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Injuries form Hard panniers: Share your story!

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by MikefromNL, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. MikefromNL

    MikefromNL Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,354
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Hi guys,
    THIS IS NOT A HARD PANNIER VS. SOFT PANNIER DEBATE THREAD
    The hard vs. soft panier debate has been raging for eons. The biggest plus to hard panniers being security. The biggest advantage of soft being safety in a fall (especially odd-road). Got it.
    What I am interested in is real-world, actual first-hand examples of injuries caused by hard panniers that could have been avoided if soft panniers had been used instead. Not "I know a guy who knows a guy who had his pannier bite him".

    Personally, I have had a ton of offs while riding with my happy trail cascade panniers off-road, and have never had one of them injure me.
    #1
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  2. motokeith

    motokeith Long timer

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    Mar 29, 2012
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    Falcon, CO
    I dropped a 38L TT Zega Pro on my bare foot while trying to mount it on the bike in the garage. That smarted real good.
    #2
    LazyR, Chaostrophy, VanXR and 11 others like this.
  3. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
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    6,433
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    I had some big plastic panniers on my 640 adv. I was crossing a creek and the panniers started floating the back end downstream.
    #3
    LazyR, Jeff Sichoe, Jack D and 8 others like this.
  4. MarkM

    MarkM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    990
    Location:
    St. Louis
    :lurk
    #4
    MikefromNL likes this.
  5. baldman1

    baldman1 Long timer

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    Jan 18, 2013
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    Arizona
    I have set of Traxx panniers on my XR650L that saved my left foot in a bad crash in Guatemala.
    #5
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  6. MikefromNL

    MikefromNL Long timer

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    At least you know they were waterproof. Lol
    #6
    kojack06 likes this.
  7. wheelspin63

    wheelspin63 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    Newnan, Georgia
    05 Tiger, factory bags. Low speed low-side, broken leg and ankle.
    #7
  8. dogon2whls

    dogon2whls Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    249
    Not my story but...

    Buddy of mine and i find a great deal on a DR650. It’s in a town a days’ drive away so we go get it with my tacoma. It has hard boxes on it and i comment about the risk of injury. Buddy who is buying the bike sez he’ll pull them off before he rides the bike.

    You know where this is going.

    He can’t resist and takes the bike out a couple days after we get home but still hasn’t taken the boxes off. Sure enough, low speed dump foot gets dragged back, lower leg makes contact with hard leading edge of box. Buddy smokes some painkillers, splints lower leg with stick n duct tape then rides 60 km home straight to medical clinic.

    Sadly, boxes still on bike. Facepalm icon goes here.

    forgot to mention: clean break tib/fib just above the ankle
    #8
  9. gonefirefighting

    gonefirefighting Surrounded by Police

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Seesterz, Orygun
    When I was in college had a KLR with some custom fabbed alum panniers. Had a truck come into my lane behind me on my blind spot and nicked a pannier with big mud tires. Made the bike hop and shifted me nearly off the seat and went down with a leg stuck under the box. Slid for close to 100 yards on my knee being pinned into the road surface by the pannier and weight of the bike. Ground my Patella clean off and a good portion of my femur. New parts and a skin graft from an ass cheek was good to go in 7 months. Not a dent in the panniers. Hand guard, bar end and clutch lever was ground down to the riser.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #9
    Chaostrophy likes this.
  10. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Central Minn.
    None thus far, have yet to only experience panniers/pelicans saving my legs and ankles, sorry. :muutt
    #10
  11. MarkM

    MarkM Been here awhile

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    St. Louis
    See, this is where the BMW Varios are the perfect in-between. Technically, they are expandable hard cases. But in a fall they crush, shatter, and break off, thus saving the rider's leg. Then you just put them in a trash bag, strap them back on and keep going. Problem solved. :-)

    More on topic, I have had one fall where the Vario held the bike up preventing my passenger's leg from being injured. The case was expanded at the time and the internal mechanism was bent in the fall, but I was able to fix it when I got back home.
    #11
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  12. AzB

    AzB Fattest thin man

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    My happy trails cans have saved my lower limbs and the bike from any damage several times off road.
    #12
    Tsotsie likes this.
  13. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    Washed on gravel, my foot locked to the foot peg by the heal on my boot, my lower leg between the bike and earth and the case dragging me along. Could have broke my leg, as it was I had a very sore leg and a big burse from the corner of the case. Had the case not been there I would have gone one way the bike another, my gear protected me from the road rash so it would have been a non-event. That was the last time I used those bags, setting in the corner of the bike shed for several years now.
    #13
    CoatsEast likes this.
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    That never would have occurred to me. I wonder if soft panniers that are waterproof would do it too?
    #14
  15. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Location:
    Woodbury, CT
    My 2009 BMW R1200GSA exhaust (left) side aluminum pannier insisted on crashing into the rear, right side rear bumper of a short-stopping Turkish Taxi riding down some god-foresaken narrow dirt street while I was lost and distracted (and tail-gating) in some impossible to pronounce town. With my cat like reflexes I had swerved, but the GSA with hard cases is as wide as a hippo and the fully (over)loaded bike punted the mini-taxi out of the way. I roared off into some side street for 10 minutes to throw off any pursuers, and escaped being beat to death by the enraged bystanders.

    On the same trip my rear ESA equipped shock absorber puked out its oil (blown seal), leaving me with a 700 pound pogo stick for 500 miles. I attribute this to the amount of tools and junk I was able to cram into the huge aluminum cases,, thereby overloading the rear shock.

    Because I am a relatively short, weak old man riding a heavy tall monster bike, I have had to throw that bike on the ground on a number of occasions. To date, the bike has not crushed any important parts of my body, for which I am happy.

    So, my conclusion is that the hard cases are a liability in combat situations, but are unlikely to hurt you.
    #15
  16. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Glad the panniers held up without denting.
    #16
  17. N22WLZ

    N22WLZ Been here awhile

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    WV
    Footpegs and handlebars have caused many more incidents for me lol
    #17
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  18. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    In 2010, I was doing my best imitation of Malcolm Smith while on Terlingua Ranch Road in Big Bend NP. About 13 miles into the ride, I crossed a little rise and immediately entered a sand wash that was approximately 75 yards wide. I made it about 50 yards into it and the '09 punished me for my sloth. My left leg ended up between the cylinder and the Jesse Odyssey II. I experienced only embarrassment when two young Husky pilots showed up and, seeing my white hair said, "Dude, what are you doing out here by yourself?" Good question!

    In 2015, I hit black ice on the Blue Ridge Parkway on a 58˚ day. I didn't have time to utter my favorite oath as I surfed the road. I experienced no injury in the 39 mph dump other than a broken thumbnail. The engine guard and the Jesse Odyssey II kept the machine off of my leg. My Darien jacket was toast along with a Schuberth C-3 and my left Sidi Adventure boot got a few scrapes.
    [​IMG]

    In both of my get-offs, I think the hard panniers helped keep the bike off my leg. I advise none of you test my results but, if you do, I sure hope your results don't vary.

    Mike
    #18
  19. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Sep 6, 2011
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    5,155
    I've managed to catch a leg under a side bag while going forward before. Never broke a leg, but it's been interesting a time or two.

    This was mostly sloppy riding, as in feet down, release the clutch, then realize too late what I'd done when the bag hit my calf and started pushing my knee down. Depending on the bike and situation, can also really strain the ankle and foot.
    #19
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  20. Spam16v

    Spam16v Squid Rocket Supporter

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    I’ve always had the “hard bag kept the bike off my leg” experience. I have great discipline keeping my feet on the pegs growing up riding a three wheeler. You learn not to put a foot down real quick on them.
    #20