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Homemade Ammo Box Panniers!!!

Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by DasBatman, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    San Diego
    Thought you guys might get a kick out of this!

    After looking through all the options on the market, I was disappointed with how much money everyone wants to charge for panniers. My bike is my daily driver since I'm in SoCal. I don't own a car. Being a middle class 26 year old without an unlimited amount of expendable income and having a reasonable head on my shoulders, I decided to make my own.

    I figured ammo cans would make a good pannier, and they have the added benefit of being cheap as hell if they get beat to crap, so I headed to my local military surplus joint and snagged a couple of 40mm boxes for $60 total. (This photo was taken before my lovely girlfriend bought me my awesome Caribou top case.)

    [​IMG]

    I didn't feel like fabricating my own mounting bars, and I like the Givi quick release, so I just bought those as the base. $230... By far the most expensive part of the build. I mounted them up, removed the Givi specific hardware, and added my own.

    [​IMG]

    I went over to my buddy's house and sanded/ground off all of the rust down to the metal. In the process of doing this we discovered that the little flaps that tighten down the lid on one of the cases were rusted out and frozen. We were able to oil one of them up and get it working again, but the other one snapped off, so we welded in a piano hinge, which was actually a pretty cool solution.

    I took them home and figured out how to mount them up and drilled the holes. I'd eventually like to figure out a little bit more elegant of a way to mount them in (like spacers inside of rubber grommets or something), but for now it will do.

    [​IMG]

    Once I knew how they were mounting up and got all the holes drilled, I cleaned them up and painted them. I used flat black Rustoleum Protective Enamel. I did about 8 or 9 coats total so that it would have a nice thick layer to absorb some of those scuffs that they're bound to collect soon. :D

    [​IMG]

    Once they dried overnight, I mounted them up!!! It was raining, so forgive all the wet photos, but I suppose it's a good first test. They turned out pretty nice I think, especially for a sub $400 build. Like I said, I'd eventually like to find a way to have them mount a little more elegantly, but for now I think this will do.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope you guys enjoy checking these out as much as I did putting em together! :rilla
    #1
  2. lookn4birdies

    lookn4birdies Let's be careful out there

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2018
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Great idea and these look good!
    #2
    DasBatman likes this.
  3. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

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    Thanks dude!!! It's very gratifying to do them yourself rather than bolting on some $1000+ kit. Love me a good project.
    #3
    3bangin and Eatmore Mudd like this.
  4. T-88

    T-88 Been here awhile

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    May 14, 2017
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    135
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    DasBatman,

    Your ammo box panniers are not my style.

    But I have to say I admire your frugality and fabrication skills! You nailed it, Dude!

    Two big thumbs up to your ingenuity and for a job well done.

    Tim
    #4
    kojack06 and DasBatman like this.
  5. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

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    $60 total... Can't beat the price! They're a little heavy, but I'll exchange the cheddar left in my pocket for a couple pounds.
    #5
    Eatmore Mudd likes this.
  6. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
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    New Zealand
    Well done mate. I'm all for building your own stuff. Making bits for ya bike is part of the fun of ownership IMO

    Made this tool tube to fit inside my pannier rack. Comes in real handy for carrying tire levers, tow rope and first aid kit.
    IMG_20161203_132919.jpg
    #6
    jaydee974, Eatmore Mudd and DasBatman like this.
  7. wheelspin63

    wheelspin63 Been here awhile

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    Newnan, Georgia
    Nicely done. They look the business! Hope they serve you well.
    #7
    DasBatman likes this.
  8. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

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    Very nice!!! I have a tool tube behind my rack as well, but it's about a third of the size of that. Maybe an upgrade is in order...
    #8
    Night Falcon likes this.
  9. clawdog60

    clawdog60 Long timer

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    east central ILL, land of ILL (sick)
    Yeah I saw in your first post. Didn’t hit delete in time. Nothing wrong with your setup. Any ideas for locks?
    Im thinking about doing a pair of .30 cal boxes for daily use on my HT racks.
    #9
  10. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

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    Yeah, I found these kits on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2FKF71/

    Super simple install, then you just padlock em. There may be a more elegant way if you get annoyed easily by the sound of the locks slapping on the bigger bumps... Wouldn't bother me though. ;P
    #10
    Mumbles24 and clawdog60 like this.
  11. teamduh

    teamduh Adventurer

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    Take a bow. Nicely done.

    Did gf get top box so she had a backrest?
    #11
  12. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

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    Maybe... :permazot
    #12
  13. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

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    CARLSBAD, CA, USA
    Like your ingenuity! This is what makes motorcyclists so darn interesting. The things we can do as most of us are tinkerers.
    #13
    clawdog60, Night Falcon and DasBatman like this.
  14. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    Location:
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    Noicely done :super

    You feeling up to DIY pannier challenge part 2 ? Lighten them puppies up a metric shart ton.
    Hunt the C/L fleabay and pawn shops for a Greenlee knock out punch die. Electricians use them to make perfectly circular holes in electrical boxes. Swizz cheese the crap outta them cans including the lids and bottoms then cut .040 aluminum sheet or Home Depot fiberglass shower wall to line inside the boxes and epoxy it in place with J-B weld or Scotch Weld. Weigh them before and after. :-)
    #14
    clawdog60 likes this.
  15. clawdog60

    clawdog60 Long timer

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    Yeah the green lee would be much cleaner than a hole saw
    #15
  16. clawdog60

    clawdog60 Long timer

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    Maybe water proof bags for liners? Easily wash out the cans without removal then.
    #16
  17. rockitcity

    rockitcity Been here awhile

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    Ammo can panniers used to be popular with VStrom riders, who always seemed to look for cheep (sic) solutions. Yours is one of the classier adaptations, and it looks as though you mounted them high enough so they won't scrape on cornering. I would recommend you use acorn nuts for the interior mounting as those wing nuts are sure to snag whatever you put in there (including your hands!) I found that the bags Sketchers shoe stores give out work well as pannier liners. Nice job!
    #17
  18. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

    Joined:
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    In terms of waterproofing:

    I think I'm going to do an adaptation of Eatmore Mudd's suggestion. What I'll do is get some rubber sheets and aluminum... Instead of holes, I'll just cut giant triangles and rectangles, but leave the core crossbars and edges. Then for the inside of the box, I'll cut the rubber/aluminum to size and bolt in. The rubber facing the outside should waterproof once bolted in, and the aluminum on the interior should provide the rigidity. The rubber would have the added benefit of allowing me to not repaint the cans. You guys think that could work?

    In terms of better mounting:

    I'm actually thinking of fabricating a "puck" mounting system similar to the Touratech or CoyoteTrips kit, thereby eliminating the need for the bolts that are sticking out and having the added benefit of easier removability.

    https://touratech-usa.com/Store/Pannier-Mounting-Kit-18mm
    http://www.coyotetrips.com/accessories/mounting-kit.html

    The pricing on those kits is fucking highway robbery. These seem easy enough to fabricate on my own... maybe I could use hockey pucks and just drill holes? :hmmmmm
    #18
  19. rockitcity

    rockitcity Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't bother cutting holes to lighten them. How much would you really save? They look good the way they are, and you already put a bunch of work into them.

    I wonder about the waterproofing. The cans themselves are probably waterproof save for full immersion. The top lip seems like it hangs over the sides, so no water is going to get in from above. Road spray would be the only possible leak. What if you split some neoprene tubing and put it along the top edge of the actual box? Would that give you enough of a seal? Might stop any potential rattles as well. You're in San Diego, so rain is not much of a problem year round. You'll probably find you don't take them off enough to bother with a "removable" mounting solution.

    PS: I like the way the ammo can latches and your top box latches seem to match. Visually it looks well sorted.
    #19
  20. DasBatman

    DasBatman Adventurer

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    The ammo cans are naturally already sealed on the lid, there is a rubberized gasket that lives inside of the lid component that seals it, so no additional modification is needed there. The only potential spots for leaks are the bolt holes, but I think that the sealing washers I put in should take care of that.

    EDIT: I'm keeping them off unless I need them so that I can effectively lane split. ;)

    Thanks for the kind words! I'm digging the aesthetic as well. :)
    #20