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Discussion Starter #1
Hard or soft?
What have you had the best experience with?

And...is there an optimum parcel/rear rack and luggage combination?
TIA,
Howard
 

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Regardless of whether you are talking top box (bag) or panniers (and I don't know which you are asking about) the answer can be summarized to an extent by simply stating that hard boxes generally provide better security. Soft luggage is generally easier to pack. These days both can be equally waterproof.

As for panniers. As noted, hard panniers offer better security, however when riding aggressive off road trails, they can prove a hazard to your legs unless you are a very confident rider and never allow you leg to get sucked in under the box when riding. Soft panniers are more forgiving in this regard.

There are many strongly held opinions as to what is "optimum." I've tried several setups. However, I'm going to say for true luggage hauling the "optimum" setup is the Happy Trails top rack and pannier racks. Specifically the more heavy duty SU ones. Coupled with the aluminum Teton panniers or the Mojave soft bags you have quite a setup. Add the Large or small (or both...you can stack them) Mojave top bag you can carry a full on expedition load. Or you can use one of the variety of aluminum top boxes Happy Trails sells. I happen to have both Mojave bags and aluminum panniers. Not as extravagant as you might imagine, I originally had the aluminum Tetons on my Scrambler and Mojave bags on the TW, however, due to the unique mounting design they can both be interchanged between bikes.

Obviously I've interpreted "luggage" in a big way here, as in full on remote touring and camping. That may not have been what you meant. Also, the Happy Trails racks and panniers/top boxes or bags, are not cheap. You will spend, for instance around a grand for the SU pannier racks and a set of aluminum Teton boxes. Add $140 for the companion top rack. Then you have top bag/box options that will run anywhere from $140 on up. In addition you can add very nice utility bags made to fit the top of the hard panniers to the tune of $122 a pair.

Finally, if you use the aluminum panniers they are strong enough to mount fuel/water racks such as the Zega Pro models offered from Touratech. (I personally have one pannier rigged with the mount for the 3 liter plastic bottle, and the other rigged with the mount for twin MSR bottles.

Extra finally, my Happy Trail top rack has a plate to mount a 2 gallon Roto Pax to it, and of course the soft Mojave bag will mount above that.

So, if you really meant "luggage" rather than "hauling a few small items" there you have it. A luggage setup to travel the whole Country with...or the world for that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Borneo,
You make some good points.
My fault for not clarifying purpose. I think side panniers and a rear rack is all I need because I going to transport the occasional bag of groceries or work out clothes. I do not tour, nor do I ride technical terrain.
Come to think of it, I am probably one of the odd-balls in this group because my bike is a street commuter.
Best,
Howard
 

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I have a Givi on my manrack. Works great and with just the push of a button, I can remove it when not needed. It will carry anything securely, plus able to stow helmet under lock and key as well.

givi1.jpg givi2.jpg givi3.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Old w/guns......
My gosh, at capacity how much weight are you packing in?
Have you upgraded your shocks?
That is right out of BMW's GS Giant Manual.
H
 

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I have a soft setup on both of my Tw's. They consist of a cycleracks, SW Motech Tailbag II for the top case. For the sides i'm using wolfman rocky mountain bags and a set of Tinman Tim pannier mounts to mount them. I'm pretty happy with this setup, some might find the side bags a little big. Wolfman makes a smaller side bag called the expedition as well. I have also modded my cyclerack to take two rotopax 1 gallon packs under the top bag.

On my Ducati i have the factory hard cases and top box. I like them and feel they are more secure/are more secure from a locking standpoint but they are not as flexible in the sense that they don't expand. The side bags i feel are more difficult to load.

Here is a pic of my setups on the bike.
TW



Ducati
 

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If you're looking for an easy, cost-effective all-around decent rack, I really like the Nomadic Rack. It's rock solid and quick to install. You can see I have a Roto Pax mount on mine for extra fuel but take that away and you can easily strap any duffle/roll bag to the rack, as there are so many slots to throw straps through (I've been using Rock Straps). Hope this helps. Sorry, can't freaking figure out how to rotate the photos.

View attachment 16921 View attachment 16922
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hoytis,
The attachments 16921, 22 are not working.

The Nomadic Rack has a lot of possibilities.

H
 

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I love my hard bags - on my GS. It's stable at speed and secure in a parking lot or campground. It's perfect for touring.
But, if I was to outfit my TW for touring it would have a cycleracks with pannier mounts and dry-bag style soft luggage.
Although, those ammo cans or pelican cases look great on the pannier mounts!
 

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I say the Mosko's live at a bike show this spring. They are very nice and the mount is brilliant. I thought a lot about putting them on the TW and the guy even met me take the different bags to see how they would fit. Both sizes look like they would go on without issue. The reason i went with the Wolfman was simply cost. There was an over $200 price delta per setup and i had to outfit two bikes and that made it too spendy for me. I also like the strap across the seat aspect of the Wolfman bags to carry the weight.
 

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I modified the OEM rack off my Suzuki V-Strom because it was just gathering dust after installing Jesse aluminium luggage on it. Not exactly an option for most of you but I though I'd throw it into the mix. Great solution for short local trips but to much weight for a longer one. Each piece of luggage(three pieces) weighs close to 10lbs empty and fully loaded for a long trip adds to much weight to the little bike and affects handling.


This is what I prefer for longer trips. The soft luggage is considerably lighter and allows me to pack more gear and beer.:) The side bags,made by Ortlieb , are well made and fully waterproof. Easy on and off.
The top bag is very well made,rugged, and also fully waterproof. The rectangular shape makes for very efficient packing. MEC Scully 50 Duffel - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available I use a couple Rox straps to hold it to the modified rack. The tank panniers I purchased cheap ($12) at my local Princess Auto the Canadian equivalent of Harbour Freight. The front rack I made myself and use it to carry light stuff only. I have done up to 20 day trips with this set up.


I installed a Cyclerack on my 02 TW. I really like it. Well made, strongly attaches to the main frame, helps protect the bike when she decides to take a dirt nap and makes it easier to pick up afterwards. I made an aluminium skeleton for for the inside of a fabric duffel bag and attached it to the rack with some fittings I got at a local plumbing supply shop. They are great little rigs for attaching whatever to pipe. The duffel carries everything I need for what I use this bike for. I also welded some brackets to the Cyclerack to attach some spare gas containers to.



 

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Old w/guns......
My gosh, at capacity how much weight are you packing in?
Have you upgraded your shocks?
Stock except for cycleracks front and rear (flat-no hump; to be able to place top case or action packer further back)(leaving room at the front of the rear rack) and rear sprocket. Stuff on the front rack can block the headlight but fine during the day and my reason for getting it was to mount the fuel up there (or I can swap the side luggage and fuel positions if I want).

This shot shows the oversize action-packer on it which I have used off-road. You can see the Givi mount on top so I can even put the top-case on top of the action-packer if I want. Set up for street it has 45 tooth rear sprocket. For off-road I just put a 65 tooth back on to play with. -J-

aaaa.jpg
 

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Has anyone tried the Siskiyou Panniers from Giant Loop with the cycle rack? I am doing a fly and buy in a few weeks and already have the panniers. It looks like it should work.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No hair Mc Nair,
I think I am going to opt for a hard 26 lter Givi Top case. I want something lockable for the city, and just enough to hold some small stuff and a rain suit.
What rack would I get for this?

I am tempted to get side cases, but the laws of mission creep would fill them.
Bet,
Howard
 
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