At the risk of starting a holy war....soft bags for my 2011GSA - advice?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Cletuspapa, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. Cletuspapa

    Cletuspapa Adventurer

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    Alrighty assembled inmates and global moto travel Illuminati.....

    I am currently shopping for bags to replace the hard bags on my GSA - they're awesome for grocery getting, around town and slab trips where extra space is good, however, I'm planning a trip to the great white north (hopefully next summer COVID dependent) as well as some gravel/BDR trips here on the east coast so soft bags are really a much better idea (or at least that's my understanding).

    I feel like this is a great problem to have - there seem to be great options - the Lone Rider, Mosco Moto, Kriega and Giant Loop offerings all seem to be well engineered and well designed products. Lik every good shopper, I'm looking for advice and/or anecdotal information that might swing me one way or the other*. All 4 of these manufacturers seems to have similar yet somewhat marginally different functions - Hoping to hear about any of all of them in comparison.

    I feel like this might be a holy war and it's not my intention to stir the pot - hell if I really needed to, I could use my two big Helen2Wheels Drybags and a third drybag, strap that stuff to my pillion rack and roll on, it just wouldn't look as appealing. Just looking for opinions (we all have them - they're like armpits - some smell better than others!)

    Thanks so much -

    Cletus

    *Mosco is out of the offset group right now - have to ping them to see where they are in manufacturing and what the wait time might be (October trip on the books).
    #1
  2. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer

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    RevZilla has added some new brands worth looking at. Same with Twisted Throttle

    Just about every mfg. in this space now offers soft bag options. Get ready for a flood of anecdote along the lines of, "I love my soft bags by (insert mfg. name), they're the greatest thing ever!"

    Lots of good options out there these days.
    #2
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  3. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    At the risk of making lewisjr1 right....

    I have been a fan of Enduristan and have lots of their products. What drive me to them first is the fully waterproof without covers or liners. I also appreciate the simple approach to design. Highly functional yet still remarkably flexible to suit the users needs/style.

    With that said, I purchased their brand-new-to-market Monsoon EVO panniers. These are the same ones Lyndon Poskett has been prototyping on Races-to-Places. I ordered them from Lyndon’s site since the US distribution is having issues and he was able to answer questions for me. Unlike previous Enduristan panniers these are specific to frame mount applications and are designed for 18mm tubing racks (stock BMW racks work). I have Jesse Odyssey II racks (and panniers) on my 1150GSA. It was not clear if these would work with my rack although Lyndon was confident that worst-case I would need to modify the mount. Well, I pulled the trigger expecting to have them when I returned from a 2k mile trek. However, Lyndon shipped them 2 day from UK to a Seattle so they actually arrived the day before I departed. They were a direct-fit without modification. I did “need” to install a tool tube over the exhaust to fill the void. This need was not structural but aesthetic to alleviate my OCD issues.

    Despite my teen-age son chastising me for swapping them onto the bike last minute for a 2k mike test ride, I did it anyway.

    I did about 200 miles of dirt as part of the 2100 total miles and I will say these bags were remarkably stable and super lightweight especially compared to the Jesse boxes. They were very easy to mount and de-mount at camp/hotel. I went with the Small (24L) and Large (34L) again to appease my OCD sense of balance. While these are significantly smaller than my Jesse’s I had plenty of room. I have XS Base Packs (6.5L) that integrate perfectly on the panniers. Very clean solution.

    One feature that I really liked but could be overlooked is how they did the top mounting buckles. Typically a roll-top bag has the male clip/strap as part of the roll top and then it reaches down the side to clip in the female side. This works well for keeping things dry but can make accessing the bag while mounted (especially with accessories mounted) a bit tedious. E-stan has put the female buckles on top with the strap/male end coming up from the sides. This made accessing the bags while on the bike very easy - even with a Mosko BC 30 duffle mounted on the pillion seat.

    Here’s some pics on the bike-

    51F2CD29-0820-4E3D-9838-BC21D1F44BD0.jpeg

    Here’s some of just the bags:

    E27BAA07-AA96-4EAD-90BF-BCDD5025FBA9.jpeg

    3BD16718-E772-48BB-AFBA-22EBFAC0948A.jpeg

    26A6AD10-2909-4CA4-AAF3-82674431745E.jpeg

    24C087B2-1DEB-43C4-8CF9-40A7BF195612.jpeg

    Attached Files:

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  4. ultane

    ultane sqeezin the bag

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    Not meaning to be disrespectful of those who have them, or want them, but they’ve always made a decent bike look like a ‘bag lady’s’ affair...
    #4
  5. Cletuspapa

    Cletuspapa Adventurer

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    Thanks for the photos and clarification - this is exactly what I was hoping for - yes... I expect lots of fan boys (and girls) justifying their spend (or lack thereof!) but each person finds something they appreciate about specific design that's a beneficial call-out. These bag systems are all 95% the same if not more anyway.

    Thanks again!

    cletus
    #5
  6. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    Not sure what happened with the pics...can’t seem to edit out the car one. Sorry.

    here’s a couple with them mounted in the bike.
    1A030B17-3AA7-4898-99C1-E862A52B0DFA.jpeg C0B79674-EEC0-4FE7-8163-A931276819D9.jpeg 146B0D89-09BE-4CF7-BAE8-6CCB0622953F.jpeg 1EBEA921-F144-42A7-A011-3FED6D195B89.jpeg
    #6
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  7. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    You’re on the right track in terms of deciphering the key differences. The key for anybody is to determine what features are important to you. The Mosko ones are hugely popular (and $$$) and there are low cost options as well. If you are looking at the higher end ones then the differentiators will be even narrower.

    In my case, I wanted something that would integrate with my existing Jesse rack and still offer a weight savings over my hard boxes. When I looked at the Mosko’s (very cool) I found that my weight savings was much less due to the adapter plate and the Mosko wedge system. I also tend to the more simplistic style of organizing. I can sub-organize on my own with dry-bags or similar without sacrificing the opportunity to use the full volume when needed. Overall I am very happy with this product. Of course, I could have ran my Monsoon 3’s without issue too. They wouldn’t be quick release but still not too difficult. Those will be for sale soon.
    #7
  8. WADE-O

    WADE-O Been here awhile

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    So the questions I would like clarification is are you looking to replace or supplement? If you're looking to supplement your hard cases then I would say go with the Mosko Moto reckless 80. I think the reckless 80 because if doesn't require any extra mounting hardware and it is quick to take off. Then you can also swap quickly from hard to soft. If you are looking to replace then you can't really beat the Mosko Moto Backcountry bags. The width of the 35 vice the 25 isn't anything crazy so if the offset is a ways off I wouldn't hesitate to go with double 35s.
    #8
  9. Cletuspapa

    Cletuspapa Adventurer

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    I'm going to keep the hard bags and store them in my garage and flip flop back and forth, unless whatever I end up with has very similar functionality. The Factory GS/A Racks will stay mounted.
    I looked at the Reckless 80 - looks like it's sold out too!!
    #9
  10. oclv454

    oclv454 Been here awhile

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    I know you said that you have hard panniers and probably don’t want to back track and start over. I went with the Bumot panniers originally and then supplemented with the Blumot soft bags for long dirt road rides. Both lock on the same rack and can be swapped in less than two minutes without tools. Jason can key the locks to the same key which makes things even easier.
    #10
  11. Myll

    Myll Been here awhile

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    #11
  12. Vyk

    Vyk Adventurer

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    I went with Backcountry 35L Pannier set without offset (pictured below). I like them a lot! For me, it would actually looks stranger to have offset bags.

    (Excuse the hybrid hard/soft setup in the picture haha, I mounted the top box for helmet storage for a quick trip in town).

    I know you said you have the BMW rack and the cost of my setup my seem excessive but I ended up with two sets of SW Motech Pro Side carriers.
    One with hard bag mounts and one with softbag mounts.
    These racks come off the bike in **seconds** with a quarter or a flathead. So it makes it extremely easy to swap.
    I work a LOT of hours so even though this setup is more expensive, being able to swap quickly and save time is worth it for me.


    IMG_20200815_163712.jpg
    #12
  13. WADE-O

    WADE-O Been here awhile

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    Ah then I would for sure give the Mosko Customer service a call. They're great to talk to but they are closed on weekends just a heads up
    #13
  14. Cletuspapa

    Cletuspapa Adventurer

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    The two running neck and neck are the mosco's and the lone rider bags. I think they're about the same price point - both very well engineered. The Endurostans and the Wolfman bags also look very interesting and are about half the investment.
    #14
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  15. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    It’s all in the eye of the beholder...when I look at your set-up it looks “offset” to me...the exhaust side sticks too far out. To each his own;-)
    #15
  16. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer

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    Dryspec, Giant Loop, Givi, Kuryakyn, Nelson Rigg, Tusk, and many more to choose from. They're all tools for a job. If you'll be keeping aluminum boxes, as well, then I'd look for some weight savings in soft bags.

    I might even give up a bit of capacity, as the aluminum is available when the "fat load" is necessary. And if I had a separate tool box or tube, then I'd hold even closer to the soft & light strategy.
    #16
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  17. Covert

    Covert Been here awhile

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    There are a lot of decent bags out there, I'm not sure what all is available for your 2011 GSA, but I'll share my thoughts in case it applies to you or others.

    I was in your position last year and my top 3 contenders were Mosko Backcountry, Bumot Xtremada, and the Lone Rider bags. I quickly ruled out the Lone Rider bags narrowing things down to the Mosko and Bumot bags.

    I ultimately went with Bumot because they fit/lock directly on the stock GSA racks making it extremely fast and easy to swap. I already owned a set of Bumot's hard cases so I'm able to lock them to the racks with the same key. They come with two external pockets and two internal dry bags. The dry bags come off the bike with me to my room/tent when I'm on trips. I also was able to directly experience how tough/durable they are after many offroad spills down in Baja.

    The bags are reasonably expandable, I'm able to stuff a lot of stuff in them. On camping trips, I'll toss in a cot, camp chair, XXL bike cover, a backpack stuffed with my heated gear, nets/tie-down, rok straps, and my tire repair kit all in the smaller exhaust side bag. The left bag will be packed with my clothes. You'll see in some photos below that sometimes I use lockable tie-down straps to deter theft.

    A few of my buddies have Mosko Backcountry bags and those are very nice. There are some features on the Mosko bags I wish my Bumot had, such as the MOLLE webbing on the bottom and the beavertail stash pocket for quick access to certain items.

    Here are some photos of my bags on the bike, the first three from when they were brand new:

    CDA5E3F3-CA2D-4C72-9DBF-972B85AF3398_1_201_a.jpeg 58D49162-3D32-4386-B2D2-72EC0FE28E6D_1_201_a.jpeg B3C8B4C7-595D-4D66-B52F-C1BEDE14AB14_1_105_c.jpeg

    The next three photos are from my trip to Baja where they were battle-tested:

    EA85C005-2AED-49F1-B2B4-0E53F7F2EA66_1_105_c.jpeg
    2CC6BC95-BFA7-44C8-9930-6ED766E7CEA8_1_105_c.jpeg EC34E6F8-BDE4-432E-927B-B4B3FA645611_1_105_c.jpeg

    They clean up pretty easily with a pressure washer or hose.

    0F639F2C-51B0-4655-A62C-C448A98D0104_1_105_c.jpeg

    More fun on a few trails

    AD65F9B6-9480-47E1-8E54-FA3789011512_1_105_c.jpeg
    D3115D84-03BE-401D-A8D4-97574680DB5E_1_105_c.jpeg
    #17
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  18. Cletuspapa

    Cletuspapa Adventurer

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    Those Bumot bags look to be just as functional as the Lone Rider bags at roughly half the cost! They just shot to the top of the list! Thank you for the directional push! I think overall the price differential over the Mosko bags might make up for the lack of Molle webbing and/or extra features - they do seem to be everything you might 'need' with none of the extra fluff. As I've said, I already have two Helen bags to go on the pillion - I can't for the life of me imagine needing any more space than what those offer. Thanks again!
    #18
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  19. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    I like those Bumots. Unfortunately, they don’t work with their 1150 racks.
    #19
  20. Cletuspapa

    Cletuspapa Adventurer

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    yeah - looks like you'd have to buy their racks - I 'think' they will work on my stock GSA racks though....
    #20