Zega Pro Panniers

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by turbojet, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. turbojet

    turbojet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    54
    I'm thinking about getting the 38L anodized (black) versions for my new 2012 990 Adv. It looks like the Touratech racks would give me multiple options for mounting soft bags for off road use, or even Pelican cases. I know a lot of the inmates have experience with these bags and I would welcome feedback. The only thing holding me back is the price ($1400) though I realize this is in line with other high end pannier set ups (Jesse, Metal Mule). Cheers! Steve:ear
    #1
  2. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

    Joined:
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    1,655
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    Back in NC
    I have the 45L (plan on general use to be able to carry and secure stuff, hold my gear when off the bike when local and no planned offroad) and will use softbags for extended combo trips. I like them and the little upgrades (cable keeper for the top so it doesn't pop off) corner guards and strong mounting. The tops need some adjusting to close with one side locked and used as a hinge but not that big a deal. They are heavy though wt is relative to size and can't speak to the others. One thing that would be nice to be a free option for the cost are the locking latches. They key the locks and you install them, easy but you pay extra unlike others that are included.

    Also, not affiliated just sayin' as I've done this...If you plan going 2-1 exhaust and want a CJ tank or cargo box you will have to have the rear brace tabs rewelded lower (drop them down the width of the tab) for the tank/box to work with the brace. I got a local shop to reweld it and wasn't $$. Works great.

    Good luck.
    #2
  3. OlivierS

    OlivierS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
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    Belgium
    I have the Zega Pro topcase on my 990 and I must say I am quite happy about it. Planning to get the panniers as soon as I can afford them :D.
    #3
  4. Katoom990

    Katoom990 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C.
    I've had the 38L Zega Pros on my 990 for two years and have been very satisfied with them. I went with the 38 L size as a compromise between storage capacity and overall width when mounted on the bike. It also helps to prevent the over-packing syndrome. If I do need extra storage (camping stuff), its just a matter of strapping a waterproof duffle to the top rack.

    The Touratech racks are not cheap, but they are well made and easily adaptable to strapping on soft cases when the hard panniers are not required. They also make a great mounting platform for a couple of Rotopax!
    #4
  5. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,710
    Location:
    Minn.
    I like the look and function of aluminum panniers. On my next bike, I will make the effort and go that way. That being said, when on a budget, get some SW Motech racks and bars from Twisted Throttle, and grab some Pelican Hardigg Storm cases from B & H.


    These are the real deal mil-spec. Heck, mine are OD green.

    B & H Camera
    Pelican Hardigg Storm Cases IM2600

    $116 bucks ea., SHIPPED TO YOU

    Take a trip with the loot you save..

    #5
  6. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,246
    Location:
    Northern New Mexico
    I've had Zega panniers on both a 950 and a GS. I have had two issues with them.

    First hard panniers are not the best for riding off highway.

    Second, I lost a lid. I guess that I didn't have it tied down. It happened near the end of a long trip. I must have been over tired. After I returned home I installed tethers. Then life was good.

    Other than that I really like them.
    #6
  7. what car??

    what car?? down the road

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Colorado
    Currently in Guatemala with the 38L ZP system. Works pretty good, they did dent from falling at very low speeds, but again what do you expect from the weight of a big bike. They work well for a table for the stove and chair for yourself or other things, something you wont get from soft cases. We are two up with an extra couple of packs. We think in the future 45L cases might work or better yet, two smaller bags for the top of each case and maybe a large one, but not sold on that either. Or best yet, she gets her own bike (she does not like when I have to stand and ride), time will tell. This is the first trip of many so tweaking will be in order. For the cost it would have been nice to have locks installed without the cost, but not a biggy, at least they are all keyed together. Far better than Pelican cases, like to open the box from the top, not the side which was a pain in the ass in my opinion.
    #7
  8. travelin' light

    travelin' light Wannabe adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    between Belgium & Spain
    Had the Touratech zega pros for three years now, a pair of 31l anodised in black. These have been to the Sahara desert twice, once on my XT660Z and once on my 990 adventure. Only needed to order the rack for the KTM and if I change bikes again they will I'm sure go on the next one. They have been trail riding in Spain, France and Belgium. I can't speak for the bigger sizes, but the 31 is robust, I have never had a big off, but my many small offs have resulted in nothing more than a small dent in the side which was easily pushed out using a scissor jack and two pieces of wood. They are fantastically designed with a thicker Aluminium frame where the lid seals to prevent deformation of the seal. I suspect that the bigger size panniers would have slightly less torsional rigidity due to these having a longer thick aluminium frame, which may result in the crash force destroying the seal through warping of the frame (i have seen this happen in a 45l zega pro which had fallen off a bike on an asphalt road) . I have had no less than 15 offs with my panniers, none at a speed higher than 35 kmph and all in deep sand or gravel pistes, other than the marks on the plastic scuff protectors and two scratches that have gone through the anodising, they still could pass as new from 1.5 metres. Great bits of kit. I am in no way associated with touratech, and they do have their downsides, but I will hopefully never need to buy another set of panniers and that speaks volumes about their quality. For me the ultimate proof came when I was last in Morocco. I crossed the feche feche near Ramlia, all 7 kms of it. Its soft, deep sand in an old dried up river bed where the floodwaters churn the sand particles to dust as fine as talcum powder. It was particularly bad as a rally had been through a week before churning through the crust and destroying the track. Tapping your foot in the stuff sends grey dust clouds billowing above your head. Makes you and the bike look like a ghost rider combo due to the white dust sticking everywhere. During this crossing and despite dropping the bike twice, no dust entered the pannier at all. Equally during my return through the torrents of rain along the Atlantic coast of Europe through Spain and France, not a drop of water entered.

    Pros

    Water and dustproof
    Secure (get the lock sets that fit the panniers and tether the lids)
    Strong
    Does not leave alloy rubbings on the contents due to the anodising
    The anodising seems not to show scratches that paint does

    Cons
    Eye-wateringly expensive
    Heavy when compared to plastic but not when compared to other alloy panniers
    Fidgety to remove as you need to remove the contents to remove the box
    The Touratech rapid trap system alone is not strong enough for the trail
    Use a spanner on the white plastic lock nuts else they might fall off like the 45l above
    Difficult to carry as the handles from touratech are either straps which take ages to put on or metal ones which require drilling holes in the top of the box
    Did I mention the cost...

    Hope that helps
    #8
  9. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
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    3,375
    Location:
    West Des Moines, IA
    I think the panniers in this thread are Zegas: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11599126&postcount=32

    No so pretty after they hit a rock or two:

    [​IMG]

    As for me, I'm much more into finding my own solutions, but to each his own. These are Pelican 1550s with a lot of work done to them. I've spent less than $300 for the two panniers, and probably $100 for the top case:

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. travelin' light

    travelin' light Wannabe adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    between Belgium & Spain
    Those are the zegas, the zega pros are a much better design with rounded edges, plastic scuff panels and a thicker aluminium rim around the seal.

    I like your luggage solution, looks great, especially the side expander, Would these be secure when traveling in a third world country, could you lock them and leave it on the street if you went for a meal? Are they easy to remove? Did you do a write up on the build? Have a drz400 that needs luggage.
    #10
  11. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

    Joined:
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    3,375
    Location:
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    I'll try to write up something. Basically, the side cases are 1550s bought off of eBay. The bottom mounts I routed out of Delrin/Acetal. Two blocks secure the bottom and prevent the cases from moving forward and backward. Each lower block is mounted with two M8 bolts. I melted M8 nuts into the Delrin so that it's secure from the outside and can't be unbolted from the outside. The top mounts are simple -- two M6 chrome molly bicycle seat post cam locks. I drilled these mount points so that they go through an unused mount point on the Hepco racks. Currently I use the seat post nut on the outside, but I plan on building a bracket in the future that will have nuts welded in it so that the case can only be removed from the inside. Very secure. After I took that picture I bought "keyed alike" weather sealed cam locks off of eBay, 7/8th inch depth, and mounted those in place of the vacuum valve on the Pelicans. Just finishing up that project now. It's possible to jam a screwdriver into the cam lock and destroy it or the case to get in, but I think that's true of most cases. You could also put padlocks on the Pelicans for more security. The insides are just some vinyl I found at a fabric shop. I made the liner in three pieces. Industrial velcro holds in it place. You could also use industrial snaps, but that requires more drilling of the case.

    Have a look at Caribou Cases for ideas, or you could just go ahead and buy their system. It looks like really good stuff.

    Are Pelican's secure? The military uses them for lots of stuff. I'm sure you can get in any case with a big enough crowbar. :lol3 A better solution might be to put removable liners in the Pelicans and just take your stuff with you when you are worried about security. Caribou Cases has custom liners like that. (No affiliation -- I just borrow ideas from them :D ).

    Back of the case mounted:

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. travelin' light

    travelin' light Wannabe adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    between Belgium & Spain
    They look great, the pannier mounting system looks like it would take some beating. I'm not sure if I'm good enough at wrenching to put it together as well as you have, I checked out the caribou cases and they look great, sadly not available at a reasonable price in Europe. I then found a pelican case dealer in Germany and the cases are 200 to 300 euros each, hats way out of my budget, her indoors will not be happy. So I'll head back to the drawing board, not spending that sort of cash on the drz. Thanks for your reply.
    #12
  13. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    Oddometer:
    3,375
    Location:
    West Des Moines, IA
    Just FYI. I've never paid retail for a Pelican case. I always buy something used off of eBay and make it work. Also note that a company called Hardigg made a Pelican look-alike for years. They were called "Storm" cases. I think in some ways they are actually better than Pelican. I think Pelican thought the same thing and bought the company: http://www.hardiggdistributor.com/ Consider broadening your search to Hardigg Storm cases as well.
    #13