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Ultimate Alternative Budget Pannier Top Bags

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by texzen, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
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    364
    Location:
    Austin, Texas - Live Music Capitol of the World
    As I was conceptualizing a big Texas to Alaska trip I pondered....We'll i'm not Ewan McGregor and without all those support vehicles where is everything going to go...

    I knew i would be packing several strap on bags but the pannier tops I know would have to be utilized but wasn't sure what to do.

    As I investigated pannier top bags I just didn't like what I found, some generic bags that just didn't look like they could handle the weather or the
    T****tech bags which are barely as big as a lunch box, cost nearly $400 to the door for pair and only come in that famous TT brown that matches all our mass produced brown GS's.

    So me and my engineer self hit the web and the tool box and this what I came up with.....
    #1
  2. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    The bags I would use...

    A Kayak deck bag (super waterproof). Made be Seattle Sports, I've seen them at Bass Pro Shops and at REI for like $60 each. BUT I FOUND MINE ON THE REI CLOSEOUT WEBSITE for $35 each. A reply post from JFingers later in this thread found some blemished ones for 8.95! They come in "see me yellow" and "dont see me black" Saw some in blue a while back but cant remember where.

    I thought they were perfect size and shape.

    Here they are:

    [​IMG]
    Dome shaped rigid support, laser welded seams, waterfroof material, almost exact size as an adventure pannier tops.

    [​IMG]
    Reflective material on what will be the back and a mount for one of those $7 flashing led strobes for extra visibility if you think you need it.

    [​IMG]
    Front has a visible window so you can see the contents without having to open, accessory mounting straps and widgets all over them. I installed the Rigid support plastic in what appears to be backwards which i thought would allow them better shape holding in the front where the wind hits. I may fiddle with this after some use....

    Now onto the mounting.......
    #2
  3. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    [​IMG]
    I could just strap them to the top but I wasn't happy with look or function.
    I considered many attachment methods including velcro, magnets bungies etc. but I ultimately decided to permanently attach (concealable) the male end of the strap to the inside of the pannier tops so when they are not in use they are not seen. This would mean the just snap on an off. Here's how it went.
    #3
  4. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

    Joined:
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    [​IMG]
    I placed the bag where I wanted it to fit...

    [​IMG]

    I used a black sharpie pen to mark where the straps would go between the case and the lid.

    [​IMG]
    Next I cut the male connector off using a lighter to anti-frey the strap ends

    [​IMG]
    Next I cut the removed male end just long enough to go from inside the lid through the seam and mate with the female connector hanging outside. I then figured the screw hole placement in the strap and used a heated ice pic to make an anti-frey hole in the male strap.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the hardware I needed... All available at Home Depot, All Stainless Steel, Torx head to match the BMW stuff. Total Cost $9.71 Note the correct screw size is 8-32 x 3/4" long. I took the ones in photo back and got torx heads a little longer than the ones pictured.

    [​IMG]
    Next I mounted the (4) Male Straps after drilling 1/8" holes in the Pannier lid rim.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the finished lid with all four straps mounted.

    [​IMG]
    A view of the lid without bags and straps concealed. I later change these to torx heads.
    #4
  5. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    Just turn the lid upside down, snap it on and tighten it down...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is what it looks like mounted to the Pannier...

    [​IMG]
    Another shot...
    #5
  6. katego

    katego Been here awhile

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    Location:
    rat city, pnw
    wow, those are swell!

    -k
    #6
  7. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    Snap on snap off in 10 seconds.

    Aerodynamic Shape

    Waterproof

    Profile allows rider and passenger easy mount and dismount.

    Reflective back

    23 liters of Storage Added

    Total Cost to Install $79.71 and about 2 hours of piddling...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    Fit GS Vario bags as well....

    [​IMG]

    Mount to side of bags to protect panniers from drop scratches

    [​IMG]
    also fits top bag pannier....
    #8
  9. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    Location:
    Hamilton NJ.
    Was looking good up to the point where you turned the mostly waterproof panniers into water buckets by wedging the straps under the lid. :huh I found a cheaper alternative to the TT bags, This bag from RKA if sized just right and has straps to mount the bag to the existing pannier hooks on the lid http://www.rka-luggage.com/A03 Seatbags/K1200LT Rackbag/k1200LTRACK.html [​IMG]
    #9
  10. jeffjbmw

    jeffjbmw Threadkiller

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Magdalena, NM
    But they are YELLOW!!!!
    :rofl

    Hey, beautiful job......

    +435897207807
    #10
  11. katego

    katego Been here awhile

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    wow, those are swell!

    do you have pics while attached to the bike?

    -k
    #11
  12. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    Saskatchewan
    Nice, but don't expect to see the water bottles again after driving on Canadian roads.:D
    I am going the opposite in my trip to Prudhoe Bay this month. I am packing as light as possible. If it don't fit in the panniers it doesn't come along.
    Except for tires of course.
    #12
  13. funhouse

    funhouse Overdue

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    Santa Barbara
    the best I've seen.......very creative....Bruce
    #13
  14. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    I use the liner bags in my panniers just in case. Did spray them with hose very hard only a few drops got in one. The rubber lid liner is soft and molds around the strap pretty well. I like the RKA's as well. I'm for anything other than buying the tt overpriced stuff.
    #14
  15. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    That was my plan until I realized I was packing for two when the gf who I though would have no interest says she wanted to go. :eek1
    #15
  16. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    Well, that's an entirely different matter.
    I don't think you have enough space........
    #16
  17. JFingers

    JFingers carpe per diem

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    Location:
    NE Bay Area, CA
    So, thanks for posting this, it's a sweet idea!

    I have micatech pilot panniers, not the BMW ones, and measuring, they'll hang off the side a bit, but I think I'll just fold them under on itself on the outside edge, or pull it towards the seat more, so they hang off in between the seat and the pannier. Either way, they're pretty sweet.

    Now, I've gotta brag a little, I found them on Amazon for $8.95 a piece! Yes, they're blemished, the info quotes " BLEMISHED ITEM - WELDED SEAMS OVERLY MELTED (DOES NOT AFFECT PERFORMANCE)", but for 27.40 shipped, for two, I figured what the hell, may as well try it!

    http://www.amazon.com/Seattle-Sport...e=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1275859764&sr=8-2

    There's the link. Good luck!

    Unfortunately, I leave on Tuesday for the longest trip of my short motorcycling life, 2600+ miles from San Fran to San Antone, so they won't make it in time to use, but hell, they'll be waiting for me when I get home for my next big trip!
    #17
  18. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    WOW.....8.95 You da man!
    #18
  19. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

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    He is da Man! Just ordered a couple, Amazon will be wondering why the sudden rush on kayak bags...:wink:
    #19
  20. texzen

    texzen Multistrada by Day, Mclaren by Night

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    Everyone feel free to post other mounting methods....:clap I almost went for a velcro method.....
    #20