Where to find panniers in New Zealand?

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by apostis, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. apostis

    apostis Adventurer

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    I may be moving to NZ, will probably get a KLR when I'm there.
    So I started shopping around for bikes as well as gear to prepare it for a proper trip all around New Zealand.
    I' having difficulties finding anywhere to get panniers though.
    Does anyone have any recommendations? Or am I actually left having to import them with an extra $300 import duty?
    I've looked for Tusk, Touratech, Nomad, I'd also be open to building them myself as I've done before on another KLR with ammo cans, but even the luggage racks I can't find anywhere in New Zealand.
    Am I just bad at looking or is there really nothing available?
    #1
  2. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    Unless you are good at making them yourself, you'll need to import them. Small market, wide range of models to cover, limited demand.
    #2
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  3. CarstenNZ

    CarstenNZ Adventurer

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    Apostis, if you immigrate, then this is you one and only chance to bring in everything you need for the next years - GST free. Bikes, racks, ..., think about a shipping container or a container share.

    If this is not an option, then you have to pay either the NZ small nation island premium on everything (like, parts or food :( ) or you have to import it yourself. Importing adds shipping costs, but you can save the origin GST (e.g. from Europe) and the GST risk during import is limited if you send it to a private address. There is much talk about charging more strict at customs, but in my experience most shipments get through without problems.

    IF your import is over 400 NZD (incl. shipping) based on some custom phantasy exchange rates then they MAY charge you:
    - 15% GST
    - 50 NZD handling (or so)

    So actually not as bad as it looks and NZ is totally worth it !
    #3
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  4. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Hi again.
    Hard luggage and soft Motomail and Tech Moto in Auckland do Givi and ventura but not the more exotic brands.. Id go into one of the bkke shops and ask when you get here. Red Baron in Lower Hutt (thats on Wellington) are very helpful.

    If you prefert to import soft luggage you could try Andy Strapz frames. They are on trademe. I think they are around 500 for a set?

    Ive seen a few ammo can panniers but no idea where they came from.
    #4
  5. apostis

    apostis Adventurer

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    Thanks for those infos Carsten, much appreciated. (Are you German by any chance?)

    The thing is I know I won't stay in NZ forever. It would be for a one year contract for now. Might end up being longer, I don't know how long but definitely not more than a few years.

    I do have very F650GS here with me in London, but I was thinking that shipping would just not make it worth it?
    I'm assuming I'd have to expect at least 2000 NZD for shipping from London just one way, probably more actually. Then I'd have to ship it back for the same amount. I've seen an almost identical GS in NZ for example for 9900 from the dealer, so let's say that would be 9000 to buy. I would probably be able to sell that after a year for maybe anything between 7-8000.
    Which would not only mean I'd have saved lots of money but also lots of hassle plus my GS at home would still have less miles on it.

    That's my reasoning for not importing. But I'm not sure, maybe my calculations are off? I'd love if I was wrong, but I'm not sure?

    Buying racks now and importing them sounds like an idea too but then again I'm also not sure now if I will get a KLR at all. Like mentioned I saw a nice GS, maybe I'd go for one of those in the end.

    So it's all a bit difficult to plan and I don't know what to do really.
    I'm open to anything, I just want to do what's most reasonable in terms of money and effort. I'm not against importing but it doesn't seem worth it to me. What do you think?

    @oldbeer
    Thanks I will check those out, see if they got anything online.

    I definitely want hard cases though. I usually carry a lot of stuff for long trips and photography gear and definitely need something sturdy.
    #5
  6. CarstenNZ

    CarstenNZ Adventurer

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    Hi Apostis,

    Yes, I came over from Germany with a 40 foot container and qualify now as New Zealander.

    I wouldn't bring a bike for one year and instead just buy one from TradeMe. Saves you not only all the transport $ and hassle, but also getting your bike road registered here in NZ (more $ and hassle). Kiwis love to build their ultimate Adventure Bike and you will probably find something with rack and more included.

    Maybe bring/buy some soft bags and take them home at the end. I think they are a great alternative regarding money and weight to hard bags and many will work fine without a rack. Don't worry too much about locking your luggage, NZ is in most places pretty safe and you can leave your gear for hours unattended on the bike. I do this and didn't have any bad experience.
    #6
  7. apostis

    apostis Adventurer

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    TradeMe is where I looked but there's not a single used KLR in Wellington. It seems I'd have to travel up north to find one. Is it difficult to travel in NZ without a car? Public transport doesn't seem to be too great in Wellington from what I read. And I tried to find a route to Te Awamutu, Waikato, using google maps and it didn't even give me any option what so ever.
    So finding a bike seems to be a bit difficult.

    Regarding the luggage, I'm a burned child unfortunately. I've made some horrible experiences in London which I realize is virtually the worst place in the world for bike theft but still. I really can't convince myself anymore to not take every possible precaution. So it really as to be some hard case. It's also about crashes, I wouldn't want my bike to fall right on my camera or lenses when I do fall.

    There are a few KLRs available on TradeMe but all of them seem to require at least a 5h minimum journey to see. So not sure how feasible that is.
    #7
  8. CarstenNZ

    CarstenNZ Adventurer

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    Cheap way to get around is https://www.transfercar.co.nz/ and I expect the offers to pickup later in spring. I don't think it is a problem to find a bike, especially if you don't look too narrow. And then there are enough dealers on the North Island if TradeMe doesn't work out.

    My camera goes in the tank bag and in my experience the damage to the soft bags is less then to hard bags and rack. Tools and clothes don't care too much about some pressure.

    When are you coming over ? For me the best riding time starts in Feb/March and this will give you probably plenty of time to find a bike and ride NZ up and down.
    #8
  9. apostis

    apostis Adventurer

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    That's an amazing service. Too bad only that I haven't been driving cars for 10 years and would need some practice again before I do that. It's silly but that's how it is. I've been riding bikes exclusively for a while now.

    I have a lot of camera gear, it fills up an entire pannier. Having that in a soft saddle bag would be very dangerous for the gear in case of a crash.

    I'd be coming over beginning of November. I probably won't have time to do a proper big trip until next summer but I would need a commuter so I'd want need to get a bike as soon as possible upon arrival. Like ideally really within the first few days even but that probably won't work out because I'll be busy enough with settling in and finding a home.
    #9
  10. CarstenNZ

    CarstenNZ Adventurer

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    I see, it's also your work horse .... bicycle, bus, scooter/bike hire for the first week ?
    Maybe some rider from the Wellington region can assist with finding your first NZ bike.

    Bringing your own bike over and not being mobile before to get the import sorted sounds like a nightmare you should definitely avoid.
    #10
  11. CarstenNZ

    CarstenNZ Adventurer

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  12. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Expect to travel to get the bike you want. For a few beers local inmates may even offer to help out with a purchase, so just ask on here if you need a hand with an inspection, short term storage etc. Public transport in Wellington isn't too bad compared with other NZ cities, buses will get you to all the larger towns including Te Awamutu but bus services in rural areas are infrequent & usually limited to places on the intercity bus routes, unless there's a tourist attraction around.

    I would not be too fussy about bikes beyond getting something that looks reliable & you are comfortable with on gravel. KLR's are less common than DR650's here. BMW's seem way more likely to come with boxes so maybe consider an F650 or even an 11xxGS if you aren't planning on any gnarl. You'll definitely get something serviceable with hard luggage for less than the cost of shipping a bike here & back. I can see the attraction of hard luggage with it being your only transport.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #12
  13. apostis

    apostis Adventurer

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    I think getting a bike in the first week if it's not in Wellington is probably unrealistic though. I'll probably be very busy trying to find an apartment since my company would only offer one for 1 or 2 weeks.
    So I'd probably be stuck with whatever I choose as my alternative for a month or so I'm assuming. I don't think I'll have time before that, I'll have so much other stuff to do first moving to a completely new country.
    But I guess that's what it is then.

    And thanks for those links.

    @clintnz
    I'm not too into the DR650 to be honest. It's too flimsy for my taste. It's just not a bike made for carrying big loads.
    I'm looking for a bike that will carry me, my camera gear and camping gear all around the country for up to two months. I need it for 70% street, 30% dirt/gravel.
    I know people have circled the world on DRs but I'd really like something bigger. I'm very tall and the big fairing on the KLR definitely helps on highways with wind fatigue.
    But I will look into the DR, it's not something I have considered so maybe I need to take a look.

    I've been considering getting an F650GS, I have one now. It's a really great bike but it actually is too small for me. I'm 6'3" and not only does it look a bit silly, I can also really feel my knees after sitting on it for longer because they are too compressed like sitting on a low bicycle.
    I'd need at least an F800GS size wise. I'm just not sure if I want to spend that much money on something I may not have for a long time. With luggage rack and cases this will set me back probably 5k more than a KLR and I'm totally fine with a KLR. I'd rather put the money into crash bars and auxiliary lights.

    Decisions, decisions,...
    #13
  14. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

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    This Guy sells soft luggage and racks to fit most common bikes. He is based in Palmerston north. You can be lucky some times and find cheap 2nd hand stuff on the same site. another option is to cheek out Torpedo7 as they have a range of mountain bike stuff that might fit your needs.
    #14