SOFT BAGS....the basics.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Dave Nolan, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

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    Lots of threads about frames, soft bags etc, so I thought I’d show my solution. It may be of use to some, blokes like me that need to buy stuff . We can't all (unfortunately) be wizards like you blokes who can knock up all there own gear. Everything you see here is just my minor adaptation of stuff I've seen on this site, so thanks.


    I use my panniers for weekends and the odd longer trip, mostly gravel road touring. If you’re storming the desert or charging along single tracks in the scrub, you may need something else, but so far these have performed faultlessly for me, over thousands of kays.

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    First photo is your basic bag&#8230;very basic. It&#8217;s an R Jays copy of an Andys style bag. 360x360x200 I&#8217;ve never seen an Andys bag close up, but I accept they&#8217;re heaps better quality. But these are good for the price&#8230;about $80.00. Over the years I&#8217;ve made quite a few pairs of leather saddlebags, but wouldn&#8217;t bother at this price.

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    The straps that go across the seat are too short. I got an extension made out of seat belt webbing and Velcro, before I realized that you only need a couple of bits of 2&#8221; Velcro, face to face. Doh!:lol3

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    Frames&#8230;.this is where you can save money if you do it yourself. Not me unfortunately. Theres as many schools of thought as there are frames. Many go for in close and forward, eg Ebay racks.
    I went for Hepco & Becker. Strong, multi point mounted and well braced. They were exactly the right size for the bags (or was it the other way round:lol3 ) The fact that they are a long way back suits me as I&#8217;m short legged and even fully loaded the bike is still quite easy to mount. Also leaves area around foot peg mount open for other gear.
    Pricewise nearly all the frames I looked at were about the same, except the Ebay ones wehich were heaps cheaper. If I was buying now I&#8217;d probably go with Locky&#8217;s, they look real good too.
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    Chuck &#8216;em on. One strap over carrier, one over seat, with a lambswool seat belt thingy from the bargain bin.

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    straps with clips on the back of the bags fit perfectly around the frames, lucky that!

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    To further stabilise them I sewed a little leather strap and buckle onto the seam of each bag at the back&#8230;..

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    &#8230;&#8230;and at the front (velcro would be just as good, but old habits die hard.

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    A couple of 75mm wide home made Andy&#8217;s style straps. Any upholsterer or Clark Rubber type shop has the stuff you need. Alternatively buy Andy's and help me feel a little less guilty about copying. (Only for my own use I hasten to add, and they take hours to stitch by hand)<o:p></o:p>
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    and they&#8217;re on, nice and secure.
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    looks a bit of a &#8220;barge-arse&#8221; but it&#8217;s no practical problem.
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    all the different straps are the key. I reckon preventing any movement of your bags means you&#8217;ll have less problems.
    But you don&#8217;t want to be undoing all those straps etc to get your bags off in camp. That&#8217;s were the Jerry liners come in. They lend shape and keep the bags heaps more stable in use. Once you reach camp, leave your bags on and just lift out the liners, with all your gear in 'em.
    It&#8217;s worth hunting around for the Army water 22 litre jerrys. The extra size means you don&#8217;t have the wasted space you get with the 20 litre.(Edit: now I don't think it makes any difference......they're all much the same size) These fit in just perfect.

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    <o:p>Hope it's of some use to somebody.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Cheers</o:p>
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    <o:p>Dave </o:p>
    #1
  2. Muddler

    Muddler Been here awhile

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>Hope it's of some use to somebody.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Cheers</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Dave </o:p>[/quote]

    Hi Dave
    Thanks for this, some great tips and photos. Very timely too as Im about to set up my bike (X-Challenge) the same as you. I was thinking about steel pony or Andy saddle bags, but after buying a long range tank the financial controller is not going to be very supportive of the extra $$. At that price ($80 ea or for pair?) I'll give the R-Jays a try.
    I'm going to try and weld up my own frame, mimicing the HB setup
    Cheers
    Rob
    #2
  3. CJ Burns Esq

    CJ Burns Esq Been here awhile

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    +1 on the R-Jays bags.
    Picked up a pair from MCAS for $75 prior to the last desert trip.
    Ok they are not water or dust proof but that's why bin liners come in packs of 20. They could do with a couple of water bottle holders stitched on as well.

    As for the racks for my DR? I went the ebay ones by Precision racks (?)
    Fit perfectly first time and if you go to the hardware and get a couple of longer bolts you can still keep the pillion pegs on.
    Why I hear you ask?
    My partners bike chucked a valve at Tibooburra on the last trip and we then rode 2 up to the corner, Arkaroola and round to Broken Hill so worth keeping them on me thinks.

    Good write up Woop Woop and cute idea with the jerry can inserts, brilliant.
    #3
  4. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

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  5. rearviewmirror

    rearviewmirror Been here awhile

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    Very nice write up, I've given up on the thought of going with an H&B pannier setup, just too much dosh. I am thinking of going with the Ortlieb saddle bags. Ortliebs are water and dustproof, for cycling some of the best products I've ever owned. Might go for these if I can work out how to keep the off the exhaust.

    http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-59.htm
    #5
  6. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

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    I agree that in absolute terms the H&B stuff is expensive, but in relative terms it's reasonably priced. Gear for XT660R like rear racks, centrestands, crashbars etc, all compare favourably with Genuine, SW Motech and Givi. This is a general point only as of these SW Motech are the only people who offer any sort of pannier frame. Here's a link to one Australian source. Have a look, but double check it's for right model year etc.

    http://www.motorradgarage.com.au/catalog/index.php

    Some people do go with Ortleibs etc. Don't doubt what you say about quality but have no 1st hand knowledge. BUT you're still gunna need racks. There may be other racks that I don't know about but I bet you're not gunna get much change from $500.00 either way.

    One other option....Giant loop...This is a pannier system requiring no frames and might be your solution. I have no 1st hand knowledge but I reckon this is a quality product and know that some inmates here have spoken highly of it. Here is a link to U.S. site. Dunno who Australian Distributor is but that'll turn up. Even if there a bit more than other bags you save by not needing frames.

    http://www.giantloopmoto.com/


    EDIT

    found a link to Aust Distributor

    http://www.adventuremoto.com.au/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=21&products_id=103

    Cheers
    Dave
    #6
  7. raider

    raider Big red dog

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    Great writeup and pics, thanks!

    Minor point: it's unlikely the RJays are a copy of Andy's Pannierz, since I bought a set of RJays bags just like yours ten years ago (still going strong, minor repair to the straps where I ripped one off on a coppers log in a national park campsite), and Andy's have only been on the market for a couple of years.

    My only complaints with the RJays are:
    1) too small
    2) mounting straps are in the wrong place - need to be top and bottom, not twinned together in the middle.

    $40 and any decent canvas repair place can fix point (2). Packing less shit fixes (1).
    #7
  8. ozbikedude

    ozbikedude so little time

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  9. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

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    Great post woopwoop with some excellent and informative pics!

    I also use the Rjay's soft panniers but have set them up a bit differently, as per 'Dusty Rhodes' advice in another another post on this topic here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=419466&highlight=rjays

    I have a DR650 with BBQ rack and Ebay side racks. Firstly, the two velcro straps attach around the grab handle (would only act as a final emergency if other straps failed).

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    Then I wind the two straps that are on the rear of the bag horizontally around the bags and racks and connect them together.

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    Next I use a 2m 'Gotcha' strap that runs under the bag, behind the side rack and over the seat to the opposite side rack. This pulls the bag up and keeps it very tight with the weight taken by the seat and opposite rack.

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    Lastly, I run another 'Gotcha' strap around the whole lot horizonatley.

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    The final thing I have is a 4lt water bladder that sits on top that clips to the grab handle and then is kept in place with an occy.

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    I've used this system on a few trips totalling a few thousand Kms and so far so good, despite a few of these

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    Fully loaded and ready to go (down again soon after - as it turned out :lol3 )

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    I do like the idea of the jerry inserts. Where did you pick up the army ones?

    Cheers :thumb
    #9
  10. Bernie68

    Bernie68 Been here awhile

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    Great pics and tips fella's

    Have been looking at these bags myself.
    Have not had the chance to talk with someone who has used them.
    Great to hear positive feedback about them.

    Thanks again for the pics and tips
    #10
  11. barra

    barra trying to get there

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    Was over at BCF today and saw some 4wd carry bags for shackles, tools, etc, $20 each. The small ones would be good just for day trips. A little bit of strapping here and there would do the job.
    #11
  12. GodSilla

    GodSilla I did that.

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    Saw the thread title, thought it was about older wimmin', I'll just go away now...................
    #12
  13. mendydrz

    mendydrz Been here awhile

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    I know a guy that can get alot of 22L jerries
    #13
  14. matt71

    matt71 glasshouse bandit

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    Great write up . been thinking of getting some bags for my bike and those r jays should be cheap enough :lol3 . How come your rego sticker doesn't match the number plate :deal . Must be a shadow on the photo or something :evil . Now just got to find some cheap racks . anyone in brisbane want to make me some for about 100 bucks ???
    #14
  15. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

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    Thanks for your comments. Should re-iterate that it's all other people's ideas from this forum.

    raider...Thanks. I guess I was just trying to acknowledge that Andy's is good stuff.

    bull600...thanks for the pix etc. Your setup is a lot more "compact" than mine. Just goes to show that even the greatest minds don't always think alike.:wink: I don't know that the 22ltr jerrys are really army. I got mine at the local "disposals" store, but I've also seen them at Camping World stores.

    barra...yeah, there're heaps of good things around that can be adapted. My next little project will be two small bags over the seat, as you described.

    Godsilla...sorry mate, I'll pm you a couple of "hot" links (but I'm not quite "finished" with them):lol3

    matt71...re rego. nos., veeerry observant of you. Now rack your brain and see if you can guess the (perfectly legal) explanation.:lol3

    Cheers
    Dave
    #15
  16. dirtsurfer

    dirtsurfer Challenged Adventurer

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    Yeah , I m on the lookout for those 22 litre Jerrys now
    #16
  17. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

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    #17
  18. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    Change of rego number due to lost/damaged plate; before and after photos?
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  19. Dave Nolan

    Dave Nolan left from woopwoop

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    Close enough. Damaged plate was replaced with new no. over the counter that morning. New certificate and sticker takes a few days.

    Cheers
    Dave
    #19
  20. Mtrain

    Mtrain free range

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    I would think twice about the ortliebs. My wife and I bought them and havent been very happy with them. They are very small and the straps dont last. Jane droped her bike in the sand a couple of times and every strap ripped off them. Ive lost one strap but for the price I would try andys or steel ponies.
    #20