Panniers and motorcycle width?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by kitkat, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. kitkat

    kitkat Been here awhile

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    Hi guys, I'm wondering, if I should keep the bike's width under 36" which is the width of a standard doorway, like a motel room door?

    I'm researching panniers and the smaller size keeps my bike's width, with the panniers on, at around 34". Easily fit thru a standard 36" wide doorway.

    However, they are only 54 L. The other size are 74 L and is what I'd prefer but they make the bike wider than 36".

    I'd like to install the panniers with bolts, as in semi-permanent, with no quick detach mechanism.

    When I'm backpacking I use all of my 60 L pack so when it comes to adventure riding I'm pretty sure I'd like the larger size. But suppose I could make up for the space with a waterproof duffle which I already own a couple of, that can be strapped on top of the panniers.

    Should I be concerned with the overall width, and what's more important being able to wheel the bike into a room or have more space in the panniers?

    Thanks,
    #1
  2. AwDang

    AwDang Been here awhile

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    How wide are your bars?
    You can always add drybags to carry extra stuff. Or thin down what you cary.
    #2
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  3. kitkat

    kitkat Been here awhile

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    The bars are 35".

    I plan to use my backpacking gear which is as thinned down as I want to get it.

    I supposed the volume used up with food would be offset by buying each day compared to packing it in.
    #3
  4. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Definitely get ones that you can get your bike inside this is worth missing out on carrying stuff. Most places have shopa to buy stuff you need
    #4
  5. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    You need quick-release panniers so you can remove them to get through the door.
    #5
  6. kitkat

    kitkat Been here awhile

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    So being able to get the bike inside is good thing and not just dumb idea?
    #6
  7. AwDang

    AwDang Been here awhile

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    I havent been anywhere in the US that bringing the bike in was necessary.
    Having panniers equal to or narrower than your handle bars is good. If the bars go thru, the rest of the bike will too.
    #7
  8. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    Only attempted to get a bike in a motel room once. Traveling north through Louisiana and the front desk lady said, “We have such a bad meth problem around here, we really don’t even rent to anyone with a Louisiana license anymore. No locals at all. I suggest locking your bike up well!”

    Tried to ride the bike up onto the sidewalk and cracked the cheap little plastic chin fairing clean off and damn near dropped the bike onto a parking curb. I was so angry I left the bike outside and no one messed with it anyway.

    Steering lock + cable lock + rim lock. Don’t even worry about getting into a motel room.... and I’d totally get quick detach luggage for the convenience of popping them off and putting them in the room/tent with you.
    #8
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  9. kitkat

    kitkat Been here awhile

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    I'll get the smaller ones. I agree that the bike should be no wider than the bars.

    I like the idea of "being able to" roll the bike thru a doorway. You never know what could happen. Visit someone downtown LA and a riot breaks out, bad weather, sketchy motel location, etc..

    I can even see using my garage for my main vehicle and instead of leaving the bike outdoors just roll it into the kitchen while we're gone on holiday.

    Thanks for the replies!
    #9
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  10. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    There are expandable saddlebags, so you get the best of both worlds.
    #10
  11. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    I would not compromise on the convenience of panniers that meet my size requirements for the remote possibility that I might want to pull my bike into a motel room. I have done a lot of motorcycle travel, staying in hotels, motels and campsites. Only once have I been somewhere where I was told some people pull their bikes into the rooms. In this particular place it was totally unnecessary anyway.

    Why do you want permanently bolted on panniers? They will not be much more securely attached and you lose the convenience of simply bringing the bags inside when you get to ANY hotel unless you have lift out bag liners - and even then you could do the same with detachable panniers. Plus if the bags are removable your concerns about bike v's door width become moot.
    #11
  12. Ibraz

    Ibraz Been here awhile

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    This.

    Get the panniers you want as long as they are quick release.
    Wheeling the bike indoors is easier when the thing isn’t loaded anyway, and it will be easier to access stuff in most panniers when they are off the bike anyway.
    #12
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  13. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    I found that I've needed to replace some of my backpacking gear as it was too large for MC camping. I had methodically been optimizing my gear for weight savings for decades, but size became more important on a motorcycle than weight. Sleeping bag and sleeping pad were the biggest space savings I've made, but there have been others as well.
    Tent would be next, but I haven't found any tents that are smaller and as sturdy and dependable as my Timberline that I could justify the $$$ cost of. I like to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature can throw at me.
    #13
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  14. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    You want the size of the larger ones, but you want tobe able to wheel your bike in through a regular sized door.

    This SCREAMS for removable panniers of the size you want. Why you want to make them semi permanent I don't know. You're solving a question no one asked by doing that.
    #14
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  15. kitkat

    kitkat Been here awhile

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    I agree that a the right type of sleeping pad is going to make a lot of difference in how much space it uses.

    I already have an inflatable pad that packs down very small. All my backpacking gear will work perfectly.
    #15
  16. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    I'm pretty sure most motels would NOT want a motorcycle in the building. I'd ask about a place to put it overnight, storage closet, shop space, etc. Of course, if they say no, wheel it in the room.

    I'd go larger, but removable panniers. Best of both worlds.

    Heard too many stories of bikes, bikes in trucks, bikes in trailers, or bikes and trailers disappearing at hotels and motels.

    If you are gonna' put it in the room, ride about the building, check for security cams, and get a room where the cams do not see the doorway, and the office doesn't face the doorway.

    YMMV,
    Barry
    #16
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  17. kitkat

    kitkat Been here awhile

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    I'm not worried about hotel/motel rules. It's more about the bike being configured so that "it is an option" if I felt it was warranted.

    It could be anywhere, my house, friend's place, hotel, office, etc..

    I'm bolting them on, no compromise. I'll modify the pannier racks to make them fit narrower if I decide to get the larger panniers.

    I'm going to but all my gear together and figure out the volume/space that I need to carry it. The panniers are the last thing I'll be getting and I only want to buy them once. I went thru several backpacks before learning what I needed and I'm not repeating that with panniers!

    Thanks for the replies!!
    #17
  18. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    Your bike, your decisions - and free to make them yourself. Still curious why you think you want/need permanently bolted on panniers? I don't see where this makes them more compact or more secure (The better mounting systems are very well thought out and very secure. I have not heard of anyone losing a pannier to theft and while falling off is not unheard of, there are only certain mounting systems occasionally prone to this.)
    #18
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  19. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com à vendre: RideDualSport.com

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    Panniers are the bane of adventure riding! They are nothing but leg/ankle breakers! Obnoxious towards other motorcyclist in parking situations as well. Go with soft luggage my friend!
    #19
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  20. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Yup - if you have hard panniers and wanna' ride off road, you need quality soft luggage or you risk preventable serious injury.

    I have hard Jesse luggage for my KTM 990 Adventure R cuz it came with the bike. I secured a really nice set of Wolfman luggage from an inmate for mixed pavement and off-road excursions.

    Barry
    #20