quick-release, one not. Obviously designed with their luggage in mind but again, just needs some hoops. Funky angle on those may not be conducive to soft-luggage, tho.

    * Hepco & Becker: $300. I have limited data.

    With the exception of Andy Strapz racks (at $380+ USD which puts them north of Touratech), all of these look a bit short to me, but then I've not actually seen many racks with these bags installed; I just know that the racks put together by Hot Rod welding look substantially longer to me.

    So, questions!

    * Recommendations? Who'd I miss?
    * For those running Magadans, what sort of racks are you using? If you've got pics, that'd be very helpful.
    * Warning: Pedantic levels of info requested here. :) Dimensions of interest (especially for those running custom/DIY racks): tube diameter, wall width, hoop width/height (measured from the outside edges, just so we have some standardization) and total rack width. How much bag hangs down below the lower rack hoop?
    * How well does your rack keep the bag off the moving/hot bits?
    * Any other issues? Any changes you'd make?

  2. beechhunter

    beechhunter Been here awhile

    Nov 19, 2007
    Vienna, GA
    Where are you getting the Magadan bags?
  3. sitz

    sitz Adventurer

    Sep 3, 2011
  4. captsam54

    captsam54 Ready to Ride..!!

    May 1, 2011
    Naples, Fla.
  5. wingnut11

    wingnut11 generally strange

    Aug 19, 2009
    Twin cities mn
    I don't know about the OP but I can explain what I did. I went with the happy trails rack as I have a set of ammo cans on the bike for commuting. When I get out of town I take those off and put the Magadans on. What I didn't like was that the bags hung down lower than the bottom of the rack loops, and would sag inwards below that point. So a solution was needed. I ended up getting a couple of kitchen cutting boards that get bolted to the inserts in the rack. I used a heat gun, a vise, a couple of 2x4s and some elbow grease to bend the bottom of the cutting boards to act as sort of a half shelf. Over the winter I plan on trimming the half shelf back a bit and cutting a few strap slits in the cutting boards to run the locating straps through. Then I'll be able to bolt them on, hook the over the subframe straps together and be ready to roll.
  6. sitz

    sitz Adventurer

    Sep 3, 2011
    (Two years later, and therefore of no use to anyone). I took the easy option and used what I had on-hand: a Giant Loop Great Basin. Not perfect, but decent a it had the distinct advantages of 1) not requiring a rack and 2) being in my garage.